Frequently Asked Questions

HOUSING: Affordable Housing

There is not enough affordable housing in Toronto. As a result, waitlists for affordable housing are very long. For information on subsidized rent (rent-geared-to-income), market rent and affordable rent please click here

No Councillor has the ability or authority to expedite the waiting period for housing or transfers, or move someone to the top of the list, however there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood of a spot opening up sooner such as:

  • Do not limit your choices to 1 bedrooms, bachelor apartments often are available much sooner than 1 bedrooms.
  • Widen your selection of buildings – finding RGI or affordable housing in the core of the city is often a longer process than finding housing on the outskirts of the city.
  • Visit this link to see if you qualify for special priority statuses 
  • If you are 59 years of age or older, do not forget to add seniors' buildings to your housing choices.

For information on how to apply for a transfer please click here

There are multiple housing help agencies that are dedicated to helping individuals find and keep affordable housing and avoid an eviction. For a list please click here

For more information on services available please call 311 for City services or 211 for community-based services.


HOUSING: Homelessness

Members of the general public who are concerned about someone they see on the street should call 311 or, in the case of emergency, 911.

Anyone who needs emergency shelter should call 311 or Central Intake at 416-338-4766 or toll free at 1-877-338-3398.

Streets to Homes has a pool of workers helping individuals who are sleeping outside or street involved find a safe place to rest, permanent housing, or find washrooms, showers, laundry, and health care services. The Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre is available to call 24 hours a day at 416-392-0090

For information on other outreach programs please click here


HOUSING: Loans, Food Banks and Support

Individuals that are on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program and have emergency housing needs, may be eligible for the Housing Stabilization Fund

Individuals who are in arrears, facing an eviction or in need of first and last months' rent may be eligible for a loan from the Toronto Rent Bank which provides a loan of up to two months' rent.

If you require a referral to a food bank near you, call the Daily Bread at 416-203-0050. You can also click here for a link to several food banks. The Red Cross offers delivery services if you are unable to access a food bank due to a temporary or permanent disability.

Calling 211 will connect you with staff that can provide a more extensive list of services.

The Toronto Drop-In Network (TDIN) is an active coalition of over 50 drop-in centres throughout the City of Toronto that works with people who are homeless, marginally housed or socially isolated, to provide social services and supports.

Please click here for a list of organizations in different parts of the city that offer various services including: job help, housing support, and crisis support.


SAFETY: Reporting Emergencies and On-Going Incidents

Streets to Homes offers shelter and housing supports to individuals who are street-involved and in need of assistance. If you see someone who appears to be in need of assistance like this, you can call Streets to Homes' Assessment and Referral Centre 24 hours a day at 416-392-0090.

In cases of emergency, where the safety of people or property are at risk, call 911. For non-emergency situations that require the attention of police, you can reach the non-emergency dispatcher at 416-808-2222 or file a report online. If you wish to remain anonymous, please reach out to Crime Stoppers at, or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Residents are encouraged to report all crimes they have witnessed. In many cases, police do not receive calls or reports when multiple persons encounter a crime and assume another party will follow-up. Reporting all criminal incidents allows for the effective tracking of crime-related statistics and is a critical factor in the distribution of Police resources.


SAFETY: Needles/Drugs

If you encounter needles or syringes, please exercise caution. For municipal property, including roads, laneways, or parks, you can call 311 or email to have a service request for pick-up initiated.

If a needle is found after hours, on a TDSB school property, residents are asked to call the School Boards After Hours or Emergency number at 416-395-4620. If a needle is found at a Toronto Catholic District School Board school, the number to call is 416-222-8282.

For incidents of violent, drug-related behaviour or suspicious behaviour, you are encouraged to contact the Toronto Police. If it is an emergency, where the safety of people or property are at risk, call 911. If it is not an emergency, you can call the police dispatcher at 416-808-2222 or file a report online. If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at, or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


SAFETY: Encampments in Public Parks and Ravines

Encampments in public parks are handled by the Parks Ambassador Program. Working with Streets to Homes, Public Health, and the Toronto Police, Toronto's Parks Ambassadors will coordinate outreach to street-involved persons encamped in parks and connect them with shelter and housing services.

To report an active or abandoned encampment, call Parks Ambassador Troy Ford at 416-771-3042.


PARKING: Enforcement in Residential Neighbourhoods

The Toronto Police Service cannot proactively enforce parking regulations in residential areas of the city due to the immense number of residential roads. Instead, Parking Enforcement relies on complaints to generate enforcement action. Once a complaint is received Parking Enforcement will “blitz” a street and hand out tickets until such time that the officers are satisfied that enforcement is no longer needed. They will return if more complaints are received.

