What Has The City of Toronto Done With Open Data?????

Dear Ward 24 Residents,

I thought I would provide a bit of an update on what the City of Toronto has been doing with Open Data……..

  • January the Toronto City Council unanimously voted to support the City’s first Open Data Master Plan to provide a framework and roadmap to guide the City’s next phases of open data.

 

  • Throughout the year there was a deliberate focus to launch a new Open Data Visualization Portal on Toronto.ca, realized in May 2018. The portal improves overall accessibility to both technical and non-technical audiences.
  • The City’s work and investment in open data is a key contributor to the success of Smart Cities, Civic Innovation, and Open Government.
  • The open data movement, and increased engagement partnership building through initiatives like the Civic Innovation Office and Toronto Civic Hall have broadened collaborations around open data are thriving.
  • These efforts have led to nearly $200,000 savings in development costs by focusing on open source and collaborative development in the creation of a new Open Data Visualization Portal, and the development of an automated dataset publication process that will increase the speed and quality of open data publishing.
  • City Divisions and Agencies are releasing high-value datasets – over 30 new datasets (including 145 new data files and numerous updates to the catalogue) were published in 2018, bringing the total to 292 datasets and 1326 data files.
  • Partnerships with Agencies and Corporations are being enhanced, like the Rocketman App

that uses TTC Next Arrival Open Data, the most widely used open dataset in the City of Toronto. Accessed approximately 1.5 million times per year and powers an entire ecosystem of apps and products around transportation and mobility throughout (and around) the City.

  • Waze App: An app that identifies Road Restrictions throughout the City, enhancing mobility for drivers on City streets.

 

  • Recyclewizard: Enhances smartphone optical recognition through Open Data to identify whether an object is waste, recycling, organics, or electronics.
  • The City continues to be a recognized leader and trusted partner in the Open Data community participating:
    • OneEleven’s Safer Neighbourhood Hackathon – CodeAcross2019 CivicTech Hackathon and ElevateTO’s Smart Connected Communities Hackathon
    • In addition to these events the Open Data program continues to be recognized at Awards Events and has received an:
      • Open Data for Democracy Award from Public Service Digest; a Small Team award at Technicity
      • and a Grass Roots Marketing Award for their engagement work on the Open Data Master Plan.

 

  • Toronto embraces and nurtures innovation, known as an international centre for innovation and technology a reputation that has been growing and expanding.
  • The Toronto Region is drawing international attention demonstrating that it is a disruptive force and fertile ground for emerging technologies and opportunities.
  • Toronto’s richness in post-secondary institutions, computer science advancements and financial institutions are key to our Innovation Ecosystem.
  • We have a growing number of powerful incubators & accelerators:
    • Ryerson’s DMZ (Rated #1 in North America)
    • the Toronto Stock exchange
    • and big hospitals and research networks that all contribute to this innovation ecosystem.
  • In 2019 the Open Data Program will continue to evolve and focus on community engagement and collaboration activities as it continues to implement the Open Data Master Plan through to 2022.

 

All my Best,

Paul

Snow….Snow….And More Snow Monday Afternoon What is Toronto Doing?

Good Morning Ward 24!

For the snow event of January 27, here is an update on Transportation Services’  winter operations plans as of January 28 at 9AM.

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***Note:  These plans are estimates only and subject to changing conditions such as timing of the event and the amount of precipitation.****

Weather:  Dry conditions are likely to last through much of Monday morning before a clipper system brings substantial snow. This could be preceded by a few flurries off the lake from mid-late morning into the early afternoon due to easterly winds but more persistent snow is going to set in by mid-afternoon and continue through Monday evening and into the night. The heaviest snowfall will be from mid-afternoon through the rush hour into the evening and the early overnight, tapering to flurries second half of the night and ending near dawn. Accumulations of 7-12 cm are forecast by midnight with some pockets up to 15 cm possible. An additional 2-5cm is possible from midnight to the pre-dawn before tapering off, so a few locations could see up to 20 cm. Wind gusts of 40-60 km/h will also produce some blowing and drifting snow. Tuesday will have a mixture of sun and cloud with a few scattered flurries developing. Winds will ease but it will start to turn much colder. Bitterly cold for Wednesday with a chance of a few flurries again but sunshine in between.

