|Make King Street Cuisine a 'Ritual' Experience
|February 20, 2018
Make King Street cuisine a 'Ritual' experience
Starting today the “Food is King” promotion encourages people to experience King
Street restaurants and food establishments. The offer is available to any new or
existing Ritual user who has not previously ordered from more than 40 participating
King Street restaurants and will provide a one-time discount of up to $15 on any
This promotion has been made possible through a partnership between the City of
Toronto, the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA)
and the Toronto headquartered food ordering app Ritual.
Food is King runs through to March 4 and is designed to encourage consumer
activity for King Street by driving incremental purchases to restaurants and food
service establishments within the King Street Pilot area, from west of Bathurst
Street to Jarvis Street. To find out more details about the promotion, download
the Ritual App and search using the words Food is King.
“Ritual is one of the City’s growing success stories, and as a King Street business
they are offering an innovative way to support local establishments as we pilot this
new street design,” said Mayor John Tory. “I’m happy to see Toronto technology
used to support Toronto businesses, as part of our continued commitment to
making sure the King Street Pilot works for everyone.”
“Supporting Toronto businesses is central to our work at the City,” said Councillor
Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City's Economic
Development Committee. “The partnership we have forged with TABIA and Ritual
will reinforce the vibrancy of our King Street business neighbourhood and promote
the success of its great, diverse dining establishments.”
In addition to the Food is King promotion the City has launched the Everyone is King
Design Build Competition. This is an opportunity to be part of and contribute to
the rethinking of King Street. The intent of the competition is to create a series of
attractive curb lane public spaces on King Street for all to enjoy. Winners will be
announced in March. More information about these initiatives
About the King Street Transit Pilot
The King Street Transit Pilot between Bathurst Street and Jarvis Street, introduced
in November 2017, is changing how King Street works by not allowing private
vehicles through intersections and instead giving priority to streetcars. The King
Street Transit Pilot will explore ideas for how to redesign King Street in order to
achieve objectives to: move people more efficiently, support economic prosperity,
and improve place-making.
With more than 1,600 restaurants in the U.S. and Toronto, Ritual is a social
ordering app that taps networks of coworkers and colleagues for fast and easy pick
up and pay at a wide variety of local restaurants and coffee shops. With Ritual,
users can mobile order and pay at all their favorite local eateries and coffee shops
and have it ready to pick up when they arrive. More information
The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) is a non-profit
umbrella organization working with the Toronto's 83 Business Improvement Areas
within the City of Toronto who in turn represent more than 40,000
business & property owners.
More information at http://www.toronto-bia.com/
This news release is also available on the City's website:
Shane Gerard, Strategic Communications,
Don Peat, Office of the Mayor, 647-459-2387, Don.Peat@toronto.ca
|More..||Posted: Feb 20, 2018
|City of Toronto Activities and Events for Family Day Fun on February 19
|February 15, 2018
City of Toronto activities and events for Family Day fun on February 19
The City of Toronto encourages residents to enjoy Family Day on Monday,
February 19 by taking advantage of City-run recreation facilities and historic
attractions. Eight of the City's 10 historic sites will offer events, activities and tours
on Family Day.
There are 52 outdoor rinks or skating trails to choose from across the city, weather
permitting. Many indoor arenas will also be open. There is no charge for public
skating at the City's indoor arenas and outdoor rinks. CSA-approved hockey
helmets are mandatory for children under the age of six and are recommended for
skaters of all ages. Family Day schedules are available online
Nathan Phillips Square
Families can visit Nathan Phillips Square at City Hall, located at 100 Queen St. W.,
for a fun-filled outing, sponsored by Tim Hortons, featuring freestyle ice-skating
demonstrations by the Toronto Ice Skate Group. The ice rink will be open for skating
and skate rentals will be available. From 1 to 4 p.m., take part in special activities
including games, face painting and informal skating instruction and enjoy hot
beverages at the Tim's House lounge.
Skiing and snowboarding
Earl Bales and Centennial Park Ski and Snowboard Centres will be open on Family
Day, weather permitting. Updates and schedules are available
Leisure swimming will be available at many indoor pools on Family Day. City-run
leisure swims are free of charge for everyone. Family Day schedules are available
at http://www.toronto.ca/familyday or by calling 311.
