better Spadina –Fort York

My commitment to Ward 10 residents:

I am committed to the people of Spadina Fort York. I've lived in Toronto my entire life and currently reside in the ward. I am a renter and don't own a car, and I've spent the last decade of my life pushing for a more liveable and equitable city.
 

I am always committed to learning, unlearning, and improving my knowledge of city building issues, as well as my approach and the way my team and I perform our work. I don't have all the answers, nor do I claim that my approach is always perfect - which is why community and visiting every household in the ward are so important to me. We all have a responsibility to play in shaping the city and ward that we want to see, and that involves working together and bringing our own lived experience and knowledge to every issue!

 

I do however promise to always be accessible, to show up and to listen to every resident. If you have a proposal, a question, or just want to chat, please contact my campaign at hello@igorsamardzic.ca

I believe in:

term limits 

being accessible to every resident of the ward

taking a community centred approach to city building 

being present and responsive to the needs of all residents 

consulting with all stakeholders

starting with equity - upholding our responsibilities to Indigenous peoples and prioritizing accessibility

I am a full-time candidate who has been campaigning since May, seeking not only your vote, but also your trust and confidence -
Igor Samardzic

Our Platform
Truth and Reconciliation

The process of City Building and the issues we discuss in our communities cannot be adequately solved without involving and centring the voices of Indigenous People. 

 

We need to foster new relationships with Indigenous People and address the systemic structural issues that exist. We all need to do the work of committing and making changes that go beyond performative measures and lead to more comprehensive actions. Reconciliation is an ongoing relational process that needs to be framed as more then just a checklist of “complete” items. We need to do this work everyday and do more! 

  • Implement all 94 Calls to Action from the TRC Report and the 231 Calls to Action from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

  • Advocate for Indigenous Peoples to have the right to practise their cultural traditions and customs

  • Advocate for Toronto to provide redress to Indigenous Peoples through effective mechanisms of restitution, developed in conjunction with Indigenous Peoples

  • Approve and expediate capital projects that incorporate Indigenous placemaking in Toronto parks and urban spaces

  • Instead of only leasing land to Indigenous organizations, advocate for land repatriation to Indigenous Peoples 

  • Create more opportunities for Indigenous placemaking and placekeeping

  • Supporting economic development and prosperity for Indigenous small businesses  

  • Honour Indigenous ways of knowing and being

  • Recognizing rights to self-determination and self-governance for Indigenous Peoples

  • Address the deep rooted barriers and colonial practices embedded in City policies, processes and practices

Housing

Many Torontonians have felt the effects of an increasingly expensive city.  Allowing unaffordability to rise will have far-reaching economic and socioeconomic implications. We need to build more housing and especially affordable housing.  

 

  • Increase housing across the housing spectrum, with a focus on affordable, deeply affordable (RGI and Toronto Community Housing) supportive, and purpose-built rental housing

  • Encourage participation and incentives from all levels of government 

  • Changing our Official Plan and Zoning to permit more as of right housing approvals 

  • Allow for multi-unit homes such as duplexes, triplexes, multiplexes, townhouses, and walk-ups in single-family neighbourhoods 

  • Instead of only leasing, advocate for land repatriation to Indigenous peoples with wrap-around support

  • Supporting gentle intensification, particularly along our main streets and arterials, as well as density bonusing/increases near major transit station areas in order to build affordable units 

  • Expedited development approval process for applications containing affordable/deeply affordable housing 

  • Invest in Co-op housing opportunities for affordable housing/deeply affordable  

  • Look into areas where public lands such public parking spaces can be transformed into housing (affordable, deeply-affordable, RGI, purpose-built-rental etc.)

  • Work with BIPOC communities to ensure revitalization process reflects partnership between all stake-holders

  • Work with TCBN to ensure community benefits agreements are ensured and part of the development process. 

Transit

I support investing in and expanding our current public transportation system. I believe in fully financing our public transportation system in order to avoid fare increases. We must do everything possible to avoid passing on these costs to low-income individuals, especially those who rely solely on public transportation as their only option for traveling. We cannot fault those who choose to drive to save time when other forms of transportation, such as transit and cycling, can take significantly longer especially for folks that don't have the luxury of living close to transit options or whose economic status requires them to travel to multiple places throughout the day. Transit has not kept up with demand for extending our transit network and frequency as a viable option for many to consider. 

 

  • Accelerate the development of the Waterfront East LRT Extension and the Ontario Line

  • Advocate for the expansion of our transit system

  • Increase the frequency and coverage of our transit and bicycle networks throughout Toronto and its suburbs 

  • Reduce the amount of time it takes to go throughout the city by public transportation

  • Fully Fund the Fair Pass Transit Discount Program - phase 3 and actively work towards providing deeper discounts for individuals in need 

  • Expand the current 2-hour transfer window to 3-hours 

  • Freeze TTC fare increases  

  • Advocate for greater Provincial and Federal funding for the TTC 

Accessibility

For many years, I have been a vocal advocate for the accessibility community. I am a big supporter for people with disabilities and seniors to be supported across our transit system, housing, public realm, businesses, and on our streets and sidewalks. 

 

  • Improve and accelerate accessibility upgrades on the TTC, and strive to surpass accessibility standards on transit, in the public realm, streets, and in Toronto public buildings 

  • Support Toronto's door-to-door service, Wheeltrans, by increasing eligibility and creating a seamless integration with our subway, streetcar, and bus services 

  • Collaborate with the development and construction industries to highlight the issues of construction hoarding, construction staging and advocate for standards that prioritize accessibility and better workarounds to closures 

  • Work with our BIAs, landowners, and businesses to promote the City of Toronto storefront façade grants so that adequate modifications can be made to create accessible entrances 

  • Expand and fully fund the City’s Community Crisis Response Program as a new alternative to respond to wellness and safety checks

  • Advocate for community centered approach to those experiencing mental health crisis 

  • Advocate and promote better wayfinding and street design to accommodate people with disabilities and seniors 

  • Ensure that suitable snow removal procedures are in place to assist people with disabilities, and lobby for priority snow removal for public transportation, health care facilities, and local amenities and other areas frequented by people with disabilities and seniors  

  • Advocate for more accessible public washrooms in our parks and collaborate with local businesses and organizations to develop innovative public washroom use policies

Public Space

I am a major supporter of public spaces that are open and accessible to all Toronto residents all year. Parks and public spaces, are integral components of a livable city. 

 

  • Expand our ward's and city's green infrastructure, including depaving areas to allow for grass, flowers, and plants to address urban heating and flood mitigation 

  • Propose legalizing public drinking in our parks and green spaces 

  • Extend the hours of operation of our public washrooms, improve upkeep, and increase the number of accessible public washrooms throughout the ward and city 

  • Increase the number of public parks in the ward, notably Ontario Place  

  • Advocating for Ontario Place to remain a public backyard for the entire province of Ontario, especially emphasizing the original stewards of this land, the Indigenous people, and incorporating Ontario Place into the waterfront and exhibition space

Shelters

The pandemic has increased systemic inequities in our unhoused population, particularly those facing intersecting barriers, and has made some socio-demographic groups more prone to homelessness. I believe in allowing unhoused people the opportunity to attain their ideal housing outcomes, as well as fostering inclusive and inviting communities. 

 

  • Increase access to and pathways to supportive and affordable housing 

  • Increase ability to recruit, retain, and pay employees who do this work   

  • Incorporate programming supports that promote wellbeing and belonging 

  • Avoid forcible removal of residents to prevent social isolation and social and community disruptions   

  • Increase wraparound services for persons in temporary shelters and encampments. 

  • Continue and expand work to enhance connections between staff, community members and encampment residents or shelter residents 

  • Improve referral and service pathways between health care and shelters 

  • Continue to prioritize housing options that address people's different mental and physical health needs, as well as harm reduction needs 

  • Advocate for long-term financial investments in these programs at all levels of government

Island

The Island is an incredible urban oasis in our city! We must look after this community. Many elders on the island are proudly ageing in place. I believe in strongly supporting this community.  

 

  • Advocating for and expanding wraparound supports for Island residents ageing in place, including better access to personal support  workers, nurses, and doctors 

  • Improve access to the island for both visitors and residents, especially when it comes to transporting goods and materials back and forth 

  • Fully renovate the ferry pier and accelerate the replacement of ferry boats, resulting in cleaner, quieter, more efficient, and more frequent trips carrying more people 

  • Work with the entertainment and hospitality industry to reduce excessive noise from boat tours and party boats that are close to the island 

  • Expand the Island's public green spaces 

Business

I am a strong supporter of local businesses.  Many of our outstanding retail, restaurant, and service establishments are being displaced due to rising rents, construction, inflation, and, most recently, the impact from the pandemic. Shopping locally benefits the environment, residents, and the development and maintenance of vital and flourishing neighbourhoods, which promotes safety and beautification. 

 

  • Expand the commercial property tax reduction, resulting in a more equal tax platform that serves everyone, allowing new businesses to open rather than simply chain retailers 

  • Maintain and extend CafeTO, as well as other initiatives that benefit our local neighbourhoods and tourism 

  • Introduce and explore further financial assistance for existing businesses to mitigate the costs of the pandemic, such as waiving fees and charges  

  • Introduce financial incentives and waive City fees to help new businesses launch 

  • Advocate for better access to City programs, as well as the removal of barriers and red tape

  • Create streamlined priority access for small businesses in order to expedite permits and other municipal services

Streets

I am a strong supporter of making our streets and sidewalks safe for all users, including those with disabilities, children, youth, adults, and our seniors. Congestion and traffic have become overwhelming for all residents; we require a new approach that invests in transit and active transportation infrastructure to reduce our reliance on vehicles. 

 

  • Improve the upkeep and repair of our roads and sidewalks 

  • Increase the frequency with which our litter bins, streets, and sidewalks are cleaned and improve waste management 

  • Advocate for the enhancement of our street furniture program, including the design and location of litter bins, bus stops and benches 

  • Expand and ensure that mechanical or manual snow removal occurs with more urgency across the city, particularly around major social service and healthcare institutions, TTC stops, curb cuts, walkways, and streets 

  • Make our streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists by redesigning streets, implementing head start signals, traffic agents to direct vehicles, reducing speed limits and creating protected intersections

Active Transit

I am a strong advocate for promoting the use of active transportation by expanding our network of protected paths for these purposes and regulating new micromobility modes that have lately become the norm in Toronto. 

 

  • Improve our bicycle infrastructure by building protected intersections and bike lanes 

  • Increase the number of docking stations and electric pedal assist bicycles in our Bike Share network 

  • Advocate for and work on expanding the Bike Share time limit while also lowering membership rates 

  • Extend our multi-use pathways and encourage other forms of travel, such as walking, skating, and rollerblading 

  • Appropriately manage and regulate the usage of micromobility modes on our streets, such as e-bikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, and electric unicycles, to ensure that all users have a space to travel without conflict 

  • Improve the relationship between the bicycle, e-scooter, and other mobility modes with the disability population