Committee of Adjustment Hearing for the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society – 2217 Kingston Rd.

The Committee of Adjustment hearing for the Healing Lodge is on July 25th at 11:30 am, Scarborough Civic Centre Council Chambers.

You may demonstrate your objection or support for this proposal by attending the hearing, or by writing  to the Committee of Adjustment at paul.galvin@toronto.ca

Please remember that the C of A cannot consider aspects of the proposal that do not require minor variances, or personal comments regarding neighbours, agents or applicants. For more information on the process of the C of A and how you can participate, please see the C of A brochure by clicking on this link.

Healing Lodge Floorplan

Healing Lodge Meetings

Attended

Councillor Gary Crawford and 2 staff members
Patti Pettigrew: President of the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society
Kelly Potvin: Executive Director of TWHLS
Kelly Graham: Planning Consultant, SvN Architects + Planners
51 residents (over four 1-hour sessions)

Questions and Answers:

Q – What is the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge?

  • It is a facility for Indigenous women who have been involved with the justice system.
  • The healing lodge residential program will have twelve spaces for women who are either: on bail, on probation, or on parole. These are women who have completed a sentence, and are looking to turn the corner, improve their lives and actively participate in our program.
  • If any of the women have a parole officer, they will be required to check in on a regular schedule with that officer.
  • There will also be 12 transitional apartment units for women who have graduated the program and who are able to live independently but still wish to remain part of the healing lodge community and have access to the support network available through the healing lodge.

Q – Why is a Healing Lodge important?

  • This Lodge will be designed for women to heal from past trauma and to connect to their culture.
  • We know through official documentation, that almost every Indigenous woman involved with the justice system has been victimized.
  • The Indigenous culture provides strength and direction.

Q – Is the Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society a charity?

  • Yes, TWHLS is a Registered Charity.

Q – Where is the funding coming from?

  • TWHL has applied for a variety of funding sources, including municipal, provincial, and federal grants
  • The City of Toronto Open Door Program waives the development charges for qualified affordable housing projects.
  • Provincial funding is provided through the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program.
  • Federal government provides funding for justice and Indigenous initiatives.
  • Healing Lodge residential program: Correctional Services Canada will fund 4 federal beds, Province will fund 8 beds.

Q – Is TWHLS permitted to make a profit if the property is sold?

  • As a Registered Charity, profit is not a motive.
  • The only circumstance when a profit is permitted is if property values rise and we sell and re-invest the funds in a society/lodge in an alternate location.

Q – Why was this location chosen?

  • TWHLS considered 18 properties throughout Toronto, all were cost prohibitive.
  • The current owner of this property has indicated that he would prefer that this land be used for a social endeavour. The Healing Lodge, being a non-profit organization, fits this category.
  • The current owner granted the Society four extensions, which have allowed TWHLS to undertake a more detailed due diligence and submit the minor variance application.
  • The price was within our budget.
  • Ward 20 has the highest Indigenous population in Toronto.

Q – How will the women at the healing lodge be selected?

  • Applicants will be vetted based on how dedicated they are to recovery, healing and healthy reintegration.
  • Their incarceration record will also be reviewed as this document is a good indicator of commitment to change.
  • If a resident violates her parole conditions, the parole board would then be contacted and woman would be removed from the healing lodge.

Q – Will women who have committed crimes against children be accepted?

  • Women who have committed crimes against children would be automatically disqualified from the TWHLS as they would not be permitted to be housed near a school based on their parole conditions.

Q – What is required of the residents who are on parole/probation/bail? What will their daily routine be like?

    CONDITIONS:
  • Upon arrival, residents must complete a three-month program.
  • Residents must sign in and out at all times.
  • Must follow conditions and rules set by parole officer.
  • Will be actively engaged in programming at the Lodge between 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
  • After 2 pm, residents will go to necessary appointments e.g. dentist, doctor, parole officer, social worker, visits with family etc.
  • An 11p.m. curfew must be adhered to and will be actively enforced.
  • We understand the safety concerns of the community, and we want to ensure the safety of the Lodge residents as well.

Q – What programming will be available at the Lodge?

  • Job counselling
  • Connecting with employers: i.e., the Steelworkers Union provides training for Indigenous men and women.
  • Resumé writing
  • Managing personal finances
  • Self-care
  • Life skills training
  • Trauma and addiction counseling
  • Intergenerational mentoring
  • Computer skills
  • Skills for joining the work force

Q – What is the layout of the healing lodge?

  • 2nd and 3rd floors for women who are on: bail, parole or probation. These floors will be shared accommodation with separate bedrooms.
  • 4th, 5th, and 6th floors: fully independent units where women will pay subsidized rent.