Select recreation facilities will offer programming for the whole family. Children
accompanied by an adult can enjoy swimming, indoor/outdoor skating, yoga,
Zumba®, gymnastics, sports, arts and crafts and much more. Family Day schedules
for each recreation centre are available at http://www.toronto.ca/familyday or by
The City's farm at 201 Winchester St., open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., features
farm animals and offers various activities. Admission is free.
High Park Zoo
Toronto's oldest zoo has been entertaining people for 120 years. The zoo, which
houses domestic and exotic animals such as bison, llamas and reindeer, as well as
the famous capybaras, Bonnie and Clyde, is located on Deer Pen Road and is open
daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. Admission is free.
Conservatories and greenhouses
Residents and visitors can warm up and take in the sights and scents at Toronto's
conservatories. Both the Allan Gardens and Centennial Park conservatories will be
open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Family Day. Admission is free
and the conservatories are wheelchair-accessible.
Toronto History Museums
Programming highlights for the Toronto History Museums' open sites are listed
below. Regular admission fees apply except for the Historic Zion Schoolhouse.
Times and activity details will vary by location. More information is available
Colborne Lodge (11 Colborne Lodge Dr.)
The museum features an exhibit highlighting new and emerging Canadian inventions
circa 1867. Discover Canadian inventors' designs of new technologies and original
patents. The exhibit also showcases architect and City Engineer John G. Howard
designs of papers, books and tools. Howard and his family called Colborne Lodge
home. Explore hands-on science and innovations activities throughout the museum.
Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Blvd.)
Families can visit the fort's historic kitchen and sample baking from the hearth.
Hot chocolate and a roaring fire will make for a memorable visit. Kids can try
an 1812 drill class, the officers' sword drill, old-fashioned games and a fun-filled kids'
Zion Schoolhouse (1091 Finch Ave. E.)
Explore this rare, one-room schoolhouse in North Toronto and take a step back in
time with schoolmistress Miss Coulson. Visitors can learn how to write with a steel
nib pen or on a slate and enjoy storytelling, craft making and other activities.
Donations of new or gently used children's books will help the Children's Book Bank
provide books and literacy support to children in need in Toronto. Admission is free.
Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.)
Visitors can celebrate Black History Month by learning about Black Victorian
publishers and newspaper journalists. On Family Day, visitors can also enjoy
performances at 1:30 and 3 p.m. by a Scottish dance troupe from the Guthrie
School of Dance, who will share Scottish Highland and Scottish Country dances
and the history and stories that inspired them.
Montgomery’s Inn (4709 Dundas St. W.)
The inn will feature Maureen O'Leary of Maureen's Reel Irish Dancing, who will
teach a dance workshop and then host a ceilidh at 2 and 3:30 p.m. There will also
be a traditional French-Canadian lumberjack dancing man and visitors can learn to
play the spoons with the inn's resident fiddler at 1:30 and 3 p.m. In the afternoon,
cooks in the historic kitchen will prepare tasty treats alongside historic games
Scarborough Museum (1007 Brimley Rd.)
The museum will offer fun activities such as a scavenger hunt and a craft activity.
Visitors will be able to sample baked goods and hot chocolate.
Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.)
A family-friendly tour includes games and hands-on fun in the historic kitchen – all
set in a beautifully restored 1920s environment.
Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Rd.)
Visitors can make family crests and tour the historic homes while viewing the first
ever retrospective by acclaimed Canadian painter Helen Lucas in the Papermill
Gallery. Visitors can also play an outdoor nature bingo game for prizes.
The Toronto Zoo will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Family Day.
More information about the zoo is available at http://www.torontozoo.com.
Other municipal facilities and services
All City of Toronto emergency and 24-hour services will operate normally
on February 19. City administrative offices and service counters will be closed
on Monday, re-opening on Tuesday, February 20. The major civic buildings including
City Hall, Metro Hall and the civic centres will operate on a weekend schedule from
8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Family Day.
The TTC will operate on its Saturday schedule on Family Day. More TTC information
is available at http://ttc.ca/Routes/index.jsp.
City-operated child care centres and Children's Services district offices will be closed
on Monday. Toronto Home Child Care Agency providers will offer service as usual.
All Toronto Public Library branches will be closed on Family Day. Archival Services
at 255 Spadina Rd. will also be closed on Monday.
Some community recreation centres will be closed on Family Day. Residents can find
the list of open centres online at http://www.toronto.ca/familyday or call their local
centre ahead of time to check its schedule.
