Community News Update - December 5, 2022

Dear Community,

Today I rose in the House to honour Kartik Saini. On November 30, Ghost Bike Memorial Ride organized with many from the cycling community and allies to ride in his memory and called for justice.

All road users deserve to arrive home safely. The sad truth is: not all do. I urge this government to join me and members of the cycling community in honouring Kartik and the many other fallen cyclists by ensuring vulnerable road users are protected on their commute.

We must implement a Vision Zero provincial road safety strategy, and make the Fairness for Road Users Act and the Protecting Vulnerable Road Users Act law today to help families and communities find justice. These laws will make our roads safer for all.

I want to express my gratitude to Cycle Toronto, Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists, Bicycle Mayor of Toronto, Bells on Yonge, Centre for Active Transportation, Toronto Community Bikeways Coalition, The Bike Brigade, Darnel Harris ED of Our Greenway, Robin Richardson of Yonge4All, and countless others who lead the advocacy work for safe roads. Thank you.

Today kicks off our week-long Holiday Food Drive in support of The Beeton Cupboard Food Bank! Thank you so much to those of you who have already donated - it means the world to me. My office will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items all this week, just reply to this email or reach out to [email protected] to organize a drop-off!

Over the last year, there has been an unprecedented 42% surge in food bank visits across Ontario, and the concern grows that service providers will be unable to meet this need throughout the holiday season.

In an effort to help mitigate this crisis in our community, from today until December 12, my office will be accepting donations to support our neighbours in need. Folks who wish to donate but are unable to deliver are encouraged to reach out and we will do our best to facilitate collection!

The Beeton Cupboard Food Bank also accepts monetary donations via e-transfer sent to [email protected] with the message "food bank - Jill Andrew Newsletter." A tax receipt will be issued to donors in the New Year - be sure to supply a full name and address when donating.

As I said before: food banks, while vital, cannot and should not be a substitute for systemic change led by a compassionate government. There is no shame in seeking help, but the Ford government should be shamed for forcing so many to the brink of food insecurity.

Thank you for joining with me in making this season even a bit less stressful for our Toronto-St. Paul's residents!

Friday evening, I had the honour of visiting with some very special folks at the Meighen Manor Winter Wonderland event - caring staff, lovely residents, talented youth performers, and even Santa himself!

Thank you for having me, and thank you for the delicious hot chocolate!

I spent my Saturday wearing green to show my support for Hands Off the Greenbelt as folks across the province joined together to demand Ford repeal Bill 23. The environment and all its inhabitants are under threat from the PC government, and we must continue to use our voices to advocate for a better, more sustainable future!

I scored some holiday gifts from BAM Barns Arts Market! It was a thrill perusing the works of so many talented local artisans!

And more holiday shopping was done at the Brentwood Towers Winter Bazaar! So many baked goods, ornaments, decor, and more!

It's always such a thrill being able to shop local throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season. Thank you for organizing this!

Here are some photos from my time at the St. Michael & All Angels Christmas Market! Yet MORE talented local artists and makers - including DineCollab, which supports folks in our community experiencing food insecurity through donations to The Beeton Cupboard Food Bank.

I also ran into some folks from Bag of Toronto, which is now featuring Oakwood restaurants and stores! This is such a fantastic holiday gift idea, and a wonderful way to shop local and support small businesses this season, including one of our favourites, Oakwood Hardware.

Other businesses featured: Sage & Thistle, Vegwood, Goody Gut, Grace Jasmin, DAM Sandwiches, and Lush and Found!

Profits from Oakwood Village go to support FCJ Refugee Centre, which serves refugees and others at risk due to immigration status.

This weekend, I strolled past 1366 Yonge Street, which is slated to be torn down for yet more luxury condos. We undoubtedly need more development, but it must be truly affordable and meet community needs.

This building currently houses a medical facility, which services folks from all across the city. At a time when we're experiencing a shortage of family doctors and a healthcare system that's at risk of privatization, we need to band together to protect places such as these to ensure vulnerable folks have easy access to the services they need, where and when they need it!

The Toronto Fire Fighters Toy Drive is on! Donors can contribute at one of the links listed on their site, or deliver a new, unwrapped gift to a fire station in their community.

In Toronto-St. Pauls:

65 Henrick Avenue
20 Balmoral Avenue
555 Oakwood avenue

On Tuesday, December 13 at 4:30, The Yonge St. Clair BIA launches its Gingerbread Festival with the large scale gingerbread unveiling in the lobby of 2 St. Clair West! Come join for free gingerbread kits and more!

Saturday, December 10 brings us the Hillcrest Village Welcome Winter Holiday Event! From 10 AM to 2:30 PM in the Green P parking lot (car park 220 - 789 St Clair Ave West), folks can join in the celebration of the BIA's new seasonal decor. There will also be holiday music, free hot chocolate from Krave, and a dance presentation from St. Clair Dance Collective!

Don't forget: The Davisville Village Enchanted Forest of Lights & Holiday Party returns for another year! The Family Lights Package (which includes a 300 LED light set, battery pack, and family name plaque) can be purchased by Sunday, December 12 and the holiday party commences Saturday, December 17 at 4PM.

Email [email protected] for more information and to reserve your tree!

On December 11, Holy Blossom Temple will be hosting "Gifts of Light: Voices of Our Children," the third annual interfaith holiday concert. All proceeds will be in support of Ukrainian Canadian Social Services Toronto. Don't forget to register!

A friendly reminder and invitation that Queen's Park is open to visitors! If you or an organization you work with would like to come watch your MPP advocate for people and planet, please email us as [email protected] to set up a visit - I'd love to meet you!

In Solidarity, 

Jill Andrew
Toronto-St. Paul's


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