Q – What type of rooms/beds will be provided?

  • Once graduated from the mandatory programming of the 2nd and 3rd floors, residents will have the option to apply and move into the 12 one-bedroom apartments on the 4th, 5th and 6th floors.

Q – What retail space will there be?

  • Small scale, owned and operated by TWHL. Possibly a coffee shop/art gallery.

Q – How will it be integrated into the community?

  • A Community Liaison Group will be established with the assistance of a professional facilitator.
  • Liaison members will include: members of the Cliffside community, Lodge staff, Lodge residents, the Councillor’s office, and other agency members the committee decides upon, i.e., Police, social worker, health care advisor etc.
  • The aim of the Liaison Committee will be to provide good communication between the community and the Lodge, and to address concerns and consider suggestions.

Q – What are some of the minor variances being applied for?

Q – Can the minor variances become precedents for other applications in the area?

  • No, each minor variance application is evaluated on the basis of its own merit by the Committee of Adjustment.
  • A Minor Variance is the usual process used to finalize the regulations applicable to a custom-designed building, such as the Healing Lodge.
  • The Minor Variance process ensures a high quality built environment is achieved while at the same time meeting the needs of Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society and the City.
  • The requested variances are consistent with citywide standards as contained in the Official Plan and Urban Design Guidelines. They respond to the intent of the zoning by-law, however it is not possible to comply with some of the specific performance standards and so variances are requested.
  • No, each minor variance application is evaluated on the basis of its own merit by the Committee of Adjustment.

Birchmount Stadium Proposed Re-naming

A formal request has been submitted to the City of Toronto to rename Birchmount Stadium, located at 75 Birchmount Road, to “Bill D. Stephens Stadium”.

This renaming would acknowledge and recognize the significant contribution Bill D. Stephens has made to the City of Toronto. This proposal for the naming is currently being reviewed by the staff of the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division and we would like your input.

Note: Bill D. Stephens’ Bio is shared within the survey. Ways to provide your input:

  1. Complete this online survey – Open for responses until August 1, 2019
  2. Submit a letter of support or objection. Comments must be received by August 1, 2019

Letters of support or objection should be mailed to:
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation – Park Naming
Coronation Park, 711 Lake Shore Boulevard West,
Toronto ON M5V 3T7

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

For those curious about the renaming process, here are the steps involved.

  1. A community group fills out a form provided by Parks with a letter stating their intent to rename, including the reasons why.
  2. Once the application has been received, Parks sends it to the Office of Partnership to see if it meets their criteria.
  3. Once approved by the Office of Partnership the application goes through Parks for their criteria approval process.
  4. Once Parks approves, it then goes to community consultation.
  5. Following Community Consultation, Parks staff present a report to community council.
  6. Community Council votes.

UPDATE: 171 Midland Avenue

71 Midland Avenue will once again become a community hub!

This cornerstone, heritage property has new owners and plans are underway to return the building to its former glory. The plans include both residential and retail components in keeping with the current allowable zoning.
Though there are more details to be announced by the new owners, I can say that they are
very invested in the community as they live and already own a business in Scarborough Southwest.

Stayed tuned for what I’m sure will be exciting news for all. Many can already see the property being cleaned up and that in itself is an excellent beginning.

Round Table Meetings : TWHL

We have a few openings at the following times for the upcoming round table meetings hosted by TWHLS in conjunction with me. Please contact my office to confirm your interest in attendance.

 Wednesday, July 3rd & Monday, July 8th

 6 – 7:15pm or 7:30 – 8:45pm

The objective is for residents to have a further opportunity to have their questions and concerns addressed.

As space is limited, kindly contact our office at your earliest convenience and we will confirm your attendance during one of the available time slots.

Email councillor_crawford@toronto.ca or call 416-392-4052

Housing Now Community Meeting

In December 2018 Toronto City Council launched Housing Now, an initiative that takes a critical step forward in addressing Toronto’s current and future housing needs. Housing Now will create mixed-income communities on public land by providing a mix of affordable rental, market rental and ownership housing options. The new affordable rental homes will remain affordable for 99 years, providing quality housing for future generations. 705 Warden Ave. has been identified as one of the sites for Housing Now.

Community Meeting:

The City of Toronto and CreateTO will be holding a Community Meeting in our neighbourhood to introduce the Housing Now Initiative and share and seek feedback on the conceptual design and preliminary directions for 705 Warden Ave.

When: Thursday, June 13, 2019 – 6:00 – 9:00 pm (presentation at 7 pm)

Where: Warden Hilltop Community Centre – 25 Mendelssohn Street