First Heat Alert for Toronto Today!

First Heat Alert for Toronto Today!

The first heat alert has been declared for Toronto today and will be in effect until further notice.

During a Healt Alert, there is a greater risk of suffering from heat-related illness for a number of groups, including:

  • isolated adults and seniors
  • people with chronic and pre-existing illnesses,
  • infants and young children,
  • people on certain medications and
  • those who are marginally housed or homeless.

For family, friends and neighbours, especially the people in the above groups at risk, the City of Toronto encourages us to:

  • call or
  • visit them, and
  • make sure they are cool and drinking plenty of fluids;
  • “a few hours in a cooler environment during extremely hot weather lowers the core body temperature and helps save lives. “

Furthermore, landlords of buildings without air conditioning can help by providing a dedicated cooling room for residents to escape the heat.

And community agencies are encouraged to educate clients on the risks of heat-related illness and to call or check those clients at increased risk of heat-related illness during alert.

Please note that when a Heat Alert is declared, those who need assistance or have heat-related inquiries may call the Canadian Red Cross Heat Information Line at 416-480-2615 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

You can “Beat the Heat” by taking these City-advised precautions:

  • Drink lots of water or natural fruit juices – do not wait to feel thirsty.
  • Wear loose fitting, light coloured clothing made of breathable fabric.
  • Stay out of the sun.
  • Reduce strenuous physical outdoor activity, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Never leave the elderly, children or pets unattended in a car.

Please click here for more information on how to Beat the Heat.

During Extreme Heat Alerts, the City opens the following Cooling Centres:

  • Centennial Recreation Centre
    1967 Ellesmere Road
    (Ellesmere west of Markham)
    Open: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Driftwood Community Centre
    4401 Jane Street
    (Jane north of Finch)
    Open: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • East York Civic Centre
    850 Coxwell Avenue
    (Coxwell and Mortimer)
    Open: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Etobicoke Olympium
    590 Rathburn Road
    (Rathburn west of Renforth)
    Open: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • McGregor Community Centre
    2231 Lawrence Avenue East
    (Lawrence east of Birchmount)
    Open: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Metro Hall
    55 John Street
    (John and King)
    Open: 24 hours
  • North York Civic Centre
    5100 Yonge Street
    (Yonge and Sheppard)
    Open: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Did you know that often high air pollution occurs during hot weather conditions?

Thus, people with heart and lung conditions as well as seniors and children should pay special attention to the hourly Air Quality Health Index levels and forecasts available at http://www.airhealth.ca.

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The Ontario Ministry of the Environment offers you Showcasing Water Innovation.

“Approximately 17 – 25 projects will be funded in a representative set of Ontario communities.

Eligible projects would apply a combination of approaches, technologies and practices to arrive at innovative water management solutions that could be replicated throughout Ontario and abroad. Collaboration will be encouraged amongst a range of partners.

Showcasing Water Innovation is the province’s program to fund leading edge, innovative and cost-effective solutions for managing drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems in Ontario communities.”

About the program

  • fostering innovation,
  • creating opportunities for economic development and
  • protecting water resources for present and future generations.
Showcasing Water Innovation Program: Apply for $17 Million Funding from Ontario

Showcasing Water Innovation Program: Apply for $17 Million Funding from Ontario

Under the Showcasing Water Innovation program, the province will fund projects that:

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Seniors Month Celebration in Toronto: June 2011

Seniors Month Celebration in Toronto: June 2011

The first day of June will be the official start of the Seniors Month celebration as Mayor Rob Ford, on behalf of Toronto City Council, will proclaim June as Seniors Month in Toronto this Wednesday at the Members Lounge, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., 1:30 p.m.

Also, Representatives of the City of Toronto and members of the Toronto Seniors Forum will host a Seniors Month celebration called “Seniors on the Move toward an Age-Friendly City.”

Talented seniors will provide entertaining performances for the celebration of Seniors Month.

Furthermore, information tables will showcase federal, provincial and municipal programs and services for seniors.

Here are some very interesting statistics of Seniors in Toronto:

Population

  • “According to the latest Census (2001), there are approximately 338,000 people in Toronto over the age of 65, representing 14 per cent of the City’s total population.
  • The City’s population continues to age. Seniors are the fastest growing age group. The number of seniors has almost doubled within the last 30 years. The 75+ age group alone, has increased by 138 per cent since 1971.
  • By 2031, projections are that 16 per cent of our population – or nearly 480,000 people – will be over the age of 65. The 75+ age group is expected to increase by nearly 50 per cent between 2001 and 2031.
  • Women make up a large share of the senior population, especially in the very oldest age range. In 2001, women represented 59 per cent of the population aged 65 and over, and 74 per cent of the population aged 90 and over.
  • Seniors predominantly live in family households. In this regard, 56 per cent lived in husband-wife families, 39 per cent were single seniors, and 5 per cent lived in lone-parent families.
  • Roughly one in every four seniors in Toronto lives alone.

