Garden District: property issues – bylaw enforcement

Garden District – There are many issues that affect residents that are not unique to our neighbourhood. Knowing where to turn for help is the first step. This is a first in a series of articles that will shine a spotlight on how to effectively communicate your concerns and hopefully saving you time, energy and aggravation.

The Garden District has a high concentration of TCHC units, rooming houses, student flats, low income bachelor accommodations, shelters and short term Airbnb rentals. August and September are challenging months for homeowners in the Garden District these things can translate into a mass exodus, a cleanup period and then a massive influx of new residents for the new school term. Out with the old, in with the new is not always a good thing as streets can be lined with trash and discarded furniture for days or even weeks.

Unfortunately, trash attracts more trash. People think nothing of adding a discarded coffee cup or more when they see a pile of garbage at the side of the road. Then insects, vermin and raccoons move in. These are just some of the pictures all taken in the space of one week. On one street.

You don’t have to live with this. If you see something, say something. Speak to your neighbour about the problem. If that does not resolve things or you are not comfortable speaking to your neighbour, you can get help and create a paper trail for updates and accountability as long as you have the right information: Take down the address. Bylaw enforcement officers will need an address to inspect, so be as precise as possible; Note if the garbage is on private property or city property using a short description such as “20 feet from the corner” or “in front of the gas station”; Does this pose as an immediate danger or safety hazard?  Are the items causing a standing water concern? Will this be a dumping complaint, litter in yard area, accumulation of waste materials or a general waste/dumping bylaw issue?

Think of an effective but short description of the issue Take many pictures, even if you do not think you are going to use them Now you are armed with the information you will need to register a report, but how will you do it?

You have options here: Through the City of Toronto website: Toronto.ca – Waste or Dumping on Private Property By Phone at *311 or 416-392-CITY (2489). Your file will be logged immediately By Email at 311@toronto.ca. You can also send photographs, but make sure you include all of the points above with good descriptions or can expect multiple emails from them asking for more information. Also useful to copy emails to neighbours and City contacts if necessary. May take 24 – 72 hours before the file will be made You can also tweet @311Toronto but along with a picture you will need a good description in less than 140 characters and you may not be able to get updates on the status from the City. May take 24 – 72 hours before the file will be made Remember to request a 311 Tracking Number to monitor on their website or for escalation. It’s not easy keeping Toronto beautiful but it’s worth it.

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