Newsletters

City Hall and Community Update for October 7, 2016

Dear residents,


As always, I hope you find my latest update to you helpful, interesting and informative. I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful long weekend.


I hope to see you out in the community soon!


Best regards,


Josh


Provincial Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Consultation Process Started: Make your voice Heard!


The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is an unaccountable, unelected and anti-democratic provincially-appointed body that has final say over our city's planning decisions.


The provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Attorney General announced this week that they will begin a long overdue review of the way the OMB operates. As many of you know, I have been a long-time advocate of freeing Toronto from the OMB’s purview.


With our review of the Yonge and Eglinton Secondary Plan study and the Midtown in Focus Public Realm plan, I've also been actively advocating for a renewed focus on planning for people, rather than just condos- infrastructure such as pipes, wires, transit and roads along with social servies such as childcare, school capacity and recreation and much more must be the priority for planning communities.


While the Province has stopped short of eliminating the OMB altogether, there are a number of very positive reforms proposed in the consultation document that would significantly improve the planning process for Toronto, including:

  • Only allowing the OMB to hear appeals on the “validity of the decision” by council, limiting the OMB’s ability to hear appeals and completely overturn decisions
  • Preventing appeals of secondary plans, including Yonge and Eglinton which is now under review, for two years
  • Requiring the OMB to send “significant new information” arising from a hearing back to councils for re-evaluation before rendering a decision
  • More actively promoting mediation to settle disputes, preventing adversarial hearings
  • Better training OMB members, who are appointed by the Province


I look forward to constructively participating in this consultation and I encourage you to make your voice heard. For details on how you can participate, please visit the Ministry of Municipal Affair’s website and scroll to the bottom of the page.


For more information, please see this Toronto Star article and this CBC News story.


Hydro One Clear Cut Update: Funding Approved to Replace Trees and Make Other Improvements in Robertson Davies Park


As many of you know, on September 1, Hydro One cut down 29 mature trees in Robertson Davies Park. This action was in contravention of a 2012 agreement with our community in which Hydro One assured residents that mature trees would not need to be cut down in order to keep limbs a safe distance required from the overhead electrical conductors.


While the mature trees cannot be replaced, the neighbourhood and my office have been working to ensure that Hydro One make amends for its error to the fullest extent possible. At a September 28 community meeting at Cottingham PS, Hydro One committed to replacing the felled trees while also providing a noise barrier, and other park enhancements.


I am happy to report that I successfully moved a motion at Council this week which facilitated Hydro paying $200,000.00 for trees, shrubs, park furniture, and other amenities for park enhancements at Robertson Davies Park.


As part of the project, Hydro One will also work with Canadian Pacific Railway to construct a sound wall on the Railway’s property.


For more information, please contact Hydro One at: [email protected] or (416) 345-6799.


Rail Deck Park Takes Important Step Forward


Earlier this summer, Mayor Tory and local Councillor Joe Cressy announced an innovative idea to explore decking the rail corridor between Union Station and Bathurst to provide space for a large park. While the cost is significant, the rapid pace of growth downtown requires measures like this to ensure that residents have a reasonable quality of life. Midtown residents certainly understand this need.


While I have concerns about how the City will fund the project, given our unfunded list of capital priorities, I am happy to support Mayor Tory and my colleague Councillor Cressy (Ward 20) to move forward with studying the feasibility of this idea.


Expanding Hours for By-Law Enforcement Officers


A consistent concern from many residents is noise from construction and other activities occurring outside of permitted hours (7am-7pm on weekdays, 9am-7pm on Saturdays, no construction allowed on Sundays). That’s why I’m pleased to report that I successfully moved a motion at Council this week requesting the Director of Licensing and Standards to report on the feasibility of Staff working overnight and weekends to enforce noise and other by-laws.


If you are concerned about a potential noise by-law violation from construction or other activities in your neighbourhood, please do call 311.


Fighting Overdevelopment of Yonge-Eglinton at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)


This week at Council, I successfully passed motions to send City Planning and Legal Staff to fight several poorly-planned developments that are proposed for the Yonge-Eglinton area, including:


18 Brownlow Avenue


This application is for two towers (25 and 20 storeys) with 648 units facing Soudan, between Brownlow and Redpath. The site is far too small for this significant density. Further, heights and densities are supposed to decrease as sites move away from Yonge and Eglinton. This development is even taller than the OMB-approved 19-storey tower at Lillian and Soudan, which is closer to the major intersection.


City Planning has suggested that a midrise building would be more appropriate for this site and will be advocating for this solution at the OMB.


On a positive note, I was successful in moving a motion last March that secured a 10m green strip along Soudan, forcing the developer to set his building back further from the street regardless of the final outcome at the OMB.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


89-101 Roehampton


This application is for a 36-storey rental apartment building containing 236 units. The tower would be attached to the existing 19-storey, 128-unit rental apartment building on the site.


This proposal is extremely disrespectful to the existing tenants who would have to endure years of intrusive disruption. Further, this ‘parasitic’ proposal contravenes the City’s Official Plan Amendment 320 which prohibits infill that creates “…high rise additions to existing apartment building(s).” The addition would create a massive slab building up to the 19th floor, with a combined floor plate of approximately 1,092 square metres. This is much larger than the recommended maximum floor plate for tall buildings in the Tall Building Design Guidelines of 750 metres.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


55 Eglinton


This application is for a 47-storey tower containing a total of 455 residential units on the site of an existing office building. The application represents overdevelopment of a small, mid-block site that doesn’t allow the developer to meet tower separation distances of a minimum of 25 metres, as requested by City Planning.


This proposal also contravenes OPA 231, which legislates full replacement of office space. It is important that Yonge and Eglinton contain a mix of work and commercial spaces in addition to the new residential development to ensure that the area does not become a bedroom community.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


Glebe Manor Parkettes (on Belsize Drive) Update and 4th Annual Pumpkin Parade


Many of you have noticed that the fencing around the portion of the Belsize Drive parkettes (Glebe Manor Square) between Harwood Road and Forman Avenue is still up, despite the anticipated removal date of September 24.


I have been speaking relentlessly with Parks staff about re-opening this space to the community. They have been consistently monitoring the status of the re-seeded areas and continue to express real concerns about how the exceptionally hot summer weather affected the grass and have told me, in no uncertain terms, that they are not ready to take it down. Their estimate is that the fencing should remain until the end of October.


I know this is frustrating but I recognize that it would be wasteful and irresponsible to ignore staff's professional advice, given the large investment that we've made into beautifying our park for the long-term.

Join us at this year's community Pumpkin Parade on November 1!


Despite this setback, I'm excited to announce that our 4th Annual Pumpkin Parade will still take place at Glebe Manor East parkette! This year,
we will be holding the event in the eastern portion (between Forman Avenue and Boyton Road). Staff have advised me that, even if the fencing is removed from the western half, it wouldn't be wise to have the newly germinated grass trampled by possibly hundreds of people at once.


Please join me, my family, Apple Tree Markets, friends and neighbours, for the Pumpkin Parade at 6:30-8:30pm on November 1.
This is a fun community event where 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!


New Resource to Help School Communities and Residents Improve Traffic Safety

As many of you know, I've been working with parents and residents in every Ward 22 neighbourhood on traffic safety concerns on streets across our community. As your councillor and as a local parent myself, there is no higher priority.

The Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) is pleased to release the Guide to Safer Streets Near Schools: Understanding Your Policy Options in the City of Toronto, a new resource created to help school communities and residents improve traffic safety in their neighbourhoods.

The guide complements the newly released Road Safety Plan by the City of Toronto, and is designed to further enhance the accessibility of the relevant policies for residents. 

