Time for another installment of Tuesdays with Newsy: some people might lose some recreation programs so others can gain some, cricketers look for a home field, more food on the islands, TCH tries to save money, another tower grows near U of T, and saving dogs' lives.
Like a weirdo version of the Robin Hood story that suffers from a lack of scope, a new budget measure is potentially reducing the amount of programming available to low-income Torontonians in order to provide programming to more people in need. The City-run subsidy program that allows children and adults living below the poverty line to access recreation activities, like camp and swimming lessons, is switching from a program-based subsidy to a dollar-based one next month. That means children under 25 who used to be allowed to choose up to 12 free programs a year will now be restricted to $455 worth of programming. Not that providing for more people is a bad thing, but come on now.
What to do with all the cricketers, that is the question. With a growing population of players and a dearth of playing facilities, Cricket Canada proposed a new 10,000 seat stadium be built to host local and international cricket. And where better to host international sporting events than right at the foot of the runway at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, right? Wrong, says the Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division. They’d like a cricket pitch, but not by the airport, and not on the island where the ferries are already struggling to shuffle naked sunbathers across the water without adding 10,000 excited cricket fans to the mix.
For those lucky enough to get over to the islands, there may be some new food options starting next year. The 10-year exclusive contract that vendor William Beasley Enterprises has held to sell food on the island is up for renewal next year. The City may even cut Olympic Island out of the deal, opening up the field for more food options at special events. Now if food trucks could just upgrade to Hippo technology, we might have something going here.
Toronto Community Housing is hoping their new procurement process will save $16–$32 million a year by opening up to the tendering process and maintaining a corporation-wide performance database. The new system will attempt to fix the corporation’s problems with single-source contracts, which they were called out on by Toronto’s auditor general, Jeffrey Griffiths. TCH also says the company-wide database will mean that contractors who do bad work at one TCH property will have a hard time finding work at any TCH property. The savings will go into the $750 million repair back log.
Where one tower was planned, now maybe two. It turns out the residents who were nervous that a new proposed high-rise residence for the University of Toronto would inspire copycat towers was right. Plans for another 30-storey tower—this one is a mix of residential, commercial, and retail—are moving along in the same area.
And in further evidence that we need a new name for “smart phones,” now the things can help save dogs from sweltering cars by texting the owner from a special collar if the dog has been left in too hot temperatures.