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Home » Articles » What's Happening in Ward 21  
What's Happening in Ward 21
Thu Apr 13, 2017

News and Updates for Ward 21


Teaming up with the Queen of Katwe
I recently had the pleasure to meet Phiona Mutesi, a very talented young lady who happens to be an international chess star. The 20-year-old, born and raised in Uganda, has made a name for herself and her community, Katwe.  You may have seen or heard of The Queen of Katwe, a movie based on her life which premiered at TIFF last year. Phiona's character reminds us that "in chess, the small one can become the big one."  Thanks to Ted Winick, founder of the Chess Institute of Canada and Ward 21 resident, for the introduction.


Ward 21 Environment Day: Get Ready for All Things Green
The Ward 21 Community Environment Day is just 2 weeks away! This is your chance to drop off recyclables, interact with environmentally-friendly community groups, shred and dispose of all that unwanted paper (this is a new service that will help you dispose of private documents safely) and score some free compost to get your garden started! Second Hand Sunday will also be on site with a "swap booth" where you can drop off your unwanted items and find something new. Visit the many community groups who will be participating in this event. For more details on what to bring (and what to leave at home) see the event flyer here. To ease the flow of traffic and ensure pedestrian safety for this event, Wychwood Avenue will only be accessible southbound from St. Clair Avenue on April 30. Cars will not be allowed to park on Wychwood Avenue from Benson Avenue to Tyrrel Avenue between the hours of 5:00am to 5:00pm on that date, and Benson Avenue will become a one-way street westbound, with managed entry and exit from Christie Street. Access will only be provided for residents living on Benson Avenue.

Hope to see you there!

Date: Sunday, April 30, 2017
Time: 10am to 2pm 
Location: Wychwood Barns, along the Wychwood Avenue sidewalk

It's All in the Name: Round 3 Laneway Nominations Coming Soon! 
Folks, I have some exciting news: Round 2 Laneway names have been officially approved by the City and are expected to be installed in the coming months. Keep an eye out in my e-news and on my Twitter page, for more information on unveiling dates for our 4 newest lanes. 

Now that Round 2 is complete, I am pleased to announce I am preparing to receive applications for another round of lane naming. I will be meeting with the 2017 Laneway Nominating Committee this May and will be hosting a Laneway Nominator information session on Monday, May 29. The meeting will help residents understand the application process and answer any questions. Applications will be accepted from late May until the end of August and will be adjudicated in the fall. For more information on this process, contact my office at [email protected]  

Toronto St. Paul's Summit 
Join me as I sit down with elected representatives from all levels of government for a discussion hosted by MP Dr. Carolyn Bennett on how we can all work better together to serve the Toronto St. Paul's community. For more information on the roundtable talk, see the event poster here.

Date: Sunday, May 7, 2017
Time: 3 - 5 pm
Location: Elliot Hall, Christ Church Deer Park
1570 Yonge Street (entrance off of Heath St.)

Capital Development at St. Bruno School
As many of you know, the Toronto Catholic District School Board is consolidating St. Bruno and St. Raymond schools at the St. Raymond site.  While St. Raymond is being constructed, St. Bruno will house students for the next two years, after which St. Bruno will close. The Transition Committee continues to plan the renovations required to house the special programs needed for St. Raymond students. To read a more detailed update on where the project is at, please see the new school webpage

Spring and Summer Activities at Toronto Public Library
A whole new season of fun is starting at Toronto Public Libraries in Ward 21. Don't miss out on all the fun. You can find out about all the great events taking place this spring/summer season (April to June) here. You can also stay up-to-date with the latest library news and upcoming programs by signing up for their What’s On e-newsletter by clicking here


Compost Days
Come pick up some nutrient-rich leaf compost for your garden – free of charge and in your neighbourhood!

