I am running to represent Toronto-Danforth because I know we have more work to do as a community to make sure that everyone in our ward has access to housing, good jobs, beautiful parks, community recreation, and safe, reliable ways to get around. I have a strong track record of getting things done by working with constituents and being a proud advocate for progress.
Getting Toronto Moving
None of us is only a cyclist, transit rider, pedestrian or driver. We all get around in lots of different ways, and we deserve to feel safe no matter which option we choose. We need to plan our streets for people first, ensuring that everyone gets where they’re going safely. That’s the aim of the Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, which I am committed to realizing in our community.
- Transit: Toronto needs to make big investments in transit if we are going to reduce congestion and have a livable city. From making the transit we already have work better to making sure we build the new transit we need, I am committed to putting the funds we need behind the TTC.
- Freezing Transit Fares: TTC riders can’t afford more fare hikes, particularly when we’re not seeing improvements in service. I will vote against any increases in TTC fares, which have increased well above the rate of inflation.
- Improving Reliability and Accessibility: The TTC is everyone’s transit system and accessibility needs to be a priority. I will fight to increase funding to make all TTC stations accessible, and add extra service to improve reliability and service times.
- Keeping the Relief Line on Track: TTC riders are tired of being sardined on our transit system. We need to build the Relief Line as a top priority – and Toronto-Danforth is the centre of the action for this important subway line. I will work with the community to empower residents to make sure the Relief Line is built right and built soon.
- Keeping the TTC in Public Hands: We’ve already heard Doug Ford musing that he wants a Queens Park takeover of the TTC. This is the first step to privatizing our public transit system – transferring our asset to big business. I will fight to keep the TTC City-owned.
- Cycling: As a cyclist myself, I know how much work needs to be done to make sure all cyclists are safe and protected on our roads. A connected, protected bike network is essential.
- Bike Lane Maintenance: Bike lanes need maintenance too. I will push for an increased proportion of the Transportation budget to be put towards bike lane maintenance and upgrades, including clear markings, fixing pot holes, and restoring bollards.
- Building New Bike Lanes: I support a Complete Streets approach to infrastructure and will vote to install bike lanes on both local roads and major arterials like the Danforth.
- Get Creative: Safe cycling infrastructure is about more than just bike lanes – there are innovative solutions from cities around the world that we can and should implement in Toronto. I will push for new ideas to be piloted in our community, including protected intersections.
- Empower Cyclists: As riders, we know exactly where improvements are needed. I will continue to work with local cycling advocates to implement key priorities for bike safety improvements.
- Walkability: Toronto has a pedestrian safety crisis and we need to take meaningful action in all communities. I support the Vision Zero Road Safety campaign and have worked in partnership with School Board Trustee Jennifer Story to improve school safety zones.
- School Safety Zones: I will continue working with Jennifer Story to roll out comprehensive school safety zones across Toronto-Danforth. From mid-road bollards that slow traffic to bump outs and safer pick-up/drop-off zones, we can and must make it safer for kids to get to and from school.
- Safe pedestrian crossings: I will work with the community to install safe pedestrian crossings and traffic lights so that everyone can cross safely.
- Traffic Calming: Last term, Council adopted my motion to make it possible for Councillors to waive the cumbersome requirements that hold up the installation of speed humps. I will always support and expedite the installation of speed humps on any street where the majority of residents are in favour.
- Driving: Getting around by car doesn’t need to be unbearable. I believe in making the right choices to reduce congestion and ensure we maintain our streets.
- Maintenance: I support greater accountability from contracted winter and summer maintenance providers so we know we are getting what we pay for when it comes to snow removal and road repairs.
- Parking Reform: I have always advocated for common-sense solutions to make our parking system fair and reasonable. I will continue to listen to residents and advance reforms that make it easier for residents who don’t have access to parking at their homes.
- Car to Hire: For many residents, services like AutoShare and Car-to-Go make more and more sense as an affordable, convenient option. I will work with residents to find neighbourhood-appropriate solutions to ensure these options are available and convenient.
