As the number of active COVID-19 cases in Toronto continues to fall and a “new normal” begins to emerge, I would like to take this opportunity to provide a brief update on several initiatives in Leaside.
I know many Leasiders are concerned about traffic infiltration and road safety, particularly for children walking to school. As the former Chair of Transportation, I introduced Toronto’s first-ever comprehensive Vision Zero Road Safety Plan in 2016. In my first year as your councillor, I worked with the community to reduce Leaside’s speed limits and initiated a comprehensive Traffic Management Plan for the neighbourhood. While Transportation staff are waiting for traffic levels to stabilize before beginning data collection, I’m pleased to confirm that the stakeholder engagement process is well underway. We will continue to keep you updated.
Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) in school and community safety zones is a critical part of our road safety plan. Once the province permitted Toronto to move forward with an ASE program, I directed Transportation staff to double the number of cameras across the city. In January, one of the first ASE units in Toronto was installed on Bessborough Drive, between Field Avenue and Sharron Drive. While provincial legislation prevented the City from issuing fines to drivers for several months after the system was rolled out, I’m pleased to report that as of July 6, 2020, tickets were set to be issued to offending drivers.
In October 2019, I wrote a column in Leaside Life about the standing pool of water at 70 Wicksteed Ave. – many of you will know this site as “Lake Leaside.” This year, my team once again facilitated the dewatering and shoring repair process. In tandem, we have urged the developer to undertake a full site restoration to permanently remedy this longstanding issue. As a result, the developer has advised that a new site plan is in the works, anticipated to be submitted to the City shortly. I firmly believe that the property should be restored to the pre-excavation state if a long-term plan does not happen soon.
Finally, I’m pleased to advise that the Trace Manes Park and Georgia Walsh Memorial Playground Project is moving forward, and City staff anticipate the work will be completed by the end of the year. At the time of writing, a vast majority of the concrete work had been completed – including footings, curbs, the crawl tunnel, and climbing wall in the playground. I know we’re all looking forward to this meaningful addition to the community.
The summer of 2020 has certainly been very different for all of us, but I would like to thank you for your continued support and engagement. As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. jayerobinson.ca