With Coucillor Gary Crawford
By Gary Crawford
I’d like to start off by wishing you all a very Happy Canada Day!
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to participate in the usual concerts and picnics, but I hope you all still find a way to commemorate our great nation. One alternative is to participate in one of the various livestreams airing throughout the country.
The City’s very own livestream will begin with the Canadian Pancake Breakfast, hosted by several guest chefs. This will be followed by Culture Jam, an afternoon of performances set against views of our diverse neighbourhoods. Celebrations will then conclude with Ready for Prime-Time, which will feature further performances in iconic Toronto venues. Featured performers include Gordon Lightfoot, Jully Black, Kardinall Offishall, Ali Hassan, Haviah Mighty, Choir! Choir! Choir! and Cris Derksen, among many other talented Canadian artists. Please visit the following webpage for further information on the City’s livestream: https://www.toronto.ca/news/canada-day-goes-virtual-to-bring-torontonians-together/.
The CN Tower will also be presenting a 15 minute lightshow, which can be viewed at https://www.cntower.ca/. These breathtaking sights will be set against a soundtrack of diverse artists, only a city like Toronto could offer.
If you’d like to wear your patriotism on your sleeve, I recommend decorating your porches, front doors, balconies and windows with signs of your Canadian pride. Please visit the following link for downloadable Canada Day celebration kits: https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/canada-day/celebration-kit.html
As Torontonians, we are truly fortunate to live in one of the largest cities in the world, which is also home to many beautiful natural greenspaces. As such, I imagine that our wonderful parks will likely serve as another alluring option for your Canada Day celebrations. Just a gentle reminder to those of you who opt to visit one of our parks, please continue to be cognizant of ongoing COVID-19 precautionary measures. Such measures include frequent hand washing, staying within a social circle of no more than 10 people, practising physical distancing, and wearing a face covering or non-medical mask to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. We’ve been able resume a large portion of our normal activities thanks to our efforts thus far and we cannot afford to let up at this stage in the recovery process.
Speaking of parks, one issue that has quickly become apparent is traffic in and around Bluffers Park. This has actually been an emerging issue for some time now, as we have seen exponential growth in the number of visitors to the park over the last decade. My office has received a number of communications expressing concern for how this increased traffic has had a detrimental effect on the lives of both local residents and park goers. Unfortunately, non-compliance of traffic regulations has increased across the City and this includes the Bluffs area. Even after efforts to introduce illuminated and printed signage, as well as revised by-laws designed to keep vehicles moving, traffic management at Brimley and Kingston has remained problematic.
In response to these concerns, I recently held a meeting with senior staff from Toronto Police, Parks, Transportation, Parking Enforcement and By-Law divisions to discuss potential measures for addressing this situation. As of now, some noteworthy plans include the introduction of a physical barrier along Brimley South to protect pedestrians and cyclists. The barrier will be implemented as a part of the reconstruction project scheduled to occur in 2021. I’ve also asked Parks and Transportation to investigate the feasibility of introducing permanent electronic signage at the south west corner of Brimley and Kingston for real-time information regarding parking-lot capacity.
Our traffic engineers will continue to explore mitigation strategies and I will report back with updates.
As for the park itself, I’ve directed the Parks department, with assistance from Parking Enforcement and Toronto Police Services, to close the east parking lot at 11 p.m. to mitigate the occurrence of late night parties. Toronto Police Services will also continue to monitor racing and unwelcomed behaviour and the City’s by-law officers will continue to manage behavioural issues and infractions. If you are aware of an infraction or unwelcomed behaviour, please be sure to contact the police. Emergency inquiries should be reported via 911 and non-emergency inquiries should be reported via 416-808-2222.
Overall, my goal is to ensure that area residents and park guests are able to safely enjoy this great amenity. Enforcement is one component to ensuring the success of this initiative, but we can all do our part by making an effort to be personally accountable for our conduct in the park.
As always, please feel free to contact my office if you have any concerns or comments you’d like to bring to my attention.