“The Guide to Safer Streets Near Schools explains the processes for requesting street improvements in the City of Toronto in a simple and easy to understand format. This resource can help empower school communities by providing direction and tools to assist in advocating for neighbourhoods with slower vehicle speeds and safer street crossings, thereby enhancing the communities in which we  live, work, and play,” shares Richard Christie, the Senior Manager of Sustainability at the Toronto District School Board.

The resource is available as a PDF for download from
saferstreetsnearschools.ca,where readers will also find a web version that includes downloadable templates and samples from the accompanying toolkit.

Recreational Opportunities at City of Toronto Attractions on Thanksgiving Monday


The City of Toronto encourages residents to make the most of this year's Thanksgiving holiday ­­on Monday, October 10. The following attractions and activities will be available to the public on the Thanksgiving holiday:


Toronto Island Park
(ferry located at 9 Queens Quay W.)


Just minutes away from downtown, Toronto Island Park is a great place to walk, cycle, explore and view the city skyline. Ferries will run on their fall schedule. More information is available
here.


Riverdale Farm
(201 Winchester St.)

Featuring traditional farm animals, Riverdale Farm is the perfect place for animal lovers. The farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and activities are free. More information is available
here or by calling 416-392-6794.


High Park Zoo
(on Deer Pen Road)


The High Park Zoo, featuring domestic and exotic animals including Toronto's famous capybaras Bonnie and Clyde, is open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. The llama pen is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends and statutory holidays. More information is available
here or by calling 311.


Parks, trails and green spaces


Torontonians can get outside and enjoy the parks, trails and green spaces their city has to offer, with hundreds of public parks and about 600 kilometres of trails. More information is available on the City's website:

Tennis


L'Amoreaux Tennis Centre  (300 Silver Spring Blvd. in Scarborough) will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the holiday Monday. Scarborough Winter Tennis Club members can book six days in advance. All non-members can book a day in advance. Prime-time rates apply. More information is available
here or by calling 416-396-4041.


All community centres and indoor pools run by Parks, Forestry and Recreation will operate on their regular schedule on Friday, October 7, Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9, and will be closed on Monday, October 10 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Regular programs and services will resume on Tuesday, October 11.


Golf


All five City of Toronto golf courses will be open on Thanksgiving Day, with the first tee-off at 7:30 a.m. and the last nine-hole tee-off time at 5:30 p.m. Holiday rates will be in effect. More information is available
here.


Thanksgiving Day at Toronto's Historic Sites


Two of the City's 10 historic sites will offer tours on Thanksgiving Day (October 10) as described below.


Fort York National Historic Site
(250 Fort York Blvd.)


Fort York National Historic Site will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 10, featuring tours and new exhibitions. Regular admission applies.


Spadina Museum
(285 Spadina Rd.)


Spadina Museum will be open and offer afternoon tours themed on the Austin family, which originally made Spadina Museum its home, on October 10. Regular admission applies. Museum hours are noon to 5 p.m.


All of the historic sites except Zion Schoolhouse will be open on Saturday and Sundaythis weekend. Operating hours and activity details vary by location. Please click herefor more information.


Sarah and Claire's 9th Annual Food Drive Community BBQ

Please join me on Saturday, October 8 for a community BBQ at Valu-Mart (1500 Bayview Avenue), co-hosted by Mike Tufts of South Bayview Valu-Mart and Patrick Rocca. The event will run from 11am-3pm and feature a BBQ, cotton candy, and a visit by Pawsitively Pets.

Also, please feel welcome to drop off any non-perishable goods in the specially marked bins in the store or buy a pre-bagged bag of groceries for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Save the Date: Oriole Park Association AGM

Please join me for the Oriole Park Association's Annual General Meeting at 6-9pm onNovember 16, 2016 at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West).

The meeting will commence with the President's report followed by the election of board members and presentation of the Garden of the Year award. Upcoming community events will also be discussed.

I will be giving an update to attendees on local and City-wide priorities at the meeting. Following that, Steve Paikin, anchor of TVO's "The Agenda", will talk about his recent book Bill Davis: Nation Builder and Not So Bland After All. The evening will conclude with a book signing.


Upcoming Mid-Term Appointments

Do you want to make a difference in your city? Toronto residents are needed to serve on a range of City boards and committees. Board members provide oversight of their agency or corporation, bring a community perspective to board discussions, and help to reflect the needs and interests of Torontonians.


This fall, the City of Toronto will be recruiting for more than 70 public member positions across 20 boards. Bring your skills and experience to the table. To learn more about these opportunities and apply online, please click here.


Sign up for the public appointments e-updates to receive information about application deadlines, vacancies, and new opportunities to join a City board here.


New
– Diversity Dashboard


To enable the City to achieve its objectives for access, equity, and diversity and to assist the City in its efforts to appoint boards that collectively reflect the diversity of the community, applicants are encouraged to complete a voluntary, confidential diversity survey as part of their application. We recently added a diversity dashboard to our website which provides an overview of the demographic data for board applicants and appointees. The dashboard can be found here.


Nominations Open for the 37th YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Awards

Do you know a woman who is making a difference and improving the lives of women and girls? The YWCA wants to celebrate her. Every year, YWCA Toronto honours the work of remarkable women who are creating new opportunities for women and girls in our city and around the globe in a wide array of areas such as business, education, social justice, advocacy, arts, health and philanthropy.

Nomination deadline is Friday, November 4, 2016.

Save the date: the 37th YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Awards will take place onThursday, May 18, 2017 at The Carlu.

For more information, please visit womenofdistinction.ca or contact Phoebe Wong, Manager of Events, at [email protected].


CERA’s Eviction Prevention for Seniors Project

Did you know that the number of homeless seniors in Toronto doubled between 2009 and 2013? And that at least 10% of the homeless population of Toronto are older adults? The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) is working with seniors across the GTA to identify eviction prevention strategies that work for them. They need to hear from senior tenants about their experiences and needs.

You can share your story and thoughts in a variety of ways – fill out a tenant survey online or contact CERA directly at [email protected] or 416-944-0087 ext 3. CERA is also seeking feedback from service providers and landlords in Toronto on this important issue. I encourage you to help them identify realistic solutions to the issue of seniors being evicted from rental housing.


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[email protected].


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.

Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

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

City Hall and Community Update for September 9, 2016

Hydro One's Clearcut of 29 Trees in Robertson Davies Park


On Thursday, September 1, Hydro One broke a promise to Ward 22 residents by cutting down 29 mature trees in Robertson Davies Park on Avenue Rd. In 2012, after months of hard work, our community reached an agreement with Hydro One to protect a stand of trees on the South side of the park.


These trees not only provided shade and aesthetic value for park users but also acted as a buffer to the CP Rail line abutting Robertson Davies. Visiting the park shortly after the incident it was obvious how intrusive the sound of the freight train can be with the loss of the trees.


Hydro One has provided an apology to the community and has committed to “fix” the problem. Unfortunately, and realistically, nothing they can do now will be able to replace the mature trees that were lost- they were 40 year-old mature trees and the damage is irreversible. I do, however, expect them to do everything necessary to mitigate the terrible impact of this action.


I requested they write directly to nearby residents. The next step I've requested is for Hydro One to hold a community meeting to account for their actions and receive your direction on how best to move forward. I will notify you as soon as a meeting date is set.


For more information, please call Hydro One at this number: 416-345-6799 or email them at this address: [email protected]. Please also see this This is a link for a CityNews story on the issue.


Here is a letter that Hydro One distributed to neighbours:

-------------------------------------


September 2, 2016


Dear Neighbour,


We are writing to you today to apologize. Yesterday, Hydro One made a mistake. Our forestry crew was in Robertson Davies Park to trim Norway maples located under the transmission line. After trimming two trees, a decision was made on the ground that the trees would not survive the pruning and that it was best to remove them. This decision was made without the knowledge that we have a long history of working with your community to protect those trees.


