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Crime Report - January, 2021
On January 11, 2021, we held a meeting with the Crime Prevention Officer for 32 Division. During the meeting, Toronto Police enhancements for 2021 were discussed – these include:
  1. Increase in the number of Mobile Crisis Intervention Teams. The program will expand to 24/7 coverage versus the current 10-hour days.  This team is dispatched with an Officer and a Nurse after priority officers stabilize an incident and is predominately used for mental health calls.
  2. Increase in Officers in marginalized communities. For 32 Division, this would include Lawrence Heights. Of the 42 shootings in 32 Division in 2020, approximately 33% were in this area.
  3. Road safety and the Vision Zero program continues to be a priority.
Due to Covid, our monthly Community Police Liaison Meetings were suspended. We made a formal request to 32 Division to do these virtually in 2021.
 
In 2020, our two main primary areas of concern continued to be Break and Enter, and Auto Theft.
 
Break and Enter:
  • ZERO B&E’s in December. Second month in a row with zero B&E’s.
  • House B&E’s in 2020 were 3 versus 15 in 2019. An 80% reduction.
  • All categories of B&E’s (commercial, apartment, House) in the Bedford Park-Nortown area in 2020 were 43 versus 64 in 2019. A 33% reduction. Across the City of Toronto, B&E’s were down 19%.
Prevention tip: Thieves do not want people in a home if they break in. A suggestion by TPS is that if you are at home, always acknowledge a doorbell ring or a knock – do not open the door, just speak through it. Let them know you are home. Video doorbells can be a good tool in these instances.
 
Auto Theft:
  • There were ZERO auto thefts in December. Second month in a row with zero auto thefts.
  • Total auto thefts in 2020 was 11 versus 8 in 2019. This represents a 38% increase. The City of Toronto saw an increase of six percent.
  • The Toronto Police Service Auto Theft Suppression Team was formed in September 2020 and we are seeing the benefits of this team in our area through lower auto thefts since that time.
A detail listing of all crime incidents in 2020 is available at Detail Listing SAHRA 2020.
 
2021 Focus:
  1. We have learned the significant benefit when TPS forms focused crime prevention teams.  This has occurred with both B&E and most recently with the Auto Theft Suppression Team for auto theft. The results follow through almost immediately. We pull monthly data for our area– we need to get better at watching negative trending when it is happening and then follow up with an open dialogue with TPS immediately.  Police resources are always an issue, but we will try. We will also use our monthly eBlasts to alert our members.
  2. Educate our membership regarding current scams in a timelier manner.
  3. Continue to track monthly crime data and promote safety and crime awareness in our neighbourhood.
Support our Shops – Shop Local
With the continuation of the lockdown and the additional restrictions, our local shops are working even harder to stay afloat and keep providing us with their products and services. Where possible, whether it’s permitted online curb-side pickup, take-out or delivery, please shop locally to support those who help make our community a better place for all of us to live.

MPP Robin Martin  COVID-19 Update Jan 29 2021

View the update at https://sahratoronto.com/2021/01/29/mpp-robin-martin-april-16-covid-19-update/

Hon. Marco Mendicino Community Update Jan 22 2021

View the update at https://sahratoronto.com/2021/01/22/hon-marco-mendicino-covid-19-update-mendicino/
2021 Membership Drive 
We need your financial support!  Membership contributions are our only source of revenue to maintain our activities. We are very frugal but there are expenses for newsletters, our website, office expenses and insurance. We also need to replenish our funds to engage planners and lawyers when necessary to deal with Committee of Adjustment, TLAB and LPAT applications/appeals.
 
How to Contribute
SAHRA will never disclose your personal information to any third party.
 
