There are exciting celebratory events happening in Montreal, Quebec and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

  • Most events are FREE.

This video presents “Festival recap – BARBEGAZI 2013.”

  • BARBEGAZI 2013 – Action Sports Festival at the Esplanade Financière Sun Life, Parc Olympique,  Montréal, Quebec, Canada.

Launch of the 2013-2014 Winter Program of the Olympic Park: ENTER PLAY OUTSIDE the Sun Life Financial Esplanade!

FREE  Admissions

Located East of the Olympic Stadium, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

December 1, 2013 to January 5, 2014

February 7, 2014

February 15 and 16, 2014

  • Olympic Park announced that the Esplanade will once again host an authentic Winter Village , a central element of its winter program that will include family, FREE and accessible activities.
  • Fitted this year in the area 100 of the Sun Life Financial Esplanade, which is located behind the Pie-IX metro, this new version of the Olympic Winter Park Village will feature a rink, allowing everyone to skate FREE and, even in mild weather thanks to its cooling system.
    • For the second year, the Winter Village is easily recognizable by its huge natural tree which this year, will measure 65 feet tall!
      • It will certainly return to Montreal as Sun Life Financial Esplanade will be hosted throughout the cold season.
  • The official opening of the site on December 1 will be highlighted by a fundraiser to benefit the organization’s Frimousse, a toy lending library of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.
    • For the modest sum of $2, children and adults can come affix a huge Christmas tree decoration in the Winter Village and are collected for each design will be donated to the toy library.
    • They will also be on site to donate new toys to contribute to service the loan toys Frimousse.
    • And to close the festival in style, end of the day, the Olympic Park will illuminate all lights to shine throughout the winter!
  • Here are some great activities for everyone!

    • For the first time, The Esplanade Financière Sun Life becomes the East Pole and the heart of all Christmas in the Park activities at the Winter Village at Olympic Park from December 1, 2013 to January 5, 2014, 9:00 a.m. to  9:00 p.m.: The Esplanade Financière Sun Life(different entrances on Pierre-de Coubertin, Pie-IX and Sherbrooke, Montréal, Quebec)
      • In addition to a traditional sheep pen and Christmas tree sale, festivities include performances by musicians, singers, storytellers, and a variety of other entertainers.
      • From Mondays to Thursdays, visitors can warm up by a fire, warm their bellies at the food stand, and enjoy FREE skating at night.
      • An exciting lineup of concerts and performances will be added to the programming from Fridays to Sundays.
      • With Christmas in the Park, the Winter Village at Olympic Park will be transformed into a festive and friendly winter playground to share with friends and family!
    • Please click here for the complete schedule of all FREE activities from Dec. 1, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014.
  • Winter triathlon to benefit the CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital, February 7, 2014 11:00 a.m. to  4:00 p.m. The Esplanade Financière Sun Life (different entrances on Pierre-de Coubertin, Pie-IX and Sherbrooke, Montréal.
    • Participants in this triathalon will be running through the Esplanade Financière Sun Life.
      • Open to anyone wanting to take part in a friendly relay.
    • Please help them reach this year’s fundraising goal of $625,000 by participating in the Winter Triathlon or making a donation that will help the CHU Sainte-Justine treat more children and mothers-to-be.
  • BARBEGAZI: One of the biggest winter action sports festivals in Canada on February 15 and 16, 2014!
    12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Sections 600, 700, and 800.
    The Esplanade Financière Sun Life.
    Open to the public; FREE admission.
    www.barbegazifest.ca

    • This winter action sports festival will feature FREE all the most authentic of the Quebec winter sports demonstrations including snowmobile freestyle, Freeski, logging competitions, initiation and competition boards (snowskate), Freestyle SLED demos, and LUMBERJACK competition with STIHL TIMBERSPORTS.
    • Skiers, boarders, snowmobilers, and lumberjacks will be taking over the Esplanade Financière Sun Life at Olympic Park.
      • There were  more than 4,000 participants in 2013.
    • A number of hip hop, funk, and electro DJs will also be on hand spinning and entertaining.
    • “Adrenaline junkies, this free festival is definitely for you!”

