Questions and Answers From My Recent Town Hall

Dear Residents,

Here are some Questions and Answers from my recent Town Hall Meeting in Curran Hall.  Many can be applied right across Ward 43 so I thought I would publish them here….

Questions: Does the City consider increased traffic & congestion when developers submit a plan for new condos/other developments?

Answer:  There is a process in place to consider all impacts that new developments will have on the community.  Increased motor vehicle traffic is why there is a push for better/increased public transit and in order to have improvements with public transit the City requires additional funding from the Provincial and Federal governments

Question: Where do you stand on the privatization of Garbage Collection?
Answer: I originally voted for the Privatization in the west as it would be good to have both systems in place to ensure better quality of service.

The reports that have come out do not show that there is going to be much savings to privatize east of Yonge Street.
Privatizing east of Yonge would leave the City with an excess of new equipment, an increase in calls to 311 for quality of service and there will need to be re-deployment of unionized workers, which may result in some requiring to be retrained or laid off.

Question: Why are not all the items in our Green Bin not being collected?
Answer:The City does not have enough trucks presently with the forks to pick up the bins but the workers should be taking everything that is in the bin. If this doesn’t happen you should contact my Constituency Office at 416-396-7222.

Question: Why is there gradual Increases of my Property Tax?  This is very difficult for seniors who are on a fixed income.
Answer: The City’s portion of your Property Tax is not going up but it is MPAC, a Provincial body that sets the rate.

Question: What do we do if we feel it is not feasible to disconnect our downspouts?
Answer: You can still apply for an exemption, see this link for the application and more information:<>

If it is feasible to disconnect your downspout you can do it yourself or hire a reputable contractor.  If you have any questions that are not answered on the City website please call my Constituency Office for assistance at 416-396-7222.

Question: Is there is a By-Law that requires people to pick up after dogs on public property?
Answer: Yes. Call 311 to report an incident. Residents are required to clean up after their dogs on Public Property.  If excrement is not removed on private property you can may also call 311 to report as a property standards issue.  Or call my Constituency Office for assistance at 416-396-7222.

Question: What can we do about the 3 hour Street parking by-law in Scarborough?
Answer:This issue has been addressed at Council many times and is always rejected. There has not been a high demand for permit parking in Scarborough.  In other parts of Toronto permit parking is practiced as they have limited parking space on their private property. One of the issues raised is that as no time limit is placed on permit parking that it could encourage illegal rooming houses.

Question: What can be done about a School Bus at Orton Park Drive that is not setting the flashing lights or the stop sign when operating?

Answer: I have reported this matter and have requested that the Bus driver follow the proper protocol.  If you should encounter this situation again please contact my office at<> with the bus company name, bus number, time and location of incident.

Question:Can we have the speed limit reduced on Orton Park Drive in front of GB Little Public School?
Answer:My office has put in a request to have the speed limit reduced on Orton Park Drive.  We are waiting for the report from Transportation Services.

Question: Can the Crossing Time at cross walks and intersections be increased?
Answer: A request to review will have to be made.  Please call my office with the intersection and time of day reflected for an increase in crossing time.

Question:When will the lights at Heather Heights Playground be working?
Answer:The lights have now been electrified by Toronto Hydro.

Question: What can be done about damage to my front lawn by the sidewalk snowplow?

Answer:  Please contact my office and provide your residential address.  all reported damage will be repaired by the contractor in the Spring.


I hope you found these qquestions and the associated answers helpful?


Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns>


All my Best<



City’s Emergency Shelter System & Winter Services For People Who Are Experiencing Homelessness.

Here are some important updates regarding the use of the City’s emergency shelter system and winter services for people who are experiencing homelessness.

Extending cold weather drop-in services to April 15
The City’s two 24-hour cold weather drop-in services have been available on a continuous basis for most of the winter. February 28 was the original date by which these were to have reverted to availability only during an Extreme Cold Weather Alert. In January, we extended continuous service to March 15. Given the cold weather we are experiencing, and out of an abundance of caution, we have extended continuous 24/7 cold weather drop-in service until April 15, the end of the cold weather alert season.

