News - City of Toronto

City of Toronto offers free and affordable activities for March Break


Monday, March 13 to Friday, March 17 is March Break for elementary and high school students in the City of Toronto. The City of Toronto offers free and affordable activities over the course of the Break.

Camps

  • March Break camps are a great opportunity for children and youth to enjoy a range of activities such as arts, crafts, music, drama, sports and games. Details are available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/camps or by calling 311.

Drop-in programs

  • City of Toronto community centres offer free or low-cost programs for all ages. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks and by calling 311.

Skating

  • Thirty-six outdoor artificial ice rinks are open until the end of the day on March 19, weather permitting. Locations, hours and program details are available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/prd/skating/dropin/marchbreak/index.htm.
  • Indoor leisure skating programs, including caregiver and tot, family skate and shinny, are free for all ages. CSA-approved hockey helmets are mandatory for children under six years of age and all shinny hockey participants, and are recommended for skaters of all ages. Schedules and locations are available at http://www.toronto.ca/skate.

Swimming

Riverdale Farm

  • Visitors can tour Riverdale Farm’s scenic grounds to see domestic farm animals such as pigs, horses and sheep. The farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is accessible to all. Admission is free. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/riverdalefarm.

High Park Zoo

  • Established 120 years ago, the High Park Zoo is home to domestic and exotic animals, including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle and yaks. Admission to the zoo is free and it’s open daily from dawn to dusk. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks/zoo/.

Toronto Island Park

  • Just minutes away from downtown by ferry, Toronto Island Park offers March break fun for everyone. It’s a great place to walk, roll, cycle, explore and enjoy the city skyline. Ferry schedule and fees are available at http://www.toronto.ca/ferry.

Playground Paradise, Flemingdon Park Community Centre

  • Playground Paradise offers fun for children aged 12 and under. Kids can play on a two-storey play structure, go down the spiral slide, swing on the track ride, and play in the ball pit. Admission fee is $2.50 per child. More information is available by calling 416-395-6014.

Conservatories

  • The spring flower shows are in full bloom at Centennial Park Conservatory, 151 Elmcrest Rd. and Allan Gardens Conservatory, 19 Horticultural Ave. Both shows feature various spring flowering plants, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. The conservatories are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and admission is free. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/conservatories.

Historic sites

  • Nine of the City’s 10 historic sites are open during March Break for tours and events. The sites highlighted below will offer drop-in family activities such as crafts, games and tasty treats from historic kitchens. Fort York National Historic Site will also be offering music workshops. Regular admission fees apply. Times and activity details vary by location. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/museum-events.

Sites with drop-in activities:

  • Fort York National Historic Site – March 13 to 17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.) – March 11 to 19, noon to 5 p.m.
    Scarborough Museum (1007 Brimley Rd.) – weekends only, noon to 4 p.m.
    Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.) – March 11 to 19, noon to 5 p.m.
    Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Rd.) – March 11 to 19, noon to 4 p.m.

Some sites will also feature special historic exhibitions and tours including:

  • “Unearthing Toronto’s Oldest Marketplace: The Archaeology of the North St. Lawrence Market“, at the Market Gallery through March 18.
  • “Gibson House: A Centennial Legacy”, runs to May 28 and has special hours during March break (please check the museum’s event link for more details).
  • Mackenzie House will offer a walking tour on March 18 called “From Riots to Respectability: The Irish Experience in Toronto” from 10 a.m. to noon ($10 per person, including tax).

Five of the historic sites (Colborne Lodge, Gibson House, Montgomery’s Inn, Scarborough Museum and Spadina Museum) are offering day camps (pre-registration is required). More camp information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/museum-events.

Registration for City of Toronto’s spring/summer recreation programs starts this weekend


The City of Toronto offers high-quality, safe, fun recreation programs for people of all ages, skill levels and interests. Registration for spring and summer general programs, spring skating and swimming, and summer camps starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 4 for residents of Etobicoke York. Other districts follow, with registration opening on Sunday, March 5 for Scarborough, Tuesday, March 7 for North York, and Wednesday, March 8 for Toronto and East York.