Many of  Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division (PFR) Outdoor Rinks are Open

Toronto, Ontario

  • There are 14 outdoor skating rinks, including at Nathan Phillips Square and the new, covered rink and skating path at Greenwood Park.
  • Toronto’s skating programs offered by PFR include:
    • hockey skills/power skate,
    • learn-to-skate for adults and children,
  • Two new rinks at Greenwood Park.
    1. The outdoor hockey rink is covered – the first of its kind in Toronto.
      • The roof increases skating opportunities during the winter season, and in warmer weather it will provide great opportunities for activities like basketball.
      • The rink and pool facilities have been renovated and improved, including a new family change room and accessible shower and change areas.
    2. The second rink is a 215-metre-long, landscaped leisure skating path next to the hockey rink.
    • In addition to the skating rinks and the change facilities, the City improved Greenwood Park’s community garden – with fencing, water access and cedar planters, splash pad, baseball diamond (new backstop) and playground.
  • Please click here for a list of locations, opening times and skate times.
  • Safety.
    • All children under the age of six must wear a CSA-approved hockey helmet on the ice.
    • Helmets are also mandatory for people of all ages participating in supervised shinny hockey and learn-to-skate programs.
  • Closures during the skating season are sometimes necessary due to unseasonably warm temperatures or following a heavy snowfall.
    • The rinks are cared for by staff teams that circulate through the city every day.
    • To check on ice availability after a major weather event, please call 311.
  • The 14 rinks will stay open until after the March Break.
  • The City’s other outdoor rinks will open on November 30 and remain open until February 23.
    • Albert Campbell Square’s rink will open later than the others this year because of mechanical work there.

Harbourfront Centre

 Presents

Hands-On Activities for Families

FREE Admission

November 30-December 1, 7, 8 | FREE

11:00AM – 2:00PM

Harbourfront Centre
Miss Lou’s Room
York Quay Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario
View Map

  • Come learn about the incredible “Miss Lou” through fun and engaging hands-on activities and interactive exhibit.
  • Be sure to call 416-973-4000 ahead of time to find out which craft is scheduled for the day.
  • Please note: Miss Lou’s Room is open to the public most weekends from 11am – 2pm. For information about what’s happening in Miss Lou’s Room this weekend, please check the What’s On calendar listing.
  • Please click here for more info.

Your Stories about Harbourfront Centre

Harbourfront Cnetre

Presents

Natrel Rink

FREE Admission
Open daily | FREE

Sun – Wed | 10am – 10pm
Thu – Sat | 10am – 11pm

Harbourfront Centre
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Ontario

Phone: (416) 973-4000

  • Skating is FREE, and they have the best view in the city – “a perfect afternoon activity for the whole family. Tucked away behind York Quay Centre and set against the beautiful shore of Lake Ontario, the city’s most scenic rink awaits.”
  • Skate and helmet rentals are available.
  • The Natrel Rink has a heated indoor change room with lockers and washrooms. Hot food and drinks are available at their rink-side restaurant.
  • Please click here for more info.

Allan Gardens and Centennial Park Christmas Flower Shows

FREE

December 1, 2013 to January 12, 2014; From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily

Allan Gardens Conservatory’s Christmas Flower Show: Opens on Sunday, December 1 from noon to 7 p.m. at 19 Horticultural Ave., Toronto, Ontario

Phone:416-392-7288

Centennial Park Conservatory’s Christmas Flower Show Special Opening Event on Sunday, December 8 from noon to 7 p.m. at 151 Elmcrest Rd., Toronto, Ontario

Phone:416-394-8543

Candlelight Dates at Allan Gardens: December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22
Candlelight Dates at Centennial Park: December 14, 15, 21 and 22

Donations to the Food Bank are welcome.

