Thinking about renovating? HELP is here!

The City's Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) offers competitive fixed rate loans of up to $75,000 to homeowners interested in improving the energy and water efficiency of their homes. The funds can be used to upgrade your furnace and insulation, install high-efficiency water heaters, windows, doors, and even install solar panels on your roof!

 On average, HELP participants are saving $560 per year and using 25-30% less energy, while at the same time significantly improving household comfort. We want to help people put away the space heaters and enjoy their home without having to worry about expensive heating bills or chilly drafts.

 Homeowners can decide which energy efficient renovations to complete and choose their own contractors. When the work is complete, homeowners can repay the loan over time in installments on their property tax bill while enjoying the benefits of a newly renovated and more comfortable home. With repayment terms of 5, 10, or 15 years and fixed interest rates as low as 3.70% the program offers flexibility as well as security.

 The HELP team is also available to help homeowners in understanding the process, accessing certified energy assessments, utility rebates and incentives as well as information on related city programs.

 Learn more about HELP and apply at www.livegreentoronto.ca or

 https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/water-environment/environmental-grants-incentives-2/home-energy-loan-program-help/

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City offers grants to support the creation of pollinator gardens

Through its new PollinateTO Community Grants, the City is offering grants of up to $5,000 to support community-led projects that:

  • create pollinator gardens and rain gardens on public and private lands, including residential streets, neighbourhoods and school yards

  • enhance or expand existing gardens with native pollinator-friendly plants

 Native pollinators are under threat from climate change, habitat loss and other stressors. You can help. Learn more and apply by May 1. Visit livegreentoronto.ca

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Registration for City of Toronto spring and summer recreation programs and summer camps begins this weekend

Registration for City of Toronto spring and summer recreation programs as well as summer camps starts this Saturday, March 2. The City is the largest provider of safe, fun and high-quality recreation programs for people of all ages, skill levels and interests in Toronto.

 To help residents prepare for registration, customer service hours have been extended. Residents can call 416-396-7378 from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on February 27 and 28, March 1 and 4.

 Registration begins at 7 a.m. on: 

·         Saturday, March 2 in the Etobicoke/York district

·         Sunday, March 3 in the Scarborough district

·         Tuesday, March 5 in the North York district

·         Wednesday, March 6 in the Toronto/East York and West Toronto/York districts

As of September 2018, some areas of the Etobicoke/York and Toronto/East York Districts were merged to create the West Toronto/York District. The registration day for some of these locations has changed. Residents are asked to plan ahead and confirm the district for their programs before registration starts. Locations affected by this change can be found at http://www.toronto.ca/data/parks/funguide/wty.html.

 How to register 
Step 1: Get account numbers 
Residents need a family number and client number to sign up for recreation programs. Those looking to register are encouraged to get their numbers before registration day by calling 416-396-7378 or by speaking with staff at a City community centre. 

Step 2: Choose programs 
Residents are advised to have a few backup choices prepared in case their preferred program is full. A listing of programs can be found online at http://www.toronto.ca/funguide or in the printed Spring/Summer FUN Guide available at community centres, libraries, civic centres, and City Hall. A program wish list can be created with the online FUN Guide. 

Step 3: Register 
Residents are encouraged to have all information and payment options ready before registration starts. There are three ways to register: 

·         Online at https://efun.toronto.ca/ (online is the easiest and fastest way to register) 

·         By telephone with help from staff at 416-396-7378

·         In person at select locations listed in the printed FUN Guide and available online at http://www.toronto.ca/rec.

 Free recreation programs
Many community centres offer free recreation programs, including leisure swimming and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/lowcostrecreation.  

If registrants are unable to attend 
Parks, Forestry and Recreation programs are popular and many have waiting lists. If registrants are unable to attend their registered program, they are asked to contact their local community centre or call the customer service line so the spot can be offered to someone else. 

Welcome Policy yearly credit 
The Welcome Policy credit can be used to register for City recreation programs. Those receiving social assistance (Ontario Works) and living in Toronto are pre-approved to receive this credit and should speak to their caseworker. Visit http://www.toronto.ca/wp for more details. 

Older adult discounts 
Participants 60 years and older receive a 50 per cent discount on the regular price of adult recreation programs, excluding private, semi-private and small group lessons.

Toronto residents invited to provide input at Special Committee on Governance meeting

The City of Toronto's new Special Committee on Governance will hold its first meeting at 9:30 a.m. on February 21, in Committee Room 1 at City Hall.

 The Special Committee on Governance was struck by City Council to consider the impacts on the City's governance structure and processes arising from the reduction in the size of Council, and make recommendations to City Council on any further changes to its governance structure.