Roadway Salting:

– Currently salting local roads only as a followup to local road plowing.

– Local salting to be completed by 11am.

Roadway Plowing:

– Plowing operations on local roads were completed by approx 2am in all areas.

Trails & Separated Bike Lanes:

– Cleanup operations on the Martin Goodman Trail resumed this morning at 7am.

– Cleanup operations on the separated bike lanes resumed this morning at 7am.

Sidewalks & Bus Stops:

– Mechanical sidewalk clearing on high & low volume routes was completed by approx. 10:30pm in all areas

– Bus stop clearing was completed at approx. 7am Monday.

I will post more information as it becomes available from City staff

For up to the minute updates please follow Transportation Services on Twitter at @TO_WinterOps and on our real-time public GPS site at  http://www.toronto.ca/plowto  ​

All my Best,

Paul

What To Expect From General Government & Licensing

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

I was happy to Chair the inaugural meeting of the General Government and Licensing Committee of the new term, this past Monday, January 14th. This committee focuses on city government, assets, resources, and business licensing.

During the meeting another of my Scarborough colleagues, Councillor Jim Karygiannis was elected the Committee’s Vice-Chair.  Moreover, items discussed include a comprehensive review of business licensing across the City as well as a review of the City of Toronto’s Clothing Drop Boxes.

In 2015, the Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS) began modernizing business licensing to better reflect the current and evolving business environment, to develop efficiencies and to reduce regulatory burden.

This review is being conducted in stages due to the changing nature and number of existing businesses and licence categories. Early stages included the transformation of business licensing and operational processes and technology.

The next stage includes an update and review of the Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw, a review of payday lending businesses and the review of licensing requirements for bars, restaurants and nightclubs and more. This work is expected throughout 2019.

The next stages for this review include the following:

  • Streamline, simplify and modernize operational processes to reduce red tape and regulatory burden, while ensuring consumer protection and public health and safety objectives are met.
  • Modernize business licensing requirements and processes to better meet and adapt to today’s evolving and emerging businesses; and
  • Move to a risk-based approach to business licensing

 

Sadly, on January 8, 2019 Toronto Police reported a woman had passed away in a clothing drop box near Bloor St. and Dovercourt Rd.  Due to this incident the General Government and Licensing Committee was asked in writing by Mayor Tory to speed up the review of the Clothing Drop Box bylaw which was intended to be completed by MLS in September 2019.

This review will focus on the following:

  • Options on how to improve the safety of clothing drop boxes;
  • Methods other than drop boxes that are used to collect clothing donations and the effectiveness of each option;
  • Review of the rules that guide where drop boxes are permitted to be located; and
  • Review the enforcement of clothing drop boxes, particularly those that are illegally placed and without permits

 

These items will be brought forward at the May 21, 2019 meeting of the General Government and Licensing Committee.

The review of clothing drop boxes is not singular to the City of Toronto. The Toronto Star reported Vancouver City Councillors are also looking into the safety of local clothing drop boxes after a man passed away in a donation bin on December 30, 2018.

Some City official’s suggestions include removing the donations bins until they are completely safe for the public, motions to explore better regulations, safer designs or alternative drop-off points. Find the full article here.

More details on this meeting of the General Government and Licensing Committee can be found here.

The General Government and Licensing Committee, City Council and other committee meetings can be watched live on YouTube at this link.

If you have any questions of comments please let me know!

All my Best,

Paul

 

 

Update on Snow Clean-up as Off 6PM Sunday January 20, 2019

Good Evening Ward 24 Residents,

For the forecast snowstorm of January 19 & 20, here is an update on City of Toronto Transportation Services’  winter operations plans as of Sunday January 20 at 6pm.

 

***Note:  These plans are estimates only and subject to changing conditions such as timing of the event and the amount of precipitation.****

 

Fair weather for the rest of the day. Temperatures will hold steady or slightly fall through the day ranging between -18 to -15C with wind chill between -30 to -25. For tonight, expect temperatures in the low minus 20’s with wind chill near -35. Dry conditions are forecast for Monday but only slightly warmer. More seasonal for Tuesday ahead of the next system. It’s looking like more snow developing after midnight into Wednesday and then likely mixing with rain at some point during the day. A preliminary estimate would be something around 5 cm of a denser snow, but it’s far too early to say for sure.

