Councillor news

Statement regarding the killing of Jarvis Montaque

On Sunday evening, Toronto lost another young man to gun violence. This was a senseless and terrible tragedy.

Yesterday, we woke up to the reality that Jarvis Montaque’s classmates had lost a friend, a family lost a son, a community lost yet another teenager and Canada lost a young man, supposedly welcomed into the safety of our country.

On behalf of my family and my colleagues on City Council, I would like to express my condolences and my deep regret to Jarvis’s family here and in Jamaica, and to the entire community.

Every time one of these incidents happens – whether in Rexdale, Jane/Finch, Regent Park, or in any area of our City – we react with sadness and outrage.

It makes the news for couple of days and a few months or weeks later, yet another young man loses his life to a gun.

The statistics tell us that gun-related crime is down in Toronto, but this is of no comfort to this family and this community.

We must find the person who murdered Jarvis Montaque.

We need our young people to follow Jarvis’s own example and structure their lives in the type of selfless, constructive and community-minded manner that he demonstrated.

We need residents to provide information to the police.

We need to follow the advice from Toronto Police and other groups regarding security cameras, environmental changes and lighting, and how these factors play their part in keeping communities safe.

In the coming days and weeks, we will be discussing the steps we must all take to prevent lives lost to guns and gangs in Toronto.

Now is a time for us to grieve and to remember a young man who has been taken away from his family and friends. This senseless killing must stop now and we must unite as a community to do what it takes to keep our children safe.

Councillor Crisanti hosting annual community BBQ in Jamestown

Councillor Vincent Crisanti (Ward 1 – Etobicoke North) will host Deputy Police Chief Peter Sloly for his first annual community barbeque and safety walk in Jamestown on August 14.

The event runs from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Elmbank Community Centre at 10 Rampart Road. There will be free food, drinks, prizes and music courtesy of Z1035.

At 7:40pm, Councillor Crisanti will lead the community in a safety walk through Jamestown. Residents will have the chance to identify opportunities for safety enhancements. The walk is also a show of solidarity with the community.

Community, social service and faith leaders, as well as hundreds of fellow Torontonians will join Councillor Crisanti to celebrate and support the community, one of Canada’s most diverse. Officers from the Toronto Police Mounted Unit will also attend.

Remarks regarding Bollywood Spice, an IIFA Buzz festival

It is a pleasure to be here this evening. First, I would like to congratulate my fellow members of the Board and the management of the Albion Islington Square Business Improvement Area for organizing the Bollywood Spice Festival.

This is the only IIFA Buzz event in the City of Toronto and what a remarkable achievement for our local BIA.

Shalini is the manager of the BIA and I would like to make special mention of all her hard work in putting this exciting series of events together. There is more work to be done in the coming weeks but the BIA’s efforts have brought international exposure to our very international corner of the City.

The Albion Islington Square BIA is the only BIA in North Etobicoke. In a few short years, it has brought very tangible benefits to our community, and it is working toward an even more ambitious future. I will speak to both of these points. The BIA’s predominant achievement in the last 5 years has been to bring cohesion both between the businesses surrounding Albion Road and Islington Avenue, but also cohesion within the broader community.

The BIA’s Board and management have been instrumental in organizing cultural festivals including Baisakhi – a Sikh celebration – as well as Eid, Diwali and let’s not forget, Santa’s visit to each store around Christmas. These events bring together people of different heritages, and that’s something we are very proud of.

Each of these festivals brings thousands of people to this square. They strengthen local businesses and are an opportunity for people to celebrate the wonderful things each of our cultures has to offer.

The Fusion of Taste Festival, last year attracted over 45,000 people. This year, it has been rolled into Bollywood Spice and we expect tens of thousands more people to visit. I welcome our guests with open arms, and on the same token, hope they continue to pay close attention to this area, because there are exciting times ahead.

The Albion Islington Square BIA will install more than 90 large planters in the area, which we call the Albion Islington Four Corners, in partnership with the City of Toronto.

I would like to note that Rexdale will receive the exact same planters that exist already in another “Dale” in our city: Rosedale. Many of these planters will be homes for evergreen trees, which will beautify the Four Corners year round.

This is only the first step.

Over the coming years, the BIA will partner with the City in a streetscape revitalization plan, which will include decorative entrance ways to the Four Corners, special lighting, enhanced paving, public art, continued beautification of traffic islands, tree planting, parking lot restorations and new street furniture. The BIA is now also eligible to partner with the City to revitalize the façades of small businesses in the Four Corners.

As a local resident and a City official, I believe these kinds of partnerships are integral to the vitality of our businesses and public spaces.

Rexdale is a community to be proud of and this year, we have a festival worthy of our own heritage and our bright future.

Again, my thanks and congratulations to my fellow members of the BIA’s board and to Shalini for your commitment and good work. I look forward to seeing people visiting from around the world right here in North Etobicoke in the coming weeks.

96C Wilson bus service preserved

I am happy to announce the TTC Board has preserved bus service to residents along Thistle Down Boulevard. My colleagues and I on February 2 voted to approve a plan that would have the 96C Wilson schedule remain the way it currently is Monday through Saturday. The bus service will end at 7:00pm on Sundays and holidays.

Thank you for your input on this issue. Please call my office at (416) 302-0205 or email for more information.

I invite you to continue sharing your comments and concerns with my office.

Update on proposed TTC bus route changes

The TTC on January 31 released a statement regarding bus routes slated for reallocation. TTC staff will bring to the Board a list of revised bus routes recommended for reallocation to it’s February 2 meeting. I am a member of the TTC Board.

The TTC release states the following regarding the 96 Wilson route: 96 WILSON – 96C/F service to Tandridge Crescent ending at 10:00p.m., Monday-Saturday, 96C/F service to Tandridge Crescent or Thistle Down Boulevard ending at 7:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.

The TTC Board will vote on the revised plan put forth by TTC staff on February 2. The full release can be found here.

I again wanted to thank those of you who attended our community meeting on January 19. I have advocated on your behalf and will formally present your petition at the TTC Board meeting on February 2 in order to make it part of the public record.

Please call my office at (416) 302-0205 or email to make arrangements to submit a petition.

I invite you to continue sharing your comments and concerns with my office.