Health

  • Current life expectancy in Toronto is estimated at 79 years. Toronto had the highest life expectancy and years of disability-free life expectancy at age 65 in Ontario.
  • While seniors are living longer, many suffer from poor health. In Toronto, 22 per cent of seniors indicated limitations in the activities they can do at home due to one or more long-term physical, mental or health conditions.

Income

  • In 2000, the median incomes for senior husband-wife families, lone-parent families, and single persons in Toronto were $43,900, $48,900, and $17,700 respectively. It should be noted that the medians for senior husband-wife and senior singles were lower than their younger counterparts.
  • Since 1995, the median income of senior-led families and single seniors in Toronto grew steadily as the economy rebounded from the recession of the early 1990’s. From 1995 to 2000, the median levels for husband-wife families and lone parent families grew by 11 per cent and 13 per cent respectively. While the median income level for single seniors also increased from $16,400 in 1995 to $17,700 in 2000 (7.9 per cent), many of these individuals continue to face serious economic challenges.
  • Despite the positive growth over the past five years, median incomes for senior families and single seniors are below 1990 levels when adjusted for inflation. At the same time, the number of low-income seniors has continued to rise since 1995.
  • In 2000, 16.9 per cent of Toronto seniors had incomes below Statistics Canada’s Low Income Measure (LIM). In 2000, the LIM for a family of two parents and two children was $26,110. For a lone-parent and child, the LIM was $18,280. From 1995 to 2000, the number of low-income seniors increased from 28,620 to 55,660.

Housing

  • A significant number of seniors live in abject poverty or are homeless. For example, the percentage of households 60 years of age and older in Toronto that use food banks increased from 5 per cent in 1995 to 9 per cent in 2002. The “per day after-rent income” of people in senior households is $7.56 in 2002.
  • As of June 30, 2002, there were 61,978 applications on the social housing waiting list. Of this total, 20 per cent, or 12,626 applications, were for seniors.
  • Nearly 400 people 65 years of age or over were staying in the emergency hostel system in 2000.
  • Of all Canadian cities, Toronto has the second-highest number of senior-led households in core housing need (inadequate, unsuitable or unaffordable).
  • The largest problem for senior-led households is affordability, especially for tenants, who in 1996 comprised 32 per cent of senior-led households in Toronto.”

The above statistics help us to realize the growing importance of  seniors in Toronto.

Read more of Seniors Month Celebration in Toronto: June 2011

Green Neighbours 21: Great Green Events and News of Toronto

Green Neighbours 21: Great Green Events and News of Toronto

Green Neighbours 21 is a grassroots, action-oriented group of people living in Ward 21 area of Toronto (and beyond) in Ontario, Canada, who are working together to respond to climate change and other environmental issues.

As an environmental group, Ward 21 (St. Paul’s) residents of Green Neighbours 21 have been actively installing solar energy projects on their own roofs for years.

Green Neighbours 21 have recently informed me about the following green events (in chronological order) as well as green news in Toronto neighbourhoods.

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Poverty Free Ontario Presentation: Inspiring Strategies and Solutions

Poverty Free Ontario Presentation: Inspiring Strategies and Solutions

Social Planning Network of Ontario presents

Human Dignity for All:
Working for a Poverty Free Ontario

A comprehensive look at the strategies necessary
to eradicate poverty with a message that
inspires all of us to be part of the solutions

Tuesday June 7, 2011 9:00 am-12:00 noon
Aurora Public Library, 15145 Yonge St., Aurora, Ontario, Canada

Hosts: Regional Councillor John Taylor,
Co-Chair of the Human Services Planning Board of York Region
and Pat Taylor, Co-Chair of the Social Planning Council of York Region

Presentation by: Peter Clutterbuck and Marvyn Novick
Social Planning Network of Ontario

Everyone is welcome

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Toronto Council Meeting Highlights: May 2011 Decisions for Torontonians

Toronto Council Meeting Highlights: May 2011 Decisions for Torontonians

Toronto City Council meetings on May 17, 18 and 19 provide the following Council Highlights which are informal summaries of some of the decisions made by Toronto City Council:

Toronto’s garbage and recycling collection

  • City will invite bids on contracts for:
    • daytime residential curbside collection west of Yonge Street to the Etobicoke border,
    • litter and recycling collection in City parks, and
    • litter vacuuming services
  • council as a whole will oversee the bid process;
  • ensure that the City’s waste diversion standards/targets are upheld;
  • concerning City staff who may be affected by the contracted services