Note:  While the snow has mostly moved out, high winds combined with cold temperatures will prolong our cleanup operations particularly on the main roads.  We are working to clear as many roads, sidewalks and cycling lanes as possible in advance of the Monday am commute.

 

Roadway Salting:

– Salting operations commenced Saturday morning and are continuing in association with roadway plowing.  All local roads have been salted.

– Multiple rounds (4 – 5) of salt have been required on the main roads since the snow began

 

Roadway Plowing:

–  Plowing operations on the main roads commenced at approx. 4pm Saturday and continued through the overnight period.  Multiple rounds (3 – 4) of plowing have been required due to drifting.

– Cleanup operations will continue overnight as required and through Monday or until the winds dissipate

– Plowing operations on local roads commenced at approx. 11pm Saturday.  This operation will be completed in all areas by approx. 6pm Sunday evening.

– Cleanup operations on local roads focussing on SR response, missed streets, driveways and parked car locations will continue on Monday.

 

Trails & Separated Bike Lanes:

– Salting & plowing of the Martin Goodman Trail & Humber Bay Waterfront Trail commenced Saturday morning.  Three rounds of salt with plowing have been applied.  Operations will continue overnight as required in response to drifting locations.

– Salting & plowing of the separated bike lanes commenced Saturday morning.  Three rounds of salt with plowing have been applied.  Operations will continue overnight as required in response to drifting locations.

Sidewalks & Bus Stops:

– A second round of sidewalk clearing on high and low volume sidewalks commenced in all areas at approx. 8am Sunday and will be completed by approx. 12am Monday.

– A third round of sidewalk clearing may be required on Monday due to high winds, drifting snow and cold temperatures.

And  a reminder to look in on your elderly neighbours and those who may have mobility issues.

For up to the minute updates please follow Transportation Services on Twitter at @TO_WinterOps and on our real-time public GPS site at  http://www.toronto.ca/plowto

The City IT staff are currently experiencing some technical difficulties with the plowTO app and are working to resolve these as quickly as possible.

 

All my Best,

 

Paul

 

2nd Update on Winter Storm as of 9AM January 19th

Good Morning Ward 24 Residents,

For the forecast of this weekend’s snowstorm, here is an update on City of Toronto Transportation Services’ winter operations plans as of January 19 at 9am.

Note:  ***These plans are estimates only and subject to changing conditions such as timing of the event and the amount of precipitation.***

Weather:  Flurries will linger through the morning before intensifying to periods of snow for the afternoon lingering into the early evening then tapering to scattered flurries for the remainder of tonight into early Sunday morning.  Snowfall amounts of 3-8cm are possible by this evening with another trace – 1cm through the overnight.  Winds will increase to gusts of 50-60 km/h for the afternoon lingering through the day Sunday resulting in blowing & drifting snow.  Temperatures will be in the low to mid-minus teens for the evening with wind chills near -25.

Given the forecast accumulation, it is possible that multiple rounds of salting and plowing may be required on expressways, arterial and collector roads.  Local roads will also be plowed when snowfall has reached 8cm and has substantially stopped.  High & low pedestrian volume sidewalks, as well as separated bike lanes, will also be cleared/salted.

Patrol:

Transportation maintains a 24/7 patrol to constantly monitor road and sidewalk conditions.

Roadway Salting:

–          Transportation has approximately 200 salt trucks on standby that can be on the road within one hour of notification.

–          Salting operations will begin on Saturday morning when snow begins to accumulate

–          Multiple rounds of salt will be required.  Salting will continue through Saturday until plowing thresholds are met.

Roadway Plowing:

–          Plowing operations on expressways will commence at 2cm of accumulation

–          Plowing operations on arterial and collector roads will commence at 5cm of accumulation – approximately 7pm – 9pm Saturday

–          Plowing operations on local roads will commence when accumulations have reached 8cm and are substantially complete – approximately 12am – 1am Sunday

Trails & Separated Bike Lanes:

–          Salting & plowing of the Martin Goodman Trail & Humber Bay Waterfront Trail will commence Saturday morning when snow begins to accumulate

–          Salting & plowing of the separated bike lanes will commence Saturday morning when snow begins to accumulate

–          Multiple rounds will be required

Sidewalks & Bus Stops:

–          Mechanical sidewalk clearing on high pedestrian volume sidewalks will commence at approximately 2pm – 4pm Saturday

–          A second round of sidewalk clearing will be required on Sunday

–          A third round of sidewalk clearing may be required on Monday due to high winds, drifting snow and cold temperatures

I will send more information out as it is received.

