Councillor Shelley Carroll

Find out the latest news and upcoming events in your neighborhood. Politics, news, views, and links from Ward 33 Councillor Shelley Carroll.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Ward Updates

Sorry for such a long break from Blogging. March has been a productive month but in terms of blogging Discipline, not so much. A number of long outstanding traffic related items are resolved or at least loaded on to a work order list.

The work at Don Mills Rd and Van Horne is almost finished after the winter delay. The left turn lane is in place for Don Mills Road and Seneca Hill Dr as well as the improved turning lanes for the condos to the North. There are still some curbs and sidewalks can be finished up now that the warm weather is here.

On the street safety front, we have staff approval to improve lighting along Leith Hill Rd and along the footpath next Zion School House from Finch Ave. Through to Angus Drive. Both of these are passages well traveled pedestrian routes. Thanks to the residents who asked us to have them studied.

There will be a slight adjustment to the traffic lights at Finch and Victoria Park traveling Eastbound on Finch. The intersection has developed a high collision record lately due to an overly long light. This causes too many cars to 'gun it' through the yellow and red light. A slight adjustment has been recommended to lessen driver frustration.

A parking adjustment will be made for the stretch of Old Sheppard Ave in front of St. Gerald's P.S. The school will open with parking on the appropriate side of the street in September making this section less of a morning bottleneck.

And lastly, a quick update on the Bloorview Site development working group. The citizen group is hard at work and has added one more meeting later in April. This means that we will not be ready to bring their work back to the larger community until early May. Staff, applicant and citizen representatives are hearing each other out and working hard to come to a consensus.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

March 17 - St. Patrick's Day continued

The diary continues with this week:

1) March 14th: At the Ward Advisory Meeting we had a long discussion about the challenge of increasing waste diversion in multi-residential buildings. It was good to examine in detail.

End result, we put to a vote the issue coming before council in April. The City will begin the practice of having waste diversion vehicles drive inside townhouse complexes wherever possible in an effort to give landlords more options in accommodating all tenants efforts at diversion. Condo developments may also opt in.

2) March 15th: Today is the big day and all efforts are focused on making a safe and happy Chahar Chanbeh Souri. It's more organized, more regulated as promised. The steering committee are working incredibly hard to organize parking and busing all over the surrounding neighbourhood. Most of the Ward 33 team is on hand to help out. Collette and Jenny are running about helping, Coralie and Janey have taken a break from university exams to join the volunteer Corp and even my husband Sandy is there driving elderly celebrators up and down the hill. Councillor Jenkins is walking from official fire pit to fire pit, happy to be hosting all of these wonderful people in his ward.
A totally exhilarating experience for all.

3) March 16th: Not so exhilarated today. We are limping around realizing that running all over Sunnybrook Park for 4 hours is better left to the youth! Doesn't matter, Justin is conducting an all day organizational review of the way we run the office and serve Ward 33. It is a brain workout but we get to spend the day sitting down.

Youth Working Group in the evening. We are struggling to get the report written on a Toronto Civic Youth Strategy. So much to cover and so little time. We will report to the Mayor's Roundtable on Education, Children and Youth in May.

FOR TOMORROW - Don't forget, tomorrow is the one day where both school boards are on holiday. Hon. David Caplan, our M.P.P. is hosting skating parties at Victoria Village skating rink down south from 2:30 to 3:30 with free hot chocolate. Then it's up to Ward 33 for a Skating Party at Oriole Recreation Centre in the Peanut from 4:00 to 5:00 and more free hot chocolate and fun with the Big Guy. Drop by to say hello even if your skates aren't sharpened.

Mar 17 - Today Everyone is Irish

Driving into the city this morning, there was already a line up for St.Patrick's Day at McVeigh's by 9:30. I haven't been near the Blog for far too long. Here are a few of the things we've been up to.

1) Justin Peters, my new executive assistant has settled in, touring the ward, implementing some systems to tighten up the office, taking on development files.

2) March 7th: Big joint meeting of all of the people working on the new Toronto Comprehensive Drug Strategy to be introduced later this Spring. Toronto Police Services, Public Health, Councillor and grass roots treatment/counseling agencies working together.
In the evening, another planning meeting for the upcoming Chahar Chanbeh Souri event in Sunnybrook Park.

3) March 8th: Full agenda at Administration and Governance Committee, David Miller's ceremony to celebrate International Women's Day with our staff, then on to Thorncliff Bowlerama. The annual Bowlathon to raise funds for JVS youth ministries. Bowled on a team with our own Rev. Greg Physick from St. Matthew's. Great way to raise a large amount of money for charity. Ask us how if you have never been to one.

4) March 9th: Wonderful ceremony today to honour the 25th anniversary of the Armenian Relief Society School. The students in grades 4 thru 12 were very honoured to have Lt.Gov. James Bartleman there to unveil a special plaque in the new school building.

5) March 10th: Lots of small meetings today to gather info for potential Admin Committee items. Of special note; met with Technology staff about improvements to the tech system for councillors. We need a more accessible and remote way to access the community through email. Current system doesn't lend itself to email address management.
Also met with senior clerk staff to discuss improvements to procedural bylaws to tighten up Council Meetings. Great thing to discuss right now while the annual 6 day Budget ordeal is fresh in our memories. Hoping to incorporate some of these changes in the New City of Toronto Act.

