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.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

December '05 Council Session Highlights

Here is a quick review of major items over the long Council Session that threatened never to end. In the end we did deal with 306 items and the 2006 Capital Budget. These are the items that engendered the longest debates.

Council Highlights
City Council meetings of December 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14 and 16, 2005

Evolution of Toronto’s governance
City Council gave its approval in principle to the recommendations of the Governing Toronto Advisory Panel and asked the city manager to report on steps required to implement the recommendations. The panel’s recommendations include improving civic engagement and community involvement, strengthening Council's ability to focus on city-wide priorities, creating an executive committee to integrate the City's agenda, providing the mayor with tools to lead Council, and empowering community councils. City Council also set up a five-member committee to help the city manager with implementation and requested further public consultation.

Toronto drug strategy
Council adopted recommendations for a City of Toronto comprehensive approach in dealing with the use of alcohol and other drugs. Council also agreed to establish a committee and a secretariat to oversee implementation of the Toronto Drug Strategy. Among the steps to be taken is a feasibility study of supervised drug consumption sites. The drug strategy includes many other actions in the areas of prevention, harm reduction, treatment and law enforcement. Implementation will be co-ordinated with the goals and initiatives of the Community Safety Plan, the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy, the Toronto Youth Strategy and the Streets to Homes Initiative.

Capital budget
Council approved a 2006 capital budget of $1.25 billion. The budget includes $84 million for road repairs, $153 million for 150 new TTC hybrid buses and 80 diesel buses, $111 million as a down payment on new subway cars, $26 million for parks, forestry and recreation repairs/upgrades, and about $2 million for Clean and Beautiful City projects. Gasoline tax contributions from the federal and provincial governments helped the City balance the capital budget. Council also approved a water rate increase of 9 per cent in 2006 to help pay for repairs to the City’s water infrastructure.

Ethics in public service
Council approved a series of actions to implement the recommendations of the Bellamy Inquiry report. A “Bellamy Recommendations Steering Committee” will take steps such as refining the Council members’ code of conduct, expanding the integrity commissioner’s duties, and creating a lobbyist control framework. The city manager will develop a program to support senior staff in their application of ethical values in public service, will increase education about ethical issues for all staff, and will establish a code of conduct for staff similar to the code of conduct for councillors.

Pilot project supporting good design
Council approved a proposal to conduct a pilot project introducing a Design Review Panel to help ensure that new buildings and public spaces in Toronto are well designed. Review panels work successfully in many cities. Locations to test the concept in Toronto will be identified through public consultation and will include public projects as well as private development. Establishing a role for a Design Review Panel is seen as consistent with, and supportive of, the goals of the Official Plan and Council’s Beautiful City initiative.

East Bayfront area of waterfront
Council endorsed the East Bayfront Precinct Plan covering 64 acres between Jarvis and Parliament streets from Lake Shore Boulevard to the lake. East Bayfront is considered an important step in the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront. The precinct plan provides the basis for environmental assessments, zoning and other steps involved in revitalizing the area. The vision for East Bayfront includes a 1.5-kilometre waterside promenade, new parks and public spaces, and mixed uses.

Development of Scarborough Centre
Council adopted a Scarborough Centre Secondary Plan that will guide the development of the Scarborough Centre area over the next 30 years. The plan builds on the area’s success as a distinct part of eastern Toronto for employment, housing, recreation, government services, shopping and cultural activities, and as a hub for public transit. The plan and related zoning amendments place emphasis on making the Scarborough Centre an attractive place to live.

Spadina subway extension
Council endorsed an environmental assessment study for the Spadina subway line, which recommends a 6.2-kilometre extension of the subway from Downsview station to York University and Steeles Avenue in the northwest part of Toronto. The proposed inter-regional extension would have stations at Sheppard Avenue, the Keele Street and Finch Avenue intersection, the York University Commons, and Steeles Avenue in Vaughan. Council agreed to ask the federal government to invest $10 billion to expand the subway and commuter rail network in the Greater Toronto Area.

Partnership with Tourism Toronto
Council approved a new partnership agreement between the City and Tourism Toronto, which is an independent organization that works on behalf of almost 1,000 member organizations across the Greater Toronto Area. The new agreement changes the operating model to help the two organizations work together more effectively to serve their mutual goal of increasing economic activity generated by the tourism industry.

