Councillor's Report - Councillor Jennifer McKelvie
Through the spring and summer months, it was inspiring to see our community come together to support one another. We have celebrated birthdays with car parades, supported local organizations with donations and encouraged one another with painted rocks, sidewalk chalk art and messages of positivity in front windows. I am proud to represent the West Rouge community.
As an immediate response to COVID-19, we launched CARES – Collective Action and Response for Everyone in Scarborough. This partnership between the City of Toronto, the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) and the crisis response organization, GlobalMedic, worked to tackle food insecurity in Scarborough. Staple foods including rice, lentils, barley, chickpeas, green peas and kidney beans were delivered in bulk by GlobalMedic and repackaged into 500 gram bags by staff and volunteers for direct delivery to local organizations and foodbanks. A bag of lentils in a grocery store may cost $2.00 to $3.00, but by buying in bulk, this initiative could produce that same bag for $0.60. I am pleased to share that in four months, the CARES initiative packaged and delivered over 165,000 pounds of food, along with 15,000 Hygiene Kits, to over 50 community-serving organizations across the Greater Toronto Area.
Tackling food insecurity is a priority for my office. Thank you to the members of my staff who were redeployed to the facility and thank you to the members of the community who volunteered at CARES. Efforts like these show that even during challenging times, our community is able to come together to support one another. Thank you for showing that Scarborough CARES.
Supporting Local Restaurants
Local restaurants are often called upon to support school fundraisers, festivals and community organizations. With the impact of COVID-19, it is particularly important that we step up and support our small businesses, when possible. This spring, Tourism Toronto launched a new website called togotoronto.com. The new website made it easier for residents to support local businesses while also maintaining public health guidelines. My office, in partnership with students from Centennial College and UTSC's The BRIDGE, facilitated outreach to over 250 Scarborough restaurants to share information about togotoronto.com, the City's website building initiative, ShopHERE, and other available marketing supports. If you are looking to try a great new area restaurant, I share a different local favourite via social media on #TakeOutWednesday. To date, we have featured great local spots across Scarborough – Rouge Park, including Mark’s Pizza, The Patty Stop and Fratelli's Village Pizzeria. I encourage you to join me and suggest some of your favourites!
Investing in Infrastructure
Port Union Road
I am happy to share that the widening of Port Union Road is on schedule. To date, the following have been completed: pre-engineering, sub-surface utility investigation, the arborist report and exploratory digging to confirm the location of Enbridge infrastructure. In August, the Province of Ontario began the required work on the Port Union Bridge over the 401. This includes bridge rehabilitation and steps necessary to accommodate the City’s road widening. Rogers commenced utility relocation this summer and will wrap-up by November 1. Enbridge will use the findings of their exploratory digging to determine where the gas main needs to be relocated to satisfy the road widening alignments.
My office will be organizing a community information session prior to the start of construction. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about this long-overdue project for our community. A date will be shared on my website and in my e-news.
Bob Loptson Playground
In September, the City launched a playground survey to improve Bob Loptson Playground in West Rouge Park. The redesigned playground would include new playground and play elements, accessible play features and additional seating. Thank you to the families and young playground users who completed this survey. Construction is planned for spring 2021 and I look forward to cutting the ribbon with you.
Island Road and East Avenue Bus Stop
I am also pleased to share that in collaboration with the Toronto Transit Commission, the bus stop at Island Road and East Avenue will be extended and made fully accessible in spring 2021. This design includes installing a retaining wall adjacent to the Black Dog Pub parking lot and extending a concrete pad on Island Road by 14 meters to meet the sidewalk on East Avenue.
Keeping in Touch
My office continues to serve you. We can be reached by phone at 416-338-3771 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also meet with residents at our constituency office by appointment. Please sign up for my weekly e-newsletter at www.jennifermckelvie.ca to receive updates about these initiatives and more. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter via my handle @McKelvieWard25.