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View this email in your browser February 2014 eNewsletter


Dear Friends and Neighbours, We're deep into winter and the first few weeks of the New Year have been particularly busy! Ward 25's many well treed neighbourhoods were some of the hardest hit by the ice storm and the debris clean up continues. In early January, I moved a series of successful motions at City Council to improve the city's response to future extreme weather events – in particular, communications to those without internet access. I also requested a plan to repair the damage done to our tree canopy. I'm also pleased to announce that I was recently elected Vice Chair of the Library Board. The new position will allow me to better advocate for our second-to-none library system! Please mark off the evening of Thursday, February 13 for an exciting discussion with Mark Cullen and other environmental experts about how to improve and strengthen our tree canopy. Also make sure the evening of Tuesday, February 25 is in your calendar for my Transit and Transportation Town Hall. The Town Hall is a great opportunity to speak directly to the city's senior transportation staff, including TTC CEO Andy Byford and Metrolinx President and CEO Bruce McCuaig. Click here for the details! Keep reading for the latest news and updates on city wide and Ward 25 issues as well as development news and public meetings and events! As always, please don't hesitate to contact me by phone at (416) 395-6408 or by email at if I can be of any assistance! Also keep an eye out for my hard copy newsletter, coming to a mailbox near you in February.

Warm regards,

In this edition City-Wide Updates Ice Storm Recap Budget 2014 Trees in Toronto Transit and Transportation Town Hall Winter Snow Clearing and Salting Spadina Subway Extension Eglinton Crosstown Improving Congestion — Signal Synchronization Ward 25 Updates Midtown in Focus Civitan Arena Bond Park Tennis Lights Road Reconstruction on Bayview SPRINT Senior Fitness Classes Project Broadway Bayview Residents' Association Spotlight: St. Andrew's Ratepayers' Association Development Updates Bayview Avenue Design Guidelines Study — Public Consultation 100 Ranleigh Avenue 740 and 750 York Mills Road and 17 Farmstead Road 18-30 Erskine Avenue Alaska (Yonge & Strathgowan) 103 and 108 Bayview Ridge — Public Consultation 2655 and 2659 Bayview Avenue and 15 Old Colony Road Public Meetings and Events Midtown in Focus Public Meeting Toronto Public Library Digital Innovation Hub Gardiner East Expressway Public Meeting Boulevard Cafes and Marking Review Public Consultation 2014 Toronto Park Summit

Better Living Fashion Show and Gala

City-Wide Updates
Toronto Tree Forum Date: February 13 Time: 7 p.m. Location: Lawrence Park Community Church A panel discussion, organized by For Our Grandchildren and moderated by me, with expert gardener and author Mark Cullen, LEAF executive director Janet McKay and University of Toronto professor Hilary Cunningham on the impacts of extreme weather events on our city and on our tree canopy. Councillor Robinson's Transit & Transportation Town Hall Date: February 25 Time: 7 p.m. Location: Lawrence Park Community Church Find out how can we reduce gridlock, expand our transit network and get our city moving at my town hall meeting featuring TTC CEO Andy Byford, Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig and General Manager of Transportation Services, Stephen Buckley.

Speaking to a Ward 25 resident who had to move his young family on Christmas Eve due to a power outage.

