INFORMATION

This Page contains information on a variety of subjects for topics outside the specific Pages for Crime Prevention, Important Numbers , Local Stores and Services and Related Links.

Index of topics:

Cutting Down of Trees
Do You Know Where Your Catch Basins Are?
CNIB Phone Drive
Distracted Driving – what counts and penalties
Preventing Water Pipes from Freezing
Get Emergency Ready
Winter-wise tips
IT and Electronic Equipment Disposal
Lead in Drinking Water
If you are writing to a City official or organization
Toronto’s Tree Canopy

 

Cutting Down of Trees

SAHRA has been advised by Forestry that unless there is a witness and proof to the actual cutting down of a tree that they cannot pursue the issue.  Fines under the tree by-laws can only be applied by a judge if charges are pursued and the individual is found guilty of an offence.  A high level of evidence is required in order to have a strong case with a high likelihood of conviction.  So, if you see a tree being cut down for which a permit has not been obtained, please call 311 and take pictures to forward to [email protected].

 

Do You Know Where Your Catch Basins Are?

A catch basin, also called a storm drain, is built along the curb in the gutter on the edge of the road, allowing water runoff.  It is part of the sewer system.  The catch basin does just what its name implies:  it catches waste and stops it from entering drainpipes.  It has a grate at street level catching debris before the water enters the catch basin.  Clogged catch basins may cause water to pool on streets.  It is imperative that catch basins be occasionally cleaned to maintain their ability to ensnare residue and subsequently their ability to prevent flooding.  In the fall, the grates are often covered by loose leafs. In the winter, it is very important that the catch basins be ‘opened up’ from snow accumulations to allow proper draining of the street.

Each block in our area will have one or more catch basins, usually positioned opposite each other on each side of the street.  The residents in a block need to take on responsibility to ensure that their catch basins are clear of debris and ice so that they can properly deal with water flows to prevent flooding.

Now is the time of year to look at where the catch basins are positioned on your block.  Do they need cleaning of fall debris?  Involve your block neighbours in catch basin monitoring/cleaning/snow removal.

You are doing a great thing for your block/neighbours when you act as a catch basin guardian.

You can find your catch basins, even if covered with leaves, snow or ice using Google Street View.

  • Go to maps.google.ca.
  • Enter your address in the search engine.
  • Drag the yellow male icon to the street on the map.
  • Look for the square grates on the road in the image.

CNIB Phone Drive – #PhoneItForward

(Compliments of Councillor Josh Matlow’s Feb 1, 2019 Update)
Smartphones are critical tools that revolutionize daily life for people who are blind – providing portable, all in one communications and accessibility solutions.  But for some, smartphones are out of reach. The unemployment rate for persons with sight loss is triple the Canadian general unemployment rate, making accessing and affording a mobile device difficult for many people who are blind.  Phone It Forward gives Canadians a unique opportunity to donate their old phones, receive a tax receipt and empower people who are blind in the process.

Through a partnership with Fixt Wireless Repair, donated smartphones are wiped to the highest data security standards, loaded with accessible apps and provided to people with sight loss who need them, along with one-to-one technical training. Join us at the Community Hub for our first Phone Drive event in support of #PhoneItForward!

Drop by to donate your used smartphone and get a tax receipt for the value of your phone. Don’t forget your passwords to help us ensure your phone is properly wiped!

Event details
Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Location: CNIB Community Hub, 1525 Yonge Street, Toronto ON, M4T 1Z2

Donate your smartphone today and help directly support Canadians with sight loss in your community.
To learn more about the program and phone eligibility visit phoneitforward.ca.

 

Distracted Driving – what counts and penalties

(Notes from a Community Police Liaison Committee meeting)

  • While you are driving, including when you are stopped in traffic or at a red light, it is illegal to:
    • Use a phone or other hand-held wireless communication device to text or dial – you can only touch a device to call 911 in an emergency
    • Use a hand-held electronic entertainment device, such as a tablet or portable gaming console
    • View display screens unrelated to driving, such as watching a video
    • Program a GPS device, except by voice commands

Penalties for distracted driving:

  • First conviction:
    • A fine of $615, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee)
    • A fine of up to $1,000 if a summons is received or if you fight the ticket in court and lose
    • Three demerit points
    • 3-day suspension
  • Second conviction
    • A fine of $615, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee)
    • A fine of up to $2,000 if a summons is received or if you fight the ticket in court and lose
    • Six demerit points
    • 7-day suspension
  • Third and any further conviction(s)
    • A fine of $615, if settled out of court (includes a victim surcharge and the court fee)
    • A fine of up to $3,000 if a summons is received or if you fight the ticket in court and lose
    • Six demerit points
    • 30-day suspension

 

 

Preventing Water Pipes from Freezing During Extremely Cold Weather

(Compliments of Councillor Josh Matlow’s Feb 1 2019 Update)

With extreme cold temperatures forecast over the coming few weeks, the City of Toronto is reminding residents how to prevent drinking water pipes in their home from freezing. There are also steps that residents can take if they have no water and suspect their pipes are already frozen. Frozen water pipes can lead to significant property damage should they burst. We urge residents to follow these tips, especially if the pipes inside the home are prone to freezing.

Tips to avoid frozen water pipes in the home:

  • Consider leaving a tap open enough for a pencil-thin stream of flowing water, so there is some movement of water in pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing. Leave a pencil-thin stream flowing 24 hours a day until daytime and nighttime temperatures have returned to normal seasonal averages.
  • Open kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around plumbing.
  • Outdoor faucets are the first to freeze. Unscrew any hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply and let those taps drain.
  • Insulate pipes most prone to freezing, especially near outside walls and in crawl spaces, attic and garage.
  • If your pipes are prone to freezing, consider contacting a plumber for advice on how best to protect your home.

Steps to thaw frozen pipes:

  • Turn on a tap in the basement, preferably the cold water faucet in the laundry room.
  • Use a blow dryer to warm the suspected frozen pipe for one to two hours. Check the blow dryer regularly to ensure it does not overheat.
  • Place a warm towel or rag around the suspected frozen pipe.
  • Depending on the outside temperature and the extent of freezing within the pipe, the thawing process could take between one and six hours.

Learn more about frozen pipes by visiting this link. If the steps above do not resolve the issue, call 311 or submit a service request online here and someone from the City will investigate.

 

Get Emergency Ready

With the recent floods and ice storms, we need to think about Emergency Planning for the future….what we should do in advance, what we should do at the time and what we should not do. Being emergency ready means that you have a plan so that you and your family know what to do in an emergency.  You may need to look after your own needs and those of your family for up to 72 hours after an emergency occurs.

You should have an emergency kit – at home, work and in your vehicle – with food, water and supplies to last at least 72 hours. The City of Toronto Office of Emergency Management has prepared a pamphlet ‘Get Emergency Ready’ with helpful information, instructions, tips, checklists and forms. You can download this pamphlet from:

https://www.intactcentreclimateadaptation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GetEmergencyReadyGuide_Toronto.pdf


Winter-wise tips

The pipes in your home can freeze in cold weather. This can leave you with no water or cause pipes to burst, leading to expensive property damage. If your pipes are prone to freezing, you may wish to contact a plumber for advice. Here are some other tips to help protect your home:

  • Wrap foam pipe insulation around pipes most susceptible to freezing temperatures (e.g. near outside walls, crawl spaces, attic, garage).
  • Seal air leaks in your home and garage to stop cold air from getting in. Check around windows and doors, electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes.
  • Outdoor pipes are the first to freeze. Unscrew hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply and allow the taps to drain.
  • Ensure you know where the main water shut-off valve is in your home and how it operates.

Other important tips:

  • Clear eavestroughs and downspouts of debris.
  • Seal window wells and fix cracks in basement walls that could cause leaks.
  • Keep rain and snow away from the foundation walls.
  • If it is safe to do so, clear roadside leaves and other debris from catch basins (the square grates on the road) to help water enter the storm sewer.
  • Clear snow from around fire hydrants to keep them visible and accessible to Fire Services and Toronto Water staff

Compliments of Toronto Water


 IT and Electronic Equipment Disposal

The Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) is a not for profit organization dedicated to reducing electronic waste through the reuse and recycling of unwanted electronic/IT equipment. They collect all kinds of equipment (computers, laptops, printers, telephones, etc) to refurbish and donate to various charities and non-profit organizations.  They will:

  • Pick up all of your old IT & electronic equipment you don`t need any more at your site
  • Remove all of your data from computers according to NAID standards (free hard-drive wiping services plus data removal certificate)
  • Refurbish your donated items and donate them to local charities in need on your behalf
  • Recycle locally all of the equipment that cannot be reused

Contact information: 416-477-0664 Ext. 1025; https://www.electronicrecyclingassociation.ca/

The November page in the 2018 City of Toronto Waste Pickup Calendar states that electronic waste can be put out every Garbage day.  It should be placed 0.5 metres from the garbage bin in plain view.  Smaller items should be in a clear plastic bag or an open cardboard box.

For information: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/recycling-organics-garbage/electronic-waste/


 Lead in Drinking Water

There was a story published by the Toronto Star regarding lead in drinking water. The Toronto Water staff say that lead does not exist in Toronto’s source water, Lake Ontario or in the City’s drinking water distribution system. Rather, lead is a concern for homes built before the mid-1950s when residential water service pipes were commonly made of lead. As these pipes corrode or break down, lead can enter drinking water.

If you live in a home built before the mid-1950s, the City offers free lead testing. You can call 311 to pre-register for a water testing kit. For more information, please visit https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/water-environment/tap-water-in-toronto/lead-drinking-water/


If you are writing to a City official or organization…

If you are writing your Councillor or other members of the City government about an issue be aware that the correspondence is considered to be a ‘private discussion’ between a member of the public and the City official.  It will not be considered as ‘on public record’ unless you submit a copy to the Secretariat of the appropriate Committee/Council.  Many times it is important that all emails/letters be part of the public record so that all members of the City government are aware of concerns on a particular issue.

For example, if you send an email to your Councillor about an issue going forward to the North York Community Council (i.e. a re-zoning, fence, speed limit, encroachment requests) to be on public record it also has to be sent to the Secretariat for the North York Community Council.

Listed below are five key Councils/Committee along with Secretariat information:

City Council:
Secretariat Contact: Marilyn Toft
12th floor, West Tower, City Hall,  100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
email: [email protected] phone: 416-392-7032  fax: 416-392-2980

North York Community Council
Secretariat Contact: Francine Adamo
North York Civic Centre  Main floor, 5100 Yonge St.,  Toronto, ON M2N 5V7
email: [email protected] phone: 416-395-0480  fax: 416-395-7337

General Government and Licensing Committee
Secretariat Contact: Julie Lavertu
10th floor, West Tower, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
email: [email protected] phone: 416-397-4592

Planning and Housing Committee
Secretariat Contact: Nancy Martins
10th floor, West Tower, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
email: [email protected] phone: 416-397-4579

Executive Committee
Secretariat Contact: Julie Amoroso
10th floor, West Tower, City Hall  100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
email: [email protected] phone: 416-392-4666  fax: 416-392-1879

Infrastructure and Environment Committee
Secretariat Contact: Nancy Martins
10th floor, West Tower, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
email: [email protected] phone: 416-397-4579


Toronto’s Tree Canopy

Tree For Me: Offering free, native trees to Toronto Residents
It is estimated that Toronto’s current tree coverage sits somewhere between 26% and 28%. A study conducted by the USDA suggests that a sustainable, healthy urban forest for Toronto would require us to increase our canopy coverage to 40%.  Tree For Me working to increase plantings on private land where 60% of the current and potential canopy rests by matching residents with a free native tree.

How it works:

  • Residents can register online at TPTF.ca (link is provided below).
  • They are asked a few questions about their property and are matched with a tree that is suitable for their growing conditions.
  • Participants choose their nearest community Tree For Me tree pick-up event. Or, if they are unable to plant a tree due to limited physical mobility, they can apply for the free TreeMobile service.
  • At the tree pick-up events, tree recipients take part in a short but mandatory planting and care workshop prior to receiving their tree.
  • To measure success, participants are asked to map their trees with CityTrees
  • TPTF assists residents with tree planting and tree care by providing electronic resources.

To learn more visit: TreeForMe.ca or Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation
For the USDA report, please visit “Every Tree Counts: A Portrait of Toronto’s Urban Forest”

Share