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June 2014  eNewsletter

Connect with Jaye
 
Summer is here and along with it comes a wealth of great Ward 25 events!
 
I've been all across the Ward in the last few weeks, from the St. Andrew's Community BBQ to the Lawrence Park Athletic Association Family Fun Day to the Grand Opening of the new Jolly Miller Park!
 
The rest of June is packed with exciting meetings and neighbourhood events, including a community celebration for the new and improved Don Mills Library, an important Bayview Avenue traffic meeting and a nature walk from Ward 25's brand new Friends of Banbury Park. Check out the events section for a full list of upcoming Ward 25 and city-wide events, public meetings and consultations.
 
I'm pleased to report that the Parks and Environment Committee supported my motion to take action on dust suppression! I also have two motions on the agenda for the upcoming Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting, including key improvements to the Committee of Adjustment and improving the city's response to disruptive residential infill construction sites.
 
Read on for all of the details about these exciting motions as well as the latest city-wide news from last week's City Council meeting and a report from the opening of Ward 25's brand new Jolly Miller park!
  
Warm regards,
Don Mills Library Open House – Saturday, June 21, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 888 Lawrence Avenue East
Touring the newly renovated Don Mills Library with branch Manager Margaret McDonald and Acting City Librarian Anne Bailey. 
As Vice Chair of the Toronto Public Library Board, I am pleased to report that the newly renovated Don Mills Library Branch is a great new addition to the neighbourhood!
 
The new and improved branch looks better than ever! Thanks to the installation of self-service check in/check out machines, the branch increased operating hours, adding six more hours per week, including Monday mornings and Friday evenings.
 
The lighting, flooring and furniture have also been refreshed and the main entrance has been opened up.
 
Wonderful art from Katalin Rohn adds to the great new look. While Katalin only started painting at age 83, she has built up a large body of work celebrating nature in all its glory. Her art will be on display at Don Mills until June 30.
 
We are organizing a community celebration at the branch (888 Lawrence Avenue East) on Saturday, June 21 from 10 a.m. 12 p.m. to mark the reopening and give you a chance to see the fantastic renovations in person. The architect who provided the vision for the renovation, Ken Fukushima, will be on hand as well. 
 
Click here for all of the details.

I'll be there from 11 a.m. to noon, and I hope to see you there!
Planning Reform – Towards a Functional Committee of Adjustment
The city's move towards a local appeal body is an opportunity to take a new approach to minor variance applications at the Committee of Adjustment.
 
That's why I've put a significant motion on the Planning and Growth Management Committee's June agenda.
 
My motion asks the city's Chief Planner to bring forward a report in the first quarter of 2015 on key recommendations to improve how the Committee of Adjustment functions in the minor variance context.
 
The motion is based on your feedback over the past term, and it specifically requests the Chief Planner to report on:
  • Improvements to the notice process, including the manner and form of public notices as well as extending the distribution area and timeline;
  • Training and professional development for Committee of Adjustment panel members;
  • The audio-visual or audio recording of Committee of Adjustment panels; and,
  • A public participation strategy to ensure the public is well informed about the process and has the tools to effectively engage in Committee of Adjustment hearings.
You can check out the full text of my motion here. Keep an eye on my next newsletter for a report on the outcome of the Committee's June meeting!
Presenting the Magwood Trophy to the Egg Toss winners at the Lawrence Park Athletic Association Family Fun Day!

Residential Infill Construction – Improving Our Response

Residential infill construction can be a major disruption, especially for immediate neighbours and nearby homes.
 
In my experience, the problems can often be complex and multifaceted, from improper shoring and fencing to noise and site safety issues to impassable streets and sidewalks.
 
That's why I've brought a motion forward to June's Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting asking city staff to improve how the city responds to problem residential infill construction sites.
 
Based on Ward 25's feedback and experience over the past term, my motion directs the city's Chief Building Official to examine, among other things:
  • The feasibility of identifying a single city staff lead to liaise with neighbours and coordinate an interdivisional response;
  • Improved and effective enforcement measures to ensure compliance with site and safety by-laws;
  • The feasibility of posting key information on hoarding boards, like noise restrictions and parking permissions; and,
  • Develop a plan to effectively deal with buildings that are not built according to plan.
You can see my full motion here and check my next newsletter for a report on the outcome of the Committee meeting!

Taking Action on Dust Suppression

I'm pleased to report that the Parks and Environment Committee unanimously passed my motion to take action on dust suppression!
 
Dust – from stone, rock, concrete and tile cutting, among other things – can be a major neighbourhood nuisance. It also has an environmental and health impact, especially for vulnerable residents.
 