***Please remember to check on elderly neighbours and those who may have mobility issues***

For up to the minute updates please follow Transportation Services on Twitter at @TO_WinterOps and on our real-time public GPS site at  http://www.toronto.ca/plowto

All my Best,

Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the Pongal Festival? #ThaiPongal

Dear Ward 24 Residents,

Thai Pongal Valthukkal!

The following information is taken from the Society For The Confluence of Festivals in India http://www.pongalfestival.org/pongal-festival.html :

Pongal is a four-days-long harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India. For as long as people have been planting and gathering food, there has been some form of harvest festival. Pongal, one of the most important popular Hindu festivals of the year. This four-day festival of thanksgiving to nature takes its name from the Tamil word meaning “to boil” and is held in the month of Thai (January-February) during the season when rice and other cereals, sugar-cane, and turmeric (an essential ingredient in Tamil cooking) are harvested.

Mid-January is an important time in the Tamil calendar. The harvest festival, Pongal, falls typically on the 14th or the 15th of January and is the quintessential ‘Tamil Festival’. Pongal is a harvest festival, a traditional occasion for giving thanks to nature, for celebrating the life cycles that give us grain. Tamilians say ‘Thai pirandhaal vazhi pirakkum’, and believe that knotty family problems will be solved with the advent of the Tamil month Thai that begins on Pongal day. This is traditionally the month of weddings. This is not a surprise in a largely agricultural community – the riches gained from a good harvest form the economic basis for expensive family occasions like weddings.

The First Day

This first day is celebrated as Bhogi festival in honor of Lord Indra, the supreme ruler of clouds that give rains. Homage is paid to Lord Indra for the abundance of harvest, thereby bringing plenty and prosperity to the land. Another ritual observed on this day is Bhogi Mantalu, when useless household articles are thrown into a fire made of wood and cow-dung cakes. Girls dance around the bonfire, singing songs in praise of the gods, the spring and the harvest. The significance of the bonfire, in which is burnt the agricultural wastes and firewood is to keep warm during the last lap of winter.

The Second Day

On the second day of Pongal, the puja or act of ceremonial worship is performed when rice is boiled in milk outdoors in an earthenware pot and is then symbolically offered to the sun-god along with other oblations. All people wear traditional dress and markings, and there is an interesting ritual where husband and wife dispose of elegant ritual utensils especially used for the puja. In the village, the Pongal ceremony is carried out more simply but with the same devotion. In accordance with the appointed ritual, a turmeric plant is tied around the pot in which the rice will be boiled. The offerings include the two sticks of sugar-cane in background and coconut and bananas in the dish. A common feature of the puja, in addition to the offerings, is the kolam, the auspicious design which is traditionally traced in white lime powder before the house in the early morning after bathing.

The Third Day

The third day is known as Mattu Pongal, the day of Pongal for cows. Multi-colored beads, tinkling bells, sheaves of corn and flower garlands are tied around the neck of the cattle and they are worshiped. They are fed with Pongal and taken to the village centers. The resounding of their bells attract the villagers as the young men race each other’s cattle. The entire atmosphere becomes festive and full of fun and revelry. Arati is performed on them, so as to ward off the evil eye. According to a legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Basava, to go to the earth and ask the mortals to have an oil massage and bath every day and to eat once a month. Inadvertently, Basava announced that everyone should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. This mistake enraged Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to live on the earth forever. He would have to plow the fields and help people produce more food. Thus the association of this day with cattle.

The Fourth Day

The Fourth day is known as Knau or Kannum Pongal day. On this day, a turmeric leaf is washed and is then placed on the ground. On this leaf are placed, the leftovers of sweet Pongal and Venn Pongal, ordinary rice as well as rice colored red and yellow, betel leaves, betel nuts, two pieces of sugarcane, turmeric leaves, and plantains. In Tamil Nadu, women perform this ritual before bathing in the morning. All the women, young and old, of the house assembled in the courtyard. The rice is placed in the center of the leaf, while the women ask that the house and family of their brothers should prosper. Arati is performed for the brothers with turmeric water, limestone and rice, and this water is sprinkled on the kolam in front of the house.

