Newsletters

City Hall and Community Update for October 6, 2017

Unprecedented Action Toward Preserving Midtown Toronto's Heritage Approved at City Council!

As part of the Midtown in Focus study, I’m very happy to announce that my colleagues supported Staff recommendations to include an unprecedented list of 258 main street properties on the City’s Heritage Register at Council this week. This represents the largest number of properties ever recommended for heritage protection in a single report brought forward at City Hall in Toronto’s history.

This report is the result of a huge undertaking by Heritage Preservation staff to evaluate the historic and cultural merit of each of these properties. I was delighted to work with them on this initiative through the Midtown in Focus study and look forward to continuing to work together to help protect what’s left of Midtown’s architectural heritage. We’ve lost too much already.

I have always advocated for the most appropriate development on a given site that’s respectful of its existing surroundings and community. This move will allow for more thoughtful and proactive evaluation of these sites, rather than developers automatically receiving demolition permits upon request.

It’s imperative that we identify an efficient and effective method for staying ahead of the wrecking ball when it comes to our ability to preserve the historical structures, sites and even views that help tell Toronto’s story. Shaping a vibrant and livable future for our great city must include an understanding of- and respect for- its past.

With this landmark step to protect our city’s heritage, we are making history.


Motion to Help Fund an Accessible Playground at Oriole Park PS Approved

I am very pleased to announce that my motion to provide $350,000 in local developers' fees to support the construction of an accessible playground at Oriole Park PS was successfully approved at City Council.

As Oriole Park students and parents know well, the current playground is too small and inadequate for children with special needs at the school and in the wider community. The new accessible playground equipment will allow children of all abilities to participate, and to be included, in recreational activities with each other.

I’ve had the opportunity to help fund other accessible playgrounds throughout Midtown, most recently at Deer Park PS, and I believe it’s important that kids of every ability have the opportunity to be included in the life of their school and play with all their friends.

I very much look forward to working closely with Trustee Laskin, Principal Quimby, the Parent Council, and local residents to build a wonderful new playground for all of our community's children.


UPDATE: Three Exciting Park Projects are Underway this Fall!

Now that the community consultation meetings, design and tenders are complete, I'm pleased to announce that shovels are (or will be in the ground shortly) for three park projects in our community! Below is an update on anticipated timelines to completion for each of these green spaces:

190 Manor Road East – I'm pleased to say that construction at the former Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club site has now begun. I look forward to it being ready for the community to enjoy by 2018.

250 Manor Road East - At the new playground park beside Manor Road United Church, I have been informed that construction should begin within the next few weeks.  This brand new playground park is also scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

You can review the concepts and designs for both of these parks here.

Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground and June Rowlands (Davisville) Park – Construction for Phase 2 improvements began last week, will continue into the Fall and are scheduled to be ready by the end of this year. The illustrative plans showing the new playground and other programming can be viewed here.

If construction progresses as planned, and without any unforeseen impediments such an inclement weather, it is anticipated that work on all three parks will be completed by the end of this year.


Protecting Midtown Tenants from Extreme Heat

Earlier this year, many Midtown tenants suffered during a late September heatwave. Some residents reported temperature readings of over 30 degrees Celsius in their units as a result of their landlords turning on heat and/or not turning on air conditioning.

I first moved a Council motion in 2012 to protect our community's renters from the health impacts of extreme heat including heat stroke, morbidity and mortality. The health dangers associated with prolonged heat events is increased by the fact that indoor temperatures tend to climb with each hot day. This is significant because populations that are susceptible to extreme heat tend to be more likely to spend time indoors, including the elderly and those who are chronically ill.

Landlords are currently required to ensure that the temperature in a rental unit not be lower than 21 degree Celsius – not that the heating system is on. Unfortunately, some landlords misinterpreted the City by-law and turned on the heat in their buildings. Others reported being concerned that if they turned off their heat and/or turned on their air conditioning that they could be fined should the temperature suddenly drop.

I asked landlords to use common sense when making these decisions and assured them that our by-law officers would do the same. A request was unfortunately the only tool I had available during this Fall's heatwave. That's why I'm pleased to announce that my colleagues unanimously supported my motion at the October meeting of City Council to better regulate room temperatures in apartment buildings.

The motion directs City Staff to consult with tenants, landlords and other relevant stakeholders to identify potential solutions, including the possibility of setting a maximum temperature for apartments and adjusting the heat by-law to allow for variable dates that reflect the weather instead of fixed dates that reflect an arbitrary rule.

It is unacceptable that members of our community were baking in their apartments this past Fall – everyone has the right to a comfortable and healthy home. I will continue working to ensure that our City's laws protect that right.


Council Proclaims Glenn Gould Day in Toronto

I'm pleased to announce that my motion to proclaim September 25 as Glenn Gould Day in Toronto was unanimously supported at Council this week. Gould is one of the most internationally revered Canadians ever and was a resident of the Yonge and St. Clair area. His 1955 Goldberg Variations is the best-selling classical piano record of all time. In addition to his more than 80 highly influential albums, there are 85 books in a dozen languages, more than 20 feature films, as well as plays, ballets, pop songs, and literally thousands of articles about Glenn Gould.

Glenn Gould’s significance extends far beyond the realm of classical Music. Gould remains an international icon of creative innovation who, along with Marshall McLuhan, predicted and embraced the transformative impact of technology.

Gould was Canada’s first cultural diplomat - the first Western artist to perform in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War (1957). His playing was included on the celebrated Golden Record placed aboard the Voyager Spacecraft 40 years ago. Voyager, now 12.9 billion miles from earth, is the most distant man-made object from our planet. As the sole Canadian contributor to the Golden Record, Gould remains an enduring symbol of Canadian innovation and the embrace of the future, “the first Canadian in space.”

For more information on this unique genius, please visit the website for the Toronto-basedGlenn Gould Foundation.

Ravine Strategy

I was pleased to support a new Ravine Strategy for our city at this week's Council meeting. Toronto's unique ravine system is one of our greatest and green assets. The scale and scope of this urban green space system – over 300 km and 11,000 hectares – makes Toronto the envy of urban areas across the world. In Midtown, we are lucky to have several ravines that offer peaceful escape from our busy lives.

The Strategy provides, for the first time, an intentional and coordinated framework, vision and approach to management of this natural resource through a series of 20 actions under the five guiding principles: Protect, Invest, Connect, Partner, and Celebrate. These actions aim to guide the management of the ravines and ensure the protection of these irreplaceable lands is balanced with their use and enjoyment such that they continue to function and flourish for the next 100 years and beyond.

For more information, please read these City Reports.

PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE: Improvements to Pottery Playground and Splashpad!

I have heard from several residents that the playground equipment and splashpad at Pottery Playground on Merton Street could use improvements. That's why I'm happy to direct developers' fees toward some much-needed enhancements at this beloved community park.

Please join me on Monday, October 16 at 7pm to discuss exciting, new playground improvements!

The meeting will take place in Room 174 at Greenwood College (443 Mount Pleasant Road) and will give you a chance to review new playground and splashpad concept designs with myself and Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff. I hope to see you there!


Neighbour-to-Neighbour 2.0 Program Launch

In my capacity as Toronto's Seniors Advocate, I was delighted to join Seniors Affairs Minister, Dipika Damerla, MPP Han Dong and the Neighbourhood Group in celebrating International Seniors Day (October 1) and to launch its expanded Neighbour-to-Neighbour (N2N) 2.0 program.

The N2N 2.0 program keeps seniors in the downtown core socially connected and enables their engagement with their communities. It knows that over 8,000 adults aged 65+ are living alone in downtown Toronto and acknowledges that social isolation has many negative impacts on overall health and wellbeing. Social connection through Friendly Visiting combats isolation. There are several organizations working on this collaborative program, including the Neighbourhood Group, Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre, West Neighbourhood House and Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre. Each agency is working towards the same important goal - reducing social isolation.

For more information on the Neighbourhood Group and the N@N 2.0 program, please email [email protected] or call 416-392-1509 x 326.



(Josh with the Minister of Seniors Affairs, Dipika Damerla, MPP Han Dong, City staff and aging experts at the Neighbour-to-Neighbour 2.0 program launch)


Ward 22's Annual Pumpkin Parade

Please join me, my family, Apple Tree Markets, friends and neighbors, for a community gathering at Glebe Manor Square East (Belsize Parkette) at 6:30-8:30pm on November 1st.

This is a fun community event where kids come in costumes, parents often bring drinks and everyone brings their pumpkins for an encore performance from Halloween the night before. I've arranged for your pumpkins to be picked up by the City if you'd like to leave yours at the park!


Parks, Forestry and Recreation Parkland Strategy Update

A city builds a park so that people can build community. Toronto is known for our parks and natural environment, and as Toronto grows, our parks system must grow along with it.

However, there are gaps in the system; areas in the city where more must be done. And we must reinvest and re-invigorate our existing green space.

Toronto's parks system is much more than official city parks; it includes open spaces, conservation lands, ravines, hydro corridors, schools and other privately owned, publicly accessible lands. We need to work together to ensure a livable Toronto for today, and for future generations.

The Parkland Strategy is a 20-year plan that will guide long-term planning for new parks and expansion and improved access to existing parks.  It will aid in the decision-making and prioritization of investment in parkland across the city.

To learn more, and to join in the conversation, visit toronto.ca/parklandstrategy.


Forest Hill Village Streetscape Masterplan Public Workshop Consultation

When: Monday October 30th from 6:00 to 8:30pm

Where: Grace Church on-the-Hill - Gymnasium, 300 Lonsdale Rd.

Forest Hill Village community members are invited to join me and my colleague Councillor Mihevc, members of the Forest Hill Village BIA, and representatives from PLANT Architect Inc. at a Public Consultation Workshop for the Streetscape Master Plan of Forest Hill Village.

The local BIA is seeking community feedback and input on the proposed Master Plan and invite the public to share their ideas on how to enhance Forest Hill’s village-like feel and improve the streetscape. Using the recently refreshed Village Master Plan and Urban Design Guidelines I initiated as a starting point, the public will be encouraged to provide input on how to enhance pedestrian safety and activity, provide additional soft landscaping and social space, and increase bicycle activity in Forest Hill Village.


Cycle Toronto Midtown Welcomes You to a New Members Night

Can safety be improved for people who bike in Midtown Toronto? On Thursday October 26, joinCycle Toronto's local ward advocacy group, over pub food and drinks, to learn what they do and how you can get involved. Feel welcome meet at 7pm at The Abbott Pub on Eglinton, between Spadina Road and Avenue Road.