My motion directs city staff to report in the first quarter of next year with an action plan to tackle dust pollution, including the extent of the city's authority to regulate dust suppression as well as concrete recommendations to improve dust suppression, including amendments to the Municipal Code.
 
You can find the full text of my motion here.

Relief Line Study

The Relief Line Study is moving full-speed ahead!
 
The terms of reference and public consultation plan were approved at City Council last week.
 
As I mentioned in my last newsletter, this joint city and TTC effort is studying possible station locations and routes for the first phase of the Relief Line. The first phase would take pressure off of the overcrowded Yonge line by providing a subway connection between the Bloor-Danforth line and downtown.
 
Earlier this year, the city and TTC held a number of public consultations to introduce the study and get feedback on how it should proceed.
 
As part of the next phase, staff will look at the right transit technology for the line and invite the public to participate in a naming contest for the Relief Line. In early 2015, staff will release a long list of station locations and route alignment options for consideration.
 
For more information, please see http://www.regionalrelief.ca/city-of-toronto/.
Giving out potted tulips to residents at the Uptown Yonge BIA Mother's Day Spring Showcase.

School Zone Safety Strategy

Many of you have spoken to me about safety in and around our schools.
 
That's why I'm pleased to report that I supported a motion at City Council last week to implement a new School Zone Safety Strategy.
 
The strategy builds on the work city staff are now doing to address safety concerns in school areas, and you can read more about it here.
 
I often organize neighbourhood meetings to discuss safety and congestion issues in and around Ward 25 schools. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have a school-related safety or congestion issue!

Ward 25 Updates

Action on Ward 25 Roads

I continue to work hard to direct staff and city resources towards Ward 25's worst roads.

After a significant and repeated push from my office, I'm pleased to relay that the worst sections of the following roads were repaired by last week: 
  • Buckingham Avenue;
  • Cheltenham Avenue;
  • Rochester Avenue;
  • St Leonards Avenue;
  • St Leonards Crescent;
  • Wanless Crescent;
  • Braeside Crescent;
  • Rothmere Drive; and,
  • Proctor Crescent.
Major resurfacing is also scheduled this year for Lawrence Avenue East (between Yonge and Bayview) and Bayview Avenue (between York Mills and the 401).
 
York Ridge Road and Don Ridge Drive are scheduled for full reconstruction and stormwater upgrades, and the Hoggs Hollow Road and Stormwater Management Project continues unabated, with resurfacing scheduled this year for Winton RoadDonwoods Grove as well as portions of Donwoods Drive and Plymbridge Road.
 
For more information about the roads in your neighbourhood or to bring a bad road to my attention, just send me an email or give my office a call at (416) 395-6408. I rely on your eyes and ears for the most up to date information on Ward 25's roads!
Jolly Miller Park Now Open!

In late May, I organized the opening of the new Jolly Miller Park in Hoggs Hollow alongside the York Mills Valley Association (YMVA) as well as Parks, Forestry and Recreation (Parks) and the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA).
 
This time, we didn’t pave paradise but took down a parking lot and put up a beautiful new park! The space is designed as a community hub and a gathering spot with built-in seating, lighting and beautiful planting beds. Its design also reflects the community’s unique history.
 
The centre of the park includes a re-creation of the ruins of a mill worker's cottage - in recognition of the cottages that once dotted this part of the Don River. The park’s name also reflects Hoggs Hollow history, recalling the Jolly Miller Tavern, a local watering hole named after a particularly happy mill owner.
 
Many thanks to all who joined us for this celebration and special thanks to the YMVA, TPA and Parks for making it possible! If you’re in the Yonge and York Mills area, check out the new park and let me know what you think!
Bayview Traffic Working Group – Public Meeting, Tuesday, June 24, 7 p.m.

Traffic and congestion have been front and centre throughout city planning's ongoing design guidelines study of Bayview Avenue between Lawrence Avenue East and Highway 401.
 
Based on your feedback and the advice of senior city staff, I passed a successful motion directing city staff to establish a Bayview Avenue Traffic Working Group. The working group will complement city planning's design guidelines study and focus on traffic and congestion issues on Bayview between Lawrence and the 401 – including the traffic impacts of intensification.
 
The kick off public meeting is set for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24 at the Centre for Creative Learning at Crescent School (2365 Bayview Avenue). All are welcome - please RSVP by sending me an email or calling my office at (416) 395-6408. I look forward to seeing you there!.
Durdy Bayramov Art Exhibit: My life belongs to art and art belongs to the people
I recently attended an open house in honour of the late Durdy Bayramov, a gifted artist originally from Turkmenistan who called Ward 25 home. His daughter Keya Beyramov is celebrating his life and work with a free showing of his incredible paintings at her home. 

