City Update E-Newsletter
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Toronto at Your Service
Spring is in the air and that means the return of two favourite Toronto events: Cherry blossom season and Community Environment Days!
Cherry blossoms across Toronto
Enjoy – and celebrate – the emergence of spring as cherry blossoms bloom across the city. Not only is it the 60th anniversary of the cherry blossom (sakura) trees at High Park, there are also many parks throughout the city where you can enjoy their beauty. Check the website to find out where and when to see this year’s cherry blossom blooms.
Bring it, Toronto!
Clear out the clutter and bring your used or unwanted items to a Community Environment Day near you. Held in each of the 25 wards, Community Environment Days are an opportunity for residents to safely dispose of electronics and household hazardous waste and to donate unwanted items like clothes, books, sporting goods and non-perishable foods. Free compost is also available for pickup. The 28th annual Community Environment Days run from April to September.
Join us for the 5th annual Toronto Newcomer Day!
Torontonians are invited to the City’s 5th annual Toronto Newcomer Day to join us in welcoming newcomers with activities and entertainment at a fun-filled event showcasing Toronto’s diverse communities. It all happens in Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen St. W.) on Thursday, May 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Event updates will be posted on the Toronto Newcomer Day web page.
Home Dialysis Rebate Program
The City has introduced a rebate program to help offset the cost for increased water usage due to home dialysis treatments. To qualify, you must not be receiving a grant or rebate from any other organization to support in-home dialysis treatment. Learn more about the program, eligibility requirements and the application process.
What does the future of recreation look like?
Parks, Forestry and Recreation is transforming the way users book space and register for programs. Sign up to become a Digital Citizen Advisor and help us improve this City of Toronto online service. Visit EngagePFR for more information on this initiative and how to take part in other consultations.
Toronto earns prestigious fire service accreditation
Toronto Fire Services has earned accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. The City of Toronto is now the largest city in North America with an accredited fire service. This prestigious accreditation recognizes the City’s dedication to continuous improvement and commitment to providing residents with the highest quality of service. The process involved a comprehensive review of every aspect of Toronto Fire Services operations across 10 categories and 256 key performance indicators.
Potholes in the city
Not only are potholes a nuisance, they can be a danger to drivers and cyclists. Extreme cold followed by sudden thawing periods – weather we experienced too many times this past winter – has a dramatic impact on our roads. On a typical day, 25 crews are out proactively repairing potholes and improving Toronto’s roads. Residents and business owners can help by reporting potholes. Learn more about potholes on the City’s website.
Utility cut repairs coming
Expect to see crews in your neighbourhood marking pavement with paint throughout April into May. It’s the start of a summer-long program to help improve roads and sidewalks by making permanent repairs to existing ‘utility cuts.’ A utility cut is a place where areas of the sidewalk and/or road were cut out to improve, install or remove things like watermains, gas mains, power lines and telecommunications infrastructure. Work is expected to take place from May to October and may result in temporary neighbourhood road restrictions.
Think road safety first
Spring has sprung in Toronto which means more pedestrians and cyclists will be out taking advantage of the fair weather. Pedestrians and cyclists need to be alert and drivers need to stay focused, slow down, obey the rules of the road and always be aware of their surroundings. Vision Zero is an action plan focused on reducing traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto’s streets.
Cycling in Toronto
It’s fast and easy to plan a cycling trip in the city this spring. An online map of Toronto’s cycling network will help you plot your route and get you on your way. Free printed copies of the map can be picked up at libraries, community centres, civic centres and most bike shops.
Toronto has a new Poet Laureate
Al Moritz has been named Toronto’s sixth Poet Laureate. Described as a “master of metaphor,” he has published 20 books of poetry and received many national and international honours. Moritz will serve as Toronto’s literary ambassador championing local writers, arts and letters for three years. The position of Toronto’s Poet Laureate was initiated in 2001 and honours a Toronto poet whose work displays excellence and who has written on themes relevant to Torontonians.
It’s Ape-ril at Toronto Zoo!
Hop on over to the Zoo Easter weekend for tons of fun activities, including enrichment treats for the animals, daily meet the keeper talks and a visit from a special somebunny! But that’s not all that’s happening in Ape-ril. Gorilla Awareness Weekend features volunteer-led activities, a silent auction, a keeper talk and prizes. And the May long weekend launches the Zoo’s much-anticipated summer exhibit, Washed Ashore – Art to Save the Sea, as well as new Wild Encounters and the re-opening of the Kangaroo Walk-Thru! Follow the Zoo on Facebook and Twitter @TheTorontoZoo for all the latest news and go online for upcoming events.
What’s mine is now yours – for free!
Mark your calendar: Secondhand Sunday takes place on April 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event, supported by the City of Toronto, encourages residents of single-family homes to leave unwanted reusable items on their front property for neighbours to take for free. Visit the Secondhand Sunday website to find out which neighbourhoods are taking part.
Small item. Big problem.
Cigarette butts may be small, but they are a big litter problem in Toronto and can harm animals and the environment when thrown on the ground. It can take many years for cigarette butts to break down. Smokers can help keep Toronto’s streets clean and safe by disposing of their butts properly. Look for special cigarette butt receptacles on City of Toronto street litter bins.
Asking apartment and condo residents to sort it out
Did you know that over half of what could have been recycled in apartments and condos – like bottles, cans and cardboard – is being tossed in the garbage? When recycling is thrown in the garbage, it ends up in the landfill. Please sort your recycling and put it in the right bins. Not sure what goes where? Visit toronto.ca or check the Waste Wizard.
Safe drinking water
Water produced at the City’s drinking water treatment plants does not contain lead. But lead pipes can be found in homes built before the mid-1950s. Here’s what to do if you suspect there might be lead in your pipes:
- Hire a plumber to determine if your pipes are lead
- Pick up a free lead test kit
- If you have lead pipes, consider replacing them
Don’t wash dirt from your car into the lake
The dirt on your car can contain toxic chemicals, heavy metals, oil and grease. When you wash a car in your driveway or on the street, dirty soapy wastewater runs into the storm sewers and straight into local waterways. Use a commercial carwash instead, where the wastewater is fully treated. Check out other car washing options that get your car clean and help keep the environment green.
Basement flooding is on the rise
Get prepared to avoid a flood:
- Ensure that water on your property drains away from your home
- Disconnect your downspout from the City’s sewer
- Keep eavestroughs clear of leaves and other debris
- Fix cracks or leaks in your home’s foundation, basement walls and windows
- Keep fat, oil and grease out of drains to help prevent clogged pipes
- Consider installing a sump pump and backwater valve to help prevent sewer back-up
Learn more about basement flooding prevention.
Awards and Accolades
City’s diversity and inclusion programs rated Canada’s best
The City of Toronto has been recognized for its exceptional workplace diversity and inclusiveness programs. This is the fourth year in a row that the City has received a Canada’s Best Diversity Employers Award. Organizers of this annual competition recognize successful initiatives in various areas, including employee programs for women, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual, queer and two-spirited (LGBT2S) peoples. The City was also named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a Greater Toronto’s Top Employer and, for the first time, Canada’s Top Family-Friendly Employers for 2019. Check out the reasons for selection.