For more information, please click here.


New Parking Violation Dispute Process

The City of Toronto has introduced an Administrative Penalty System (APS) - an easier, more convenient process for disputing parking violations. Disputes will be handled by the City instead of through the court, providing you with faster resolutions and a more efficient process.

Screening reviews are now available online or in-person with a City of Toronto Screening Officer. The Screening Officer can affirm, vary or cancel the penalty, and vary or cancel any fees. The Screening Officer can also provide individuals with additional time to pay the penalty, if required.

Not satisfied with the decision of the Screen Officer? You may request an additional review with an Administrative Penalty Tribunal Hearing Officer. The decision of the Hearing Officer is final and will not be reviewed further.


Harvest Moon Cabaret

On Saturday, October 28 at 7:30pm, Glebe Road United Church (20 Glebe Road East) will be hosting their annual Harvest Moon Cabaret fundraiser! Prepare to be scared, enchanted and bewitched in this year's Halloween themed show. Enjoy a fun evening of music, food, wine and raffle baskets!


For further details and ticket ordering, please click here.


Nominate a Woman of Distinction

Do you know a woman who is making a difference and improving the lives of women and girls? Every year, YWCA Toronto honours the work of remarkable women who are creating new opportunities for women and girls in a wide array of areas such as leadership, business, education, social justice, advocacy, art, health and philanthropy.

For more information, please click here.


Noise Management Program Benchmarking and Best Practice Study

As a part of Toronto Pearson's commitment to mitigating noise impacts for residents who are negatively affected by aircraft noise, the GTAA commissioned a Noise Management Benchmarking and Best Practices study.  The purpose of the study is to determine what successful measures other international airports have taken to reduce the impacts of operational noise. The study looked at 11 areas of noise management at 26 comparative airports around the world to identify potential new programs to be adopted at Toronto Pearson.

Recommendations from this study will be used to help inform the GTAA’s updated five-year Noise Management Action Plan, which will  also include input from NAV CANADA’s Independent Toronto Area Airspace Noise Review, Toronto Pearson Residents’ Reference Panel report, their recent survey on noise fairness and airport growth and public consultations over the last year.

The full Noise Management Program Benchmarking and Best Practices Study is available here.


Ecumenical Annual Food Drive

Churches in Rosedale, Moore Park and Leaside are again sponsoring a Christmas Drive (the 46th consecutive) to assist local food banks and agencies that are in urgent need of help at this time of year. Flyers are delivered to area households on Saturday, November 18 and donations are then picked up on the following Saturday, November 25. There are two locations. The first is Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church  (OLPH) on St. Clair Avenue East, one block west of Mount Pleasant Road. The other is St. Cuthbert’s Church on Bayview Avenue, south of Millwood Road near Humphreys Funeral Home.

Times on both days begin at 9:30 am. Donations are sorted and packed at OLPH with same day delivery to recipient food banks and agencies. In 2016, about 16,000 items were collected and it is hoped to better this figure this year as the demand is still great. Financial donations are also welcome and tax receipts are available. About 300 volunteers are required and community hours (generous ones) are available for high school students who require for graduation or other reasons.

In addition, two area Sobeys stores (St. Clair Avenue just east of Yonge Street and Wicksteed Avenue near Laird Drive) are once more supporting this effort by holding in-store drives throughout the Christmas season. These sources typically add another 10,000 or so to the overall total.

This is a fun event for both families and young persons and is in aid of a worthwhile cause to benefit the less fortunate members of our community. 

If further information is required, please contact the Campaign Chair, Brian Kearney, at 416-972-0585 or by e-mail at [email protected].


Central Eglinton Community Centre's "Discovering Technologies" Program

Sign-up for Central Eglinton's "Discovering Technologies" Program! Children in grades two and three are welcome to join Storytelling with Lego, Keyboarding and Coding with Scratch and Intro to Robotics with Lego WeDo. To register, please call 416-392-0511 ext. 0 or visit theirwebsite.


Annual Charity Auction at Central Eglinton Community Centre

You're invited to attend Central Eglinton's Annual Charity Auction on Monday, October 23rd at the Granite Brewery! The silent auction begins at 6pm, and the live auction starts at 7pm. Some of the fabulous items up for bid include movie and entertainment passes, salon and spa vouchers, dinners for two, children's toys and games, sporting event tickets and much more! Please phone 416-392-0511 ext. 0 or visit the CECC website for more information.


Nominate Your Outstanding Neighbour!

In honour of Canada 150, Hon. MP Carolyn Bennett is celebrating the amazing neighbours and ‘unsung heroes’ of Toronto-St. Paul’s. Send your nomination of someone who has made outstanding contributions to our community to [email protected] by October 15, 2017. A panel of Order of Canada recipients will select the winners and a reception will be held in late October to celebrate!

For more information, please click here.


PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE: 75 Broadway Avenue Development Meeting

A rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to replace the existing 10-storey apartment building with a 40-storey apartment tower containing 402 units.

This meeting will take place at 6:30pm on Tuesday, October 24 in the Auditorium at Northern Secondary School.

To speak to the planner directly, please contact David Driedger at 416-392-7613 or [email protected]. Also, you may mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St W Floor 18 E Toronto On, M5H 2N2.


"Not Down the Drain" TO Water Campaign

Do you know what can and can’t go down your drain? Putting the wrong things in your pipes can have some pretty nasty consequences, including basement flooding, polluting our streams, rivers and the Lake, as well as clogging City pipes – something that ends up costing us all. Please note that items like grease, wipes and dental floss should not go down the drain.

For more information, please click here.

Development Proposals in Ward 22

To ensure you are informed and engaged about development proposals being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage

My webpage listing all the proposed developments in Ward 22 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. 

I initiated Midtown in Focus, a review of the necessary infrastructure and social services that support our community's quality of life in the Yonge and Eglinton area. This study includes transit, roads, public realm, utilities, school capacity, recreation, affordable childcare, heritage properties and much more. I believe this should have been done thirty years ago, before the condo boom. However, I believe this work is critical to ensure that Midtown Toronto is planned for people rather than developers' pocketbooks. Click here to learn more about this initiative.

The OMB is a quasi-judicial, un-elected and un-accountable provincial body that has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario. The tribunal's powers to overrule decisions made by our elected municipal representatives are anti-democratic and often lead to planning decisions that far too often support the interests of the development industry over those of our communities and our city's official plan. To read more about the OMB and my advocacy to free Toronto from its purview, please click here.

Cool Off This Weekend at City's Reopened Splash Pads!

Dear residents,



I heard from many of you in the last day that you were disappointed that the City's splash pads were not operational with unseasonably high temperatures expected to continue. That's why I am delighted to share with you that we successfully advocated to have the vast majority of the City's splash pads turned back on for the weekend. The General Manager of Parks informed my office this afternoon that they will be able to reset the timers on pads by the end of the day tomorrow! While most pads will be operational, due to technical constraints, there may be a couple throughout the city that cannot be turned back on.



I look forward to cooling off with my daughter Molly over the next couple of days at our local splash pad. Hope that you and your family have the opportunity to do the same!

Sincerely,

Josh

Upcoming Fun, Exciting & Important Ward 22 Community Events!

Dear residents,


 

 

We’re truly fortunate to have such a vibrant local community here in Midtown Toronto and I'm delighted to share some really exciting events coming up over the next few weeks! Please come out to support our local businesses and spend quality time with our neighbours and friends. I’ve also included some important public meetings that might be of interest to you.


 

Announcing an Unprecedented Action Toward Preserving Midtown Toronto's Heritage

The Yonge and Eglinton area has experienced significant growth and I believe it is vital that we ensure that the community is an attractive place to live, work and play. Our quality of life should always be the focus of urban planning.

That's why I initiated a review of the area’s secondary plan (which should’ve been done many years ago) to support additional services and infrastructure for our midtown neighbourhoods to finally keep up with the pace of growth in this provincially designated urban growth centre. I’ve been actively working with the City and the Midtown Working Group to develop a plan for the Yonge and Eglinton area, Midtown in Focus, that ensures the ingredients of a livable community are in place, including parks and public spaces, community services and facilities such as affordable daycare and recreation, transportation and servicing infrastructure. An important part of this initiative is a focus on heritage preservation.

As part of the Midtown in Focus study, I’m very happy to announce that today Heritage Preservation Services is supporting recommendations to include an unprecedented list of 258 main street properties on the City’s Heritage Register at the Toronto Preservation Board. This represents the largest number of properties ever recommended for heritage protection in a single report brought forward at City Hall in Toronto’s history.

This report is the result of a huge undertaking by Heritage Preservation staff to evaluate the historic and cultural merit of each of these properties. I was delighted to work with them on this initiative through the Midtown in Focus study and look forward to continuing to work together to help protect what’s left of Midtown’s architectural heritage. We’ve lost too much already.

City Planning will also be reporting back today on council's request to implement a city-wide heritage survey. As you may recall, I successfully moved a motion several years ago that sought a more timely and proactive method for providing protection to Toronto’s heritage-worthy properties under the Ontario Heritage Act. Since then, three more motions were passed at City Council earlier this year with the same mandate, in the wake of the wanton demolition of a historic bank building at 2444 Yonge Street.

I have always advocated for the most appropriate development on a given site that’s respectful of its existing surroundings and respectful of community.

It’s imperative that we identify an efficient and effective method for staying ahead of the wrecking ball when it comes to our ability to preserve the historical structures, sites and even views that help tell Toronto’s story. Shaping a vibrant and livable future for our great city must include an understanding of- and respect for- its past.

Today, with this landmark step to protect our city’s heritage, we are making history.

City Hall and Community Update for July 7, 2017

Rest in Peace, My Friend and Colleague, Councillor Pam McConnell

Today at City Council, we were informed of the passing of Ward 28's Councillor Pam McConnell. Pam was a veteran city councillor and a caring and effective advocate for her community. She courageously lead the efforts to revitalize Regent Park, fought to protect the architectural heritage of neighbourhoods including Cabbagetown and St. Lawrence and championed the City of Toronto's Poverty Reduction Strategy, among many other significant accomplishments.

As her seatmate at Toronto & East York Community Council, I knew Pam as a loving mother and grandma. We would very often discuss our families, and share photos of my daughter and her grandchildren.

