Panel will decide on public property to be renamed for Ron Moeser

Jim Hart, Councillor Ward 44

At our October session of City Council a report was tabled through the mayor’s office that addresses the naming of public properties after members of council, in recognition of their service to the residents of Toronto. One of the councillors named in the report was the late Ron Moeser who served our community for many years, both in office and as a member of the community.

The following is an excerpt from the report:

“Councillor Ron Moeser was a long-serving City of Toronto Councillor for Ward 44, Scarborough East who served the residents of the City of Scarborough prior to Toronto’s amalgamation in 1998.

Fiercely dedicated to municipal politics and to his constituents, Ron strived to implement changes to enhance the quality of life for many while dutifully serving the people of Toronto. 

He was instrumental in the creation of Rouge Park and his legacy will be the preservation of the Rouge Valley for future generations to enjoy. He was also heavily involved in the development and expansion of the Scarborough Waterfront Trail, and he served for many years on the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

In consultation with the Moeser family, the Mayor will convene a panel of interested councillors and members of the community in order to determine a suitable public property for renaming in memory of Ron Moeser.”

 The mayor will report back to council at a future date with the panel’s recommendation.

Rooming House Review Update

On October 11, my office and the Highland Creek Community Association co-hosted a Ward 44 Community Town Hall at the Legion on Lawson Road. The topic of discussion was the city’s proposed rooming house pilot project. The proposal recommends that rooming houses be permitted within the Highland Creek pilot project area that surrounds the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus, which also includes the Village.

The meeting was well attended with more than 100 residents taking part.  There was also a panel made up of city staff from Planning, Property Standards and Toronto Fire Services, as well as representation from the university that answered questions from the audience.

The intent of this meeting was to provide an overview of the proposal and to offer residents an opportunity to ask questions of the panel members, as well as voice their concerns and comments.

The vast majority of attendees agreed that the rooming house proposal is problematic for our community because the bulk of these houses are under the control of absentee owners who have little regard for property maintenance and the beauty of our streetscapes. The result is that the neighbourhood surrounding the UofT Scarborough Campus is in a state of decline with more and more poorly maintained properties surfacing every year.

To date, the city has not developed a strategy that satisfactorily addresses how licensed rooming houses will blend into our neighbourhoods and how they will maintain the community standard enjoyed by all of us not so long ago.

While UTSC is an anchor institution that brings economic benefit to our city and to the local community, more on-campus housing is needed. I’m sure we all look forward to hearing about the university’s housing strategy in the coming months.

Given all of the above and the strong mandate from residents, I will not be supporting a Rooming House Pilot Project for Highland Creek when this matter is tabled at City Council.

If you wish to be kept informed on this proposal as it makes its way to committee and City Council, please provide my office with your contact information and we will include you on our distribution list.