A Thriving & Prosperous Toronto
Toronto is home to 1 in 5 Ontarians, and is a vibrant, thriving economic centre for our province and country. I support making the right investments so that we protect good jobs, support small businesses, and nurture a creative cultural scene. I have been a strong advocate for the community in any development process, ensuring growth is managed in a way that is responsive to community needs.
- Good Jobs & Local Businesses: Toronto is a thriving economic centre for our country, but that prosperity is only possible with a strong policy framework at City Hall that supports good jobs and local businesses.
- Protecting Employment Lands: To be a city that works, Toronto has to be a city with places to work. We can’t afford to lose employment lands that support good jobs in film and have the potential to become a new economic centre right in Toronto-Danforth.
- Supporting Local Business: I have always worked closely with small business owners through BIAs and on a one-on-one basis to build the conditions for their success. From supporting BIA festivals and events to promoting sensible tax policy at City Hall, I am committed to ensuring the small businesses we love can continue to thrive.
- Supporting Good Jobs: Every Torontonian deserves the right to work with dignity. I will not support poverty wages or the erosion of our public service through outsourcing and bad-faith bargaining.
- A Thriving Film, Television and Digital Media Sector: The screen industry is a vital piece of our regional and local economy, supporting an estimated 30,000 good jobs and exceeding the $1 billion mark for the sixth consecutive year. Toronto-Danforth is fortunate to be at the heart of our city’s film sector, with studio space, a host of businesses that support and rely on film and home to a large number of the top tier talent responsible for our global advantage. I am committed to protecting employment lands in the Port Lands for film uses, and working with the City to enhance the sector through programs like xoTO and by continuing to work with industry partners.
- Arts and Culture: Toronto is a cultural leader, and Toronto-Danforth has a proud history of being home to artists of all stripes. I will fight for a vision of Toronto that recognizes the importance of arts and culture to our quality of life.
- Increase Funding for the Arts: I have pledged to support increasing the per capita arts funding in Toronto to be in line with other cultural centres like Montreal and Vancouver.
- Local Arts: Our community is lucky to have East End Arts bringing artists together and providing important resources to local artists. I have always supported East End Arts and will be an advocate and partner to this great organization at City Hall.
- Public Art: I am so proud of the east end mural program that is thriving in Toronto-Danforth. Working together with the community, I will continue to secure funding for more murals and public art installations in every neighbourhood.
- Development: Like all Toronto neighbourhoods, Toronto-Danforth is home to development pressure as our city continues to grow. This growth can be managed appropriately so that the community benefits and all residents, new and old, have access to the same quality of services and transportation.
- Pro-active Planning: I am committed to giving the community the tools to take the lead on planning so that when a new development is proposed there are already strong guidelines in place that must be followed. This includes planning studies on major corridors, and an emphasis on getting all elements of planning right – from traffic to parkland to affordability.
- Shared Waterfront: The redevelopment of the Port Lands is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our community – that we must get right. I have been working hand-in-hand with the community since Day 1 to ensure our vision is realized for a waterfront that is accessible, green and affordable. We have already beaten back one bad idea after another from our waterfront – from big box stores to megamalls and ferris wheels – and we know we have to work together to keep waterfront development on track.
- Housing Affordability: We all know we have a housing crisis in Toronto. One tool we must use is inclusionary zoning – ensuring that all new developments include affordable units. I am committed to using this, and every tool at my disposal to make housing more affordable for everyone.
A Toronto That Belongs to Everyone
Toronto has an affordability problem. Too many residents in our community are stretched to the limit when it comes to housing, to child care, to services they rely on. I have always been a strong defender for an affordable city that doesn’t leave any residents behind. I will continue to fight to build more affordable housing, protect and expand childcare subsidies, and make sure the City provides services to all residents.
- Affordable Housing: We all know we have a housing crisis in Toronto. I am committed to using every tool at my disposal to make housing more affordable for everyone.
- Investing in Public Housing: We cannot afford to lose public housing stock when there are over 110,000 households on the waitlist. We need to invest in building more housing and maintaining the housing we already have.