The proper process in this instance is that if the crew had to alter the work plan, they are required to contact a supervisor to discuss the change. Work should have stopped and a community meeting should have been planned to discuss the health of the trees. We apologize that this did not happen. We will understand exactly how this mistake was made and ensure that it is never repeated.


We will work with the City of Toronto and Councillor Josh Matlow to fund a replanting plan that restores the park to the community’s satisfaction. If you have any questions, come see us today in the park where we will be until 5 p.m. If you miss us in the park, you can call our Community Relations Office at (416) 345-6799. We will work with you to regain the trust that we had built with your community.


Sincerely,


Jon Rebick

Vice President, Lines and Forestry,
Hydro One


Public Open House to Discuss Future of Davisville School Site and Community Hub


As you may know, I successfully moved recommendations at city council to move forward with a Community Hub, with public recreation space including a double gym and swimming pool, at Davisville PS.


Please join Trustee Laskin and myself for an open house to discuss the future of the Davisville PS site and provide your feedback on the new Community Hub, which was approved last month by City Council, the school rebuild, and the child care facilities.


Where
: Hodgson Sr Public School (Gymnasium) - 282 Davisville Ave


When
: Tuesday September 20, 7pm – 9pm


Glebe Manor Parkettes (on Belsize Drive) Update


I'm delighted to announce that the improvements to the parkettes are now completed!


That being said, several of you have contacted me, wondering when the orange fencing will be removed from portions of the parkettes. Part of the recent improvements included re-seeding of the grass, which is why the fencing remains. The contract between the City and the Landscape Architecture firm stipulates a 4-month protection period of these re-seeded zones, to ensure the new seed takes root properly without being trampled by people and pets.


Had the weather conditions this summer been more favourable for growth (more rain and less intense, prolonged heat), please be assured that I would have agreed with some of you that the fencing should be removed ahead of schedule so the entire green spaces could be enjoyed by all sooner than later. In fact, I did have that conversation with those overseeing this project recently. Considering the situation, though, it seems most responsible to give the seeding the full protection period suggested in the contract. This will potentially avoid having to re-seed next year and reinstall the fencing for several more months. The fence removal date is projected for September 24.


I just wanted to share this update with you and I look forward to enjoying the full extent of our revitalized parkettes very shortly!


'Movie Night in the Park' Returns to June Rowlands (Davisville) Park with The Incredibles!


For the third year in a row, please join me and my family for 'Movie Night in the Park'. This year's family-friendly outdoor movie screening will be The Incredibles.

 

I would like to extend a big thank you to Apple Tree Markets for organizing the event and to local sponsors for their support in making it happen.

 

I look forward to sharing an amazing evening of cinema with our community on Friday, September 23 at 8pm. (Rain date: Saturday, September 24).


Mount Pleasant Village Harvest Fair


I hope to see you at the 7th annual Harvest Fair hosted by the Mount Pleasant Village BIA on Saturday, September 24. Festivities and attractions include sidewalk sales, live music, pumpkin carving, a pie-eating contest, and a petting zoo. All activities will take place on Mount Pleasant Road between Eglinton and Davisville from 10am to 4pm.


I hope to see you there!


More details are available on the Mount Pleasant Village BIA website.


Please Join Me for Heritage Toronto's Atop Davenport Hill in the 1920s Tour!


In the 1920s, Davenport Hill was home to some of Toronto’s wealthiest families, such as the Eatons and Austins, and well known visitors, including Ernest Hemingway. Led by historians from Spadina Museum, this walk explores the development of Davenport Hill from a neighbourhood of grand estates to a suburban development.


I am delighted to have been invited to say a few words at the beginning of this walking tour at 1:30pm on September 25 to welcome participants.
The tour is being co-presented with Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens, starting at Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Road) and ending at Winston Churchill Park (301 St Clair Ave W).


​In Memorium - Jeff Mann

I'm deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic passing of Deer Park PS' kind-hearted and dedicated teacher, Jeff Mann. Our community loved him. I will always remember him as a generous, friendly and caring person who so clearly loved what he did so well- educating kids. We will dearly miss him.


Monthly Utility Billing Option – one year pilot program


The City of Toronto's Revenue Services is now offering property owners the option to receive their utility billings on a monthly basis. This one year pilot program allows a monthly billing option to residential customers for payment of their utility bill in a more efficient way and in manageable payment increments.
Program applications are now available online and at Enquiry/Cashier counters at City Hall and Civic Centres.


For more information on Monthly Utility Billing – one year pilot program, please click here or contact Lionel Kharag, Supervisor Utility Billing, Revenue Services 416-395-6713.


The City of Toronto Adopts a New Waste Strategy


Following two years of extensive work, the Long Term Waste Management Strategy was approved by City Council on July 15, 2016. This comprehensive strategy will guide waste management in Toronto for the next 30-50 years.


The new Waste Strategy puts priority on reducing waste and minimizing the amount sent to landfill. It emphasizes the importance of community engagement and encourages prevention of waste, maximizing its value before disposal and supporting the move towards a circular economy.


As part of the approval of the Waste Strategy, City Council endorsed an aspirational zero waste goal for Toronto. Zero waste represents a shift in thinking to look at innovative ways to conserve and recover resources and minimize the volume of waste requiring disposal. As we start implementing the Waste Strategy recommendations, including some of the great ideas from the community, please look for new initiatives you can do to help support Toronto’s zero waste goal. We need your help and look forward to your continued participation as we roll out the Waste Strategy's new programs and services.


A copy of the final Waste Strategy can be viewed here.



Yellow Creek and the Vale of Avoca Restoration


The Yellow Creek and Vale of Avoca are important parts of Midtown's natural environment. They allow us to escape the hustle and bustle of our big city without ever leaving it.
Unfortuantlely, due to spills, degradation of the vale and the natural course of time, Yellow Creek is in urgent need of maintenance.


Working closely with local residents, led by representatives of both the Summerhill Residents' Association and the Deer Park Residents' Group, Councillor Wong-Tam and I have written to the City's Parks & Environment Committee, requesting a masterplan be created to support the restoration of Yellow Creek and the Vale of Avoca.


Please click here to read our letter.


Another Opportunity to Comment on the Toronto Ward Boundary Review


The Toronto Ward Boundary Review (TWBR) team is seeking feedback from the public, stakeholders and Members of City Council on two items outlined in the Toronto Ward Boundary Review Additional Information Report:

· REVISED OPTION 2 which has 44 wards and incorporates the refinements suggested during the TWBR public consultation process in August - November 2015; and;

· A WARD OPTION that is aligned, where possible, with the boundaries of the 25 federal and provincial ridings.

This information was requested by the City of Toronto Executive Committee at its meeting on May 24, 2016. Based on the input received, a TWBR Supplementary Report will be prepared and submitted to the Executive Committee meeting on October 26, 2016.

Participate

There are two ways to provide comments:

• Complete a survey

• Attend one of four public meetings happening this September (visit www.drawthelines.ca for details)


o Sept 14th, 2016. 7-9pm. Metro Hall


o Sept 15th, 2016. 7-9pm. Scarborough Civic Centre


o Sept 19th, 2016. 7-9pm. North York Civic Centre


o Sept 21st, 2016. 7-9pm. Etobicoke Civic Centre


Project Background & Timeline

From July 2014 to February 2015, the TWBR conducted a civic engagement and public consultation process to collect opinions on Toronto's current ward alignment to ensure that wards have more equal population sizes. Currently, they are very disproportionate across the city.
The results informed the development of five options for re-aligning Toronto’s wards. A second round of the TWBR’s civic engagement and public consultation process solicited feedback on these options between August and November 2015. The TWBR Final Report (May 2016) summarized the TWBR process and recommended a new ward structure.