 The public are invited to make a presentation at the meeting or provide written comments in advance of the meeting. The committee is seeking the public's input on whether the reduction in the size of City Council has impacts on, or may have impacts on, the City's governance and suggestions for changes to the City's governance structure, including modernizing governance, following the reduction in the size of City Council.

 The Special Committee, which Councillor Holyday Chairs, is composed of five Council members who will establish a work plan and engagement process that will include public input, review of available research and data, and an evaluation of impacts under the interim structure.

 The Special Committee will conduct its proceedings in accordance with Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 27, Council Procedures. The committee's meetings are open to the public and comply with the Open Meeting Requirements of the City of Toronto Act, 2006. The committee will report to City Council and its mandate would end after making its final recommendations.

 Torontonians who want to share their ideas are asked to submit written comments to gvc@toronto.ca or call 416-397-4579 to register to speak. Presentations at committee are limited to five minutes for each presenter.

More information about the Special Committee on Governance is available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.GV1.2.

Eglinton West LRT Public Meetings

Plans are being refined for the Eglinton West LRT to make sure we build the best transit for the City and local community. This includes providing great transit connections, optimizing traffic flows in the area and developing well-connected and designed public spaces that align with community values. Your input on these plans will help inform City recommendations to Council in Spring 2019. There are two public meetings:

Tuesday, March 5
York Humber High School, Cafeteria
100 Emmett Avenue
6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. (Presentation starts at 7:00 P.M.)

Thursday, March 7
Martingrove Collegiate Institute, Cafeteria
50 Winterton Drive
6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. (Presentation starts at 7:00 P.M.)

The same information will be available at each meeting, so you can choose the location convenient for you. Meeting materials will also be made available online following the events.

Weather update: City of Toronto childcare and recreation programs

Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for Toronto today with the possibility of 15 cm of snow, as well as ice pellets, freezing rain and strong winds.

 Following the winter storm warning and Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) school closures, child care programs including before- and after-school child care, After-School Recreation Care (ARC) and Community Leadership After-School Programs located in schools and community centres are cancelled today.

 Indoor recreation and aquatic programs at all facilities will be cancelled as of noon today, however community centres will remain open for permits. All other recreation programs at school locations are cancelled today following the TDSB and TCDSB school closures.

 Outdoor recreation programs and lessons, including ski, snowboard and skate, are cancelled today. The City's ski and snowboard centres will be closed. Outdoor ice rinks will remain open pending ice conditions, but will be unsupervised. Live rink status updates are available on the City's website at https://www.toronto.ca/data/parks/prd/facilities/outdoor-rinks/index.html. All permits at City rinks are cancelled and rink clubhouses and fieldhouses will be closed.

 In addition, EarlyON programs located in schools are also cancelled today.

 Parents are asked to check with their child care program or with their local school board for updates tomorrow morning.

 

Snow Update: February 6, 2019

For the freezing rain event of February 6, here is an update on Transportation Services'  winter operations plans as of February 6 at 8am.

 Note:  These plans are estimates only and subject to changing conditions such as timing of the event and the amount of precipitation.

Given the forecast accumulation, it is likely that multiple rounds of salting operations will be required on expressways, arterial, collector and local roads.  It is not anticipated that road plows will be deployed in response to this event.  High & low pedestrian volume sidewalks, as well as separated  bike lanes, will also be salted multiple times.

 Roadway Salting:

-  Salting operations commenced at approx. 6:30am – 8am in all areas

-  Multiple rounds of salt will be required on all road classifications.  Salting will continue throughout Wednesday. 

Roadway Plowing

It is not anticipated that plows will be deployed as part of our response to this event.

 Trails & Separated Bike Lanes

- Salting of the Martin Goodman Trail & Humber Bay Waterfront Trail commenced at approx. 7:30am

- Salting & plowing of the separated bike lanes commenced at approx.. 7:30am

- Multiple rounds of salting on trails and bike lanes will be required

 Sidewalks & Bus Stops

-  Mechanical sidewalk salting on high and low pedestrian volume sidewalks commenced at 4am in all areas

- 1st round of sidewalk salting will be completed by approx. 4pm.

-  2nd round of sidewalk salting for high and low volume sidewalks will commence overnight Wednesday and Thursday.  Tentatively scheduled to start at midnight.

 For up to the minute updates please follow Transportation Services on Twitter at @TO_WinterOps and on their real-time public GPS site at  www.toronto.ca/plowto

 

 

Sightings of coyotes

Sightings of coyotes are normal in parts of Toronto

 

Toronto residents who live near ravines and forests – typical coyote habitat – can expect an increase in coyote sightings during this time of year. Coyotes are active day and night, but prefer to hunt after dusk or before dawn.