For many residential streets in Toronto, parking regulations are unsigned, which means that there is a 3-hour parking limit. In many older neighbourhoods, residents have enjoyed parking overnight in contravention of the 3-hour limit because no one has lodged a complaint to Parking Enforcement.

Parking Enforcement is obliged to uphold the by-laws. Residents who want to park their cars on-street overnight can petition their neighbours to introduce Permit Parking to the street, whereby residents agree to pay a monthly fee to allow them to park a car overnight.

If you have received a ticket that you believe was assigned in error, you can contact Parking Enforcement at 416-808-6600. Please provide them both the ticket number and the date you received it.

For more information, please click here


PARKING: Amending Parking Regulations

Sometimes the in-force parking regulations no longer meet the needs of local residents. Residents can request changes, noting that parking can be a highly sensitive local issue. The City Councillor will not support significant changes without confidence that those changes are supported by the majority of the community.

This support will typically come either from a petition of local residents, or a letter from a local residents’ association advocating for the change. If the Councillor has confidence this change will be supported, she can direct staff through Toronto and East York Community Council to amend the parking regulations in the area.

Our office can put you in touch with Transportation Services staff, who can give you the correct wording for your petition and tell you which households on the street should be petitioned. It is important that the wording is correct to make sure that everyone who signs a petition understands what they are agreeing to, and to ensure that staff have a clear understanding on how to turn the petition into the correct language for a by-law.

You can make this request through 311.


PARKING: Requesting a Parking Permit Area

One of the measures a neighbourhood can take to limit who has access to parking on their street is through the introduction of Permit Parking. Typically, residents can park on their street for a maximum of three hours before being required to move their car. With Permit Parking, residents or guests can purchase a permit from the city that allows overnight parking on their street.

Parking is often a highly sensitive local issue. Councillor Wong-Tam will not support significant changes without the confidence that those changes are supported by the majority of the community. In order to begin the process of introducing permit parking, the city typically requires a petition signed by a minimum of 25% of impacted residents before city staff will formally poll residents. Once formerly polled, staff will bring a recommendation to Toronto and East York Community Council with the polling results and whether to proceed with amending the parking regulations in the area.

Our office can put you in touch with Transportation Services staff, who can give you the correct wording for your petition and which households on the street should be petitioned.

For more information about permit parking, please click here


TRAFFIC: Requesting Traffic Calming

If there is a concern about speeding, one of the measures the City can take is to install traffic calming measures, typically through speed humps. Speed humps are not appropriate on every street. The City will not install them on TTC bus routes, and Emergency Services may raise concerns if their response times would be impacted.

The City will not make significant changes, such as adding speed humps, without confidence that those changes are supported by the majority of the community. The first step is typically to receive a petition signed by at least 25% of affected households (or 10% in case of multi-family rental dwellings) in favour of the installation. From there, ity staff will formally poll residents and review the safety and technical requirements of adding traffic calming measures. That will result in a recommendation that will be brought to Toronto and East York Community Council.

Our office can put you in touch with Transportation Services staff, who can give you the correct wording for your petition and which households on the street should be petitioned.

For more information about traffic calming, please click here


TRAFFIC: Speeding Complaints

If you notice that people are regularly driving above the speed limit on a road, then you need to notify Toronto Police Services. You can report speeding and other traffic complaints to Toronto Police Services by clicking here

Please see Traffic: Requesting Traffic Calming if you wish to explore adding speed humps.

Please note that the city does not consider stop signs to be a traffic calming measure.


TRAFFIC: Speed Limit Requests

Through the City's Road Safety Plan, many speed limits have been reduced across the City. Within Ward 27, most residential neighbourhoods have has their local speeds reduced to 30 km/h. Within the ward, new signs to reflect this new 30 km/h limit. For roads that were formerly unsigned, staff are undertaking additional work to identify locations for the new signs. This process has been taking some time, and work on installing new signs will be continuing through 2017.

Where not signed, the default speed limit on a road is 50 km/h.

You can request changes to speed limits to Transportation Services through 311 Staff will investigate and, if they find a change in speed is warranted, will bring that amendment to Toronto and East York Community Council.

You can also contact 311 if you are unsure what the approved speed limit is on a local road.


TRAFFIC: Crosswalk/Signalized Intersection Requests

If you believe an intersection should have either a pedestrian crossover or a signalized intersection, you can make a request to Transportation Services through 311.

