The staff report and revised proposal allowing for a for a fifty-bed shelter at 731 Runnymede Road was approved. I am grateful for the hard work of the local residents who volunteered their time for weekly meetings this summer as part of the Community Liaison Committee, working alongside City Staff, Councillors and local agencies. Their thoughtful consideration of the proposal and needs of the local community helped inform the report brought to Council. The community feedback and engagement on this issue have led to a broader discussion about how we support our local neighbourhoods while living up to our obligations as a City to provide shelter for those in need.
For a full update on all the work that has taken place, please visit my 731 Runnymede website.
I am thrilled to share that after almost a decade of work, the Holodomor Memorial has been approved to be installed at Exhibition Place. The Holodomor was a man-made famine in Ukraine that lasted from 1932 and 1933, killing millions of Ukrainians. The Ukrainian-Canadian Congress has worked diligently to have this monument installed, and to raise awareness about this tragedy. It is wonderful to see their hard work pay off.
The vote regarding Tuggs Inc. sub-lease to Cara Operations was difficult, as I could see both sides of this issue. While residents of the Beaches were upset at the proposal of a large chain restaurant owner setting up shop in parklands, legally, the vote was whether Cara could fulfill the lease agreement, not whether council supported their restaurant. The existing contract allows for such a transfer to happen, and City Staff supported this proposal. I firmly believe City Council made an error back in May 2010 when they voted against the staff report and allowed the sole-sourcing of the area to Tuggs Inc, and going against staff’s recommendation again would only exacerbate this problem.
I am happy to share that Council overwhelmingly supported the local Councillors’ initiative to try to initiate negotiations with Tuggs to buy out his remaining exclusive rights to offer food, beverage and sponsorship rights at four city parks: Woodbine Beach, Kew Gardens, Beaches and Ashbridges Bay.
I was pleased to join Council and vote to have a comprehensive study of the proposed Rail Deck Park. Currently, the downtown core is suffers from a parkland deficiency. This problem will increase exponentially over the next 25 years, as the population is expected to double to nearly 500,000 people. To ensure Toronto stays a liveable city, we must take action now to solve this imbalance. The downtown, like all of Toronto, needs green space for residents, workers, and those visiting our City. This project has the potential to elevate these problems, and this study is the first step forward to see if this is the right approach to take.