  • ‘Tis the season to be floral, with the opening of the annual Christmas flower shows at Allan Gardens and Centennial Park Conservatories this weekend.”
  • Both flower shows are a long-standing tradition, marking the start of the holiday season for many Torontonians and visitors.
  • The Christmas flower shows will operate from December 1 to January 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the exception of the opening events December 1 and 8 and the extended hours on the candlelight dates noted above.
    • Both Christmas flower shows showcase many of the newest varieties of poinsettias, with about 40 varieties on display.
  • Allan Gardens Conservatory‘s annual Christmas Flower Show opens on Sunday, December 1 from noon to 7 p.m., featuring Victorian carollers, hot cider and cookies, children’s activities, and horse-and-carriage rides.
    • Holiday topiary includes a grand piano and Victorian-theme dancers.
    • Hours: 10 am – 5 pm, 365 days/year.
    • Free admission and wheel chair accessible.
  • Centennial Park Conservatory presents a special opening event on Sunday, December 8 from noon to 7 p.m., with Victorian carollers, hot cider and cookies, horse-and-carriage rides, and chestnuts roasting over an open fire.
    • A family carol sing will take place at 4 p.m.
    • Hours: 10 am – 5 pm, 365 days/year.
    • Free admission, and wheel chair accessible.
  • Candlelight dates: The two conservatories will extend their hours from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to enable visitors to enjoy the floral displays by candlelight on the following dates:
    • Allan Gardens: December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.
    • Centennial Park: December 14, 15, 21 and 22.
  • More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/parks.

Harbourfront Centre

Presents

Winter Family Weekends

December 14-15, 21-22 | FREE

Toronto, Ontario

  • Harbourfront Centre partners with the Waterfront BIA to present four fun-filled days of FREE family skating, hands-on family crafts, site-wide scavenger hunt and more!

Hands-On Holiday Activities for Families: December 14-15, 21-22; FREE

11:00AM – 3:00PM
Miss Lou’s Room
York Quay Centre, 235 Queens Quay West
View Map

  • “There’s no better way to welcome the holiday season than with handmade holiday decorations.”
  • Create and decorate your own holiday tree centerpiece, make a festive wreath to hang at home or design your very own herd of reindeer ornaments.
  • Visit their experienced facilitators in Miss Lou’s Room for tons of creative holiday fun.

Season Launch with Skratch Bastid: December 14, 2013; FREE

Saturday, December 14, 2013
8:00PM – 11:00PM
Natrel® Rink
235 Queens Quay West
View Map

This video presents “1 LOVE T.O. Holiday Ice Skating Party.”

  • 1 LOVE T.O. presents The Harbourfront’s DJ Skate Night as the Holiday Ice Skating Party for the city of Toronto.
  • Hosted by T-rexxx. Music by DJ D-LUX and JEDI.

1 LOVE T.O. Holiday Ice Skating Party with DJ DLUX and DJ Lissa Monet: December 21, 2013; FREE

8:00PM – 11:00PM
Natrel® Rink
235 Queens Quay West
View Map

  • 1 LOVE T.O. returns to the Natrel Rink with a holiday-themed skating party that will jingle your bells.1 LOVE T.O. is a movement that bridges the gaps – between cultures, neighbourhoods, interests and generations. It is the unifying voice of Toronto, exposing its various communities to art, culture, style and music.
  • Please click here for more info.

Winter Scavenger Hunt: December 14-15 and December 17-22; FREE

10:00AM – 6:00PM
York Quay Centre
235 Queens Quay West
View Map

  • Discover Harbourfront Centre this holiday season while on a scavenger hunt with the whole family.
  • Explore the current Visual Arts Fall Exhibitions and the informative kid’s-eye view panels.
  • Visit the Natrel Rink for a skate and enjoy the breathtaking view.
  • Express your creativity in Miss Lou’s Room during our Hands-On Activities for Families workshops.
  • Visit the Info Desk while on-site for your scavenger hunt checklist.

Scarborough Museum’s Festive Weekends in December

Admission is Pay What You Can

12 to 4 p.m.

