Living In Toronto

May/June 2017

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Centennial Park Greenhouse orchids

Toronto at your service

The City's construction strategy

Street constructionDuring the busy 2017 construction season, the City of Toronto will work to co-ordinate road closures, speed up road work and improve infrastructure. Almost $700 million will be invested in the maintenance and upgrading of the City's infrastructure, including an estimated:

  • $310 million for roads, expressways and bridges
  • $310 million for sewers and water mains
  • $70 million for basement flooding protection

This work is part of the City's co-ordinated strategy to rehabilitate and upgrade Toronto's roads, transit and underground infrastructure to meet current and future needs.

Useful City of Toronto website: Check out this site for construction-related information, including City projects taking place in your neighbourhood, weekly updates on construction activities and road closures and more: City of Toronto Construction Information

Welcoming New Torontonians

Father and son at Toronto Newcomer DayToronto Newcomer Day 2017 will be celebrated on Monday, May 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Nathan Phillips Square. Join Mayor John Tory at the third annual event showcasing Toronto's diverse communities and welcoming newcomers to the city. The fun-filled celebration will include musical performances, family activities, tours of City Hall, food trucks and much more. The event is free and everyone is welcome.

Fraud & Waste Hotline

Fraud & Waste Hotline logoThe City's Fraud & Waste Hotline416-397-STOP (7867) – is available 24/7 and is now answered by an independent call centre. This confidential service is for City employees, the public and anyone doing business with the City to report concerns about wrongdoing or waste involving City resources or contracts. You can also submit a report online. The Hotline is operated by the Auditor General's Forensic Unit.

NEW: Browse the latest non-fiction books more easily

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah's new memoirIt's now easier than ever to discover new non-fiction books on the library's website thanks to a larger set of topics to search by, including biographiesfood and drinktravel and parenting. Check out the New in Nonfiction page, and while you're on the site, sign in and take a look at the library's new account design. Featuring account information – such as card expiry, home library branch info – and more, it's also mobile-friendly. Pictured: The Daily Show host Trevor Noah's new memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

City creates local appeal body to expedite land use hearings

Toronto Local Appeal Body logoThe City has established an independent local appeal body to provide quick and efficient hearings on appeals of land use decisions made by the Committee of Adjustment. On May 3, the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) will replace the function of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) pertaining to minor variance and consent applications. Examples of these applications include a homeowner requesting a minor variance to allow for the installation of a garden shed that does not meet the minimum setback requirements from a property boundary; consent applications typically involve requests to divide a property into separate lots or to add adjacent land to an existing lot.

City named one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers

Canada's Best Diversity Employers logoFor the second consecutive year, the City of Toronto has been named one of Canada's best diversity employers and recognized for its exceptional workplace diversity and inclusion programs. Selected from a shortlist of Canada's Top 100 employers with notable diversity and inclusiveness initiatives, the City of Toronto was compared to other employers in the same field. This national competition, managed by MediaCorp Canada Inc., recognizes leaders who create inclusive workplaces and programs for employees from five groups: women, members of visible minorities, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal Peoples and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) peoples.

Improving the Archives experience

New Spadina Room at Toronto ArchivesThe City of Toronto Archives has recently completed renovations to improve user experience. The theatre has been replaced with the new Spadina Room, which features modern audiovisual and presentation systems and can hold up to 60 people. The new space will better serve the needs of the educators and students who visit for programming each year. When not being used for educational programming, the space is available for public meetings, lectures and receptions. For inquiries, email

Get involved

Long-Term Financial Plan public consultations

Long-Term Financial Plan Public Consultations logoPhase two of the City's public consultations to help renew the Long-Term Financial Plan is underway. You are invited to submit your input and ideas. Residents and community groups came together at City Hall on April 22 for workshops and discussions about ways to improve how the City makes long-term decisions that have a financial impact. Public input will help inform a plan to build the city we all want. It's not too late to have your say. An online survey is open until May 14.

Tenants helping shape future of Toronto Community Housing

Two members of the Tenants First Resident Advisory PanelThe Tenants First Resident Advisory Panel is helping to shape the future of Toronto Community Housing (TCHC). The 13 Torontonians who make up the panel are all residents of TCHC and provide advice and guidance on each phase of the implementation plan, currently in development. Toronto Community Housing tenants are encouraged to attend an upcoming meeting to learn more about the plan. Check out the July 2016 Tenants First report.

Be a part of the 2017 North American Indigenous Game

Poster for North American Indigenous GamesFor the first time, the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) will be hosted in Toronto. The 2017 NAIG will bring together 5,000 indigenous athletes from across North America to celebrate Indigenous culture and compete in a variety of traditional and non-traditional sports. To bring the games to life, the organizing committee is looking for 2,000 hard-working and dedicated volunteers, who will be stationed at various event venues across Toronto and the GTA. If you'd like to be a part of these exciting games, apply here!

