Monday, September 17, 2007

because it’s tough as hell to swim in empty pools?

Gathering at Nathan Phillips Square
Wednesday, September 19th
4 – 6 PM
please circulate widely

On WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19TH, 4-6PM we are calling on ALL MEMBERS OF THE ARTS COMMUNITY AND ANYBODY ELSE to convene at NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE to make it clear that we will not tolerate cuts to our essential services and that we support the Land Transfer tax.

IT’S URGENT: the councillors will be meeting on the 20th to discuss this and we need to show our city officials that we are organized and strong in numbers and that we are horrified by the city’s deteriorating quality of life.

Please show your concern by attending WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19th!
because it’s tough as hell to swim in empty pools.

please circulate widely

If you have suggestions for speakers, activities or want to help organize please contact:
Heather Haynes –
Darren O’Donnell –
Lisa Pijuan-Nomura –

– the land transfer tax is a one-time 2% cost payable only when you choose to buy a house; if implemented it will avert large annual property tax increases payable each and every year
– first time home buyers will receive a rebate for the land transfer tax
– only 6 cents of every tax dollar you pay goes to the city. The remaining 94 cents goes to the provincial and federal governments.


30 seconds to save the Arts in Toronto

Thursday, September 13, 2007

This is a very important message and one that I feel very passionate about!

Take a moment to read this over, then copy the message below, send an e.mail and forward on to all of your friends!

You are being forwarded this email as a person who cares about Toronto.

Did you know the city’s budget crisis could mean the end to theatres, galleries, festivals, concerts and all funding to writers, artists and musicians? It could also mean the end to libraries, community centres and health programs—everything that makes Toronto one of the world’s most livable cities.

Your action now can prevent this.

The city has never been closer to the brink. In just 30 seconds you can help avert cuts to the fabric of our city:

1. CREATE a new email, addressed to; cc’d to:,,

2. TYPE the following subject line: “Yes to land transfer tax. Please copy to Mayor and City Councillors (arts)”

3. PASTE this paragraph into the body of the email (or make up your own):

“Dear Mayor Miller and City Councillors:
My Toronto includes:

  • the arts
  • libraries
  • community centres
  • recreation programs
  • public health services
  • museums
  • and the TTC

To protect my city, I support the land transfer tax as an immediate solution to Toronto’s financial crisis.

your name
postal code”

4. DON’T FORGET your name, address, and postal code at bottom

5. PRESS send.




There is a lot of misinformation circulating about the land transfer tax. Did you know:

  • The land transfer tax is a one-time 2% cost payable only when you choose to buy a house; if implemented it will avert large annual property tax increases payable each and every year
  • First time home buyers will receive a rebate for the land transfer tax
  • Only 6 cents of every tax dollar you pay goes to the city. The remaining 94 cents goes to the provincial and federal governments.

For more information on the land transfer tax, and the city’s upcoming vote

For more information on Toronto artists’ response to the city budget crisis click

The artists and audiences of Toronto thank you for adding your voice to the growing movement to save our City.

From The Arts For the City

Upcoming Provincial Election – Important video to watch!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

If you’re in Ontario, you know that the upcoming Provincial election is on October 10 (if you didn’t know, you know now).

The parties are already gearing up for their campaigns with the NDP and Tory’s already gearing up. One thing you might want to consider during this election is where each of the parties stand on a very important environmental issue facing our province: the deforestation of the Boreal Forest.

Check out this video which gives you a good idea of what’s going on and then visit Forest Ethics for more information.

An interesting twist on the Spadina Subway expansion …

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I just came across this article from Steve Munro’s site – very interesting how the City is dealing with the Province. I think it’s about time the City put its foot down and not pay for, as Steve says, “a Provincial pet project”.

Taking A Bite Out Of Spadina

The City of Toronto Budget Committee fired back at Queen’s Park in their ongoing battle over proper funding of provincial obligations under legislated shared-cost programs. Ontario’s underpayment for 2007 is $71-million.

Councillor Mihevc, who also sits on the TTC as vice-Chair, moved that the city withdraw $30-million of its contribution to the Spadina Subway Extension trust fund. The remaining $41-million shortfall will be taken from City reserve funds.

Councillor Rae moved that the City Solicitor be instructed to apply for a judicial interpretation of provincial cost sharing obligations for various social services.

Both motions carried unanimously. The motion regarding the Spadina funds will go to Council as part of the final budget debates, while the motion about the legal situation for shared cost programs can be approved at Executive Committee next week.

There is already budgetary pressure on the Spadina extension project because final approval has been delayed beyond the date originally anticipated by the TTC (there is a passing reference to this on next week’s TTC agenda without any specific numbers). Inflation will push up the final project cost if the line is not built on the planned schedule.

The Budget Chief, Councillor Carroll, as well as Councillors Mihevc and Rae, indicated that the Spadina Subway extension is a Provincial priority, not a City priority.

Queen’s Park wants Toronto to spend on a Provincial pet project, but won’t pay their share of social programs forcing Toronto to pick up the tab.

As of midday April 12, Queen’s Park has not responded to this situation.