Publication boxes
Starting in January 2006, the City’s annual licence renewal fee for newspaper vending boxes on public sidewalks will be $25 a box for a publication’s first 100 boxes. Under the fee structure that Council approved after reconsidering the issue, the fee will be $100 for each box beyond a publication’s first 100 vending boxes.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

New Powers New Governance

A Joint Submission from Councillor Carroll
And Executive Assistant, Justin Peters

These are heady times at City Hall, in Toronto and in the Province of Ontario. When he introduced legislation to reform Toronto’s municipal government, Dalton McGuinty kept an election promise to the residents of this City. When a panel of outside experts, appointed by Toronto City Council, introduced their report “The City We Want, the Government We Need” David Miller kept his election promise to the people of this City.

There’s been a lot of negativity spread about these two documents, the proposed City of Toronto Act and “The City We Want” report. Unfortunately, that sells papers and even gets some folk re-elected for the umpteenth time. I’m generally a more positive person. I prefer to acknowledge when there is a bright side and promote working collaboratively on the ‘not so bright’ side. That’s how I view these two documents and I encourage all residents to make up their own mind. What kind of City do you want? We have the opportunity to open City Hall to the people, to become more accountable, to empower the Mayor while strengthening local input earlier in the process.

As for the City of Toronto Act, I welcome the recognition by the Province that Toronto is indeed a unique City in Ontario. I am proud that together with the Province, we turned 280 pieces of legislation into one Act. We’ve changed the dialogue between Ontario and Toronto from one of parenthood to partnership. However, the proposed Act does not solve everything. We have not fully finished our work with the Province to put Toronto City Hall on sound financial footing with a system of good governance.

The New City of Toronto Act proposes some great changes. The Act taken together with our own reforms at City Hall propose to simplify decision making, empower residents in their neighbourhoods and heighten accountability. For instance, the proposal that an Executive Committee be appointed by the Mayor, will only formalize what has been Council’s practice in that Council generally elects the Mayor’s preferences to the Chairs of standing committees. The Chairs then form an informal core executive.

There is much ado about this concept and yet it was a common practice in even the legacy cities. An official executive Committee makes the Mayor more accountable for appointing a balanced group. In my view, the Mayor should have the ability to move his mandate forward while respecting the voice of our respective communities which will continue to be delivered by Ward Councillors. An even stronger centralized model in New York City has proven that outside of the offices of Executive Council and the Mayor, Ward councillors are liberated to form a very strong voice of opposition when needed and to demand constant accountability from the executive. The Toronto proposal doesn’t go as far, but I suspect that the resulting Ward Council body will be just as formidable.

The document “The City We Want, the Government We Need” is based on interviews with hundreds of informed citizens from diverse backgrounds. The panel also reviewed the Listening to Toronto Budget consultations, the Justice Bellamy Report (the MFP inquiry) and joint public consultations the City and Province have conducted on these issues. Many of the proposed reforms are spot on. Some need work or to be deleted. However, there are only so many models to follow when organizing government.

Not having to seek the Premier’s approval for speed humps is great and will certainly expedite our legislative process at City Hall. But it doesn’t do anything to fix the leaky roofs on Social Housing that has been added to your property tax bill. And it doesn’t pay for under-subsidized provincially mandated programs. Those two shortfalls make up 75% of our annual overall Budget shortfall.

Thankfully Paul Martin’s re-direction of Federal Gas Tax dollars towards transit and transportation infrastructure will also help the City start to address its infrastructure deficit. His government’s waiving of the GST for Toronto has also significantly improved our financial position. These kinds of long-term agreements are what Toronto needs to be able to finally build a sustainable amalgamated Mega-City and especially to compete with employment centres around the world in the global marketplace.

Toronto’s proposed governance model will be the subject of more local consultation in the New Year. The Premier’s office is adamant, and rightfully so, that we have this important governance structure complete ready to be in place for the Municipal election next fall. Please contact my office for further information, to voice your opinion or to get a copy of the Act or the City’s Governance Report. This is too important to leave up to the politicians!

Next Up: Upon our return to work January 3rd, look for more on the proposed legislative change to the Ontario Municipal Board. (Hint: The piece will start with the words: Not a minute too soon!)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Council Marathon Ends-Development Update Coming

Hello Everyone

I must apologize for not Blogging earlier this week. The constant extension of Council has wreaked havoc on our schedules at this busy time of year. I am heartily annoyed with some of the worst culprits at Council who hold up items yet always vote against staying late to finish the work. I am one who always votes to stay late to finish. You are not paying me by the hour. A salary such as mine deserves a little work by the midnight oil from time to time!

