Did You Know…?

Confess: how many times have you been stumped about what’s recyclable, and not? Don’t know if you should throw out skates or other sharp objects? Where do you dispose of a dirty paper plate?

 The City of Toronto has developed the Waste Wizard, an online search tool that provides information on how to properly dispose of more than 2,000 items. A city publication promises “it’s quick and easy to use. Simply go to toronto.ca/wastewizard and enter the name of the item you’re wondering about.”

The same newsletter also reports that garbage tags are now available online (shipping is free) and at Toronto Shoppers Drug Mart and Canadian Tire stores. A garbage bin should never be overflowing; Excess garbage must be bagged, tagged and set out beside your garbage bin for collection.

For excess garbage, use a regular black garbage bag and attach the garbage tag around the knot of the bag, like you would a luggage tag. Garbage tags are $5.11 each [don’t blame the Cabbagetowner for the odd number; we just report the news!] and cover the cost to pick up and dispose of the extra garbage.

Some things are not just meant to be left lying around, including hazardous materials including needles/syringes and other types of paraphernalia. Staff at our Ward 28 office and Toronto Public Health have advised us that we can contact 311 to pick up hazardous material like needles or other paraphernalia. They move pretty quickly when it is reported that needles or pipes have been found in our parks and laneways. 311 is staffed 24/7.

They have also suggested that people can use a pair of kitchen tongs to safely pick up an item if you need to dispose of it before the city arrives. If you are attempting to pick up a needle, please put it in some kind of a hard container (ex. metal coffee can, Tupperware container) before throwing it in the trash. When contacting 311, make note of your reference number and if making multiple reports keep referencing that prior reference number. This helps the city track requests and ultimately deploy more resources where they are needed.

Disposing of a small baggie that might have contained drugs requires less caution than a needle. Certainly do wash your hands after handling, and you may wish to use gloves or tongs, but there is little danger to just picking up and throwing away an empty bag. Street drugs, even when cut or laced with fentanyl and other adulterants, do not pose a significant risk of opioid toxicity unless ingested. However, spotting a bag might be a sign that a needle or pipe is nearby.

Below are images of what a harm reduction kit might contain. In the images you will see two “spoons” used in the injection of drugs, as well as a blue tie off, alcohol wipes, and needles. Spotting one of these items on the street might mean there is other paraphernalia nearby. Other kinds of spoons are illustrated in the other image.
image of harm reduction kit contents image of 3 spoons

Cabbagetowners have told us that the tree canopy in the neighbourhood is important, and that’s why we support worthwhile organizations such as Cabbagetown ReLEAF (cabbagetownreleaf.org) and LEAF (yourleaf.org).

We noticed an article in The Bulletin (thebulletin.ca) describing a new program by LEAF that might be of interest to residents. From the article:

With the support of The Regional Municipality of York and the City of Toronto, LEAF is launching a new, subsidized Do-It-Yourself Tree Planting Program that offers personalized advice from an arborist through a virtual consultation.

The new Do-It-Yourself program gives trees the best chance to thrive by providing residents with:

– a 20-minute virtual consultation with a LEAF arborist to choose appropriate species and location
– 5 to 8 foot tall native tree (2 to 4 foot tall native evergreen tree)
– Delivery to your door
– a tree care guide
– Follow-up tree care advice by email/phone

Read more about this new program… (thebulletin.ca)

We noticed this interesting mapping tool today while reading a City of Toronto press release. The City of Toronto’s T.O. INview (INview stands for “INfrastructure Viewer) shows where water, TTC, utlities and other major capital works are planned for each year.

We don’t see the repaving of Carlton Street east of Parliament Street on here for 2017, but we have been assured that this long-anticipated work will be completed this year.


Note: A separate but equally useful tool is the Toronto Road Restrictions map which shows ongoing and emergency road construction, travel conditions on Toronto roads and special events that affect roads.


A resident alerted us that they were seeing discoloured (brown) water coming out of their taps on the morning of March 28 and at the same time, a City of Toronto worker had opened a fire hydrant across the street. After some investigation, it turns out that the City has a “Watermain Flushing program” where every few years depending on testing results, watermains are cleaned by way of sending water at high speed through the pipes to produce a scouring action that removes built-up sediment. After flushing, the water exits through an attachment to a fire hydrant.

