Toronto City Update - November 2015

Inside this issue:

Toronto at your service

Renting in T.O.? Know your rights. Know your responsibilities. Hundreds of thousands of people rent their homes in Toronto. Every person living in a rental accommodation has the right to expect that property standards are met. The City's Municipal Licensing and Standards division enforces property standards across the city. If you have issues with the physical condition of your rental property (taps that don't work, heat isn't working, broken window), talk to your landlord first. If things don't improve, call 311. More information.

Talk Transformation! invites your ideas The City's new TalkTransformation! initiative invites the public to share their ideas to reduce Toronto's greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Community leaders will share their ideas at a series of public TalkTransformation! events. The next event, with a focus on transportation, a major source of emissions in Toronto, will take place at the Scarborough Civic Centre on November 26. Register and share your ideas.

Toronto Remembers The City of Toronto joined other cities across Canada to honour the bravery and sacrifices of the men and women who served their country during times of war, military conflict and peace. Mayor John Tory addressed several thousand at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph at Old City Hall. Other events took place across the city including East York, Scarborough and York Civic Centres, the Toronto Performing Arts Centre (North York) and the Fort York National Historic Site. Learn more about the day's significance and watch this time lapse video.

Protect your pipes from freezing this winter With winter approaching, it is important to take steps to protect your pipes from freezing, which can leave you with no water and cause your pipes to burst. The most important step is to insulate the pipes most prone to freezing, especially near outside walls, and in crawl spaces, the attic and garage. It is also important to seal air leaks, disconnect hoses and drain the outdoor water supply before the first frost. For more helpful tips, visit toronto.ca/frozenpipes.

How to dispose of grease and oil from cooking When warm fats, oils and grease are washed down the sink into the plumbing system, they cool, harden and stick to the inside of sewer pipes. Over time, this can build up and block the pipe, causing your basement to flood. Remember to dispose of cooking grease safely - let it cool and harden and put it in your Green Bin. Small amounts of liquid cooking oil can go in the Green Bin if it can be absorbed by other organic materials, while larger amounts must be dropped off at a Household Hazardous Waste depot.

TTC's Blue Night Network keeps growing The TTC expanded its Blue Night Network routes in October. The overnight network now has 31 routes - 27 bus and four streetcar services. The most recent new and revised overnight routes are 300 Bloor-Danforth, 304 King, 335 Jane, 302 Kingston Rd. - McCowan, 352 Lawrence West, 312 St. Clair-Junction and 353 Steeles East. The TTC's Blue Night Network runs from approximately 1:30 to 5 a.m. and serves four million riders annually.

Strengthening child care and early learning in Toronto Children's Services recently released a 2015-2019 Service Plan which guides the division in the planning and delivery of services for children and families in Toronto. After extensive community consultation, 38 strategic actions were developed. These actions are designed to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of child care, early learning and family supports.

Enhancing the youth recreation experience in Toronto This year, the City has officially launched four enhanced youth spaces across Toronto. The model for enhanced youth spaces was approved by City Council in 2014 and focuses on three components: dedicated space for youth, consistent staff and programming tailored to the interests of youth. Enhanced youth spaces are places where youth can come to create, connect, learn and inspire. Examples of some of the programming offered include Barbering, Learn to DJ, DIY Nail Art and Financial Literacy.

Wesburn Manor acknowledged by Mississauga Halton LHIN One of the City's long-term care homes, Wesburn Manor, received an Honourable Mention for outstanding achievements at the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) inaugural "Partnering for a Healthier Tomorrow Awards." Wesburn Manor's quality improvement project - wound care management - was recognized at an event which allowed the team to share the processes and partnerships that enabled the home to successfully improve healing and reduce skin ulcers with other healthcare organizations.

Public Health campaign addresses age and sexual health Sexual health is a priority regardless of your age - this is a key message of Toronto Public Health's current media campaign promoting the AIDS and Sexual Health Infoline. The secondary message - Age is no protection from STIs - is a call to action and a reminder to practise safer sex and seek periodic testing. Residents can call the Infoline at 1-800-668-2437 for free and confidential advice on Sexually Transmitted Infections, HIV and drug use.