This week, whenever not in session (And sometimes during!) I have been rushing to another committee room to chair an interview panel of all of the citizen applicants for the Citizen Environmental Assessment Team to find the post-Michigan waste solution for Toronto. Councillors Giambrone, Pitfield, Deputy Mayor Bussin and myself will present that report to Works on January 11th and then the C.E.A.T. can begin its 4 to 5 year task to review every possible option, report a proposal to Council and then stay on to complete the RFP for the chosen solution.

On Wednesday, our motion to refuse the site plan approval for the 25 Buchan Court Development was finally passed. I also moved that the City hire an outside planner and outside legal to defend Council's position should the matter be appealed at the Ontario Municipal Board. This is quite common procedure in such a situation. With the OMB reform package being proposed this week, I think we can assume that the applicant for Buchan Court will have filed immediately. He will be hoping to have his case considered under the current guidelines. My office will keep the community posted through this Blog as soon as we receive written notice of an appeal.

Wednesday was also the long debate and final vote on the Toronto Drug Strategy. There has been extremely sensationalistic reporting on this. What is disappointing is that the sensationalistic focus seemed to cross all boundaries and appear in all newspapers. Misleading information abounds as a result.

Please call my office to receive the entire Drug Strategy report and read the entire report if you have any concerns as a result of media coverage. I am happy to meet with any community group to go over the strategy and discuss it with your members. I believe every Councillor has a duty to enhance the next consultative phase with his/her own Ward discussions. The strategy calls for an almost overly-cautious roll-out of the plan and many more hours of community consultation on the more controversial aspects. Council has not, I repeat, HAS NOT authorized a safe injection site for the City of Toronto.

A feasibility study will take place over the next entire year before any such decision is made. But Councillor Rae made clear in his presentation that by the end of the 18 month process, many of the committee members involved, including Councillor Rae himself and certainly myself, are not convinced it is the exact solution for Toronto.

Last but not least, Justin and the staff team are just completing a door-to-door newsletter that will include a development update on applications ward-wide. Other year end news will be included. We are timing the newsletter to arrive at your door between Christmas and New Years in the hopes that this is a downtime when people have a bit of time to curl up with the papers and the mail.

Monday, December 12, 2005

No Fault Grants to Sewer Back-up Victims

Earlier I reported that the No Fault grant request put forward by Councillor Filion and myself would be dealt with in the New Year during the Operating Budget process.

Instead, Council moved to insert it into a 'sort of' capital item but with strings attached. Councillor Shiner moved that the total amount of payout be no greater than $4 million and Councillor Watson moved that the grant program include residents in Parkdale who had a major watermain collapse a short time after the storm of August 19th. This means that the amount paid to each victim will depend on the number of eligible residents. The important thing is that the amount of $4 million has been set aside by Council and there is just a bit of procedure to complete.

Both of these new motions mean that staff must draft new terms and new criteria before we can proceed to take applications for 'No Fault' grants. Criteria will have to be slightly reworded from the old North York program. A report on how to award the grants will be coming to the Works Committee from staff in February. Once this is all approved by Council, we can send out an announcement on how to apply.

Until then I'm afraid, Ward 33 staff will not have the answers to questions on the No Fault grant. They can however, still help you with applications for the Basement Flooding Subsidy Program which subsidizes your installation of Back Flow Valve and Sump Pump and downspout disconnections. That program has a window to apply only until February 1st so call us today for details at 416-392-4038.

Capital Budget Done- Now Back To Buchan!

So, this afternoon at approximately 5:00 p.m. Council finished deliberating over the Capital Budget. Some confusing messaging so here is a quick rundown, admittedly through the biased eye of a Budget Advisory Committee member.

It is absolutely true to say that the Capital Debt has been growing over the last few years. After the first three years of the Megacity, where zero tax increases meant raiding reserve funds to get projects already approved in legacy cites completed, the debt began to climb. It climbed under another council and it has continued to climb under this council. What is different about this year is a more stringent debt guideline has been set for every department or commission and descending debt targets have already been set for the following 5 years. The current Budget Committee is adamant that this trend continue. We must address the debt whether the New Deal for Cities ever arrives or not.

25 Buchan Court

On Wednesday, December 14th, we return to the Council Chambers to complete unfinished business. We will return to the matter of the Toronto Drug Strategy but I will be asking for a moment to release quick items right at the beginning of the meeting at 9:30 a.m.. This will give me the opportunity to move my motion to refuse the 25 Buchan Court Site Plan approval and authorize staff to appoint an outside planner and outside legal to defend the anticipated OMB appeal. As we are getting very far behind, I am hoping that Councillor Shiner will be willing to release his secondary hold.

Rental housing to be at least 21 C

Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards reminds tenants that the air temperature in rental housing must be at least 21 C.

“No tenant should be without adequate heat at this time of the year,” says Richard Butts, Acting Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards. “During this extreme cold weather, we have arranged to have staff on call in order to investigate complaints and assist in emergency situations.”

If your rental unit is cold, tenants are reminded to first check that:
• windows and doors close properly
• windows and doors are sealed to stop drafts
• the furnace has electrical power
• furniture is not blocking the flow of air from baseboard heaters or registers.

If your home is still too cold, speak to your landlord or building manager.

If these measures are not successful, tenants can call Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. After hours, call 416-392-7149.

Friday, December 09, 2005

DIAL 3-1-1 But not until 2008

Council has set a strategy in motion to completely change the way the public gets response on City Services. The staff communication below spells it out but to sum it all up: When we speak of being the 5th largest City in North America, we should add, "And the only one still dealing with customer complaints through a huge system of department voice mails instead of 311."

In New York City, whether you are calling to find out how to get somewhere by public transit, to complain about garbage not picked up or about a burned out street light, you dial 311 and the person who answers must track your request and keep the file until your problem is solved. At the end of each month, the councillor gets a record of every call received from her ward and whether or not the issue has been resolved.
After three years, NYC politicians report it is the way to go in terms of serving large wards like ours.

Services become much more streamlined and responsive as the 311 centre can track action across all departments. Better yet, your representative gets a print-out that exposes chronic problems, brings together calls to our own office and to 311 to indicate exactly how we need to prioritize our own requests/demands for our ward.

See the announcement below:
As the Deputy City Manager responsible for the 3-1-1 Customer Service Strategy, I have some good news to share with you about the initiative. At its December meeting, Toronto City Council approved a service model and a 2006-8 capital budget of $26.9 million for the 3-1-1 project. Council’s approval was based on recommendations of the Council-Staff Working Group (CSWG), established in December 2004.

The new service model promotes a citizen-centred approach to the delivery of services. The implementation of the different features of the 3-1-1 Customer Service Strategy will be phased-in over three years to optimize the use of existing City resources and to build early public confidence in 3-1-1 services.

The service model features:
• A 3-1-1 service page on the City’s Web site that will provide access for the public to initiate and track their own service order requests;
• A 3-1-1 consolidated contact centre that provides general inquiry information, and accepts and tracks service order requests for five divisions: Solid Waste Management, Transportation, Toronto Water, Forestry, and Municipal Licensing and Standards;
• Access to the 3-1-1 knowledge base by Council members to assist with constituent inquiries;
• The ability for Council members to initiate and track service order requests through the 3-1-1 system; and
• Ward activity reporting.

You may recall that the original 3-1-1 capital budget estimate that was tabled at Council in November 2004 totalled $46.8 million. It assumed a consolidated contact centre providing a full menu of service order requests from all City divisions that provide front-line service to the public. However, after conducting an assessment of divisional readiness for 3-1-1 implementation and associated costs, the CSWG recommended a more limited service order model, starting with only the departments listed above, at less cost.

In the New Year, many activities will get under way to support 3-1-1 implementation.
The 3-1-1 contact centre design is expected to be completed by early 2006. Construction in the Metro Hall Council Chamber will begin in early spring for completion by mid 2007. The centre’s public launch is planned for early 2008.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Community Bulletin - TPS 33 Division

Staff Inspector Ruth White

When Chief of Police William Blair took over the reigns of the Toronto Police Service he told the citizens of Toronto that he would put more uniformed officers on the street.

Chief Blair recognized the need to have a high visibility of officers in our communities.

To support this initiative, effective January 2006, the 33 Division Street Crime Unit will operate in a uniform capacity. Historically, officers in this unit held a non uniform position. The Street Crime Unit will work within the Community Response Unit and operate under the leadership of Staff Sergeant Robert Morris.

The 33 Division Community Response Unit will consist of 18 uniformed officers serving the needs of the public.


The Festive R.I.D.E. commenced on Thursday November 24th, 2005 and will conclude Sunday January 1st, 2006. Numerous spot checks will be held each night throughout the city and the surrounding Greater Toronto Area.