Scarborough Museum
1007 BRIMLEY RD
Toronto, Ontario
Phone: 416 338-8807

  • Visit another era this holiday season!
  • Tour the festively decorated McCowan Log House and Cornell House, enjoy warm apple cider and sample some traditional holiday baking.
Photo: City of Toronto

Photo: City of Toronto

Adoption Fees Waived for Black (or Partially Black) Cats at City of Toronto Animal Shelters for Black Friday

November 29 to December 1

Toronto, Ontario

  • The City of Toronto is holding a cat adoption blitz in honour of Black Friday from November 29 to December 1.
  • Residents can go home with a kitten or cat with any black colouring, without paying the usual $75 adoption fee (there is a $15 pet licence fee or $7.50 for seniors).
  • More than 150 cats are up for adoption at the City’s four animal shelters, as well as at a number of adoption partner locations.
    • All cats and kittens are sterilized (spayed/neutered), micro-chipped, vet-checked, de-wormed and vaccinated.
    • Black cats are traditionally the last to find permanent homes.
  • If you would like to adopt a kitten or cat, visit a Toronto Animal Services shelter in your neighbourhood.
  • Please click here for more info.
  • For locations of animal shelters, please click here.

How to Help Toronto’s Homeless This Holiday Season

  • The City’s annual Holiday Wish List is a one-stop resource for Toronto residents wanting to bring cheer to those experiencing homelessness during the holidays.
    • Organizations and contact information have been listed geographically based on their locations, however most serve people in need from across Toronto.
    • You will find some suggestions from the community agencies that serve them.
      • Requested items, volunteer opportunities and holiday events planned by the agencies are listed.
      • Please contact the agency before dropping off your donation.
      • More information about the agencies can be found by visiting their web sites.
  • “The most common items on the wish lists are winter clothing, toiletries and gift certificates for groceries – things that may seem like everyday items but can really make a difference to someone in need.”

TTC Stuff-the-Buses to Collect New, Unwrapped Toys for the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness

Toronto, Ontario

November 29: 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.Eglinton/Pharmacy

November 30 and December 1 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
A TTC bus will be parked at each of these seven Walmart stores:

165 N Queen Street (Hwy. 427/Queensway),
799 Milner Avenue (Milner/Morningside),
1900 Eglinton Avenue (Eglinton/Pharmacy),
2245 Islington Avenue (Islington/Rexdale),
2525 St. Clair Avenue West (St. Clair/Runnymede),
3132 Eglinton Avenue East (Eglinton/Markham),
5995 Steeles Avenue East (Steeles/Markham).

  • TTC employees will be holding the annual Stuff-the-Bus Toy Drive at participating Walmart stores across Toronto.
  • This year, a total of seven of the TTC’s 12-metre buses will be set up as drop-off stops for new, unwrapped toys, which will be donated to the Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness.
  • The Stuff-the-Bus drive will make its next preview stop on Friday, November 29 when it accepts donations in front of the Walmart store at Eglinton and Pharmacy from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • This is a labour of love for TTC Operator Kevin Kane and his team of volunteer Operators.
    • Last year’s drive gave a Christmas gift to more than 500 families with children.
    • This year, the group hopes to raise more than $70,000 worth of donations.
      • To date, the toy drive has helped more than 3,000 families, and 10,000 children, have a Christmas.
      • The drive has collected $150,000 worth of toys and expects to break the $200,000 mark this holiday season.

Little Red Theatre: Goose & Seuss (Clown et comptines)

Language: French

FREE Admission

December 14, 2013

4:30 PM

Alliance Française de Toronto – Campus de Spadina
24 Spadina Road, Toronto, Ontario

Contact: Phone 416 922 2014 ext. 37; Email culturel@alliance-francaise.ca
http://alliance-francaise.ca

  • “This story brings us into a world where puppets sing songs that are familiar to children of all ages, where Mother Goose characters come to life, where we are introduced to beautiful paintings and poems.”
  • Clowns et comptines will be reprised at the North York Public Library (5120 Yonge Street) on Friday, March 14 2014 at 2:00 pm.

NEWS & Alerts

Toronto Council Approves Action on Housing and New Funding for Toronto Community Housing

This is an update to the following blogs:

“Toronto City Council has adopted three reports, including an unprecedented funding arrangement, that will support Toronto Community Housing’s (TCH) ongoing transformation into a landlord of excellence.”

