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Cyber Crime and Identify Theft webinar
The Lawrence Park Neighbourhood Watch has organized a free webinair for Monday, June 14 at 7 p.m. Sorry for the short notice.
 
Join Detective Nora Hammond from the Toronto Police Coordinated Cyber Crime unit for an online webinar to find out about how cyber criminals access your information without your knowledge, and what they can do with it. You may feel that you are not important enough, or rich enough for a cyber criminal to bother with you, but that’s not how they operate. Learn more at this webinar.
 
Detective Nora Hammond will be enlightening us with true stories and the workings of cyber criminals. Learn to protect yourself and your loved ones. Following Detective Hammond’s presentation, there will be a workshop on how to secure your devices. It will be an enlightening and engaging evening. Register here.
Workshops on Ageism and Employment
The Bayview Cummer Neighbourhood Association (BCNA) has arranged for a specialist and career coach, Suzanne Cook, Ph.D.to deliver three workshops for 50+ seniors to provide guidance and training to those who may have lost their job during the pandemic.
 
The session will be offered on Zoom platform and guests may register here.  Once registered you will receive an invitation and notice on the day reminding you of the session.
 
When: June 8, 2021 07:00 PM; additional modules and training will be offered on June 15 and June 22.
Garden Suites
A "Garden Suite" is a second, generally smaller, house built in the backyard of a detached, semi-detached, or townhouse property. The City is intending to pass city-wide zoning permitting these suites in all neighbourhoods subject to certain standards.

In April, 2021 the City released a survey to explore your opinions and concerns about new backyard houses in your neighbourhood.

City Planning then hosted three virtual community consultation meetings (May 11, 12 and 13) for residents to learn more, ask questions, and share comments about Garden Suites.

Here is the Garden Suite Community Meeting Presentation discussed at the consultation meetings.
 
Draft Report
Planning will present a Draft Report to the Planning and Housing Committee (PHC) on June 28.  The Report will be made available to the Public on June 21.

We do not know what the Draft Report will contain other than their statement "Please look for a report on Garden Suites summarizing the survey and our consultation meetings held to date."  We will review the Draft Report and provide information and comments in an eBlast on June 23.
 
Next Steps
Details on Next Steps may also be outlined in the Draft Report but we are expecting that the Draft Report will be heard by City Council on July 14/15.  We understand additional consultations are to take place over the summer so they may submit a Fiinal Report and the Amendments to the Zoning By-laws for PHC review on Sept 21 and City Council approval on Sept. 30.
COVID-19 Vaccines
Everyone is interested in keeping up-to-date with the arrangements for COVID Vaccinations.  We have added a section COVID-19 Vaccine to the COVID page on our website. It contains information on the vaccine rollout, government information, new articles, COVID-19 information sites as well as contact information. We will keep this updated as additional information is released.Councillor Colle, MPP Martin and MP Mendicino Newsletters also contain updates on COVID-19 issues. 
Councillor Mike Colle Update
View the June 14 update.

MPP Robin Martin  COVID-19 Update

View the June 13 update.
Hon. Marco Mendicino Community Update
View the June 7 update.
Multi-Tenant (Rooming) Houses
The City is proposing the creation of city-wide zoning and enhancements to licensing and enforcement of Multi-Tenant (Rooming) Houses (MTHs) to encourage and regulate safe, liveable, well-maintained and affordable housing across the city (adding all of York and Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York, Leaside and East York).
 
Amendments to Zoning By-laws
We understood the Proposal (see below) would be reviewed for policies as well as results of the consultations at the Planning and Housing Committee (PHC) on June 28.  If approved by PHC, it would be reviewed by City Council on July 14/15 and if the Proposal was approved, we thought Planning would present Amendments to Zoning By-laws at a Public Hearing perhaps in September.  We were most surprised on June 8 to see a Notice in the Toronto Star of the proposed amendments and to receive Notice of a Public Meeting at PHC on June 28 from the City Clerk's Office.

The zoning by-law changes should be submitted only after the PHC, City Council and the Public have had the opportunity to review and comment on the Proposal. We object to the rush of implementing city-wide zoning by-law amendments before the Proposal is duly reviewed and approved.  
 
The Proposal
The proposed regulatory framework has four parts:
  1. Enhanced operator licensing requirements to promote health and safety
  2. An enforcement and compliance program
  3. City-wide zoning standards that permit use across the city, and
  4. Initiatives to support tenants and maintain affordability of housing
Here is the City-Wide Framework for Multi-Tenant (Rooming) Houses Presentation used at the various Workshops.

City staff have advised that "The Final Report will include recommendations on all the framework components, including licensing and enforcement. It will also include details of a phased implementation plan."

The proposed implementation plan calls for a phased approach to ensure a smooth and orderly transition to a new framework.
A significant number of residents’ organizations attended one or more Workshops to review this proposal, including a Working Group of the Federation of North Toronto Residents' Association (FoNTRA). The Working Group is supportive in principle of harmonizing the regulatory framework and zoning standards for MTHs in the City of Toronto. We agree that improved regulatory standards, inspections and enforcement are needed to improve the living conditions and safety for residents in these houses. We also endorse the proposal to first ensure existing operators, including licensed, unlicensed and illegal MTHs, are all in compliance before moving to a second phase which would allow new operators to apply for licenses.

But we have serious concerns with both the implementation process and the City’s ability to properly enforce these houses. As heard at the Workshops, there are many ongoing issues with illegal and unlicensed MTHs within both zoned and unzoned areas. These houses present real and potential safety issues for the tenants, many of whom may not be able to advocate for better housing themselves.

The significant number of non-compliant, illegal and unlicensed (and often unsafe) MTHs in the City is unacceptable. We strongly recommend that the City first properly deal with the current non-compliant, illegal and unlicensed houses before allowing new operators.

A Final Report will be presented at the June 28 meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee (PHC) but the Report will only be made available to the public on June 21 – which gives the residents very little time to prepare letters to the Planning and Housing Committee and to contact their Councillor. The recommendations from the PHC would go to City Council on July 14/15.

For this reason, we are sharing today the Recommendations we expect to be submitting to the PHC.

Recommendations:
  1. Define evaluation criteria for Phase 1.
  2. Identify all existing MTHs across the city (licensed, unlicensed and illegal).
  3. Provide sufficient budget for Phase 1 to be successful.
  4. Bring existing non-compliant, illegal and unlicensed MTHs into compliance or shut them down - as stated within Phase 1.
  5. Hold licensing for any new MTHs until Phase 1 is completed - as stated within Phase 2.
  6. Provide public quarterly statistical reporting on key performance indicators.
  7. Initiate a schedule of escalating fines; set clear criteria for reasons to revoke licenses.
  8. Nearing completion of Phase 1, present an Evaluation Report to City Council to decide on next steps, including accepting applications for new licenses.
We believe the implementation of these recommendations will ensure the success of Phase 1, which is what we all want.

We laud the City’s efforts to improve the MTH situation across the City since they offer an affordable housing option, but the City must approach this responsibly, placing the safety of tenants first and ensuring the City can adequately enforce the relevant by-laws.
 
We will review the Draft Report published on June 21 and prepare a follow-up eBlast with our comments on June 23.  An outline of a letter that you could modify to state your views will be provided in that eBlast.
2021 Membership Drive 

We need your financial support! 
Membership contributions allow us to maintain our activities.
 
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
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