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Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow Hosts Chinese Media Meeting to Encourage Housing Development and Collaborate with Chinese Community for a Livable City

On June 20, Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow held a media meeting in Scarborough with Chinese-language media to discuss her major policies and recent progress in addressing Toronto’s housing crisis, improving transportation services, and strengthening community development since taking office. Mayor Chow emphasized the importance of intergovernmental cooperation and shared how she has been securing more funds for Toronto from the federal and provincial governments. She announced a historic new agreement that provides Toronto with over CAD 600 million for TTC construction, CAD 471 million for building more affordable housing, and CAD 300 million for establishing shelters and other facilities. Under this new agreement, the Ontario government will take over the Gardiner Expressway and the Don Valley Parkway, saving Toronto CAD 2-4 billion, which will be used to repair other infrastructure.

Mayor Chow has also been working to simplify the housing approval process. Now, constructing residential buildings up to six stories and 60 units on major Toronto roads no longer requires rezoning applications. Homeowners can legally renovate their homes to add up to four units and/or garden suites for family members or rental purposes.

“This means that developers can build mid-rise residential buildings without needing city permits,” Mayor Chow said. “For homeowners, adding laneway suites, garden suites, and multiplexes not only provides extra income but also helps address Toronto’s housing crisis.”

In addition to housing, improving public transportation remains a key priority for the Mayor. Within less than a year, TTC services have seen significant improvements. The benefits include:

No fare increase for TTC this year.
Two announcements of increased service, particularly boosting bus services in Scarborough.
Hiring 160 new employees to provide a cleaner and safer travel environment for passengers.
Offering mobile phone service on subways and plans to expand this service further.
Introducing the “One Pass” program, allowing passengers to pay a single fare when transferring between TTC, GO, and other transit systems.
Mayor Chow is also advocating for more resources in the community to create a more livable city. This year’s budget includes an additional 10,000 hours of library service citywide, with the Woodside Square library in North Scarborough opening on Sundays starting in September. Last Saturday, June 15, ten wading pools and ten outdoor swimming pools across the city opened earlier than last year. In response to this week’s heat warning, from Tuesday to Thursday, ten outdoor swimming pools will remain open until 9 PM or 11:45 PM, weather permitting.

“The Chinese community has become a significant driving force behind Toronto’s economy and culture,” Mayor Chow stated. “Your opinions and suggestions are crucial as Toronto gets back on track. Together, we can make Toronto a more compassionate city; a city with safe, reliable, and affordable housing; a city where everyone feels a sense of belonging. I look forward to working closely with the Chinese community to achieve these goals.” (LJI by Rudy)

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