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 http://bit.ly/2jGGp78, or contact my office at 416-392-4052 / councillor_crawford@toronto.ca


 

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.

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 tim.lee@toronto.ca.

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


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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.

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 http://www.toronto.ca/transportation/snow/sidewalks.

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 http://www.toronto.ca/plowTO.

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

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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:

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 24, 2016 – OPENING DAY CELEBRATIONS

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.

DECADE ROOMS

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.

CELEBRATORY LUNCH

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.

ALUMNI AND PARENT DINNER

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.

 

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 23, 2016

GAMES FROM THE PAST

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.

PUB NIGHT

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 www.birchcliffps100th.com

Reminder – Fall/Winter Recreation Program Registration Begins Tomorrow Morning at 7 a.m.


Reminder: Registration begins tomorrow (September 11) at 7 a.m. for Scarborough residents.

 

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If you haven’t already, be sure to visit http://www.toronto.ca/torontofun to:

  • Build a list of choices (program titles and barcodes) using the website or the printed FUN Guide
  • Have your family number and client numbers ready
  • Have a payment method ready or credit on your account, if fees apply

The number of online registrations increased from 88 per cent last summer to more than 91 per cent completed this past June.

Registering online is the easiest and fastest way to plan for fall and winter recreation. In June, 72 per cent of users were able to log in to the registration system in 15 minutes or less and, on average, each registration was completed in just over seven minutes.

Those who wish to register for programs will need to set up an account. Call 416-338-4386, e-mail pfrcustomerservice@toronto.ca or speak with staff at a City community centre to get a family number and a client number, update your account information, put a credit on your account or request information on the Welcome Policy. Recreation staff will also be available in-person to help with accounts and recreation planning. Check at your local community centre for designated hours.

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. More information about free and low-cost programming options is available at http://www.toronto.ca/lowcostrecreation.

Older adult discounts
Older adults (60+ years) who register for adult programs receive a 50 per cent discount.

 

Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff have been working hard to make fall registration better with faster online access, better online planning tools, extended customer service hours leading up to registration days and a more intuitive website while working to replace the existing system.

Mandatory Backflow Prevention Device for Businesses

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Reminder: StArt Youth Presenting Art – Breaking Bread Reception (Aug 12)

Breaking Bread poster

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Public Consultation: Modernizing Toronto’s Police Service

The way forward community consultations