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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Important Consultation re Property Tax

An important notice came out today about public meetings regarding the new initiative "Enhancing Toronto's Business Climate". It is important for a range of residents to take part as property taxation is one of the current challenges to Toronto's Business Climate. Possible solutions may impact both homeowners and business owners. I've included the meetings at North York Civic Centre and Metro Hall. You are welcome to register for whichever is convenient.

Enhancing Toronto's Business Climate -- It's Everybody's Business

The City of Toronto is preparing a new action plan to enhance the City’s ability to compete globally as the heart of one of the five largest city regions in North America.

On Thursday, July 7, 2005, a report at the City's Policy and Finance Committee addressed the strategic approach to making that happen. The report, "Enhancing Toronto's Business Climate -- It's Everybody's Business", begins to lay the foundation of a new plan which will be considered by City Council in October 2005.

"This report builds upon the 2004 public consultations," said City of Toronto's Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer Joseph Pennachetti. "It begins the development of an action plan to improve the City's tax policies and initiatives for cost competitiveness."

The implementation of this action plan could affect property taxes. The City of Toronto wants public opinion to help shape this plan and build new ways of stimulating economic prosperity in a fair and sustainable way for all its residents and property owners.

Public consultations will be held:

- Tuesday, Sept 6, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 3

- Thursday, Sept 15, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Metro Hall, Meeting Room 314

- Thursday, Sept 15, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Metro Hall, Meeting Room 303

To register for any of the public meetings call 416-397-4474.

For more information, including a copy of the full report Enhancing Toronto's Business Climate -- It's Everybody's Business, please visit our Web site at and click on "Enhancing Toronto's Business Climate".

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Flooding Information
The link above takes you to the latest Mirror article on the flood. It acknowledges NY history along with comments from Councillor Filion who also has some residents who got hit. This will be useful when we pull together a meeting with Water/Wastewater staff and technical services later in September.

We have been out visiting more flood damaged homes today and all last week. We still encounter many homeowners who haven't called us or City works dept. to have the City inspect. If you haven't had a visit from the City please call us to arrange for an inspection. You will need this as well as any interaction you may have already had with your insurance company. Call us at 416-392-4038.

We will schedule the community meeting for residents with flood damage and announce the date later this week. With school principals opening up their phone lines, we will have a better range of choices of location. Stay tuned to this blog for the date announcement. I will be looking for help with flyer dropping the meeting notice. It's time to stick together!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Flooding Update

Enbridge Gas Distribution is encouraging any customers who experienced flooding that may have impacted their natural gas equipment to contact them at 1-866-763-5427. Enbridge will send out a technician to inspect and, if necessary for safety reasons, turn off the natural gas supply to the premises.

Flooding can render the safety devices on natural gas equipment and appliances ineffective, making it important for customers to contact Enbridge Gas Distribution to check the affected equipment. While we have received some calls, we do not believe that all customers who experienced flooding have contacted us. Enbridge representatives are going door-to-door in areas where significant flooding has been reported.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Flood Damage Update

What an harrowing situation in which to return to work. I am just back in the office from vacation and the office is buzzing with information requests re flood damages. This blog entry is a quick update on what we know so far. My staff and I are going out tonight to visit some who are still experiencing the after-effects of the storm.

Hydro reports that they are repairing damage as quickly as humanly possible. Most apartment towers who were without power for the weekend are now restored. Works staff are working round the clock to get to and inspect damages.

Certainly the first priority must be main water processing operations, in order to ensure that all systems are working properly and able to cope should anymore rain be headed our way. Secondly, as many of you have seen, we have the major damage caused by the washing away of a huge culvert on Finch Ave West. This compromises a primary component of West End traffic flow for vehicles, pedestrians and the TTC.

Then we come to damages in neighbourhoods and homes. Here is staff's best advice at the end of today, Monday, August 22nd. If you have damage call your insurance company first and foremost. The insurance companies have interaction with the City wherever necessary. They will have advice for you during the course of their investigations of your property. Secondly, call the city's hotline to register for a City inspection. Your insurance company will advice you to do this as well.

The number to call is 416-338-8888. When you identify as living in the North Region, they will refer you to the right person. Right now, while it is all fresh, sit down and right a report of what happened. You will be glad you did later. Write down the date and location, details of what happened, the damage that arose. If you have a camera or video camera take pictures right away.

At the end of today, staff have informed me that of the 600+ homes that need inspections they have seen 300. They are taking as priority all homes that are still holding flood waters. Those calls for inspection where there was a flood but the waters have receded will be seen to immediately after. The whole inspection 'first round' process should be down in a few days.

We understand, as of this afternoon, that Waste Staff will be lenient in picking up large articles put out to the curb as a result of basement damage. Give my office a call at
416-392-4038 if articles are left past the next garbage date in your area. Remember to ensure that children stay away from discarded flood-damaged articles.