- Inclusionary Zoning: I will use inclusionary Zoning to require all new developments to include affordable units. I have committed to at a minimum 30% affordable housing on our waterfront, and we can apply this standard across Toronto-Danforth.
- Creative Solutions: Local advocates in Toronto-Danforth have worked hard to advance a range of new solutions to tackle affordability like laneway housing. Making space for new ideas in our planning framework is essential to helping create more housing choice.
- A Better Shelter System: Torontonians using shelters deserve the best resources possible, not to be in overcrowded shelters at night and turned out with nowhere to go in the morning. I will continue working with City staff improve wrap-around services for shelters and increase funding so that we increase capacity for those who need a safe place to sleep at night.
- Affordable Childcare: Childcare is a top concern for Toronto-Danforth parents who are facing sky-high rates and too few spaces. I will push to protect the subsidies and spaces we have now and invest in building increased capacity and improve access to subsidies. I will continue to work with Jennifer Story at the TDSB to lobby the province to invest in childcare in schools and across the city.
- Protecting Services: I will defend our services from budget cuts at City Hall and from Queen’s Park. Services like the Toronto Senior Strategy, youth employment services, parent resource centres, safe injection services and harm prevention, and programs for vulnerable adults are essential and can’t afford to be neglected or cut.
- A Diverse & Inclusive City: The east end is diverse and we have a proud tradition of being a community where all Torontonians are safe and welcomed. There is no place for racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny or bigotry in our community. I will prioritize elevating voices of marginalized communities and fighting bigotry wherever it appears.
- Truth & Reconciliation: Toronto has an obligation to make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a priority. I will support the City’s Commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.
Parks, Recreation and Environment
I am dedicated to empowering communities to invigorate local parks, invest in recreation opportunities and do our part to take on climate change.
- Parks: I believe that our parks are the centre of our communities – I’ve seen this in action across Toronto-Danforth where parks a vibrant community hubs. I will empower residents to make our parks the very best.
- Empowering Residents: Parks thrive when dedicated community members have the opportunity to share their ideas for improvements, events and general maintenance. I will empower local Friends groups and residents, and be their voice in working with our dedicated Parks staff. I will also push to make it easier for Friends groups to get permits for great community events like Pumpkin Parades.
- Upgrading Our Parks: Investments in parks always yield the best returns. New playgrounds, better pools and upgraded rinks improve our experiences and bring more people into the park. I will work with City staff and residents to upgrade parks infrastructure across the ward, as I did with the Morse playground, Tiverton playground, and Riverdale and Withrow skating rinks.
- Accessibility: Our parks should be places everyone can enjoy and benefit from. This means ensuring that walkways are accessible for people using a mobility device or with other needs, and that there is accessible play equipment for all children.
- Recreation: Community recreation services keep us connected with each other, healthy and active. We can’t afford increases in costs and reductions in these vital services.
- Protecting Recreation Services: When the pool at S.H. Armstrong was threatened with closure, our community came together to defend this community asset. I will always work with residents to ensure continued access to valuable recreation services like pools, community centres, and sports fields.
- Modernized Services: Signing up for recreation programs and navigating the City’s systems should not induce headaches. I will work to make investments to modernize the way services are promoted and registrations are managed.
- Climate Change: Climate change is the issue of our time and every level of government must be committed to taking climate action now.
- TransformTO: Toronto’s ambitious climate action plan, TransformTO, is our opportunity to bring down emissions and build a climate-friendly future. We must fully fund this plan, which Council has refused to do. I will push to include full funding for TransformTO in our budget.
- Community Action: I support community-led initiatives like TransformCarlaw and Pocket Change to bring climate action home. I will work with these groups to achieve on-the-ground results like Electric Vehicle charging stations and retrofit programs to help each of us take action.
- Reduce Single-Use Plastics: In our own community, single-use plastics make their way down the Don River and into Lake Ontario at an astonishing rate – 650 kg per year. The City of Toronto is consulting residents on options to reduce this waste, and I am committed to pursuing a strong program that will take us to a plastics-free future.