Thai Pongal Valthukkal!

 

All my Best,

Paul

Whats So Important About The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority?

Dear Ward 24 Neighbours,

Toronto City Councillor are given the option at the beginning of  every term to sit on the Board of Directors of a vast array of Agencies, Boards, and Commissions.

While there are lots of choice…..and sometimes some fighting to get on your preferred choices…..  I try to sit on those which will have a direct impact on the people and Ward which I was elected to represent.

One of those is the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority or as it’s commonly referred to The TRCA.

The TRCA is one of 36 conservation authorities in Ontario. The TRCA was created in 1957 after Hurricane Hazel devastated many parts of Ontario.  The TRCA manages more than 40,000 acres of land in the Greater Toronto area. It employs close to 500 full-time employees and utilizes the talents of close to 5,000 volunteers every year. TRCA’s area of jurisdiction is watershed-based, and includes 3,467 square kilometres: 2,506 on land and 961 water-based in Lake Ontario. This area comprises nine watersheds from west to east: Etobicoke Creek, Mimico Creek, Humber River, Don River, Highland Creek, Petticoat Creek, Rouge River, Duffins Creek, Carruthers Creek.

The lands TRCA administers are used for flood control, recreation, education, and watershed preservation activities, including drinking water source protection. On several sites, TRCA operates conservation areas open to the public for recreational use, as well as The Black Creek Pioneer Village. This wonderful heritage site preserves numerous 1800s-era buildings in a pioneer setting……including a brewery! But its lots of fun for the entire family! Several municipal parks inside and outside Toronto are located on TRCA lands, such as the Toronto Zoo, Humber Bay Park and Milne Park. Within Ward 24 which I represent, it includes the Guild Park & Gardens, along with The Scarborough Waterfront Trail.

The TRCA operates five dams for flood water control, which helps maintains land security.

The key here is water……

Water, is one of the key resources every living being on our planet depends to live. We often take it for granted, but water is critical for transportation, recreation, industry, agriculture, energy, domestic and personal use. Most importantly we depend on it as a source for safe, clean, drinking water.  Drinking water source protection is probably one of the TRCA’s most important goals. It is the first step in a multi-barrier approach to protecting our sources of drinking water before it can become contaminated. In Ontario, municipalities manage water treatment processes which removes many potential contaminants that can result in illness and even death; however preventing contamination is a much more effective way of ensuring clean drinking water and avoiding serious health issues. Before municipalities can have access to water, its source must be protected.  This goes across municipal boundaries.

The majority of people affected most seriously by water related illnesses are very young children and the elderly. Water related illnesses can include: Cholera, E coli, and Cryptosporidiosis. And one of my Life Rules is always be really afraid of any disease which ends in “is’!!!

Any time there is a conversation in political circles about privatizing municipal water assets I think back to a horrible week in May 2000. It was when I started hearing news about the death of seven people and illness of 2,300 others in Walkerton. This scenario set in motion events which would change the way not only people in Ontario, but right across Canada viewed the right to safe, clean drinking water.

There was a provincial inquiry led by Justice Dennis O’Connor, into water supply systems across the province of Ontario. The inquiry resulted in two reports with 121 recommendations. Foremost was the recommendation by Justice O’Connor to see a multi-barrier approach created for preventing the contamination of drinking water.  Drinking water source protection planning is the first barrier in the multi-barrier approach which includes: water treatment systems, distribution, testing and drinking water.

What do I worry about now as a Toronto City Councillor? Pretty much what the current provincial government will do to the sanctity of our water supply…….I’m sure I will be writing more about this in the future.

All my Best,

Paul

What Is Vision Zero?

Dear Ward 24 Residents,

With a number of things happening on our roads this week I thought it might be a good idea to review what exactly is meant by the concept of “Vision Zero”.