To contribute via PayPal or credit/debit card
PayPal or Credit Card Contributions
To contribute by cheque, please download and complete
the 2021 Membership Form to accompany your cheque
Download 2021 MembershipForm
Comments on 4050 Yonge Street Proposal
After attending the Community Consultation meeting on Jan 12 2021 for 4050 Yonge Street, SAHRA has submitted a letter outlining a number of concerns to Councillor Colle and Planning:
  1. The proposal for 4050 Yonge has grown from a reasonable 2-tower complex of 7 and 9 storeys to one with 21 and 35 storey towers. 
  2. This location is currently subject to a height limitation of 172.6 metres above sea level or approximately 39.5 metres above established grade. The proposed height, at 135 metres above established grade is a football field taller than the existing limit. This is excessive!
  3. While subway overcrowding is a complex issue, adding a significant residential building in an area with limited existing job opportunities suggests that most of these residents will need to travel on the subway or by car to get to their places of employment. This project will not reduce transportation needs in the area.
  4. During the meeting, there was no TRCA representation and we were left with the understanding, from the developer, that there were no outstanding issues – that TRCA had redefined their plans for the area and this development would not have an impact. We are skeptical of this position and are concerned about flood potential and that this development will have an impact on the environment and area wildlife.
While we try to understand the Province’s requirements for intensification at subway stations, we feel intensification without consideration of the surrounding geography will result in a poorly conceived community.
 
Yonge and York Mills has a low density because it sits in a valley surrounded by parkland and hills. There are perhaps 3 remaining properties suitable for development in this area. Unlike the Sheppard or Eglinton stops, there is no space within a 500 metre radius to erect 50+ oversized condominium towers and meet the Province’s intensification targets.
 
Yet during the meeting, the developer’s primary justification for this project was the Province’s intensification goals!  This will not result in a focal point for jobs, housing, transit infrastructure and services. The result will be an orphaned complex, in a poorly serviced area with limited access to employment or shops and services. These future homeowners will need to travel by car or on an overcrowded subway to get their daily essentials. This is poor planning.
 
For these reasons we believe a more modest proposal, reflecting the limited opportunity for intensification and the sensitivity of the surrounding green space would be a better fit for the property at 4050 Yonge Street.
Update: Dog Attacks Another Dog
As we mentioned in our January 3 eBlast, one dog attacked another near the corner of Yonge Boulevard and Ravenhill on November 30. 311 was called four times over the next few weeks to register complaints against the attacking dog. 311 referred the complaints to the City’s Animal Services division which has completed its investigation. The outcome is confidential to the dog’s owner and the complainants. What we do know is that the dog is not a pit bull as defined under the provincial act: it is a bull mastiff.
 
In general, an investigation runs through the following process: If a dog is considered “dangerous” or commits a “dangerous act” which is not considered severe, the owner is issued a written warning on the first occasion. On following occasions or if the first occasion is considered severe, an “order” is issued. The order can include muzzling when off the owner’s property, mandatory training, having the dog wear a dangerous dog tag and being barred from the city’s off-leash dog parks. More info is available on the City’s webpage: Dogs in the City – City of Toronto.
City of Toronto Budget Reviews
The City of Toronto is currently reviewing the Capital and Operating Budgets for 2021. This year the City faces fiscal challenges on a scale that is unprecedented. 
 
The Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (FoNTRA) is an umbrella organization of over 30 residents associations in Midtown, North Toronto and North York (SAHRA is one of the members) and they have submitted recommendations for the City’s budget in three key areas:
  1. Focus on Recovery and Rebuild Initiatives to become a Better Place
    Recommend: That City Council direct its resources to Recovery and Rebuild Initiatives
  2. Accelerate – not reduce – Planning Studies
    Recommend: That City Council provide City Planning with additional funds to allow for Planning Studies to be accelerated
  3. Raise Additional Revenues which align with Recovery and Rebuild Objectives
    Recommend: That City Council ensure that “contribution to city building” is a key consideration in its consideration of revenue tools
 You can read the full submission at: FoNTRA 2021 Budget Submission Jan 25 2021.
TTC Update
 TTC will be continuing its subway maintenance program in 2021. The next
  scheduled subway closures are:

Line 1: Finch to Sheppard-Yonge nightly early closures January 25 to 28 - REVISED
Line 2: Warden to Kennedy nightly early closures February 1 to 4
Line 1: Finch to St Clair full weekend closure February 6 and 7
Line 1: Finch to Eglinton nightly early closures February 8 to 11
Line 1: Finch to Eglinton nightly early closures February 16 to 18
Line 1: Finch to Eglinton nightly early closures February 22 to 25
Line 1: Finch to St Clair full weekend closure February 27 and 28


Any updates or changes to the schedule will be posted online:   
http://www.ttc.ca/Service_Advisories/Subway_closures/index.jsp
Curtail the Use of MZO’s
In recent eBlasts, we have reported on the Provincial Governments flagrant use of the Minister’s Zoning Order legislation with objections by cities, municipalities, citizen, neighbourhood and environmental organizations.  But the Provincial Government continues!

One recent example is the demolition of the Dominion Foundry. The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association (SLNA) has taken the Friends of the Foundry campaign to the Courts to get an interim order to pause the demolition.  Toronto City Council will be asked on Tuesday to authorize City legal counsel to also seek a stop to the demolition.  A full hearing on the SLNA (and hopefully City) applications will then be held at the end of February.
 
The Province is now proceeding with legislative changes powers regarding site plan control and inclusionary zoning!

The Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods which represents urban neighbourhood organizations across the Province (SAHRA is a member) has made a Submission to Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the Premier and MPPs commenting on these proposed changes. The Recommendation re site plan control is “We recommend that the authority for site plan control should remain with the municipality. The broad strategic uses can and should be encouraged and facilitated by the fiscal, programmatic and broad legislative mandate of the provincial government at the provincial level, not by intervening in site specific plan applications.”

You can review the Federation’s submission at FUN MZO SPA letter Jan 29 2021 FINAL submitted to Prov Govt.
Bedford Park Residents Organization Histories
BPRO has now published Issue #12 1837,”The Rebellion”.  You can view it at https://www.bprotoronto.ca/2021/01/24/1837-the-rebellion/
Parkland Strategy Document
The Final Parkland Strategy Report was adopted by Council on Nov 26, 2019 with amendments.  The Parkland Strategy is a 20 year plan that will guide long-term planning for new parks and expansion and improved access to existing parks.  It will aid in the decision-making and prioritization of investment in parkland across the city.
 
The Report states “Torontonians value the parks system, with an overwhelming 99% of online survey responses indicating that parks are critical to the quality of life.”
 
The Parkland Strategy is a strategic park planning framework that provides: park catchment tool; parks planning priorities; acquisition prioritization; development review; planning studies; partnerships and community benefits strategy.

The Parkland Strategy provides the City with a long-term vision and framework for the enhancement of Toronto’s park system.  The Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan 2019 to 2038 Oct 2017 created in Oct 2017 defines the Facilities Plan for that 20-year period.

A diagram of all the parks in Ward 16: Ward 16 Parks_2
A diagram of all capital projects for those parks: Ward 16 ParksCapProj_1
The report prepared by Parks, Forestry and Recreation of Ward Parks: Ward_16_Parks_RP_LA_2
Mask Tips (compliments of York Mills Eye Care)
Befogged by Glasses Fog?
The easiest solution is to seal down your mask around your nose and cheeks using surgical tape. A mask that has a wire across the nose can be molded to your face, while adding a tissue below this type of mask can also help.  If your mask is coming off and on, anti-fog wipes can do the trick. Wipe your glasses in the morning and it can last for 24 hours.
 
Mask Associated Dry Eye (MADE)
Widespread use of face masks although essential to combat COVID-19 spread is giving rise to a new phenomenon: increased reports of dry, uncomfortable eyes.  Masks significantly reduce the outward spread of air. However, exhaled air still needs to disperse: when a mask sits loosely against the face the likely route is upwards. This forces a stream of air over the surface of the eye, creating conditions that accelerate tear film evaporation, leading to dry spots on the ocular surface and discomfort. Use lubricating eye drops – all natural Hylo without preservatives is recommended. Limit time on digital devices and take regular breaks. Remember the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This forces your eyes to blink and ‘reboots’ the ocular system.
Enbridge Tips (extracted from the Enbridge brochure)
As outside temperatures have dropped, things are heating up inside. Here are some important safety tips.

