Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Don't Allow Ford to Cut Toronto's Trees


Dear Friends,

City Hall is conducting a major review of all City services to determine which programs to reduce or cut. This review has a very short timeline, and focuses on short term costs, failing to consider the environmental and social benefits of Toronto's programs. Amongst other recommendations for cuts, the consultant’s report suggests that the City could stop planting and trees and reduce Toronto's Tree Canopy target of 30-40% tree cover in the City. For background information on the review of City services and the consultant’s report visit TEA's website.


A quick email that outlines why you feel that Toronto should continue to invest in the protection and renewal of our urban forest will make a difference. Your email should be sent to your Councillor, and copied to the Mayor and the Parks and Environment Committee. Please send your message by end of day Wednesday, July 20, as city council meets this Thursday. Be sure to include your full name and address in the email.

Go to the city's website for information on current urban forestry programs. Of particular note is the "Every Tree Counts" study recently completed by the City of Toronto. Great facts and figures in this report on the dollar value of ecological services provided by our urban forest.

Below is a sample message that you can customize with your own thoughts:


To: [Local Councillor] Find their email here. If you aren't sure, who it is, find your local Councillor here.
cc: "Mayor Ford" "Chair, Parks and Environment Committee"
Subject: No cuts to urban forestry

Dear Councillor ----

I am writing today to urge you to ensure that the City does not cut funding to Urban Forestry Services

From the Toronto website is the following:

All ash trees in Toronto are at risk of dying from this infestation. Mortality may occur in as short a period as one year, however, death normally occurs within 2-3 years of a tree becoming infested. The recent tree canopy study estimates that there are 860,000 ash trees in total on public and private lands. The initial areas of infestation detected in 2007 are likely to lose most of their ash trees by 2012. EAB will eventually spread to the rest of Toronto, killing most ash trees in the City by about 2015 - 2017. The City of Toronto has a plan (Link: EAB staff report) to manage the impact of EAB on Toronto`s urban forest.


Protecting existing trees and planting new trees is an investment that pays off in many ways - cleaner air, less stormwater to treat (a huge expense for the city), UV protection for our kids, better mental health and a much more attractive place for tourists to come and spend their money!!

The City's free street tree program, where trees are planted on City property in front of homes upon request, is a vital program that should not be cut. Also maintaining the private tree protection bylaw is of utmost importance. Trees should be protected because they are a common resource. It doesn't matter where they are rooted on public or private property, the benefits they provide accrue to the whole community. When we lose a large, mature tree, it simply cannot be replaced! The environmental and economic benefits that trees provide increase exponentially with the size of the tree.

Toronto's trees are an incredibly valuable resource that we cannot afford to neglect. I urge you to ensure that the urban forest in our community is maintained and improved.



Thank you for taking a few moments to tell you representatives how you feel and speaking up for our urban forest!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Help the Toronto Public Library from Ford cuts

Mayor Ford seems to think that we have too many libraries. From what I have observed we are one of the essential hubs of a community. We support all the local schools who have been stripped of librarians. We have free computer use for families that don't have their own. Thanks to our 99 libraries you can find almost anything published. With our huge "holds" program you can have the book (cd,DVD, audio book) delivered to you local library free of charge, saving you gas and travel time. Please go to the link below and show/ sign your support.
Thank you in advance!!

Here it is:


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Scarborough mobilizes !

Tonight Scarborough mobilized for a better Scarborough and a better Toronto at a community workshop. Over a hundred people crammed the Scarborough Civic Centre to brainstorm community priorities and by the end of the night they were realizing they were a movement. Resentment of downtown Toronto's historical snottiness helped - one speaker reminded the geoup "Scarborough gets screwed over a lot" - but most evident was genuine frustration about practical  problems with jobs, transit, housing and, and access to healthcare, along with the determination to dosomething about them. Throughout the evening, one thing stood out: an engaged community. It's called Scarborough.

Our TorontotheBetter inludes Scarborough. We look forward to the follow-up meetings planned at tonight's meeting and encourage concerned citizens to engage, wherever they live in the GTA.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

New aboriginal business development toolkit from Ontario government - a new beginning?

The Ontario Government recently unveiled their Aboriginal Business Development Toolkit at http://www.aboriginalaffairs.gov.on.ca/english/economy/abdtoolkit/abdToolkit.asp.
Anything is good that builds greater economic self-sufficiency for historically excluded groups, but TorontotheBetter would like to see emphasis on a different business model (social enterprise) that emphasizes enterprise creation as an opportunity to avoid the economic models that led to marginalization aboriginals in their own land, and many others too.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Tinto's summer 2011 hours...

...received a recent email from Tinto Coffee House saying to MIND THE SUMMER:

Now that summer is really here, after the long weekend, our hours have changed to adapt to the new season.

Please make a note of our new summer hours and accept our apologies if summer may cause you any inconvenience.

Thanks very much and enjoy!


Scarborough Is At Stake, July 12th Meeting...

Via the Centre for the Study of Education and Work>/a&gt:


Tuesday July 12, 2011
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Scarborough Civic Centre, Meeting Rooms 1 & 2
150 Borough Drive

Help develop a plan to advocate for social investment & improve communities
across Scarborough.

Over the years, Scarborough’s poverty has become increasingly concentrated
and racialized. Investment in Scarborough’s communities is a necessary part
of the solution to this growing problem.

On July 12th, residents & community workers across Scarborough will come
together to identify Scarborough’s most pressing issues, and develop a plan
to address these issues and to advocate for social investment in
Scarborough’s communities. Outcomes of this meeting will be action-oriented.
Please attend if you are willing to contribute to improving Scarborough’s
communities and take stops to advocate for social investment in Scarborough.

Refreshments and TTC tokens provided. Child care only provided if requested
in advance.

Sponsored by the Scarborough Civic Action Network. For more information on
SCAN, please contact Jessica Roher by phone at (416) 321-6912 x 248 or by
email at rjessica@agincourtcommunityservices.com