Since taking office, I made it clear to City Staff and Metrolinx that I opposed the permit issued to remove the trees. Unfortunately, due to the reality of Metrolinx being granted provincial authority to build where they wish without meaningful community consultation, my office and my predecessors were unable to stop the removal of the trees in Moss Park.
Despite this, we were able to secure an agreement from the Parks, Forestry and Recreation division and Metrolinx to have the wood from these trees stored, and used for furnishings or other projects during Moss Park’s and John Innes Community Recreation Centre’s revitalizations. The trees will forever belong to the community of Moss Park, and I continue to advocate and secure what I can for Moss Park through community benefits.
I will continue working with Metrolinx to secure a community benefits agreement to create local jobs and build affordable housing above their stations. I understand the severity of the impacts brought forth by the building of the Ontario Line throughout Toronto Centre, and that businesses along the developing transit routes need all the support we can offer. I am proud that the City of Toronto announced our new Transit Expansion Construction Mitigation Grant Program. I encourage all BIAs and business organizations to apply before March 2nd, 2023.
With the removal of the trees, it is more important than ever to focus on securing the most meaningful outcomes from Metrolinx and its ongoing projects. Our communities should not have to fight for basic transparency and consultation from government agencies. The goal should be to build trust within the communities that public transit aims to serve — ignoring residents time and time again, only harms relationships. I urge Metrolinx to do what is right and work in partnership with our communities to build the Ontario Line. I continue to stand with all my residents impacted by the construction and will continue to advocate for them in all Ontario Line discussions going forward.
Yours in service,
Ward 13 - Toronto Centre