Councillor Matlow's City Hall and Community Update

New Ontario Place Proposal Still Privatizes our Waterfront
 
Austrian spa company Therme and the provincial government’s revised proposal for  Ontario Place is still the wrong project for our waterfront. While the redesign has slightly reduced the footprint of the proposed facility, the project would still require cutting down hundreds of mature trees and privatizes much of the West Island.
 
While everyone agrees that Ontario Place needs revitalization, the province should listen to Torontonians and create an iconic, modern new park on the waterfront, building on the 2018 Celebration Common plan for a year-round destination public space.

 


Renderings of Celebration Common by DTAH for Ontario ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport 2018
 
I am encouraged by Mayor Chow’s statement that she will fight the provincial government must respect the City's process to review this proposal. I will continue to work closely with community advocates, including Ontario Place for All, to keep our waterfront public at Ontario Place, while fighting for a green natural destination for everyone. For your information, please see this "better idea" from Ontario Place for All and Ken Greenberg.
 
For information on Therme’s most recent proposal, please see this article.


Minister’s Resignation Doesn’t Address the Root of Greenbelt Corruption Scandal
 
The Greenbelt, which includes important ecological features  the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment, is vital to Toronto’s future. It forms the headwaters of our city’s rivers, including the Humber, Don, and Rouge, while providing recreation space and food security through agricultural land. In fact, the greenbelt runs through Toronto itself, along the urban river valleys down to Lake Ontario. A threat to the Greenbelt is a threat to Toronto’s future.
 
Minister Clark’s resignation is only the first step the Ford government must take to address the Greenbelt scandal that saw $8 billion worth of land carved out of protected areas to benefit wealthy developers under a very flawed process. First, and foremost, the land must be returned to the Greenbelt.
 
The recent Auditor General’s Report and the findings from a housing task force commissioned by the current government both found that the protected lands are not needed nor desirable for new housing. There is more than enough land to meet Ontario’s housing targets and the greenbelt land is likely 25 years away from being developable as the properties aren’t serviced with water, electricity, or roads.  
 
The OPP has turned over the criminal investigation into this matter to the RCMP and the provincial Integrity Commissioner has signaled that there will be further investigations. I will provide updates on the scandal and continue working with municipal representatives from across the GTA and environmental leaders to protect the Greenbelt. For more information, please see this article.


Protecting the Ontario Science Centre in North York

Earlier this spring the Provincial Government announced their intention to move the Ontario Science Centre to a much smaller location at Ontario Place. This announcement was done without consultation with residents of Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park who rely on the Centre for employment and education opportunities. The Science Centre is also part of a burgeoning cultural district that includes the Aga Khan Museum and the Japanese Cultural Centre.

The cultural attraction is an important economic driver for the local community as it brings visitors from across the city and around the world to Don Mills and Eglinton. It would be a real blow to this community to lose the Science Centre just as the opening of the Eglinton Crosstown’s “Science Centre” station is about to make the attraction more accessible to the entire city.

The City of Toronto has an obligation to explore all possible means to keep the Science Centre at its current location. I was proud to successfully move a motion at City Council requesting Staff to explore avenues to have the Province continue operating the Don Mills and Eglinton site and, if necessary, the feasibility of the City operating the Science Centre as it does the Toronto Zoo. For more information, please see this article and consider signing up to help save Ontario's Science Centre here.


Artscape Update

I was saddened by the news that Artscape, which operates City facilities such as the Wychwood Barns along with many other buildings throughout our city, was going into receivership. However, I am happy to report that Mayor Olivia Chow is actively working toward a resolution to protect both the residential tenants and the business operators and artists who would be impacted by Artscape's failure. Locally, I am working closely with the Wychwood Barns Community Association to support the tenants, but also to ensure that the many events that our community values, such as the farmers' market, continue for many years to come. I will be certain to provide an update once I hear more from the Mayor's office. 


City to Study new Revenue Tools to Fund Services 
 
We have all seen the decline in City services over the last decade. Austerity under the previous two administrations has led to overflowing garbage bins, crumbling roads, locked or dirty park bathrooms, waiting longer for your bus, and not being able to find a space in a recreation program for your child. These issues will get worse if significant action isn’t taken.
 
Toronto is facing a $1.5 billion deficit this year and a $47 billion capital shortfall over the next decade. While the City continues to look for savings wherever possible, multiple review from outside consultants confirm that without new sources of revenue, Toronto’s ability to purchase new buses, build libraries and community centers, repair roads, and improve parks will be threatened. That’s why Council supported studying the feasibility of implementing new revenue tools last week that would allow the City to invest in improving city services while addressing its structural deficit.
 
Unlike most large cities in North America, Toronto is almost solely reliant on property taxes to fund city services and infrastructure. Cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles have access to a range of tools that grow with the economy and capture revenue from visitors. 

Since Premier Mike Harris downloaded several provincial services to the City, including community housing, and withdrew significant contributions to the TTC's operating costs, the City of Toronto has been tasked to provide several provincial services without being resourced to do so successfully. The status quo is unsustainable. 
 
Some of the measures being looked at to improve our city include a parking levy for large commercial operators, a municipal portion of the HST, increased land transfer tax for homes valued over $3 million, and an increase to the Vacant Homes Tax. For more information, please see this City report.


Subway Cell Service Finally coming for all users – not just Rogers customers
 
The federal government and Mayor Chow announced on Monday that Rogers will be forced to share cellular infrastructure in subway tunnels to other providers by October 3rd. Service is currently offered at stations and some tunnel sections in the downtown core and is expected to be available across the whole subway network by 2025. To learn more about this announcement. Please see this article.


Black Healthcare Professionals Network - Recruiting Healthcare Professionals

The Black Healthcare Professionals Network (BHPN) is an Ontario based non-profit organization focused on advancing entrepreneurship for Black healthcare professionals. They are currently recruiting Black healthcare professionals for their new public directory. You can learn more here: https://bhpn.ca/directory/join-bhpn/ 


Vaughan-Oakwood Youth Network Volleyball Tournament 

The Vaughan-Oakwood (VO) Youth Network, a youth and volunteer-led network working to strengthen the Vaughan-Oakwood community, is hosting their community basketball tournament this September 30, 2023. You can learn more at: voyouthnetwork.ca 


Central Eglinton Community Centre - Seniors Trip, Oct 19th

The Central Eglinton Community Centre is hosting a trip for seniors to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The trip will be on Wednesday, October 11th from 8am to 5pm and will include a tour of the town and lunch at The Irish Harp Pub. Registration is free, and you can register in person at the Centre, by calling 416-392-0511 (ext 0) or by emailing [email protected]


Bayview Outdoor Art Tour

On September 9th and 10th from 11am to 5pm, the Artists’ Garden Cooperative is hosting a free art tour and exhibition at Venue#1, 354 Balliol St. This event will gesture works from Bernadette Badali (mixed media), Susan L. Brown (mixed media), Millean Kung (glass & ceramics), Joan McGivney (oil painting). You can reserve your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/bayview-fall-outdoor-art-tour-venue-1-welcomes-you-to-a-free-event-tickets-706792725067 


Bathurst and St. Clair Park Survey 

Ahead of a new park coming to Bathurst and St.Clair (1528 Bathurst St) the city is hoping to consult with residents about the visioning and layout. You can complete the survey here: https://s.cotsurvey.chkmkt.com/?e=340430&h=D43192C256C713F&l=en


Noise By-Law Public Consultation

The City of Toronto is reviewing the successes and challenges of implementing the Noise Bylaw, which was amended in 2019. Residents are invited to provide feedback at public consultations, starting Tuesday, September 12. There are multiple in person and virtual consultation options, and you can learn more here: http://www.eventbrite.com/cc/implementation-review-of-noise-bylaw-2516039 


Electric Vehicles

The City of Toronto is conducting public consultations for the Toronto Public Electric Vehicle Charging Network Study. Residents can give feedback on their needs, preferences, and expectations for public electric vehicle (EV) charging, as well as their current and planned EV ownership.There are multiple virtual and in person consultation options, and you can learn more here: www.toronto.ca/ev


TVCA Summer Social and Art Sale

On Saturday, September 9th the Tarragon Village Community Association will be hosting a Summer Social and Art Sale. The event will be from 1pm to 4pm at Albany Park playground, and will feature art, clothes and other yard sale goods. 