City of Toronto Act update The Province of Ontario is reviewing Toronto's legislation, the City of Toronto Act, 2006 (COTA).To ensure the Province hears from Toronto residents during the review, the City held a public consultation which included an online survey and a public meeting. The City will submit all the feedback collected to the Province on behalf of Torontonians.

Station Eleven wins 2015 Toronto Book Award Emily St. John Mandelwas recently named the winner of the 2015 Toronto Book Award for her novel Station Eleven. This year's finalists were celebrated at a ceremony held at the Toronto Reference Library in October. Established by Toronto City Council in 1974, the Toronto Book Awards honour authors of books of literary or artistic merit that are evocative of Toronto.

Paramedic services welcomes new graduates In September, Toronto Paramedic Services welcomed 33 new paramedics at a graduation ceremony hosted by Chief Paul Raftis at Toronto Paramedic Services Headquarters in North York. The newest members of the service reflect the increasing diversity of the City of Toronto and the residents they serve: 39 per cent of the graduates speak more than one language and 18 per cent were born outside of Canada. Toronto Paramedic Services is the largest municipal land ambulance service in Canada and the sole emergency ambulance service in Toronto.

Green initiatives

Toronto a finalist in C40 Awards for climate leadership Toronto is a finalist in the C40 Cities Awards, a program of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group that recognizes world-leading cities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving sustainability. The Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF), the focus of the designation, has seeded many innovative initiatives including Toronto's deep-lake water cooling system, Autoshare, the conversion of traffic signal lights to LED and more.

City of Toronto wins four awards in Race to Reduce challenge The City has received four awards for energy reduction through Civic Action's Race to Reduce Challenge. The Race challenged building owners, landlords and tenants across the GTHA to collectively reduce energy use by 10 per cent from 2011 to 2014. Four City buildings significantly exceeded the target: Toronto Archives (59 per cent), City Hall (21 per cent), Metro Hall (15 per cent) and 277 Victoria Street (19 per cent).

2015 Community Environment Days The City's Community Environment Days for 2015 wrapped up in October. This year's program hosted 43 events and attracted a total of 30,215 participants. In the process, 111,185 kg of electronics and 340,400 kg of household hazardous waste were collected, 56,470 kg of reusable household goods and 13,535 kg of arts and crafts supplies were diverted from landfill, 182 composters were sold and more than 1,397,750 kg of compost were given away. Community Environment Days start up again in April 2016.

Tree Planting Strategy - have Your Say Toronto currently has 26 to 28 per cent tree canopy cover, representing 10.2 million trees. The City is developing a Tree Planting Strategy that will inspire action to reach the City's target of 40 per cent tree canopy cover by 2050 and wants to hear from residents. Public consultations will take place on November 17 and 30, and an online survey is open until December 14.

Out and about

Start the holiday season with Cavalcade of Lights presented by Great Gulf on November 28 The 49th annual Cavalcade of Lights, presented by Great Gulf on November 28, will mark the official start of the holiday season in Toronto. Festivities run from 6 to 10:30 p.m. in Nathan Phillips Square and include the first lighting of Toronto's official Christmas tree, skating parties and a dazzling fireworks display. The celebration features performances from Sloan, Sean Jones, Beverley Mahood, Crystal Shawanda and Nathaniel Dett Chorale with the Toronto Children's Chorus.

Christmas in bloom at Toronto Conservatories​​​ The City's annual Christmas Flower Shows at Toronto's Conservatories are free and will feature thousands of flowering plants. This year, there will be more than 30 varieties of poinsettia and several topiary masterpieces inspired by the holiday season. On opening days - December 6 for Allan Gardens and December 13 for Centennial Park - visitors can enjoy horse & wagon rides, carolers, hot apple cider and a visit from Santa. Both conservatories are open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m..

City of Toronto's annual Christmas Concert Mark your calendars! The City's annual Christmas Concert is coming on December 24. This free concert takes place at 11:30 a.m. at Toronto City Hall in the Rotunda, 100 Queen Street West. Performances include three great choirs: All the King's Voices, the Toronto Beaches Children's Chorus and the Toronto Mass Choir. Musical accompaniment is provided by the Tower Brass and Organist James Bourne. All are welcome.

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