 

Residents should follow these steps to minimize negative encounters with coyotes:

• Avoid feeding them. Feeding wild animals, including coyotes is detrimental and can create problems for the neighbourhood.

• Avoid feeding pets outdoors.

• Ensure that all household garbage is inaccessible to animals.

• Place garbage out on the morning of the scheduled pickup, rather than the night before.

• Always supervise pets – keep dogs on a leash and keep cats indoors or supervised when outside.

 

The City has a coyote response strategy that it follows when dealing with coyotes, and  includes public education, a bylaw that prohibits feeding of wildlife, and criteria for the removal of coyotes, if necessary. An attack or bite on another animal is not grounds for removal, as this is normal coyote behaviour.

 

Where a coyote is injured or sick, Toronto Animal Services will investigate to determine whether the coyote can recover on its own or be captured and brought to a wildlife rehabilitation facility. In accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, the coyote will be located back into the area from which it was captured when it has recovered.

 

Coyotes have become a natural part of the urban landscape in Toronto and are an important part of the ecosystem as they control rodent and rabbit populations. They thrive in urban areas because of the abundance of food and shelter available to them.

 

For more information, residents can visit http://toronto.ca/coyote or call 311.

Residents invited to join discussion about Toronto’s 2019 budget

The City of Toronto's Budget Committee will hear public presentations on the staff-recommended 2019 budget beginning next week. Members of the public can make a deputation at budget sub-committee meetings on February 7 and 11 at four locations across the city.

 Torontonians who want to share their views on the budget are asked to register by emailing buc@toronto.ca or by calling 416-392-4666, indicating the location, date and time when they want to speak. Individuals may make only one presentation at any one of the consultation sessions.

Monday, February 11:

 Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall

3 to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. onwards

Residents who are not able to attend a presentation have the option of writing to the Budget Committee by email at buc@toronto.ca, fax at 416-392-2980 or mail at 100 Queen St. W., Toronto City Hall, 10th floor, West Tower, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2, marked to "Attention: Budget Committee".

More information about the 2019 budget and the budget process is available at http://www.toronto.ca/budget.

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Official Plan Review

As part of the Official Plan Review, the City Planning Division is undertaking a review of the transportation policies related to transit, cycling, street related maps and schedules, and automated vehicles and shared mobility services found in the Official Plan. This is the second phase of the transportation component of the Official Plan Review, the first phase of which concluded in 2014.   

City Planning staff are undertaking city-wide consultations on proposed draft transportation policies. Four public meetings will be held from February 11, 2019 to February 19, 2019 as follows: 

All meetings will be held from 6:30p.m. to 8:30p.m. 

Mon. Feb. 11, 2019

Etobicoke Collegiate Institute

86 Montgomery Road

Cafeteria

Tues. Feb. 12, 2019

Metro Hall

55 John Street

3rd Floor, Room 308

Wed. Feb. 13, 2019

Scarborough Civic Centre

150 Borough Drive

Committee Room 1

Tues. Feb. 19, 2019

North York Civic Centre

5100 Yonge Street

Committee Room 3

To learn more about the Official Plan Review, please visit www.toronto.ca/opreview.  

 

Snow Plowing Update:

Plowing operations on expressways commenced at 5:00PM and continued overnight.

Plowing operations on arterial and collector roads commenced at approximately 6:00PM-7:00PM and continued overnight.

Plowing operations on local roads commenced at approximately 10:00PM and are continuing through the day/evening. Given the snow accumulation, this operation may take up to 18 hours to complete.

Mechanical sidewalk clearing on high and low pedestrian volume sidewalks commenced at approximately 6:00PM and the first round was completed overnight. Sidewalk plowing and salting will continue throughout the day as multiple rounds will be require.

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Do you want to make a difference in your city?

Toronto residents are needed to serve on a range of City boards, committees, and tribunals. Whether you are just starting your board journey or you are an experienced director, there's an opportunity for you!

Board members provide oversight of their agency or corporation, bring a community perspective, and help to reflect the needs and interests of Torontonians. This is a great opportunity to participate in local decision making, expand your network and make a difference in your community.

In 2019, the City of Toronto will be recruiting for more than 300 public member positions across over 50 boards. Bring your skills and experience to the table.

To learn more about these opportunities and to apply online, visit toronto.ca/ServeYourCity.

Sign up for the public appointments e-updates to receive information about application deadlines, vacancies, and new opportunities to join a City board, committee or tribunal.

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