I know I speak for our entire community by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to her family for her remarkable service to the residents of Toronto. I also wish them our very sincerest condolences.

I will miss her dearly.

Yonge-Eglinton Planning Review Moving Forward

Building on the success of Midtown in Focus, the new public space Master Plan for Midtown, I've  supported our City Planning Division to lead an inter-divisional review of growth, built form and infrastructure issues in the Yonge-Eglinton area. This study will inform the development of up-to-date policy that will guide growth in the area and, in combination with necessary capital upgrades identified through the review, support the vitality and quality of Midtown Toronto. Our midtown area, as the population grows, needs improved hard infrastructure such as transit, pipes and wires capacity, and social services such as school space, affordable childcare and recreation, to support building a community for people, rather than just condo developers.

I frankly wish this had been done decades ago, but it is critical to support our quality of life in a growing community.

I would also like to recognize the outstanding work of our local Residents' Associations, Business Improvement Associations, not-for-profit organizations, tenants associations, condo boards, recreation groups, and others, throughout this process. Dedicated volunteers have attended meetings, consultations, and workshops to advocate on our community’s behalf. I am proud to work closely with them. I expect updates to the study this fall.

90 Eglinton Ave West development approved by Council despite being contrary to the City of Toronto's policies and Official Plan

While not in Ward 22, local residents' associations and I are very disappointed that a development proposal at 90 Eglinton Ave W, near Yonge St was approved at Council this week. The Ward 16 proposal contravenes the intent of the Eglinton Connects by-law and Toronto'sEmployment Lands Strategy, which mandates 100% office replacement in every new development.

To uphold Council policy, I moved an amendment to a refusal motion moved by local councillor, Christin Carmichael Greb, that required the developer to provide full office replacement and respect the intent of the Eglinton Connects plan for a midrise development on this site. My amendment was approved but Carmichael Greb’s motion was defeated. Subsequently, the item, as amended, was defeated. There is nothing that can be done at this point to reopen the item.

The only recourse at this point is for a Residents' Association, or another person or group involved in the process, to make an appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board.

I will continue to advocate for adherence to the Eglinton Connects plan and full office replacement to help ensure that our community's vision of an appropriately-scaled and complete neighbourhood where people can live, work, and play is implemented.

For more information, please see this article.

Council Approves Start of Updated Plan for Yonge and St. Clair

As many local residents know, there is increasing development pressure in the Yonge and St. Clair area. Many of the current development proposals do not conform to the existing policies of the Secondary Plan.

That's why I moved a motion to update and strengthen the policies of the local Secondary Plan. The motion also directs City Planning Staff to advise developers that City Council will not support new proposals in the Yonge St. Clair Secondary Plan Area that permit development at a scale, intensity or character that requires reconsideration of the Secondary Plan policies prior to adoption of this new review.

Branded Neighbourhood Street Signs Approved for Deer Park

Deer Park, surrounding Yonge and St. Clair, has a long and storied history. The area was referred to by the First Nations peoples as “Mashquoteh”, which is Ojibway for meadow or woodland where deer come to feed. In 1837, Agnes Heath, widow of Col. Charles Heath, relocated from India to Canada with her children and purchased 40 acres northwest of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue West (then known as the Third Concession Road) and appropriately named it Deer Park.

The area was annexed to the City of Toronto in 1908 and was established as one of Toronto’s finest residential districts by the 1930s. Pianist Glenn Gould, Group of Seven founding member J. E. H. MacDonald, writer Farley Mowat, and former Prime Minister John Turner have all called Deer Park home.

I am happy to report that my motion to honour this historic neighbourhood with branded street signs, paid for through development fees, was approved at Council this month.

Fire Services to Provide Greater Transparency to Toronto Tenants in the Wake of British High Rise Tragedy

After the recent apartment fire tragedy in England, I was surprised to learn that tenants did not have access to the fire inspection records of their own homes. If a resident wanted to obtain these records they would have to file an onerous Freedom of Information request with the provincial government.

I am happy to report that after I raised concerns about this practice, Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop agreed to make the inspections more accessible. As the Chair of the Tenant Issues Committee, I have asked him to provide further details at our meeting on October 19, 2017.

For more information, please see this article.

Auditor General's Investigation into Questionable Toronto Parking Authority Land Deal Moves Forward

I am pleased that a very questionable land deal involving the Toronto Parking Authority is being investigated further. Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler’s nearly 10-month investigation questioned both the process and the $12.2-million price of a proposed land deal in the northwest end of the city. Her report outlines obfuscation by parking authority executives, prodding by the local councillor who was looking to push the deal forward, and potential conflicts among hired lobbyists and consultants with prior connections to the land, according to the Toronto Star. Please read this article for more information.

I strongly support the plan to have the current board members of the Toronto Parking Authority be put on temporary leave while further investigation takes place, with the City Manager taking over control of the governance of the Board. More information on Council's decision is available in this article.

Climate Change Plan Requires Adequate Funding To Succeed

TransformTO: Toronto's Climate Action Plan is a great road map for how we can meet our target of an 80% reduction of greenhouse gases against 1990 levels by the year 2050. However, our current pace of change is insufficient to achieve that target.

The plan shows that the 2050 goal is achievable with existing technologies but it means bold action is required to transform Toronto's urban systems - buildings, energy, transportation and waste. That will require further resources and leadership at City Hall.

For more information, please see this article.

Federal Government Contributes $4.8 billion for Toronto Transit Projects

The federal government announced they would contribute $4.8 billion toward 1/3 shares of transit projects in Toronto. City council has submitted four priority projects for the federal transit fund:
  • The Relief Subway Line ($6.8 billion)
  • RER ($3.7 billion)
  • Eglinton East LRT ($1.7 billion)
  • Waterfront transit ($1.5 billion)
Together, the projects are estimated to cost $13.7 billion.

I sincerely thank the federal government for their significant contribution. Among other important projects, this marks the first capital money for the much-needed Relief Subway Line.

The federal government has required the Province and the City to each contribute a 1/3 share for the projects. The province has yet to confirm their participation and I have concerns regarding the City's ability to pay its share as we have reached our debt ceiling as a result of ill-advised projects including the Scarborough Subway and the Gardiner East rebuild.

If the province and Council make clear choices about their priorities, we can work together to ensure that this federal funding kick starts the next wave of important transit projects in Toronto.

For more information, please see this article.

New Plan for Senior Tenants in Toronto Community Housing a Good First Step

Phase 1 of the Tenants First Implementation Plan was approved at Council this week. The plan will see the creation of a new Seniors Housing and Services entity that is more directly accountable to City Council, that strategically aligns City programs and services for seniors, including coordinating the provision of services by community and provincial agencies, and is responsible for management of the 83 seniors-designated buildings currently within the TCHC portfolio.

Update on Seniors Issues

Over the next two decades, the number of seniors in Toronto will more than double. To prepare for this, I initiated the Toronto Seniors Strategy – in 2013. With 86 of the original 91 recommendations now implemented, City staff and I, in my capacity as Toronto's Seniors Advocate, are working with older Torontonians, caregivers, agencies and other orders of government to co-create the next version of our strategy - TSS 2.0. This next phase will be completed in the Fall.

An important goal for version 2.0 of the Toronto Seniors Strategy is to start re-framing how seniors are referred to in City policies and practices. That's why I'm pleased to announce that my motionPlanning an Age-Friendly Toronto, was approved at City Council this week. It makes an explicit link between Council’s commitment to being an age-friendly city and the City’s Official Plan. When the new Official Plan review process begins in the next few years, we will be reinforcing and building on policies in the current plan that are consistent with creating an age-friendly built environment.

Also, I was honoured to recognize my friend, Frances Chapkin at Council this week. Frances has been chosen as Ontario's 2017 Senior of the Year! This is a well-deserved award for someone who has devoted decades of her life to volunteer work aimed at improving the lives of our elder population.


(Josh at the City's Seniors Month Launch Event with Ontario's 2017 Senior of the Year, Frances Chapkin)
The Republic of Rathnelly Celebrates their 50th Anniversary through Festivities and New Laneway Names

I deeply enjoyed the opportunity to join the residents of the Rathnelly community in celebrating their 50th annual Rathnelly Day! This day marks a unique example of community activism in our city's history when hundreds of residents boldly (and cheekily) declared succession from Canada to protest the construction of the Spadina Expressway.

In keeping with this spirit, I had the pleasure of working with my friends from RARA (Rathnelly Area Residents' Association) and Transportation Staff to commemorate the community's history and important individuals through five laneway namings: Robin Fraser Lane, Rebellion Lane, Michael Snow Lane, Stop Spadina Lane and Aileen Robertson Lane. Long live the Republic!

You can read more about the rich history of Rathnelly Day here.


(Josh at the Republic of Rathnelly's 50th anniversary celebration)
What's On: Events at Ward 22 Toronto Public Library Branches for July - August 2017

The Deer Park and Mount Pleasant Toronto Public Library branches are offering many exciting programs this summer. To learn about the programs being offered, please click here

You can also stay up-to-date with the latest library news and upcoming programs by signing up for the their What’s On at the Library enewsletter.

Summer Officially Kicks Off with the Opening of Outdoor Pools

Last week marked the official kick-off of the 2017 summer season with the opening of 59 city-wide outdoor pools and over 100 wading pools.

The City's outdoor pools will remain open, weather permitting, with varying schedules, until Labour Day weekend. For information about pool hours, operations and locations, please click here or call 311.

Supervision or swimming ability requirements are in place for children under 10 years of age. Leisure swimming is free for all ages.

Over 90 splash pads are open across the city and will remain open until September 17. Splash pads operate daily from 9am to 8:30pm and are activated through push-button features. Caregivers are reminded to supervise their children at these unsupervised water play areas.

More than 100 supervised wading pools are also open for the summer. Each will operate on individual schedules until September 3, weather permitting. Wading pools are shallow water areas for children located in parks. Caregivers are reminded to supervise children at all times in these areas.

Have your say! Protecting Toronto's pollinators

The City is inviting residents to share their views on a proposed strategy to protect Toronto's bees and other pollinators. The purpose of the strategy is to identify actions that can be taken by the City and the community to protect, enhance and create habitat for Toronto's pollinators. Toronto is home to more than 360 species of bees, and more than 100 species of butterflies and other pollinators. Some species are in decline. Learn more and share your views.

Volunteer Toronto: Becoming a Board Member Workshops

Are you a professional interested in volunteering in a leadership role? Volunteering as a non-profit board member may be the role for you. To find out what's involved and meet non-profits who are actively looking for volunteers to join their board, visit one of Volunteer Toronto’s upcoming workshops. 

