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.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Toronto Public Library News Release

Library helps new Canadian children learn English. Summer program helps kids learn English, get ready for school in September.

TORONTO (May 26): Seventy-five percent of newcomers to Canada under the age of 14 need help learning English, according to a 2002 Citizenship and Immigration Canada report.

Toronto Public Library's annual summer program, English Can Be Fun, gives kids a chance to interact under the direction of certified teachers who guide the children through games and activities that help them learn English.

"It's a great way to get children started learning English and at the same time help them make friends in their new home." according to multicultural services specialist Kelly Yuen. "This program can help children who don't speak English get ready for the 2005/2006 school year."

The program, available at 25 library locations across the city, will run from July 11 to August. Interested parents are invited to contact the Library to get more information and find out how to register.

- Call Answerline 416-393-7131
- Visit the Library website
- Visit any of Toronto Public Library's 99 branches

Toronto Public Library is North America's busiest public library system. Every week over 300,000 people visit its 99 branches, and borrow more than half a million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit our website at or call Answerline at 416-393-7131.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Returned home to discover my political party affiliation had magically changed!

Some of my Ward 33 longtime friends may have been confused to read in the paper that there was an NDPer taking over the Works Committee. There seems to be no way to convince the folks writing for the more right-leaning media that up here in Don Valley East I have been carrying a Liberal membership card around for quite some time. As the granddaughter of a lovely man who once worked for Lester B. Pearson, I returned home from high school one day to find my first Liberal Party membership card affixed to the refrigerator door. Genetics, I suppose.

While I have some serious questions, both Provincially and Federally like anyone else these days, I haven't ripped up my card and walked away yet. While I will own up to getting along very well with our Mayor, it may come as shock to some that David Miller actually fraternizes with folks ofALL party persuasions.

I vote much the way I did before I met David Miller in July 2003. When faced with a difficult decision, I gather opinions from a number of councillors from Holyday to Moscoe to Shiner to Chow, and so on. The beauty of non-partisan Municipal governance is that when others vote in a way that might disadvantage Don Valley East, my only commitment is to the Ward and I can vote accordingly.

I was very honoured to be voted Chair of Works by my colleagues and not with any ex-officio vote from the Mayor. There are Works Committee veterans representing a range of viewpoints, Councillor experts given the depth of their background knowledge. I will be happy to take the Chair so that all of their voices can continue to be given fair hearing as major debates hit the agenda concerning Water/Wastewater Management and Solid Waste Management.

As for my own reason for joining the Works Committee in the first place: We have some challenges ahead in getting North York on the Green Bin program. Source Separated Organics collection is at capacity and I know North York homeowners are just as keen to begin taking part as other parts of the City were last year. We need to be ready for them with SSO Processing capacity.

In Ward 33, all forms of waste diversion need to be introduced in all of our many multi-residential homes. Whether in high-rises, townhouses or second suites, lots of education will be necessary. We invite all active tenant associations and condo boards to contact our office to arrange for a visit from your Councillor and Waste Diversion staff in the Fall to discuss how you can help reduce the city's waste costs. Give Justin, Collette or Jenny a call at 416-392-4038 so we can start scheduling these. If you have a small group, perhaps we can partner you with a nearby building for an evening meeting.

May 17th, Back From Berlin

Got back from the Association of Metropolises just in time for the May Council Session.

The trip to Berlin was very worthwhile. From the first day when we checked in and rushed back downstairs to an excellent Roundtable on Megacities and Poverty to the final General Assembly when the Youth Congress reported back on their weeklong struggle to develop a report on an International Perspective on Issues Facing The Megacity, we were challenged.

Once the Planning guidelines around the reconstruction of Berlin were explained, every car or bus trip out to another event was an education in itself. Planning and Architectural standards are on a whole different level.

While there, I took two separate trips out to research Berlin's treatment and prevention system. They have a mobile needle exchange as well as a mobile health care unit van to monitor the and counsel drug users. Some elements of their mobile system may be of use to Toronto as we continue to develop our own comprehensive Drug Strategy. Ironically the Berliners in the Drug Coordinator's office were more interested in hearing from me, how we control abuse of the "Legal Drugs" alcohol and tobacco.

Without any anti-smoking bylaws and no closing time for the sale of liquor, their health system is still over-burdened with the harmful effects of these substances. They see our limited liquor sales and tobacco sales and our ban on indoor smoking as brilliant strokes of Harm Reduction. They struggle still with greater incidence of unemployability or domestic abuse due to alcohol excess.

As Canadians, I think we forget to take a step back and look at our successes and how far we've come.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Changes to Collection Day Areas

IMPORTANT!!! Changes to Collection Day Areas in North York

Effective June 2005, the daytime collection areas for North York has changed as follows: Areas below Sheppard - Wednesday pick-up / Areas above Sheppard - Tuesday pick-up.

The new collection calendars are being delivered now and make sure to check your new collection day. These changes become effective the week of June 5, 2005.

The new updated garbage and recycling collection calendar will be online effective June 5, 2005. For more information, please call Customer Service at 416-338-2010. The general information sheet on recycling collection is also available in French, Chinese, Italian, Tamil, Portuguese and Spanish.

Also, Green Bin Program will be coming to North York the week of October 24, 2005. Stay tuned for more information on the Green Bin roll out in North York.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Don Valley Parkway closed this weekend for spring maintenance

Don Valley Parkway closed this weekend for spring maintenance

The Transportation Services Division will be performing a number of maintenance activities on the Don Valley Parkway this weekend. In order to undertake this work safely, a full closure of the Parkway will be required.

The Don Valley Parkway will be closed in both directions from Highway 401 to the Gardiner Expressway from Friday, May 13 at 11 p.m. to Monday, May 16 at 5 a.m.

