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Your Home is Part of a Community

Near the end of the summer, I got a suggestion from a resident at one of our Park Pop-Ups. We were having a discussion about property standards in the neighbourhood, and more and more neighbours joined the conversation as they arrived at the park.

Park Pop-Ups are such a great way for me to hear directly from the community about the top issues facing the neighbourhood. Thank you to everyone who came out to one of our park events this summer!

This gentleman, a long-time neighbour of the park where we stood, wondered aloud, “Do many people in the neighbourhood just not know the current bylaws? They have changed over the years, after all,” and then suggested, “You should write about it one Thursday.” He’s absolutely right. Some of the bylaws affecting your home were carried forward from the old City of North York, while others changed when we amalgamated to become the new City of Toronto. Many of these bylaws have also been amended and updated over time, so let’s take a look at the ones my office hears about most often. Parking We hear a lot of complaints about parking. Sometimes this is within the City’s bylaw jurisdiction, and other times it needs to be enforced by Toronto Police. When a car is illegally parked on the street, it is enforced by Toronto Police Parking Enforcement. You can report any immediate parking complaints by calling Toronto Police at 416-808-2222 or filing a report online. If the issue is chronic, you’re also welcome to get in touch with my office so we can follow up with Toronto Police and check in with Transportation Services to see if the street would benefit from some parking changes.

Parking on the boulevard is not permitted unless you receive permission from the City.

When a car is illegally parked off road, it leaves police jurisdiction and becomes a bylaw issue. Parking on your lawn is a pretty clear property standards infraction. Some people may not know that parking on the paved portion of your boulevard is a bylaw infraction as well. This was a common practice back in the legacy City of North York, but now you are not permitted to park on the boulevard unless you’ve received special permission from the City. If you notice cars parked improperly on a neighbour’s property, you can file a complaint by calling 3-1-1 or emailing 311@toronto.ca. Often, removing these cars takes a couple of months, as the bylaw department has to provide a written warning and wait a certain amount of time before serving legal action. You’re welcome to get in touch with my office if it relates to a chronic issue so that we can stick with the case until we get a result. Waste Sometimes it may feel like you need a science degree just to figure out how to properly set out the garbage. We often hear from neighbours about bins being left out for days, overflowing garbage, and oversized and hazardous items being left on lawns or boulevards for weeks.

All garbage and recycling must fit in the bin with the lid closed. If your bins are constantly overflowing, it might be time to upsize your bins.

Let’s face it, it took us a long time to get from the original blue box, proudly introduced first in North York, to our current three bin system. New neighbours often need a little guidance to learn our current waste collection system. If you aren’t sure what days to set out your bins, you can find out by looking up your address on the City’s collection schedule website. You can also use Waste Wizard to look up which bin an item goes in, and to get helpful tips like tying the frame of a sofa bed closed for safety. Oversized items can be left out right beside your garbage on your pickup day. The curbside service is meant to make note of the item and call it in to be picked up separately. If an item hasn’t been picked up for several days, call 3-1-1 or my office so that we can make sure it hasn’t been forgotten. Household hazardous waste can be picked up through the City’s “toxic taxi” pick-up service or taken to a nearby drop-off depot. The City is currently hosting a series of Community Environment Days at our drop-off depots each Sunday, so you can drop off any hazardous waste and pick up some free compost while you’re at it! Lawn Maintenance Throughout the spring, summer, and fall we take many calls about overgrown grass and weeds around the neighbourhood. If you own your home, you are responsible for cutting the grass and controlling the noxious weeds on your property and the boulevard in front of or beside your house. If you are a tenant renting a house you should have a clear arrangement with your landlord, which should be outlined in your lease, as to who will be cutting the grass. If you are the landlord/homeowner, you are the party that the City will ultimately hold responsible for all property standards and yard maintenance.

You must cut and remove the grass and weeds on your property when they grow over 8 inches in height.

Toronto has 5,500km of roads. The City is responsible for maintaining grass boulevards that are not adjacent to a home, such as those that run along parks. We have long relied on homeowners doing their part to maintain boulevards in front of their homes because adding residential boulevards to our grass cutting would require millions more in taxation. This would be as good a place as any to say that I’m not entirely happy with the City’s service levels when it comes to the grass cutting we are responsible for. I have raised this issue at budget time for the past five years. I believe that if we invested a little more in grass cutting and weed whacking our parks and curbs, we would see more residents inspired to follow suit. The Bylaw Process It’s important to remember that bylaw enforcement takes a different amount of time for different issues. With grass cutting, notices give homeowners just a couple of weeks to come into compliance, while other issues require more investigation and longer compliance notices. Bylaw enforcement on private property can be a complex legal matter these days. That is why City bylaw staff do as much as possible by moving through the steps of visiting, investigating, and warning before serving legal notices that can start another process entirely. If a bylaw issue is dragging out, you’re welcome to contact my office. Bylaw officers have to protect residents’ personal privacy, but we can get updates on how the case is proceeding. I can also do what I always do when not enough resources are going to neighbourhood service up here in our part of the city: squawk to our various departments and at Council if needed. It’s also important to remember that sometimes, property standards issues can simply be the result of a new neighbour not being familiar with Toronto’s bylaws. Feel free to forward this E-Blast on to others in your community so that they can learn a little more about the rules around maintaining property here in Toronto.