This news release is also available on the City's website:
Jaclyn Carlisle, Strategic Communications,
Shane Gerard, Strategic Communications,
|More..||Posted: Feb 15, 2018
| Mayor Tory Declares February 14 'Safe City Day' in Toronto
|February 14, 2018
Mayor Tory declares February 14 'Safe City Day' in Toronto
Mayor John Tory today declared February 14, 2018 as Toronto's first annual Safe
City Day. Recognizing Safe City Day highlights the importance of bystanders' role
assisting people in heart-related medical emergencies, especially cardiac arrest.
"February is Heart Month, and what better day to declare a day of reflecting on
the heart than February 14," said Mayor Tory. "When I realized how many people
could be saved in Toronto if bystanders stepped up quickly to help in a medical
emergency, I knew we should draw more attention to learning CPR and the use of
automated external defibrillators."
"Toronto Paramedic Services' Safe City program trains residents in first aid, CPR
and how to use an AED," said Toronto Paramedic Services Chief Gord McEachen.
There are approximately 2,000 sudden cardiac arrests every year in the city of
Toronto, most of them in public places, where early CPR intervention from
a bystander can make a difference in saving someone's life. You are the strongest
link to helping to save someone's life after they suffer a sudden cardiac arrest."
"Thanks to my friends Bayete, David and Gerald, who started CPR and used
he AED on me when I suffered my cardiac arrest on November 23, 2017, I am
standing here today celebrating with all of you," said John Turco, a cardiac arrest
Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. today, members of the public, City Council members
and City staff had an opportunity to try CPR and become familiar with using
an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Toronto was declared a Safe City by City Council in 1998. Since that time, Toronto
Paramedic Services has grown the related Safe City program to the extent that it
now trains about 7,500 people annually in first aid, CPR and AED use. In addition,
Toronto Paramedic Services maintains more than 1,500 public access defibrillators in
public places across the city, including TTC subway stations, community centres,
swimming pools, skating rinks and some schools.
Anyone can help paramedics save a life if they follow this advice when encountering
an apparent cardiac-arrest emergency:
- Call 911 and get an AED or send someone to get an AED.
- Start CPR.
- Activate the AED as soon as possible and follow the voice prompts.
- Continue CPR until paramedics arrive, and continue to follow AED prompts.
Interested in taking a course? Toronto Paramedic Services Safe City instructors
present courses at locations across the city, with registration available
This news release is also available on the City's website at
Media contact: Kim McKinnon, Toronto Paramedic Services,
|More..||Posted: Feb 14, 2018
|Toronto Public Health launches 2018 condomTO campaign
|February 14, 2018
Toronto Public Health launches 2018 condomTO campaign
Toronto Public Health is pleased to launch this year's condomTO campaign, entitled
Life in the Bowl. The animated series features the imagined lives of condoms waiting
to get selected for use. CondomTO, launched today to coincide with Valentine's
Day, is a campaign designed to help promote safer sex and reduce stigma around
"We're excited to launch this new campaign that targets youth and is intended to
get people talking about and increasing condom use," said Dr. Eileen de Villa,
Toronto's Medical Officer of Health. "This campaign uses a lighthearted and creative
approach to promote positive sexual health as a part of good overall health in
an engaging and fun way."
The 2018 condomTO campaign was developed by The&Partnership Toronto.
The agency developed the strategic approach and creative concept for the Life in
the Bowl series.
Since 1983, Toronto Public Health has promoted and distributed condoms to
community agencies and health organizations across the city as part of its sexual
health promotion mandate. Condoms are one of the most effective ways to reduce
the risk of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.
More information about the campaign is available at http://www.condomTO.ca.
The&Partnership is a modern communications agency uniquely built to solve
the concerns and frustrations of marketers. The multidisciplinary model operates
under a single bottom line, which creates game-changing collaboration and creativity
across disciplines, delivering the right answer for today’s client needs. The agency’s
capabilities span disciplines including advertising, media, PR, CRM, data/analytics,
digital, social, mobile, innovation, content and delivery/production.
The&Partnership has 1,500 employees in 56 offices across 25 countries.
More information is available at theandpartnership.com.
This news release is also available on the City's website: http://ow.ly/V3Az30ioEW2.