Specific activities that will be undertaken during this closure include:
- construction zone setup for both the Leaside bridge and Riverdale Pedestrian bridge
- road resurfacing on the southbound Don Valley Parkway at York Mills Road
- expressway lighting work
- spring catchbasin cleaning (required to ensure proper drainage)
- pavement markings and sign maintenance
- guiderail and asphalt repair
- grass-cutting and garbage pick-up
- closed circuit television camera maintenance
- Wynford Drive bridge painting
- RESCU sensor installation at York Mills Road
- expressway sweeping operations.

"The work that we are doing this weekend on the Don Valley Parkway is important maintenance work required to maintain safe road conditions for all users," said Les Kelman, Acting General Manager, Transportation Services Division. "The amount and detailed nature of this maintenance work meant that a series of overnight closures was not a good option. Therefore, after careful consideration, the only feasible option was a weekend closure."
Motorists can use Victoria Park Avenue and Don Mills Road as alternate routes during the closure. Whenever possible, the public is encouraged to consider using public transit as a convenient alternative.

For further information about road closures, check with Transportation Services’ Road Info line at 416-599-9090 or visit the city’s Web site at

Friday, May 06, 2005

Berlin Trip

YES! It is true. I am accompanying the Mayor, Councillor Ashton on a trip to Berlin. Some issues have been raised about this in the Toronto Sun and on CFTO.

Let us start with why we are all going:
This is the Biennial Congress for the Association of Major Metropolises, of which Toronto is a member. The Congress brings Cities together to learn from one another about issues of sustainability that are unique to Cities of 2 million people or more. Many think of the word Sustainability only with regards to environmental issues while in a Metropolis it must extend to social issues, economic issues and the never-ending issue of aging infrastructure.

While there, Toronto will be presenting its plan to host the next Board of Directors meeting of the Association of Major Metropolises in 2006. As well, Mayor Miller, Councillor Ashton and myself will make other workshop presentations in which we further promote upcoming Urban events in Toronto and Canada. The combined cost for everyone going on our trip is roughly $15,000. The revenue returned to the Toronto Community via the Board of Directors meeting the following year is $1.4 million at the very least.

To further put this into perspective, the Mayor of Montreal is taking four councillors and a staff member for each. The Mayor of Toronto is taking two councillors and all three of us will share one staff member.

Why am I going?
During the Congress there is a day dedicated to the Women's Congress and the organizers asked for a Toronto Woman Councillor to speak on the topic of how the City of Toronto has dealt with control of HIV/ Aids rates. As the only woman councillor member of the Aids Prevention Grant Review Panel, I will give the speech.

The Chair of the Grant Review Panel, Councillor Kyle Rae made a special effort to ensure that his panel included members from the inner suburbs. Councillor Michael Thompson, from Scarborough Centre, is a member. The panel also contains community members and workers engaged in treatment and prevention of HIV. The grant program allocates $1.4 million to about 60 organizations a year who deliver prevention education and services to high risk groups of diverse ages and backgrounds in many languages. All of these organizations function with volunteer components. This means that the $1.4 in grants translates into neighborhood services that would cost the City an estimated $12 million if delivered directly by Public Health Officials and paid translators.

During my speech, I will also be promoting the benefits of visiting Toronto in August 2006 when we will play host to the International Biennial Conference on HIV/Aids. Last year this conference attracted 26,000 doctors, treatment and service providers and government officials from all over the world to Bangkok.

While in Berlin, I will also have a day away from the Congress to meet with the director of Berlin's comprehensive drug treatment and prevention strategy. She has arranged for me to tour some of their programs. This is all very timely as Toronto Public Health is currently engaged in consultation for Toronto's own Comprehensive Drug Strategy. Berlin's challenges with drug use were quite similar to Toronto's in that drug use was spread out across a number of areas in the City and thus the accompanying impacts such as neighborhood crime were spread out. I hope to be able to add much to our process upon my return.

I was able to attend one of our consultation sessions downtown as I will be in Berlin when the consultation comes to North York. I hope some of you can attend in my place. Your attendance at the consultation would be most beneficial because we will want to discuss the issue for Ward 33 later in the year when Council is closer to making any decisions on the Drug Strategy.

The North York Consultation for a Toronto Comprehensive Drug Strategy is:
Tuesday, May 10th, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
North York Memorial Hall (Burgundy Room)
5100 Yonge St. (Downstairs from the Central Library)

Apartment Building Repair

We held a tenant meeting at Forest Manor P.S. tonight for residents of 110 Parkway Forest Dr. The primary topic was the ongoing Balcony Repair construction so we also had tenants from 65 Forest Manor Rd. where a balcony replacement has just begun.

Balcony replacement is not new to the area. Some balcony work had already been done or was under way when the new owner bought the buildings from MetCap. Whenever this kind or work extends beyond the cosmetic to actual stripping and replacing balconies, it is noisy and disruptive to the tenants.

We arranged the meeting so that the owners of the building could come and explain the improvement project schedule directly to the tenants and also to let the tenants know what rights they had when major work is being done to the common areas of their buildings. The added benefit of having Building Standards Staff and Federation of Tenants Staff speak at the meeting is that Ward 33 staff are also now completely up to date on these tenant issues.
Justin, Collette and Jenny are well equipped to take your calls and questions.

At the same meeting, we let the residents know that meetings to get a Parkway Forest Residents' Association together will begin late in June and extend throughout the summer. This new association will be very important to any development proposals in Parkway Forest. Remember that while the ten building application from the new owner of the rental properties was refused by Council, they will be bringing new proposals forward in an attempt to find a design for the neighborhood that will be more acceptable citizens and city staff.