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A Stormy Start to Summer

Summer might not technically start until June 21st, but here in the city I like to think it kicks off over the May long weekend. That’s when many of our city amenities open back up and most of us get in the summer mood. Well, what a start to summer we had! My team and I were at the Old Cummer GO Station for our first Community Environment Day when the storm hit. This week, I want to share some helpful tips and reminders to get you ready for the summer season, and also make sure you have the information you need to respond to any outstanding issues from the storm.

We got our tent packed up just before the storm hit, but my team had to run to 311's rescue when their tent went down on Saturday.

I know that many of our neighbourhoods were hit quite hard by the storm. I spent a few hours each day driving around the ward and reporting any downed power lines and damaged trees that I saw. Given the severity of the storm, it will take a few more weeks for City crews to complete the non-emergency cleanup work. Rest assured that our crews are still working around the clock to remove the most hazardous debris. Toronto Hydro has also been working tirelessly to restore power to over 100,000 homes that lost power over the weekend. If there are still major outstanding issues on your street from the storm, like fallen tree branches blocking the road/sidewalk or ongoing power outages, feel free to reach out to my office. My team will be happy to follow up with staff and assist. It’s important to remember that the City only cleans up debris from City-owned trees. If a tree has fallen in your backyard, or elsewhere on private property, you have to contact a tree service company or arborist to assist.

One of the worst fallen trees I saw in our neighbourhoods over the weekend.

I also wanted to share some tips to help you be prepared for the next extreme storm we have. Unfortunately, this type of weather is happening more and more often due to global warming. It’s important to be prepared for these type of weather events as we move into our hottest season. Preparing for a storm (when you have warning):

  • Keep on top of yard maintenance (e.g. trim tree branches to limit breakages)

  • Secure loose items in the yard (cushions, umbrellas, light patio furniture, etc.)

  • Check your roof for any loose tiles or shingles, and repair as necessary

  • Secure your garbage and recycling bins, as you don’t want garbage thrown across your lawn

After the storm:

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway

  • Stay at least 10 metres away from downed power lines and report them immediately to Toronto Hydro (416-542-8000) or to 911

  • Keep clear of areas that have been hit badly by the storm, as there’s still a risk of falling debris

  • Continue to listen to local radio and television stations for updates

  • Check in on your neighbours, especially seniors and people living with disabilities, to see if they need assistance

This helpful video from Toronto Hydro shows what you need to do during a power outage from a storm.

Thankfully, summers aren’t all storms. There are so many things to look forward to here in Don Valley North. A great place to start is your local park. Many of them are home to great amenities, like playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, soccer fields, and shady areas to sit with your family. As an added bonus, as of this past Saturday, our City splash pads are now open. Our pools and wading pools will open later in June, but for now you can take your kids to cool off at a splash pad on a hot day.

Let me say that I know our parks are looking a bit rough right now. Our Parks department delayed the hiring of our seasonal staff to save money as we’re still facing pandemic budget constraints, but rest assured that grass cutting will start soon. It can be hard to feel motivated to take care of your own property when our parks and boulevard are looking overgrown, but please remember that property owners have to keep your grass and weeds below 20 cm high. There are also a number of exciting events happening in the City in the coming weeks, starting with Doors Open Toronto this weekend. This is a great chance to check out our city’s architectural treasures, including our own Historic Zion Schoolhouse here in Don Valley North. A number of other events will be coming back this summer for the first time since 2019, including the Pride parade, food festivals, Summerlicious, and more.

My team and I are back out under the big pink tent to chat with you about what's going on in your neighbourhood.

Of course, you’ll also see me and my team out in the neighbourhood more and more in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on your mailbox for an invitation to a local park pop-up, and keep an eye on your inbox for news about more exciting summer opportunities in my weekly E-Blast all summer long.


A Quick Update on Local Development

We had our May meeting of North York Community Council this past Tuesday, and considered a number of development applications that promise affordable housing. As I mentioned in the E-Blast last week, we don’t need aggressive Provincial legislation to attract developers to build affordable housing. What we need are funding programs that make sure the torrent of development applications we receive every year include middle-income affordable housing. Of course, we also need to make sure that any development proposal that includes affordable housing is still put through the proper planning process. The application at 3377 Bayview Avenue (Tyndale University) is a good example of this. The developer has filed an appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT), and my fellow Councillors and I approved City staff’s advice to oppose the application at the hearing. The current application proposes 1550 units of housing, half of which are to be affordable (a rate at which households making $40,000 – $80,000 would be spending about 30% of their before-tax income). I still very much want to see affordable rental units created, but there are many City Planning and community concerns that still need to be addressed, including traffic planning, more family-sized units, preserving landscape and cultural heritage aspects, and height and density. Until these concerns are addressed, City staff wanted direction to oppose.


Planning & Development Updates

Upcoming Community Meetings

City Planning staff will be hosting a number of virtual community meetings in the coming weeks to hear from residents about development applications in/around the ward and the Official Plan Review. You can join each meeting online (via WebEx) or call in by phone. Registration links are below:

Official Plan Review – North York Town Hall

Monday, May 30 @ 6:00 PM

The City of Toronto is updating the Official Plan for Toronto 2051. The Official Plan is a City Planning document that acts as Toronto’s road map for land use and development. It sets out a long-term vision, shared values, and policies that help guide decision-making on land development, economic growth, the environment, and more.

Please register here and you will receive further instructions by email.

500 Sheppard Avenue East:

Monday, June 6 @ 7:00 PM

This application proposes the redevelopment of the site with a 35- and 39-storey mixed use building with a total of 928 dwelling units.

Please register here and you will receive further instructions by email.

As always, our office will keep you informed and involved after the initial community consultation on each application.


Upcoming Vaccine Clinics in Don Valley North

Oriole Community Centre (2975 Don Mills Rd. W.) &

Parkway Forest Community Centre (55 Forest Manor Rd.)

North York General Hospital is running two walk-in vaccine clinics in our area in May and June:

  • Oriole Community Centre every Wednesday (12:00 - 3:00 PM) and Thursday (4:00 - 7:30 PM)

  • Parkway Forest Community Centre every Wednesday (4:00 - 7:30 PM)

First, second, third, and fourth doses are available for those eligible. For more information, visit the link below:


Meet Sandy Chin, our Don Valley Northerner of the Week! Sandy was nominated by a neighbour who always sees her taking initiative to better her community. Sandy regularly cleans up litter in her local parks, and is also active on her condo board and on the Bayview-Sheppard Neighbourhood Alliance. Thank you, Sandy, for all of your involvement in your community!

Nominate a Neighbour! Do you know someone in your neighbourhood who makes a difference? Nominate them for Don Valley Northerner of the Week! To submit a nomination, please send a short blurb (~100 words) about the person you are nominating to My team will contact you if we select your nominee as Don Valley Northerner of the Week!


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