 

What property standards issue do you notice most frequently in your neighbourhood? Click on one of the options below to let me know: 1. Parking on lawns/boulevards 2. Waste and garbage issues 3. Overgrown grass and weeds 4. Other

 

Vaccine Passports Proof of vaccination is now in effect for select non-essential settings in Ontario. Ontarians are required to show their paper or PDF vaccine receipt along with a piece of photo ID to access these settings. If you need to print or download your proof of immunization, you can do so by visiting covid19.ontariohealth.ca or calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900. For those without access to a printer, Toronto Public Library has implemented a program to allow you to print your proof of vaccination for free at any library branch. There are computers and free wifi available to allow people to access and download their documentation. For more information, visit Toronto Public Library's website here: tpl.ca/printfree For more information on the vaccine passport, visit the link below:

 


Shelley Carroll

Councillor for Don Valley North

416-338-2650

100 Queen St. W, Suite A3



Community Events & Notices

Coffee with your Councillor

Join me for another Coffee with your Councillor on Thursday, September 30, at 10 AM. I'll be on Facebook Live talking about some of the big ticket items coming to Council next week. I'll also provide community updates and answer your questions about what's going on in our neighbourhoods. You'll be able to find the event on my Facebook page. I look forward to seeing you there!

 

Tonight! DVN Youth Network Courtside Chat

I'll be joining the Don Valley North Youth Network for a courtside event at McNicoll Park tonight! This event marks the launch of the DVN Youth Network, and it will give young people the chance to chat with me and staff about joining the Youth Network, Youth Council, and finding new ways to get involved in the community while playing some basketball! This event will be held by the basketball court at McNicoll Park (215 McNicoll Ave, North York, ON) from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM tonight (Thursday, September 23).

 

Register for Fall Recreation Programs

Parks and Recreation is returning to in-person recreation programs this fall! With over 10,000 classes on offer, there’s something for all ages, interests and skill levels. Registration opens at 7 AM on:

  • Saturday, September 25 for Etobicoke, York, and Scarborough

  • Tuesday, September 28 for North York, Toronto, and East York

The quickest and easiest way to register for recreation programs is online. Phone registration will also be available at 416-396-7378, beginning at 7 AM on registration dates. Five community centre locations will be open on registration dates for in-person registration support, and Wi-Fi will be available for residents that may want to bring their own electronic devices to the in-person registration sites. Staff will also be on-site to assist with the registration process and register those without their own electronic devices. Locations and hours are available here . The City has made changes to the delivery of recreation programs to help keep you safe, including health screening, contact tracing, masking, physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting and program adjustments. For more information on Fall Recreation Programs, visit the links below:

 

Community Environment Days

Do your part to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Drop off items for reuse, recycling and safe disposal at Community Environment Days. The City of Toronto will be hosting 14 events at Drop-Off Depots on Sundays beginning September 12 until October 31. At the events, you will be to drive to different stations to drop off unwanted items for donation and to dispose of batteries, old paint and other household hazardous waste. Free bagged compost will be available with a limit of two bags per vehicle while supplies last. I also wanted to remind everyone that you are able to drop off household hazardous waste at the City's drop-off depots on days other than Community Environment Days. Check out the City's handy map of all drop-off depot locations and hours for more information. A list of event dates and more information about Community Environment Days is available at the link below:

 

Digital Infrastructure Plan Consultations

Are you interested in online privacy, security, data, equity, use of sensors & more? Take part in the City of Toronto's Digital Infrastructure Plan! Two public consultations about the Digital Infrastructure Plan are being held on September 28 and 29. For more information and to register, visit the link below:

 

Youth Virtual Retail Job Fair

The CIty of Toronto and the Retail Council of Canada is hosting a virtual retail job fair for youth ages 16-29 on Thursday, September 30 from 11 AM - 3 PM. The Retail Job Fair is dedicated to providing employment and career opportunities for young people in the City of Toronto who are interested in entering the workforce, developing their skills, and potentially pursuing an exciting career in retail. For more information and to register, visit the link below:

 

TTC: Upcoming Closures

Subway Closures:

  • Line 1 (Yonge-University) – St. Clair to King Stations (Both Ways) Early Nightly Closure – September 20 to September 23 (closes at 11:00 PM)

  • Line 1 (Yonge-University) – Lawrence to St. Clair Stations (Both Ways) Full Weekend Closure – September 25 to September 26

  • Line 1 (Yonge-University) – St. Clair to King Stations (Both Ways) Early Nightly Closure – September 27 to September 30 (closes at 11:00 PM)

For more information, visit the link below:


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