Dianne’s Desk

Hello Neighbours,

April 2024 – Spring has arrived, flowers are pushing up and there are so many ways to enjoy beautiful University-Rosedale. In this month’s newsletter, we highlight great local music venues, festivals, and park and environment events. A special shout-out to our much-loved HotDocs, which runs from April 25 to May 5 here in Ward 11. This and other Toronto arts organizations need your support if they are to continue to entertain us.

City Council had a quieter meeting after March break, focused mainly on the six World Cup of Soccer games that Toronto will host in 2026. There’s been much debate surrounding whether or not Toronto made a good deal with FIFA but, regardless, we must now make the best of the exciting opportunity. Council is working hard to contain the games’ costs and to maximize their community benefits. For example, I successfully moved to use the games to pursue TransformTO’s Climate Strategy, including creating a high-value RapidTO (bus lane) on Dufferin St. to the CNE.

Although parking fine increases were delayed, I’m proud that Toronto City Council endorsed most of my initiatives this month. We have directed staff to:

  • Improve enforcement of motor vehicle noise, work with residents’ associations and community groups to monitor it, and report back on whether the new measures adequately protect human health. Dianne’s Desk
  • Report back this year on using the Toronto Green Standards (TGS) to ensure that all newly approved buildings will be designed for net zero operations by 2040.
  • Document how much Toronto taxpayers are subsidizing Enbridge because the province forces us to let them use (and damage) our roads for free (first estimate: $200 million/year).
  • Lobby against the additional fossil fuel subsidy in Doug Ford’s Bill 165, which overrides the Ontario Energy Board to force existing gas customers to subsidize new gas pipelines outside Toronto.
  • Get on with building the new Huron Washington playground, new benches and picnic tables in Ramsden Park, and (with the Toronto District School Board) the new running track at Jesse Ketchum.
  • Plan much-needed upgrades for Paul Martel Park, including possibly renaming it as an Indigenous Botanical Garden.
  • Plan a new public lane to give vehicles rear access to the condos at 200 to 210 Bloor West, to replace a narrow driveway with blind corners that endanger people on the Bloor sidewalk and bike lanes.
  • Facilitate entrance improvements to the Royal Ontario Museum.
  • Install heritage plaques honouring Annex noted local architect Uno Prii and social justice pioneer Senator David Croll.
  • Enforce the city’s first supertall building commitment to Tier 2 of Version 4 (the highest current Toronto Green Standard for the private sector) at 15-19 Bloor Street West, thus bringing innovation to University-Rosedale while facilitating future best practices across the city. Touch up the sidewalk paint at Church and Hayden meant to mark Trans Pride.

My team is planning a busy spring of community events, including a trash bash, two environment days, tree planting, and a Spring Spectacular at Christie Pits. See our Community Action section for details. First up is the April 21 (the Earth Day weekend). Join me as we meet at 11 am at Molesworth Square for a clean up; further details in the Climate Action section.

Spring is also a time of celebration for those celebrating Easter, Passover, Ramadan and Nourez, the Persian New Year. Warmest wishes to everyone celebrating! It was good to see so many of you at the St. Patrick‘s Parade and Good Friday Procession. The heavens will be putting on a rare show on April 8th with Toronto just outside the zone of a total solar eclipse. Make sure to protect your eyes as you take in this wonderful cosmic event with your family and friends!

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