For upcoming workshop dates and locations, please click here.

Development Proposals in Ward 22

To ensure you are informed and engaged about development proposals being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage

My webpage listing all the proposed developments in Ward 22 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. 

The OMB is a quasi-judicial, un-elected and un-accountable provincial body that has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario. The tribunal's powers to overrule decisions made by our elected municipal representatives are anti-democratic and often lead to planning decisions that far too often support the interests of the development industry over those of our communities and our city's official plan. To read more about the OMB and my advocacy to free Toronto from its purview, please click here.
City Hall and Community Update for May 31, 2017

City Hall and Community Update for May 31, 2017

Reimagining Yonge and Eglinton's Canada Square / TTC Bus Barns Public Meeting

For too many years, the TTC Bus Barns property at the southwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton was left as a derelict eyesore in the heart of our community. More recently, this site has been actively used as a construction staging area for Metrolinx's Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

I believe it's time to ensure that there is a plan in place so that these lands, along with rest of the Canada Square property, can be thoughtfully redeveloped when the LRT is completed. Leaders of our local residents' associations and I have had initial meetings with Oxford Properties, the developer of the site, and I have already informed them of four expectations I have on behalf of our community:

1. That any new development be based on good urban planning principles and be respectful of the City of Toronto's Official Plan

2. That any new development demonstrate an appropriate transition in scale to the adjacent neighbourhood

3. That plans be devised with the community and be respectful of local residents' feedback and not be appealed to either the OMB or the proposed Local Planning Appeals Tribunal

4. Any plan for the site must include a truly remarkable public space that would provide necessary public realm for both local residents and visitors alike. My vision is for a public space that one would find in cities like Rome, New York, London and Paris, rather than the concrete mediocrity we're accustomed to in Toronto.

Please join me and City Staff in a discussion about how you would like to see the TTC Bus Barns and Canada Square properties be redeveloped. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 7 at 7pm at the North Toronto Collegiate Institute Commons (17 Broadway Avenue).

To view the community notice for this meeting, please click here.

Improving the Deer Park Streetscape at Yonge & St. Clair: The New Planter Boxes Have Arrived!

As local residents know all too well, the public realm in the Yonge and St. Clair area is in great need of improvement, including the out-of-date, crumbling concrete planters in the area.

To help improve the neighbourhood, I directed developers' fees toward Section 37 streetscape improvements in the Yonge and St. Clair area. The motion allocated $200,000 for planting trees in new planters and other street enhancements. This is part of my plan for the renewal of the area including the restoration of Lawton Parkette and other public art features including the new iconic mural.

Despite some timeline setbacks experienced by City staff during the tender and manufacturing stages, our beautiful new planter boxes are finally here! You may have noticed the striking metal and wood boxes being installed over the past few days. Some will be solely planter boxes and others will provide seating to contribute to an age-friendly neighbourhood.

The new planters will replace the existing ones in the same locations. Urban Forestry has assessed the condition of all existing trees: for existing trees that are in good condition, the old concrete surrounds will be removed and replaced with the new planter boxes. Trees and associated planters in poor condition will be removed and replaced with new planters and new trees in the same location. Urban Forestry will be maintaining the new trees.


(Old vs. New, street tree planter boxes at Yonge & St. Clair)

REMINDER: Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Environment Day

On Thursday, June 1 from 4-8pm, I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The event will take place in the parking lot of North Toronto Memorial Arena (174 Orchard View Blvd).

Please drop off any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste.

For full event details and more information on acceptable drop-off items, please click here.

Provincial Legislation Establishing New Tribunal Replacing OMB Introduced Yesterday

In my last newsletter, I informed you that the Province had announced the elimination of the Ontario Municipal Board, to be replaced by the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal. This will give cities and residents more control over development decisions and community planning.

The government tabled the bill, titled the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, yesterday at Queen's Park. From the provincial press release, the proposed law will include the following reforms aimed at giving communities a stronger voice in local land use planning decisions:
  • For complex land use planning appeals, the tribunal would only be able to overturn a municipal decision if it does not follow provincial policies or municipal plans. This would depart from the current "standard of review" for land use planning appeals, where the Ontario Municipal Board is permitted to overturn a municipal decision whenever it finds that the municipality did not reach the "best" planning decision.
  • In these cases, the tribunal would be required to return the matter to the municipality with written reasons when it overturns a decision, instead of replacing the municipality's decision with its own. The municipality would be provided with 90 days to make a new decision on an application under the proposed new law.
  • The tribunal would retain the authority to make a final decision on these matters only when, on a second appeal, the municipality's subsequent decision still fails to follow provincial policies or municipal plans.
Under this new model, the tribunal would be required to give greater weight to the decisions of local communities, while ensuring that development occurs in a way that is good for Ontario and its future. 

For more information, the City's Planning Department prepared a detailed briefing note. The Planning department can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Ontario to Overhaul Land Use Planning Appeals System to Give Local Communities a Stronger Voice in Land Use Planning Decisions

Issue / Background:
On May 16, 2017 the Ontario Government announced it was taking action to overhaul the Province's land use planning appeals system to give communities a stronger voice in land use planning decisions and ensure people have access to faster, fairer and more affordable hearings.  As part of this process legislation will be introduced to create the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, which if passed, will replace the Ontario Municipal Board. 

Key Points:
The proposed legislation will include various measures to transform Ontario's land use planning appeals system, including:
  • Mandating the new tribunal to give greater weight to the decisions of local communities, while ensuring that development and growth occurs in a way that is good for Ontario and its future.
  • Eliminating lengthy and costly "de novo" hearings for the majority of planning appeals.
  • Exempting a broader range of major land use planning decisions from appeal, including new Official Plans, major Official Plan updates and detailed plans to support growth in major transit areas.
  • Establishing a mandatory case conference for complex hearings to encourage early settlements, which would help reduce the time and cost of appeals and create a less adversarial system.
It will include reforms aimed at giving communities a stronger voice in local land use planning decisions including:
  • For complex land use planning appeals, the tribunal will only be able to overturn a municipal decision if it does not follow provincial policies or municipal plans. This is a departure from the current "standard of review" for land use planning appeals, where the Ontario Municipal Board is permitted to overturn a municipal decision whenever it finds that the municipality did not reach the "best" planning decision.
  • In these cases, the tribunal will be required to return the matter to the municipality with written reasons when it overturns a decision, instead of replacing the municipality's decision with its own. The municipality will be provided with 90 days to make a new decision on an application under the proposed new law.
  • The tribunal will retain the authority to make a final decision on these matters only when, on a second appeal, the municipality's subsequent decision still fails to follow provincial policies or municipal plans.
The Ontario government has identified the following Proposed Hearing Process:
The proposed legislation will also:
  • Restrict applications to amend new secondary (i.e. neighbourhood) plans for two years, unless permitted by a municipal council, and limit the ability to appeal an interim control by-law when first passed for a period of up to one year.
  • Give Local Appeal Bodies (LABS) more authority.  If passed the legislation will allow LABS to be able to hear appeals on site plans, in addition to their current scope of minor variances and consents.
The following matters will no longer be appeal-able under the proposed law:
  • Provincial approvals of official plans and official plan updates, including approvals of conformity exercises to provincial plans
  • Minister's Zoning Orders
The proposed new legislation will introduce major changes to the way land use planning appeals are conducted in order to reduce the length and cost of hearings and create a more level playing field for all participants as follows:
  • Requiring the tribunal to conduct mandatory case management for the majority of cases in order to narrow the issues and encourage case settlement. The tribunal will also be provided with modern case management powers to ensure meaningful case conferences.
  • Creating statutory rules regarding the conduct of hearings, including setting strict presumptive timelines for oral hearings and limiting evidence to written materials in the majority of cases.
  • Providing the tribunal with modern hearing powers to promote active adjudication, provide for alternative hearing formats and permit assignment of multi-member panels.
  • Giving elected officials greater control over local planning, resulting in fewer decisions being appealed, thereby making the decision-making process more efficient.

Inappropriate Development Proposal at 90 Eglinton West Deferred to Next Council Meeting

While not in Ward 22, local residents' associations and I share serious concerns about a development proposal at 90 Eglinton Ave W, near Yonge St. The Ward 16 proposal contravenes the intent of the Eglinton Connects by-law and Toronto's Employment Lands strategy, which mandates 100% office replacement in every new development.

Unfortunately, this application was supported by City Planning in a Final Report. The item was scheduled for debate at last week's Council meeting but was deferred until the next Council meeting as the agenda was not finished. I will continue working with local Councillor Christin Carmichael Greb to oppose this inappropriate development.

For more information, please see this Toronto Star article.

Relief Subway Line Planning Moves Forward, Project Still Unfunded

The Relief Line subway is Toronto's top transit priority. The new subway is desperately needed to reduce overcrowding on the Yonge line, which already sees many of you waiting 3 or 4 trains just to get on at Midtown stations including Eglinton, Davisville and St. Clair.

I am pleased that Council took an important step forward by voting to move forward with theplanning study for the Relief Line. Unfortunately, because of wasteful political decisions to move forward with the Gardiner Expressway and the Scarborough subway, the City does not have any capital funds to commit to this important infrastructure project. I also respectfully disagree with Mayor Tory that the future of the Relief Line should be tied to the extension of the Yonge line into York Region.

I will continue advocating for Council and Queen's Park to move forward on building this urgent and necessary evidence-based transit priority.

For more information, please see this article.

SERRA's Say NO to 18 Brownlow! Town Hall

SERRA (South Eglinton Ratepayers' & Residents' Association) invites you to a Town Hall meeting to bring the community an update on the ongoing opposition to the current development proposal for 18 Brownlow on Tuesday, June 6 at 6:30pm at the Church of Transfiguration (111 Manor Road East). SERRA has also kindly invited me to participate as a guest speaker.