20 Minute Make-over

Friday, April 13, 2007

The count down on litter is on! It’s time to commit your participation in the City’s 4th annual 20-Minute Toronto Makeover. Mayor David Miller is asking all Torontonians at work, school or at home to stop what you’re doing on Friday, April 20, 2007, come outside at 2:00pm and do a 20-minute clean-up blitz around your office, school or neighbourhood.

Please work with your supervisor, colleagues, teacher or fellow students to plan your participation. The 20-Minute Toronto Makeover is a complementary event to Mayor David Miller’s Community Clean-up Day, scheduled for the following day, Saturday, April 21.

More info here

Thinking Big About Culture-led Regeneration …

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

This should be an interesting discussion!

Artscape Launches Vision 2011: Thinking Big About Culture-led Regeneration
at Canadian Urban Institute Leadership Forum

Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, Artscape, a non-profit enterprise regarded as a global leader in the field of culture-led regeneration, co-presents an Urban Leadership Series session of the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) entitled The Path to Culture-led Regeneration: Who’s Leading the Way? on ThursdayFebruary 15, 2007 from 8am to 11:30am at the Joseph Workman Auditorium.

The session comes at a particularly relevant time, as recent OMB rulings on the Queen West Triangle illustrate what happens when condominium development is the driving force of regeneration. The Path to Culture-led Regeneration session will illustrate how creative city builders and developers can work together to make cities and communities livable, prosperous and competitive.
Tim Jones, Artscape CEO, will chair an expert panel addressing the tools, strategies and resources Toronto needs to build creative advantage; how cities can integrate creativity into their planning process and how developers can be constructive players in city building.

Jones will also launch Vision 2011: Thinking Big About Culture-led Regeneration, Artscape’s road map for the next five years. “The challenge Toronto and other cities are facing is how to translate new understanding about creativity as a central driver of growth, change and transformation into effective strategies and tangible projects on the ground that build the arts and creative sectors,” stated Jones. “Artscape is at the most important crossroads of our 20-year history. Vision 2011: Thinking Big about Culture-Led Regeneration outlines how Artscape will respond to the urgent needs of Toronto’s artists and creative entrepreneurs, fulfill a role as a major player in city-building, and enhance our position as a global leader in the field.”

Under Jones’ direction since 1998, the non-profit Artscape has grown from a Toronto-based affordable space provider for artists into an international leader in the culture-led regeneration of communities. Its work includes anchoring creative communities within affordable spaces and building authentic and dynamic places by connecting creative and cultural resources. In 2007, Artscape will work on more than 25 projects, programs, plans, strategies and initiatives that aim to unlock the creative potential of people and places.

The Ontario Government recently announced $3million towards the development of the Green Arts Barns, a project that Artscape manages. Other major achievements at Artscape have included: the creation of Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts on Toronto Island, the revitalization of the Distillery Historic District, the blossoming of Liberty Village as an arts hub, the Queen West Art Crawl, two iterations of the Creative Places + Spaces Conferences, the introduction of the Creative Clusters Development Program, a major research study on the spillover effects of investment in cultural facilities, the development of an international consulting practice, and the launch of a new charitable foundation.

After Jones presents Artscape’s Vision 2011, he will chair the panel consisting of keynote speaker, New York-based author of The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way and Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown, Roberta Brandes Gratz and:

Don Eastwood,
General Manager, Economic Development, Culture, and Tourism, City of Toronto
– What tools, strategies, and resources does Toronto need to build creative advantage
Ken Greenberg,
Principal, Greenberg Consultants Inc.
– How cities can integrate creativity into their planning processes
Margaret Zeidler,
President, Urbanspace Property Group Ltd.
– How developers can be constructive players in city building

Creativity and innovation are recognized internationally as the keys to making cities livable, prosperous, and competitive in the 21st century. Copies of Artscape’s Vision 2011:Thinking Big About Culture-led Regeneration will be available at the session.

Artscape and the Canadian Urban Institute present
The Path to Culture-led Regeneration: Who’s Leading the Way?
Artscape CEO Tim Jones Chairs and Launches Artscape’s Vision 2011

Keynote speaker: Roberta Brandes Gratz;
Panelists: Don Eastwood, Ken Greenberg, Margaret Zeidler,
Thursday February 15 from 8am to 11:30am
at the Joseph Workman Auditorium, 1001 Queen St. West
Tickets: $99.00 for CUI members; $125.00 Non-members
For online registration:;
For questions on registration: call 416-365-0816 ext. 234

Toronto Waterfront meeting

Saturday, January 6, 2007

For those of you interested in the waterfront development and want to get in on the action, the TWRC (Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation) is having two public meetings in the coming weeks.

Lake Ontario Park Master Plan
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Radisson Admiral Hotel, 249 Queens Quay West

Central Waterfront Promenade and Re-design of Queens Quay
Tuesday, January 23, 2007,
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Radisson Admiral Hotel, 249 Queens Quay West

I don’t know if I can make the meetings – although I certainly would like to as I’m very interested in this development of Toronto – I find it very exciting. I’m curious though – did anyone get to see the Quay to the City project that the TWRC put on a couple of months ago? I somehow managed to miss the whole thing, but really wanted to see what a more pedestrian-friendly Queens Quay would be like. If you have thoughts on the project, please leave a comment … I’d love to hear what you thought!

Lake Ontario Park