Afro-Caribbean Farmer's Market

The Afro-Caribbean Farmer’s Market is back on September 10th and 24th from 11am to 3pm at 1531 Eglinton Ave (Green P Parking). Hosted in partnership with the York-Eglinton BIA and our office, this event offers clean, culturally appropriate fruits and vegetables from the Caribbean islands and continental African countries, along with a healthy mix of clean produce grown by our local urban farmers from the diaspora.


Davisville Village Farmer's Market

Every Tuesday from 3pm to 7pm, the Davisville Village Market takes place in June Rowlands Park. The farmers market is planned for every Tuesday until October 3rd. 


Mt. Pleasant Village Harvest Fair

The 11th annual Mount Pleasant Harvest Fair is September 23rd from 10am to 4pm at Mount Pleasant Station. This family-friendly event will see the return of Harvest Fair much loved activities such as pumpkin carving and bouncy castle as well as new and exciting additions. To get tickets or learn more, go here: https://allevents.in/mobile/amp-event.php?event_id=80003222102798


Seniors Information Fair at Maria A Shchuka Library

Maria A. Shchuka Library will be holding a Seniors Information Fair at the library on Thursday September 21, from 10:30 to 1:30. Organizations that will be present include: TTC Riders, Metrolinx, Unison Health & Community Services, Canadian Hearing Services, Toronto Police (13 Division), Toronto Fire Services, North York Community House, Oakwood Vaughan Community Organization, the Toronto Public Library, and others. 


CCDP Rummage Sale

On September 16th between 10am and 2pm, there will be a rummage sale at Christ Church Deer Park at Yonge and Heath St. You support a good cause while shopping for clothing, household items, records, baked goods and more. 


Hillsdale Avenue Park Closure

Hillsdale Avenue Park will be closed for five (5) days between September 18 to 22 for park lighting repairs. As soon as work is complete, the fencing will be removed and the park will be fully accessible again. 


Free Trees From Our Friends at OVCO:


 Art Exhibit Space: Call for Artists for 2024 Season:


Autism Meets Art! An Intersectional Art Exhibit This Fall:


Join the City’s new Housing Rights Advisory Committee (HRAC)

Are you passionate about housing in #CityofTO and committed to advancing the right to adequate housing? Help shape your city by joining the new Housing Rights Advisory Committee. The deadline to apply is Oct. 13. Learn more: www.toronto.ca/ShapeYourCity


Come Stand in Solidarity with the Land Alliance to Protect Their Lands and Waters!

Date: Wednesday September 27th, 2023
Time: 12pm
Location: Grange Park 
Sign up: https://freegrassy.net/land-alliance-march/

On September 27th, 12 pm 2023 five First Nations from Northern Ontario will come to Toronto to lead a march calling on Premier Ford to end unwanted mining activity on their Territories. These five First Nations are powerful leaders in the movement for Indigenous sovereignty and environmental justice. They have shown that together we can fight for justice against all odds and make real gains. Join the Land Defence Alliance to demand respect for Indigenous rights and protect the sources of life on their Territories in the face of mining incursions. Through this march the Land Alliance will show their strength, present their demands, and build public support for their struggle for control over their lives and their lands.


For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.caClick here to read my previous city hall and community updates. 

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Councillor Matlow's City Hall & Community Update: May 2024

 

You are Invited to our Davisville Village Community Festival!

Join me and your neighbors at June Rowlands Park (220 Davisville Avenue) from 12:00pm-4:00pm on Saturday June 15th. We will have free ice cream and samosas (while supplies last) and will be raffling off over $2,000 in prizes from local businesses! Community groups, city divisions and local organizations will be setting-up booths to inform and educate residents. 

We look forward to seeing you on June 15th!


My Letter to Residents Regarding Necessary Action to Combat Antisemitism Throughout Our City

Dear residents,

The rise of antisemitism over the past few years has our city’s Jewish community feeling scared and vulnerable. Since October 7th, they’ve far too often been a target for anti-Jewish hate because of a war half a world away. Swastikas spray-painted on synagogues, some demonstration signs displaying hateful antisemitic tropes, and vandalism of Jewish businesses echo a history of religious persecution for many in Toronto’s Jewish community that are only a couple generations removed from the Holocaust. 

The early morning shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka Girls Elementary School in North York over the weekend has further heightened the fear the community is feeling. Real and concrete action is needed to protect the Jewish community from hate and ensure that everyone feels safe in our city. 

That’s why it’s critically important that my motion to develop a new action plan to protect targeted religious minorities and places of worship was supported at Council. The motion requests the City Manager, the City Solicitor, the Toronto Police Service and other relevant divisions to work together to ensure individuals and groups committing hate crimes are stopped.

There was another motion at Council that proposed creating “safety zones” around places of worship and other faith-based sites. As initially written, the motion was far too broad, as it would have restricted protest at museums and other institutions of a “cultural nature”. That could have impeded, for example, the rights of AGO workers to picket during their recent strike. 

While I could not support the motion as written, I also recognized that it was not enough to simply vote against it without providing a path forward. I did strongly consider moving a pared-down version myself that would specifically create “safety zones” around places of worship. If there was a way that this initiative could protect faith-based institutions, it was worth exploring. Unfortunately, the details revealed that the promise didn’t stand up to scrutiny.

First, the motion regarding the suggested “safety zones” was just a request to the province. This motion did not demand any action on behalf of the City or our police. The Premier has shown no indication that he has any intention of moving forward with such a strategy despite the idea having been proposed months ago. It is important that the City and the police address these pressing issues quickly instead of shirking responsibility by simply writing letters to other levels of government.

Second, and most importantly, even if this measure was implemented by the province, it wouldn’t address the very real fears of the Jewish community and other targeted religious minorities. Some are absurdly suggesting that these “safety zones” would lead to something like a ring of cops around all places of worship and faith-based schools in our city. This is an obvious impossibility given the thousands of synagogues, mosques, churches, and temples in Toronto. 

According to the Councillors proposing this idea, the “safety zones” would be modelled on an existing law protecting abortion clinics with “bubble zones”. A closer look at this legislation reveals that protests aren’t banned outside clinics - only speech that specifically discourages patients from entering the building and accessing healthcare. That is not a parallel to our concerns.  

Extending this legislation to religious facilities would obviously have done nothing to stop the 5am shooting at Bais Chaya Mushka, and the hate speech and actions that we are all concerned about are already restricted and illegal. 

Further, incidents of hate crimes have more often occurred away from specifically religious settings. Threatening and unsettling graffiti on buildings, targeted vandalism and slurs in our parks and streets are much more common. Jewish parents are also concerned about the increase in antisemitic slurs and bullying occurring in our public schools. While “safety zones” would not address these issues, I will be meeting with parents, Principals and school board officials to discuss how best to support and protect children.

Lastly, while the City Solicitor said that the motion itself did not pose any legal concerns as it was just a request to another level of government, she expressed serious doubt over whether implementing “safety zones” that restrict protest at religious institutions would stand up in court. For example, would restricting the rights of Indigenous Peoples to protest at a Catholic church over the abuses suffered at a residential school be allowable? What if a church similar to Westboro Baptist, that routinely preaches hate against LGBTQ+ communities, came to Canada? Would the courts allow an infringement on the right to protest in these cases?

In short, the advice I received from the City Solicitor, the Chief of Police and others, in addition to the evidence in front of me, led to the conclusion that the “safety zone” idea sounds good but would be ineffective, probably unconstitutional, and unlikely to ever be implemented.

Let’s not waste any more time pursuing metaphorical caution tape when there are real issues to be addressed. I have already moved forward on the Council direction stemming from my motion by arranging a roundtable meeting for next week to bring together senior City Officials, the Chief of Police and Jewish community leaders to ensure that our concerns are addressed. I will be sure to provide updates as this initiative progresses. 


