Weekend Newsbrief: Mar. 3, 2018
What happened at Toronto City Hall this week
Public Works and Infrastructure Committee rejects bike lane plan for north stretch of Yonge Street. City councillors on PWIC will recommend that council not include bike lanes in the road reconstruction plans for the north stretch of Yonge Street (from south of Sheppard Avenue to north of Finch Avenue). Instead, the committee approved bike lanes on Beecroft Road and/or Doris Avenue, both north-south streets that run parallel to Yonge. Out of the first 312 letters sent to council on this issue (that number has since grown to 456 as of time of publication) 66% are in favour of reducing the number of lanes on Yonge Street in order to accommodate bike lanes. Council will decide where bike lanes will go and other improvements that can be made at its meeting at the end of the month. Mayor John Tory told reporters last week he is not in favour of bike lanes on the stretch of Yonge owing to the traffic congestion.
Woman’s screams outside mayor’s office interrupts press conference with Premier. In the midst of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s answer to a reporter’s question about the possibility of implementing photo radar before mid-2019, a woman’s piercing scream outside the mayor’s protocol lounge interrupted her. “There’s a bullet in my f–king window,” the woman screamed. “You mother f–ker… not trying to help me…Targeting me. I’ve been emailing every f–king day and nobody’s f–king listening… now we can f–king talk about it, now there’s a f–king bullet in my window mother f–ker,” the woman yelled on the other side of the locked doors where approximately 30 members of the media were gathered. “Why the f–k isn’t my glass fixed yet? Monday. Today’s f–king Thursday. There’s a bullet in my f–king window. This is my message from housing,” the woman yelled, agitated about repairs that she said hadn’t been fixed at her Toronto Community Housing unit. Moments later, after the situation de-escalated, Mayor John Tory finished taking questions from reporters, including those about provincial party funding commitments to Toronto Community Housing. (Read the story)
Toronto Community Housing moves forward on repairs and fire safety prevention. Days before the uproar outside the news conference at city hall, Mayor John Tory, Deputy Mayor and the city’s Housing Advocate and Councillor Ana Bailão and Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker spoke at a Scarborough Toronto Community Housing complex on Monday morning about how the city is spending on TCHC units. Tory said the $300 million the city is investing in reconstruction in the city’s decrepit social housing buildings puts no units at risk of closing this year. “[There is] the sense of hope, the sense of anticipation, because the people that have moved out while these units are being repaired are going to be moving back in, basically to a new home. There are new appliances, new bathrooms, new kitchen cabinets – of course, they’ve repaired the terrible damage done by the termites in terms of things you don’t see unless the walls are opened up.” Renovations are not the only line item in the 2018 budget for Toronto Community Housing buildings. A fire-safety marketing program was also funded in the 2018 budget, giving Toronto Fire Service funds to do more inspections and public awareness campaigns on fire prevention. Since 2016, fatalities caused by fire in TCHC buildings have made up 40% of the total number of fire fatalities in Toronto buildings. (Read the story)
Bring on the hen party! Erm, as in ACTUAL HENS. Starting this weekend, the City of Toronto is allowing residents who have their own backyard and who live in Ward 5 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore), Ward 13 (Parkdale-High Park), Ward 21 (St. Paul’s) or Ward 32 (Beaches-East York) to keep up to four hens in their backyards for “enjoyment and egg production,” according to a news release from the city. It’s all part of the Urban Hen Pilot Program running until March 2, 2021. Residents with hens must construct a coop in compliance with local zoning requirements and all hens must be registered at toronto.ca/urbanhensTO. In case you missed the debate at council this past October, catch up and read what Toronto councillor’s had to say in our coverage, Puns, perseverance, and personality about prohibited animals (such as roosters).
Good to know
Registration for the city’s summer camps and spring/summer recreation programs starts at 7 a.m. on March 3 for Etobicoke York, March 4 for Scarborough, March 6 for North York, and March 7 for Toronto and East York.
Programs can be found online at toronto.ca/funguide.
Community centres also offer free recreation programs, leisure swimming and skating, and drop-in programs for children, youth, and older adults. Find all the details attoronto.ca/lowcostrecreation.
There will be a coyote information session from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Roding Community Centre, 600 Roding St., on Monday.
Topics include how coyote behave in the city (for example, they help control rodent and rabbit populations), and what to do when you encounter a coyote.
Speakers expected from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Toronto Wildlife Centre and Coyote Watch Canada.
This Newsbrief is by Arianne Robinson