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Sidewalks For All Coalition Calls On Committee To Support Clear, Wide, and Walkable Sidewalks

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. 

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"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."

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"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."

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Rohingya in Peril: Crisis in Myanmar

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.

The event is free and open to public.

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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.

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Join us for Councillor Wong-Tam's first-ever Healthy Neighbourhood Summit

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.

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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

Sponsors:
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.

 

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Statement on Trans Memorial in Barbara Hall Park

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.

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City Planning Rail and Land Use Study Consultations

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The City Planning Division is conducting a Land Use Study to develop a series of rail corridor typologies that are intended to inform the creation of a set of guidelines that will assist City Planning staff in the review of development applications on lands that are adjacent to rail corridors and yards.

Each meeting will run from 7:00pm – 9:00pm and have been scheduled as follows:

November 6 – Metro Hall, Room 308/309 (55 John Street)

November 8 – Etobicoke Civic Centre, Council Chambers (399 The West Mall)

November 16 – North York Civic Centre, Council Chambers (5100 Yonge Street)

November 21 – Scarborough Civic Centre, Council Chambers (150 Borough Drive)

November 30  Metro Hall, Room 308/309 (55 John Street)

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