You can view "My life belongs to art and art belongs to the people" until July 4, 2014 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 2647 Bayview Avenue. For more information, visit http://www.durdybayramov.com/
Environment Day a Big Success!
My Environment Day at York Mills Collegiate was a great success! Over 540 people came out to York Mills Collegiate and we collected 4,900 kilograms of donations for Goodwill, 15,525 kilograms of hazardous waste and 10,000 kilograms of electronics. We even had to order a second truck to collect all of the electronic recycling! Many thanks to all who came out! 
Friends of Banbury Park
Ward 25 has its first Park People Group! In the spirit of giving back to the community where they grew up, Denna Berg and Daphne Cheung recently founded the Friends of Banbury Park.
 
On Saturday, June 21, the Friends are organizing a guided nature walk from 10 a.m. to noon, beginning in Banbury Park. For more information about this event and to get involved with the Friends of Banbury Park, check them out on Twitter at @BanburyFriends or on Facebook

Civitan Arena Replacement
Don Mills’ Civitan Arena is due to close in 2020, and the site for a replacement arena returned to the city’s Government Management Committee in mid May.
 
The Committee deferred a final decision until 2015 to allow a further search for suitable replacement sites in the area of Don Mills Road and Eglinton Avenue East. The Committee also ruled out Don Mills Middle School's field as a suitable option.
 
Following my push for community consultation in fall 2013, I passed a successful motion directing city staff to establish a working group of community stakeholders to provide direct and substantive feedback throughout the duration of the site selection process. My motion ensures the neighbourhood’s opinion will be front and centre when the final site is chosen.
Speaking with residents at the Uptown Yonge Neighbourhood Alliance's first anniversary BBQ
Don Mills Trail
I'm pleased to report significant progress on the northern extension of the Don Mills Trail! The contract has been awarded and work on the northern extension should be underway shortly. Under the contract, all work must be completed within six weeks and finished before 2015.
 
The southern extension has unfortunately hit a roadblock. The key part of the southern extension involved an easement over private property to connect the trail to Leslie Street and, from there, the Don River trail network. Despite an agreement in principle and years of negotiation, the property owner recently reneged on a long-standing commitment to grant the city an easement.
 
As soon as I heard the news, I pulled together a meeting with residents and senior city staff to discuss a new strategy. The good news is that we came up with a number of ideas and staff are now exploring their feasibility and examining alternative routes.

Wilket Creek Project
In partnership with the city, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has undertaken an environmental assessment to develop a long-term plan to stabilize Wilket Creek.
 
This spring, a number of residents reached out to my office with concerns about the project and the environmental impact of recent work in the area surrounding the creek. I immediately reached out to the TRCA and pulled together a meeting to address the issues. At the meeting, TRCA staff committed to taking any and all measures to reduce the footprint of the work and provided key contacts for residents.
 
I also attended the most recent public meeting where TRCA staff reviewed the different options for creek stabilization and discussed preferred solutions. If you would like more information about this study or want to receive updates, please contact Patricia Newland, Project Manager, at (416) 392-9690 or pnewland@trca.on.ca.

Tallwood Path
Many of you have reached out to my office about the state of the walkways in Tallwood Park. I'm pleased to report that the city has tentatively scheduled the walkways for resurfacing this year! The news comes after a significant push from my office. Stay tuned for further updates in my upcoming newsletters!
 
Lawrence Walkway
I'm pleased to announce the Lawrence Walkway will also be resurfaced! I pulled together a meeting with residents and staff in May in response to neighbourhood concerns about the deteriorating condition of the Walkway.
 
At the meeting, residents and staff decided the best way forward is to resurface it so that it can be used as a walking path. Staff are moving forward with the next steps and advised me work will begin this year!
Community Safety Forum Recap


At my Community Safety Forum with Superintendent Gilbert, Inspector Crone and Superintendent Fernandes from Toronto Police Service.  

I recently organized a community safety and crime prevention night with the heads of 32 and 53 Division as well as the Police Service's Special Investigations Unit. Sergeant Brautigam, Inspector Crone, and Superintendents Fernandes and Gilbert attended the meeting, answered residents’ questions and provided a number of helpful home protection and safety tips.
 