Keep your meter clear:  A natural gas meter covered in snow and ice can be a hazard. Always clear snow and ice from your meter after every winter storm just as you would your car, driveway or walkway. Keeping your natural gas meter and appliance exhaust vents clear is important to make sure your meter is not damaged and to prevent an appliance malfunction. If the vent is covered by snow, it may cause a buildup of carbon monoxide (CO) in the home because the CO cannot be released through the vent outside.
 
Home safety tips: Natural gas is an efficient and cleaner way to heat your home and water. Follow these tips for staying safe all year round:
  1. Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home – install at least one near sleeping areas and each floor and test monthly.
  2. Have your natural gas appliances/equipment services and maintained by a TSSA registered heating contractor yearly.
  3. Keep your fireplace clean and free of obstructions. Install a safety screen or health guard.
  4. Go outside and call 911 or the Enbridge Gas emergency number if you smell rotten eggs and suspect a leak.
Better Living Website Virtual Program Updates
Better Living, Health and Community Services actively updates their website to provide you with access to up-to-date and reputable sources of information and reference sources on COVID-19.  They have a number of special support programs for Seniors.  You can access their latest eBlast for an Update for Clients and Family at https://mailchi.mp/betterlivinghealth/program-services-and-covid-19-updates-jan-2021?e=36699a30db
How Important is Nutrition in a Pandemic?
(compliments of Glendon Athletic Club)
Other than the practical advice from governments regarding physical distancing and hand-washing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, good nutrition has been recognized as essential before, during and after any infection. It needs to be said though that no food or supplement can prevent or cure a COVID-19 infection, however taking steps to support our immune system through maintaining a healthy diet is very important. On a really basic level, we can focus on the following areas:
  • Variety. Eating as many different types of fruits and vegetables as possible is important to ensure you are taking in adequate levels of nutrients needed to support immunity. Eating a rainbow is often the phrase that is used. Fruits and vegetables contain many different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which all play their part in supporting our immune system to fight disease. While eating some fruits and vegetables is better than none at all, eating a greater variety would give us a better chance of not missing out on any of the nutrients we require.
  • More of the good. Fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and healthy fats like olive oil are all considered to be part of a healthy, balanced and nutrient-rich diet. Try to increase your intake of these foods by cooking from scratch where possible. Salads, soups and smoothies are great and easy ways to include a wider variety of nutrients in your daily diet. There are many excellent recipe books, websites and other resources available to inspire and guide you.
  • Less of the bad. Reduce sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. While you may be trying your best to put in some extra goodness, it goes without saying that the good needs to outweigh the bad – so reducing refined sugar, salt and unhealthy fats such as those found in cakes, cookies and fast food, forms an important part of the immune support process.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol compromises the immune system and as a result it is recommended to reduce the intake of alcohol - particularly during a pandemic - to ensure we are doing all we can to support our immune system in functioning as optimally as possible.
  • Drink water regularly. As a guideline, adults should aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day although this varies slightly based on an individual’s size and weight. Water helps to carry oxygen around the body. It also helps to transport the nutrients needed to support immunity around the body to the different cells and organs. Water also helps to detoxify the body – helping to carry toxins, waste and foreign bodies out of the body. This is a key part of the function of our immune system - so in current times could be seen as more important than ever.
Stuck for healthy meal ideas?
Try this delicious, warming Butternut Squash soup for a nutrient-dense, immune-boosting meal! Other vegetables and herbs can of course be added depending on what you have access to. Sweet potato works well as does cauliflower, or add a handful of fresh or frozen spinach. This recipe would provide around 2 servings.
  
1 cup (3-4 medium) carrots, chopped
1 cup (200g) Butternut squash, peeled and chopped
½ onion, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled
1 pint chicken or vegetable stock (broth can be used instead)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chopped parsley, to serve

 
Sautee onion, ginger and vegetables in a pan with oil until softened. Add stock or broth and simmer until vegetables are soft. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. An immersion blender can also be used. Season to taste and sprinkle with parsley.
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