As many of you are aware, the current proposal not only demonstrates complete over-development of the site, but does not respect the principles of the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan. Some of the key issues are:
  • The north side of Soudan and part of Redpath Avenue have been purchased by a developer who plans to put up two 24-storey rental towers on a four-story podium that will stretch along the north side of Soudan Avenue from Redpath to Brownlow Avenues – and abutting the townhouses on Redpath
  • The development represents more than 360 rental units, but with insufficient provision of parking and little regard for traffic flow and shadow impact
  • The City has designated part of the site for parkland dedication, which the development has not adequately addressed
  • This development offers no appropriate transition to the low rise houses on the south side of Soudan and the townhomes on Redpath. On the Soudan side there will be a massive four-storey podium – almost a wall - across the street from modest two-storey homes. On Redpath, one of the towers will be directly abutting the townhomes. And, on Brownlow, one of the towers will directly block the existing rental building at 18 Brownlow, owned by the same developer.
You can learn more about this development and SERRA's advocacy at the recently-created website NoToBrownlow.com. For the event flyer, please click here.

Midtown in Focus Open House

The Yonge and Eglinton area has experienced significant growth and change in the last decade. We need your input to ensure that the community continues to be an attractive place to live, work, learn, play and invest.

That's why I've been actively working with the City and the Midtown Working Group to develop a plan for the Yonge and Eglinton area, Midtown in Focus, that ensures the ingredients of a livable community are in place, including parks and public spaces, great old and new buildings, community services and facilities, transportation and servicing infrastructure.

Join the conversation! This Saturday (June 3), the City is hosting a public open house and workshop regarding the Midtown in Focus study to share work to date and gather your comments and ideas for the future of Midtown. I encourage you to drop by the Commons at North Toronto Collegiate Institute between 9:30am-2pm this Saturday.

REMINDER: Deer Park Residents Group Annual General Meeting

Please join me for the Deer Park Residents Group (DPRG) Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, June 6 at Calvin Presbyterian Church (26 Delisle Avenue). The membership desk will open at 6:30pm and the meeting will commence at 7pm.

The annual meeting of the DPRG is an opportunity for residents of our neighbourhood to learn about activities during the past year. The agenda will include a summary of actions taken by the DPRG, events in our district and an election of members of the Board for the coming year. I will be speaking to attendees about developments in Ward 22 and beyond that have an impact on all of us. Any persons attending who are not already members of the DPRG will be encouraged to join.

The DPRG welcomes members who have an interest in participating in its activities and serving on the Board. Please feel welcome to email [email protected] for more information.

Brentwood Towers Tenants' Association AGM

I look forward to participating in the upcoming Brentwood Towers Tenants' Association (BTTA) Annual General Meeting at 7:30pm on Tuesday, June 13 at Calvin Presbyterian Church (26 Delilse Avenue) to update members on local and city-wide issues and developments.

Sherwood Park Residents’ Association AGM

I also look forward to participating in the upcoming SPRA Annual General Meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, June 14 at The Sherwood (2567 Yonge Street) to update members on local and city-wide issues and developments.

For information on the SPRA, please click here.

REMINDER: Chaplin Estates Garage Sale

Please join me on Saturday, June 3rd for the Chaplin Estates Garage Sale! The event will take place in the area bounded by Yonge Street, Chaplin Crescent, and Eglinton Ave W and will run from 8am to 2pm. I hope to see you there!

Blessing of the Animals and Community BBQ at Glebe Road United Church

My friends at Glebe Road United Church and the Midtown Yonge BIA will be hosting a Special Service for you and your pet on Sunday, June 4. All are welcome! Bring your pets, bring your family, bring your friends. The Service will be followed by a community BBQ and plenty of activities for the kids!

For full event details, please click here.

New Green Bins Roll Out Across Ward 22

The City continues to phase in delivery of the new Green Bins and the neighbourhoods in the southern part of District 2, west of Yonge Street and south of Eglinton Avenue. It will take about three months to complete this distribution. Solid Waste crews deliver to one collection route per day, which represents approximately 1,500 households. Don't be alarmed if you see residents in your area with new bins and you have not received one -- yours is coming. On the same day that residents get their new Green Bin, the old one will be taken away and recycled. If crews miss removing your old bin that day, set it out empty on your next collection cycle and it will be picked up then (those who miss this second opportunity may contact 311 to arrange removal).

As Solid waste staff move through our neighbourhoods, you can check the bin delivery progress in your area at www.toronto.ca/greenbin. These maps are updated weekly and are a useful tool to refer to regarding inquiries on the delivery status of the new Green Bins.

Here are the City of Toronto's messages about  some of the New Green Bin's key features (with my comments in italics):
  • It is animal-resistant so it can be stored outside or placed at the curb the night before collection with the lid in the locked position. (we'll see about that- the mayor called them "raccoon-proof" but I'll want to see if they actually are)
  • It is larger (much larger, perhaps too large) and can hold more organics. Plus, it meets automated collection requirements.
  • Set out is important. Place the bin with the dial in the locked position with the arrows on the top of the lid facing the street to receive collection. Please remember to leave 0.5 metres between bins for automated collection.
More tips on using your new bin will be delivered with the bin. It is important to start using your new bin on your next collection day because we will no longer be able to collect from the old one. If you are currently an approved garbage and recycling bag-only customer, City staff will contact you to determine if the new Green Bin is suitable for your property.

Over the years, your strong participation in the Green Bin Program makes it the most successful and beneficial program of its type in North America. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

Health & Beauty Day At Central Eglinton Community Centre

The wonderful folks at Central Eglinton Community Centre (160 Eglinton Avenue East), including Executive Director John Carey, are hosting their 2017 Heath and Beauty Day at 10am-3pm on Friday, June 9. They will have free seminars, Pilates and Yoga classes and much more to explore for your health and well-being.

Full event details are available here.

Green and Cool Roof Grants

Time for a new roof? The City offers incentives for the installation of green and cool roofs on Toronto's residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. Green roofs are eligible for $100 per square metre, cool roofs from $2 to $5 per square metre. You can also get a grant to assess the capacity of your building to support a green roof. Learn more and apply at Eco-Roof Incentive Program.

Bike Month 2017

The City of Toronto, through its Live Green Toronto and Smart Commute Programs, has partnered with Cycle Toronto to host dozens of rides, races, tours and festivals across the City to celebrate Bike Month! You can view the full calendar of events here.

145 - 149 Chaplin Crescent Public Meeting

The City has received an application to amend the Zoning By-law to permit five 3-storey townhouses each containing a 1-car integral garage a proposed height of 12.5 metres. The site is adjacent to the Kay Gardiner Beltline Trail.

Please join me at 7pm on Wednesday, May 31 (tonight) in the Cameron Room at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (1585 Yonge Street), for a meeting to discuss the proposed development. City Planning staff will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.

Development Proposals in Ward 22

To ensure you are informed and engaged about development proposals being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage

My webpage listing all the proposed developments in Ward 22 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. 

The OMB is a quasi-judicial, un-elected and un-accountable provincial body that has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario. The tribunal's powers to overrule decisions made by our elected municipal representatives are anti-democratic and often lead to planning decisions that far too often support the interests of the development industry over those of our communities and our city's official plan. To read more about the OMB and my advocacy to free Toronto from its purview, please click here.

City Hall and Community Update for May 1, 2017

Leadership on Housing and Transit Begins by Setting the Right Priorities

I'm very concerned about how, while the mayor understandably calls on the Province for adequate funding for the significant transit and housing shortfalls in Toronto, I believe there have been decisions made at city hall that have not demonstrated thoughtful or competent management of these priorities from either a financial or social and urban planning policy perspective.

City Hall and Community Update for March 31, 2017

Groundbreaking Tenant Protection Legislation Passes Final Hurdle

As Chair of the Tenants Issues Committee, I am very pleased to report that my colleagues supported our new Tenant Protection by-law to provide much needed protection for Toronto renters. The provisions in the by-law will be in force by July of this year.

This success was the result of years of hard work with local tenant advocates and city-wide organizations, including the Federation of Metro Toronto Tenants’ Associations, ACORN, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, and community legal clinics.

At present, far too many renters live in sub-standard housing.  The City’s Multi Residential Audit Building (MRAB) program has found over 58,000 deficiencies in approximately 1000 buildings since Building Audits began.  Leaking roofs, stained carpets, non-functioning elevators, and pest infestations are far too common.  And these violations are mostly from just the shared areas in buildings and don’t capture the serious problems tenants face inside their units.

Some landlords have ignored City orders to fix their properties for years with little consequence; they treat the small fines as the cost of doing business, drag out performing the repairs through court appeals, and are even granted time extensions.

The system certainly doesn’t give tenants the same leniency when their rent is due.

This comprehensive new by-law includes several motions I moved to address some of these concerns, including:
  • A “Rentsafe” rating program for buildings modelled off of the “Dinesafe” program for restaurants that requires landlords to post a colour-coded sign that displays the City's rating in a prominent, publicly identifiable location, along with posting the same information on the City's website
  • Requesting that the Province grant the City the power to fine landlords for property standards violations
  • Establishing guidelines for when the Property Standards Committee can grant time extensions on work orders for violations and to limit those criteria to situations that are only extraordinary circumstances
  • Developing standard operating procedures for City enforcement officers which provide targeted timelines by violation category to bring landlords into compliance with City by-laws from the date an order is issued, and make the standards available to the public on the City website
  • Ensuring that landlords will not be able to rent vacant units if they have outstanding property orders in the building for vital services such as heat or water
These measures, and many others contained in the program, were the result of extensive consultation with tenants across the city.

For more information on this ground-breaking legislation, please see this article.

Council Ignores Evidence and Chooses 1-Stop Subway Over 24-Stop LRT Network for Scarborough

As many of you have heard by now, Council has opted to continue work toward a 1-stop extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway to the Scarborough Town Centre instead of a 2-line, 24-stop network. I wrote extensively about the options in my previous newsletter to you.

It is unfortunate that, yet again, Council decided to not ask for relevant and important information by voting against my motion to have Staff finally provide a Business Case Analysis comparing the 1-stop subway with a 7-stop LRT in the McCowan corridor. This is especially disappointing in light of the answers to my questions on transit options for Scarborough ahead of the vote which, among other things, stated that:
  • The briefing note provided by the TTC in 2016 claiming that the cost of the LRT was the same as the subway was based on incorrect assumptions
  • Funding sources and amounts for the 1-stop subway extension have not yet been finalized
  • The LRT plan is at a far more advanced design stage than the 1-stop subway
In addition, a new study released before the vote found that most Scarborough residents will spend more time on the bus with the 1-stop subway plan.

Despite this setback, I will continue to advocate for honest and evidence-based transit. For more information on what this vote means going forward, please see this article.

Unprecedented Meeting on Tenants and Housing Affordability Next Week

On Monday, April 3 I will be co-hosting an unprecedented joint meeting(s) of the Tenant Issues Committee, which I Chair, and the Affordable Housing Committee with my colleague, Councillor Ana Bailao.  

