Author: Samantha Santoro

Shrinking shelter spaces and city funding spark rally in city’s core

OCAP and supporters gather to protest lack of shelter space for homeless populations during winter months   On December 15th, 2016, the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty OCAP hosted the event “Rally and March to Open Shelter Space Now,” where about 100 Torontonians gathered around a city-owned building at Dundas and Victoria with posters protesting the lack of adequate space and resources in homeless shelters around Toronto. Despite the wretched weather conditions, Protestors proceeded to gather outside of Toronto City Hall. This was done in a collective effort to demand shelter for Toronto’s homeless. Those who spoke outside the building stressed the horrid conditions caused by the overcrowding, currently found within Toronto’s shelter system, as well as the heightened risk on the lives of those who are homeless, not only when braving the cold of the Infamous Canadian Winter, but the rest of the year as well. Not many individuals can remain standing in one position during the middle of a snow storm in Toronto. It is hard to imagine that anyone would willingly seek refuge in these precise conditions, if it were not for the existence of the disagreeable alternative—staying in a shelter. The estimated number of homeless people sleeping outdoors and in emergency shelters, Violence Against Women shelters, and in health and correctional facilities in Toronto on the night of April 17th, 2013 was 5,253. The estimated number of people who slept “rough” (meaning outside, on the streets), that same night, was 447. The 2017 budget for the city of Toronto, focusing...

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UofT welcomes the new year

A recap of events in 2016 and initiatives moving forward into 2017 As 2016 comes to a much-anticipated conclusion, the University of Toronto and its students have begun to deliberate the advent of , 2017. There is a consistent emphasis placed on the political and social activities of the past year, as well as a slow transition from the pitfalls of 2016 to the reluctant hope for a new year. For the University of Toronto, however, there is a long and ambitious list of goals for the upcoming year, and a sense of pride in what 2016 accomplished. A...

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“CLIMATE LEADERS DON’T BUILD PIPELINES”: The cry of 200 young environmental activists heard throughout the nation

Amanda Harvey-Sanchez, an Environmental Studies, Social-Cultural Anthropology, and Equity Studies student at the University of Toronto, was arrested for civil disobedience on October 24th, along with 98 other young environmental activists. They were protesting the potential expansion of the Kinder-Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline. Growing up in a household that regarded the environment with the utmost importance, Harvey-Sanchez is highly involved with issues of fossil fuel divestment, as well as concerned with issues regarding climate change and the violation of Indigenous rights. The Kinder-Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline is a project thought up by a Texas-based energy company, wishing to expand...

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Dispute between Victoria University and GE Canada Real Estate Equity

The current legal dispute between Victoria University and GE Canada Real Estate Equity is regarding the university-owned land currently occupied by the Colonnade building on Bloor Street West. The appeal by Victoria University involves the meaning of the “fair market value of the demised lands,” referring to the land on Bloor Street West. Victoria University reportedly continues to raise the amount of rent for said building. The issue of focus is concerning whether or not the value of the “demised lands” should take into account a potential use (e.g. condominium development) that is currently impossible due to the fact...

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