Creating Community Justice Centres in Toronto, London and Kenora
Ontario is launching a new and innovative initiative to respond to the overrepresentation of marginalized, racialized and Indigenous people in the criminal justice system.
Community Justice Centres move justice out of the traditional courtroom and into a community setting to help connect individuals with holistic supports that address the root causes of crime. They are justice hubs that bring together services - for example justice, health, mental health and addictions, housing, and social services - to respond to the unique needs of the communities they serve.
In Toronto's Moss Park neighbourhood, the new Community Justice Centre will respond to the needs of marginalized people including those facing homelessness, addiction, mental health and poverty issues in order to improve community safety and well-being.
Once established, Toronto's new Urban Community Health and Justice Centre will:
- Address social factors, like income, homelessness, education, and employment, that can negatively impact an individual's health and well-being
- Increase access to harm reduction strategies and alternatives to incarceration
- Improve information sharing and coordination of services between local agencies, justice sector partners and service providers
The Toronto initiative is one of three launching in Ontario, with the other centres located in London and Kenora. Each centre will be designed by and for the individual community, with support from local and provincial partners. Continuous evaluation of the centres will ensure evidence-based decisions are made to improve outcomes and refine the services they provide.
Ontario's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- Ontario worked with community leaders, Indigenous service providers, health and social service agencies, and justice partners to explore whether a Community Justice Centre model could improve the integration and delivery of justice, health and social services in Moss Park.
- Local design and planning will begin in fall of 2018. Implementation is forecasted to begin in 2020.
- Harm reduction intervention is designed to reduce drug-related harm without requiring abstinence from drug use. Harm reduction programs and policies target all harm caused by drug-use, including to users, families, communities, and society.
- As part of Ontario’s plan to create a faster and fairer justice system, the province has hired more prosecutors and expanded bail programs.
- The CJC model in other jurisdictions has led to healthier and safer communities with improved outcomes for recidivism rates, public safety, community well-being, rates of incarceration, trust in the justice system, and cost savings.
“For vulnerable people with a history of poverty, homelessness, and mental health or addictions issues, the justice system is often the first point of contact to access programs and services. The Community Justice Centre in Moss Park will provide comprehensive supports and services for vulnerable people to make long-term positive changes in their lives. By providing this holistic approach, it is my hope that we can break the cycle of re-offending by addressing the root causes of the criminal behaviour.” -Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General
“We are committed to working collaboratively to enhance timely and meaningful justice services for the public. These kinds of innovative initiatives can have a real and positive impact on people’s lives.” -Lise Maisonneuve, Chief Justice, Ontario Court of Justice
“After much consultation the establishment of a Community Justice Centre in Toronto’s Moss Park and Downtown East neighbourhoods is intended to bring a new approach to the criminal justice system, one that is more collaborative and measured for vulnerable communities. The City of Toronto has utilized similar approaches in response to complex needs, which have proven to be very effective. I welcome this initiative and look forward to having the City of Toronto work with the Province to implement this innovative program.” -Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto City Councillor, Ward 27
“A Community Justice Centre will be of immense value to the Moss Park community. It will help many individuals, including Fred Victor clients, to access more off-ramps from the justice system, such as supportive housing, safe beds, and treatment-related supports. By taking a therapeutic and harm-reduction approach, the Community Justice Centre will be able to meaningfully meet people where they are at, and focus on individual and community wellbeing.” -Mark Aston, Executive Director, Fred Victor
Carlton Street west of Church Street
Essential concrete repairs
Start date: Week of April 23, 2018
Content/timeline accurate at time of printing*
Work description and purpose
Starting April 23, TTC will be conducting concrete repairs to a section of streetcar track allowance on Carlton Street, west of Church Street. The work is required to return the area to a state of good repair for all road users.
Work will require concrete breaking/chipping and placing new concrete.
*Spring weather conditions can delay the start of planned local rail/concrete repairs. In such instances, the work is rescheduled for the next best available date.
April 17, 2018
News & Upcoming Consultations
- Council Highlights: March 26 and 27, 2018
- Noise By-law Update
- Improvements are coming to Joseph Sheard Parkette
- Community Consultation: 175 Elizabeth Street (Sick Kids), April 18
- Get to the TOCore of City Building, April 23 & May 1
- Upcoming Panel Discussion: What Does Equity & Government Responsibility in the Smart City? April 30
- Jane's Walk with Councillor Wong-Tam: Forever Yonge, Transforming the Public Realm, May 4
- Save the Date: Building a Healthy City in a Post-OMB World, May 29
- Kristyn in the Community
Following the build-up of snow and ice this week and with significant rainfall expected today, to help protect you and your home today:
- Ensure there is a channel for the melting snow and rain to make its way to the catch basin.
- Ensure downspouts are not blocked with snow or ice and are draining properly.
- Shovel melting snow away from your foundation and onto a lawn, not the road please.
- Clear catch basins, if it safe to do so.
- Prepare your basement by moving valuables to shelves or upper floors. Cleaners, paint or chemicals should also be taken off the floor so that they do not contaminate any floodwater that may get into your home.
If your basement has flooded:
- Call 311 immediately to report basement flooding. During extreme weather conditions residents should expect high call volumes and some delays. Calls will be answered by the first available agent.
- Call Toronto Hydro to disconnect power if there is flood water in your basement and your power is on.
- Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report property damage caused by flooding.
- Be mindful of your health and safety when cleaning up a flooded basement – do not stand in flood water, call a professional for assistance.
Start planning now:
- Take this opportunity now to plan for future rainstorms that tend to be more prevalent in the spring and summer. More information about basement flooding prevention is available on the City of Toronto’s website at http://www.toronto.ca/basementflooding.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather warning for this weekend, predicting an ice storm to hit most of southern Ontario on Saturday and Sunday.