  • For the first time, the City has put in place a long-term capital funding plan that will provide $864 million for TCH repairs over the next 10 years.
  • The City has asked the federal and provincial governments to also contribute $864 million each, or one-third of the $2.6 billion in new repair costs TCH will face.
  • Council also endorsed a Federation of Canadian Municipalities resolution calling on the federal government to take a range of measures to address the country’s housing crunch.
    • On November 20, 2013, the Close the Housing Gap campaign rallied on Parliament Hill with supporters calling on the federal government to put people first by contributing its fair share of the funding for social housing capital repairs.
      • More than 100 social housing tenants, stakeholders and politicians from Toronto and Ottawa rallied on Parliament Hill, urging Ottawa to “close the housing gap” across Ontario.
      • They also called on the federal government to make new, long-term funding available for social and affordable housing.
  • Also adopted was Putting People First – Moving Forward, a one-year update on some of the major recommendations of the Putting People First report.
    • During the past year, important progress has been made toward putting TCH on a sounder financial footing to better tackle its growing capital repair needs.
    • In the short term, the City and TCH have unlocked $93.5 million through mortgage refinancing and $65 million through the approved sale of assets, a total of $158.5 million for capital repairs identified just 12 months after Council adopted Putting People First.
    • An amended shareholder’s direction was also adopted to improve accountability, remove outdated references, update reporting procedures, and increase transparency at TCH.

Winners of the 2013 Toronto Garden Awards at City Hall

  • The awards recognize residents, businesses and organizations for beautifying their non-public spaces.
    • Most of the green space in Toronto is made up of front and back yards.
  • The finalists for the 2013 awards were winners of local community garden contests during the previous year.
    • In selecting the winners, the judges took into consideration the use of landscape, the condition and overall maintenance of the garden, the use of plant material, colour and texture, and the overall garden’s appeal.
  • Below are the five prize categories and their winners for 2013:
    • Traditional Residential (garden and lawn combination): Lorenzo Ferrara, Strathmore Blvd.,
    • Toronto Environmental Residential (where the homeowner uses environmentally-friendly garden practices and some or most of the lawn area consists of plants and/or ground cover): Michael Fitzpatrick and Marilyn Ferley, Heathview Ave.,
    • North York Commercial (commercial properties including apartment): La Veranda Osteria, Dario Saleki, Royal York Rd.,
    • Etobicoke High Density: The Brule Condominium, Brigitte Nielsen, Diana Jardine and Stefan Vystavil, Bloor St. W.,
    • Toronto Community Award: Drewry Secondary School, Mary Weiss, Drewry Ave., North York

Moving Forward on the Eglinton Crosstown

  • Ontario is taking another step forward with the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT — the province’s largest public transit construction project in more than half a century — to help ease congestion and create thousands of jobs.
    • Tunnelling from the west launch shaft area near Black Creek Drive to Yonge-Eglinton station began in June 2013
  • A second construction contract has been awarded to begin tunnelling from east of Brentcliffe Road to just east of Yonge Street.
  • The new LRT line will run about 19 kilometres along Eglinton Avenue and will include up to 25 stations.
    • More than 10 kilometres, from approximately Keele Street to Laird Avenue, will be underground.
    • The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is expected to be in service by 2020.
    • Light rail vehicles can travel as fast as 80km/hr. On average, the Crosstown vehicles will travel at 28km/hr.
    • The Crosstown is expected to carry 5,400 passengers during peak travel times and will carry 15,000 passengers per hour per direction.
    • Light rail transit is a proven technology that is used around the world, including extremely cold places such as Edmonton, Calgary and Minneapolis.
  • Also, the province is planning to proceed with eleven new infrastructure and real estate projects, including the Sheppard LRT and Highway 427 extension.
    • Together, it’s estimated that these projects have the potential to support more than 18,000 jobs on average each year over the next seven years.

No TTC Subway Service between Victoria Park and Kennedy Stations on November 30 and December 1, 2013.