Supporting Traffic Safety in the Davisville Community

Earlier this month, a mother and child were hit by a car and seriously injured at the intersection of Davisville Avenue and Acacia Road. I am very hopeful that they will make a full recovery and, as a community, we will be there to support them.

While a long-term plan is already being developed for a new, safer design for Davisville Avenue, every substantive and immediate action possible is needed. I’m happy to say that with my colleagues’ support, my motion was approved to have a new crossing guard present at the Acacia Road crosswalk. I have also requested that the City install physical interventions at the crosswalks along Davisville, including lane restrictions approaching the crosswalks where necessary to support safe crossings. A full police investigation will help us better understand the root causes and inform us of other possible interventions.

As your city councillor, and as a Davisville parent myself, I want to express my heartfelt thank you to Trustee Shelley Laskin and Principal David Finkelstein for their support of the entire school community affected by this horrible incident. We will work together as a team to ensure the safety of our neighborhood. My office and I will continue to provide updates as they become available. In the meantime, please always feel welcome to contact my office at [email protected] or at 416-392-7906 if there is anything my team and I can do to support you and your family. 


Holding the TTC to Account - Ongoing Delays and Safety Issues

On May 13th, a hydraulic fuel leak on Line 2 closed one of the city's busiest transportation lines for over twelve hours, stranding tens of thousands of Torontonians. In a presentation to the board later that week, senior TTC staff revealed that this was the seventh incident this year, and that the most recent leak resulted in serious safety issues including trains being unable to stop at station platforms.

The frequent delays and shutdowns on our subway are unacceptable. Torontonians should be able to rely on their transit system to get to their destination on time. And it certainly shouldn’t take the chaos we experienced this week to get the TTC to finally take action. At the TTC Board, I requested that the CEO provide regular updates regarding an investigation into the hydraulic fuel leaks, as well as efforts to ensure these incidents do not continue to occur. I also made clear to senior levels of management that there is an expectation of accountability and open communication with transit riders. I will continue working with my colleagues on the TTC board and City Council to ensure that the TTC is safe, affordable, and reliable for everybody in our city. 


Providing Fare-Free Transit for Student Field Trips

Earlier this year, the TTC Board moved to explore providing free transit to public school students on school-sanctioned field trips. I'm happy to announce that a pilot project for this program was approved at the board this month. The pilot program will provide nearly 150,000 students access to school trips without having to pay an additional fare. Furthermore, the program will include educational opportunities to teach students about transit etiquette and encourage lifelong transit ridership. The pilot will apply to trips from Viamond, MonAvenir, TDSB and TCDSB schools. 


Community Environment Day - June 4th 

Join Councillor Mike Colle and me for another Community Environment Day!
 
Date: Tuesday, June 4th
Time: 4pm - 8pm
Location: North Toronto Arena, 174 Orchard View Blvd.

Residents are welcome to drop off items for reuse, recycling and safe disposal. Donate items in good condition for reuse and safely dispose of electronic and household hazardous waste.
 
For a list of items you can and cannot bring to Community Environment Days, please visit: toronto.ca/environment_days.


Local Farmers Markets

Come visit one of our community's local farmers markets! See below for a list of some upcoming farmers markets in our neighborhood: 

Davisville Farmers Market
In June Rowlands Park every Tuesday until October 8th, from 3pm to 7pm.

The Eglinton Way Farmers Market
Every Sunday from June to October (from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM) at 125 Burnaby Blvd.

Wychwood Barns Farmers Market
Open every Saturday from 8am to 1pm at the Wychwood Barns.


Commemorating Yom HaShoah

It was an honor to stand with our city’s Jewish community to commemorate Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue in North York. This photo is of 102 year-old Survivor, Eddie Fisch lighting a candle with his family. We must never forget.


Free Admission with Your Toronto Public Library Card

This is so cool. We can now access some of our city’s greatest attractions FREE with a library card, including the Aga Khan Museum, ROM, AGO, Black Creek Village, CN Tower, Science Centre, Ripley’s Aquarium, Toronto Symphony, Zoo, Hot Docs and more!

Go to this link to learn morehttps://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/map/


Accepting Primary Doctor and Nurse Practitioner Patients

Are you looking for a Family Doctor or Nurse Practitioner? Toronto Family Health Team Garrison Creek is accepting patients. 

Become a patient of our Family Health Team. See full instructions on our website on how to join: www.twfht.ca.

Why enroll with the Family Health Team?

  • We accept OHIP and Interim Federal Health coverage
  • We have a team of health care professionals working together with you for your health care needs
  • Our team includes:
    • Doctors/Nurse Practitioner
    • Nurses
    • Chiropodist
    • Dietitian
    • Occupational Therapist
    • Pharmacist
    • Physiotherapist
    • Respiratory Therapist
    • Social Worker
  • We offer a broad range of programs and services
  • Interpretation is available
  • We offer extended hours and urgent same day appointment

Exploring our City - Toronto Jane's Walks 

I enjoyed a Jane’s Walk with the Scarborough Junction Community along the proposed West Scarborough Rail Trail. The trail would follow the hydro corridor & abandoned rail lines- connecting neighborhoods, TTC and green spaces between the Meadoway and Taylor Massey Creek.
 
I visited with Walied Kogali and local residents in Regent Park. We had a wide-ranging and thoughtful conversation about community health and the critical need for more affordable housing. We then joined Walied for his informative and inspiring Jane’s Walk.
 

It was a pleasure to join Save the Ontario Science Centre and so many dedicated people from across Toronto and beyond for a Jane’s Walk. Together, we’re sending Doug Ford a message- Keep the Science Centre where it belongs, here in Flemingdon Park.


Congratulations to Rosie Mosco for her Ontario Arts Council Grant!


Happy Orthodox Easter!

I hope everyone in our city's Ukrainian community, along with the many other orthodox communities, had a very happy Easter weekend in May. It was my pleasure to attend the blessing of the baskets at Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church near Trinity Bellwoods Park.


City of Toronto Community Canopy Free Tree Program

The City of Toronto has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to provide residents with free trees and an innovative online mapping tool to help choose the best location to plant trees on their property.

Community Canopy runs twice a year in the spring and fall to provide residents with a rotating selection of native trees and shrubs. The trees and shrubs come in 1-2 gallon pots and range from 1-4 feet in height. The pickup locations for Community Canopy change every season to ensure equitable access to the event.

If you are having trouble with the registration please contact the Arbor Day Foundation by emailing [email protected] or calling their toll free help line at 844-887-8719.

For other inquiries about Community Canopy or private land planting please contact City of Toronto Urban Forestry Staff by emailing [email protected].

For more information visit the Toronto Urban Forestry Grants and Incentive website.


Congratulations to the Oakwood Pizzeria for 50 Years!

Congratulations to Oakwood Pizzeria for bringing the taste of Calabria to Oakwood Village for the past 50 years! We love you!


Yard Sale for the Manor Road Nursery School!


Community Clean Ups

I enjoyed a beautiful morning cleaning up Cawthra Playground and Tarragon Village with MPP Jill Andrew and some amazing local residents who care deeply about our community.


2024 Walrus Gala

This month's Walrus Gala was amazing! I got dressed up to support a magazine that educates, provokes, engages and represents the best of Canadian independent journalism. I also had fun spending time with my friends Jenn & Olivia. We’ll be kayaking Lake Ontario together soon!


Join the 2024 Gutsy Walk!

Step forward with the Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis community at the Toronto Gutsy Walk on June 2nd, 2024, in an effort to help support research to find a cure and raise awareness for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Join the movement and help shape a brighter future for everyone affected by these life-long diseases. Register at the Gutsy Walk 2024 Event Page: crohnsandcolitiscanada.akaraisin.com/ui/GutsyWalk2024/g/40555


A Message from Seniors for Climate Action Now! (SCAN!)

Seniors for Climate Action Now! (SCAN!) is a volunteer organization of seniors who are alarmed about the climate crisis. SCAN! Toronto is one of its regional groups. Several members live in the ward.
 
