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Toronto For All
In 2016, the City launched a public education initiative called Toronto For All with the goal of creating a Toronto that says "no" to all forms of discrimination and racism. A City campaign in partnership with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention is currently encouraging Torontonians to challenge their perspectives of trans and non-binary people – specifically transgender youth of colour. At its most recent meeting, City Council adopted the staff report Towards an Action Plan for Transgender Youth. City staff will now work to develop a targeted action plan focused on equitable access and service delivery, to ensure that trans youth experience the wellbeing, safety and opportunities afforded to all Torontonians.
Two earlier Toronto For All campaigns focused on Islamophobia and anti-Black racism. In May, the City, in partnership with the Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness, challenged Torontonians to examine their prejudices towards those experiencing homelessness. Up to four new shelters are scheduled to open in 2017 – some in neighbourhoods that have never had a shelter there before.
The Toronto For All campaigns use transit shelter ads, social media and the website torontoforall.ca to provide information and resources to encourage dialogue and arm Torontonians with myth-busting info about the communities of focus. Photo caption: A poster from the City's new Toronto For All campaign against transphobia
Toronto Island Park update
Since April's record-breaking rainfall, staff from the City and its agencies, including the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), have worked closely to monitor and address flooding throughout the city. Closed to the public since early May, Toronto Island Park was hit hard, with more than 40 per cent of the islands under water at one point. The reopening of sections of Toronto Island Park is scheduled for July 31. The latest updates about the flooding on the Toronto islands and other waterfront areas, including the Scarborough Bluffs and mainland beaches, can be found on the City's website.
My Local Government – it's for me
The City of Toronto is committed to an open and accessible government where residents can be involved in the development of the municipal services that affect their daily lives. Available as a booklet and a web page, My Local Government - it's for me is an excellent resource explaining Toronto's municipal government and highlighting the ways residents can participate in the decision-making process. The booklet is available in print and online in 24 languages.
New: An easy way to pay and dispute parking violations
You no longer have to wait months for a court date to dispute a parking ticket. Starting August 28, the City is introducing a more convenient process for disputing parking violations. Disputes will be handled by the City instead of through the court, resulting in a more efficient process and faster resolutions. You will be able to submit a dispute online, meaning the entire process can be completed without having to leave home. If you'd like an in-person review, you can book an appointment online or in person. Not satisfied with the decision? Request a second independent review (which will be final). Payments for parking violations will still be easy to make online, in person or by mail.
New Albion library now open
Located in the heart of Rexdale at Albion Road and Kipling Avenue, the new Albion library branch is bright and inviting. It also offers numerous features, including study spaces, an extensive collection of books, audiobooks, magazines and DVDs, an after-school youth hub, a digital innovation hub, a KidsStop early literacy centre and an outdoor reading garden. It’s expected the Albion branch will be one of the city’s busiest and we look forward to welcoming you!
Check out these year-long special events, celebrations and exhibits in honour of Canada's 150th birthday!
YYZ Live offers a new music destination
This summer, visitors to Toronto Pearson International Airport's Terminal 1 are in for a treat. YYZ Live is a musical celebration produced by the City of Toronto and Toronto Pearson in honour of Canada's 150th birthday. Visitors can catch YYZ Live performances, which are free and run daily until September 15, from 75 up-and-coming local artists at the following times:
- 7 p.m. – YYZ Live stage, Terminal 1, International Arrivals
- 8 p.m. – YYZ Live acoustic stage, Terminal Link train platform
Mackenzie House Street Art and Photography
History hits the streets for Canada's 150th birthday. Until the end of August, Mackenzie House's group of seven artists will use sidewalk chalk to draw episodes of Toronto's history at or near the location they occurred throughout the downtown core. And until September 15, photographer Summer Leigh presents an exhibition of photos that combine historic images with contemporary effects to capture the changing streetscapes of urban Toronto.