First and foremost is the City of Toronto had its first pedestrian fatality, when a 65 year old man who was driving a motorized scooter died from his injuries sustained after being hit by a car.  https://globalnews.ca/news/4835507/man-in-wheelchair-hit-by-car-dies/

Last year we saw more pedestrians and cyclists killed on the streets of Toronto than in 2017:  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/38-pedestrians-killed-in-2018-1.4933237

The province of Ontario has put new laws in place which increases fines for distracted driving. Being found guilty of a first offence comes with a $1,000 fine and the lose of three demerit points:  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/distracted-driving-texting-ontario-penalties-1.4939223

Mayor John Tory announced a crack-down on distracted drivers in the downtown core  for next week: https://www.cp24.com/news/police-to-launch-another-rush-hour-blitz-on-vehicles-in-curb-lanes-1.4244776

Vision Zero was launched successfully throughout Sweden in 1997. Gradually, has it spread to other jurisdictions around the world. It differs from traditional road safety approaches in that it views all road fatalities and injuries as preventable. Vision Zero views the loss of life or injury as an unacceptable trade off for other transportation system benefits. Central to Vision Zero is the notion humans will make mistakes. As such, the fault for road fatalities or injuries lies with both road users and the design of the transportation system. Non-human actors such as road infrastructure, public policy, regulations, vehicle technology and how victims are cared for all share responsibility.

How people use our road networks has been undergoing a rapid change in just the past few years. The road infrastructure, emerging new vehicle technology, increasing active transportation, safety of vulnerable road users, and where Ontarians live have all been influential in this change.

In Canada, at the federal level, the Canadian Council of Motor Transportation Administrators (CCMTA) is the custodian of the Road Safety Strategy 2025 (RSS 2025). RSS 2025 encourages all road safety stakeholders to make Canada’s roads the safest in the world. RSS 2025 is a high-level strategy whose objective is to enable all jurisdictions in Canada to realize zero fatalities and serious injuries on roads nationwide.

 

British Columbia and Manitoba have developed Vision Zero plans. Other provinces and territories such as Alberta, Prince Edward Island, and the Northwest Territories have created road safety plans. However, these do not incorporate Vision Zero principles. None of the other provinces and territories have official road safety plans.

British Columbia released a ten-year road safety strategy in 2015. In 2016, this plan was revised to incorporate Vision Zero principles. The B.C. plan is predicated on the application of the safe systems approach. This approach recognizes the inevitability of human error, the limitations of the human body in withstanding force, and the responsibility of road and vehicle designers, policy makers and road users to maximize safety in all aspects of design and maintenance of a road network. Importantly, the B.C. strategy also embraces the need to engage and collaborate with road safety stakeholders continuously. As a result, the B.C. government created a Road Safety Strategy Safe Roads and Communities Working Committee.

In Manitoba, the Provincial Road Safety Committee developed a zero-fatality road safety plan which adopts a Safe System approach and aligns with RSS 2025. The Safe System approach focuses on designing infrastructure that is forgiving of mistakes and protects vulnerable road users. To do this, road authorities are required to ensure that speed limits are safe and managed so that other parts of the system work as intended.  Public education is a key plank of doing this.

At the local level, a handful of municipalities in Ontario have Vision Zero plans:

Here in Toronto, our municipal government adopted one of the most comprehensive Vision Zeros plans in Canada in 2017. The five-year action plan (2017-2021) has over 50 safety measures across six emphasis areas, and intends to prioritize the safety of the most vulnerable road users through a range of initiatives. The plan pledges to improve safety by using a data-driven and targeted approach, focusing on the locations where improvements are most needed.  Based on factors which contribute to serious injury and fatality crashes, the plan also focuses on aggressive and distracted driving, and safety for motorcyclists.

 In 2017, the City of London formally adopted the Vision Zero principles of: no loss of life is acceptable; traffic fatalities and serious injuries are preventable; all road users make mistakes and are physically vulnerable when involved in motor vehicle collisions; and the elimination of fatalities and serious injuries is a shared responsibility between road users and those who design and maintain roadways.

Other municipalities such as Kingston, Montreal, Mississauga, and Peel Region have pledged to adopt Vision Zero and are currently in the process of creating their plans.