Ice Storm Recap

As you know, Ward 25 was particularly hard hit by the ice storm. In the words of Toronto Hydro's CEO Anthony Haines, it was "decimated." Like many of you, I spent an extended period in the dark, and I worked around the clock for ten straight days advocating for Ward 25, sending out updates and keeping in constant contact with senior staff from the city and Toronto Hydro. More recently, I have been working with the General Manager of Solid Waste and the Director of Urban Forestry to ensure that the many branches and downed limbs across the Ward are cleaned up. The clean up effort is significant and ongoing. You can get more more information on roadside branch and limb collection and monitor the clean up's progress online . Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any issues or problems about the clean up. Just let me know your street and address and I'll do my best to take care of it as quickly as possible. More broadly, there was significant room for improvement in the city's response to the storm. In early January, City Council asked for a full and comprehensive review of that response, including actions to improve the city's response to extreme weather events going forward. I successfully moved a three-part motion based on what I heard from you during and after the ice storm. My motion asks the City Manager to develop a communication strategy to ensure that those without access to the internet or a smart phone can be reached with essential information. My motion also requested an updated tree pruning and maintenance strategy to reduce the vulnerability of city trees to future ice storms as well as a strategy to repair the serious and significant damage sustained by our tree canopy. You can read my motion along with the full City Council decision and staff report here .

Budget 2014
The city faced significant pressures heading into the 2014 budget process, including $54.2 million in unanticipated costs from the July 8 storm and December's ice storm. I'm pleased to report that $63 million in efficiencies helped deliver a balanced and fiscally sound budget! 2014 also marks the second year in a row that the budget was balanced without relying on the previous year's surplus – a trend that took significant effort to reverse over this term and one that I'm glad to see continue. The residential property tax increase — 1.73% plus an additional 0.5% for the Scarborough subway —was kept to the rate of inflation. Toronto continues to have the lowest residential property tax rate in the GTA. The non-residential increase was well below inflation at 0.58% plus 0.17% for the Scarborough subway, improving our business climate and helping keep the city competitive! Toronto's $9.6 billion operating budget also makes a number of key strategic investments, many of which were long overdue. Emergency Medical Services will see 56 additional paramedics, part of a three year plan to ensure that we have enough paramedics to match the growing demands of an aging population. I also successfully put forward a series of motions looking for efficiencies and ways to do more with less through technological improvements and public-private partnerships.

One of my motions requested a comprehensive review and report from the Fire Chief by early spring on Fire Services' implementation of a number of key resource saving technologies, including dynamic staging, dynamic modelling and traffic pre-emption as well as associated staffing and resource savings. Emergency Medical Services' investment in similar technologies significantly reduced costs and improved service delivery, and a 2013 service efficiency study suggested that there was a similar opportunity for Fire Services. The real challenge comes next year. The city will face a significant budget crunch thanks in large part to a $129 million provincial funding cut for social services. Similarly, a number of unfortunate motions were moved late in the budget process without sustainable sources of funding, presenting a real challenge for 2014. If you have any thoughts about how to improve the city's fiscal health, attract investment or drive growth – I would very much appreciate hearing them. Please don't hesitate to send me an email at or give me a call at (416) 395-6408!

Trees in Toronto – Panel Discussion – 7 p.m., Thursday, February 13 at Lawrence Park Community Church
Please mark off the evening of Thursday, February 13 for an exciting discussion about the impacts of extreme weather events on our city and, in particular, our tree canopy! I will be moderating an all-star panel of expert gardener and well-known author Mark Cullen, LEAF Executive Director Janet McKay and University of Toronto cultural anthropology professor Hilary Cunningham. Ward 25er Peter Jones is taking the lead and organizing the event and deserves thanks for all of his efforts to date! Peter is one of the founders of For Our Grandchildren, a non-profit that aims to connect and empower grandparents concerned about the impending effects of climate change. Discussion will centre around the damage sustained during the ice storm as well as what steps can be taken so that we are better prepared for the next extreme weather event. The event is set for 7:30-9 p.m. on Thursday, February 13 at the Lawrence Park Community Church (2180 Bayview Avenue), and you can register online here . I encourage you to attend!

Transit and Transportation Town Hall -- February 25, 7 p.m., Lawrence Park Community Church
I want to hear from you about how to improve transit and connectivity across our city! Please join me on Tuesday, February 25 for my Transit and Transportation Town Hall with senior staff from the TTC, Transportation Services and Metrolinx. TTC CEO Andy Byford, Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig and General Manager of Transportation Services Stephen Buckley will be on hand to lay out their plans to reduce gridlock, expand our transit network and get the city moving. Most importantly, it's an

opportunity for you to speak directly to senior staff about your transit and transportation issues and get your questions answered. The event takes place from 7:30-9 p.m. at Lawrence Park Community Church. In advance of the meeting, please send me an email at and let me know if you can attend as well as your number one transit or transportation issue!