With the increase in the planet’s temperature and the resulting wildfires, floods, droughts and heat waves, SCAN! is calling for emergency climate action at all levels of government, including Toronto City Council. We write submissions to governments, demonstrate against misguided climate policies and primarily organize seniors to join us in this struggle to save our planet. Does this sound melodramatic? It is simply dramatic. In Toronto, seniors die when they suffer through a heat wave; people who are unhoused do as well. Breathing problems increase due to drifting smoke from distant wildfires and homes are flooded increasingly often.
 
If you are a senior who cares about these issues, please go to our website and consider joining us. You can become a member and/or receive our monthly newsletter. https://seniorsforclimateactionnow.org/


Hillcrest Village BIA Contest


Working with the Museum of Toronto

Toronto is a city of stories- about people & where we live. Stories of diversity, celebration, hardship & innovation. Indigenous stories. Stories of our past, and who we are today. I’m proud to be working with the Museum of Toronto to share our stories with the world, and each other.


Jewish Music Week - May 26th to June 2nd

Jewish Music Week is an exciting week of concerts, recitals and musical events throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Founded in 2011, the festival celebrates all styles of Jewish music, as well as the Jewish contribution to mainstream genres of music. Our programs include Sephardic and Klezmer, Holocaust music and Israeli pop, Broadway and Hollywood, Chassidic Nigunim and Yiddish Theatre, Jazz and Big Band, Cantorial, folk, gospel, bluegrass and more!

Jewish Music Week partners with many Toronto organizations for the benefit of the entire community. All daytime events are free, and many of the Gala Evening Concerts benefit Toronto synagogues or local charities. With performances all over town, you won't have to travel far to enjoy a spectacular musical event. Join us – as a volunteer, a performer, a donor or a member of our audience. Jewish Music Week has something for everyone! To learn more about programing, go to: Jewish Music Week in Toronto!


Visiting Davisville Public School's Grade 5 Class

I always enjoy visiting schools to teach 5th grade students about government and discuss their priorities. But it’s especially fun when it’s your daughter’s class and you’re an embarrassing dad :)


Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) Townhall 

Thank you to the residents of 50 Prince Arthur for inviting me for a Town Hall conversation on Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (and real ways our city can make it possible to age in place). We also covered a wide array of issues important to this downtown community.


For Youth Initiative (FYI) - Spray it With Your Chest 


Celebrating Asian Heritage Month

Happy Asian Heritage Month! Toronto’s Asian communities are vibrant, diverse, and absolutely integral to our city’s story. I’m very excited to celebrate with you. The ⁦Toronto Public Library ⁩ has some wonderful events and programs you’ll want to check out. https://torontopubliclibrary.ca/programs-and-classes/featured/asian-heritage.jsp


CampTO at the Fairbank Community Centre


A Message from St. Michael's and All Angels Daycare 

St. Michael and All Angels Day Care, a registered non-profit has been providing high-quality child care in Ward 21 since 1976, serving 69 children from diverse backgrounds.

Unfortunately, our 2024 application for the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) Program was not granted due to high demand. We depend on this funding to hire students for our Summer Program, which includes organized activities and excursions.

We need to raise $15,888 to hire four summer students for 8 weeks, working 6 hours a day at $16.55 per hour. Their support is essential for the safety and enrichment of our program and provides valuable experience for the students.
Can you help us with this request or recommend potential donors? As a non-profit, we provide charitable receipts.

Your prompt support would be greatly appreciated. 
www.stmichaelsdaycare.com

Sincerely,
Novea Lawson
Supervisor


Children's Breakfast Club Charities Smile Cookie Campaign

Thank you so much to the amazing staff at Tim Hortons for inviting me to serve Smile Cookies with you in support of Children's Breakfast Club Charities!


Volunteer for Meals on Wheels with SPRINT! 

SPRINT Senior Care’s Meals on Wheels (MOW) program is a volunteer-based service that delivers meals directly to seniors’ homes seven days a week, 365 days a year. 

We are currently experiencing a volunteer shortage and are urgently seeking volunteers who have a car and a G license to help with meal delivery. The meal pick-up location is at Sunnybrook Hospital, and volunteers deliver meals to clients within our catchment area (Bloor to the 401, Bathurst to Bayview/Don River) from 10:30am to 1:00pm.  We welcome your volunteer support any day of the week you have availability. 

By becoming a Meals on Wheels volunteer, you'll play a vital role in supporting our community's seniors, ensuring they receive essential meals while fostering social connection and combating isolation. We encourage passionate individuals to join our team and make a difference!  Interested in applying – please fill out the volunteer application form or contact us at 416-481-0669 ext. 8723 or [email protected].


Student Survey on Housing and Well-being of Older Adults Aging in Place

Councillor Matlow's City Hall & Community Update: April 2024

Chag Pesach Sameach! Delivering Passover Meals

Chag Semeach! Wishing all those who are celebrating in our community a joyous and meaningful Passover. May this special time celebrating be filled with family, warmth and love.

The National Council of Jewish Women of Canada are delivering Passover meals out of Beth Emeth to over 2355 families in the GTA, including newcomers, Holocaust survivors & people with disabilities. I was grateful to volunteer with them & support our Jewish community.


Antisemitism Cannot Go Unchallenged

Over the past few weeks there have been a number of troubling instances of Antisemitic hate across our city. In Cedarvale Park, we were informed of a poster on which a swastika was drawn on the face of a baby who was taken hostage. These actions are hateful and should be revolting to any decent person. Our office immediately contacted both the Toronto Police and City of Toronto Staff to address this incident. To report any further incidents, please contact 311 or the police at 416-808-5050. For an emergency, contact 911.

I’ve appreciated meeting Mayor Chow, the Toronto Police Service and several of my colleagues to work together on meaningful ways to combat anti-Jewish hate and to promote community safety. I’ve also been in touch with Rabbis from local synagogues in our community and will continue working with them closely.


Action Needed to Address Toronto’s Surge in Auto Theft Incidents & Home Invasions

The surge in auto theft incidents and home invasions over the past several months are significantly impacting our neighbourhoods. I know many of you are going to bed not knowing what you’ll find when you wake up and often fear that your families will be victimized by home invasions. Many believe auto thieves have the upper hand and that this issue isn’t being taken seriously enough. This has even led to, in some cases, residents hiring private security at their expense- personally spending tens of thousands of dollars in enhancing security measures for their own properties and those of their neighbours.
 
I’ve personally spoken with the Toronto Police Service and appreciate the efforts being made by the Provincial Carjacking Joint Task Force and the attention this issue has been given at the National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft and last week’s police chiefs summit held in Mississauga.
 
While there have been increased measures at our national borders and ports, and additional funding has been allocated and spent to help curb auto theft, there is much more that needs to be done.
 
Please see my letter to the Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic Leblanc and Minister of the Solicitor General Michael Kerzner.
 
To review my letter, please click here


Scarborough RT Derailment - Seeking Accountability and Ensuring Our Subway System is Safe

Last year, the derailment of the Scarborough RT resulted in five hospitalizations and the permanent closure of line three. TTC staff have since confirmed to the board that it was only a matter of luck that prevented far more serious injury, or worse. 

As I wrote in a previous newsletter, an independent review of the derailment was completed in November. The report found that in the period before the accident there was a marked decline in reported defects on the RT's reaction rail. That component of the line was later identified as the cause of the crash. The report also suggests that there was a lack of preventative or proactive maintenance on the line, which contributed to the derailment.

A full report from the TTC in response to the independent review came before the board last week. The report has several apparent inconsistencies with the earlier published review, and disputes the claim that there was a decrease in maintenance. These discrepancies leave more unanswered questions, and I’m concerned we still do not have a clear answer as to how we can ensure that the rest of our transit system is safe, reliable, and functional. That’s why I moved a motion to request the City’s Auditor General provide an independent review and investigation of the entire incident, including systemic issues that may have contributed to the derailment and recommendations on ensuring that something like this never happens again. I’m happy to say that my motion was adopted unanimously by the TTC Board. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the TTC Board to make sure that Toronto’s transit system is safe, affordable and reliable for everyone. 