More information can be found at www.drawthelines.ca

Municipal Licensing and Standards and Parks, Forestry and Recreation Launches Responsible Dog Owner Campaign


The City of Toronto is encouraging residents to be responsible pet owners and keep their dogs on a leash at all times. In addition to increased bylaw enforcement in parks, changes in shifts and "zero tolerance" for dogs off-leash, a communications campaign is being launched with Parks to educate residents about their responsibilities when having pets in the city.


Components of the campaign include advertising in Parks Fun Guide and transit posters in TTC shelters. Other components include posters, Dogs Off Leash 101 public education piece, information on website, postcards and social media campaign.


For more information, please contact Rose Burrows at [email protected] or 416-392-7810.


Basement Flooding & Water Quality Improvements Study


A Master Plan Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study is underway to determine the contributing factors for surface and basement flooding in Study Area 40 and recommend solutions to improve the City’s sewer system and overland drainage routes in order to mitigate flooding problems. This study will also aim to improve the quality of stormwater runoff before it is discharged to watercourses.


Please feel welcome to attend the first Public Information Centre (PIC) to learn about factors contributing to surface and basement flooding and the different options being considered to reduce flooding in Study Area 40.


Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Time: 6pm to 8pm


Location: North Toronto Memorial Community Centre 200 Eglinton Ave West (at Avenue Road)


You will have an opportunity to view display boards and speak one-on-one with project staff.


Also, there is still time to complete the online survey.


For more information, please contact Mae Lee, Public Consultation Unit, at 416-392-8210 or [email protected].


Retiring on a Low Income: Plain Language Advice


The City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto Public Library to provide a lecture series including, "Retiring on a Low-Income".


You need to know how to get the most from income security programs. M
any financial advisors are unfamiliar with how they work - together and with other income sources. John Stapleton, Open Policy Ontario, will help you understand:

·         Old Age Security

·         Guaranteed Income Supplement

·         Canada Pension Plan

·         Ontario Disability Support

Attend a free workshop at a Toronto Public Library branch:

  • Parliament: Sept. 27 at 6pm
  • Danforth/Coxwell: Sept. 28 at 6pm
  • Lillian H. Smith: Oct. 4 at 6:30pm
  • New Toronto: Oct. 12 at 6:30pm
  • Thorncliffe: Oct. 20 at 6:30pm
  • St. James Town: Oct. 25 at 6:30pm
  • Lillian H. Smith: Nov. 2 at 1pm
  • Albert Campbell: Nov. 9 at 6pm
  • Parkdale: Nov. 15 at 6:30pm

Free refreshments and workbooks. All are welcome!


The corresponding Workbook (same title) is available on John Stapleton's website.


"Get Emergency Ready" in Multiple Languages Promotes Personal and Family Preparedness


Toronto is a multicultural society made up of many different communities and languages. As part of its legislated mandate to educate the public on how to be prepared for emergencies, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has translated its publicly available preparedness guides into 11 languages, based on the top language groups identified by Statistics Canada.


In an effort to promote the availability of this information in multiple languages, the OEM is encouraging residents to visit their website, where you can view and download the OEM's personal preparedness guide in your choice of language.


For more information, please contact the Office of Emergency Management at 416-392-4554 or [email protected].


Fighting Overdevelopment of Yonge-Eglinton at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)


This week at Toronto & East York Community Council I successfully passed motions to send City Planning and Legal Staff to fight several poorly-planned developments that are proposed for the Yonge-Eglinton area, including:


18
Brownlow


This application is for two towers (25 and 20 storeys) with 648 units facing Soudan, between Brownlow and Redpath. The site is far too small for this significant density. Further, heights and densities are supposed to decrease as sites move away from Yonge and Eglinton. This development is even taller than the OMB-approved 19-storey tower at Lillian and Soudan, which is closer to the major intersection.


City Planning has suggested that a midrise building would be more appropriate for this site and will be advocating for this solution at the OMB. On a positive note, I was successful in moving a motion last March that secured a 10m green strip along Soudan, forcing the developer to set his building back further from the street regardless of the final outcome at the OMB.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


89-101
Roehampton


This application is for a 36-storey rental apartment building containing 236 units. The tower would be attached to the existing 19-storey, 128-unit rental apartment building on the site.


This proposal is extremely disrespectful to the existing tenants who would have to endure years of intrusive disruption. Further, this ‘parasitic’ proposal contravenes the City’s Official Plan Amendment 320 which prohibits infill that creates “…high rise additions to existing apartment building(s).” The addition would create a massive slab building up to the 19th floor, with a combined floor plate of approximately 1,092 square metres. This is much larger than the recommended maximum floor plate for tall buildings in the Tall Building Design Guidelines of 750 metres.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


55
Eglinton


This application is for a 47-storey tower containing a total of 455 residential units on the site of an existing office building. The application represents overdevelopment of a small, mid-block site that doesn’t allow the developer to meet tower separation distances of a minimum of 25 metres, as requested by City Planning.


This proposal also contravenes OPA 231, which legislates full replacement of office space. It is important that Yonge and Eglinton contain a mix of work and commercial spaces in addition to the new residential development to ensure that the area does not become a bedroom community.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.

Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

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

City Hall and Community Update for August 24, 2016

 


Action Needed to Improve Rail Safety

 

This past weekend there was a derailment on the CP line that forms the southern boundary of Ward 22. Luckily, no one was hurt and emergency crews moved quickly to contain a small diesel spill. However, this incident highlights the need for action to improve rail safety on this line that runs through the heart of some of the country’s most densely populated neighbourhoods. This should serve as a wake up call.

 

This is an issue of critical importance to myself and my colleagues on Council. In 2014, Council supported my motion calling on the federal government to take action on this issue. Earlier this year, those efforts were renewed with a letter to Transport Minister Garneau, signed by the mayor and many other Councillors.

 

I have been pleased to see that Minister Garneau and local MPs have shown genuine attention to this issue. This past spring, MPs Chrystia Freeland and Carolyn Bennett held a Town Hall with the Minister in attendance. In the wake of this most recent incident, Minister Garneau stated that he would act swiftly to address our community’s concerns.

 

Along with active community members, like those at Rail Safety First, I will continue to advocate for the reasonable and proactive steps to protect the public and immprove rail safety we've requested from the federal government.

 

For more information, please see this recent Toronto Star editorial.


Public Open House to Discuss Future of Davisville School Site and Community Hub

 

As you may know, I successfully moved recommendations at city council to move forward with a Community Hub, with public recreation space including a double gym and swimming pool, at Davisville PS.

 

Please join Trustee Laskin and myself next month for an open house to discuss the future of the Davisville PS site andf provide your feedback on the new Community Hub, which was approved last month by City Council, the school rebuild, and the child care facilities.

 

Where: Hodgson Sr Public School (Gymnasium) - 282 Davisville Ave


When: Tuesday September 20, 7pm – 9pm


Another Opportunity to Comment on the Toronto Ward Boundary Review

The Toronto Ward Boundary Review (TWBR) team is seeking feedback from the public, stakeholders and Members of City Council on two items outlined in the Toronto Ward Boundary Review Additional Information Report:

· REVISED OPTION 2 which has 44 wards and incorporates the refinements suggested during the TWBR public consultation process in August - November 2015; and;

· A WARD OPTION that is aligned, where possible, with the boundaries of the 25 federal and provincial ridings.

This information was requested by the City of Toronto Executive Committee at its meeting on May 24, 2016. Based on the input received, a TWBR Supplementary Report will be prepared and submitted to the Executive Committee meeting on October 26, 2016.

Participate

There are two ways to provide comments:

• Complete a survey
• Attend one of four public meetings happening this September (visitwww.drawthelines.ca for details)

Sept 14th, 20167-9pm. Metro Hall

Sept 15th, 20167-9pm. Scarborough Civic Centre

Sept 19th, 20167-9pm. North York Civic Centre

Sept 21st, 20167-9pm. Etobicoke Civic Centre


Project Background & Timeline


From July 2014 to February 2015, the TWBR conducted a civic engagement and public consultation process to collect opinions on Toronto's current ward alignment to ensure that wards have more equal population sizes. Currently, they are very disproportionate across the city.