Cedarvale Community School
Monday, May 1
4 – 6 pm

St. Alphonsus Catholic School
Wednesday, May 3
4 – 6 pm

McMurrich Public School
Thursday, May 4
4 – 6 pm

Humewood Community School
Monday, May 8
4 – 6 pm

J.R. Wilcox Community School
Thursday, May 11
4 – 6 pm

St. Bruno Catholic School
Friday, May 12
5 – 7 pm

In Our Parks 
Community Clean-up Day in Our Ravines
Each spring, residents join me to help clean up our local parks and ravines. I look forward to seeing you at one of the 4 sites, including: The Kay Gardner Beltline Trail, Cedarvale Park, Hillcrest Park and the Nordheimer Ravine. Start times vary so please see details for each site below.

Date: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Time: 9 am - 2 pm (Start times vary per location, see below)

Kay Gardner Beltline Trail
9 a.m. - 10 a.m.
(Meet at Old Park Rd. entrance)

Cedarvale Park
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.
(Meet at the bottom of the
Glen Cedar footbridge

Hillcrest Park
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
(Meet at the corner of
Hillcrest and Christie)

Nordheimer Ravine
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
(Meet at the stairs, corner of
St. Clair Ave. W. and Wells Hill Ave.)

Cawthra Park Enhancement
Residents living in the vicinity of the Tarragon Village can look forward to a rejuvenation of Cawthra Park this year. New recreation equipment will be added to expand the existing playground and to add features for accessibility. A new sandbox with a water tap will be included for kids, and natural large boulders will be placed for seating and play. The final look will be new and totally refreshed. Many residents attended the community consultation to give suggestions on the design. Thanks to those who came out!  Words of gratitude are extended to a local family whose generous and thoughtful donation has made this expansion possible. The project is expected to be built in the fall.

Glen Cedar Footbridge 
The Glen Cedar Footbridge will receive its long-awaited restoration work this summer. The bridge was restored in 1989 and now the time has come where the wood has deteriorated and become unsafe, especially along the side walkways. The restored bridge will look mostly the same but the railings will undergo a slight change to ensure they are brought up to current rail safety standards. Each of the railings will now be 1 foot higher and the diamond shape holes will be smaller. The stairs leading down into the ravine will also be re-built. Access for crossing the bridge will be maintained throughout the work and completion will be by the end of the year.

Friends of Cedarvale Planting Day 
Looking to nurture your green thumb? Then look no further!  Help create a carbon-sequestering forest with Friends of Cedarvale at their annual tree planting day on Saturday, April 29 from 10 am to noon. This is a great way to welcome spring while learning from friends new and old. No experience is necessary—all you'll need is your tree planting spirit (trees and shovels will be provided).

Date: Saturday, April 29
Time: 10 am
Location: Cedarvale Park - 443 Arlington Ave.
Meet under the Glen Cedar pedestrian bridge in Cedarvale Park

Cedarvale Community Garden Work Days 
The Cedarvale Community Garden, located just north of the tennis courts, has just completed its first official work day. On April 1, a number of residents came out to begin preparing the garden for a new planting season. Residents plan to grow a variety of crops this year, including, squash, zucchini, Chinese bok choy, rhubarb, tomatoes, onions, sorrel, spinach and more. To see a full list of all the wonderful things the group will be growing, see here. Garden leaders will be hosting a number of workdays throughout the week, so if you would like to get involved, contact the Cedarvale Garden Team at [email protected].

Receive Free Training to be A Ravine Steward in Ward 21 
From May to September, volunteers living in Ward 21 help care for our beautiful ravine spaces. Interested participants receive hands-on training from the City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff to learn how to reduce invasive plant species, re-plant native vegetation, and monitor and nurture local habitats for surrounding wildlife. The initiative welcomes all ages, including high school students needing co-op work. 

For more information you can contact [email protected].

Protecting Migratory Birds 
Many migratory birds call our parks home. Each year, tens of millions of birds make their way over and through the city of Toronto on their annual spring migration in April and May. It is estimated that more than a million of them end up injured or dead from collisions with windows in the Toronto area.  Birds prefer to travel in the night, but light pollution obscures the natural light they can see and draws them into urban areas. As the birds try to make their way out of the city, they often lethally collide with windows as they cannot see glass.  Help minimize the risk of injury or death to migratory birds by taking simple steps like: turning off unnecessary lights and placing visual markers on your windows. For more visit here

390 Spadina Road Update
South Forest Hill Residents' Association (SFHRA) continues to gather support for their organizing against the current development proposal for the site at 390-398 Spadina Road. The SFHRA understands that this proposal constitutes overdevelopment of the neighbourhood which would destroy the village-like character of the neighbourhood and become a dangerous precedent for future development.