2024 Vacant Home Tax Roll Out - A Hot Mess

Residents from across Toronto have expressed serious and justifiable concerns with the 2024 Vacant Home Tax Roll Out, including people receiving bills for thousands of dollars for homes they live in year-round. I believe the Vacant Home Tax can be a useful tool to incentivize bringing investment properties back into the housing market. However, the method the City uses to identify vacant homes clearly needs improvement and has been unfair, and the response to those who simply miss making a declaration has been far too punitive and needs to get fixed.

If you received a vacant home tax bill in error, do not pay it. Instead, use this link: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/property-taxes-utilities/vacant-home-tax/vacant-home-tax-notice-of-complaint/ to file a notice of complaint and dispute the charge. 

At City Council this week, I will be actively working with my Council colleagues to waive any and all potential late fees or other fees associated with filing a complaint and disputing charges. We will be also requesting that City Staff report back on creating a better system and process – one that is fairer to Toronto residents.

If you require any assistance filing your notice of complaint, please contact revenue services at [email protected]. As always, please feel more than welcome to reach out to my office if we can provide any assistance in your notice of complaint process, or if you have any other questions you have that we can answer.


Important RentSafe Vote to Protect Tenants Coming to Council this Week

Every tenant deserves a clean, safe, healthy home. Renters pay rent, but unfortunately some landlords see their buildings as just a source of income, rather than as people's homes. That's why we need a strong City program that protects tenants' basic living standards and their right to live in an apartment free of mould and pests, with working appliances and basic safety standards.

It's been seven years since I worked with tenant advocacy groups including ACORN, ACTO, and FMTA to first get RentSafe approved as Chair of the City’s Tenant Issues Committee. Unfortunately, very few of the commitments made were ever implemented under the previous Mayor. That’s not acceptable.
 
I’m happy to report that I moved a suite of motions (recommendations 5-16) on behalf of the tenant community that were unanimously supported by my colleagues on Planning & Housing Committee. The supported motions provide strict timelines for staff to implement real enforcement mechanisms and place serious penalties on the bad landlords who don't follow the rules. But the fight isn’t over – I’m working with tenant advocacy organizations from across Toronto to ensure that City Council follows Planning and Housing’s recommendations.

Please click here out to tell your Councillor that your vote in the next election depends on them choosing to protect tenants. When you are done, please share the campaign with your friends, families and neighbours. 


Supporting Renters Facing Demoviction

As land values continue to rise, an increasing number of our Midtown neighbours are at risk of being evicted due to their apartment building being demolished to build new condos. The good news is that sec 111 of the City of Toronto Act ensures that tenants will be provided a similar-sized unit in the new build at the same rent.
 
However, these tenants have to find a new unit during the construction period without sufficient support to afford rents in our community. The City’s policy states that tenants are provided a rent gap payment from the developer that ensures the difference between their current rent and the market rent is covered during the construction period. At present, the method the City uses to calculate the gap is based on old data that is not reflective of the current market.
 
Working with the advocacy group NoDemovictions and City Planning Staff, I moved motions at Planning & Housing Committee that significantly increases the rent gap payments and provides additional monitoring to ensure tenants move into an affordable replacement apartment as required by provincial law.
 
For more information, please see this City report.


Enjoying a Drink Outdoors: Providing Safe, Responsible and Equitable Options for All

In 2022, I first moved a motion to request the City of Toronto allow responsible adults to enjoy a drink outside together in public parks. It was not approved. However, last summer, the City conducted a sheepish pilot program with bizarre public signs, allowing the responsible consumption of beer and wine in select Toronto Parks. In a report coming to Council this week, Staff unsprisingly found that there were very few complaints and zero instances that required police responses.

Cities around the world and in Canada, including Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary, have for years allowed responsible adults to enjoy a drink in a park without incident. The sky didn't fall and no zombie apocalypses were reported. It is important to note that irresponsible behaviour, including littering, public intoxication, and excessive noise, will remain illegal. That doesn't change. 

This week, Staff are recommending to City Council that drinking only be allowed in one park per ward. I am concerned that this policy could have the unintended consequence of creating “destination” parks, rather than allowing Torontonians across the city without a back yard or balcony to enjoy a responsible drink in their local neighbourhoods. That’s is also an issue of equity. Some of us in Toronto have backyards. But many of us don't.

That's why I will be moving a motion to legalize all parks that meet th eoriginal staff criteria - large parks with washroom and water facilities that are away from playgrounds.

It's time to get this right and, frankly, move on. Cheers!


Hillcrest Village BIA Meet and Greet

Small businesses are vital to successful and vibrant mainstreets. I enjoyed some time with the Hillcrest Village BIA- the people who own and operate the amazing local shops, cafes and restaurants in the heart of our St. Clair West community.


Celebrating Ramadan and Delivering Ramadan Meals

My wife Melissa and I were deeply touched to join Toronto’s Muslim communities for an Iftar dinner at city hall, along with many others throughout the month in Scarborough and Etobicoke and Eid celebrations in Thorncliffe Park. At every table, and from every part of our city, I was amongst so many friends. 

It was a meaningful experience to join Walied Kogali and Healing as One this to deliver Ramadan meals in Regent Park, Scarborough and North York, so that everyone fasting was able to have an Iftar to look forward to. 


Save the Ontario Science Centre Rally

I was proud to join Save the Ontario Science Centre, and dedicated residents from every part of our city, at Christie Pits this morning to tell Queen’s Park to leave the Science Centre where it belongs-in Flemingdon Park. Together, let’s continue to stand up for what’s right until Doug Ford backs down.


Celebrating Purim

I enjoyed all the happiness and festivities of Purim with the Beth Tzedec and Holy Blossom Temple congregations. The carnivals were so much fun for kids, and for all of us who are kids at heart. I hope everyone who celebrated had a very fun and festive Purim. 


A Message from the Manor Road Co-Operative Nursery School

"Manor Road Co-operative Nursery School (MRNS), an integral part of our community for the past 85 years, is facing an imminent relocation due to The Church of The Transfiguration's decision to end our lease.

Manor Road Nursery School is a registered charity and the oldest cooperative nursery school in Canada. It is not just a place of education; it's a cornerstone of our community, shaping the lives of generations. The prospect of relocation not only affects the school but reverberates through the hearts of families and the entire neighborhood. 

MRNS was established by the Junior League in 1935 as an outdoor play group for children. In 1937, the operation of the school was taken over by the parents, and it became the first co-operative nursery school in Canada. 

Current MRNS families are working tirelessly to find a new location and have held several fundraisers to try to raise funds for our relocation.
We are reaching out to our community for support during this challenging time. Your financial contributions, suggestions for new spaces, and connections to help us find a new home are crucial. Together, we can prevent Manor Road Nursery School from closing.

Your support means the world to us, and we believe that with the strength of our community, MRNS will overcome this challenge and continue to thrive.
To donate you can e-transfer to [email protected], or email [email protected] for other payment methods! We’re able to offer a tax receipt for donations over $20! 

Go fund me: https://gofund.me/92db34ad

Thank you for being an essential part of our journey."


OVNAP April Tax Clinic


Recognizing Greek Heritage Month and Greek Independence Day

My daughter Molly and I enjoyed the Toronto District School Board (TCDSB)'s Greek Heritage Month closing celebration hosted with the Greek Community of Toronto. There are many remarkable Greek-Canadians who work in our schools and support our kids’ education. It was our pleasure to be there to thank them.

Ευχαριστώ to the Hellenic Home for the Aged for inviting me to join your Greek Independence Day celebrations! I always appreciate their warmth and hospitality each and every time I visit. The performances were beautiful. And the baklava. Oh my gosh, the baklava!


Yorktown Family Services Announcement

Here To Help
In-Person - April 30 to June 25
Yorktown Family Services delivers Here To Help a group program that provides a supportive environment for women, children, and youth exposed to family violence. The group provides a safe and supportive environment for mothers and children to talk about the violence they have experienced, and helps families process their emotions together. 

Learn More

Welcoming Nicorama Cafe to our Community!