As a reminder, R.I.D.E. spot checks are held every week throughout the year, not just during the holiday season.

During the month of November there were a total of 1,173 vehicles stopped in 33 Division R.I.D.E. spot checks.


The Holiday season is upon us…

 Don’t carry large sums of cash and never display the cash you are carrying.
 Keep an eye on your credit card at all times.
 Use your Interac card wisely and conceal your PIN from others.
 Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid parking in dark, secluded areas. Park in a well-lighted area as close to the mall entrance as possible.
 Put all packages in the trunk. Do not place packages on the seat or on the floor of your vehicle.
 Keep your purse closed and carry it securely under your arm. Never place your purse on a counter, in a shopping cart or let your children carry it.
 When buying children’s presents, avoid toys made from highly flammable materials.

 Be sure all your property is marked under “Operation Identification” i.e. Video equipment, cameras, etc. are marked for identification, if stolen or lost.
 Ask a friend or neighbour to watch your home while you are away, picking up your mail, newspapers and packaged deliveries.
 Make sure you leave an emergency contact number with a friend or neighbour.
 Set automatic timers to activate your lights and other appliances to give your home the illusion that it is occupied.
 Be sure your home is locked and that the shades, blinds and draperies are in their normal position.

Holiday Fire Prevention Tips: Always select a fresh Christmas tree.
 Put the tree in water immediately to help prevent it from drying out too quickly.
 Be sure to keep the stand filled with water because heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly, potentially causing a fire.
 Use the proper tree lights. Some lights are designed for outdoor use only.
 When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant”.
 Keep space heaters away from your tree, furniture, bedding, walls, clothing and other items that can burn.
 Always use the proper fuel for liquid-fuelled heaters. Be sure they are vented properly and refill them only in a well ventilated area when they are cool.
 Never use extension cords with electric space heaters and use power bars to avoid numerous cords.

Fireplaces & Candles:
 Be very careful when emptying a fireplace’s ashes. Place them in a non-flammable container, away from your residence.
 Do not burn the wrappings from your holiday packages in your fireplace.
 Have your chimney inspected by a professional at least once a year and have it cleaned accordingly.
 Always use a fire screen, especially with young children or pets.
 Never use candles or any type of open flame near Christmas trees, wreaths, or combustible decoration displays.
 NEVER leave candles burning or your fireplace unattended.

And remember - smoke detectors, carbon dioxide detectors and fire extinguishers make excellent holiday gifts.

Winter Play & Sport Safety:
 All winter activities require warm, dry clothing to prevent frostbite; a close-fitting hat, mittens, socks, boots and loose layers.
 Children should play indoors if the temperature falls below -25C.
Downhill Skiing:
 Beginners should take lessons from a certified instructor.
 A ski helmet is recommended for children to prevent head injuries.
 Follow the buddy system – never ski alone.
 Check your equipment to make sure it’s in good condition and fits properly.
 Do warm up exercises and stretches.
 Stay on marked trails and follow the rules of the slopes.
Ice Hockey:
 Players should wear a CSA-approved hockey helmet with full face mask.
 Recommended protective equipment includes gloves, shoulder pads, elbow pads, shin pads, mouth guards and athletic support. Ensure all protective equipment is in good condition and fits properly.
 Stretching and warm-ups prior to each practice and game, as well as a cool-down routine will help to prevent injuries.
 Teach children to skate heads-up when approaching the boards to prevent neck injuries.

Ice Skating:
 Skates should give firm ankle support and fit snugly.
 All skaters should wear CSA-approved helmets
 Ensure skate blades are not dull or rusted
 Ice surfaces should be in good shape without bumps, melting or slushy. Check for hazards such as pebbles, rocks and branches.
 Frozen ponds, rivers, lakes or canals should be at least 15 cm (6 inches) thick. Beware of quick thaws which can weaken the ice surface
 Ensure hill is free of hazards – trees, rocks, bumps, fences and bare spots. Do not sled on ice-covered areas.
 Ensure hill is situated away from roads, rivers, railroads and that there is plenty of room to stop at the bottom of the hill
 Inspect the toboggan to ensure it is in good condition
 Many injuries are cold-related, such as frostbite and hypothermia. Dress in warm layers
 After tobogganing, get out of wet clothes and boots quickly to prevent frostbite
 Children should be supervised by an adult and never toboggan alone or at night
 Beginners should take lessons from a certified snowboard instructor and follow all the safety tips for downhill skiers
 Children younger than 7 years should not try snowboarding
 Snowboarders should use boards with full-length steel edges and stiff secure bindings
 Beware that high speeds and aerial movements carry a high risk for injury
 Snowboarders should keep inside designated areas and follow other rules of the slopes


On October 19, 2005, the 33 Division School Liaison officer attended A.Y. Jackson High School to meet with the Vice-Principal, a hall monitor and the suspect, who is a Grade 12 student and enjoys a reputation of being a bully to discuss drug activities occurring at the school.