Staff will investigate and see if the crossover or signalized intersection meets the warrants to install one. Factors staff look at include the amount of traffic (pedestrians and vehicular), the amount of conflicts between individuals attempting to cross an intersection, and whether there have been accidents over the previous three years that may have been prevented if a crossover or signalized intersection had been installed. Other warrants include the distance to other crossovers/signalized intersections, and if the installation would impact transit service.

In the event that staff recommend the installation of a new pedestrian crossover or signalized intersection, a report will go to Toronto and East York Community Council.


TRAFFIC: Road Maintenance/Traffic Issues

To report concerns with a road, including potholes, sight lines and signage concerns, please contact 311. If possible, be as detailed in your request about the location of the concern, and include photos if possible. Your request will be passed onto staff who can investigate.


TRAFFIC: Winter Maintenance

During the winter, crews diligently to clear many roads and sidewalks in Ward 27. This work can take time, and it may not be clear when someone will be around to shovel the snow. During a storm, residents should call 311 to report urgent winter related calls only.

When two centimeters of snow has accumulated then plowing will begin on the expressways and, when five centimeters has accumulated, plowing will begin on the main roads. Plowing on the expressways and main roads will continue until the operation is complete. When the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimeters, local road plowing will begin.

The City will clear snow from sidewalks on roads with high pedestrian traffic and on bus routes where it is mechanically possible to do so after two centimetres of snow has fallen, and the remaining roads after eight centimetres have fallen. Property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place. To learn more about sidewalk snow clearing in Toronto and to view a map of the areas where the service is provided, please click here

For sidewalks adjacent to City parks, clearing them of snow may be the responsibility of staff at Parks, Recreation and Forestry. If snow hasn't been cleared within 48 hours, please contact 311.

The City does not offer windrow service in Ward 27 due to many factors, including narrow street widths and existing on-street parking.

To learn more about winter maintenance efforts in the City, please click here


DEVELOPMENT: Zoning By-Law Amendments

Under the provincial Planning Act, residents and developers are permitted to apply to amend the zoning by-law. Typically in Ward 27, these proposed amendments are to add significant increases in height and density.

A typical zoning by-law amendment goes through a number of steps. First, City planning staff will present a preliminary report to the appropriate community council that briefly describes the application, lists the relevant City policy, and provides a list of preliminary concerns that staff will be examining. Community Council will then direct staff to hold a community meeting about the application.

Second, a community meeting will be held where the applicant can present their development to the community. For larger meetings, City staff will then break residents out into groups where they can speak directly to City staff and the applicant’s experts. A question and answer period typically will then follow.

Following the meeting, the applicant will have a chance to make revisions based on the feedback. The applicant's submissions—which include a sun/shadow study and traffic analysis—will be circulated to various city departments for comment. Planning staff will then write a final report with a recommendation that will go to community council, who will bring a recommendation to the full City Council. This process typically takes 18 months or longer.

You can address comments to the City planner before or after the public meeting, preferably by e-mail so they have a written record. You can learn more about current Zoning By-Law Amendment applications in Ward 27, including who a planner may be on an application, by clicking here


DEVELOPMENT: Minor Variances

Minor variances are functionally small exceptions to the zoning by-law to facilitate things like building additions, decks and parking spaces. They are site specific, and are placed on the title of the property, meaning that if approved, the permission is granted indefinitely.

The definition of “minor” is not always straightforward, as it depends significantly on the neighbourhood context the building rests in. An increase of two meters in height may be entirely appropriate in the context of one neighbourhood, but not another, despite having similar zoning. The Committee of Adjustment panel decides whether to approve the requested variances as a whole based on what is commonly known as the “four tests” in the provincial Planning Act: Is the variance minor? Is the variance desirable? Does the variance meet the intent of the City’s Official Plan? Does the variance meet the intent of the city’s Zoning By-law?

When there are disputes between neighbours about an application, Councillor Wong-Tam believes issues are best resolved through neighbours coming together and working out a solution. In cases where we are concerned about a neighbourhood precedent being set, Councillor Wong-Tam may submit a letter to ask for the application to be deferred so the applicant and their neighbours can explore a mutually acceptable solution.

Residents within 60 meters of the property are notified a minimum of 10 days before an upcoming Committee of Adjustment hearing. Residents can also track upcoming applications online by visiting the city's Application Information Centre.

If you have an objection to a particular application, you are encourage to write the committee and outline as specifically as you can what concerns you. If you are able, you should also try and attend the hearing, where you’ll be given a chance to speak one-on-one with the applicant to try and resolve your concerns. Failing that, you’ll be able to address your concerns to the committee members directly.