In the United States, New York City remains the highest profile local government to have wholeheartedly embraced Vision Zero. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was elected in 2014, campaigned on Vision Zero. A plan was developed at the beginning of the Mayor’s first term and $1.6-billion was allocated to it. The effort aims to use legislation, enforcement, education, and engineering to change behavior and make streets safer. The city’s efforts have paid off. Pedestrian deaths have fallen by 44 per cent since 2014 and overall traffic fatalities are down by 27 per cent. The first half of 2018 has seen the fewest traffic-related fatalities in any six-month period ever measured.

Hopefully everyone can work together for safer street in Toronto during 2019!

Is it working?  I would love to hear everyone’s feedback!

All my Best,

Paul

Ringing in a New Term and a New Year

Dear Ward 24 neighbours:

I am happy to kick off this new term and New Year sending many thanks to my family, friends, and staff and of course to all of you.

Being appointed Chair of the General Government and Licensing Committee I look forward to continuing my work with the addition of the Licencing portfolio. The committee joins the past Government Management Committee and Licencing Committee under one umbrella to focus on City government, assets and resources and business licensing. With a mandate to monitor and make recommendations on the administrative operations of the City and licensing of businesses.

Primarily I am motivated to work with the newly expanded Scarborough-Guildwood Ward neighbourhood and residents, many who I met during my canvass. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting new residents as I knocked on every door in the Ward.  I will be posting my upcoming monthly town hall meetings and hope to see a full house for a healthy discussion on how to improve communities and the City as a whole.   A number of mobile office dates in our high-rise communities have been set enabling residents to easily visit my constituency office.

Moreover, I hope to see as many of you at my New Year’s Levee this Saturday January 5, 2019 from 2pm to 4pm at the Cedar Ridge Creative Centre (225 Confederation Dr.).

This winter looks like it’s going to be another cold one. Check out the PlowTO map, a new Winter Road Maintenance and Salting Operations website that enables residents to see the location of plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks and when their street was serviced by the City’s winter operations crews. See PlowTO map here.   

Although named the Holiday Wish List, donations are accepted year round to help the vulnerable and those experiencing homelessness this winter season. To help visit The Holiday Wish List  to search agencies for information on volunteering, details on items needed, location and drop-off times.

Let’s make our community inclusive, safe and great.

All my best,

Paul W. Ainslie

City of Toronto Councillor

Ward 24, Scarborough-Guildwood

 

Ward 43 Scarborough East Becomes Ward 24 Scarborough-Guildwood

Dear Ward 24 Residents,

Over the Christmas Holidays I took “Revenge of the Methodist Bicycle Company” from the Toronto Public Library.  Chapter VI started with these words: As E.E. Sheppard once observed: “Always towards the end of the year people start to think about municipal reform, a readjustment of the Ward system, fewer alderman, more eminent men in Council.” But nothing ever seemed to happen. (I figured Doug Ford must have read the same chapter which lounging in a public library in Etobicoke!)

I think it’s pretty safe to assume there was absolutely no one in Toronto City Hall who saw this one coming down the tracks…..

Toronto City Council in one swiftly moved piece of Provincial government legislation went from 44 Councillors to 24 Councillors. There were no public meetings, no online consultations….but a Provincial led by Premier Doug Ford who wanted it done.

The City of Toronto had just completed a pretty extensive three years consultations of our residents which saw a general consensus there needed to be more City Councillors not fewer. The plan was to increase our numbers 47 with the average population to be about 65.000 people. (This number is actually derived from amalgamation documents in 1997 courtesy of Mike Harris when the current Toronto was formed)

We can save the topic of Doug Ford disagreeing politically with his politic mentor Mike Harris for another day…..for another blog posting….

Suffice to say there were no public meetings, no extensive consultations which I was ever invited to gauge my feelings.

My new Ward becomes Ward 24 Scarborough – Guildwood. The population swelled from roughly 62,000 to about 118,000 people. It also now mirrors the same named provincial and federal ridings. Five Neighbour Improvement Areas from three: Kingston/Galloway/Orton the (KGO), Morningside, Eglinton, Scarborough Village, Eglinton East. I had one small community centre, now three….. (Also a topic for another posting)

And most importantly for the coffee loving residents in Ward 24 I have opportunity to have 12 different Tim Horton locations to now get my caffeine fix!

All my Best,

Paul