For those who couldn’t make the meeting, here's a quick summary of the tips:
 
Get to know your neighbours 
  • Let your neighbours know if you’re travelling and advise them if anyone will be stopping by your home while you’re away.
  • When you’re away for long periods of time, ask someone to check on your house and take in mail, mow the grass or, in the winter, clear the snow.
  • Do your homework before hiring anyone to help out with home maintenance. Ask your neighbours to recommend services and do not hire anyone that comes to your door without supplies, business cards and references.  
Report suspicious activity and crimes to police 
  • Don’t hesitate to report any suspicious activity to your local police division.
  • Neighbourhood crimes are often connected and reporting behaviours or activities that are out of the ordinary, no matter how insignificant they may seem, can help the police solve or prevent crimes.
  • Report all crimes and break ins, even if nothing was stolen. If the police are informed of break ins they can respond with increased neighbourhood patrols to prevent future crimes.  
Home Protection Measures 
  • Keep valuables in places where a burglar wouldn’t think to look for them. For example, don't leave keys to your car by the door and don't leave your jewellery box in your bedroom.
  • If you decide to purchase a personal safe make sure it’s secured to either the wall or floor.
  • If you’re interested in purchasing a home security camera, make sure you research your options. The police recommended talking to a professional about the difference between analog and digital cameras before deciding which is best for your needs. If the camera records footage do not leave the recorder in a visible spot in your home.
  • Anyone trying to get in to your house does not want confrontation and is looking for an empty home. If you don't want to answer the door when you’re home alone yell “I’m busy” or make sure that the person outside can hear you.
If you have any further questions about home protection, you can touch base with your local police division.

32 Division 
(Steeles Avenue to Lawrence Avenue and Bayview Avenue to the CNR line)
  • General line:  (416) 808-3200
  • Crime Prevention Officer Constable Howard Clement(416) 808-3256
33 Division
(Steeles Avenue to Eglinton and Bayview to Victoria Park Avenue) 
  • General Line: 416-808-3300
  • Crime Prevention Officer Constable Kelly Downie:  (416) 808-3395
53 Division
(Lawrence Avenue to Bloor Street and Spadina Road to the Don River) 
  • General Line: (416) 808-5300
  • Crime Prevention Officers Timothy Somers and Alex Li: (416) 808-5337, (416) 808-5308

Development Updates

Check out the new interactive map on my website with Ward 25's major development projects!
18-30 Erskine Avenue
 
Applicant: Pemberton
 
Proposal: 35 storey, 300 unit condominium with 153 parking spaces, immediately beside John Fisher Public School
 
Status: Following a well attended community consultation in spring 2013, 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 a second meeting took place in fall 2013. Pemberton agreed to revise its proposal and continue discussions with both the TDSB and the working group.
 
Pemberton also agreed to touch base with the working group following further discussions with the TDSB.
Alaska (2779 and 2781 Yonge Street, 15-17 and 19-21 Strathgowan Avenue)

Applicant: 165584 Ontario Limited
 
Proposal: 11 storey residential building with 102 condominium units, 29 rental replacement units and ground floor retail
 
Status: Following a well attended community consultation in fall 2013, city planning established a working group of local stakeholders, including the Uptown Yonge Neighbourhood Alliance, the Sherwood Park Residents' Association and the local tenants' association.
 
The working group met three times throughout late 2013 to discuss, among other things, traffic, public realm and design issues. The applicant made a number of revisions following the working group meetings, including reducing the height of the building to 10 stories and agreeing to take the proposal to the city's Design Review Panel.
 
The city is currently waiting for a revised application and a date for the Design Review Panel has not yet been set.
2655 and 2659 Bayview Avenue and 15 Old Colony Road
  
Applicant: Goldberg Group
 
Proposal: 11 three storey townhouses fronting Bayview Avenue and two detached houses facing Old Colony Road
 
Status: City planning's initial community consultation meeting took place in April. I extended the notice area for this meeting to ensure that all those affected by the proposal receive advance written notice of the meeting.
 
The application is currently under review by city planning staff.
740-750 York Mills Road and 17 Farmstead Road
 
Applicant: Minto
 
Proposal: 240 stacked townhouse units and the retention of the three existing rental apartment buildings. This is a revision to Minto's earlier proposal involving four 15 to 32 storey condominium buildings.
 
Status: Following city planning's initial community consultation meeting in fall 2013, the neighbourhood opted to form a working group. The first working group meeting took place in March 2014, and the working group is expected to reach out to the wider neighbourhood.
103 & 108 Bayview Ridge
 
Applicant: M. Behar Planning and Design Inc.
 