2017 AEHR Awards nominations open May 30

Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards logoStarting May 30, residents are invited to nominate an individual, group or program that has made a difference in our city by eliminating discrimination and barriers to equality. The five categories of the annual Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards are Indigenous Affairs, Disability Issues, Status of Women, LGBTQ2S Issues and Race Relations. An awards presentation will take place at City Hall in December.

Your Toronto

City of Toronto remembers D-Day

D-Day logoThe City of Toronto will commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day invasion on Tuesday, June 6 at noon on Nathan Phillips Square. Members of the public are invited to join Canadian war veterans, as well as members of Council, at the one-hour ceremony. The allied invasion of Normandy, France, took place on June 6, 1944 during the Second World War. Approximately 14,000 Canadian soldiers took part in the invasion.

National Aboriginal Day

Artwork by Jasmine WemigwansIn celebration of the 23rd annual National Aboriginal Day, the City will host a sunrise ceremony and flag raising on Nathan Phillips Square at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 21. National Aboriginal Day honours the history, culture and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Toronto Challenge Run/Walk

Toronto Challenge marathon participantsTake part in the Toronto Challenge, presented by, at Nathan Phillips Square on Sunday, June 11 and support seniors across the city. The family-friendly event features a 5K run, 5K walk or 1K fun walk, which begins at 9:30 a.m. This annual event is organized by Long-Term Care Homes & Services – with your support we have helped raise millions of dollars to improve the quality of life for seniors throughout the city!

Spring into the Toronto Zoo's summer season

Two Toronto Zoo staff members with a camelThe Zoo's summer season kicks off Saturday, May 6 with the start of the Waterside Theatre Animal Shows, the Zoomobile and more. Plus, the Zoo’s new state-of-the-art Wildlife Health Centre opens on the May long weekend so swing by to see how Zoo staff care for the animals every day. The countdown is on to visit Canada’s only giant panda cubs before they leave in March 2018! Check out full event details, Splash Island hours and Waterside Theatre show times (subject to change). Follow the Zoo on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news.

Environmental initiatives

Water-efficient gardening tips

Spring flowersGetting ready to garden? Spring is an ideal time to use a lawn aerator, which removes small plugs of soil to help rain reach the roots. Other helpful tips to keep in mind: native plants and trees are low maintenance and naturally drought-tolerant, and vegetables such as asparagus and rhubarb and herbs such as rosemary, thyme and sage require minimal watering. More tips on water-efficient landscaping, including plant lists, garden designs and natural lawn care, are available on the City's Water Efficiency web page.

Wash your car wisely

Car washThe dirt on cars can contain toxic chemicals, heavy metals, oil and grease. When you wash your car in your driveway or on the street, dirty water runs into the storm sewers and straight into local waterways. If you use a commercial car wash, however, the wastewater is fully treated. Check out other car washing options that will get your car clean and help keep the environment green.

Thinking of renovating? HELP is here

Home Energy Loan Program logoResidents who improve the energy efficiency of their homes with the help of a low-interest loan from the City have reduced their energy use by an average of 30 per cent and saved more than $550 a year on energy bills. The City's Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) provides funding for improvements such as energy-efficient furnaces, windows, doors and insulation. Homeowners repay the loan over time through instalments on their property tax bill.

Remember – cigarettes are litter, too!

Garbage bin with cigarette butt receptacleCigarette butts may be small, but no buts about it, they are one of the most common types of litter in the city. Public street litter and recycling bins have a place for everything – garbage, recyclables and, yes, even cigarette butts! Please butt out and use the special receptacle found on Toronto's public street bins. More

Waste bins need their space

Graphic showing proper space needed between binsTo receive curbside collection, your bins and material need to be placed a minimum distance apart. It's important to keep Garbage Bins, Green Bins, Blue Bins and yard waste material a half-metre (2 ft.) apart. As the City uses automated collection wherever possible, the truck's mechanical lift arms need room to grab and lift the bins. And please remember to close bin lids to prevent blowing litter. Thanks for keeping your neighbourhood tidy and remembering to leave some space between waste bins.

Mandatory downspout disconnection

Downspout on the side of a houseIt's mandatory for all property owners in Toronto to have disconnected their downspouts from the sewer system where it is safe to do so. The goal is to reduce the risk of basement flooding and the release of polluted stormwater (rain and melted snow) into local waterways, including Lake Ontario.

Clean Toronto Together a success

Clean Toronto Together logoThe City thanks everyone who participated in Clean Toronto Together, the City's annual spring cleanup. In addition to a month-long cleanup by City staff, thousands of residents, students, businesses and community groups pitched in to help clean public spaces such as parks, school yards, shorelines and laneways over the April 21 to 23 weekend. More than 1,000 cleanups were registered this year. Thank you, Toronto!

TransformTO update 

TransformTO logoTransformTO: Climate Action for a Healthy, Equitable and Prosperous Toronto is a collaborative project that is engaging the community and using technical modelling to identify how best to reduce Toronto's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. A report on the long-term transformations needed to reduce emissions in Toronto will be presented to the Parks & Environment Committee on May 4 and, if approved, to City Council on May 24.