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Toronto at Your Service
‘Tis the season…for the annual Toy & Food Drive!
If you’d like to help make the holidays brighter for a child or family in our community, the City’s annual Holiday Toy & Food Drive is underway. You can donate new, unwrapped toys and/or non-perishable food items until noon on Friday, December 21 at City Hall, Metro Hall and all civic centres. Toys will be donated to the Toronto Fire Fighters Toy Drive and non-perishable food items to the Daily Bread Food Bank.
Celebrate the holidays at the annual City Hall Christmas Concert
Come celebrate the holiday season with us at the City’s Christmas Concert on Thursday, December 20. This annual event is one of the City’s longest-running traditions, taking place every year since City Hall opened in 1965. Beginning at noon in the City Hall Rotunda, this free concert features the Toronto Beaches Children’s and Youth Chorus, Toronto Mass Choir, Pan Fantasy Steelband and the Tower Brass ensemble. Toronto’s Poet Laureate, Anne Michaels, will provide a reading. There will also be a special guest appearance by Santa Claus!
Looking to give back? Look no further – Toronto’s Holiday Wish List
If you’d like to spread a little holiday cheer to those experiencing homelessness, the City’s annual Holiday Wish List is a one-stop resource. We asked agencies that run shelters, drop-in centres and other services for homeless and vulnerable people what items their clients need most. Winter clothing, gift cards, toiletries, baby products and non-perishable food all top the list this year. The Holiday Wish List includes items needed and volunteer opportunities.
Winter(licious) is coming!
Looking for a unique gift for the foodie in your life this holiday season? Delight them with tickets to one of Winterlicious’ culinary events (tickets go on sale later this month). Produced by the City of Toronto, Winterlicious features both a popular prix fixe promotion and special culinary events. The prix fixe promotion offers three-course lunch and dinner menus served at nearly 200 of Toronto’s favourite restaurants. Lunch menus are priced at $23, $28 and $33, with dinner available at $33, $43 and $53. Reservations can be made in January. Information on restaurants taking part and how to purchase tickets to Winterlicious culinary events is available as of mid-December.
City Council’s first meeting
Watch Toronto City Council’s ceremonial first meeting on YouTube at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, December 4. Mayor John Tory receives the Chain of Office following his Declaration of Office and gives his inaugural address. Members of Council will be introduced and presented with their Declarations of Office. Meeting agendas are available online for this and other meetings.
Winter is here – and we’re ready
The City of Toronto is ready for winter on our roads. Over 1,500 City personnel and contract staff and more than 1,100 snow-clearing vehicles are on standby to take on the snow, ice and cold from now into April, if required. Learn more about Toronto’s winter readiness.
Fall prevention tips from Toronto Paramedic Services
Were you aware that falls are the leading cause of injury for those aged 65 and older in Ontario? Here are some tips from Toronto Paramedic Services to help prevent falls so that a 911 call and trip to the emergency room is avoided:
- Check prescriptions for side effects – some medications can cause drowsiness
- Firmly hold the bannister when climbing up and down stairs
- Clear steps and walkways of ice and wear slip-resistant footwear
Serve Your City
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to develop your professional skills and give back to your community? You can do both by serving on a City of Toronto board, committee or tribunal. There are many opportunities available. Apply today; it does make a difference.
Winter Warm-Up on King Street
Embrace winter at a new public space along King Street for the Winter Warm-Up event series! Join us each Wednesday from December 5 to 19 and enjoy live music, a cozy warming station, hot chocolate, cider and freshly baked treats.
Winter Flower Shows
Get into the holiday spirit as City conservatories are transformed into must-see winter destinations. Each year, our gardeners craft breathtaking floral scenes with thousands of colourful blooms, vines and lush plants from around the world. Opening day at each conservatory features family-friendly activities like horse-drawn carriage rides and sing-alongs with Victorian carollers – with crisp apple cider and cookies served! The Centennial Park Conservatory show runs December 9 to January 9 and the Allan Gardens Conservatory show runs December 2 to January 9.
New Year’s Eve at Nathan Phillips Square
Ring in the New Year at Nathan Phillips Square! The annual celebration takes place against the festive and picturesque backdrop of Toronto’s official Christmas tree and the lights of Nathan Phillips Square. The exhilarating evening includes live musical performances, a DJ skating party sponsored by Tim Hortons and a stunning fireworks display to help you usher in 2019.