The results informed the development of five options for re-aligning Toronto’s wards. A second round of the TWBR’s civic engagement and public consultation process solicited feedback on these options between August and November 2015. The TWBR Final Report (May 2016) summarized the TWBR process and recommended a new ward structure.


More information can be found at www.drawthelines.ca

Full Program for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 Announced

 

The City of Toronto today released the complete artistic program for the 11th edition of Nuit Blanche Toronto. From 6:58 p.m. on Saturday, October 1 until sunrise on Sunday, October 2, the streets of Toronto will be transformed by nearly 90 contemporary art projects created and presented by more than 300 local, national and international artists.

 

Please click here for the full program. More details on the City-produced exhibitions are available via the event backgrounder here. Preview four videos featuring each exhibition curator here.


The Important Work Progress Place is Doing in Our City


I was delighted to take a tour of Progress Place and find a very advanced model for mental health recovery that has been running successfully in downtown Toronto for more than 30 years. Open 365 days a year, serving 3 meals a day to members across the GTA, they have over 170 people working at the Church/Wellesley location every day. The focus of Progress Place is to help people living with mental illness get back to work and school. Their system is simple, effective and has a very high social return on investment.

If you are an employer, you may want to take a look at their Transitional Employment program that provides entry level workers, fully trained, selected and guaranteed 100% attendance. A wonderful program that removes the interview stress from the employee and removes the aggravation of hiring, rehiring and training for entry level positions from the employer.

If you have a friend, colleague or loved one who could use help, or if you are able to offer support of some kind, I recommend a tour of Progress Place to see this extraordinary program for yourself. For more information, please feel welcome to call Georgina Patko at416-323-0223.

Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.

Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

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

City Hall and Community Update for July 15, 2016

Midtown Community Hub Approved at City Council!

 

I am delighted to announce that, at long last and many years of work, City Council overwhelmingly supported my motion to build a Midtown Community Hub as part of the Davisville PS rebuild. The Hub will provide new and much-needed recreation opportunities for our community including:

  • A 3-storey, approximately 30,000 square foot city-owned Aquatic Centre
  • All-purpose community room
  • Expanded double gym in the new Davisville PS open to community on evenings and weekends

Today’s announcement is a result of over five years of hard work in partnership with the Midtown Hub advocacy group and other local residents/parents, Trustee Laskin, City and TDSB Staff. Construction is expected to start after the new school is completed in 2020.

 

The Midtown Community Hub is a significant part of our strategy to provide more services and public space for our rapidly growing Midtown community-- and comes along with recent Ward 22 parks and playground improvements, new green space acquisitions, affordable childcare spaces and more that we've invested in.

 

I believe that we should be planning for our resident's quality of life in a great community, rather than just more condos. Today, we took an important step forward.


Council Rejects Evidence-Based 24-Stop LRT Network for Scarborough and Approves a One-Stop Subway

 

In a deeply disappointing move, Council voted for a one-stop subway and rejected my motion to redirect funding toward a;

  • 7 stop LRT using the existing, traffic-separated RT corridor to link STC and Centennial College to Kennedy Station on trains with the same top speed as a subway (80 km/h), and;
  • 17-stop extension of the Eglinton Crosstown through Kennedy, serving Kingston Rd, UofT Scarborough and several neighbourhoods in between

As I noted in last week’s newsletter, these 24 stops could have been built for the same City commitment as the one stop. Aside from the one-stop, all other transit proposals (including the Relief Subway) in the approved plan remain unfunded aside from studies.

 

There is no doubt that new, fast-moving transit of some kind needs to be built to serve the Scarborough Town Centre as the current SRT is factually nearing the end of its lifespan. While I believe that the wrong decision was made by Council, I also believe it would unreasonable at this point to do nothing. Scarborough needs our support.

 

Therefore, I intend to work constructively with my colleagues to ensure that the subway (even if its not my preference) is built as efficiently as possible. I can also assure you that I will continue to advocate strongly for evidence-based transit planning while being thoughtful with tax dollars.

 

I hope that Council can learn from this mistake and move forward with transit projects that best meet the urgent needs of all Toronto residents.

 

For more information, please see this article and this editorial.


Yonge-Eglinton Planning Review Moving Forward

 

City Planning provided a significant update to Council on the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan review this week. The current study, which I have been working closely with city staff and the Midtown community on,  looks at growth, built form, hard infrastructure and social services in our community, and is the second phase of Midtown in Focus, our new public space Master Plan for Midtown.

 

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. I frankly wish this had been done decades ago, but I am pleased that we are taking action, and moving forward, with this critical work now to improve the quality of life in our growing community.


Working Together to Address Seniors Issues at All Levels of Government
As Toronto's Seniors Advocate, I met with Ontario's (now former) Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs, Mario Sergio, to discuss a wide array of priorities to Toronto's seniors. At this meeting, we also agreed to organize a Seniors Summit to celebrate the proclamation of Seniors Month, the achievements of the Ontario Seniors Strategy and Toronto Seniors Strategy so far, and discuss next steps to continue to improve the lives of our growing elder population.

I am happy to report that our Toronto Seniors Summit held at Toronto City Hall on June 18 was a great success!  Thank you to the Honourable Laura Albanese, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Dr. Samir K. Sinha, Director of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network; representatives from the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, Lezlie Lee Kam, Chair of the Senior Pride Network and City staff for your participation.

City of Toronto divisions and community agencies were also present at the event to share information about services and resources available to seniors. Attendees also learned about ethno-cultural and LGBTQ-specific services and initiatives.

Overlapping the Seniors Summit was the appoinment of a new provincial Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs, Dipika Damerla. I was very pleased to meet with Minister Damerla (she's wonderful) last week and look forward to working closely together with her to build upon our respective seniors strategies and develop new, exciting initiatives to celebrate and support our diverse elder population.

Me and Dipika Damerla, Ontario's new Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs.

Council Supports Improved Road Safety Plan; More Work Needed to create a true "Vision Zero" Strategy

Council took a significant step toward protecting pedestrians and cyclists this week with an improved Road Safety Plan. While I still think there is a great deal more we must do to keep our friends and families safe on our roads, the increased $12.2-million in new funding announced before this Council meeting is welcome after the underwhelming original version released last month. Altogether, the Plan will provide the Transportation Services Division with $80 million over the next five years to implement measures that will help reduce the risk of serious collisions, including:

  • “watch your speed” radar signs
  • street lighting improvements
  • longer pedestrian crossing times
  • creation of “pedestrian safety corridors” in areas notable for serious collisions which would be targeted for safety measures like lower speed limits and no-right-turn-on-red provisions.
  • 50 mid-block pedestrian crossings
  • 100 new audible crossing signals to 20 intersections per year

These measures are borrowed from the “Vision Zero” strategy concept which shares responsibility for safety becomes with street designers as well as users. This approach recognizes that the built environment can be improved to mitigate and, hopefully, avoid the impacts of inevitable human error.

The City’s implementation strategy is based on three main pillars:

  • Design - Traffic calming measures cited above plus others found in the report
  • Enforcement - Toronto Police will be reporting back with enhanced enforcement including increased funding and staffing
  • Education - Aggressive driving and distracted driver campaigns

I will continue to challenge city hall to go further to support road safety, what must be a top priority, in every part of Toronto.

For more information, please see this article.


