Toronto in review for the week ending September 21, 2012
Welcome to the 'Toronto in review' podcast for September 21, a roundup of interesting events and news out of City Hall.
On Monday, it was announced that Toronto Public Health is expanding the free HPV immunization program to protect more young women from this virus. This common virus can result in cervical cancer. Females born between 1993 and 1998, who missed the full three-dose course of the vaccine when they were in Grade 8, can now get the vaccine for free from Toronto Public Health. For more information visit www.toronto.ca/health.
The latest Economic Dashboard report was presented at Tuesday's meeting of the City's Economic Development Committee. The dashboard reports on Toronto's economy from an international, national and local perspective, based on statistics from multiple sources. Here are some report highlights about Canada's banks:
- In 2003, the combined market value of the five largest Canadian banks was less than that of the two largest Swiss banks. By 2011, this had shifted to the five largest Canadian banks being worth more than three times the two Swiss banks.
- Since 2003, all five Canadian banks have risen in international influence, moving up in the ranks of the world's 50 largest banks in terms of market capitalization.
The report also showed that downtown Toronto's commercial vacancy rate is strong in comparison to the Greater Toronto Area. The downtown Toronto vacancy rate of 4.5 per cent is less than half of the 9.6 per cent vacancy rate for the "905" municipalities.
Mayor Rob Ford returned to Toronto on Thursday after leading a two-day Team Toronto business mission to Chicago. Mayor Ford, along with his Co-Chairs, George Cohon, Founder, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, and Robert Deluce, President and CEO of Porter Airlines, declared the mission a great success. The Team Toronto business mission was comprised of 62 business delegates along with a number of City councillors. The goal of the mission was to renew the partnership agreement between the two cities and to identify opportunities to grow investment, enhance the business climate and to stimulate greater job growth in both Toronto and Chicago. The mission included an official Partnership Agreement signing ceremony, and a series of information and networking sessions with key Chicago business leaders.
Councillor Vincent Crisanti and City staff joined members of the community on September 20 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Thistletown Seniors Centre. The event included the unveiling of a plaque, and remarks made by the current president and the past president of the Centre. The Thistletown Centre is located at 925 Albion Road.
City of Toronto officials and staff, in partnership with Lowe's Canada, will join members of the community on Saturday to celebrate renovations to Scarborough's Centennial East Arena that were made by Lowe's. Hockey great Curtis Joseph will make a special appearance at the event and be available to sign autographs. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Centennial East Recreation Centre located at 1967 Ellesmere Road.
The five finalists for the 2012 Toronto Book Awards will read in the City of Toronto tent at the Word On the Street Book and Magazine Festival on September 23. Once again this year, authors from Diaspora Dialogues join the reading program. Diaspora Dialogues supports writing that reflects Toronto's diverse artistic and literary culture. This free event will be held on Sunday at Queen’s Park North from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about the event and the Toronto Book Awards visit www.toronto.ca/book_awards.
Meetings coming up at City Hall next week (September 24 - 28):
- On Monday, Budget Committee, Property Standards - Scarborough Panel, and Board of Health have meetings.
- On Tuesday, Property Standards - Etobicoke York Panel, Sign Variance Committee, Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo, and the Striking Committee have meetings scheduled.
- There are no meetings on Wednesday.
- On Thursday, Board of Directors of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, Property Standards - Toronto & East York Panel, and Bid Committee will meet.
- There are no meetings on Friday.
Weekend road closures
Three special events this weekend will involve road closures.
For the Tour de Black Creek Bike Race for Kids, a series of road closures will take place in the Jane Street and Driftwood Avenue area on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For the Aids Event &Walk, Church Street, from Alexander Street to Carlton Street, will be closed in both directions on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The walk starts at 11 a.m. and there will be periodic road closures in the area bounded by Queen Street to the south, Yonge Street to the west, Charles Street to the north and Jarvis Street to the east.
For Word on the Street, Queen’s Park Crescent will be closed in both directions from Bloor Street to College Street from Saturday at 4 a.m. to Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
Those who need to drive in the general vicinity of special events should allow extra time to get to and from their destination. A more complete list of events and road work is available at www.toronto.ca/torontostreets.
And finally, to promote pet identification, Toronto Animal Services presents The Chip Truck - A mobile licence and microchip clinic for your pet. Toronto residents can visit the Chip Truck this weekend to purchase a City of Toronto licence and a microchip for only $20 for cats and $30 for dogs. If a pet already has a City license, it can be microchipped for only $5. Toronto Animal Services will register all microchips with "24 Pet Watch". 24 Pet Watch provides 24-hour, toll-free telephone and online service for the life of the pet. For locations and times of the Chip Truck this weekend and more information visit www.toronto.ca/animalservices.
Thanks for listening to Toronto in Review.