Toronto's rental housing market has become increasingly unaffordable for many people.
The challenges of finding and keeping a decent and affordable place to live are affecting people across the rental spectrum in all areas of the city, including Midtown.

Rents are rapidly rising beyond the rate of inflation and, on the turnover from one tenant to the next, units newly on the market are drawing bidding wars. Due to historically low vacancy rates and a lack of new purpose-built rental supply, more and more residents are finding themselves precariously housed by renting condominiums.

Despite the ongoing construction of new condominiums, there remains a critical shortage of homes that people can afford. As a result of market pressures and a lack of protection for any rental unit built after 1991, some tenants in condominiums have recently reported annual rent increases between 10% and 50%.

Residents in purpose-built rental buildings that supposedly have protection from rents rising above inflation are also at-risk. Landlords are allowed to increase rents substantially for basic maintenance, including balcony replacements and new boilers, due to unfair provisions in the provincial Residential Tenancies Act. 

This meeting will look at housing affordability in a holistic manner and request the provincial government and City Staff to move forward with concrete measures to help ensure that all Torontonians have access to a safe, clean, and healthy home.

The meeting will take place at 3pm in Committee Room 2 on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

Proposal to Increase Fines for Speeding in School Zones

I was very pleased to support a motion by Councillors Mark Grimes and Mike Layton to request the Province to allow the City the ability to double fines for speeding in designated school zones. This is an important issue in our community and I will be advocating for this important measure as it moves to the Ontario government.

Community Meeting: Next Improvements to June Rowlands Park and Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground

On Monday, April 3 at 7pm, please join me to discuss your vision for an improved and expanded Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground and other enhancements at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park. City staff from Parks, Forestry & Recreation will be in attendance to present design concepts and receive your feedback.

The meeting location is Greenwood College (443 Mount Pleasant Road), Room 174. I hope to see you there!

To view the event flyer, please click here.


SAVE THE DATE: Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Environment Day

On Thursday, June 1 from 4-8pm, I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The event will take place in the parking lot of North Toronto Memorial Arena (174 Orchard View Blvd). Please drop off any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste, or even replace your damaged green bin.


Toronto-St. Paul’s Summit: Working Together for a Better St. Paul’s

Please join me and my colleagues representing all levels of government at this year's St. Paul's Summit on Sunday, May 7 at Christ Church Deer Park (1570 Yonge Street), 3-5pm.

Together with the St. Paul's community we will be talking about key issues affecting our country, province, city, school boards and neighbourhoods.

I am honoured to be joining federal MP, Dr. Carolyn Bennett, provincial MPP, Dr.Eric Hoskins, my local colleagues at City Hall and school trustees in this important conversation with our residents.


Deer Park Residents Group Annual General Meeting

Please join me for the Deer Park Residents Group (DPRG) Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, June 6 at Calvin Presbyterian Church (26 Delisle Avenue). The membership desk will open at 6:30pm and the meeting will commence at 7pm.

The annual meeting of the DPRG is an opportunity for residents of our neighbourhood to learn about activities during the past year. The agenda will include a summary of actions taken by the DPRG, events in our district and an election of members of the Board for the coming year. I will be speaking to attendees about developments in Ward 22 and beyond that have an impact on all of us. Any persons attending who are not already members of the DPRG will be encouraged to join.

The DPRG welcomes members who have an interest in participating in its activities and serving on the Board. Please feel welcome to email [email protected] for more information.

South Eglinton Ratepayers' and Residents' Association Annual General Meeting

The South Eglinton Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (SERRA) is constituted for the purpose of furthering and protecting the common interests of its members relating to real estate, zoning, municipal planning and any other matter touching on or relating to real property within the membership area, bounded by Yonge Street, Bayview Avenue, Eglinton Avenue and Merton Street.

SERRA will be holding its AGM this year at 7pm on Monday, May 8 at Greenwood College School (443 Mount Pleasant Road). I hope to see you there!

Clean Toronto Together Registration is Now Open

It's time for some spring cleaning! Gather your friends, neighbours, co-workers and classmates to clean a park, laneway or any other space that needs your help. Friday, April 21 is the Corporate & School 20-Minute Makeover; Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23 are the Community Cleanup Days.

Registration is now open. Individuals, community groups, schools and businesses can register their cleanup events online or by calling 311. Registration helps the City arrange for special litter and recycling pickups and helps to reduce duplicate cleanups. Learn more and find out when and where to get free GLAD® garbage and recycling bags for your cleanup online or by calling 311. 

To learn more and to register your event, please click here.


If you are planning to hold a community clean-up, please let me know and I'd be happy to drop by and help out!

Celebrating National Caregiver Day

Twenty-nine percent of Canadians and Torontonians are family caregivers to someone in need. The majority of them are seniors. On January 31, 2017 City Council passed a motion to recognize Family Caregiver Day annually on April 4.

In recognition of Family Caregiver Day we will be holding an event in the Council Chamber at City Hall, co-hosted by City staff involved in the Toronto Seniors Strategy, the Toronto Seniors Forum, ENRICHES and twelve other stakeholder organizations, to recognize the valuable contribution of family caregivers to our community and to express our support.

Family caregivers often assume this role with no training or additional resources and are facing challenging and stressful situations on a daily basis. The latest report of the ‘Change Foundation’ suggests that the majority of caregivers succumb to physical and psychological illness as a result of their caregiving responsibilities. Despite that, they are often not recognized for their role and are not perceived as a population in need of support in the health care system and the community at large.

This event promises to be a wonderful opportunity for Toronto to come together in support of this often invisible and vulnerable group of individuals that is such a crucial component to the well-being of our Toronto community. As the City's Seniors Advocate, I am delighted to be speaking to attendees at 1pm on Tuesday, April 4.

For full event details, please click here.

Toronto Seniors Strategy 2.0: Have Your Say!

In my capacity as the City's Seniors Advocate, I'm actively working with City staff and community partners to develop the next phase of the Toronto Seniors Strategy, to improve City services for older Torontonians and make Toronto a more age-friendly city. We would also love to hear from you! I encourage you to participate in our online survey by April 15. 

Please click here to access the questionnaire.

Toronto Seniors Helpline

WoodGreen Community Services, Toronto Central CCAC, and Toronto Central LHIN are pleased to launch the Toronto Seniors Helpline (TSH)!

The Toronto Seniors Helpline is a single phone line that streamlines access to community, homecare and crisis services for seniors, their caregivers and their health care providers. Through this initiative, CNAP, Seniors Crisis Line and TC CCAC information and referral staff have unified as a single team with a shared focus on information and referral, supportive counseling and service navigation services. As a result, seniors will experience the ease of one access point, more streamlined care, and warm transfers to the services that best meet their needs. TSH is for seniors, caregivers, and health care professionals.

TSH can be reached at 416-217-2077. The number is TTY-compatible; interpretation services are available.

TSH is answered by certified staff who connect people to the care they need, including CCAC home care services, crisis outreach teams, and other services in our community that support seniors’ safety, health and well-being. The team is comprised of information and referral staff from the TC CCAC and WoodGreen staff, all of whom have been cross-trained in service offerings across the home and community sector, including crisis services.

Low Income Retirement Workshops at Toronto Public Library

Planning for Retirement on a Low Income workshops will be offered again this spring at 9 library branches in Toronto, thanks to generous funding from The Rotary Club of Toronto. The goal of this workshop is to provide low-income attendees, in plain language, with a complete picture of benefits available to them, explain how these benefits interact, and outline best strategies for long term retirement planning on a very limited income. John Stapleton, Metcalf Foundation Fellow and social policy expert, is the presenter.

The impact of the series cannot be overstated. Mainstream financial advice is in most cases, inappropriate and detrimental to low-income earners. For example, advising a low-income person to save within an RRSP, can be very bad advice as it reduces their Guaranteed Income Supplement. Simply put, this information is not readily available elsewhere, and fills a real need. The 9 workshops in the fall 2016 series attracted 523 attendees – mostly disadvantaged persons in need of any available assistance, or someone attending on their behalf.

North Toronto Memorial Community Centre Temporary Closure

The City is enhancing North Toronto Memorial Community Centre to improve facility operations and services to the community. The centre will close for state of good repair renovations in September 2017 for approximately 18 months. For more information, please click here.

While the community centre is located outside of my ward, many Ward 22 residents use the facility and will be impacted by this closure. I encourage you to attend an upcoming community meeting hosted by City staff to learn more about the renovations and program relocation. The meeting will be held at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre at 6:30pm on Wednesday, May 17.

Open Call for Jane's Walk Leaders

May 5th, 6th, & 7th Jane's Walk Festival

If you have a fun, informative, unusual way of looking at your neighbourhood, then Jane’s Walk wants you to host a walking conversation in your community!

Jane’s Walk is a global movement of free, community-led walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs. The walks get people to explore their cities and connect with neighbours. Organizing a Jane’s Walk is easy. It simply involves planning a route, thinking through the stories, places, people and ideas you want to hear and talk about, and then posting it online atjaneswalk.org/toronto. Learn more at www.janeswalk.org.

Jane’s Walk is a great way to personally connect with with other residents, share stories of the neighborhood, and discuss important issues in your community. New walks are posted here every day.

City of Toronto's Proposed Stormwater Charge

Currently, stormwater management is being paid for from the water rate, which means the amount homeowners pay for stormwater management is based on how much water they use. The Stormwater Charge proposal is to remove the portion that homeowners currently pay for stormwater management (currently embedded in the water rate), and show it as a separate charge on the water bill. The water rate would decrease and the stormwater charge would be added. The amount paid for stormwater would be based on property size and the average amount of hard space on properties of a similar size.

More information is available at toronto.ca/stormwatercharge, including:
  • Full details and information about the proposed stormwater charge
  • An online survey to allow for public feedback
  • Examples of how the proposed stormwater charge could impact water bills
  • A full list of the categories and tiers for the proposed stormwater charge
  • A full listing of the public consultation dates and locations

Wheel-Trans Public Meetings: 10-Year Strategy Update and Next Steps

As a follow up to the public meetings held last summer, TTC will be hosting another round of consultations in April to update current and prospective customers on the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy.

Participants will be provided details on the recently implemented Wheel-Trans eligibility and policy changes, as well as information on the Family of Services Pilot Program, Mobility Transfer Hubs and the proposed Community Bus Routes. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A period and an opportunity to provide input on each of these initiatives.