Proposal: 11 townhomes fronting Bayview Avenue and four detached houses along Bayview Ridge.
 
Status: The applicant appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board in late 2013, potentially short circuiting the city's planning process.
 
Nevertheless, an initial community consultation took place in early February and city planning indicated that they will continue to review the application alongside the now underway design guidelines study of Bayview Avenue.

Public Meetings and Events

Durdy Bayramov Art Exhbit: My life belongs to art and art belongs to the people
 
Date: Now until July 4, 2014
Time: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Location: 2647 Bayview Ave.
 
A free showing of the work of Durdy Bayramov,a gifted artist originally from Turkmenistan who called Ward 25 home.
 
For more information, please visit http://www.durdybayramov.com/
Don Mills Library Open House
 
Date: Saturday, June 21
Time: 10 a.m. 12 p.m.
Location: Don Mills Library (888 Lawrence Ave. E.)
 
Join Toronto Library staff and Councillor Jaye Robinson to celebrate the newly renovated Don Mills branch! Drop in any time between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. for refreshments, children's storytime, crafts and guided tours showcasing the branch upgrades.
 
Councillor Robinson will be on hand from 11 a.m. to noon.
June Fest
 
Date: Wednesday, June 18
Time: 12-4 p.m.
Location: Mel Lastman Square (5100 Yonge St.)
 
An awareness festival by the Canadian Helen Keller Centre and the Rotary Cheshire Homes that recognizes and celebrates Deaf-Blind Awareness Month in Ontario. Learn about deaf-blindness while enjoying music, a charity barbeque, games and activities, free samples and more.
 
For more information, http://www.junefest.ca/index.htm
TD Toronto Jazz Festival
 
Date: June 20-28
Time: Opens Friday, 7 p.m., runs til Saturday June 28, 5 p.m.
Location: Shops at Don Mills (1090 Don Mills Rd.)
 
One of the locations for Toronto's premier jazz festival, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, is the Shops at Don Mills in Ward 25! Admission is free.
 
For more information and schedule, please visit http://bit.ly/1xdENmW
Friends of Banbury Park Nature Walk
 
Date: Saturday, June 21
Time: 10 a.m.-Noon
Location: Banbury Park (120 Banbury Rd.)
 
Friends of Banbury Park's first event is a nature walk led by the Toronto Field Naturalists, beginning in Banbury Park. Participants should bring a hat for sun protection, walking shoes, insect repellant, drinking water, and rain gear (depending on forecast) on walks such as these.
 
For more information, https://www.facebook.com/banburyfriends
6th Annual Run & Hike for Huntington Disease
 
Date: Sunday, June 22
Time: Registration at 8 a.m.
Location: Wilket Creek Park (1132 Leslie St.)
 
Join me at the Run & Hike for Huntington Disease to support the fight against Huntington disease! All proceeds go the Huntington Society of Canada's programs for those living with HD and to HD research.
 
For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/1l9jHCf
Bayview Traffic Working Group – Public Meeting
 
Date: Tuesday, June 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Crescent School, Centre for Creative Learning (2365 Bayview Ave.)
 
This is the first meeting of the Bayview Traffic Working Group, created in response to feedback about traffic and congestion during the ongoing Bayview design guidelines study.
 
The working group will focus on traffic and congestion issues on Bayview between Lawrence and the 401 – including the traffic impacts of intensification.
Don Mills Flooding and Stormwater Environmental Assessment
 
Date: Tuesday, June 24
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: Northmount School (26 Mallard Rd.)
 
First public meeting for a study looking at how to alleviate flooding and improve stormwater runoff in a small section of the Don Mills area in Ward 25. Learn more about the causes and solutions to flooding and about the study itself.
 
For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/1li4sko
Growing Conversations
 
Date: Tuesday, June 24
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.
Location: Northern District Library (40 Orchard View Blvd.)
 
City Planning has launched a new initiative called Growing Conversations aimed at improving the community engagement process. At this drop-in launch event, residents can learn more about the initiative and ask questions.
 
For more information, please visit the Growing Conversations website http://bit.ly/1pF7R4Q 
 
The Edwards Summer Music Series: Gardens of Song
 
Date: Thursdays starting June 26 through August 28
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Toronto Botanical Garden (777 Lawrence Ave. E)
 
Free concert series set in the natural beauty of the gardens at the Toronto Botanical Garden featuring an eclectic roster of popular artists. Bring your own chair or borrow a stool.
 
For more information, http://bit.ly/1r7Si3d
Copyright © 2014 Toronto City Councillor Jaye Robinson, All rights reserved.


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