Game On!: Ball Hockey Ban Finally lifted

I am happy to report that City Council voted to end the ban on street hockey. I was happy to get the "ball rolling" with my initiative in 2011 which assisted Councillor Carmichael-Greb, whose motion finally helped us reach our "goal" this week. Sorry about the puns, I couldn't resist :)

The previous and unnecessary by-law sent the wrong message to our children, who we are encouraging to go outside and play, instead of staring at screens all day. I am pleased that we can now say “Game on!” to children in our neighbourhoods.

For more information, please see this article


No Trespassing, No More at Our Community's New Public Park. Now, Let's Design it Together!
Enjoying a celebratory removal of the private property signage at our new City-owned park space with local residents, including the remarkable Derek Tilley!
As many of you are aware, a developer purchased the Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club property (196 Manor Road East) from the Club’s Board, with the intent to build townhouses on the site. That's why I was delighted to report that my motion directing Parkland Acquisitions staff to negotiate with the owner to purchase the property for the City was successful. While the City was not able to acquire the entirety of the former lawn bowling club, 4/5ths of the site (1,138m2) will now become a public park with only one proposed townhouse.

 

 

Keeping this space green is very important to our community. That's why I worked closely with local residents and City Staff to acquire this property since this issue came to my attention over two years ago. This has been a very difficult challenge but we were resolved to create a park.

 

 

I look forward to continuing to work with the local neighbourhood residents to design the park shortly. I'll send out a community consultation notice when we're ready to proceed with the creative design phase!

 

 

Today’s announcement is part of our strategy to address the dearth of green space in our growing Midtown community. This includes the acquisition of a new park last year at Manor Road United Church (240 Manor Road East), which also avoided another townhouse development on local green space.


Review of City of Toronto Grants - Share Your Ideas

 

In Fall 2015, City Council approved a refocussing of the Community Investment Funding programs. The Community Investment Funding programs are time-limited, project-based funding totalling $3 million. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the grant programs advances the City's Council-approved strategic directions, find ways to better support new and emerging community groups, and respond to the changing needs of the community sector.

 

The City wants to hear feedback from grass-roots groups and organizations in order to generate practical ways to strengthen grant making. Staff want ideas on all grants processes, including making it easier for both grassroots and larger groups to apply for funding, what the City's role would be in providing resources to strengthen groups to fulfill their mission, what the range of project grant amounts should be, and how long projects should be funded.

 

Your input will reshape the current grant programs and processes to make them more accessible, transparent and accountable. A staff report of recommendations gathered from input will be presented to Council for approval in fall 2016 and the new grant programs will be launched in 2017. The grants budget of $3 million will not be reduced as a result of the review.

There are three different ways to share your ideas:

 

Community Investment Strategy Review Survey (fill out information about your group's needs by clicking here) Roundtables for Community Groups (register by clicking here) Community Town Hall (on September 27; to get your feedback on the draft staff report based on input from the Survey and Roundtables. Register by clicking here.)


 

Residents Invited to Help Shape the Future of Toronto's Ravines

 

The City of Toronto has been working with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and consulting with the public and a wide range of stakeholders since early 2015 to develop a strategy on Toronto's ravines.

 

To date, a vision and set of principles and actions have been developed to represent the core ideas and values that will guide the City in future decision-making related to ravines. Before finalizing the principles and recommendations, the City would like to hear from the public.

 

All Torontonians are invited to provide input by participating in the upcoming Ravine Strategy pop-up consultation. Some have already taken place, but please see below for upcoming dates:

 

Sunday, July 17, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Thompson Memorial Park (behind museum along main path), 1007 Brimley Rd. Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Environment Day in Ward 1, Albion Centre, 1530 Albion Rd. Saturday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Junction Farmers Market, 2960 Dundas St. W.

 

As additional sites may be added, residents are encouraged to check http://www.toronto.ca/ravinestrategy for the most up-to-date schedule as well as more information about the strategy.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page
To ensure you are informed and engaged about development proposals being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage.
My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices.
Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue
West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue).
These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.
Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).



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

City Hall and Community Update for June 17, 2016

Scarborough Transit Plan Rises Another $1 Billion

 

At a press conference this morning, Mayor Tory announced that his transit plan for Scarborough will cost $1 Billion more than previously estimated. Earlier this year, he said he'd like to put the brakes on the $3.56 Billion three-stop subway in favor of a one-stop subway to Scarborough Town Centre and an 18 stop Eglinton Crosstown East extension to the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus with the same funding.

 

This will require reopening the master agreement between the City, TTC and Metrolinx that currently moves forward with the fully-funded, 7- stop, Scarborough LRT that would run in its own traffic-separated corridor.

With the one-stop subway now set to cost $2.9 Billion, it appears that there will not be enough left over to build the Crosstown East LRT. Given the number of other real capital priorities facing our city, including social housing repairs and numerous transit lines, I cannot support this project.

 

Rather, we must move forward with the shovel ready 7-stop Scarborough LRT, connecting to the Scarborough Town Centre, that would serve far more people for far fewer tax dollars as part of a network approach to transit planning. This would include the relief subway line and waterfront transit.

 

For more information, please see these articles from the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.


REMINDER: The Toronto Seniors Summit is Tomorrow!


June is Seniors' Month and I am delighted to invite you to join me, as Toronto's Seniors Advocate, at the Toronto Seniors Summit!


Date: Saturday, June 18


Time: 10am – 2pm


Location: City Hall, Council Chamber & Members Lounge


The event will be a half-day summit for provincial, municipal and community partners, including:

  • an overview of seniors strategies by the elected officials of Toronto and Ontario
  • a seniors celebration of Toronto's recent World Health Organization designation as a Global Age-friendly City
  • an open discussion of what seniors can do to advance their needs and interests in their community and combat ageism
  • an informational opportunity with City Divisions and community partner info booths
  • Some remarkable entertainment!

You may register for the event here or by calling 416-392-3999.


I encourage you to come, support and participate! Make your voice heard.


Luminato Festival Panel Talk on the Condominiumization of Toronto


Next Wednesday, please join me for a panel discussion on the proliferation of condo development throughout our city and the impact it will have on communities like Midtown Toronto in the future.


Hosted by Luminato Festival, Rise & Sprawl: The Condominiumization of Toronto will take a critical approach to the condo design and development process.


Including myself, the panelists are:

  • Hans Ibelings (Lecturer at University of Toronto)
  • Alex Josephson (PARTISANS)
  • Eve Lewis (Woodcliffe Landmark Properties)
  • Nicola Spunt (Partisans Architects, Panel Moderator)

This is also an excellent opportunity to check out the Hearn, which is a revitalized industrial generating station, turned cultural hub.


I welcome you to join me on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, 5–6:30 PM, The Hearn (440 Unwin Avenue, Toronto) in "The Side Room".


More information about this event can be viewed here. For all 2016 Luminato Festival events, click here.


I hope to see you there!


Heritage Toronto Recognizes the Imperial Plaza Murals



I was delighted to participate in the official Heritage Toronto plaque unveiling for the remarkable Imperial Plaza murals yesterday!


The Imperial Oil building is an architectural landmark of Ward 22, and of the City of Toronto. It's been wonderful to see new life being brought to the building over the past few years.


Fun fact: this building’s design first appeared as part of a proposal submitted in 1955 for Toronto’s new City Hall. An international competition was later organized, and Viljo Revell's "spaceship" design was retained. And so, Toronto got not one, but two exceptional buildings!


I'm so pleased that the two murals in the lobby by York Wilson, "The Story of Oil," were retained during the conversion of the structure from an office building to a residential and commercial space. The murals are not only master-pieces in their own right but important works of public art.


Also, this momentous recognition signals just one instance of an exciting reinvention of the St. Clair West corridor (between Yonge Street and Avenue Road).


At Glenn Gould Park, I secured funds to improve the playground equipment and enliven the space, including design features that will give a nod to the brilliant, internationally-renowned pianist and local resident after whom the park is named.


