Reminder: Upcoming Community Clean-ups (Saturday April 22nd)

Cliffside Community and Business Clean-up

I hope you will be able to join your fellow community members, a number of local business owners and I for this year’s Cliffside Community and Business Clean-Up Day on April 22 at 1 PM.

We will meet in front of Resistance Fitness at the northwest corner of Kingston Road and Midland. After we’ve checked in, and depending on the number of participants, we may decide to split into two groups. We will be picking up litter on the north and south sides of Kingston Road between Midland and Claremore. If time allows, or if Kingston Road is cleaner than anticipated, we will address litter issues on Pell Street to the south and or Sandown Lane to the north as each of these areas have chronic littering issues. Along the way there are numerous pit stops where businesses will have snacks and beverages available.

Participating businesses include: Tara Inn; Singha Law Professional Corporation, Nagpal Dutta Professional Corporation; Papa John’s; Rod and Joe’s No Frills; Bluffs Chiropractic, Resistance Fitness, Mural Routes, and the Victorian Monkey.

For those residents and businesses interested in participating, please contact my office at or by phone at 416-392-4052 for more information.

Please note that this is a rain-or-shine event!


Scarborough Village Community Clean-up

On Saturday April 22nd at 10:00 AM, join the Scarborough Village community, volunteers from Scarborough Climate Action Group, the City of Toronto, and Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC), for a spring clean-up. Pizza and refreshments will be available.

Volunteers will meet in the ANC room at Scarborough Village Recreation Centre (3600 Kingston Road). Hoping to see you there!

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.


  • 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 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 and by calling 311.


  • 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
  • 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


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

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

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

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.


  • 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

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

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

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 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
  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 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


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 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 for updates.


Meeting for Cliffside Small Businesses (March 6th)

Delayed Opening of McCowan District Park Ice Rink and Skating Path

For the past few months, many residents have expressed interest in the ongoing construction of a skating path and ice rink at McCowan District Park. I was fully expecting that the facility would be operational by late January 2017 as originally planned, however my office recently received an update confirming that the rink and skating path will not be operational for this season.

While on site, crews encountered a number of severe technical issues involving the facility’s refrigeration system. Testing is currently taking place to determine the cause of the defect. Once the investigation has been completed, repairs or replacement will take place as needed. At this point in time, staff have indicated that the opening of the skating path and rink will need to be rescheduled for the 2017/2018 season, but a firm date has yet to be confirmed.

I was very disappointed to learn of this unavoidable delay, and will be posting more information as soon as it becomes available. Updates will be made posted via my website, social media channels and e-newsletter. For up-to-date information on this project, please visit, or contact my office at 416-392-4052 /


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 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, 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

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

Birchmount Community Centre – Playground Improvement

Earlier this month, the community consultation meeting to discuss the proposed improvements to the Birchmount Community Centre playground took place. I’m happy to report that the proposed playground options were well received; the residents in attendance unanimously approved the general playground layout – which included the structure pictured below, revised walkways and bench locations.

The majority of residents attendance expressed that advancing the project quickly was the top priority. Residents who were unable to attend will still have an opportunity to provide comments via email. All feedback on this proposed improvement project can be emailed directly to the Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Senior Project Coordinator, Tim Lee, at

Please be sure to submit all comments by December 31, 2016.  This will allow the City’s Parks Design office to finalize and proceed to prepare the tender documents ahead of schedule in January.




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


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

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 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

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

The City of Toronto’s approach to municipal snow-clearing

The City of Toronto is reminding residents and businesses about the levels of snow-clearing service that the City provides. Responding to large snowfalls requires a coordinated approach by the City’s staff and contractors to clear Toronto’s streets and sidewalks.

As soon as the snow begins, Transportation Services sends its fleet of salt trucks to the expressways and the main roads. The salt trucks then move to local roads. If the City receives 2.5 centimetres of snow, the plows are sent to the expressways and, if five centimetres falls, plows also go to the main roads, with plowing taking place intermittently for the duration of the storm. When the snow stops, if the snow accumulation has reached eight centimetres, plows are sent to local roads. Residents are asked not to call 311 during the storm to ask when their street will be plowed. The City will clear the local roads between 14 and 16 hours after the snow stops falling.

