Expanding access to library services


I wanted to take a moment to celebrate with you that the City's 2024 Budget marks a significant step forward in broadening access to library services.

With the approval of this budget, our City is investing in the Toronto Public Library (TPL) to increase open hours and add youth hubs across the City. These enhancements supports the City's Poverty Reduction Strategy.

More open hours mean more public access to our welcoming spaces and friendly and knowledgeable staff, increased digital opportunities, more children and youth supports, and reduced barriers to access for equity-deserving groups.

In our ward, this will mean expanded hours at the High Park library branch. Starting in September, the High Park branch will now open on Sundays from 1:30pm to 5pm from September to June, except on holiday weekends.

Equally important is the need for more welcoming spaces for Toronto youth. With the new funding, TPL will be adding youth hubs in September 2024 at Brentwood, Bridlewood and Maryvale branches, as well as the Toronto Reference Library.

Youth Hubs are welcoming drop-in spaces for teens ages 13-18, designed to support teens in their personal development, especially those from vulnerable populations. They offer access to homework help, activities and programs, snacks and a broad range of current technology. They are open after school and during the summer months and are staffed by librarians and other staff, with support from volunteers and placement students.

At this crucial time of growing need for accessible and welcoming spaces in Toronto, I am proud that our City is reducing barriers to access and providing greater geographic equity for our cherished library services.




Gord in the Community

Celebrating Tibetan New Year (Losar) at the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre

- Drop-in informational event: West Parkdale Cycling Connections - March 5

- Reminder - Vacant Home Tax Declaration Deadline Feb 29

- Reminder - Virtual Consultation: Baby Point Heritage Conservation District - Feb 27

- Reminder - Heritage Register Review – Public Information Session: Feb 26

West Parkdale Cycling Connections

The City of Toronto is inviting residents to learn more and provide feedback about West Parkdale Cycling Connections. The project proposes to connect a gap in the cycling network from The Queensway to Brock Street and improve cycling access to destinations like High Park, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, retail, transit, and schools.

There are proposed changes from:

  • The Queensway to Sunnyside
  • Galley Avenue to MacDonell Avenue
  • Seaforth Avenue to Brock Avenue

This project also includes intersection improvements and changes to parking.

Public Drop-In Event

The Public Drop-In Event will provide an opportunity to view the project information panels and speak with members of the project team one-on-one.

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Time: 5 to 8 p.m.
Location: The Parkdale Hall, 1605 Queen St. W.

This location is wheelchair/mobility device accessible.


Seven days left for residential property owners to declare their 2023 occupancy status

Property owners have until Thursday, February 29, to declare whether their residential property was occupied or vacant for more than six months in the 2023 calendar year.  

Declarations can be submitted through the City of Toronto’s Vacant Home Tax (VHT) portal: www.toronto.ca/services-payments/property-taxes-utilities/vacant-home-tax

Who needs to declare occupancy status?  

While most homeowners are not subject to the VHT, every residential property owner must report the occupancy status of their property for the 2023 tax year. The VHT applies to residences that were declared, deemed or determined vacant for more than six months in 2023 and the tax amounts to one per cent of the Current Value Assessment (CVA). 

VHT exemptions apply to homeowners who reside in their homes, temporarily vacate for vacation, work abroad or rent their property. Failure to submit a declaration of occupancy status by the deadline will result in a fee of $21.24. 

How to declare occupancy status?  

Homeowners need their property assessment roll and customer number to make a declaration, both of which can be found on the most recent property tax bill or statement of tax account. For those without computer access, it is possible to authorize someone to submit the declaration online on their behalf. 

Property owners seeking assistance submitting their declaration can attend drop-in sessions at various locations including Toronto City Hall and civic centres on selected dates in February, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., near the Property Tax Inquiry & Payment counters:  

  • York Civic Centre (2700 Eglinton Ave W.) – February 26 and 27 
  • East York Civic Centre (850 Coxwell Ave.) – February 26 and 27 
  • Toronto City Hall (100 Queen St. W.) – February 28 and 29 
  • Scarborough Civic Centre (150 Borough Dr.) – February 28 and 29 
  • Etobicoke Civic Centre (399 The West Mall) – February 28 and 29 
  • North York Civic Centre (5100 Yonge St.) – February 28 and 29 

Information on the VHT Drop-in Sessions can be found on the City’s Vacant Home Tax webpage: www.toronto.ca/services-payments/property-taxes-utilities/vacant-home-tax

Following the portal's closure on February 29, the City will distribute Notices of Assessment for VHT to owners of declared vacant properties. Owners who did not declare the occupancy status of their properties and properties considered vacant will receive notifications by mail at the end of March. The notices will state the amount owed for VHT calculated as one per cent of the property's CVA. Property owners who disagree with the VHT assessment can file a complaint through the online portal beginning in early April. 

For more information on the VHT, exemptions and the submission of property occupancy status declarations, visit the City's VHT webpage: www.toronto.ca/services-payments/property-taxes-utilities/vacant-home-tax.


Reminder: Baby Point HCD virtual sessions – Feb 27

Join the City for an update on the Baby Point Heritage Conservation District Plan.

The City is looking to get input from Baby Point community members through a series of virtual sessions happening in February 2024 to discuss this unique historic neighbourhood.

The second session regarding Architectural Policies is happening on February 27, 2024 from 6 - 7:30pm. 

Here is a direct link to the newsletter pdf with the information on the webinars on the front page: Baby Point Heritage Conservation District Study Newsletter Issue 02 (toronto.ca)

Here's the webpage where you can register in advance to participate in the meetings: Meetings & Events: Baby Point HCD – City of Toronto

Reminder: Heritage Register Review – Public Information Session: Feb 26

On February 26, 2024, Toronto residents are invited to an online Public Information Session to learn about the City’s Heritage Register Review project. The purpose of the meeting is to share information about the project and answer questions. This project has been initiated to develop a strategy for responding to amendments made to Section 27 (Heritage Register) of the Ontario Heritage Act that came into force on January 1, 2023. The Heritage Register Review project is focused on developing an ongoing strategy to prioritize the designation of properties that are currently listed on the Toronto Heritage Register before they are removed from the register on January 1, 2025.

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