Moreover, Slate Asset Management's recently acquisition of eight properties in the area, including all four corners of Yonge & St. Clair, should provide a rare opportunity to cohesively rejuvenate the St. Clair corridor.


Please click here for a National Post article about the golden past of this Midtown neighbourhood and the exciting future of artistic intervention and urban regeneration that awaits!


Eglinton Way BIA Scavenger Hunt


Please join me this Saturday (June 18) between 12pm - 4pm for the annual Eglinton Way BIA Scavenger Hunt!


There will be two registration locations: Castlewood & Eglinton Ave beside Shoppers Drug Mart; and Highbourne and Eglinton beside Crosstown Coffee.


This year's prize draw will benefit the Oriole Park PS Playground fundraiser. Tickets for the prize draw will be sold the day of the event along Eglinton Avenue West.


The Scavenger Hunt grand prizes are:

1st prize: $1000 gift certificate to Ontario Resorts
2nd prize: $500 gift certificate to Medieval times
3rd prize: TBD (value of $250)


The Eglinton Way will be animated with lots of lively entertainment during the event, including a sidewalk with everything from massages and eyebrow therapy to cold juices on sale.


Come discover all that Eglinton has to offer!


Bayview-Leaside BIA's First-Ever Sidewalk Sale


I hope to see you on Saturday, June 25 for Sidewalk Sensation, the Bayview-Leaside BIA’s first summer event!


Explore all the sensations the street has to offer – unique and lively sounds, sights, aromas and tastes.


Stroll through the tree-lined sidewalks to visit all the patios, specialty shops and retailers along Bayview Avenue from Davisville to Soudan. Entertainment will include live Latin jazz music, a strolling acoustic musician, face painters, chalk art as well as a kid’s craft event.


The event will run from 10am to 5pm. For more information, please see the event flyer here.


Celebrate Canada Day with Ward 22's Local MPs!


On Friday, July 1st you are invited to join Ward 22's two Members of Parliament, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett and Rob Oliphant, at their respective Canada Day events.

 

MP Bennett's annual picnic will take place once again at Wells Hill Park (470 St. Clair Avenue West at Hilton Avenue) from 12pm to 2:30pm and will include face painting, live music, dance troupes, family friendly activities and a barbeque.

 

MP Oliphant will be hosting two Canada DAy events: A Canada Day Picnic with the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, MPP from 12pm to 3pm at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute (135 Overlea Blvd) and a Canada Day Eid Bazaar from 3pm to 9pm at R.V. Burgess Park (6 Thorncliffe Park Drive).

 

Come join in the celebrations!


REMINDER: 29-31 Pleasant Blvd. Development Proposal Public Meeting


A rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to construct a seven story office building at 29-31 Pleasant Blvd.


This meeting will take place at 7pm on June 20th at Elliot Hall, Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street (entrance off of Heath Street West).


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Kevin Friedrich at 416-338-5740 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.


REMINDER: 55-65 Broadway & 89-101 Roehampton Avenue Development Proposals Joint Public Meeting


There will be two public meetings held on the same night for two separate development applications. They will both take place on June 28th at the Best Western Hotel, 808 Mount Pleasant Road, in the Eglinton Room on the 2nd floor.


A rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to construct two 45 storey residential buildings at 55-65 Broadway Avenue. This meeting will be from 6:30pm-8pm.


A separate rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to construct a 36 storey rental apartment building at 89-101 Roehampton Avenue. This meeting will be held from 8pm-9:30pm.


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Giulio Cescato at 416-392-0459 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.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.

Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

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

City Hall and Community update for June 10, 2016

City Hall and Community update for June 10, 2016

New Report Reveals Low Ridership Expected for “Express” One-Stop Scarborough Subway


My position on the Scarborough Subway is well known. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the previous plan for a 7 stop, grade-separated LRT (which would run in its own corridor- no traffic lanes removed and no traffic signals) would serve Scarborough residents’ transit needs much better than a subway, and would be fully funded by the provincial government. In other words, far more people served with rapid transit for far fewer tax dollars.


Earlier this year, Mayor Tory presented a new Scarborough transit plan that to replace the 3 stop subway with a one stop subway and use the savings to build a 17 stop LRT from Kennedy Station to the University of Toronto Scarborough campus. I commended Mayor Tory at the time for recognizing that the evidence simply did not support the previous subway plan for Scarborough, but that I still had a number of questions about the new plan.


Primarily, that $2 billion (costs are approximate at this point) for a one stop subway extension is too high. This concern has increased with the release of new projections from City Planning showing only 7,300 riders would use the subway during the busiest period.


Too put that in perspective, that number is less than a quarter of the capacity for a subway and less than half that of an LRT. The level of ridership projected for the one stop subway is similar to a busy bus route. Toronto has several unfunded commitments and a dearth of resources to complete them. I believe our city council must take an honest, evidence-based and fiscally-responsible approach when setting priorities.


I will continue to work with the mayor and my council colleagues on a plan to provide better service for Scarborough residents, including further investigation into whether the subway could travel at-grade through its own corridor as part of a network approach to transit planning that must include a funded Relief Subway Line to support our existing overcrowded system.


For more information on the new one stop Scarborough subway, please see this article.


City Initiative to Support Tenants Moves Forward


As the Chair of Toronto’s Tenant Issues Committee, I have been working with tenants from across our city, Acorn and the Federation of Metro Toronto Tenants Associations, on an initiative to better ensure that landlords keep their multi-residential buildings in good repair. After many months of hard work, I was pleased that the vast majority of my colleagues at Council voted this week to move forward with consultation on landlord licensing.


This new initiative is aimed at ensuring that Toronto renters have safe, clean and healthy homes that have adequate heat, functioning appliances, and are free of bedbugs. In short, the basics. It will help give the City of Toronto tools it needs to make landlords follow the law.


The proposal would apply to all buildings that have at least 3 storeys and 10 units. Given that there are 3,300 apartment buildings that fit this criteria in Toronto, it is safe to say that we will never have enough property standards inspectors to effectively enforce our by-laws on a complaints basis as is the current practice. The proposed licensing system would take a pro-active approach, similar to the City’s successful DineSafe program, by requiring landlords to submit cleaning and maintenance plans coupled with random audits.


This initiative has the potential to greatly improve the lives of many tenants in our community. That’s why I was disappointed to see that the Greater Toronto Apartments Association (the landlord lobby) target tenants with a campaign of misinformation to shamefully manipulate tenants into advocating against their own interests with flyers claiming that City Hall was about to implement an “apartment tax”.


Part of the recommendations might include a small fee that the City of Toronto would charge landlords (not tenants) to cover the cost of the program. The Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards stated that it would be very unlikely that the landlords would be able to pass this cost on to tenants. Further, this opinion was echoed by a spokesperson the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing last week.


I would certainly never support any measure that would raise rents on Toronto’s tenants and will continue to fight to keep rents affordable and for safe, healthy and respectful homes.


For more information please see this article.


School Fun fairs and BBQs

Me and my daughter Molly having fun at a recent school fun fair


My family and I have enjoyed seeing so many of you at the many local school fun fairs and BBQs over the past month, including events at:

  • Eglinton
  • Maurice Cody
  • Brown
  • Cottingham
  • Deer Park
  • Hodgson
  • Oriole Park
  • Forest Hill

A special thanks to all the hard-working parent volunteers and school staff who made these great community events possible. Please join us between 10:30am-3:30pm at Davisville PS next Saturday, June 18!


Belsize Drive's Glebe Manor East and West Parkettes Improvements Update


I'm pleased to announce that construction on the parkettes is wrapping up and they look remarkable!


It was a great pleasure to work with local residents to make much-needed improvements to the parkettes while still retaining their natural beauty. These enhancements include clearly delineated entranceways, new flowerbeds and sitting areas, mulch-covered natural paths and tree canopy replacement. Importantly, the drainage issues that have plagued the east parkette have also been addressed.