Through a series of events, exhibits and installations, MomenTO brings history to life by highlighting 150 years of moments significant to the history of Canada and Toronto. There's also a pop-up museum that takes artifacts from the City's historical collections to locations throughout the city. August events include a free paddling opportunity on the Rouge River and four free outdoor film screenings in Toronto parks. MomenTO is produced in partnership with the Province of Ontario’s Ontario150 Program and the Government of Canada.
Maple Leaf Forever
This artifact-rich Market Gallery exhibition, running from July 22 to November 25, explores how Torontonians have helped shape the maple leaf as Canada's leading national symbol over the past 150 years. From its appearance at the Prince of Wales' visit to Toronto prior to Confederation to its use in commercial branding throughout the 20th century, the maple leaf is an icon and a source of identity to Torontonians. This exhibit is produced in partnership with the Province of Ontario’s Ontario150 Program.
1867 – Rebellion and Confederation
Gibson House Museum hosts this travelling exhibit from the Canadian Museum of History until August 27. Visitors can explore the turbulent three decades leading up to Canada's Confederation through graphic panels and images, audio-visual and interactive features. Toronto personalities, conditions and events of this era are also highlighted in a parallel exhibit featuring artifacts from the City's collections. This exhibit is produced in partnership with the Province of Ontario’s Ontario150 Program.
Toronto's pollinator protection strategy
Toronto is home to more than 360 species of bees and more than 100 species of butterflies and other pollinators. Some of these species are in decline. The City is inviting residents to share their views on a proposed pollinator protection strategy for Toronto. The purpose of the strategy is to identify actions that can be taken by the City and the community to protect, enhance and create habitat for Toronto's pollinators. Members of the public can share their views by completing a short online survey.
Nominations open for 2017 AEHR Awards
Do you know someone who has made a difference in Toronto by working to eliminate discrimination or break down barriers to equality? Nominate them for the City's annual Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards. The categories are: Indigenous Affairs, Disability Issues, Status of Women, LGBTQ2S Issues and Race Relations. Nominations close on August 31. Recipients will be announced in the fall and an awards ceremony will take place at City Hall in December.
Summerlicious – featuring 200+ restaurants
In the mood to try some new restaurants? The 15th edition of Summerlicious, presented by YP Dine and produced by the City of Toronto, returns for two mouth-watering weeks from July 7 to 23. The culinary celebration offers three-course prix fixe menus served at more than 200 of Toronto's top restaurants citywide, including 22 first-time participants. Enjoy delicious food at an exceptional value, with lunch menus priced at $18, $23 and $28 and dinner at $28, $38 and $48.
Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games
Experience the excitement and culture of this year's North American Indigenous Games. From July 16 to 22, Toronto will welcome more than 5,000 Indigenous athletes from across Turtle Island to compete in 14 sports categories. Events will be hosted at world class venues around the city and throughout the Golden Horseshoe. The Games will also include week-long festivals celebrating Indigenous culture at York University and McMaster University. Competitions and cultural festivals are free and open to the public to attend.
City Hall Live! Wednesdays at Nathan Phillips Square
From July 19 to August 30, City Hall Live! at Nathan Phillips Square is the perfect destination for great music, fresh food and more. On Wednesdays, enjoy free lunchtime concerts from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., supported by TD Bank Group in partnership with Music Canada, featuring a diverse lineup of some of Toronto’s best emerging artists. A farmers' market (running to October 18) and special events are also part of the experience.
Celebrate the 2017 Cultural Hotspot
Celebrating arts, culture and community in East York and East end communities, the City of Toronto's fourth annual Cultural Hotspot is on through October. This year's highlights include exciting community festivals, collaborative mural arts projects and creative arts workshops for all ages as well as art exhibits, music, poetry, dance performances and a HOT Eats contest featuring local restaurants. Cultural Hotspot is produced by the City in collaboration with local arts, cultural, educational and heritage organizations, community partners and local businesses.
Kipling Acres redevelopment complete
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to officially open phase two of the newly redeveloped Kipling Acres long-term care home on June 20. Councillor Michael Ford was joined by residents, families, volunteers and staff to celebrate the opening. Home to 337 residents, Kipling Acres has been redeveloped to meet new design standards. It features a community hub that includes an Adult Day Program, Kipling Early Learning & Child Care Centre and West Acres Senior Centre.
