Thursday, December 12, 2013

City of Toronto Update - Winter 2013 Edition

City Update Banner - Winter 2013.jpg

City Update

Winter 2013 Edition
The City of Toronto's e-newsletter City Update focuses on the latest services, innovations and accomplishments in Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government. This e-newsletter is for the public, stakeholders, media, City Council and staff. 

Follow The City of Toronto

Subscribe to Toronto E-Updates to receive City information, updates, news and more.               

Follow the City's Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

Read the latest edition below.
City ready to tackle winter
With the arrival of winter, the City's snow clearing crew is ready for action. As soon as the snow begins, Transportation Services sends out its salt trucks to the expressways, main roads and local roads. If the City receives 2.5 centimetres of snow, the plows are sent out to the expressways and, if five centimetres of snow falls, the plows head out to clear the main roads. Plowing then takes place for the duration of the storm. When the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimetres, plows will be sent to the local roads. Normally, local road plowing will be completed 14 to 16 hours after the storm has ended.

New articulated TTC buses hit the road
The TTC’s new articulated buses will begin service in December. The first of 153 new accessible articulated buses will run on the 7 Bathurst route by the end of the year. Seven of the city’s busiest routes will be serviced by the new buses in 2014. The 60-foot articulated buses can accommodate 77 passengers (48 seated and 29 standing) – a 45 per cent increase in capacity. Three doors will make for faster boarding and exiting at subway stations and at all stops. This new fleet delivers on a promise made earlier this year in the TTC’s Customer Charter. 

Becoming a candidate – nominations for 2014 Municipal Election
Election Services will accept nominations for the 2014 Municipal Election from January 2 to September 12, 2014. If you are interested in becoming a candidate for mayor, city councillor or school board trustee, visit the website for key information. Topics include qualifications, filing or withdrawing a nomination, fees, and roles of elected officials. To run for mayor or councillor, a person must be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years of age, a resident of the City of Toronto, own or lease property in Toronto, and not legally prohibited from voting or holding municipal office.

Toronto's skating programs
The public can enjoy free leisure skating at 51 locations including three civic centres. New for this year are skate pads located at Dieppe Park and Greenwood Park. Shinny hockey for all ages and levels is available at selected rinks. Check the website for rink information and schedules or call 311. Outdoor rink facilities are open Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The regular outdoor skating season ends February 23, with the extended season at some locations ending March 16, weather permitting. For the safety of skaters, the Helmet Policy is enforced at all sites. CSA approved hockey helmets must be worn at all times by children under six years and by all persons including adults while playing hockey.

Hitting the slopes
The public can enjoy skiing and snowboarding this winter at Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation's two convenient locations. Certified instructors offer private and group lessons designed for people of all ages from beginner to advanced. Both locations offer rental equipment including helmets and lift tickets: Centennial Ski and Snowboard Centre, Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Rd., 416-394-8754; Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre, Earl Bales Park, 4169 Bathurst St., 416-395-7931.

Toronto EMS hosts community wellness clinics
Paramedic Debbie Wicks is passionate about disease prevention. As a community paramedic, she sees the importance of helping people to understand how to take proactive steps to manage their personal health. Debbie often hosts community wellness clinics including one recently held at the Grandravine Community Recreation Centre. Debbie met with over 45 residents of this North York community and conducted individual wellness assessments including blood pressure readings and pulse checks. Community wellness clinics are an important part of Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS) public outreach.

Heritage Conservation District blog launched
The City recently launched a new blog to help Torontonians learn more about the Heritage Conservation District (HCD) studies and plans happening throughout the city.The Heritage Conservation Districts in Toronto blog is a resource to learn about milestones, events and ways to participate. Each HCD study or plan has a dedicated section in the blog where readers can find background information, boundary maps, community consultation presentations and historic photo galleries. There are currently five HCDs being studied: Historic Yonge Street, Garden District, St. Lawrence, Queen Street East, and King/Spadina.
Long-Term Care Homes & Services – convalescent care
In September, Long-Term Care Homes & Services added True Davidson Acres to its list of homes offering convalescent care. Now, five city-run homes offer specialized care services to residents who need time to recover after a serious illness or surgery. This short-stay program provides 24-hour care in a supportive environment to help residents recover and regain their strength and functioning skills to return to independent living. While in this program, a multi-disciplinary care team, which includes doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, rehabilitation assistants and dietitians, will work with residents to ensure they get the personalized care services they need.
Toronto Building to accept email submissions
On December 2, the Toronto Building Division began accepting email submissions for customers seeking building permits. This new service option for submitting a service request is part of the division's Electronic Service Delivery Program. The objective of the program is to enhance accessibility to Toronto Building and meet clients' expectations of being able to access municipal services from anywhere at any time. A complete listing of Toronto Building services along with submission requirements is available on the Toronto Building webpage.

Helping the homeless this holiday season
Looking for a way to help someone less fortunate this holiday season? The City's annual Wish List is a one-stop resource for Torontonians wanting to bring cheer to those experiencing homelessness, either with gifts or by volunteering. The City asked agencies that run shelters, drop-ins and other services for homeless people what items their clients need. The most common items needed are winter clothing, toiletries, and gift cards for groceries. A complete list of items, volunteer opportunities and holiday fundraisers planned by the agencies is available on the City's website.

2013 United Way Employee Campaign
The Toronto Public Service, along with staff from the Toronto Public Library, Toronto Zoo, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Toronto Parking Authority and Exhibition Place, raised $1,320,000 for the 2013 City of Toronto United Way Employee Campaign. Staff have now raised more than $1 million annually for the past 13 years. The funds raised support the larger United Way Community Fund that provides core funding to a network of 200 non-profit agencies across the city. These agencies meet urgent needs and provide social services to individuals, families and communities

Monday, December 9, 2013

FREE 2014 Wall Calendars!

Come in to our office during regular business hours and pick up a FREE
2014 Wall Calendar!
(While supplies last.)

1536 Bayview Ave,
(at Millwood)
Toronto, M4G 3B6

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

TREB Housing Market Charts - November 2013

Tighter Market Conditions Drive Strong Price Growth

TORONTO, December 4, 2013 – Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,391 residential sales through the TorontoMLS system in November, representing a 13.9 per cent increase over the sales result for November 2012. Over the same period, new listings on TorontoMLS were down by 4.4 per cent and month-end active listings were down by 12.1 per cent.

"Growth in sales was strong for most home types in the Greater Toronto Area. Sales growth was led by the single-detached market segment followed by condominium apartments. Together, singles and condos accounted for almost three-quarters of total GTA transactions," said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

"With National Housing Day having just passed, housing affordability is top of mind in the GTA and indeed nationally. Despite strong price growth and an uptick in borrowing costs this year, monthly mortgage payments on the average priced home remain affordable for a household earning the average GTA income," continued Ms. Usher.

The average selling price for November 2013 TorontoMLS transactions was $538,881 – up by 11.3 per cent in comparison to the average of $484,208 reported for November 2012. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 5.7 per cent over the same period.

"Whether we consider the average TorontoMLS selling price or the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark, annual home price growth remained well-above the rate of inflation in November. This makes sense given the fact that competition between buyers increased last month. Transactions were up strongly year-over-year while the number of homes available for sale was down," said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

To read the full report, please visit: