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Welcome to the December 2020 Community Update for the Scarborough Civic Action Network (SCAN). In this issue:
SCAN is a non-partisan network that aims to support civic engagement activities across Scarborough to address inequities. SCAN works by actively engaging communities and mobilizing a civic voice for Scarborough by talking to people in neighbourhoods across the region and finding out what they see as priority issues through our annual Action Mandate survey. 


from all parts of Scarborough including Malvern, Woburn, Oakridge, Dorset Park, and L'Amoreaux took part in SCAN's 2020-21 Action Mandate survey during October 2020 which was conducted in English, Chinese, Tamil and other languages in person or online.

As a non-partisan network that aims to support civic engagement activities across Scarborough to address inequities, SCAN works by actively engaging communities and mobilizing a civic voice for Scarborough by talking to people in neighbourhoods across the region and finding out what they see as priority issues through our annual Action Mandate survey. 

With SCAN's dedicated and hard-working community engagement team consisting of Leah Yuyitung, Nita Goswami and Gabrielle Salvador and with the support of SCAN's Stewardship Group, SCAN was able to survey over 350 Scarborough residents through in-person or online engagement during the month of October despite all the challenges due to the pandemic.  

Thanks to the help of many community partners such as Scarborough Cycles and Malvern Recreation Centre across Scarborough who helped to promote the survey and to get as much input as we could including residents in communities in underserved neighbourhoods such as Woburn, Malvern and L'Amoreaux. 

SCAN 2020-21 Action Mandate Survey Outcomes: Highlights
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: the need for more affordable housing for low-to-moderate income tenants in market-rental housing

say that we need to prioritize rent supports, rent control or other ways to Increase affordability

say that we need to build our capacity to talk to politicians about problems and concerns

say that we need information about laws and policies related to affordable market rental housing

COMMUNITY SAFETY: the need to address the roots of violence and conflict in under-served communities 

say that we need more safe places for youth including mental health supports and unstructured spaces

say that we need to build our capacity to create safe communities through policies

say that we need information about having a voice in decision-making processes related to the roots of violence and conflict in under-served communities

PUBLIC TRANSIT: the need for affordable transit fares for lower income groups

say that we need to work on better bus service including no crowding on buses to get value for money for riders

say that we need to build our capacity to make transit more affordable through influencing policy development

say that we need information about how to have a voice in decision-making processes related to TTC fares


say that health services and resources, decent employment, food security and racism including anti-Black racism are priority equity issues

say that we need to prioritize the working poor, racialized communities, women, residents in underserved neighbourhoods, immigrants and seniors to address inequities

Next steps: SCAN's Stewardship Group will use the survey outcomes to create an action plan that will consist of information-sharing, activities to build capacity of Scarborough residents to have a civic voice and activities to support action campaigns to address the priority issues identified by Scarborough residents. 

Pre-Covid, SCAN brought Scarborough residents together at its annual Community Summit at the Scarborough Civic Centre to take part in action planning. 


SCAN in partnership with Agincourt Village Community Association (AVCA), Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA), Senior Persons Living Connected (SPLC), and the Toronto Youth Cabinet (TYC) are organizing WARD 22 VOTES!, a non-partisan community-driven endeavour to enable voters to learn about the Ward 22 By-election candidates and make an informed vote. Submit questions to the candidates here by Wed Dec 9th.

In 2018, the Ontario government reduced the number of wards in Toronto from 47 to 25 and aligned the wards with federal and provincial electoral ridings. Previously wards had populations of about 50,000. Ward 22 Scarborough-Agincourt currently has a population of over 105,000 people. Almost 70% have a Mother Tongue that is neither English nor French and only 40% report English as their home language. 

By-elections typically have low-voter turnout. In the 2017 Ward 42 By-election, voter turnout was only over 22% and only about 10% of the electorate voted for the winning candidate. A Maytree report in 2014 stated that voter participation in Toronto municipal elections could be increased with supports put in place and that a city committed to democratic participation and inclusion would do more to promote voter engagement. 

  • Use this map to check if you live in Ward 22 Scarborough-Agincourt.
  • Apply to vote by mail by Dec 22, 4:00 pm. 
  • Click here for a short video about mail-in voting.
  • Mail in your ballot before Jan. 15, 2021 or drop off at Stephen Leacock Seniors Community Centre or L’Amoreaux Community Recreation Centre as of Jan. 8, 2021. 
  • Advance Voting: Jan. 8 to 10, 2021
  • Official Election Day: Jan. 15, 2021
  • Use MyVote starting Dec. 21, 2020 to find out where you can vote in person
  • Info on How to Vote in 25 languages 
  • Email if you have questions

If you are interested in volunteering for WARD 22 VOTES!, a non-partisan campaign, and support getting out the vote and raising awareness about the Ward 22 Scarborough-Agincourt by-election, please email

During elections, SCAN routinely engages community members across Scarborough. 


The Scarborough Community Council (SCC) is made up of all city councillors for wards in Scarborough. The SCC's responsibilities include making recommendations and decisions on local planning and development, as well as neighbourhood matters including traffic plans and parking regulations. Residents can sign up to do deputations at SCC meetings which are held monthly. 

A recurring and ongoing issue that residents have spoken about for years is road safety. Residents across Scarborough are concerned about speeding cars and the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users. Listen to Scarborough residents do deputations here (starting at 2:02:00). 

At the SCC, residents can speak about local planning and development proposals including applications to build rental housing or condominium complexes. Residents can speak to the impact of such proposals and/or the needs of the community including more public resources like schools, community centres, public transit and more.  

DECEMBER MEETING: Wed Dec 9, 2020 starting at 9:30 am 
Watch the meeting here and see agenda here which includes Ward 22: Preliminary Report - 75 to 85 Silver Springs Boulevard - Zoning By-law Amendment and Rental Housing Demolition Applications. To register to speak at this meeting, email or phone 416-396-7287

SCAN works with communities to draw attention to local issues like road safety and to work with elected representatives to address pressing issues. 


CITY BUDGET 2021 (Tax-supported) - KEY DATES
Launch: Jan. 14, 2021
Public presentations: Jan. 25 & 26, 2021
City Council vote: Feb. 11, 2021
More info here
Read Budget chief says there's 'nothing normal' about 2021 Toronto budget

CITY BUDGET 2021 (Rate-supported) - KEY DATES
Executive Committee: Dec. 10, 2021
City Council vote: Dec. 16, 2021
Solid Waste Management Budget includes eliminating the printed calendar. Listen to the 5-minute deputation here (at 9 minutes) by the Toronto Environmental Alliance about the need to increase and not reduce the waste education budget.

Public input is an important part of the city budget process. You can do a deputation which is a 5-minute speech where you can share your concerns and ideas directly with Budget Committee members. This is an important way to share how the budget impacts your community or your neighbourhood and to tell our elected representatives what matters to us. More info here

Deputation workshops for the City Budget. SCAN will hold workshops in January 2021 to help Scarborough residents prepare a deputation or to submit a letter. If you are interested, please email

SCAN routinely holds an annual city budget forum to better enable Scarborough residents to have a voice in the decision-making process. 


At the the City's Executive Committee meeting on Thurs. Dec. 10, 2020, a report calling for City Council to approve the updated design for the Eglinton East Light Rail Transit (EELRT) project as described here will be discussed. The cost estimate for the EELRT is over $4.0 Billion. The Mayor has called for the city to put almost $1 billion towards the LRT by using money collected for the Scarborough subway. Read more here.

TTC’s 5-Year Fare Policy Review, starting in 2021, will address various fare options, including ensuring all forms of fare media are readily available and accessible to customers. Understanding the current barriers or gaps in the system will help the TTC create fare policies and collection models that are equitable and address the needs of all customers and equity-seeking groups.” More info here

Transit advocacy groups like TTCriders will hold workshops to support public consultation for the TTC's 5-Year Fare Policy Review and also work to get more funding to alleviate crowding on buses. More info here

With the Right to Ride campaign, SCAN surveyed almost 200 residents across Scarborough in July 2020 about public transit and found that almost 75% of respondents stopped or reduced the use of public transit owing to fears of COVID-19. Many residents opted for other modes of transportation including cycling. It's worth mentioning that many cycling advocates are calling for more bike lanes in Scarborough. 

Do you regularly ride TTC buses in Scarborough? Want to share ideas on how to push for better bus service throughout Scarborough, volunteer for the Right to Ride campaign and/or let transit riders know how they can advocate for better service? If so, email

SCAN was a key organizer of the Eglinton East LRT Town Hall held in Scarborough in April 2019 which was attended by over 200 Scarborough residents. 


SCAN submitted a letter to the Nov. 23 meeting of the City of Toronto Subcommittee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing to draw attention to the need to protect tenants in order to have affordable rental housing. SCAN shared that in some market rental buildings, newer tenants are being charged double the rent of longer-term tenants. Read the letter here

ACORN Toronto members are demanding the Ontario government to stop evictions including renovictions, demovictions, and evictions due to non-payment of rent; reinstate the eviction moratorium and end mass evictions at the LTB; and implement a full rent freeze, one that bans AGIs and includes vacancy control. More info here

The City licenses multi-tenant houses ('rooming houses') to ensure they are safe and well-maintained. These houses are already permitted in some parts of Toronto. The city will review zoning and licensing bylaws to develop a city-wide regulatory framework that encourages and regulates safe, liveable, well-maintained and affordable multi-tenant houses across the city. More info here 

One way to create more affordable housing is to build it into housing development. This is Inclusionary Zoning (IZ). IZ will require new residential developments to have a certain portion of units to be affordable. More info here. With a waitlist of almost 80,000 for affordable housing, Toronto needs to use all the tools it has to increase the supply of affordable housing. 


  • Emergency Energy Fund (EEF): Low-income Toronto residents may be fit for help from the City of Toronto with energy-related emergencies to reconnect, prevent disconnection, or help in the payment of late or missing energy payments for hydro, gas or oil services. More info here
  • Eviction Protection Invention in the Community (EPIC) Program. EPIC is a program that provides services that put a stop to people getting kicked out of their homes. More info here
  • Rent Reduction Program. Under Section 131 of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), tenants are allowed to have their rent lowered immediately when their landlord’s property taxes have been lowered by more than 2.49% from one year to the next. More info here.
  • RentSafeTO. RentSafeTo is a program that makes sure that building owners and operators are following building maintenance rules. This program includes examinations and putting rules into effect, so that the hundreds of thousands of Toronto residents living in rental buildings have clean, safe and secure homes. More info here
  • Tenant Support Grant Program. Tenant groups may receive up to $1,000 to cover the basic costs of disputing a landlord’s AGI application along with other supports. More info here
  • Toronto Rent Bank. This program provides interest-free loans to Toronto residents who are behind in their rent or need to move to more suitable housing. This program is for low income households not in receipt of Social Assistance who are paying market rent. More info here
  • ACORN Canada. This is a multi-issue, membership-based community union of low and moderate-income people that believes that social and economic justice can best be achieved by building community power for change. Members of the organization speak, and have the power to make decisions to set plans of each group. More info here
  • Centre for Equity Rights in Accommodation (CERA). This is a not-for-profit charity that advances the right to adequate housing by serving clients to help them stay housed, providing education and training about housing rights and advancing progressive housing policy. More info here
  • Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO). CLEO makes clear, accurate and practical legal information to help people understand and exercise their legal rights. CLEO does not give legal advice. More info here.
  • Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association (FMTA). FMTA is a non-profit organization which advocates for better rights for tenants. The FMTA hotline (416-921-9494) answers specific questions that tenants have about their rights or options under the law. More info here.  
  • HousingTO 2020- 2030 Action Plan. HousingTO is the City of Toronto's 10-year plan for action on homelessness, rental and ownership housing, long-term care for seniors and other housing related topics and issues. More info here
  • Legal Aid Ontario. Legal Aid Ontario provides legal help in English and French for financially qualified low-income Ontarians. More info here
  • South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO). SALCO is a not-for-profit legal aid clinic providing services to low-income South Asians in the GTA. More info here.
  • West Scarborough Community Legal Services. Offers a variety of legal services to low income residents who live in ‘west’ Scarborough (East of Victoria Park Avenue, West of Midland and South of Steeles Avenue East) and who qualify financially. More info here
  • Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA) - Housing Help Program. Provides housing supports for clients including men, women, youth, seniors and families. More info here
  • The Housing Help Centre. Offers housing help services to a broader scope of clients, including seniors, families and couples. More info here
  • Malvern Family Resource Centre – Housing Support and Referrals for Families in Scarborough. For more info, email Housing Coordinator, Jacqueline LeBlanc:
  • Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities  - Housing Help Services. Homelessness Intervention Program assists individuals and families who are homeless or facing eviction to arrange more secure housing through a range of services including advocacy, education, referral for access to resources, and income supports. For more info, email Homelessness Intervention Coordinator, Nicole Walters:

SCAN organized community consultations throughout Scarborough so residents could provide input for the City of Toronto's HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan. 


Win a prize! This month, you can win Local Motion: The Art of Civic Engagement in Toronto, a book of 14 essays about what makes Toronto tick and stall. The book explores electoral reform, civic organizations, zoning, the 'creative city,' budgeting and more and profiles people and groups who've made things happen and provide advice on navigating bureaucracy. To be entered in the draw, before Dec. 31, 2020, email and share ONE CIVIC ACTION IDEA about how to get Scarborough residents engaged to address equity issues! 

SCAN strives to engage Scarborough residents in community spaces to take part in political decision-making processes. 


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SCAN is a non-partisan network that aims to build empowered communities in Scarborough through civic engagement to address inequities. SCAN’s work is about strengthening Scarborough communities through civic engagement that aspires to improve the quality of life and create a livable, prosperous Scarborough for all. SCAN aims to support a flourishing civic culture in Scarborough in which people are convening, connecting and enabling the civic actions of people inclusively and equitably. The core of SCAN's work is currently funded by The United Way. SCAN is trusteed by Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA). SCAN also gratefully acknowledges funding support from Maytree Foundation. For more information, contact Anna Kim, SCAN Coordinator:

Copyright © 2020 SCAN, All rights reserved.

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