Council advisory committees

  • to dissolve all except the following four of its advisory committees:
    • Aboriginal Affairs Committee;
    • Film, Television and Commercial Production Industry Committee (formerly the Toronto Film Board);
    • Disability Issues Committee; and
    • Community Partnership and Investment Program Appeals Committee
  • for further consideration and for a report back to Council in June;
  • City Councils establish advisory bodies and working committees to support decision-making;
  • they are dissolved at the end of each term, apart from those required by legislation

Support for Toronto’s cultural sector

  • recommendations presented in the “Creative Capital Gains: An Action Plan for Toronto” report received Council’s endorsement;
  • next step is the preparation of an implementation plan supporting cultural activity as a catalyst for economic growth

City-wide zoning bylaw

  • Council repealed the city-wide zoning bylaw that was put in place last year to replace the numerous and complex zoning regulations the City inherited from the municipalities that amalgamated in 1997;
  • wants the harmonized bylaw revised to address some content that has prompted complaints and appeals

Street food pilot project

  • to discontinue the Toronto A La Cart Street Food Pilot Project immediately;
  • established A La Cart vendors have the option of continuing to operate at their current locations;
  • a staff working group will be formed to review Toronto’s street food vending, with the objective of permitting licensed food vendors to offer a wider range of food items;

Ball hockey on Toronto streets

  • City Manager will prepare a report on a procedure for Torontonians to apply for an exemption from the current city bylaws that prohibit playing ball hockey and other ball sports on any city street;
  • this application procedure would apply to those who live on streets with posted speed limits of no more than 40 kilometres an hour

Wastewater treatment plants

  • decided against a recommendation to install new incinerators at the City’s Highland Creek plant;
  • for disposal of biosolids (sewage sludge) resulting from sewage treatment, Council favoured a “beneficial use” disposal strategy, which involves spreading biosolids on fields as fertilizer;
  • upgrading the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant to use an ultraviolet light (UV) system for the disinfection of secondary effluent streams of treated wastewater before it flows from the plant into Lake Ontario

Metropass program for new condominiums

  • rescinded a mandatory TTC Metropass program for new condominiums in designated growth areas of Toronto that took effect last year;
  • to provide information to developers about the TTC’s discount pass program;
  • where a Metropass has already been included in a unit’s purchase price, the City will ensure that buyers are refunded or receive their transit passes

Overnight and weekend street parking

  • to amend the Municipal Code to introduce 24-hour and 48-hour permits for temporary parking on residential streets;
  • fee will be $8 for a 24-hour parking permit and $12 for a 48-hour permit, subject to annual inflationary increases indicated by the Consumer Price Index;
  • program will give people online access to the temporary permits any time – “24/7”

Filming at fraternity houses

  • to lift a moratorium that prohibited filming at several addresses that were the subject of neighbourhood complaints;
  • renting out university fraternity houses downtown for filming is a source of revenue for the owners, helping them cover the costs of maintaining their properties, while access to the buildings supports Toronto’s film industry;
  • decided to allow arrangements for filming at fraternity houses as long as those involved abide by City bylaws and do not disrupt the surrounding community

Future use of Old City Hall

  • authorized future uses of Old City Hall at Queen and Bay streets when the current lease with the provincial courts expires at the end of 2016;
  • courtyard area is to be reserved for the Toronto Museum Project, with provision of a public space in the building for access to the courtyard area

Please click here for previous editions of Council Highlights.

For formal documentation of Council’s decisions, please click here.

Questions about Council business: email clerk@toronto.ca or phone 416-392-8016

Questions about this summary: email stratcom@toronto.ca

Read more of Toronto Council Meeting Highlights: May 2011 Decisions for Torontonians

Enjoy Canada's largest Doors Open Event This Weekend May 28-29

Enjoy Canada's largest Doors Open Event This Weekend May 28-29

This is an update to my previous blogs as listed here:

Incredible Doors Open Toronto’s 12th year with FREE access to close to 150 unique locations:

  • has attracted more than 1.9 million visitors since it began,
  • was the first North American city to launch a Doors Open event,
  • annually attracts more than 200,000 visitors,
  • it is Canada’s largest Doors Open event, and
  • one of three largest Doors Open events in the world!

That’s pretty impressive!!

Please note that for complete information and details on participating venues, events, social media and mobile applications you can:

  • visit http://www.toronto.ca/doorsopen,
  • access the Doors Open Toronto guide in the May 26 edition of the Toronto Star,
  • call 311 for information at any time, or
  • obtain information from Doors Open Toronto staff at Toronto City Hall on May 28 and May 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Read more of Enjoy Canada’s largest Doors Open Event This Weekend May 28-29