Meeting with Grade 5 students from Bedford Park Pub lic School at City Hall!

Winter Snow Clearing and Salting
Many of you have written to me with questions about sidewalk clearing. There are many streets where Transportation Services cannot physically clear the sidewalks: crews cannot plough sidewalks if they're narrow, have obstructions or on-street parking. On streets where the city provides sidewalk snow ploughing services, staff generally deploy clearing operations once five centimetres of snow has accumulated in January-February, and eight centimetres from March to April. Depending on the severity of the snowfall, staff sometimes complete two rounds of ploughing and de-icing. In between ploughing and salting operations, staff ask that property owners help out by ensuring the sidewalk in front of their home is safe for pedestrians. Here's a map with more information about which areas receive sidewalk clearing services. Icy sidewalks are a safety hazard for all pedestrians; however, they're particularly dangerous and challenging for our older neighbours and those with accessibility issues. This winter I received

calls from parents concerned about their children walking to school, seniors, residents with visual impairments and others that use wheelchairs. In short, please be nice and help to clear your ice! Please don't hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or concerns about sidewalk clearing in your neighbourhood.

Spadina Subway Extension
Twin tunnelling for the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension is complete! In November, the tunnel boring machine known as Torkie finished the tenth and final tunnel drive for the project, breaking through the headwall near Highway 7 and Jane Street. This project is an 8.6 kilometre extension of the TTC's Yonge-University-Spadina subway line from Downsview Station to the Vaughn Metropolitan Centre. It will have six new stations, including one at York University. With tunnel boring complete, the second phase of work can begin on the track, traction power, walkways and signal communication systems inside the tunnels. Station construction is also well underway. By the end of last year, you could see the walls and roof of what will be Sheppard West Station going up! Construction is expected to be completed in 2016. For more information and the latest updates, click here .

Eglinton Crosstown
In my last newsletter, I reported that Metrolinx awarded the second tunnelling contract to Aecon Dragados for work on the eastern section of the Crosstown between Yonge Steet and Brentcliffe Road. Construction will soon begin on a launch shaft that will provide access points for Don and Lea, the tunnel boring machines that will dig the 3.25 kilometres of twin tunnels. The first visible phase of construction will take place on Eglinton at Brentcliffe. During the first phase, the work zone will be on Eglinton between Brentcliffe and Leslie Street. Traffic will be shifted to the north side of Eglinton between Brentclife and Leslie and reduced to one lane in each direction to allow crews to begin excavation on the south side. As part of the first phase, crews will be setting up the construction area and installing fences and barriers as well as working to widen the road, relocate utilities, street lights and some trees and build a revised sanitary sewer system. If you have any questions about the construction process, please contact the Crosstown Community Relations team. You can reach them by phone at 416-782-8118 or send them an email via the online form here.

Improving Congestion – Signal Synchronization
As part of a five-year plan to improve traffic flow on Toronto streets, the City will be revaluating and coordinating approximately 1,000 traffic signals across the city. The project involves connecting traffic signals to the city's Traffic Management Centre to allow for better timing and synchronization. The plan also includes upgrades to Toronto's traffic signal management system by the end of this year; installation of 100 traffic cameras on arterial roads to better detect problems; 13 additional message signs on the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway and better management of the use of curb lanes. In 2014, city staff will review and retime 15 signals along Yonge Street between the 401 and Eglinton as well as ten signals along Leslie Street between the 401 and Eglinton. These upgrades are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014. To report problems related to signal coordination, you can dial 311 or visit to reach the city's 24-hour help line!

