Five Things Friday a new weekly series from Councillor Wong-Tam and the Ward 27 team that provides updates on new and on-going initiatives from City Council and across the ward. Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest news.
1. No More Homeless Deaths
On Monday, I stood with faith leaders and front-line workers in a call to City Council to declare emergency and open 400 beds by the end of 2017 and 1000 beds through the 2018 budget cycle. Emergency shelters are seeing record numbers and have exceed the 90% occupancy standards set by City Council.This is a crisis and we have a responsible to do more to help. Read more.
2. Sidewalks For All
Fantastic turn out at #SidewalksForAll press conference and 1.5m vs 2.1m sidewalks obstacle course! If Toronto is going to walk the walk, we need sidewalks that serve all pedestrians, regardless of age or ability. Thank you to the accessibility and active transportation community for their advocacy on this important issue. Read more about Sidewalks For All!
3. 552 Church St. Development Application Community Meeting
On Wednesday, we held a community meeting for a 43-storey tower application at the north-west corner of Church and Wellesley. City Planners have written a refusal report. I will be supporting the staff report to refuse this application. City Council votes on it next week.
4. Toronto Needs Increased Funding For Social Services
On Thursday, Community members qued up for city services outside of City Hall before Toronto Budget launch. Toronto is growing and long waitlists for services are leaving families behind. Proud to stand beside fierce advocates in the call for increased investment in social services. Toronto can do better.
5. Glen Road Pedestrian Bridge Environmental Assessment
More Glen Road Pedestrian Bridge Environmental Assessment presentation was very well received by the Toronto Preservation Board. An extraordinary city asset with deep cultural heritage value. I'm proud to have been a project champion since the beginning.
A coalition of active transportation and accessibility advocates are calling on City Council to vote in favor of Staff recommendations for wide, clear, and essentially straight sidewalks. The City of Toronto Licensing and Standards and Public Works and Infrastructure Committees are meeting on December 4, 2017 to vote on proposed changes to Patio and Marketing Bylaws that would require implementation of Pedestrian Clearways, city-wide by 2025. This vote will have a substantial impact on the walkability of Toronto's city sidewalks, with the biggest impact for people who face accessibility challenges.
"I care passionately about walkable, safe and comfortable sidewalks because I use them on a daily basis," said Yin Brown, Co-Chair of the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee and President of Alliance for Blind Canadians, Toronto Chapter. "But I smash into patio fences, trip over café chairs, get stuck in bicycle racks, walk into trees and even knock down seniors in my walkabouts. Many blind people such as myself have self-imposed our own isolation, because our sidewalks are cluttered and unfriendly to pedestrians."
"The human impact of this decision is immense. With an aging population and a city growing at an exponential rate, sidewalk accessibility is paramount," said Adina Lebo of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. "Seniors should not feel scared while walking on a City sidewalk."Read more →
For Immediate Release: Dr. Maung Zarni, Long-Time Burmese Human Rights Activist And Rohingya Campaigner At Toronto City Hall To Speak About Crisis In Myanmar
TORONTO, November 22, 2017 – For the first time ever, democracy activist and Rohingya campaigner Dr. Maung Zarni will be joined by the Honourable Bob Rae, Ahmed Ramadan, Burma Task Force, Ahmed Ullah, The Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative, and Toronto City Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam and Neethan Shan at Toronto City Hall on Thursday, November 23rd at 6:00pm for a rare and essential conversation about the crisis in Myanmar.
In recent months, Myanmar’s persecution of Rohingya Muslims has been condemned by the United Nations as ethnic cleansing. Over 620,000 people have been uprooted and accounts of violent atrocities have been heavily documented. As the situation on the ground worsens, there is an urgent need for Canada to act.
What: Rohingya in Peril: Crisis in Myanmar
When: Thursday, November 23, 2017 at 6:00pm
Where: Council Chambers, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. West
Keynote: Dr. Maung Zarni, Democracy Activist & Rohingya Campaigner
Special Guest: The Honorable Bob Rae, Canada’s Special Envoy to Myanmar
Speakers: Ahmed Ramadan, Burma Task Force and Ahmed Ullah, The Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative
Hosts: Toronto City Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam and Neethan Shan
Interviews available upon request.Read more →
DOWNTOWN HEALTHY NEIGHBOURHOOD SUMMIT TO HEAR FROM RESIDENTS AND STAKEHOLDERS
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam to host first-ever Healthy Neighbourhood Summit for downtown Toronto
Despite significant efforts to build a healthy and inclusive downtown, the impacts of systemic problems due to a lack of affordable housing, sufficient social and health supports for individuals living with mental health and addictions remain at risk in the neighbourhood. Join Councillor Wong-Tam for the first-ever Healthy Neighbourhood Summit with expert panelists, facilitated round-table discussions with residents, community partners and City of Toronto staff for action planning to identify additional key resources needed to build a healthier downtown Toronto.
What: Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam's Healthy Neighbourhood Summit
When: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 6:00pm
Where: Covenant House, 21 McGill St. Entrance
Panelists: Uppala Chandrasekera, Director, Public Policy, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario, Pauline Larsen, Senior Economic Development Manager, Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area, Constable Melissa Huntley, Neighbourhood Officer, Toronto Police Service, Division 51, FOCUS, Susan Davis, Executive Director, Gerstein Crisis Centre
Ryerson University; Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area; Church-Wellesley Business Improvement Area; Covenant House; Toronto Public Health; Toronto Police Services; City of Toronto
Media interviews available at 5:30pm.
Media contact: Lisa Brody Hoffman; Lisa.Hoffman@toronto.ca; 416-970-3606.
November 9, 2017
Earlier today I was informed that the trans memorial in Barbara Hall Park had been painted over. In meeting with senior Parks staff this late afternoon, it was determined that a crew from outside the neighbourhood had come into the park to remove graffiti and made the error of painting over the trans memorial. This never should have happened, as we have worked with our local Parks maintenance staff to respect and preserve this space for the community. It is my hope that the City's new LGBTQ2S Advisory Committee will prioritize the consultation and creation of a new and permanent memorial in their initial work.
Parks, Forestry & Recreation will be releasing an official statement shortly confirming the same.
The restoration of the memorial and proper recognition with additional signage will be re-instated immediately. At a time when I was hoping to announce the City’s first trans crosswalk for installation in the Church-Wellesley Village for Spring 2018, this incident is a disappointment and counter to where we are trying to move as a community. The City can and will do better.