Later in the day, the Grade 12 accused male began to act aggressively towards the hall monitor and began following the Vice Principal around the school.

The accused male also told the Vice Principal that “If that cop does not stop talking to me and coming here talking to me, then I’m going to do something to him or something is going to happen to him”. The accused male was arrested and charged with Intimidation, Criminal Harassment, Mischief Under and Threaten Bodily Harm.

On Saturday November 19, 2005, Police received a call to attend Godstone Road for a vehicle that had been entered during the previous night.

While investigating, officers located numerous autos that had been entered. A short time later, the officers located the accused male in the underground parking garage.

The accused male was currently on Probation with a condition not to be in an underground parking garage. The accused male was arrested and searched. Officers located two multi-tools on the accused, which breached another condition of his Probation. The accused male admitted to breaking into all the entered vehicles at that location.


Winter Driving

• Accelerate and decelerate slowly in winter driving conditions.
• Give yourself extra time to slow down for a stop light - it takes longer to stop on ice/snow-covered roads.
• Ensure you have an emergency kit, have extra warm clothing and blankets in the vehicle.
• Carry a cellular phone for emergencies and keep it fully charged.
• Vehicle maintenance is very important. Ensure that your windshield wipers are working properly and keep extra windshield wiper fluid in the trunk.


Once again we are holding the Joint Auxiliary and Volunteer Robbery Reduction Program. During the month of December, Volunteers and Auxiliary members will be at your local malls and shopping plazas distributing pamphlets with information regarding Purse Snatches, Winter Safety Tips and Auto Theft Reduction Tips.

Many thanks to all our Volunteers and Auxiliary members who diligently work all year long to ensure the safety of the residents in 33 Division.


33 Division is holding our Annual Christmas Toy Drive. We will be working with members of the Community to collect new, unwrapped toys and non-perishable foods to be delivered to needy children and families living in 33 Division.

You can drop off a toy or non-perishable food item in the boxes located in the front lobby of 33 Division from December 1st – December 21st, 2005.

Many thanks for your support and generosity!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Community Alert - Toronto Police Services - 33 Division

Bell Canada Alert

The Toronto Police want to warn anyone that has a telephone to be advised of a recent scam.

An individual will telephone you and identify himself as a Bell Canada Technician conducting a test of your phone lines. He will ask you to push the number 9 and then the number 0 followed by the # (pound) key and then ask you to hang up. This will give the individual full access your own personal phone line, which in turn allows long distance phone calls to be made.

Bell Canada has confirmed this information and that most of these phone calls have originated from local jails and prisons.

The Toronto Police urg e you to hang up immediately on these individuals. Do not follow any of their instructions or give out any personal information.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

An Affordable Holiday Gift:

Toronto Tree Portraits - 2006 calendar

We would like to let you know about the Toronto Tree Portraits -- 2006 Desk Calendar. Photographer Geoffrey James has collaborated with writer Pleasance Crawford to produce Toronto Tree Portraits, a 2006 desk calendar that celebrates the importance and uniqueness of our tree heritage with a selection of photographs of some of the most exquisite and aged trees in Toronto’s parks and public open spaces. The calendar’s foreword is by Margaret Atwood.

Trees are the lifelines of Toronto, and a predominant contributor to its image as a green and livable city. These annotated tree portraits not only provide a unique and innovative perspective on Toronto’s past, they also serve as a key to the future. Proceeds from the sale of the Toronto Tree Portraits calendars will go directly to the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, a charitable public foundation that was founded in 2002 in response to a growing concern about the state of parks and trees in Toronto.

The calendar, reasonably priced at $15, is available by calling the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation at 416-397-5178. You can learn more about the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation at

It will also be available for sale in the Rotunda of City Hall between 9 AM and 3 PM on Monday, 5 December. This calendar makes a great stocking stuffer for those looking for seasonal gifts!