Details on the public meetings can be found on the TTC Wheel-Trans Public Consultations page.

Public Invited to Debate, Collaborate and Create as Consultation on City of Toronto's Long-Term Financial Plan Continues

The City of Toronto is launching Phase 2 of its public consultation on the renewal of its Long-Term Financial Plan. Information about the consultation, including background reports and engagement opportunities, a public workshop and an upcoming online survey, is available athttp://www.investinginTO.ca/. The public is also invited to participate in the conversation on social media, using the hashtag #InvestinginTO.

For the second phase of consultation, the City is inviting members of the public to City Hall for a conversation about how it makes decisions and balances priorities that have a long-term financial impact.

An interactive afternoon of workshops and discussions will be held at Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen St. W., on Saturday, April 22 at 1-5pm. The open house will begin at 12:30pm.

This is an opportunity for the public to:
  • debate how City Hall can balance both its books and its long-term priorities
  • collaborate with community organizations, other members of the public and the City
  • create a financial path that brings us closer to the city we want
More information about the workshops and discussions is available athttp://www.investinginTO.ca/. The workshops will be available via webcast for those who wish to participate online.  An online survey will also be open from April 22 to May 14.

The first consultation, which took place last fall, focused on how the City manages expenses, raises revenue and could maximize its assets. The City heard about the need to balance the priorities and budgets while also supporting the most vulnerable Torontonians. The public was also clear about keeping the City's commitments to innovation, economic health, infrastructure investments and the environment while finding ways to pay for them. The City also heard about the need for information that helps the public understand and contribute to the City's budgets, plans and decision making.

The findings from the consultation process will provide advice for Council and the City Manager as the City sets out to develop its Long-Term Financial Plan. The plan will guide financial decision-making over the long term and put Toronto on a path to financial sustainability. It will also help address structural financial issues as expenditures continue to rise faster than revenues, and help ensure that the City continues to run well, spends public money wisely and delivers the programs and services residents need and want over the long term.

44 Jackes Avenue Public Meeting

The City has received an application to amend the Zoning By-law to permit a new high-rise residential building in the northwest corner of a 1.26 hectare site with two existing high-rise rental apartment buildings. The new building is proposed to be 29-storeys high with a 4-storey podium base.

Please join me at 7pm on Thursday, April 13 in the Cameron Room at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (1585 Yonge Street), for a meeting to discuss the proposed development. City Planning staff will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.


390 Spadina Road Development Update

The South Forest Hill Residents Association (SFHRA) has asked that I share the following message with you regarding this inappropriate development proposal: 

Forest Hill Village is Under Attack!

More than 60 local residents attended the pre-OMB hearing on March 1st forcing the OMB to move the proceedings to their largest room. South Forest Hill Residents Association (SFHRA) was well represented by lawyer, Peter Carey, who was successful in securing our "party" status at the OMB.

No date has been set for the OMB hearing itself.  Instead, a second pre-hearing date has been set for August 8th to review any revisions to the developer's plan and determine next steps.  In order to prepare for this meeting, SFHRA needs to hire their own experts to counter the aggressive and well-financed attack by the Armel Corporation and their partners.

We have our work cut out for us!  Did you know the OMB rules 64% of the time against communities and only 36% in favour of communities?  The community can only win this with the support of each member of the community.

Fundraising has begun with a goal to raise $65,000 to prevent the destruction of the Village.  You can help by donating generously:

1. ONLINE- click on the link which will take you to our GoFundMe page:
http://www.gofundme.com/save-forest-hill-village
OR
2. Drop off your cheque made out to South Forest Hill Residents Association at 350 Lonsdale Rd (Attention: Mona Kornberg). There's a 24 hour Concierge.

For further information or to join the fight, email the SFHRA at [email protected]or visit us on Facebook!

* South Forest Hill Residents Association is an incorporated non-profit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors

Development Proposals in Ward 22

To ensure you are informed and engaged about development proposals being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage

My webpage listing all the proposed developments in Ward 22 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. 

The OMB is a quasi-judicial, un-elected and un-accountable provincial body that has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario. The tribunal's powers to overrule decisions made by our elected municipal representatives are anti-democratic and often lead to planning decisions that far too often support the interests of the development industry over those of our communities and our city's official plan. To read more about the OMB and my advocacy to free Toronto from its purview, please click here.

City Hall and Community Update for February 24, 2017













The Yonge & St. Clair Valentine's Day Fire at the Badminton & Racquet Club

The term “hero” is sometimes used too easily but I can’t think of a better word to describe the Fire, Police and EMS responders who attended to the 6-alarm fire at Yonge & St. Clair last week. For more than 24 hours, over 100 firefighters worked long, dangerous and grueling shifts to put out the blaze at the Badminton and Racquet Club; keeping the fire from spreading to residential buildings only feet away. In an amazing display of teamwork, Toronto Fire Services was joined by Police, EMS, the Office of Emergency Management, Toronto Hydro, Toronto Water, TTC, and others.

City Hall and Community Update for February 3rd 2017

Toronto’s Heritage Protection Policies Must Be Strengthened

Toronto has a shameful record when it comes to protecting its architectural heritage.

The wanton demolition of the Bank of Montreal building at 2444 Yonge Street last month, and the Stollery's Building at Yonge and Bloor in January 2015, are just two of the most recent examples of the City's inability to stay ahead of development applications. We need to implement a more proactive mechanism to protect better protect Toronto's built heritage before. That's why I moved a motion in 2015 to strengthen our heritage policy framework.

Currently, for a building to have protection, it must be either “listed” or “designated” under the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA). A very lengthy process is required for a property to become listed, including a full evaluation and completed Staff research report, followed by consideration by both Community Council and City Council. Only following City Council approval does a property become eligible for protection under the OHA, including demolition protections under the Ontario Planning Act. This review process can take up to five months to complete for a single property. For a property to become fully designated, the process can take up to eight months. There is nothing to save a heritage property from the wrecking ball while this process is taking place.

My motion asked City Planning staff to report back to Planning and Growth Management Committee on the feasibility of establishing a new tier of heritage designation that is more inclusive, proactive and expeditious. This new category would protect properties that have been identified but not yet evaluated for listing or designation.

We are still waiting on the Chief Planner to take action on this Council direction.

You can read more about the current challenges facing the City's heritage policy and my efforts to improve them in this article.

Also, for your convenience, I have created an interactive map of all heritage properties located in Ward 22.


City Staff Proposing Massive Fee Hikes for Patios

Small business owners across the city are sounding the alarm over a proposal from Licensing and Standards Staff that would see fees for some patios increase by over 1000%. While some adjustment might be reasonable, I will not support any measure that provides a disincentive for business owners to provide outdoor seating in appropriate locations.

Patios contribute to more fun and vibrant streets, our local economy and community residents' quality of life. Where residential neighbors aren't adversely impacted, the City should be working to encourage more patios instead of making them prohibitively expensive.

For more information on this issue, please read this article.


REMINDER: Community Skating Party with Josh Matlow, Rob Oliphant & Carolyn Bennett!

I'm excited to be co-hosting a community skating party with our local MPs, Rob Oliphant and Carolyn Bennett at Hodgson Ice Rink (East of Mt. Pleasant, entrance off Millwood/Harwood, behind Hodgson PS). 

Please join us from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, February 12th for a fun, family-friendly afternoon with free coffee and hot chocolate.

I look forward to seeing you there!


REMINDER: Councillor Josh Matlow's 2017 City of Toronto Budget Town Hall Meeting

On Wednesday, February 8th at 7pm, I will be hosting my 2017 Budget Town Hall for Ward 22 residents at Christ Church Deer Park, Elliott Hall, 1570 Yonge Street.

The City of Toronto's budget will affect virtually every City service and your feedback is very important to me. I hope you will be able to attend.

If you would like more information on the proposed 2017 City of Toronto Budget in advance of my Town Hall meeting, please click here.


REMINDER: Let's Design Ward 22's Two New Park Spaces Together: Second Public Meeting

In early December 2016, I held an initial public meeting to gather residents' feedback on potential designs and uses for our two new parks on Manor Road East that we fought for together (the former Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club site and the corner of Manor Road and Forman Avenue). Since that meeting, the project design consultant has been busy developing design concepts based on that feedback and will be ready to share these drawings with the community shortly.

Please join me and your neighbours on Monday, February 27 to review and comment upon these concept designs for our two new parks! The meeting will be held at 6:30pm in the newly renovated sanctuary at Manor Road United Church (adjacent to one of our new park spaces at 240 Manor Road East). City of Toronto Parks staff will also be in attendance.


Midtown in Focus Study Continues

As part of our Midtown in Focus study, the City of Toronto is developing an area-wide vision for parks and public spaces in the Yonge-Davisville area. As a follow up to a successful workshop in the fall, myself and City Planning Staff are reconvening for another public meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, February 22nd at Northern District Library (40 Orchard View Boulevard). We would be pleased to hear your feedback and ideas on creating a safer and more vibrant public realm in the community!

If you have any questions please feel welcome to contact myself or the City Planner Paul Farish at 416-392-3529 or [email protected]


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

To ensure you are informed and engaged about developments being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage

My webpage listing all the proposed developments in Ward 22 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).

City Hall and Community Update for December 2, 2016

REMINDER: Public Meeting to Design Ward 22's Two New Park Spaces!

Working together as a community, we successfully fought to preserve green space at the former Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club site. We also worked amicably with the Manor Road United Church to create public space rather than a townhouse development at their site.

Now the fun part begins! Please join me and your neighbours to discuss potential designs and uses for our two new parks at 6:30pm on Tuesday, December 6 in the gymnasium at Maurice Cody Jr Public School. City of Toronto Parks staff will also be in attendance.

Please click here to view the event flyer.


Ward 22's Hodgson Ice Rink is Now Open for the 2016/2017 Skating Season!

I am happy to announce that our community ice rink at Hodgson is now open for your skating pleasure! 

I am pleased that the 2016/17 skating year will once again feature expanded community hours at Hodgson ice. The agreement with the TDSB reached last year will see the rink open for community hours starting at 11:30am (rather than 4:30pm) every weekday.

For more information regarding hours of operation and specific programming, please visit thiswebsite.


Manor Road United Church Grand Re-Opening Celebration

Manor Road United Church is celebrating the Grand Opening of their renovated space on Saturday, December 10 & Sunday, December 11 and everyone is welcome!  