Breaking ground on the Bayview Avenue pedestrian b ridge at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind!

100in1Day Toronto

On June 7, Toronto will join more than a dozen cities around the world in a global initiative called 100in1Day. 100in1Day began in Bogota, Colombia with 250 projects and 3,000 participants and has since expanded to 15 cities around the world. It is a citizen-driven festival where individuals and groups set up 100s of community projects – called urban interventions – and showcase their ideas for a better city. Evergreen CityWorks, a national not-for-profit that aims to green cities, and the United Way are organizing Toronto's 100in1Day. Residents interested in setting up an urban intervention are encouraged to attend a workshop. The first workshop will be held on Tuesday, March 7 from 6-9 p.m. at MaRS Discover District (101 College St). Register by sending an email to .

Ward 25 Updates
Midtown in Focus Midtown in Focus, a city-led project on how to improve the public realm in the Yonge and Eglinton area, just released a framework Parks, Open Space and Streetscape plan. Based on the feedback from public meetings last fall and consultation with the Midtown Planning Group and local residents' associations, the team has come up with five key initiatives that make up the plan. The initiatives include developing a master plan for Eglinton Park, creating and improving public squares along Yonge, planting a greenline of trees along Eglinton, connecting Broadway and Roehampton a park street loop and more. You can see the full report here . I encourage you to learn more and get involved at a public meeting hosted by the Midtown in Focus team on February 4, from 6-9 p.m. at the Salvation Army (7 Eglinton Avenue East). For more information, visit the Midtown in Focus website and stay tuned to for updates! Civitan Arena At Government Management Committee in October, I pushed hard for a community consultation to give residents an opportunity to have their thoughts heard about the arena relocation. The public meeting took place in early December and it was a full and productive discussion! At January's Government Management Committee, a decision on the best relocation site was deferred until spring to ensure that each and every option is thoroughly studied and reviewed. I will continue to work with Ward 25, my colleagues on Council and city staff to make sure that the new arena is open by 2020 as planned! Bond Park Tennis Lights Work to improve tennis court lighting in Bond Park is underway. I pushed hard to make sure this project was on the books for 2014 and I'm happy to see that work has begun. City staff have already determined the scope of the project and reviewed drawings with a tennis club representative. Construction is scheduled to begin September 2 and finish October 18! Road Reconstruction on Bayview

Bayview between York Mills and the 401will be resurfaced in 2014! Work is expected to begin this summer once water main repairs are complete. Subject to approval through the budget process and scheduling, city staff are also proposing resurfacing Bayview between Lawrence and York Mills in 2015. SPRINT Senior Fitness Classes in Ward 25 SPRINT Senior Care will be adding seven new free exercise classes for seniors including a bands and balance as well as a chair yoga class. You can see the January and February class schedules online at or phone (416) 481-6411 to receive a paper copy. Project Broadway Bayview Toronto Hydro will be undertaking a project to improve the electricity system in the Broadway and Bayview area. This work will involve the replacement of existing transformers and overhead electrical cables on the following streets:

Bayview Avenue Banff Road Broadway Avenue Cardiff Road Corinth Gardens Fairfield Road

Glazebrook Avenue Glenavy Avenue McBain Avenue Rowley Avenue Rappert Avenue Walder Avenue

Construction is scheduled to start mid-February and will likely finish in July 2014. If you have any further questions about this project you can contact Toronto Hydro at (416) 542-3366 or .

Enjoying some music, dancing and holiday cheer at 20 Sanderling Place!