The storm is expected to begin early Saturday morning, potentially turning into ice pellets. The rain will slow down before picking back up again early Sunday morning. Up to 20 mm of freezing rain is expected. Winds are expected to reach up to 60 km/h. This combination could lead to fallen trees and power lines.
During extreme weather events, it's important that we take care of one another. The freezing conditions will make travel hazardous, and power outages could lead to elevators being taken offline. If you have a loved one living in one of the many tall buildings in the city, or who may require assistance, please check in with them before and after the storm to make sure they are safe and have everything they need.
Toronto Hydro has prepared a list of resources about what to do in the event of a power outage, tips for preparing an emergency kit, and many more resources you can review by clicking here.
Below, please read the news release from the City.
Read more →
Start date: Week of April 16, 2018
Work description and purpose
Starting April 17, TTC will be conducting concrete repairs to a section of streetcar track allowance on Carlton Street, west of Church Street. The work is required to return the area to a state of good repair for all road users. Work will require concrete breaking/chipping and placing new concrete.
Work description and purpose
Starting April 9 for approximately six weeks, TTC’s contractor will be conducting around-the-clock ceiling repairs at the bus roadway level. The contractor is currently building the scaffolding required to reach the ceiling.
The noise and work expected during this six week period include:
• building of scaffolding
• grinding of steel
• concrete work
• waste disposal
Information on the next phases of work will be detailed in future notices.
Thank you for your patience as we work to improve transit in Toronto.
• Paul Tran, Community Liaison, 416-981-1601; email@example.com.
• Customer Service, 416-393-3030 (daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., closed holidays) or @TTChelps.
• TTY Line, 416-481-2523 (daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed holidays).
• Route/Schedules/Fares: 416-393-4636 or ttc.ca.
The City of Toronto will host the final two panel events in the #TacklePovertyTO series on the next two Monday evenings, addressing transportation and housing issues.
Session on transportation equity: Monday, April 16, 6pm - 9pm
Session on housing stability: Monday, April 23, 6pm - 9pm.
These panel discussion events will be held in the rotunda of City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.
Toronto residents are invited to attend to provide their input on next steps to achieve transportation equity for residents living on low incomes and their views on strategic actions the City can pursue to increase the supply of stable and affordable housing.
The information gathered at these sessions, together with information provided at three earlier panels the City held on the themes of quality jobs and livable incomes, food access and service access, will help shape the Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy's next term (2019 to 2022).
In 2015, Toronto City Council approved a 20-year poverty reduction strategy to take concrete action to reduce poverty and ensure all residents can live with dignity. More information about the City's achievements to date to reduce poverty is available at https://bit.ly/2qp5RTq.
April 13, 2018
Our office has received new complaints that work is not taking place at Bay and Charles Street this week. We have spoken with Right of Way Management, Urban Forestry, Street Occupation Permits staff, the sub-contractor undertaking the roadway work, as well as their subcontractor responsible for the tree work to get a full update on the status of the work site on Wednesday, April 11.
There are no issues with regards to the removal and replacement of the tree at this location – Urban Forestry has issued this permit to the subcontractor, Davey. Bell is now in the process of securing their work permit for the underground infrastructure and their requisite paid duty officer. They expect both of these components to be in place by Monday, April 16, and will take out the tree and commence work then. Our office has offered Bell assistance with securing their outstanding permits to expedite the work where possible and we have reached out to the utility cut permits manager to explain the impact this work has had. Avertex Utility Solutions' project manager has also been in touch with management at 1132 Bay Street to provide an updated work timeline.
All parties listed above are fully aware of the community’s desire to see this work resumed and completed as soon as possible. We will continue to monitor this file and will be following-up with staff to ensure this project is completed swiftly.
Residents have recently reported to my office and city staff a strong smell of gas near the Wellesley and Sherbourne intersection. My office has been informed that these odours are not dangerous. They are associated with ongoing soil remediation efforts related to the Alterra development at 159 Wellesley Street East.
159 Wellesley Street East is the site of a former gas station. As part of the work that Alterra is legally required to do, they must remove the contaminated soil, which is the source of the gas smell. The site was inspected by Enbridge Gas late last year due to a previous gas smell concern, and it was identified then too that the source is the soil remediation work.
What has changed this week is that Alterra have reached the most contaminated layer of soil which, combined with the wet weather, has ensured the odour is at its strongest. Alterra expects that it will take approximately a week to remove this layer of soil, which following this work should result significantly diminished odours. Alterra reports these odours will not be noticeable to neighbours in two to three weeks time.
Soil remediation is a process subject to guidelines set by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Climate Change under the Environmental Protection Act. Alterra is mandated to monitor the fumes on their site to ensure they do not exceed these Ministry guidelines. While obnoxious, these odours have not crossed the required threshold.
Councillor Wong-Tam has reached out to Alterra and has asked that they take any measures they can to reduce the impact of the odours on residents, especially those with conditions like asthma that may particularly susceptible to such an odour.
Alterra has provided a number of contacts should you have questions or wish to bring a complaint about the odours to them.
- You can contact Alterra's Qualified Environmental Manager, David McClellan with Arcadis, at (647) 523-6444.
- The Site Superintendent, Vince Valente, can be reached at (416) 684-3355.
- Alterra's Community and Municipal Affairs Manager, Justin Matijasic can be reached at (416) 964-1800.
You also have the right to file a complaint with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Climate Change, you can either call their Toronto duty officer line at 416-326-3381, or e-mail the ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more information on contacting the Minister by clicking here.