The church has several events planned over the course of the weekend, including the 3rd annual Santa’s pancake breakfast at 9:30am - 11am on Saturday, a Christmas Concert and Carol Sing at 7pm on Saturday, and a Celebration Service at 10:30am on Sunday. I look forward to giving opening remarks and congratulations at the official Open House celebration at 11:45am on Sunday. I hope to see you there!


Please Join Me in Celebrating the Holiday Season with our Mount Pleasant Village and Midtown Yonge BIAs this Weekend!

On Saturday, December 3, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, their elves and more will be on hand to celebrate the Mount Pleasant Village BIA Christmas Fair. The day will be filled with fun activities, as well as in-store promotions. New for this year will be a scavenger hunt! The event will take place along Mount Pleasant Road between Eglinton and Davisville from 10am to 4pm.

Full event details are available here.

Also, come enjoy some local shopping and holiday fun on Yonge Street between Soudan and Davisville. The Midtown Yonge BIA are ringing in the season at the intersection of Yonge Street and Lola Road with a 20ft Christmas tree, carolers & Santa himself. This event will take place on Saturday, December 3 and 10 from 1pm to 4pm.

Please click here to view the Midtown Yonge BIA event flyer.


Annual 58th Toronto Scouts Christmas Tree Sale

If you'll be looking for a Christmas tree, our local kids with the 58th Scouts, Cubs & Beavers have one for you! For over 60 years, local Boy Scouts have been selling fresh, Ontario-grown Christmas trees & wreaths to neighborhood residents. The sale starts November 26 and, as always, they can be found on the main lawn at the Church of the Transfiguration (111 Manor Rd East). Open weekdays 6am -9pm (weather permitting) and Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. Deliveries available. Call or text 647-970-0947 or email [email protected].

Please click here to view the flyer.


Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation Project

As many of you are aware, the City of Toronto will be carrying out waterproofing and structure rehabilitation work on the Rosehill Reservoir at David Balfour Park. These necessary upgrades will help to ensure the structural integrity of the reservoir, extend its service life, and bring the infrastructure to a state of good repair. I have been pleased to work with my colleague, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, City staff and local Residents' Associations on honing this restoration plan.

I certainly support the work that a core group of engaged residents has been doing toward the Vision Plan. We all want this park to be remarkable once the rehab work is completed, and I look forward to working together with the community on that front. 

Also, City staff had originally planned to host a Public Open House in November 2016 to discuss the project plans further with local residents. However, in response to comments received from the community so far, they have decided to postpone this event in order to allow for additional work to be completed. I will share the full meeting details with you for the Public Open House, once confirmed, via my e-newsletter and website. This event is anticipated to take place early in the New Year.


390-398 Spadina Road Development Proposal Update

City Planning recently issued a refusal report to construct a 9-storey mixed-use building at 390 Spadina Rd, consisting of 46 residential units. Unfortunately, the developer has appealed this decision to the OMB.

While this development is actually located in Ward 21 (on the west side of Spadina Road), it will obviously impact many Ward 22 residents directly across Spadina Road and throughout the Ward 22 portion of Forest Hill Village.

In February 2014, I successfully moved a motion requesting City Planning Staff to study Forest Hill Village (located along Spadina Road) and prepare Urban Design Guidelines to protect the small town feeling of this distinctive area. The mandate for the Forest Hill Village Urban Design Guidelines is to maintain the small town character of the area by identifying the appropriate urban character, materials and building rhythm and articulation for future developments and/or renovations within the study area. This includes a Staff recommendation for a maximum of four storeys  street wall for the Village.

These new guidelines will help strengthen City Planning’s position when assessing future development applications for the Village. To learn more about the new guidelines, please see this City report that was approved today by Toronto & East York Community Council. To speak to the planner directly, please contact David Driedger at 416-392-7613 or// ' ); // ]]> " target="_blank" style="text-size-adjust: 100%; color: #2baadf; text-decoration: underline;" mce_style="text-size-adjust: 100%; color: #2baadf; text-decoration: underline;"> [email protected].

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of the South Forest Hill Residents' Association (SFHRA) in fighting the current development proposal, their shared passion to preserve the character of the Village and to ensure that any development at this location is an appropriate one. For more information about SFHRA, please click here.

I look forward to joining SFHRA and my colleague, Councillor Joe Mihevc, for a community meeting about this proposal in the New Year. I will be sure to share details of that meeting with you via my e-newsletter and website, once known.

City of Toronto Invites Residents to Have their Say on Long-Term Financial Plan

The City of Toronto is hosting four public consultation meetings from December 5 to 8, in addition to an online survey that is available from December 5 to 23, to gather the public's input on how the City can manage expenses, raise revenue and optimize its assets as part of the development of its Long-Term Financial Plan.

Public meeting details:
  • Monday, December 5, Etobicoke Olympium, 590 Rathburn Rd.
  • Tuesday, December 6, Chinese Cultural Centre, 5183 Sheppard Ave. E.
  • Wednesday, December 7, Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave.
  • Thursday, December 8, Toronto Reference Library (Epic Hall), 789 Yonge St.
Each meeting features an open house session starting at 6pm. A staff presentation that begins at 7pm provides the context for table discussions, followed by an "open-mic" session for participants who want to make a brief statement. Pre-registration is requested athttp://www.investinginto.ca.

Live webcasts of the meetings will be available on the website for those who cannot attend in person, along with learning and background materials and the online survey. Consultation toolkits can be downloaded for those who want to conduct their own community meetings.

To keep Toronto strong and vibrant, there are some key issues that require attention, including transit, housing, investment in poverty reduction, and social cohesion. City Council has adopted economic, social and environmental strategies that can lead Toronto forward. A Long-Term Financial Plan will ultimately present options and create a road map to achieve long-term financial sustainability through multi-year expenditure and revenue strategies while supporting the City's ability to fund its city-building and policy aspirations.

Findings from the consultation process will be considered by the City Manager as he provides advice to Council on the development of the plan. A second phase of the consultation process, including another round of public meetings and an additional survey, will take place in 2017. Members of the public are also invited to join the conversation on social media, using the hashtag #InvestinginTO.

Winter Season Programming in Toronto

The City of Toronto offers affordable community recreation programming for the winter season. Residents of all ages can register for winter skating programs, swimming programs and March Break camps.

Get ready!
Registration begins at 7am on Saturday, December 3 for Etobicoke/York and Scarborough Districts, and 7am on Tuesday, December 6 for North York, Toronto and East York Districts.

Residents should visit toronto.ca/torontofun prior to registration day to:
  • Find out district registration dates
  • Build a list of choices (program titles and barcodes) using the website or the printed FUN Guide
  • Get a family number and client numbers to log in and register
  • Have a payment method ready or credit on the account, if fees apply

Residents can use the "Search Programs" options at toronto.ca/funguide to build wish lists and have a few options ready in case they don’t get into their first choice.

Using the website efun.toronto.ca is the easiest and fastest way to register for winter recreation. In September, 90 per cent of users were able to log in to the registration system in less than 11 minutes and, on average, once logged in, each registration was completed in just over seven minutes.

Those who wish to register for programs will need to set up an account. Call 416-338-4386, e-mail [email protected] or speak with staff at a City community centre to get a family number and a client number, update your account information, put a credit on your account or request information on the Welcome Policy.

Welcome Policy yearly credit
The Welcome Policy credit can be used to register for City recreation programs. People receiving social assistance (Ontario Works) and living in Toronto are pre-approved to receive this credit and should speak to their caseworker. More information about the yearly credit is available at toronto.ca/wp.

Free programs
Many community centres offer free recreation programs including leisure swimming and skating, and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults. More information about free and low-cost programming options is available at toronto.ca/lowcostrecreation.

Older adult discounts
Older adults (60+ years) who register for adult programs receive a 50 per cent discount.

#WelcomeTOwinter
Winter is arriving in Toronto’s parks, community centres and natural environments. Visittoronto.ca/winter for more information on winter activities and events.

Snow Clearing for Seniors and People with Disabilities in Toronto

If you are a senior or disabled resident of Toronto, the City will clear snow from the sidewalk in front of your home in those areas where the service is not provided by machine.

The City of Toronto provides sidewalk snow clearing in most of Toronto, however, there are some areas where equipment is unable to clear sidewalks due to insufficient sidewalk width for the plows, lack of boulevard space for snow storage, and on-street parking. Most of these areas are in the older, central parts of the city.

Seniors and people with disabilities living in areas where the city does not clear sidewalks can contact the City at 311 to register for the program. The service applies to the sidewalk in front of the home only. It does not include driveways or walkways leading to homes. All participants in the program must renew annually to continue to receive the service.


You can read more about this program, view a map of the areas where the city provides mechanical sidewalk snow clearing, and access the printable application here.

Take Steps to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter

The pipes in your home can freeze in cold weather. This can leave you with no water or cause
your pipes to burst, leading to expensive property damage. If your pipes are prone to freezing,
you may wish to contact a plumber for advice. Here are some other tips to protect your home:

Know your Pipes
  • Ensure you know where the main water shut-off valve is in your home and how it operates (in case your pipes burst)
  • Insulate pipes: wrap foam pipe insulation around pipes most at risk, especially near outside walls and in crawl spaces, the attic and garage
  • Eliminate drafts: seal air leaks in your home and garage to stop cold air from getting in
  • Check around windows and doors, electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes
  • Drain and shut the outdoor water supply: outdoor faucets are the first to freeze
  • Unscrew any hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply and let the taps drain
When the Weather Drops Well Below Zero
  • Keep your pipes warm: keep areas that contain indoor pipes above 8 degrees C, especially near the water meter
  • Turn on the tap: for your own peace of mind, you can choose to run a pencil-thin stream of water to ensure some movement of water in the pipes. However, you will be charged for the water used if you choose this step.
For more information, visit toronto.ca/frozenpipes.

Annual 58th Toronto Scouts Christmas Tree Sale

If you'll be looking for a Christmas tree, our local kids with the 58th Scouts, Cubs & Beavers have one for you! For over 60 years, local Boy Scouts have been selling fresh, Ontario-grown Christmas trees & wreaths to neighborhood residents. The sale starts November 26 and, as always, they can be found on the main lawn at the Church of the Transfiguration (111 Manor Rd East). Open weekdays 6am -9pm (weather permitting) and Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. Deliveries available. Call or text 647-970-0947 or email [email protected].

Please click here to view the flyer.

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