Residents' Association Spotlight: St. Andrew's Ratepayers' Association
For the past 26 years, the St. Andrew's Ratepayers' Association has ensured residents in the St. Andrew's area of York Mills are heard and represented on a variety of issues from development and planning to traffic and congestion. The association's boundaries run from Highway 401 to York Mills Road and from Old Yonge to the greenbelt west of Bayview. St. Andrew's is focused on preserving the unique streetscapes of the neighbourhood with its large lots and wide yards. Long-time association President Cindy Weiner says she is particularly proud that her association has not only worked with members of the St. Andrew's community, but, more broadly, with other local residents' associations and different levels of government.One such issue is congestion at Lord Seaton and the 401. She said the association worked hard to get both the city and the province to the table to discuss the problem, and, more importantly, agree on a solution: a right-turn lane allowing access to the 401 East ramp and restricted right turns at Yonge and Lord Seaton during rush hours. Another point of pride is the annual community barbecue that the association hosts with Sterling Karamar at the Links Plaza. I had the pleasure of attending the 11th annual barbecue this past summer and it was a blast! Cindy emphasized the association could not do any of these things without the strong support of the community. She said they strongly value the input of St. Andrew's residents and always welcome suggestions about how to direct their efforts.

The association is currently looking for new executive members. If you are a St. Andrew's resident interested in your community and planning and development issues, please email . You can sign up or renew memberships and/or subscribe to the newsletter at

Thanking the Toronto Netralya Lion's Club who made a donation to Banb ury Community Centre!

Development Updates
If you would lik e to get involved or receive updates about any of these development applications, please don't hesitate to let me k now by contacting my office at 416-395-6408 or by email at! Bayview Avenue Design Guidelines Study – Public Consultation As I mentioned in my last eNewsletter, in late fall I successfully passed a motion at North York Community Council directing city staff to undertake a design guidelines study for Bayview Avenue from Lawrence to the 401. My motion followed discussions with senior city planning staff, including the Chief Planner, and a well attended community meeting in early November. A strong majority at the meeting, including Bayview-area residents' associations, voted in favour of going forward with a design guidelines study. Like many of you, I continue to have concerns about the significant intensification pressure facing

this stretch of Bayview. According to city staff, design guidelines should help prevent townhouse creep as well as shape future townhouse applications by setting out setback, height, landscaping and other design and planning details. City staff recently set the date for the study's initial community consultation. The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at the Toronto French School (Senior School, Student Common). At the meeting, city staff will outline the scope of the study as well as the community consultation process and the expected timeline for completion. I encourage you to attend!

100 Ranleigh Avenue Following City Council approval in November 2012, the Bedford Park Trustees' development proposal for a four storey seniors' residence at 100 Ranleigh Avenue was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. The Bedford-Wanless Ratepayers' Association (BWRA), which made the appeal, advised my office that they addressed their concerns with the applicant and the BWRA's Board unanimously voted to withdraw the appeal. The applicant recently advised my office that they expect construction to begin in May, depending on sales, and that construction should take about 18 months.

740 and 750 York Mills Road and 17 Farmstead Road Minto is proposing 240 stacked townhouse units for this large and significant site as well as the retention of the three existing rental apartment buildings. This is a revision of Minto's earlier proposal involving four 15 to 32 storey condominiums. I heard many of my own concerns echoed in the comments at late October's community consultation, including traffic and congestion impacts, loss of greenspace and the appropriateness of increased density on this site. At the consultation, we opted to form a working group of area residents to focus the neighbourhood's concerns and amplify its voice. An initial working group session is being planned for mid to late February. If you haven't already, please let me know if you would like to participate in the working group!

18-30 Erskine Avenue

Alaska (Yonge & Strathgowan)

Pemberton is proposing a 35-storey, 300 unit condominium with 153 parking spaces immediately beside John Fisher Public School. I continue to have significant concerns with this proposal and, following a well attended community consultation, I struck a working group of immediate neighbours, John Fisher parents, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Sherwood Park Residents' Association. The working group's summer meetings were delayed at the request of the TDSB but our second meeting took place in mid-September. Pemberton has agreed to revise its proposal and continue discussions with both the TDSB and the working group. Pemberton agreed to touch base with the working group with a revised proposal.