6) Chaired the Tenant Defense Sub- Committee on Councillor Walker's behalf today. A defense fund amount was granted for the tenants of those notoriously bad west-end apartments featured in the papers lately. Another motion asked that staff report back on any outstanding work orders on any other buildings in town that the landlord owns.

Later in the evening, Leaders in the Iranian community met for one last strategy meeting before the big Chahar Chanbeh Souri next Tuesday night. Enormous number of details to finalize before thousands descend on Sunnybrook Park.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Mar 6 - Persian New Year Hits the Papers

Saturday was my birthday in Ottawa. I'm not saying how old I am but here is a hint. It is the Chinese Year of the Rooster and my husband Sandy and I are both Roosters. (Clue: Cliff Jenkins kindly guessed that made us either 24 or 36!)

All in all, a productive birthday. Met a former parliament staffer with a background in co-op and affordable housing and discussed ways to work with existing housing in ward 33. Had a long conversation with a councillor from Durham about Toronto's ability to continue to receive his city's poor and homeless when support has run out at home. And lastly, got to bend Ken Dryden's ear for a good chat about the need for the Feds to nail down just how Provinces will buy in to the Best Start program and spend monies flowing from Ottawa for Childcare. Talk about working on your birthday.

Staggered into the house from a long drive to discover that the North York Mirror has picked up on our work with the Iranian community to help organize their ceremony. Link below. It is quite fascinating how this event has grown among members of this community. As the article states, the Char Shenbeh Souri ceremony will take place in Sunnybrook Park on the evening of March 15th. Later, on April 2nd, they will gather for daytime picnics in the same place. We have had weekly meetings ever since Christmas break ended in order get all of the details in place. Watch all Persian media outlets for more details and directions.

To ensure a safe and happy ceremony, Sunnybrook Park will be NO CARS ALLOWED on the night of March 15th. We are very grate ful to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and to the Sport Alliance for donating their parking for this special occassion. Many thanks to Laidlaw Transportation for working with the community to organize a busing plan.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Mar 3 - Off to Ottawa

I'm heading out the door to Ottawa for the weekend. The Federal Liberals are holding their biennial convention. Its the perfect place to further the cause for a New Deal for Cities.

But tonight the Ward 33 Team will be in Ward 33, hard at work. We continue to plan with several organizations in the Persian Community, Parks and Recreation staff, Division 33 Community Police Services and Fire Services to make Sunnybrook Park safe and welcoming for this year's Char Shenbeh Soori ceremony. To help defray costs of insurance, permits, etc. donations are welcomed and very much needed before the big event on the night of March 15th.

Keep an eye on the North York Mirror in the next few days for more news of this special community event. For donation details and special transportation instructions, email our office at

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Mar 1 - I'm Awake and Raring to Go

Got home from the Great Budget Debate at 4:30 a.m.thanks to Fellow Councillor Gay Cowbourne's trusty SUV!

The Budget marathon is over for another year and I'll be back in the Ward again tonight. Making a stop at the Armenian Community Centre tonight for the DVE Provincial Riding Association. It always amazes me how busy the centre is on even the coldest and snowiest of nights.

Sent out the press release below as my own little Budget Wrap-up Note:

March 1, 2005


Councillor Shelley Carroll, member of Council’s Budget Advisory Committee is pleased with the Budget that City Council approved in the late hours Tuesday morning. “While there is an unsustainable number of one-time funding sources in this year’s budget, I am confident that our partners in government will be bringing forward long-term solutions to our ongoing financial woes in time for next years budget.”

Councillor Carroll was optimistic in light of the federal government’s commitments to City’s in this year’s budget. “I think if we look at Paul Martin’s budget this year, we can see that there is an understanding at least, that Toronto is the economic engine of the country and is one of Canada’s trademark symbols to the world. We are not alone in terms of the infrastructure deficit in this country, but the costs of providing social services are much, much higher.”

Councillor Carroll applauded City Council’s decision to reverse the decay of City Parks that has occurred under previous regimes. “The Mayor’s Clean and Beautiful City program was designed in response to the overwhelming calls in the last municipal election to improve the services that we deliver. If we are to continue to be a draw for tourism, it is important to re-invest in our public spaces. Increasingly, tourist dollars are chasing Beauty – Re-connecting with our parks and green spaces is a critical piece of economic development and community building.”

Furthermore, it was critical to reverse the harm that has been done to the TTC in the recent past. “Purchases of new, efficient and environmentally-friendly buses has been delayed for far too long. In addition, we are increasing bus service to the parts of Toronto located outside the City core.”

“We have held ourselves to a 3 percent tax increase to homeowners and an increase of 1.5 percent to the industrial/commercial tax class. I think that’s pretty good given the over-reliance that we have on regressive property taxes.” Councillor Carroll also believes that we need to continue to “sort out our tax system and who pays for what. Successive Provincial and municipal governments have produced reports on this problem, but we’ve so far failed to really tackle it.”

Councillor Carroll vowed to continue to work with our partners in government on these issues.
Contact Shelley Carroll @ 416-392-4038