 

How to register
Step 1: Get account numbers

Residents need a family number and client number to sign up for recreation programs. Before registration day, call the Customer Service Call Centre at 416-338-4386 or speak with staff at a City community centre to obtain family and client numbers. On March 1, 2, 3 and 6, call centre hours have been extended from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (regular hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to assist with account information and answer questions about registration for the spring/summer programs.

Step 2: Choose programs
People who want to register should have a few backup choices prepared in case their preferred program is full. You can browse online and choose programs at http://www.toronto.ca/torontofun or look in a copy of the FUN Guide available at City Hall, civic centres, community centres and libraries.

Step 3: Register
Registration starts at 7 a.m., so be sure to have all information and payment options ready. There are four ways to register:

  1. Online is the easiest and fastest way to register, at http://efun.toronto.ca
  2. Use a touchtone phone and follow the prompts at 416-338-0000
  3. Use a telephone and customer service assistance at 416-338-4386
  4. Attend in person at select locations as listed at http://www.toronto.ca/torontofun and also identified in the printed FUN Guide.

 

Parks, Forestry and Recreation programs are popular and many have waiting lists. If you are unable to attend the program you registered for, contact your local community centre or call 416-338-4386 so the spot can be offered to someone else.

Welcome Policy yearly credit
The Welcome Policy credit can be used to register for City recreation programs. People receiving social assistance (Ontario Works) and living in Toronto are pre-approved to receive this credit and should speak to their caseworker. More information about the yearly credit is available at http://www.toronto.ca/wp.

 

Free programs
Many community centres offer free recreation programs, including leisure swimming and skating, and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults. You can visit http://www.toronto.ca/lowcostrecreation for more information about free and low-cost programming options.

 

Older adult discounts
Older adults (60 and up) who register for adult programs receive a 50 per cent discount off the regular price of adult recreation programs.

 

Making it better

Residents can provide ideas and suggestions about how the City is doing with the registration process by joining the conversation on social media using the hashtag #TOrec, following us on Facebook or Twitter @TorontoPFR, or by visiting http://www.toronto.ca/haveyoursay for updates.


 

Reminder: Public Presentations – Toronto’s 2017 Budget


Public Presentations – Preliminary 2017 Tax Supported Budget

Beginning tomorrow, the City of Toronto’s Budget Committee will hear public presentations on the preliminary 2017 tax supported budgets. Members of the public can make a presentation at sub-committee meetings on January 5, 9 or 10 at locations across the city. Two sessions will be held at each of the six locations listed below.

Torontonians who want to share their views on the budget are asked to register by emailing buc@toronto.ca or by calling 416-392-4666 indicating the location, date and time when they want to speak. Individuals may only make one presentation to the budget sub-committees.

Residents who are not able to attend a presentation have the option of submitting a written presentation by email at buc@toronto.ca, or fax at 416-392-1879 or mail at 100 Queen St. W., Toronto City Hall, 10th floor, West Tower, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2 (marked “Attention: Budget Committee”).

  • Scarborough Civic Centre, Council Chamber (150 Borough Dr.)
    Thursday, January 5 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre, Council Chamber (399 The West Mall)
    Thursday, January 5 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • North York Civic Centre, Council Chamber (5100 Yonge St.)
    Monday, January 9 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • East York Civic Centre, Council Chamber (850 Coxwell Ave.)
    Monday, January 9 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • York Civic Centre, Council Chamber (2700 Eglinton Ave. W.)
    Tuesday, January 10 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • City Hall, Committee Room 1 (100 Queen St. W.)
    Tuesday, January 10 at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

More information about the 2017 budget and the budget process is available at http://www.toronto.ca/budget2017.

Notice: If you write or make a presentation to the Budget Committee, the City will collect and use personal information in accordance with applicable laws. The City also videotapes meetings and makes recordings publicly available. More information about the collection and use of personal information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/privacy.htm.

Tools and resources available for residents to learn more about Toronto’s budget process


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The City of Toronto’s 2017 preliminary operating and capital budgets were presented at the Budget Committee meeting today, and members of the public are encouraged to learn more about the budget process and the 2017 preliminary budgets. A range of tools and resources are available, from high level summary documents, infographics and learning brochures to briefing notes, presentations and detailed budget notes, at http://www.toronto.ca/budget2017.