Council adopts new climate change action plan
On July 4, City Council unanimously approved Toronto's long-term path to reduce city-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. TransformTO – The Pathway to a Low Carbon Future recommends ambitious strategies and long-term goals to transform Toronto's urban systems – specifically buildings, energy, transportation and waste. Key goals include: all new buildings built to produce near zero emissions by 2030; all existing buildings to be retrofitted by 2050; all transportation to use low carbon energy by 2050; and walking and cycling to account for 75 per cent of trips under five km by 2050.
Track your water use online – anytime, anywhere!
MyWaterToronto is an online tool that helps you become more aware of your water use habits and identify any water leaks. View your total and average water use by day, week, month or year in an easy-to-read graph or chart format. Look for ways to save water and money.
Recycle right, Toronto!
Contamination in the Blue Bin recycling program needs to be addressed so City staff have begun checking Blue Bins for items that do not belong in recycling, leaving notices to educate residents as to why their Blue Bin was not collected. Knowing what to do with unwanted stuff can be confusing – if you're not sure what belongs in recycling, garbage or the Green Bin, check your Waste Collection Calendar, visit the online searchable database Waste Wizard or call 311.
City solar update
As the City continues to expand solar energy generation on City-owned buildings, you'll see more community centres, arenas and works yards equipped with rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. By February 2018, you'll also see more small installations on some ambulance and fire stations, as well as libraries. By then, nearly 100 solar installations will be complete. Using solar PV is just one of the ways the City is greening its operations and reducing emissions that contribute to climate change.
Summer heat and storms – are you ready?
With summer here and extreme weather incidents on the rise, it's important for Toronto residents to prepare for extreme heat and summer storms. The City's extreme weather website provides resources and tips to help residents understand the risks, get ready and weatherproof their homes.
Low-interest home energy loans
Thinking of renovating, but don't know where to start? Are the high up-front costs a concern? The City's Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) offers low-interest loans of up to $75,000 to cover the cost of making home improvements such as installing energy-efficient furnaces, windows, doors, insulation and solar panels. On average, HELP participants reduce their home energy use by 30 per cent and save about $560 per year on their energy bills.
CGLCC 2017 Program Ambassador of the Year Award
The City of Toronto's work was recently awarded the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Program Ambassador of the Year Award for its social procurement program. The program's goal is to leverage the economic power of the City to stimulate job growth, support local businesses and drive inclusive economic growth by encouraging supplier diversity and workforce development opportunities. Social Procurement is important because it uses the City's purchasing power to create opportunities for diverse suppliers and equity-seeking communities such as the LGBT community by establishing a process that is open, fair, competitive, transparent and consistent. It is also part of the City's poverty-reduction strategy. L to R: The City of Toronto's Michael Pacholok with the Kellogg Company's Debra Quade and Bruce McDonald, CGLCC Co-Founder and Chair
Municipal Systems Award
Each year, MiSA Ontario recognizes municipalities that have successfully undertaken a significant initiative or set a new standard that other municipalities may follow in the use and delivery of technology. In June, the City of Toronto's Vehicle for Hire Legislation Implementation and Enterprise Geospatial Environment were recognized with the Excellence in Municipal Systems Award. Both City IT solutions improve service delivery to residents and businesses.
2017 Digital Transformation Award
The City of Toronto's Vehicle for Hire Legislation Implementation won the inaugural 2017 Digital Transformation Award in the large public sector category. The City of Toronto's entry was selected from a strong field of more than 25 finalists across Canada.
Open Cities Index Award
The City was presented with an Open Cities Index (OCI) Award from Public Sector Digest and Canada's Open Data Exchange for being one of the top three ranked municipalities in 2016. Toronto's open data sets have been used by the public to create mobile apps, web/browser apps and visualizations, among other applications. This year's OCI includes 68 municipalities and allows participating organizations to compare themselves and track their openness over time, based on specific data set classifications.