City Update E-Newsletter
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Toronto at Your Service
Your city, your vote – October 22
It’s almost time to vote in Toronto’s municipal election. Have your say by voting on Election Day – Monday, October 22 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Use the MyVote tool to find your ward, view the candidates running, locate where you can vote and confirm you are on the voters’ list.
Learn about City jobs
The City’s popular Career Information Event takes place on Thursday, October 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library. Those attending the seventh annual event can talk to City staff from more than 35 City divisions, explore a range of careers and learn what the City offers as an employer. This free event includes sessions with tips on how to apply for City opportunities.
A message from Toronto Fire Services
Last year, 114 fires in the city were started by lit cigarette butts. And of those 114 fires, 51 were balcony fires. When you flick your butt from your balcony, you probably think it will land on the street below. But the wind can blow it onto another balcony where it can land on combustible material like a dry flower pot or couch cushion. Lit cigarette butts can smoulder for hours before starting a fire. And before you know it, your building could be on fire. So stay safe. Don’t toss your butt off your balcony. And always fully extinguish your cigarette butt after smoking.
650 Parliament Street update
On August 21, 100 firefighters and 26 firetrucks fought a six-alarm fire at 650 Parliament Street. The aftermath of this devastating fire saw 1,500 residents displaced from their homes. The City and its agencies worked in collaboration with the Parliament Street property owners and management and the Canadian Red Cross to provide emergency shelter and social services. The emergency shelter is now closed and remaining residents were moved to alternate accommodations, provided by the property owner. Contact information for the property owners can be found on the City’s web page.
Newcomer services now at Etobicoke Civic Centre
New to the city or know someone who is? Newcomers can visit the City’s new kiosk at the Etobicoke Civic Centre aimed at helping them adjust to their new home. Newcomer Services Kiosks were developed through a partnership between the City of Toronto and the Toronto Settlement Collaborative to help newcomers learn about municipal and community services and programs and to provide information about housing, health, recreation, employment and other settlement programs and services. The Etobicoke Civic Centre kiosk is located on the lower level and is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Know who to call
It’s important to know the correct number to call in non-emergency and emergency events to ensure you get to the right service at the right time. Here are the details of who to call for the services you need:
- Call 311 for information about non-emergency City services and programs.
- Examples include calls about construction noise, zoning issues, illegal dumping of garbage, dead or injured wildlife, grass and leaf pick-up, damaged street furniture and pothole repairs.
- For non-emergency police matters, call 416-808-2222.
- Examples include theft under $5,000, damage to property or vehicle under $5,000, fraud under $5,000, driving complaints and graffiti.
- Call 911 if it’s an emergency, where people or property are at risk and immediate Police, Fire or Ambulance response is required.
Healthy and safe school travel
The City’s new Vision Zero pilot project aims to improve student health while enhancing safety around schools. Designated cycling and walking routes are highlighted by road markings, sidewalk stencils and signage installed at five Toronto schools. This project is part of the Active & Safe Routes to School pilot, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Partnership for Healthy Cities. Students who are physically active can improve their in-class performance, contribute to an overall healthy family lifestyle and feel good about helping the environment.
New videos support cycling safety downtown
The City has created videos to demonstrate how cyclists, drivers and pedestrians can easily and safely navigate two busy downtown intersections at Bay St. and Richmond St. W. and Yonge St. at Richmond St. Learn how to safely travel through intersections with:
Whether you’re driving, cycling or walking, please remember to stay alert and share the road.
Community Paramedic-led wellness clinics
The Community Paramedic-Led Clinics pilot project, funded by Local Health Integration Networks, features weekly wellness clinics in six Toronto Community Housing buildings that aim to improve both the physical and mental health of residents as well as ensure they are connected to community services. The clients visit the clinic weekly to have their vital signs assessed, their current health status reviewed and to meet with two onsite social workers who can connect them with valuable services. The Community Paramedics have uncovered undiagnosed acute medical conditions and connected residents with family doctors to ensure continuing care and quality of life enhancement.
City hosts international cluster conference
The City of Toronto is hosting and co-sponsoring the prominent global conference TCI2018, which brings leaders from government, business and the academic world together to focus on the development of economic ecosystems into clusters. Clusters are defined as geographically close groups of similar companies, suppliers, service providers and associated institutions. From October 16 to 18, this event will also inspire and demonstrate how local green companies in clusters can drive success on climate change while creating jobs and economic growth locally. Learn more about clusters.