I was delighted to celebrate the grand opening of the Nicorama cafe this month. We now have some of the best and tastiest Nicaraguan baked treats and coffee right here in the heart Oakwood Village!


A Message from Gasbusters: We need to ban noisy, polluting gas powered leaf blowers NOW 

"Gasbusters have a now, informative web site outlining strong reasons for banning this noisy, polluting gardening equipment. Electric lawn equipment has greatly improved and causes less pollution and noise.
 
On July 19, 2023, Toronto City Council expressed its support for a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers and related garden equipment. City staff will report to Council later this year with details on how the ban would be implemented. The devil is in the details, and a ban could be delayed for years or even derailed unless concerned citizens keep up the pressure. 
 
You can help make a gas-powered leaf blower ban a reality in Toronto.

  •        Tell your councillor you support a ban. (If you're a Toronto-St.Paul's resident, you already have my support)
  •        Join Gasbusters, a volunteer group dedicated to stopping the harmful noise and toxic and carcinogenic emissions of two-stroke engine small equipment such as gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers. Membership is free and sign up is easy at their website."

AppleTree Market: Good Vibes Spring Fling


Celebrating Greek Independence Day with the Hellenic Home for the Aged


Humewood Community Scholarship Fund Thank You Message

"With the phenomenal support of the Humewood community, we thank you for making the 2023 Humewood Community Scholarship Fund a huge success!
 
This year’s fundraiser officially ended on January 15, 2024. A grand total of $6,245 was raised! This total includes donations made through our webpage ($4,845) and additional donations received ($1,400). The money will be distributed for the fall 2024 academic year. Link to our webpage: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/abionacentre/p2p/HCS2023/  
 
We would also like to express our gratitude to St. Matthew’s and to the broader community, served by both MPP Jill Andrew, and City Councillor Josh Matlow. Finally, we’d like to say a special thank-you to Ashley Carambelas, the former Resource Development Coordinator at the Abiona Centre, who has been such an important part of our fundraising team. We wish her all the best in her new endeavours.
 
We look forward to connecting with you again in the fall as we continue our annual fundraising efforts for the Humewood Community Scholarship Fund.
 
Sincerely,  
Cathy, Caroline and Shelagh"

Councillor Matlow's City Hall & Community Update: February 2024

 

Budget 2024 Reinvests in Vital City Services

On February 14th Council considered Mayor Chow’s budget. The last 10 years has seen deteriorating City services as a result of lower than inflation property tax increases. We’ve all experienced overflowing garbage cans, longer wait times for transit, locked park bathrooms and roads in disrepair. That's not good enough for Toronto. 

Council had a choice this year: allow Toronto’s decline or get our city back on track. The budget was initially proposed by city staff to have a tax rate increase between 10.5% - 16.5%. I was pleased to see that the rate that was ultimately decided on was only 2.5% higher than the previous years budget. This amounts to an increase of $285 annually for the average Toronto home or the equivalent to a monthly increase of $23.75. This rate both recognized what we need to do for our city but also acknowledged the impact the economy is having on so many residents. 

New investments in the 2024 Budget include:

Affordable Housing and Shelters
•    Expanding the Multi-Unit Residential Acquisition program (MURA) by $100 million over three years to support the purchase of rental properties to protect low income tenants
•    Implement Winter Warming Response Plan to provide emergency shelter and support for homeless Torontonians during inclement weather
•    Create 450 new shelter beds to Refugee claimant response
•    Additional frontline staff to protect tenants through the Eviction Prevention Program and RentSafeTO
•    Increased funding for the Rent Bank, Tenant Support Program, Eviction Prevention in Community Program, Multi-Tenant Housing Program, Homelessness Prevention Program and Community Housing 
•    Critical funding for 22 City-supported drop-in centres that provide food, training, clothing and other basic supports for homeless Torontonians

Improved Transit Services
•    Freezes TTC fares
•    Full funding for the Scarborough Busway
•    160 new highly visible TTC workers to improve passenger safety and security
•    Implements emissions performance standards for City vehicles

Community Supports
•    Expands the Toronto Community Crisis Service city-wide to provide support for mental health emergencies
•    Over 100 additional new first responders including firefighters, paramedics, police officers and civilian staff
•    Sunday hours at additional Toronto Public Library locations
•    New Youth Hubs at Library locations in priority neighbourhoods to serve vulnerable young people
•    Increased community grants focused on youth violence prevention
•    Enhanced service at Long-Term Care Homes to support seniors
•    Additional spaces for EarlyON childcare program
•    Almost $1million to support arts and artists

Public Works
•    The $50 million Back on Track Fund will leverage capital funding from the Ontario-Toronto New Deal to support urgent state-of-good-repair work such as potholes, address infrastructure deficiencies, and enhance public spaces across the city.
•    Increased funding to plant additional trees and better maintain existing ones.

To view the budget in its entirety, please view the Council agenda.


 Scarborough RT Derailment Raises Concerns About the State of Subway Repair

Last year, Torontonians were understandably horrified at footage of the Scarborough RT derailing. The incident sent 5 people to hospital and TTC staff have confirmed that it was lucky it wasn’t more catastrophic.
 
As reported in the Toronto Star, an independent review of the derailment was completed in November but has yet to be brought to the TTC board. The report found that in the period before the accident there was a marked decline in reported defects on the RT's reaction rail. That component of the line was later identified as the cause of the crash. 
 
The reduction in reported defects prior to the derailment does not add up. The RT was supposed to reach the end of its service life in 2015, as such it should have been expected that the number of defects would increase and more preventative maintenance required to keep transit riders safe.
 
A formal report by the TTC is expected to come to the TTC Board in May. I will continue pushing for more accountability and transparency on the derailment to ensure that this type of incident never happens again. I have significant concerns about the slow downs that the subway is experiencing on Line 1, and that without sufficient funding for state of good repair we could see increased slow downs on Line 2 over the next 5 years. We simply cannot allow our subway system to either become structurally unsafe or slow down to a point in which we no longer have a functional transit system. I will continue focusing my advocacy on this critical priority. 
 
For more information, please see this article.


Costs to Host FIFA World Cup of Soccer Continue to Rise

The cost for Toronto to host 6 games as part of the 2026 FIFA World Cup of Soccer has increased by $80 million dollars according to a new City Staff report. The total cost to host these games is now expected to cost almost $380 million, with only the province committed to covering $97 million of the total. While it is expected that the federal government will chip in some funding shortly, the City is still expected to be on the hook for a far greater financial commitment than Council was originally told.
 
A 2022 report to Council estimated the total financial exposure to the City of Toronto at around $100 million, with the expectation that the event would generate considerably more for the City. Unfortunately, City Staff executed an agreement that did not include secured funding commitments from both the provincial and federal governments as directed by City Council and they have now locked us into a poorly negotiated agreement that has not protected us from cost overruns. Moreover, because the City does not get sales tax revenue, the games are only expected to generate $5 million in direct revenue. The federal and provincial governments will reap significant financial benefits from Toronto hosting this tournament. This highlights the need for Toronto to have revenue tools that grow with the economy, and contribute significantly more money for this event until those tools are granted to the City.
 
While many in our community are excited that our city is hosting the largest sporting event in the world, these games cannot come at the expense of our City’s many priorities. The City is unable to back out of the agreement at this point so it is imperative that we do everything we can to ensure recover as mush of our investment as possible. That’s why I will be requesting that the City develop a revenue strategy that looks at creative ways we can leverage the World Cup.
 
For more information, please see this article.


 

Taking Action to Curb Auto Thefts and Break-ins

Auto thefts, and associated break-ins are a significant concern across the country that has hit home for too many St. Paul’s residents following several troubling incidents in our community. Toronto reported more than 12,000 stolen vehicles in 2023. With a 24.4% increase from the previous year, the situation is getting worse.

More concerning than the auto thefts themselves are the increasingly brazen lengths car thieves are willing to go to obtain their targets. In recent cases in our community and across the country, thieves are breaking into houses with people home to obtain keys. Thankfully, one of the main perpetrators of the recent rash of incidents in Forest Hill was apprehended but more work needs to be done to dismantle the international crime organizations that are behind the thefts.