The City’s budget is extremely complex and understanding it can be a challenge. We are continuously working to make information about the City’s budget transparent, easier to understand and accessible to residents and businesses. Understanding the budget is the first step for residents and businesses to get involved.

The City’s budget website is the gateway to key tools and resources that are available, including:

  • The Preliminary Budget Overview – provides an executive summary of the 2017 preliminary operating and capital budgets, key challenges and a snapshot of where the money in the City budget comes from, where it goes and how the budget process will unfold over the next few months.
  • Budget notes – provide the in-depth, detailed information about Council-approved service levels, service deliverables, key issues and priorities, 2017 budget highlights and plan, by each program area.
  • Budget Basics brochures – cover the fundamentals of the City budget process. Topics include Understanding the Toronto City Budget, Rate Based Budgets and How to get Involved in the Budget Process.
  • Infographics and financial charts – a series of infographics that depict key facts about City services are on display in the City Hall rotunda, available on the website and through the City’s social channels.
  • A series of financial charts provide an at-a-glance visual of key issues, where the money comes from to support the City’s budget, where that money goes, and how tax dollars work for residents.
  • Budget videos – the YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/user/thecityoftoronto provides a series of short videos that discuss how to get involved, identify budget priorities and explain how tax dollars were put to work in 2016.
  • Presentations and briefing notes — Staff presentations and briefing notes are provided to Budget Committee and Council throughout the budget process.  These documents can help the public understand key issues and follow the development of the budget as it is reviewed, debated, modified and approved by Budget Committee, Executive Committee and ultimately City Council.

The City of Toronto’s Budget Committee will hear presentations from the public on the preliminary 2017 tax supported budgets in January. Members of the public can make a presentation at one of the budget subcommittee meetings on January 5, 9 or 10 at locations across the city. More information about the subcommittee meetings is available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis.

Members of the public are encouraged to join the conversation or follow along on Twitter @TorontoComms and Instagram @CityofTO using the hashtag #TOBudget.

Residents are also reminded that consultations about the development of the City’s Long-Term Financial Plan are underway. The City of Toronto is offering an online survey available until December 23rd to gather the public’s input on how the City can manage expenses, raise revenue and optimize its assets. The consultations and survey are part of the development of the City’s Long-Term Financial Plan (LTFP). To register to attend a meeting or webcast, complete an online survey or learn more, visit http://www.InvestinginTO.ca.

Public Consultation: Modernizing Toronto’s Police Service

The way forward community consultations

2016 Municipal Property Assessment



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2016 Property Assessment Notices

2016-04-18-08-52-AMP_Logo_2All properties in Ontario are assessed every four years by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). From May 27 to June 6, residential property owners in Toronto will be mailed a 2016 Property Assessment Notice. In October 2016, Toronto non-residential property owners will be mailed a 2016 Property Assessment Notice.

 The Property Assessment Notice provides the current value assessment (CVA), an estimate of the market value of the property as of January 1, 2016. To provide an additional level of property tax stability and predictability, increases in assessed value are phased in gradually over four years. A decrease in assessed value is introduced to taxpayers immediately.

The City of Toronto is responsible for calculating property tax bills based on the assessed values determined by MPAC. Reassessments do not generate any additional taxes for the City.

An increase in assessment does not necessarily mean an increase in property taxes. If the assessed value of a home has increased by the same percentage as the average increase in the municipality, there may be no increase in the property taxes paid by the property owner.

Properties that have increased in value more than the municipal average may experience an increase in taxes. Properties that have experienced an increase in assessed value that is below the municipal average increase may experience a decrease in taxes.

According to the MPAC Assessment Update, residential property owners will see an average assessment increase of 7.5 per cent in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. The average assessed value for a typical residential home in Toronto is now $770,000.

• Property owners can verify the information that was used by MPAC to determine their assessment on aboutmyproperty.ca. Owners can also compare their property to others in their neighbourhood.

Property Assessment Notices should be reviewed carefully by property owners and filed for their records. No action is required unless the property owner believes that their property information or assessment is incorrect.