Media contact: Keisha Mair, Toronto Public Health,
|More..||Posted: Feb 14, 2018
|Urban Rez is Focusing on a SOLUTION When it Comes to the Black Youth Action Plan
|Urban Rez is focusing on a SOLUTION when it comes to the Black Youth Action Plan
TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2018 /CNW/ - Urban Rez Solutions has partnered with
the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to launch the Black Youth Action Plan,
'Violence Prevention Campaign'. The Toronto launch will take place at the Black
Business and Professional Association, 180 Elm St., Toronto, ON. Tuesday,
February 13th, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. Subsequent events are planned for Toronto,
Windsor, Hamilton and Ottawa.
Urban Rez Solutions is a culturally sensitive social enterprise that works
with communities, government, social service providers, schools, non-profits
and corporations to build capacity and create transformational social change.
The Black Youth Action Plan (BYAP) is a proactive four year, $47,000,000.00
commitment from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to support 10,800
Black children, youth and their families annually. There is an urgent need to address
violence and victimization affecting Black Ontarians. The OBYAP objective is to
reduce instances of violence for Black children, youth and families by addressing
the root causes of violence. These causes include a negative concept of self
and low self esteem, a sense of powerlessness and a sense of exclusion from
the broader community.
"When the Ministry of Children and Youth Services announced a deadline for
the Black Youth Action Plan Grant, we submitted a three part initiative" said Farley
Felx , " this would allow us to see achievement as accessible, foster collaboration
with identified communities and engage youth through a culturally relevant events."
URBAN REZ SOLUTIONS HAS THREE ELEMENTS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
A province-wide marketing campaign featuring positive messaging designed through
the lens of strong cultural identity.
A series of City Pop-Ups (Town Hall Meetings) in Windsor, Hamilton, the GTA
and Ottawa, from February-April 2018. The events will target youth
and communities and focus on generating consensus and collaboration. The idea is
to focus on thesolutions toward mitigating incidences of violence and to increase
cultural identity in the Black communities.
The production of a collaborative Afrocentric digital comic book, 'SPORRA' featuring
culturally sensitive superheroes, characters and messaging that reinforces positive
cultural identity through engaging artwork and storytelling. Highlighted will be
the rich legacy of Black culture, the resiliency that exists and the historical relevance
associated to the community.
The City Pop-Ups will feature local celebrities, comedians, influencers, music
performers, poets, social service providers, community leaders and individuals who
have the ability to influence Black youth. The objective is to inspire a positive
cultural identity which will lead to empowerment and ultimately increase success
within Black communities.
"We mark this moment as the beginning of a better tomorrow in the Black
community. By aligning performance with potential youth will better attain goals
and develop various aspects of prosocial change," say initiative leads Roderick
Brereton and Farley Flex.
SOURCE BrandEq Group
For further information:
For media opportunities, more information and ways to become involved with Urban
Rez Solutions initiatives contact Nadine Spencer
at email@example.com or
This information is being distributed to you by CNW Group Ltd. 88 Queens Quay
West, Suite 3000 Toronto ON M5J 0B8 www.newswire.ca
© 2017 CNW Group Ltd, all rights reserved
|More..||Posted: Feb 13, 2018
|City Council Approves Balanced Budget
|February 12, 2018
City Council approves balanced budget that invests in key service priorities for
Toronto residents and businesses
Toronto City Council has approved a 2018 tax supported operating budget of
$11.12 billion and a 10-year capital budget and plan of $25.98 billion.
The 2018 budgets ensure that the City maintains or improves all service levels
and makes unprecedented investments in social infrastructure and housing.
"Today, City Council approved a responsible budget that makes important
investments in our City, while keeping it affordable for our residents," said Mayor
John Tory. "This budget provides new funding for transit, including hop-on, hop-off
transfers on the TTC and funding for the Transit Fare Equity program so that
low-income residents will be able to use public transit. This budget also provides
funding for increased shelter beds and social housing repairs to prevent
the permanent closure of Toronto Community Housing units."
"The 2018 budget ensures we invest in key areas and, for the fourth year in a row,
the budgetary property tax increase will be kept at or below the rate of inflation,"
said Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36 Scarborough Southwest), Chair of
the City's Budget Committee. "Through the budget process we listened to residents
and I'm proud to say we have delivered a budget that funds these priorities, while
continuing to invest in everyday services and maintaining our infrastructure in
a state of good repair."
Overall, the 2018 budget tax increase after assessment growth is 1.47 per cent,
with a 2.1 per cent increase for residential properties, a 1.05 per cent increase for
commercial properties and a 0.70 per cent for industrial properties in support of
Council's tax policy to enhance the City's business climate. There will be no increase
for multi-residential or rental apartment buildings as per new provincial legislation.