Cars are being stolen in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and other major cities and ending up in China and the Middle East.  It is clear that there must be co-operation between the Toronto Police, OPP, RCMP, auto insurance companies, and the Canadian Border Services Agency to address this matter.
That’s why I was pleased to see that the federal government announced $121 million to attack car theft earlier this month, which is in addition to the recent announcement by the province of $51 million to address this problem. 

Josh is doing everything he can at the local level by advocating to senior levels of government and working closely with 13 and 53 division to review efforts in combating auto thefts and break ins. Please the following memo from the Staff Sergeant for our local police divisions:  

“Toronto Police has been working closely with the Provincial Carjacking Task Force to provide supports in addressing the issue.

Directed Patrols have been created for all members of both 53 and 13 Divisions working with our Crime Analysts to determine trends and identifiers.
 
These continued directed patrols are being conducted in the high risk areas and based on data analysis we can adjust our resources appropriately.
 
We have dedicated officers that will continue to canvass for video evidence and anything to assist in our investigations.
 
Both Divisions have held town hall and meetings with experts in Auto Theft. Our CPLC meetings have been a source of communication and information sharing with the purpose of educating the public on crime prevention measures which includes opening the lines of communication and community involvement. I personally have connected with community members who have created community chat groups to assist in the dissemination of information related to the thefts.
 
Our Crime Prevention Officers have conducted Crime Prevention assessments known as CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) to many residents and continue to do so.
 
53 Division and 13 Division Major Crime Units have worked through the nights to prevent these crimes and have had success with arrests and identification of suspects. As this is truly widespread I would say nationally, even beyond our provincial boundaries, other police services are making the auto theft issue a top priority as well.”
 
For more information, please contact 13/53 Division at (416) 808 1300 and inquire about the next Community Police Liaison Committee meeting (CPLC) at [email protected] . Please note the CPLC is a chance for you to personally meet your local authorities, to ask questions and receive answers. 


Crackdown Needed After Report Finds City Defrauded for Millions

A new report by the City’s Auditor General has found that the City of Toronto has lost $27 million over the past 5 years due to fraud. The City employees that engaged in this fraud were fired by the City and members of the public that were caught have been referred to the police.
 
The scams that have taken much needed money away from programs and services we all rely on include:

  • Resident using multiple identities applied for, and was granted, numerous subsidies totaling over $60,000
  • City employee took sick days to work for a neighbouring municipality
  • City Employee made false insurance claims for services that were never performed
  • Resident lied about work status for 15 years to receive almost $140,000 in benefits they were not entitled to

The Auditor General’s Report and the subsequent action by the City should serve as a strong warning for individuals looking to scam the City. For more information, please see this article.


 

The Somali Centre for Culture and Recreation

Toronto is home to one of the largest Somali communities outside of Africa. For over 40 years, Toronto’s Somali community has advocated for a place to gather, learn, celebrate and be well. Now, a new generation is taking the lead to build the Somali Centre for Arts & Recreation. This center would be a hub for Somali services and a place to access diverse programming for community members of all ages. This dynamic space will advance community belonging, serving the Somali community and all other residents nearby. I’m proud to be an active supporter and ally in their efforts to turn this dream into reality. 


CareTO: Transforming the Level of Care in City of Toronto Long-Term Care Homes

One of the most meaningful initiatives I brought to Council was CareTO- to transform long-term care in Toronto toward an emotion-focused approach. I returned to Lakeshore Lodge in Etobicoke where this amazing team is creating a model that focuses on the emotional well-being of residents with dementia, and all seniors, in our care. I look forward to continuing to work with Senior Services and Long Term Care division on expanding this model of care across our City's other nine homes. To learn more about CareTO, please visit this website here.


New Hours at Deer Park Library

Our libraries are about more than books. They’re places for families, seniors & youth to study, socialize and for all of us to be well. I was proud to join Mayor Chow and Councillor Ainslie at Deer Park to announce expanded library hours, including Sundays, in branches across the city. This is good news for the Deer Park library in our ward. Starting in September, Deer Park will now be open on Sundays from 1:30pm to 5pm year round, except on holiday weekends. Expanding access to our libraries means more access to welcoming spaces, friendly staff, increased digitized opportunities and more children and youth supports. 


Rally to Save the Ontario Science Centre

The Ontario Science Centre should remain where it belongs - in Flemingdon Park. I joined so many remarkable people who love our city, and are willing to fight for our future, at a rally at Riverdale Park. I deeply appreciated the kind & thoughtful conversations we had.


Toronto Community Health Forum

With a shortage of primary care providers and a growing population, we want to make sure all North Toronto residents have access to team-based primary care. To do this, we are establishing an “Integrated Health Hub” in Mount Pleasant West. Integrated Health Hubs bring together health and community services into the same physical space. This will provide patients, their families, and caregivers with easy access to a range of support from different service providers. It also helps health and service providers communicate with each other and coordinate care. 

The North Toronto Ontario Health Team (OHT) to hear your thoughts on what you think about establishing a Integrated Health Hub in the Mount Pleasant West Community. 

Please take a moment to complete this survey. Your answers will remain anonymous, and the details will be held confidentially. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Vyshnave Jeyabalan at [email protected] or call (647) 460-4117.

Resume link: https://forms.gle/Vy6zRzr4c1EwyqCMA 


Connections 400: Actively Aging at 400 Walmer Road 

I was pleased to work with Tai Huynh from the University Health Network’s OpenLab, the Landlord and Property Manager at 400 Walmer Road and a number of active residents to design and renovate a space within this NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) to initiate a program designed to address important determinants of healthy aging such as socialization, nutrition, physical fitness, and sense of purpose. It was such a pleasure to visit 400 Walmer Road and the remarkable women who run this program called “Connections 400”. More programs like this need to be expanded across our City and I plan to work with City Staff, healthcare partners and local community organizations to make this possible through my motion that will develop a comprehensive strategy to support aging in place.


Celebrating Lunar New Year

恭喜發財! It was a delight to join the Chinatown BIA for their beautiful 2024 Lunar New Year Celebrations! I wish you and your family good health, fortune, luck and prosperity during this year of the dragon.


A Good Piece of News from Oakwood-Vaughan

Last November, Oakwood Vaughan Community Organization (OVCO) held an open hose to welcome people to the newly named Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub.

From the morning, there was a steady stream of well wishers. They were welcomed by the three partners sharing space in the former Vaughan Road Academy at 529 Vaughan Road: Reena, the Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF) and the OVCO healthy aging program.

During the opening ceremony, there was standing room only, as people listened to the history of the development of the hub from OVCO chair, Bill Worrell, and heard from Trustee Laskin, TDSB chair, Rachel Chernos Lin, virtually from LEF ED, Peter Frampton and, Reena’s ED and MPP Jill Andrew. Also in attendance were representatives from Oasis, funding the healthy aging program. 

The official name, Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub, chosen by residents, was unveiled to great applause.


The Improvement of the Community Consultation Process
Within Development Review

A Proposals report regarding the improvement of the community consultation process within development review was approved at January’s Planning & Housing Committee meeting. The report gave staff direction to conduct consultation with the public and stakeholders and this will be in the form of in-person open houses, virtual meetings as well as smaller stakeholder workshops and gathering feedback through surveys that will be advertised via social media and the project’s website. The website should go live this week and when it does, we will forward you the link, however it was important to provide you with the attached advertisement as soon as possible.

Agenda Item History - 2024.PH9.4 (toronto.ca)

 
The meeting for Toronto/East York District is scheduled for Tuesday March 12, 2024 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. The location for this meeting is Metro Hall (255 Front St. W) in rooms 308 and 309.


Oakwood Vaughan Oasis for Healthy Aging

The Oakwood Vaughan community has its very own NORC! The Oakwood Vaughan Community Hub is located at 529 Vaughan Road (Door #9 off Winona Ave.) The Hub is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:30am till 3:30pm. Please feel free to contact the Hub at [email protected] with any questions! 