If the owner disagrees with the assessment value of their property, they may file a Request for Reconsideration (RfR), and MPAC will review their assessment free of charge.

Property owners can learn about how MPAC determined their property value and compare their assessment to others in their neighborhood by visiting: aboutmyproperty.ca

This year, every Property Assessment Notice indicates the deadline to file a Request for Reconsideration. This deadline is 120 days after the Notice Issue Date.

The City of Toronto offers a property tax relief program to assist low income seniors and low income persons with a disability. More information: www.toronto.ca/taxreliefprogram

Scarborough Transit Planning Update – Upcoming Public Meeting


 

Upcoming Public Meeting – Scarborough Transit Planning Update

 

Scarborough Subway

The City of Toronto and TTC together with Metrolinx and GO Transit are working to bring more transit to communities across the city with connections throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

A meeting will take place on Saturday, February 27 at the Scarborough Civic Centre from 9:30am to 11:30am for residents to learn more about integrated transit planning and provide feedback on key projects and studies.

Please register for the project mailing list to ensure you are kept up-to-date about all further opportunities to provide your input.

For more information, and a full list of meetings across the City, visit http://www.scarboroughsubwayextension.ca/


 

Budget Wrap Up

The Budget process is almost wrapped up and the Budget Committee has sent their recommendations to Executive. As Budget Chief, my main focus for 2016 has been about managing your money responsibly. Frankly, we needed to have an honest conversation about our City’s finances and we’ve done that. We also needed a rigorous review of all spending and we’ve accomplished that as well.

My number one priority, and the priority of the Mayor, is to ensure that the City remains affordable for its residents. I wholeheartedly stand by the Mayor when he says he’s not prepared to raise taxes above the rate of inflation. Keeping taxes low is the responsible and respectful thing to do. To achieve this, we have shown the same kind of restraint and discipline you face with your household budget. We all have to make choices, like taking a vacation or getting a new furnace. At the City it may concern a choice between raking our beaches more often and investing in transit.

I believe we have struck the right balance of being financially prudent and making targeted investments in the priorities of residents. We have supported city building, transit, and targeted investments in many areas, including emergency services, the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens, and the arts.

Thank you to those of you who took the time to contact my office and encourage me to stay the course to keep the City affordable.

On the local level, we are making sure that your money is also being spent where you want, and where investment makes sense. Through the public consultation process, the Parks department analysed the feedback for a proposed splash pad at Cathedral Bluffs Park. Due to the lack of support for the project it will be relocated to a park which will actually benefit two wards, including ours. You can access the letter to the Cliffcrest community here.

City Planning staff recently presented an optimized transit plan for Scarborough. This revised plan recognizes the Scarborough Town Centre as a major regional hub best served by a subway – not an LRT. I have always supported a subway to Scarborough Town Centre and I’m pleased that this report has emphasized that. The new plan will provide 23 new stations across Scarborough, provide an express subway from Kennedy station to the Scarborough Town Centre, as well as a new rapid transit service to UTSC – all for the same cost as the original subway plan. This is an evidence-based network plan, and all three components – Scarborough subway, LRT, and SmartTrack – will work together to improve local transit and accessibility for Scarborough residents. Upcoming public consultation for the Revised Scarborough Transit Plan will take place in February, and my office will be providing the specifics once they become available. I look forward to when we finally get shovels in the ground. If you would like more information on the revised plan, City Planning’s report can be found here.

Upcoming Community Meetings Set For February

 

Victoria Park Ave Meeting – February 24th

Residents of Victoria Park Avenue, from Kingston Road to Queen Street, are invited to join me on February 24th, at 6:30 pm in the library at the Neil McNeil High School. We will be discussing: road classification, heavy trucks, traffic volumes and bin collection routes and dates.


Scarborough Village Community Meeting – February 25th

Please join me on February 25th, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm in the Intermission Room at the Scarborough Village Recreation Centre. We will be discussing: Development, Parks, Transit, By-Laws, Employment Training and Housing. You will have an opportunity to come together as a community to share your thoughts with me and your neighbours.