Residents will pay an additional 0.5 per cent for the City Building Fund which
supports important infrastructure projects such as transit and housing.
With the City's overall strategy to enhance Toronto's business climate
and reassessment impact, there will be an additional increase of 0.31 per cent for
residential properties, bringing the total municipal tax increase to 2.91 per cent.
The average house assessed at $624,418 will attract an additional $82 in municipal
property taxes for a total of $2,907 for 2018.
"The major investments that are outlined in this year's budget continue to respond
to the City's key priorities by providing additional funding to address increased
demand for shelters and housing, invest in poverty reduction, advance
environmental sustainability and improve Toronto's transportation network,"
said City Manager Peter Wallace.
The 2018 Operating Budget maintains all current programs and services
and provides funding for new and enhanced services, including:
• $2.3 million to accelerate the implementation of the prioritized TransformTO
• $2 million to complete the phase-in of the four-year Arts and Culture Plan to
achieve the $25 per capita spending benchmark for arts and culture
• Funding for an additional 1,515 childcare subsidies, support for the new Child
and Family Centres Program and other expansion programs ($71.8 million gross
and $2.1 million net)
• In response to increased shelter demand, funding for:
- 700 winter respite shelter beds ($24.6 million)
- 35 additional positions to provide operational support and oversight for
the expansion of the shelter system ($1.8 million)
- the operation of three new permanent shelter sites ($1.7 million)
• $4.6 million to begin the Transit Fare Equity Program which provides discounted
TTC passes for Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program recipients
who do not receive transportation supports
• Implementing TTC's recommended two-hour time-based transfer policy on Presto
($1 million gross, $6.1 million net and $5 million capital)
• $3 million to relieve overcrowding on TTC bus routes
• $1.3 million to implement congestion-fighting measures such as Traffic
• $0.8 million to enhance access to recreation programs by increasing the number
of recreation spaces by 10,000 and accelerating an additional 10,000 spaces for
a total of 20,000 new recreational spaces.
City Council also approved a 2018-2027 tax supported Capital Budget and Plan of
$26 billion of which 72 per cent is allocated to transit and transportation projects
such as the purchase of buses and streetcars, subway expansion
and the F. G. Gardiner Expressway rehabilitation.
"The City's capital program ensures the City's $76 billion in physical assets are
maintained and expanded," said Joe Farag, Acting Chief Financial Officer.
"For 2018, a strong focus was placed on funding high-needs social infrastructure
projects including TCHC, the George Street Revitalization project, child care growth
and other key city building initiatives. Funding for these new projects was made
possible through the additional provincial gas tax revenue which is budgeted to be
nearly $1.1 billion over the next ten years."
New investments in the 10-year capital plan include:
• $279 million in interim capital funding to address the TCHC state-of-good-repair
backlog and current revitalization projects to avoid permanent closure of its units
• $485.8 million for the George Street Revitalization project
• $178.6 million to acquire and construct nine shelter sites and renovate two leased
sites over a three-year period that will add 1,000 new permanent shelter beds
• $6 million for the Anishawabe Child Care Centre which when completed will
62 new childcares spaces
• $202 million for various programs to ensure compliance with Accessibility for
Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) standards
• $6.4 million for a feasibility study of the Rail Deck Park, $3 million for the design
and development phase of determining future uses of Old City Hall and $3.5 million
to complete design work for the new Etobicoke Community Centre
• $46.7 million for critical state-of-good-repair projects such as the St. Lawrence
Centre Roof project, Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy project
and the Multi-Branch Renovation project of the Toronto Public Library
• $19.5 million for the Glen Road Pedestrian Bridge and York Street Tunnel
and further extension of the PATH system along York Street south of Bremner
• $2 million to address critical waterfront rehabilitation due to high lake-effect
• Capital funding of $45 million to support capital modernization projects such as fire
prevention technology integration, office modernization and IT to support Business
Sustainment System, Application Systems and Information Management
"The 2018 budget continues to respond to the complex needs of a growing city
through the improvement and expansion of services and infrastructure,
while ensuring that current service levels are not eroded and existing City assets
are reliable to support City services for Toronto residents, businesses and visitors,"
said Josie La Vita, Executive Director of Financial Planning.