Following a well attended community consultation, city planning established a working group of local stakeholders led by the Uptown Yonge Neighbourhood Alliance (UYNA), the Sherwood Park Residents' Association (SPRA) and the local tenants' association. The working group was productive and met three times throughout late 2013 to discuss, among other things, traffic, public realm and design issues. The applicant made a number of revisions to its proposal, including a reduction in height from 11 to 10 storeys, and agreed to take the proposal to the city's Design Review Panel. The application is expected to come before the Design Review Panel in the spring. I will be reaching out to both the working group and wider neighbourhood when city planning receives a revised proposal.

103 and 108 Bayview Ridge – Public Consultation M. Behar Planning and Design Inc. is proposing 11 townhomes fronting Bayview Avenue and four detached houses along Bayview Ridge. In October I extended the notice area for city planning's initial community consultation to ensure that all impacted residents are given advance written notice of the meeting. The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 3, 2014 at the Toronto French School (Senior School, Student Common).

2655 and 2659 Bayview Avenue and 15 Old Colony Road Goldberg Group recently submitted an application for eleven three storey townhouses fronting Bayview and two detached houses facing Old Colony Road. A preliminary report on the application is expected to come before North York Community Council in the near future and, from there, an initial community consultation meeting will be scheduled. I will be working with city planning and the local residents' association to

The meeting is a great opportunity for you to give your feedback and share your concerns directly with city planning staff and the applicant – I encourage you to come out!

extend the notice area for the community consultation to ensure that all those impacted by the proposal are given advance written notice of the meeting.

Public Meetings and Events
Midtown in Focus Public Meeting Date : February 4 Time : 6-9 p.m. Location: The Salvation Army (7 Eglinton Avenue), Basement meeting room The Midtown in Focus Study Team is hosting a public meeting to present and discuss its Draft Concepts and Implementation Strategies for Yonge-Eglinton’s parks, open spaces, and streetscape. For more information, please visit Toronto Public Library Digital Innovation Hub Date : February 4 Time : 10 a.m. Location: Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge St.) Come experience the Library’s first ever Digital Innovation Hub at Toronto Reference Library! See live tech demos and get a first look at some exciting new tech: 3D scanner, green screen, Raspberry Pi, MaKey MaKey, iDJ Pro and more! For more information,

Gardiner East Expressway Public Meeting Date : February 6 Time : 6:30-9 p.m. Location: Toronto Reference Library (789 Yonge Street), The Bram and Bluma Appel Salon What should be done with the Gardiner Expressway East and Lake Shore Boulevard? Come and share your thoughts on Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto's study and the four alternative solutions at this public meeting!

Boulevard Cafes and Marking Review Public Consultation Date : February 6 Time : 6-8 p.m. Location: City Hall (100 Queen St. W), Committee Room 2 Date : February 18 Time : 6-8 p.m. Location: North York Civic Centre (5100 Yonge St.) The City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) Division is undertaking a review of the existing Boulevard Cafe and

For more information and to register, please visit

Marketing bylaws, which govern the use of patios and/or street stalls. As part of the review, staff are engaging Boulevard Cafe and Marketing permit holders, residents, community groups and business associations in a number of public consultation sessions. For more information,

2014 Toronto Park Summit Date February 22 Time : 1-5:30 p.m. Location Regent Park Arts Centre (585 Dundas St. E) Join 350+ of the most passionate park advocates and champions at the 4th annual Parks Summit, organized by Parks People. This year's theme is "Reimagine our Parks" which will explore the creative ways volunteers and partners can transform parks into the heart of their communities. For more information and to register, please visit

Better Living Fashion Show and Gala Date : February 27, 2014 Time : 7-11 p.m. Location: Spirale Banquet Hall (888 Don Mills Rd) The 9th Annual Better Living Fashion Show & Gala is an evening of great food, fashion, live entertainment, music and prizes in support of helping seniors, people with disabilities and those facing end of life through Better Living Community Services. For more information or to register, please visit

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