  • Due to Bloor-Danforth Line’s rail installationm, all trains on the Bloor-Danforth Line will turn back westbound at Victoria Park Station, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Shuttle buses will provide frequent, accessible service between Victoria Park Station and Kennedy Station, entering Warden Station.

TTC Streetcars Returned to Bathurst St., Toronto, Ontario

  • On Sun., Nov. 24, TTC streetcars returned to the 511 Bathurst route.
  • The streetcars were replaced by buses while the TTC conducted platform modification work in preparation for the arrival of the new low-floor streetcars, as well as City watermain work.

Ontario to Open Trade Office in Alberta, Canada

  • Ontario is setting up a new trade office in Calgary to find new opportunities for Ontario businesses in Alberta’s key economic sectors. The new office is part of Going Global: Ontario’s Trade Strategy to help more businesses expand to worldwide markets and create jobs in Ontario.
  • This initiative will help Ontario firms connect with companies in Alberta to fulfill supply needs.
  • It will also explore opportunities for Ontario’s small- and medium-sized enterprises.
  • The province’s newest trade office will open in the coming months.
  • Did you know?
    • Ontario and Alberta are two important economic engines of Canada, generating 54 per cent of its GDP.
    • Alberta is Ontario’s second-largest domestic trading partner.
    • Goods and services trade between our two provinces topped $44 billion in 2008.
    • The U.K., Germany and China also have offices in Alberta.

Ontario – First Place in North America to End Coal-Fired Power

“Together, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Al Gore Combat Climate Change”

  • Ontario is one step closer to being the first place in North America to eliminate coal as a source of electricity generation.”
  • On November 21, 2013, Premier Kathleen Wynne welcomed Al Gore, former Vice-President of the United States and Chairman of the Climate Reality Project, to the MaRs Discovery Centre in Toronto.
  • They highlighted the closure of Ontario’s coal-burning Lambton and Atikokan facilities ahead of schedule, and the upcoming closure of the Nanticoke Generating Station – the largest coal plant in North America.
  • Over the next year, Thunder Bay Generating Station will stop burning coal and will be converted to use advanced biomass, a fuel for electricity generation.
    • This is the last major step in Ontario’s plan to eliminate coal-fired electricity.
  • As part of Ontario’s commitment to combat climate change, the province will also introduce the Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act to ensure the public health and climate change benefits of eliminating coal use for electricity generation in Ontario would be protected by legislation.
    • The Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act would ensure that once coal facilities stop operating by the end of 2014, coal burning generation on the electricity grid will never happen again.
  • Did you know?
    • Ontario’s elimination of coal-fired electricity is the single largest greenhouse gas reduction initiative in North America.
    • The costs to society arising from air pollution include increased hospital admissions, lost productivity from sick days and even premature death.
    • According to an independent study, Ontario’s coal-fired power plants cost the people of Ontario an estimated $4.4 billion per year in health, environmental, and financial damages.
      • Early coal closure at Lambton and Nanticoke will save the province’s electricity customers about $95 million through reduced operating and maintenance costs.

Dufferin Bridge to be Removed This Weekend

  • This is an update to the previous blog, Feeling Congested? Meetings; Dufferin St.Bridge Closed to Vehicles From Jun.12; Avenue Rd Work Jun.10-Sept.15, 2013.
  • The Dufferin Bridge will be removed during the weekend of November 30 to December 2.
    • As a result of this work, pedestrian access over the bridge will not be permitted from Friday, November 30 at noon to Saturday, December 7.
  • Pedestrians can cross the railway tracks between Liberty Village and Exhibition Place via the GO Station tunnel at Atlantic Avenue.
    • A temporary pedestrian bridge will be installed and is expected to be opened by December 7.
  • Motorists can enter Exhibition Place from any of the entrances on Lake Shore Boulevard or from Strachan Avenue.
    • Two temporary bridges for vehicles will be installed and opened by February, 2014.
  • Go Train service will be affected as a result of this work.
  • For TTC information, please visit www.ttc.ca.