During watermain flushing, residents should not open taps, flush toilets or use water-based appliances during this time to avoid drawing in discoloured water during this procedure. It isn’t clear if this particular incident was actually related to watermain flushing since the City Dept. responsible has advised us that they don’t have a record of this work being conducted on that day. Normally, residents would be notified two days in advance via visits and door-hanger notices. They are going to investigate further and get back to us.

Learn more about the water main flushing program (toronto.ca)

The City of Toronto has an interesting set of resources related to residential infill projects available online.

Renovating your house? Living next to construction? Want to search the status of a building permit application?

Learn more at: toronto.ca/infill

If you would like to be notified via text message of important notices specific to a local school, you can subscribe by texting the school name (all one word without PS or CI) to 647-496-0956. Very handy!

We noticed this handy new feature from Toronto Hydro. You can register to be notified by email if there is a power outage affecting your home, and also once the power is restored. This would be handy if you are away on vacation or at work or even if you just want to know why the lights just went off.

Log in and click on “Outage Notifications”:
mytorontohydro.com (mytorontohydro.com)

Statistics Canada began releasing data from the 2016 Census today and will be providing detail over the coming year. The population of Cabbagetown – Don Vale* increased by 40 people in the past 5 years from 4021 to 4061 people living in 2,164 private dwellings. Welcome new Cabbagetowners!

– Canada’s population grew 1.7 million people (5% more than in 2011) to 35,151,728.
– The Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (this includes much of the 905 area code), grew 6.2 per cent to 5,928,040.
– The population of Toronto (the city, not the surrounding area) rose by 116,511 people to 2,731,571. Some neighbourhoods in the city saw remarkable increases in population due to the boom in condo living over the past 5 years; Liberty Village saw a population increase of 175%!

Cabbagetown – Census Tracts 67 and 68

Map showing census tracts.

There are two “Census Tracts” that correspond closely with the *boundaries of the Cabbagetown Residents Association catchment area with tract 67 north of Winchester Street and tract 68 south to Gerrard Street East. I tried to determine population figures for Cabbagetown west of Parliament Street and in the Cabbagetown South neighbourhood also – but due to the historic vagaries of the Stats Can tracts, it wasn’t possible to figure out since the boundaries don’t neatly overlay.

Census Tracts are “small, relatively stable geographic areas that usually have a population between 2,500 and 8,000 persons. They are located in census metropolitan areas and in census agglomerations that had a core population of 50,000 or more in the previous census.”

Tract areas 67 and 68 as seen in this map correspond to our boundaries neatly except that a couple of homes on Bloor Street East and Castle Frank Crescent (in the north part of tract 67 across from Castle Frank Subway station) are not part of Cabbagetown – these account for approximately 30 households and roughly 60 people. There are a total of 2,164 private dwellings in the combined tracts.

Tract 67 (north part of Cabbagetown – Don Vale – .65 square kilometres)
Tract 67 saw an increase of 17 people from 1,677 to 1,694. There are 868 private dwellings in this tract and population density is 2600.6 per sq. km.

Tract 68 (south part of Cabbagetown – Don Vale – .42 square kilometres)
Tract 68 experienced an increase of 23 people from 2,344 to 2,367. There are 1296 private dwellings in this tract and population density is 5655.9 people per sq. km.

Some interesting visual representations of the data have been posted online.
Population Change:

Population Density:

Even in the heritage business, there is news! The Cabbagetown Heritage Conservation District (HCD) produces an email newsletter which you can subscribe to.

Subscribe on the HCD Home Page

We often point residents to the HCD website to learn more about the heritage of the neighbourhood, including building styles, for resources such as Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP) and of course – the very popular and interesting Property Search which gives residents some history of their own house including original owners and their professions.

The HCD list their Committee Members on their website also, and as well as being volunteers they are also experts in heritage matters and architecture. Be sure to say hi and thank them for their contributions when you see them in the neighbourhood.

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