My office phone lines are busy but Jenny and Collette constantly pick up messages thru the day and get back to anyone with questions so please leave a message at 416-392-4038. I will be back in the office on Wednesday.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Stay Cool, Swim Before Bed

City of Toronto extends pool hours at nine facilities tonight

As a result of hot weather conditions the following nine pools will be open until 11:45 p.m. tonight:

- Monarch Park - south of Danforth Avenue, west of Coxwell Avenue
- Regent Park - south of Gerrard Street, east of Sackville Street
- Alex Duff - Bloor Street West, west of Christie Street
- Alexandra Park - Bathurst Street at Dundas Street West
- Giovanni Caboto - 1369 St. Clair Ave. W.
- Sunnyside Gus Ryder - Lakeshore Boulevard at Parkside Drive
- Smithfield - 175 Mount Olive Dr.
- McGregor - 2231 Lawrence Ave. E.
- Cummer Park Community Centre - 6000 Leslie St.

For specific information on pool locations and operating hours call the Pool Hotline at 416-338-POOL (416-338-7665) or visit

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Council Highlights of July 2005

City Council meeting of July 19 to 21 and July 26, 2005

Action in support of affordable housing
Council agreed to establish a new committee to speed up the approvals process for affordable housing projects in Toronto. The committee, which will consist of seven members of City Council, will streamline the review and approvals process for new affordable housing developments. Planning issues will still be considered by the relevant community council as well as by the Planning and Transportation Committee. The City will staff a new Affordable Housing Office responsible for research, advocacy and co-ordination.

Holistic health and body rubs
In an effort to crack down on licensed holistic health centres that may be providing illegal sexual services, Council passed bylaw amendments that include requiring holistic clinics to be members of a health association that enforces professional standards and ethics. In addition, the July 26 decision restricts holistic centres’ hours of business.

Labour settlement with Local 416
Council approved a four-year collective agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 416. Terms of the contract, which covers about 6,000 outside workers including paramedics, garbage collectors, parks workers and transportation employees, provides pay increases of 2.75 per cent effective January 1, 2005; 3 per cent effective January 1, 2006; 3.25 per cent effective January 1, 2007; and 3.25 per cent effective April 1, 2008.

Recycling in apartment and condominium buildings
Multi-unit residential buildings in Toronto will be required to establish effective recycling programs for their waste or they will soon face a financial levy for excess garbage. Council approved the strategy, which is based on the proven effectiveness of financial incentives to increase waste diversion. The City, which intends to begin applying the levy in 2006, will help building owners or managers set up the required recycling programs in their apartment, condominium and co-op buildings.

3-1-1 call centre
The operations centre for the City’s new 3-1-1 service will be located in the council chamber at Metro Hall. Council approved plans to retrofit the council chamber as a telephone call centre, scheduled to be operational by 2007. The 3-1-1 strategy is designed to improve public access to City services and improve the overall service experience on the telephone and the Web.

Review of the City’s fleet operations
Council adopted a series of recommendations resulting from the second phase of the City of Toronto Auditor General’s review of City fleet operations. As a result, staff will undertake a study into the feasibility of centralizing ownership of the City’s vehicle fleet and integrating fleet operations within the Fleet Services Division. At present, several City divisions own and operate major fleets of vehicles. The Auditor General’s study asserts that the current decentralized approach is not cost effective for the City.

Strategy for special events
Council adopted a strategy for the City to support and sustain the festivals and event industry, primarily through the work of the City’s Toronto Special Events unit. The City will also help to establish a network of special event organizers and streamline the City’s process for issuing permits to event organizers.

Free parking for war veterans
Council unanimously approved a motion that will offer free municipal parking in Toronto for the rest of this year to war veterans who drive a vehicle with a veterans’ licence plate. The gesture coincides with the federal Year of the Veteran, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War - Victory in Europe (VE) Day - on May 8, 1945. The parking arrangement covers on-street parking meters and City-operated parking lots.

Street furniture program
Council supported the establishment of a co-ordinated street furniture program to help support the Clean and Beautiful City initiative. Street furniture includes items such as roadside benches, newspaper vending boxes, litter/recycling bins and transit shelters. The goal is a range of street furniture designed appropriately for different locations in the city.

Expansion of defibrillation program
Council approved measures intended to expand the City’s Public Access Defibrillation program for the treatment of sudden cardiac arrest at City workplaces and public facilities. All City divisions will be encouraged to include funding for defibrillators and related employee training in their proposed 2006 operating budgets. Toronto EMS will assist with phasing in public access defibrillation across City divisions as part of the Cardiac Safe City program.

Identification of archeological sites
Council approved criteria and procedures to screen properties for archeological resources before new development proceeds on the properties. The screening mechanism is an interim measure to prevent the possible loss of archeological sites between now and 2007, when Toronto’s archeological master plan is expected to be completed. About 75 per cent of the city’s area has potential for archeological sites, some of them dating back more than 10,000 years.

Assisting homeowners with termite problems
The City plans to establish a program to educate people about termite infestation and treatment for eradication. Council approved the proposal, subject to the provision of funding in the City’s 2006 operating budget. Earlier municipal programs assisting Toronto homeowners with termite infestations ended a few years ago.

Questions about this document: Corporate Communications, 416-392-1165 or 416-392-8937