Toronto Road Closures

  • Cavalcade of Lights –Road Closure
  • Partial Closure of Eastbound Gardiner Expressway for Sign Replacement
    • The Transportation Services Division will be replacing four overhead signs on the Gardiner Expressway this weekend.
      • The new signs will provide improved visibility at longer distances and for night driving.
      • Also, the City will be undertaking general roadway maintenance, guide rail inspection and repairs and bridge inspections during the closure.
    •  Thus, the eastbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway will be closed between Wickman Road and Royal York Road on Sunday, December 1 from 12:01 a.m. to 9 a.m.
      • During the nine-hour closure, motorists will not be able to access or exit the eastbound Gardiner Expressway at any location between Wickman Road and Royal York Road, including the eastbound exit to Park Lawn Road.
    • Traffic can rejoin the eastbound Gardiner Expressway via Lake Shore Boulevard east of Park Lawn Road.
    • Three overhead signs will be installed in the westbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway at this same location next weekend, which will result in a closure in the westbound direction next weekend.
  • Bridge Construction – Steeles Avenue East at Reesor Road
    • Road construction is underway on Steeles Avenue East for bridge rehabilitation and is expected to continue until May 2014.
    • Due to the construction, traffic in both directions on Steeles Avenue East is reduced to one lane in the area of Reesor Road.
    • The road closure will be controlled through temporary traffic signals to allow two-way traffic to flow, however, congestion is to be expected.
    • Motorists are advised to consider alternative routes such as Highway 7, Highway 407, 14th Avenue in Markham, Kingston Road or Highway 401 until the bridge work is completed.
  • A more complete list of events and road work is available at
    http://www.toronto.ca/torontostreets/.

    • In addition, the City has introduced T.O. INview, a map that shows information about planned capital construction work taking place across the city.
    • The new site can be accessed at http://www.toronto.ca/inview.

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Contact Info

  • Information on fares, routes, schedules and service.
    • 416-393-4636 (INFO)

    • Recorded information available 24 hours daily.

    • Operator-assisted service is available from 8:00am to 6:00pm daily, except statutory holidays.

    • TTY Hearing Impaired Service, 416-481-2523, Daily, 8:00am-6:00pm; except statutory holidays.

  • Main Switchboard
    • 416-393-4000

    • Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

City of Toronto Contact Info

Phone within Toronto city limits: 311.

Phone outside city limits: 416-392-CITY (2489)
(can be used within Toronto if you can’t reach 311).

TTY customers: 416-338-0TTY (0889)
Fax: 416-338-0685
E-mail: 311@toronto.ca

If your matter is urgent, please call them. They are open 24/7.

Enjoy! / Amusez-vous!

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

NEWS RELEASE

November 25, 2013

City of Toronto launches 2014 tax supported budgets

The City of Toronto today presented the 2014 staff recommended Tax Supported Operating Budget and 10 Year Capital Budget and Plan. The Budget remains balanced and focuses on strengthening the City’s fiscal health, while continuing to invest in Toronto’s future.

“The City’s Budget touches the lives of all residents. Through the Budget process, we make decisions about how to fund Council priorities, ensure high quality affordable services and make investments in our infrastructure to ensure our city continues to thrive now and in the future,” said Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly (Ward 40 Scarborough-Agincourt). “The launch of the staff recommended budget is the first step in the budget review process. We encourage residents to follow the development of the budget and get involved in the process.”

The 2014 Staff Recommended Operating Budget is $9.6 billion and was balanced without using the prior year’s surplus, and despite the loss of $43 million in provincial funding for shelter, support and housing. At the same time, the proposed 2014-2023 Capital Budget and Plan is $18.6 billion, of which about 60% is allocated to maintaining and investing in the City’s aging infrastructure.

“As Budget Chief, it is my responsibility to ensure we continue our work to strengthen the City’s fiscal foundation,” said Councillor Frank Di Giorgio (Ward 12 York South-Weston), Chair of the City’s Budget Committee. “We need to make thoughtful, balanced budget decisions. The staff recommended budget presented today fortifies our financial condition, keeps Toronto affordable and invests in our future.”

