A local coffee house, Eagles Nest, is serving up some Christmas spirit with the launch of the first annual community wide toy and food drive in the Dundas and Ossington area.

On Saturday, November  26, members of the Little Portugal BIA including local area business, Eagles Nest will kick off the campaign with the first annual Donation Day. The event will begin at 11am and run until 2pm. Torontonians are being asked  to drop off donations at the Eagles Nest, located at 1199 Dundas Street West, in an effort to fill the location with toys and food for those in need. Other area businesses will also be collecting non-perishable food donations to restock Daily Bread Food Bank shelves that are often depleted after Thanksgiving.  Donations will be accepted until December 17th, 2011. Toys will be donated to the local firehall.

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It’s that time of the year again.

Winter. And a Canadian winter means snow – sometimes a lot of snow. However, the City of Toronto is ready for anything that old man winter can dish out.

Here are a few things that you can expect as we gear up for another winter in Toronto.

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On December 15, 2011 I will be holding a budget town hall to discuss the City of Toronto’s Capital and Operating budgets. The budgets come out on Monday November 28, 2011 and will be debated at Council on January 17, 2012.

The City of Toronto’s budget is responsible for many of the programs and public services we love and depend on. The 2012 Budget will be of particular importance to us since it follows the Mayors Core Service Review. The results of that exercise mean that throughout the 2012 Budget, Councillors will be faced with numerous proposals to drastically cut funding for vital city services. These cuts will affect you, your family and our community.

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The Liberty Village Pedestrian/Cycle Bridge is moving one step closer to reality. The results of the Environmental Assesment are coming forward to the November 29 Council meeting and the preferred configuration recommends a bridge to span the rail corridor between the west end of Douro Street and the west end of Western Battery Road.

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The Solid Waste and Water Budgets, also known as the rate-supported budgets, will be debated at City Council this November 29.
See the public notice regarding changes to your water rates here and to your waste collection rates here. Note that only rates that have changed are mentioned in the public notices, the other rates remain the same as 2011.
After reviewing the waste and water budgets there are a few items that I and others have found concerning, which we will attempt to have changed at the City Council meeting on November 29. Both proposed budgets result in cuts to services, higher costs to tax payers and more discounts for industry. The recent privatization of waste collection west of Yonge appears to have resulted in cuts to recycling collection, the elimination of Community Environment Days, and new charges to libraries, places of worship, charitable organizations and organizations which provide community support services. These service cuts will make it difficult for Torontonians to recycle and dispose of hazardous waste. The proposed water budget makes people pay more so industry can pay less. More companies will now receive a 30% break on their water bills, even those who break our by-laws, while residents will see a 9% increase in their water rates.

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