Manor Road Nursery School Losing our Home:
A Call to Our Community for Support

Manor Road Co-operative Nursery School (MRNS), an integral part of our community for the past 85 years, is facing an imminent relocation due to The Church of The Transfiguration's decision to end our lease despite our efforts to renegotiate. 
 
This decision marks the end of a nearly century long partnership with The Church of The Transfiguration and we are grateful for their past support and shared history. While challenging, we aim to navigate this transition with respect and understanding. As we continue the search for a new space, our commitment to delivering exceptional education remains unwavering.
 
Manor Road Nursery School is a registered charity and the oldest cooperative nursery school in Canada. It is not just a place of education; it's a cornerstone of our community, shaping the lives of generations. The prospect of relocation not only affects the school but reverberates through the hearts of families and the entire neighborhood.

We are reaching out to our community for support during this challenging time. Your financial contributions, suggestions for new spaces, and connections to help us find a new home are crucial. Together, we can prevent Manor Road Nursery School from closing.

For inquiries, donations, or assistance, please contact Katharine Wyatt at [email protected]

Manor Road Easter Fair Fundraiser

🌸 Join us for our Easter Fair Fundraiser on March 2nd, 3-6pm, at The Church of the Transfiguration! 🐣 
 
Help support our beloved school, the oldest cooperative school in Canada, facing relocation. 💜💚
 
 ⭐️ We will also have crafts, cookie decorating, colouring and an egg hunt for kids!⭐️
 
 With your support, we'll overcome this challenge and continue to thrive! 🌟
 
 We’re located at 111 manor road east, close to Yonge and Eglinton!


Hillcrest Village Community Players - Footloose

Hillcrest Village Players is a local community theatre group, in the heart of Toronto! It is a place to produce high quality performance art, powered by volunteers, and surrounded by a supportive community. That’s correct, powered by volunteers. We are committed to, and very proud, that Hillcrest Village Community Players is an extracurricular for everyone involved. This year we are putting on Footloose, running from February 22nd - March 2nd. Tickets can be purchased through our website!

About Our Season 3 Musical: Footloose!

Footloose is a musical based on the classic 80s film. It tells a story about the importance of community and bonding together through tough times. Set to the backdrop of great 80s pop hits and amazing dance numbers – it is a heartfelt show, but you are sure to end it dancing and singing along with the cast! Get your tickets here: https://www.hillcrestvillageplayers.ca/ 


Forest Hill Village Remembers Nicola Vitantonio

On behalf of our community, I wish my heartfelt condolences to the family of Nicola Vitantonio. Along with Nick, Mario & Terry, Nicola was loved by all of us whose hair he cut. I’ll always remember him for his kindness-and sense of humor that knew no bounds. May he Rest in Peace.


Fairbank Memorial Community Centre 2024 Winter Programs 

Please note that all registrants must have a family number, client number and a course bar code in order to register through the methods below. Please find more information with the link below. 

https://www.toronto.ca/data/parks/prd/facilities/complex/482/index.html

Online registration (started December 5th)
Efun.toronto.ca
7am-Midnight

Phone registration with staff
416-396-7378
7am-5pm

Touch Tone Registration (TTR)
416-338-0000
7am-Midnight
Note* TTR cannot be used after the course start day

Community recreation programmer
Rashida Brown – 416-394-2771
[email protected] 

Fairbank Memorial Community Centre 2024 March Break Camp

Fairbank Memorial Community Centre’s March break camp for youth ages 6-12 years old will be held from March 11th – March 15th. Please register at efun.toronto.ca with barcode 4307023. For more information please contact [email protected] (416-394-2771).


Free Training Program for Toronto Youth!

If you know any young people who are passionate about nature and community engagement, they might be a perfect fit for LEAF's Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) Program.

This program provides valuable skills in urban forestry and community engagement to young Toronto residents (ages 18 to 29) over four months (between late April and August). Throughout the program, participants will build connections in their communities, grow their confidence as leaders, and network with industry professionals.

Applications for the 2024 program are OPEN NOW until March 29th. To learn more, individuals can register to join our Virtual Information Session on March 12th at 6:30 PM. 
The program is open to all youth but seeks to support Toronto youth from equity-deserving groups within arboriculture and urban forestry, including (but not limited to) women, non-binary people, Indigenous peoples, newcomers, 2SLGBTQ+ persons and racialized individuals. 


Delta Red Carpet: Hairs the Things 

Join us for an exciting event in Women's History Month 2024. Come together to watch, learn and engage in a fun, family event. A Textured Hair Professional change-maker, Spoken Word Artist, 2 Dynamic Film-makers, and Visual Artist, all women creatives, come together to bring you a memorable presentation in a vibrant way around the ongoing conversation of Black Hair & beauty perception from the inside and out. Dr. Jill Andrew, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Toronto-St. Paul's will also speak. This location is in her riding. All genders welcome.

Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, March 2nd,2024
  • Time: 11:15am Check In, Prompt 12 noon Start time to 2:30pm
  • Location: St.Michael and All Angels Church, 611 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON, Canada

Cost:

  • Adults Aged 18 & above - $15 per ticket
  • Youth Aged 17 & below (I.D. Ready Please) - Free of Charge Registration
  • Mandatory Permission Slips Link for YOUTH aged 17 & below.
  • Parents/Guardians must physically attend in the venue with Minors Aged 13 and Under.


Don't miss this opportunity to connect with community, hair professionals, enjoy dynamic films and breathtaking art all by women creatives. Reserve your spot now!


Computer Skills for Seniors

The Learning Enrichment Foundation in partnership with the Oakwood Vaughan Oasis for Healthy Aging is hosting a Computer Basics course for seniors! 

About the course:
Each participant works on one of our laptops. The class pace is slow, with 1:1 support in the classroom. The course is every Tuesday from February 27th to April 16th between 10am - 1pm at the new OV Community Hub (529 Vaughan Road). You can enter by door #9 off Winona Drive, the class is in room 122. To register, email [email protected]

Who is this course for?

  • You are a senior living in Oakwood Vaughan
  • You haven't kept up with changes in technology
  • You want to learn basic computer skills
  • You need access to a computer to learn
  • You are available to attend all classes

Attention Child-Care Providers!

We want to share an exciting opportunity for child-care space in a dynamic and vibrant community. Located in the St. Clair West/Humewood/Wychwood neighbourhoods, Wychwood Barns is currently seeking requests for proposals for a 2,000 square foot vacant space with child-care infrastructure designed for pre-school aged children. For further information, please contact [email protected]


Celebrating Tamil Heritage Month

I’m very grateful the warm friendship I’ve fostered with our city’s vibrant Tamil community. I learn a lot from them - and it means a lot to me. I was delighted to be in Scarborough North to participate in the Tamil Heritage Month Closing Ceremony!


Canadian Youth Climate Action Award

After a very successful launch last year, Pivot Green, in partnership with the Small Change Fund, will again be presenting the Canadian Youth Climate Action Award that recognizes the great contribution our younger generation is making in the fight against climate change.  Across Canada, youth are organizing, influencing policymakers, and creating impactful programs in their communities. To recognize this contribution and show our support, we have increased the first prize money to $5,000. A secondary prize of $2,500 and two additional prizes of $1,000 will also be awarded. Pivot Green will amplify and share the stories of successful initiatives with the hope that they can be replicated across the country.

Applications are now being accepted until April 2, 2024. The winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 22nd.  The guidelines and details of the award program can be found on our site.

For more information contact:
Tom Scanlan 
Founding Member, Pivot Green
[email protected] 
416 278 2408


Canada South Indian Chamber of Commerce

I enjoyed a wonderful and productive conversation with the Canada South India Chamber of Commerce (CSICC) including several South Indian business owners and entrepreneurs who contribute so much to our city’s economy and quality of life.


Holocaust Remembrance Day

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember the 6 million Jews, along with other targeted groups, who were murdered by the Nazis. I was grateful to join so many of my colleagues, and meet Holocaust survivor Rose Lipszyc and Special Envoy Combatting Antisemitism, Deborah Lyons, as we attended Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies’ commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.


For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.caClick here to read my previous city hall and community updates. 

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