#TorontoRemembers on November 11
The City of Toronto will honour the bravery and sacrifices of men and women who gave their lives for peace and freedom by holding Remembrance Day services across the city. 2018 marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. In commemoration, on Sunday, November 11, members of the Canadian Armed Forces in Toronto will march north on University Avenue from Union Station to a service at Old City Hall.
Louis Riel Day in Toronto
The City will officially proclaim Friday, November 16 as Louis Riel Day in Toronto. City officials and Indigenous leaders will raise the flag of the Métis Nation of Ontario at City Hall. Louis Riel is remembered as a political leader, an advocate for justice and a champion for the rights of the Métis. This year marks the 133rd anniversary of the end of the Northwest Resistance in Saskatchewan and the death of Louis Riel in 1885.
Cavalcade of Lights
On Saturday, November 24 at 7 p.m., the 52nd annual Cavalcade of Lights presented by Great Gulf will mark the official start of the holiday season in the city. Join us for the lighting of Toronto’s Christmas tree along with live performances, a skating party and a dazzling fireworks display.
Enjoy autumn at Toronto Zoo
Crisp fall air, vibrant colours and fun for all ages makes the Toronto Zoo the place to be for fall fun! To find out what’s going on, check out the full Special Events Calendar and Zoo Education Programs. Looking for an adventure? Try taking a ride on the Zoo’s new Wild Rouge Zipline and Canopy Tour. Don’t forget to follow the Toronto Zoo’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates on our endangered pygmy hippopotamus calf.
Indian Residential School Survivors Legacy Celebration
The IRSS Legacy Celebration, which took place October 9 to 11 on Nathan Phillips Square, was produced by Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre in collaboration with the City. It featured Indigenous music, food, dance and demonstrations for all ages on stages and at more than 20 teepees around the Square.
Creating renewable natural gas from Green Bin Waste
The City, in partnership with Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc., will begin installing new equipment at the solid waste management facility on Dufferin Street later this year that will allow it to create renewable natural gas (RNG) from Green Bin waste. The RNG produced will be injected into the natural gas grid and can be used to fuel the City’s collection trucks. The project is one of the first of its kind in North America and helps the City move toward fulfilling the goals of its TransformTO Climate Action Strategy.
Important reminder about your outdoor water
Outdoor water pipes are often the first to freeze, which can lead to costly property damage. There are easy ways to protect your home, though. Before the first frost, make sure you unscrew any hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply and allow it to drain. Now is also a good time to ensure you know the location of your main water shut-off valve and verify that it’s working properly, in case your pipes freeze and burst this winter.
Get the new TOwaste app
Never miss recycling or garbage day again! Download the City’s new TOwaste app on your smartphone or tablet to get access to collection schedules, the Waste Wizard search tool and information about where to find the nearest donation location or City drop-off depot.
Save your pipes, don’t flush wipes (and other stuff)
Did you know that flushing dental floss can clog your pipes? Many items that we use on a daily basis, even those labelled “flushable,” do not dissolve. Flushing or pouring the wrong thing down your toilet or drains can not only damage your home plumbing, it can also cause blockages in the City’s sewer pipes and lead to basement flooding. Help keep the entire sewage system working well – never flush wipes or dental floss or pour fat, oil or grease down your drain. Check out the City’s list of what not to flush or pour down the drain.
Promoting a culture of waste reduction and reuse
Many items that can be reused are thrown out every day. To help foster a culture of waste reduction, sharing, repairing and reuse in Toronto, the City is implementing five new Community Reduce & Reuse Programs. Together, the programs will help to build sustainable communities and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. The programs are located in multi-residential buildings and community hubs and are being delivered in collaboration with local agencies and non-profit organizations.
Awards and Accolades
2018 Toronto Book Awards
David Chariandy is the winner of the 2018 Toronto Book Awards for his novel Brother, published by McClelland & Stewart. Described as a rich and moving portrait of a young family trying to survive in a changing city, Brother was chosen from a list of finalists that also included these four books:
- Dionne Brand-curated The Unpublished City published by BookThug
- Carrianne Leung’s That Time I Loved You published by Harper Collins
- Lee Maracle’s My Conversations with Canadians published by BookThug
- Kerri Sakamoto’s Floating City published by Knopf Canada
This is the 44th year of the Toronto Book Awards. The awards were given out at a ceremony held at the Toronto Reference Library on October 10.
Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden wins award
The Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden has won the Downtown Achievement Award of Excellence in the Public Space category. The award recognizes enhancements in the urban design and physical function of downtown space. Led by the Friends of the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden community group, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the garden is now a beautiful gathering place that reflects and celebrates the Indigenous history of the land on which Toronto residents live and symbolizes the positive international relationships Canadians enjoy.