StART 2018 Photography Exhibit
A new photo exhibit featuring 2018 street art installations from around Toronto is on display until January 31 at the Centre for Social Innovation at 192 Spadina Avenue. The showcase, which can be seen Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., is part of StreetARToronto (StART), which engages local artists to help reduce and replace graffiti vandalism with colourful and vibrant art work at locations throughout the city.
Toronto Zoo – open year-round!
This winter, experience more than 10 kilometres of wintery trails and visit Canadian and tundra animals in their natural winter habitats, plus the new Amur tiger exhibit in Eurasia Wilds! Or revel in the warmth of one of five indoor tropical pavilions and take in a daily Keeper Talk. Visit the Zoo on Boxing Day and enjoy 50 per cent off regular admission. Visitors can also watch as animals receive festive enrichment during the Zoo’s 12 Days of Enrichment event, taking place daily from Boxing Day through Sunday, January 6! Stay in the know about upcoming events and follow on Facebook and Twitter @TheTorontoZoo.
Save on holiday shopping with the Live Green Perks app
The City’s Live Green Perks program can help shoppers in Toronto save up to 50 per cent on green products and services at participating shops, restaurants and attractions. Anyone can join the program by downloading the free Live Green Perks app. Wallet cards are also available on request through the website.
Watch your waste over the holidays
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but the holidays can produce a lot of waste. Take small steps to reduce your holiday waste by practising the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle). Here are a few ideas:
- Use reusable dishes, plates, napkins and cutlery at your holiday gatherings
- Save wrapping paper, boxes, ribbons and bows to use next year
- Make memories, not waste by giving the gift of an experience
Car share in your neighbourhood
Toronto’s Free-Floating Car-Share pilot is underway! This convenient and sustainable transportation option makes it easy for residents to park and car-share close to home. Register with a participating company today and use a nearby vehicle to run errands, visit friends or just get around the city.
TransformTO: Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre
The Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre at Queen’s Quay and Bathurst Street will undergo a deep energy retrofit, funded in part by the province’s Independent Electricity System Operator. In addition to updating the building’s automation system, the project will convert lighting to LED, as well as install a geothermal heating/cooling system using water from Lake Ontario and a combined system that generates power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun and battery power. The retrofit, which will reduce the building’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 80 per cent, supports the City’s TransformTO Climate Action Strategy. Buildings generate about half the greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto today.
Toronto joins global circular economy network
Toronto is the first city in Canada to join the Circular Economy 100 (CE100) network, created by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Membership in the CE100 will support the City’s move toward a circular economy and help it reach its goal of becoming the first circular city in Ontario. The circular economy aims to reduce waste by moving from the traditional take-make-and-dispose approach to a circular approach that maximizes the life of products and resources through reuse, recycling, repurposing and repair.
Have an innovative idea to reduce waste?
The City is offering grants of up to $25,000 to support community-based efforts to reduce residential waste and/or increase participation in Toronto’s Blue and Green Bin programs through the Waste Reduction Community Grants program. Get your ideas ready – applications open January 7.
Winners of 2018 Toronto’s Greenest Choice campaign
The Toronto’s Greenest Choice campaign invited residents to vote for the places, spaces and businesses that are helping to make Toronto one of the greenest cities in North America. Through an online poll, residents cast more than 80,000 votes for their favourites in 25 categories, including farmers markets, second-hand shops, bike shops, local craft breweries, hiking trails, urban gardens and more. The winners were determined by popular vote.
Beautifying the Lake Shore Cycle Track
In October, the StART Concrete Barrier Art Program brought together more than 30 artists to design and hand paint 114 concrete safety barriers along the new Lake Shore Cycle Track. The track, which opened in March and spans a 1.4 km stretch of Lake Shore Blvd W. between Norris Cres. and First St., makes bike travel safer and more inviting. The new art installations contribute to a more beautiful street space. Choosing cycling helps ease congestion, supports a cleaner environment and promotes healthier people.
Awards and Accolades
City of Toronto wins Energy Vision Leadership Award
The City has been recognized internationally with a Leadership Award from Energy Vision – a U.S. non-profit organization that researches, analyzes and promotes technologies and strategies to transition toward a sustainable energy and transportation future. The award recognizes the City and Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.’s innovative partnership and project to create renewable natural gas from Toronto’s Green Bin organic waste. The project is one of the first of its kind in Canada and North America.