For more information about the Committee of Adjustment, please click here



Our city has approximately 7,000 buildings that have been given heritage status, either individually or as part of an area Heritage Conservation District (HCD). The City maintains a list of heritage properties, known as the Heritage Register. There are three common terms:

Listed: the building has been identified to be included on the Register, but has not been designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. Property owners who wish to demolish a listed building must notify the city 60 days before applying for a permit, which grants the city time to potentially designate the building. This grants Heritage Preservation Services a chance to review applications that would impact the property.

Designated: the building has been identified under the Ontario Heritage Act and has received council-approved legal protection. The designation will outline what features—interior and exterior—that are considered to be of special heritage interest. Demolishing a designated building requires permission from City Council.

HCD: an area-wide designation under the Ontario Heritage Act that identifies buildings within it as having heritage value. Properties within will typically be labelled as "contributing" properties—those with heritage character—and "non-contributing" properties—typically newer buildings that don't. The intention is for contributing properties to be preserved, and allow non-contributing properties to redevelop in a manner that respects nearby contributing properties.

Altering a heritage property will typically require a permit from Heritage Preservation Services. If you are unsure about the status of a property, what could require a permit, or if you wish to file a concern, please contact Heritage 416-392-1975 or


NOISE: Noise By-Law Review

Councillor Wong-Tam has been very involved in issues related to noise in our City. Through a motion to City Council, a review of the City's noise by-law is underway, research and policy staff are conducting consultation with resident groups, industry and Public Health to provide recommendations to amend the city's noise by-law. This process is currently ongoing, with the Noise Bylaw Working Group meeting regularly. You can learn more about the initial Noise Bylaw Review by clicking here

In addition, Toronto Public Health in collaboration with Ryerson University has conducted a study on noise levels in the City of Toronto. The goal of the study is to characterize noise level exposures among Toronto’s residents. Outcomes of the study will be used to identify and address general and specific noise situations where potential health impacts are present and be used to inform the current Noise Bylaw review. This report was presented to the Board of Health, and it may prove helpful in bringing about requirements for noise mitigation measures at construction sites. You can read the report by clicking here


NOISE: Motorcycles

Motorcycle noise is an increasing issue in Toronto. Vehicle noise is governed under the Provincial Highway Traffic Act and therefore, under the purview of the Toronto Police Service and the OPP. Municipal Bylaw Enforcement officers do not have the legal authority to lay charges and fines pursuant to the act.

Toronto Police Services has the legal authority, training, and equipment to pull over vehicles and lay appropriate charges and fines. We are encouraging residents to contact their local Community Response Unit Manager in order to make their policing priorities known.

51 Division (South of Bloor, east of Yonge Street): Staff Sergeant Peter Troup, (416) 808-5152
52 Division (South of Bloor, west of Yonge Street): Staff Sergeant Anthony Coscarella, 416-808-5819
53 Division (North of Bloor): Staff Sergeant Matthew Moyer, 416-808-535

Engagement with local residents is an important way for police to gain understanding of where activity is taking place.


OTHER: Animals on Private Property

Animals living on private property are, with some exceptions, the responsibility of the owner. Wild animals, in particular, should be handled with caution and residents are advised to consider the services of qualified animal control professionals when dealing with complicated cases.

Animal Services will provide assistance with stray pets, animals jeopardizing public safety, found pet dogs, and the removal of dead animals (including domestic animals where the owner is unknown). For these services, call 416-338-PAWS (7297) or email

If you have spotted a coyote on your property, Toronto Animal Services asks for your help by filling out a sighting report online here.


OTHER: Marijuana Dispensaries

While the Federal Government has explicitly committed to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Canada, its sale by non-licensed, non-medical vendors remains illegal. Operating, or working for, an illegal dispensary can result in arrest and charges including possession and drug trafficking.

Residents concerned about unsafe or illegal activities taking place in or near a dispensary are encouraged to contact the Toronto Police. Where the safety of people or property are at risk, call 911. For non-emergency situations that require the attention of police, you can reach the non-emergency dispatcher at 416-808-2222 or file a report online. If you wish to remain anonymous, please reach out to Crime Stoppers at, or call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Toronto's Board of Health has made a number of requests to the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario to decriminalize possession, institute plain packaging rules, limit marketing, regulate edibles, set a minimum age of 19 for purchase, prohibit smoking in public places, and to prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle under the influence.

If you would like to reach your provincial or federal government representatives and let them know what you feel should be included in the upcoming legalization, you may contact them directly:


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  • Edward LaRusic
    published this page 2017-10-17 14:43:39 -0400