“The staff recommended budget builds on and supports our long term fiscal plan objectives as well as our recently approved Strategic Actions,” said Toronto City Manager Joe Pennachetti. “We are strengthening our fiscal health, and at the same time, we continue to make critical infrastructure investments while keeping tax rate increases to a minimum. Toronto’s residential property tax will remain one of the lowest among urban centres in Ontario.”

The proposed operating budget recommends a 1.3% total average tax increase over 2013 after assessment growth. This includes 0.9% to maintain the existing base budget for 2014, which is well below inflation as well as 0.4% for new and enhanced services.

This translates to a residential property tax increase of 2% or about $51 per household. With Council’s policy on reducing the tax burden on businesses, the recommended increase for non-residential properties will be 0.67%. These increases reflect the impacts of the 2014 operating budget.

In addition, Council approved a special tax levy of 0.5% for residential property tax and 0.17% for non-residential properties to support construction of the Scarborough subway. This results in a total 2014 residential property tax increase of 2.5% and non-residential increase of 0.84%.

“We are recommending significant investments in transit, housing, roads and in our recreational facilities in the 2014 capital budget and plan,” said Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer Rob Rossini. “However, the City still requires ongoing, predictable and stable support from the federal and provincial governments for funding essential infrastructure. This is an issue for all large municipalities as they continue to grow and face the challenge of maintaining existing infrastructure.”

2014 Operating Budget

The 2014 Staff Recommended Operating Budget continues to focus on providing programs and services that respond to the needs of Toronto’s diverse communities, as well as investing in key areas such as transit, shelter and housing, city planning, emergency services and public spaces. Highlights include:

• $639 million for Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, which provides 1.4 million bed nights of emergency shelter a year and funding for over 94,000 units of social housing

• $41 million for City Planning to ensure that Toronto is well planned with efficient, accessible and integrated services and transportation systems

• $1.7 billion in public safety to improve emergency response, including increasing the number of fire prevention officers, hiring more front line paramedics and restarting the hiring process for new police officers

• $410 million for Parks, Forestry and Recreation, which provides more than 1 million hours of recreation programs for people of all ages and abilities. This amount will also fund 109,000 welcome policy registrations and memberships

• $1.7 billion for the operation of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), which provides more than half a billion public transit rides annually

• new support for the arts to support creativity and cultural development in Toronto

• $184 million for Toronto Public Library, which sees 19.3 million visits a year.

2014-2023 Capital Budget and Plan

The proposed 2014-2023 Capital Budget and Plan maximizes the use of the recently approved development charges in order to replace debt to help pay for the cost of infrastructure required to provide municipal services to new development such as roads, transit, water and sewer infrastructure, community centres and fire and police facilities.

Other highlights of the staff recommended 10 Year Capital Budget and Plan include:

• $492 million over the next 10 years to address the state-of-good-repair backlog in Parks, Forestry and Recreation

• Investment in new recreation facilities in priority centres, such as the Regent Park Community Centre and the York Community Centre

• $28.6 million toward building the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Aquatic Centre in Scarborough

• $535 million over the next 10 years to repair and maintain the Gardiner Expressway.

• $6.3 billion over the next 10 years for the TTC to address ridership growth, as well as repair infrastructure and replace aging subway and streetcars

• Investment in new capital resources to address the state-of-good-repair for the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) to improve housing for its 164,000 residents

• $12.9 million for the Fort York Visitors Centre and $6.9 million for the Toronto Centre for the Arts

• $30 million for the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority (TRCA) to address critical erosion control and damage from the July 8, 2013 storm

• Completion of the construction of two new libraries that will open in 2014, and the continuing the revitalization of the Toronto Reference Library.

The launch of the 2014 Staff Recommended Operating Budget and 10 Year Capital Budget and Plan is the first step in the City’s budget review process. Residents can follow the development of the budget as it is reviewed, debated and approved by the Budget Committee, Executive Committee and finally by City Council on January 29 and 30, 2014. Residents and businesses can make a presentation to the Budget Committee at the public hearings on December 2 and 3 in Committee Room, Toronto City Hall 100 Queen St. W. More information about how make a deputation is available at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis.

To learn more about the City’s Budget, visit http://www.toronto.ca/budget2014.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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