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 have fallen and from the remaining roads after eight centimetres have fallen. In the central core of the city, property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow within 12 hours after a storm. More information about sidewalk snow clearing in Toronto and a map of where the service takes place are available at

The City will only open/clear driveway windrows where it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimetres of snow have fallen. Typically, driveway windrows are opened between one and two hours of the road being plowed. The service is meant to only open up a width of about three metres – not the full width of the driveway. This program does not take place in the central core of the city due to narrow road widths and on-street parking. The City has created a webpage that enables residents to see the location of city plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks, and noting when their street was serviced by the City’s winter operations crews. The webpage can be accessed at

The City has identified a priority network of bike lanes and cycle tracks in the downtown core that will receive enhanced winter maintenance this winter, including snow plowing and salting to improve safety for cyclists. The City of Toronto’s levels of service for snow clearing meet the provincial standards for municipalities and road authorities. These levels of service were adopted by Toronto City Council in 2013.

The City has 600 snow plows, 300 sidewalk plows and 200 salt trucks ready to tackle the winter season.


Birch Cliff Public School 100th Anniversary Celebration – September 23rd and 24th


Birch Cliff Public School is celebrating its 100th anniversary on September 23rd and 24th. Birch Cliff has a rich history in Scarborough and the school has been a community hub for the last 100 years. Engaged students, teachers, staff and Parent Councils have partnered with the community and created a wonderful foundation that we all continue to build upon. As a former school Trustee for seven years, I worked closely with Birch Cliff School and families. Two of my own team, Gail and Tamara, served on the Parent Council for many years, continuing the legacy of community engagement.

Schedule of Events:


Saturday1pm to 2pm – Birch Cliff Public School Grounds

Includes musical performances, raising of a Centennial flag, Time Capsule and entertainment

Family friendly festivities aimed at Students, Staff, Alumni and the greater Community to focus on the school over the past 100 years. Will include live entertainment by past and present students, the raising of a Centennial flag, presenting the contents of a time capsule, activities for children, a light lunch and celebratory cake. The Decade Rooms will be open at this time and promise to be the main attraction for the many Alumni in attendance.


Saturday11am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm – Designated Classrooms in Birch Cliff Public School

Alumni-led rooms from each decade — high volume of traffic — appeals to young and old alike!

A collection of photos, memorabilia and school artifacts gathered by the Alumni for the Alumni at Birch Cliff Public School. Each room will be a glimpse into the collective memories of past students at the school, featuring unique and engaging moments in time from the 20’s through to 2000’s. A feature not to be missed.


Afternoon – Birch Cliff Public School Gymnasium

An opportunity for attendees to break bread and relax together away from the activities of the day. A variety of finger food offerings to enjoy, something for everyone.


Saturday 7pm – Q-ssis Banquet Hall – 3474 Kingston Road

An adults-only occasion for Parents and Alumni

Q-siss Banquet Hall 3474 Kington Road (at Markham Road) is a family owned Banquet Facility which is the venue chosen for the closing of the Centennial Festivities. Tickets will be sold in advance for the dinner, a great way to end a fun filled, memorable weekend. This will be an adults only occasion so that Parents and Alumni can relax and enjoy a final chance to reminisce.




Noon to 4pm – Birch Cliff Public School Gymnasium and Playing Field – 1650 Kingston Road

Includes concession stands, participant swag bags, prizes and more…

Keeping with the tradition of “Birch Cliff – Home of the Champions” there will be a sporting afternoon to kick off the Centennial Celebrations. Alumni both young and old can join in on the free Games from the Past.


Friday5pm – ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION – 1577 Kingston Road

Includes prize draws, 50/50 draw, entertainment, etc.

An opportunity for Parents, Staff and Alumni to gather in an informal setting at our local Legion, Branch 13 at 1577 Kingston Road. This branch of the Legion has important meaning to past and present students as a part of Remembrance Day activities at Birch Cliff. Plans include food offerings and the possibility of live entertainment to enhance the gathering of friends old and new.

To register, and for more information, please visit