· Margaret’s Toronto East Drop-in Centre (323 Dundas St. East) remains open 24/7 until April 15
· The overnight program at St. Lawrence CC is available by referral from March 18 through to April 15
· Services at St. Felix Centre (25 Augusta Ave) are open 24/7 until March 18. After that the site returns to its regular day-time drop-in programming–unless there is an Extreme Cold Weather Alert in effect, in which case it becomes a 24/7 service starting by 3 pm on the day an alert is called and ending by noon on the day the alert is terminated

As a reminder, there are two 24-hour services for women year round, and the Streets to Homes Assessment and Referral Centre is open 24/7 for anyone looking for street respite or a shelter referral. An additional 85 sleeping spaces continue to be available Friday, Saturday and Sundays. As well, cold weather beds are available and are put on line as needed.

While not part of the permanent shelter system, most of the Out of the Cold programs also remain open until late March and six operate into April.

SSHA is conducting a thorough review of the cold weather drop-in programs and other winter services in preparation for planning for winter 2017-2018. Early indications are good that the deployment of Streets to Homes outreach staff to work with clients in the cold weather drop-ins is effective. Over this past winter, staff connected with 55 clients and worked with 18 to complete housing plans. To date, four of those clients have found permanent new homes and have the ongoing supports that will help them to maintain their tenancies. Our staff continues to work with these clients.

City and community staff are housing long-term shelter stayers
A coordinated effort to house those staying for long periods in the City’s emergency shelter system is paying off. Since the beginning of January, an estimated 275 people experiencing homelessness and staying in shelter or sleeping rough have moved into homes of their own through the combined efforts of workers in City and community operated shelters and outreach workers.

City response to tighter shelter occupancy
Despite the steady move of people out of shelters and into homes of their own, demand for emergency shelter spaces continues to be high. The nightly average use in February was close to 10% higher than a year previously.

The number of clients citing refugee status as the reason for needing service has grown to almost 20% of all shelter service users. This group is the main reason for continued increase in system pressure.

The City’s response to rising demand for shelter is to make more beds available and to put in place housing allowances and follow up services that can assist housing workers within the shelter system to help service users leave the shelter and find permanent homes of their own. Since just before Christmas, almost 400 beds have been added to the system:
· 174 additional motel beds have been offered since mid-December, providing relief mainly in the family sector.
· Shelter demand from families continues to be high, in part because of a significant increase in intakes from families seeking refugee status. We are seeing continued growth in this demand across all sectors but it remains highest among families. We continue to think that providing refugees with motel rooms and support services is the best way to provide services, and we are working to identify more motel beds that could be used as needed.
· A 60-bed women’s program opened in Scarborough before Christmas and operates at near capacity.
· The new 30-bed men’s program on Bloor Street West opened January 11 and has been full most nights since January 13.
· Red Door’s 96-bed temporary program for families is mostly open now. Red Door will return to its permanent home on Queen Street East once construction is complete on its new facility.
· Sojourn House is operating a 36-bed winter program for single male refugees.

Paul Raftis
General Manager (I)
Shelter, Support and Housing Administration

The Road to Ensuring City Hall Is Fully AODA Accessible

On March 8, 2017 I had the Executive Committee adopt a recommendation to implement Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance measures for Committee Rooms 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Toronto City Hall. This was done to ensure all residents have the same opportunities when addressing our municipal government. Embarassingly someone I know personally lodged their wheelchair under a presentation desk so badly….they flipped the desk over trying to free themselves

“Updating the City’s Multi-year Accessibility Plan” was adopted by the Executive Committee yesterday. The plan directs City staff to proactively remove barriers to access in City services. The civil service-wide implementation, training, accountability and compliance with a completion date of 2025. The plan however does not include addressing immediate and long overdue needs for everyone in accessing not only the City Hall Council Chamber, but committee meeting rooms where residents attend to speak throughout the month.

“All residents have the right to address Standing Committees. I had noted for some time residents who require additional support to accommodate physical disabilities are not being given the support they need to make their comments to City Councillors”, I stated yesterday . “An immediate change is necessary to provide all speakers the ability to address Committees confidently.”

Residents will now see interim measures instituted to achieve access for Committee Rooms 1, 2, 3 and 4 at City Hall.

The updated multi-year plan spans from 2017 -2025 to include full compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Compliance measures into all City operations; along with strategic identification, prevention with removal of barriers by 2025 will be done. The plan will also include collecting data from employees to ensure all barriers are addressed.

I will also be requesting the Scarborough Civic Centre along with all Civic Centre meeting rooms implement similar interim measures to achieve AODA compliance.

All my Best,

Paul .