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While our city, along with the rest of the world, faces this difficult time, I have been comforted by the outpouring of help and support our Parkdale – High Park community has shared with each other.  I feel it is more important than ever that we come together, not only to get through this pandemic, but to rebuild a stronger, more just society for all residents of Toronto.

Next Thursday, May 28th, I will be hosting a Facebook Live Town Hall at 7:00 pm to discuss both the current recovery efforts, and what we as a society can do moving forward. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and questions. As this will be our first virtual Town Hall, I am sure there will be some bumps in the road, but by working together our community can take an active role defining what type of city emerges from the recovery effort. 

To help start the process, please email a question with the subject line “Town Hall” in advance to ward4@toronto.ca, including your name, and what neighbourhood you live in. I hope to see you on Thursday, May 28th at facebook.com/GordPerks.

It begins with a girl named Abbey. Abbey was a strong, brave, and tenacious 9-year old girl whose life was cut far too short in 2018 by a rare blood disorder. In her memory, Abbey’s family and friends created a charitable organization called Abbey’s Goal; click here to read more about Abbey and her amazing legacy.

In response to COVID-19, Abbey’s family started a rainbow revolution. They are making rainbow tree kits, which you can use to decorate a tree (or anything, really) in your front yard to show appreciation for essential workers and health heroes. If you would like to order a kit, you can text: 647-278-5140 and donate online at www.abbeysgoal.com.

Abbey’s Goal is suggesting a donation of $20 for this kit, which is home-made. All proceeds from the rainbow kits go to the Stop (thestop.org), an organization focused on increasing access to healthy food.

Doug Ford on Twitter: "I want to thank Abbey's Goal for this ...

Let’s join neighborhoods across the GTA with a nightly thank you celebration at 7:30 pm from our front doorsteps and porches and from a safe distance, so the health care workers will hear our gratitude ringing from the rafters as part of #TogetherWeCanDoIt.

Beginning Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. local time and every evening going forward, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario is asking everyone to cheer on the millions of health providers, social service and other essential front-line workers in Ontario, Canada and around the world who are tackling #COVID19.

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Bike lanes along Bloor Street West is a topic that has resonated positively amongst our residents, accordingly to our last neighbourhood survey. We’ve made a copy of the complete 2019 Economic Impact study available here.

Some findings:

The number of businesses that reported 100 customers or more per day increased in the study area

After accounting for contributing factors (such as age, gender and proximity), visitors reported coming to Bloor three days more per month after the bike lane was installed

Walking remained the most popular travel choice, used by nearly half (48%) of visitors on Bloor, and driving is now the least (10%)

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Find out at this local meeting next month, hosted by Ward 4 Councillor, Gord Perks. The details are as follows:

Monday, February 3rd, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton School – 3rd Floor Staff Room
1515 Bloor Street West (near Dundas West Station)

An accessible entrance is available on the south side of the building on Dundas Street.

For more information, click here. For details on Toronto’s 2020 budget process and how to get involved, click here.

Some of the earliest forms of artwork were paintings on walls…

StreetARToronto (StART) is a suite of innovative programs designed specifically for streets and public spaces. Initiated in 2012 as an integral part of the City’s Graffiti Management Plan, StART has been successful in reducing graffiti vandalism and replacing it with vibrant, colourful, community-engaged street art.

StART programs encourage active transportation (walking and cycling), make our streets more beautiful and safe, showcase local artists, mentor emerging talent, reduce overall infrastructure maintenance costs and more.

You can download a copy of the 2020 Information Session here.

The Zoning By-law Amendment application for 2442-2454 Bloor St West has been approved by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

In April 2019, the developer, the City and all of the other parties to the appeal reached a settlement for a 12-storey building on site, which the LPAT approved in principle. The Final Order was held, pending satisfaction of a number of conditions.

Those conditions are set out in Appendix A of the Confidential Report from the City Solicitor adopted at the June 2018 meeting of City Council, which can be read here. All supporting documentation for the Zoning By-law Amendment application, including architectural plans and technical reports, is available online at the City’s Application Information Centre, under “Supporting Documentation” here.

A site plan application, including “streetscaping” at corner of Bloor and Riverview Gardens remains under review and a demolition application for buildings on site is still pending.