With over 500 members, the SFHRA was successfully represented at the first pre-OMB hearing.  The community organization has launched a major fund raising campaign to hire a planner and an urban designer to help present the necessary evidence to ensure a successful outcome at the OMB. In addition to raising over $10,000 in March, they have benefited from many in-kind donations including graphic posters, printing, legal and planning advice. Through the continued support of residents, the SFHRA hopes to raise another $10,000 by the end of May to retain expert supports at the OMB.

Johanna Shapira, a partner with Wood Bull LLP, who specializes in municipal law (planning and development) will be representing the SFHRA at the Ontario Municipal Board. If you are invested in preserving this unique neighourhood Village, I encourage you to support the SHFRA in any way you can. For more information, or to make a donation, contact the SFHRA at [email protected].

Crosstown Updates
Eglinton Crosstown Update - Cedarvale Station: Construction has Begun
On March 28, Metrolinx hosted an open house to show new site designs and provide an update on the construction phases for Cedarvale Station (at Allen Road). For those who were unable to attend the meeting the presentation can be found here

I am also excited to announce that the tunnelling phase is complete! The eastern tunnel boring machines were lifted out of the ground at Yonge Street last month. This week work has begun to fill the whole length of tunnel with concrete in order to lay the tracks. 20,980 m3 kilos of concrete will be poured over four months. The Allen Road site is where the trucks will enter to fill the tunnel east and west. New sound abatement measures are in place for this work; in particular, trucks will not have the back-up "beep". This sound will be replaced with a white noise pulse.  I will be visiting the site in the coming week at night to observe the operation and ensure noise levels are low.  Further information for work ahead at Allen Road can be found here.

TTC Updates 
Subway Closures 
The St. Clair West Station main entrance escalator will be out of service for repairs from mid-March until mid-May of this year.  More information is available here.
There will be subway closures from Downsview to St. George over the weekends of April 29-30 and May 20-21.  For more information on these and other scheduled TTC closures, view the website.




News from City Hall


Round 2 Consultations on the City's Long-term Financial Plan 
The first phase of the public consultations on Toronto's Long-Term Financial Plan concluded in December 2016. The second consultation phase begins this month. City staff will be hosting a meeting at City Hall to share information about how decisions are made and how priorities will be balanced to better understand the long-term financial impact. An interactive afternoon of workshops and discussions will be held. The afternoon will be webcast and recorded so residents can follow along and contribute their input online. An online survey will be open from April 22 to May 14, 2017. For more information read the City's notice.  

Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017 
Time: 1 - 5 pm (open house begins at 12:30 pm)
Location: City Hall, 100 Queen Street W.

Rent Protection 
Council has responded to residents' concerns about the limited protections they have as renters in an increasing unaffordable market. I am pleased to share that we adopted a motion to encourage the passage and implementation of the provincial Rent Protection for All Tenants Act, 2017 for Ontario. Council also affirmed its support for changing the current situation so that tenants living in housing built or occupied after 1991 would have legislated protection to control their rent increases. 

Plan Standards for Multi-residential Rental Buildings 
RentSafeTO, the City's official name for its apartment and building licensing, registration and inspection program, will come into effect starting July 1, 2017. Read more about how this initiative will be rolled out across the City in the MLS Monitor

Good Neighbour Guide 
MLS has developed a "Good Neighbour Guide" for operators of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. There are many areas of our neighbourhood that are more vibrant than others, attracting undue noise that may disturb residents in their homes. This resource details mandatory requirements for "good will" measures that bars and restaurants must comply with to remain in good standing with the City. For more information contact Hamish Goodwin at [email protected]



Read a summary of the biggest issues at City Council meetings!




Updates from the Community


Community News
Second Hand Sunday: Sunday April 30
Second Hand Sunday is happening outside your house and you're invited! Sunday, April 30 is your chance to get rid of any unwanted, reusable items you have laying around. Simply leave them at your curb for your neighbours to take for free. Then, get in on the action. That thing your neighbour no longer wants could be exactly what you need. At the end of the day, just take back any remaining items or drop them off at an appropriate second hand shop!

You can also find more details about the event by visiting the website.  Make sure to RSVP on Facebook, post photos of your best goods on Instagram and link up with eco-friendly neighbours on Twitter in advance of the event!

Calling all Residents: Beeline Garden Stewardship Opportunity
Become a Park People is working in partnership with the City of Toronto to create a series of pollinator gardens along the Green Line—a planned linear park and trail between Lansdowne and Spadina through the Dupont hydro corridor. The gardens fit within the City’s upcoming pollinator strategy by creating a natural habitat for pollinators, such as butterflies, birds, and bees, while also helping to beautify park spaces. The project will be stewarded by residents interested in building their planting and green stewardship skills. For more information on how to get involved, see their flyer.

Castleview Wychwood Tower Celebrates 10-year Partnership with Korean Volunteers 
The City's Long-Term Care Homes & Services division recognized a 10-year partnership between the Castleview Korean Volunteer Association and Castleview Wychwood Towers last week. The home serves a multicultural resident population, including approximately 70 Korean residents. The volunteer association has collaborated with the long-term care home's multi-disciplinary team to enhance residents' quality of life for the past decade. Castleview Wychwood Towers has developed Korean language resources for staff, holds weekly Korean craft groups and lunches and has added culturally appropriate dishes to its menu. Congratulations to Castleview Wychwood Tower!

Ring in the Season with Wychwood's Clarinet Choir
Now in its seventh season, the Wychwood Clarinet Choir is proud to present their Sounds of Spring Concert. Directed by conductor and clarinetist Michele Jacot, the members of the choir include skilled clarinetists of all ages who share a love of music making, friendship and fun. For more information read their event poster.

Date: Sunday, May 28th, 2017 
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: Church of St. Michael and All Angels, 611 St. Clair Ave. West

Cedarvale Marketplace is Back! 
The best community shopping experience Toronto has to offer is coming to the Cedarvale Community School.

Cedarvale Marketplace is a fabulous way to fill a day. There will be professional vendors selling high quality items available just in time for Mother's Day. Come and shop for beautiful art, giftware, jewelry, apparel, accessories, children's items, and much more. Savour lunch at one of their gourmet food trucks. You can find Cedarvale Marketplace on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/cedarvalemarketplace.

Free Summer School at Winona 
Winona Drive Senior Public School will be offering a free summer school program for students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 as of September 2017. The Program includes persuasive report writing, coding with Scratch and robotics. Click here for the application form. 

Help Support the Transformation of Oakwood's Green Space 
Oakwood Collegiate Institute is off the list of potential school closures. The Toronto school board is committed to keeping Oakwood open and improvements have been made to the century-old school building. As part of these updates, the landscape master plan has been approved for the school grounds. The vision is to create a welcoming social space with re-landscaped recreation areas that the community can share. New features will include:

  • A rebuilt basketball court at the corner of Oakwood and Rosemount. It will also be expanded to include ping pong and chess tables.
  • Access to the field through openings in the fence along St. Clair and the partial removal of the fence along the school to install spectator seating.
  • An outdoor performance space will also be added and purposed as both a social area and lunch space. 

To help leverage funding from the TDSB, Friends of Oakwood, a local community group established by School Board Trustee Marit Stiles, is asking residents to participate in a fundraising campaign to ensure they can retain this community asset. You can start right now by contributing to their GoFundMe campaign. There will be a fundraiser on May 4, 2017 from 7 pm to 10 pm at Starving Artist, located at 1078 St. Clair Ave. W for a fun local evening of drinks and nibbles and a silent auction at our Oakwood Common Ground fundraiser. 

Be sure to check the Friends of Oakwood Facebook page for more information or contact Angie Van Damme at [email protected].

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