More information about the City's budget and the budget process is available
Wynna Brown, Strategic Communications,
Paula Chung, Strategic Communications,
|More..||Posted: Feb 13, 2018
|Paramedics to Meet Cardiac Arrest Survivor at Heart Month Awareness Event at Toronto City Hall
|February 12, 2018
Paramedics to meet cardiac arrest survivor at Heart Month awareness event
at Toronto City Hall
Mayor John Tory will declare February 14 Safe City Day in Toronto on Wednesday
as part of an event involving Toronto Paramedic Services and members of
the public. Paramedic Services Chief Gord McEachen will introduce a cardiac-arrest
survivor (and friends who helped save his life) to the paramedics who took care of
him at the time of the incident.
Date: Wednesday, February 14
Time: Official remarks at 12:45 p.m., CPR demonstrations until 2 p.m.
Location: Rotunda, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W.
Paramedic Services' Safe City staff will offer hands-on demonstrations of CPR
(cardiopulmonary resuscitation) between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Members of
the media are welcome to take photos any time during the four-hour event.
The chance of surviving a cardiac arrest doubles when CPR is used in combination
with an automated external defibrillator (AED) in the first few minutes of
the cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest refers to a situation in which a person's heart
malfunctions and suddenly stops beating unexpectedly.
Toronto Paramedic Services' Safe City program trains more than 7,500 Toronto
residents a year in CPR and AED so they know what to do if confronted with
an emergency in which someone may be experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.
Media contact: Kim McKinnon, Toronto Paramedic Services,
|More..||Posted: Feb 12, 2018
|Mayor John Tory’s “Just Right” Budget Will Guarantee Continued Misery for the Homeless
|Mayor John Tory’s “just right” budget will guarantee continued misery for
Budget day rally and action at City Hall on Monday, February 12, starting at 9am,
to demand that council approve 1500 new shelter beds, and add at-least 1000 this
year, to alleviate the deadly crisis plaguing homeless people in Toronto.
Toronto: The preliminary budget championed by Mayor John Tory adds a maximum
of 361 new shelter beds this year. That's less than a quarter of the 1500 that are
necessary to guarantee a bed for everyone in need. The 361 number also includes
81 transitional housing beds, which won’t be available on an emergency basis,
reducing the tally of new shelter beds to 280. With the shelter system packed to
capacity, over 700 people are currently forced to stay the back-up system of
sub-standard respite centres.
“The Mayor’s plan guarantees that the majority of those without a bed today won’t
have one even a year from now. This means that the deadly housing and shelter
crisis that claimed 94 lives in 2017 will continue,” says Yogi Acharya, organizer with
the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.
If the preliminary budget is approved, the addition of 1,000 beds to the shelter
system will be spread over three years, with a significant caveat. The expansion
can only proceed if necessary funds are allocated in the 2019 and 2020 budgets.
But even if the money is approved and the total number of homeless people doesn’t
grow in that time, shelter occupancy will still be above 90% in 2021. This means
hundreds of people will continue to not be able to secure a bed on a given night.
But when you consider the reality that homelessness is likely to grow over the next
three years, the inadequacy of the current proposal becomes even more jarring.
Add to the equation the impeding closure of Seaton House, the largest men's
shelter downtown, and cause for alarm is clear.
The 2018 budget essentially contains the same inadequate plan Tory pushed
through at the council meeting in early December, when he lobbied councillors to
defeat motions to add 1,000 beds and open the armouries. The move triggered
widespread outrage as extreme cold gripped Toronto in late December, further
jeopardizing the lives of hundreds of homeless people who had nowhere to go.
Under pressure, the City scrambled to open respite space, demand for which
continues to stay dangerously high. Mobilizations by homeless people and their
allies resulted in the budget committee agreeing to extend respite service to
the end of the year. But the underlying problem of the severe shortage of shelter
beds remains unaddressed.
Recognizing the magnitude and urgency of the situation, some councillors have
publicly stated their support for the addition of 1,000 beds this year. However,
the Mayor has made it clear he won’t be supporting any changes to the proposed
budget, calling it “just right.”
“Mayor ‘Goldilocks’ Tory may be prepared to accept continued misery for homeless
people as ‘just right,’ but no decent person can. Such callous disregard for the lives
of the poorest people in this city must, and will be challenged,” adds Acharya.
Organizer, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
157 Carlton St #201
Toronto, ON. M5A 2K3
Phone: 416 925 6939
Fax: 1 855 714 0566 (toll free)
|More..||Posted: Feb 10, 2018