Action Needed to Improve Rail Safety
This past weekend there was a derailment on the CP line that forms the southern boundary of Ward 22. Luckily, no one was hurt and emergency crews moved quickly to contain a small diesel spill. However, this incident highlights the need for action to improve rail safety on this line that runs through the heart of some of the country’s most densely populated neighbourhoods. This should serve as a wake up call.
This is an issue of critical importance to myself and my colleagues on Council. In 2014, Council supported my motion calling on the federal government to take action on this issue. Earlier this year, those efforts were renewed with a letter to Transport Minister Garneau, signed by the mayor and many other Councillors.
I have been pleased to see that Minister Garneau and local MPs have shown genuine attention to this issue. This past spring, MPs Chrystia Freeland and Carolyn Bennett held a Town Hall with the Minister in attendance. In the wake of this most recent incident, Minister Garneau stated that he would act swiftly to address our community’s concerns.
Along with active community members, like those at Rail Safety First, I will continue to advocate for the reasonable and proactive steps to protect the public and immprove rail safety we've requested from the federal government.
For more information, please see this recent Toronto Star editorial.
Public Open House to Discuss Future of Davisville School Site and Community Hub
As you may know, I successfully moved recommendations at city council to move forward with a Community Hub, with public recreation space including a double gym and swimming pool, at Davisville PS.
Please join Trustee Laskin and myself next month for an open house to discuss the future of the Davisville PS site andf provide your feedback on the new Community Hub, which was approved last month by City Council, the school rebuild, and the child care facilities.
Where: Hodgson Sr Public School (Gymnasium) - 282 Davisville Ave
When: Tuesday September 20, 7pm – 9pm
Another Opportunity to Comment on the Toronto Ward Boundary Review
· REVISED OPTION 2 which has 44 wards and incorporates the refinements suggested during the TWBR public consultation process in August - November 2015; and;
· A WARD OPTION that is aligned, where possible, with the boundaries of the 25 federal and provincial ridings.
This information was requested by the City of Toronto Executive Committee at its meeting on May 24, 2016. Based on the input received, a TWBR Supplementary Report will be prepared and submitted to the Executive Committee meeting on October 26, 2016.
There are two ways to provide comments:
• Complete a survey
o Sept 14th, 2016. 7-9pm. Metro Hall
o Sept 15th, 2016. 7-9pm. Scarborough Civic Centre
o Sept 19th, 2016. 7-9pm. North York Civic Centre
o Sept 21st, 2016. 7-9pm. Etobicoke Civic Centre
Project Background & Timeline
From July 2014 to February 2015, the TWBR conducted a civic engagement and public consultation process to collect opinions on Toronto's current ward alignment to ensure that wards have more equal population sizes. Currently, they are very disproportionate across the city.
The results informed the development of five options for re-aligning Toronto’s wards. A second round of the TWBR’s civic engagement and public consultation process solicited feedback on these options between August and November 2015. The TWBR Final Report (May 2016) summarized the TWBR process and recommended a new ward structure.
More information can be found at www.drawthelines.ca
Full Program for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 Announced
The City of Toronto today released the complete artistic program for the 11th edition of Nuit Blanche Toronto. From 6:58 p.m. on Saturday, October 1 until sunrise on Sunday, October 2, the streets of Toronto will be transformed by nearly 90 contemporary art projects created and presented by more than 300 local, national and international artists.
Please click here for the full program. More details on the City-produced exhibitions are available via the event backgrounder here. Preview four videos featuring each exhibition curator here.
The Important Work Progress Place is Doing in Our City
I was delighted to take a tour of Progress Place and find a very advanced model for mental health recovery that has been running successfully in downtown Toronto for more than 30 years. Open 365 days a year, serving 3 meals a day to members across the GTA, they have over 170 people working at the Church/Wellesley location every day. The focus of Progress Place is to help people living with mental illness get back to work and school. Their system is simple, effective and has a very high social return on investment.
If you are an employer, you may want to take a look at their Transitional Employment program that provides entry level workers, fully trained, selected and guaranteed 100% attendance. A wonderful program that removes the interview stress from the employee and removes the aggravation of hiring, rehiring and training for entry level positions from the employer.
If you have a friend, colleague or loved one who could use help, or if you are able to offer support of some kind, I recommend a tour of Progress Place to see this extraordinary program for yourself. For more information, please feel welcome to call Georgina Patko at416-323-0223.
To ensure you are informed and engaged about development proposals being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage.
My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.
Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.ca. Click here to read my previous city hall and community updates.