You may have noticed there is still fencing enclosing portions of the parkettes, despite construction now being completed. I have been informed by the project manager that this fencing is necessary to protect newly re-seeded areas in the parkettes and will need to remain a while longer, to ensure adequate seed rooting.


Toronto Attains Global Age-Friendly City Status!


During my first year as our city councillor, I initiated the City of Toronto’s Seniors Strategy: a proactive, holistic and inclusive initiative that seeks to create a truly accessible, respectful and age-friendly Toronto.

 

Since its inception two years ago, 86 of the 91 recommendations have been either partially or fully implemented, including the provision of seniors’-centred social services at appropriate TCHC buildings, and an increase in home visits by City paramedics.

Having since been appointed the City of Toronto’s Seniors Advocate, I am working on the next phase of the Seniors Strategy. I am proud of the major steps we have taken, but there is still more work to be done.


In recognition of the recent successful implementation of Toronto’s inaugural Seniors Strategy, I am delighted to announce that on February 22, 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) pronounced Toronto the latest global city to be awarded the status of a WHO designated Age-Friendly City!


Toronto's inclusion in the WHO's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities speaks to our city's commitment to serving seniors in an equitable, respectful and inclusionary way to improve their quality of life and support their full participation in civic life. I look forward to working alongside the WHO and all of our partners to continue to develop, enhance and implement our Toronto Seniors Strategy.


In my role as Toronto's Seniors Advocate, I was delighted to present the WHO plaque at City Council on Tuesday. Thank you so much to all of the City staff and community partners whose great efforts contributed to this milestone achievement!

 


Toronto Seniors Summit


As Toronto's Seniors Advocate, I recently met with Ontario's Minister Responsible for Seniors, Mario Sergio, to discuss a wide array of priorities to Toronto's seniors. At this meeting, we also agreed to organize a Seniors Summit to celebrate the achievements of the Ontario and Toronto Seniors Strategies so far and discuss next steps to continue to improve the lives of our growing elder population.


Please join me at 10am-2pm on Saturday, June 18 for the Toronto Seniors Summit at City Hall!


The summit will be a half-day event for provincial, municipal and community partners including:

  • an overview of seniors strategies by the elected officials of Toronto and Ontario
  • a seniors celebration of Toronto's recent World Health Organization designation as a Global Age-friendly City
  • an open discussion of what seniors can do to advance their needs and interests in their community
  • an informational opportunity with City Division and community partner info booths


Full details about the Toronto Seniors Summit are available on the event flyer.


I encourage you all to come, support and participate!


Happy 35th Anniversary to Montgomery Place!


My daughter Molly and I deeply enjoyed joining residents of 130 Eglinton Avenue East last weekend to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Montgomery Place.


This is a seniors' residence and remarkable Toronto Community Housing building - a truly special vertical neighbourhood in the heart of Midtown.


Shop, Dine and Wine on Mount Pleasant!


Come on out to the Mount Pleasant Village "Shop Wine and Dine" event on
Thursday, June 16th from 5-8pm. There will be great food, music, and sidewalk sales on Mt. Pleasant Road between Davisville and Eglinton Avenues. The Red Carpet will be rolled out just for you! Kids can be dropped off at Kidnasium for the full 3 hours for $35. Festivities hosted by the Mount Pleasant BIA.


Community Consultation: Proposed Provincial Growth Plan


The Provincial Growth Plan is a powerful document that affects all citizens in Toronto by directing planning and growth policies. The Province is revising the plan and taking written comments from the public and City until September 2016.


An open house community consultation will be held at the Toronto Reference Library on Monday, June 27th from 5-8 pm.


Do you own property in the City of Toronto? You’ll be receiving an updated Property Assessment Notice in spring 2016.


Every four years MPAC (Municipal Property Assessment Corporation) conducts a province-wide Assessment Update and mails Property Assessment Notices to every property owner in Ontario. In 2016, MPAC will update the assessed values of every property in Ontario, to the legislated valuation date of January 1, 2016.


Property owners can visit www.aboutmyproperty.ca to learn more about residential market trends in their area and how their property was assessed. By using the Roll Number and unique Access Key on their Property Assessment Notice, they can also see the information MPAC has on file for their property and compare it to others in their area.


If you disagree with your assessment, you can submit a Request for Reconsideration (RfR) directly through www.aboutmyproperty.ca within 120 days from the Issue Date on your Property Assessment Notice.


Toronto Notice Mailing Dates

Property Type: Residential (former Toronto City)

Issue Dates: June 1, 2016

RfR Deadline: September 29, 2016

 

Property Type: Business Properties

Issue Dates: October 18, 2016

RfR Deadline: February 15, 2017


TransformTO: Setting Toronto on the path to becoming a low-carbon city


In April and May, the City's Environment and Energy Division hosted four Community Conversations as part of the TransformTO: Climate Action for a Healthy, Equitable, and Prosperous Toronto. Residents are invited to Host Your Own TransformTO Conversation. A variety of materials to support the community conversations, including the TransformTOConversation Kit and background materials used at four City-hosted events earlier this spring, are available online.


Input from the community-hosted events will be included in a technical model designed to evaluate the impact on greenhouse gas emissions of various actions and strategies. Together, the engagement results and the technical scenario modelling will inform the development of an updated Climate Change Action Plan for the City of Toronto. Multiple community groups and residents including the Young Urbanists League, the Design Exchange, and the People's Climate Movement have hosted conversations already.


Interested residents are asked to begin the process of hosting a community conversation by emailing the TransformTO team at [email protected], and to submit a summary of their conversations to the City by June 20, 2016. More information is available on the TransformTO website.


Enbridge Energy Conservation Programs


Last year, Enbridge proposed new conservation programs to the Ontario Energy Board, which have since been approved and implemented.


Smart Thermostats Program


One of the easiest ways to save on your energy costs is by installing a smart thermostat. It uses sensors and Wi-Fi technology to maximize your home comfort and energy savings. That’s why Enbridge Gas Distribution is introducing a new Smart Thermostats Program. Purchase and install one of the qualifying smart thermostats and apply before December 31, 2016 to receive a $100 bill credit applied to your Enbridge account. Visit knowyourenergyscore.ca for full program details.


Home Energy Conservation Program


Enbridge Gas is offering the Home Energy Conservation Program again for 2016. Complete with energy expertise and valuable incentives of up to $2,100 to qualified homeowners, this program makes it easy and affordable for you to understand and improve the energy efficiency of your home, lower your energy bills and lessen your home’s impact on the environment. Please visit knowyourenergyscore.ca


The City of Toronto's Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) provides low-interest loans for home energy efficiency improvements. Through the program, qualifying homeowners can apply for funding from the City and the loan is then repaid via monthly installments on the homeowner's property tax bill. Eligible properties include detached, semi-detached and row houses. HELP is now available to homeowners all across Toronto. To learn more, visit the HELP website.


Keep Track of Your Water Use This Summer


With the warm weather here, the City of Toronto is reminding residents that they can track their water use online with MyWaterToronto. Use MyWaterToronto to better understand your water use and look for ways to save water and money. To log-on and learn more, visit www.toronto.ca/mywatertoronto.


29-31 Pleasant Blvd. Development Proposal Public Meeting


A rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to construct a seven story office building at 29-31 Pleasant Blvd.


This meeting will take place at 7pm on June 20th at Elliot Hall, Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street (entrance off of Heath Street West).


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Kevin Friedrich at 416-338-5740 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.


55-65 Broadway & 89-101 Roehampton Avenue Development Proposals Joint Public Meeting


There will be two public meetings held on the same night for two separate development applications. They will both take place on June 28th at the Best Western Hotel, 808 Mount Pleasant Road, in the Eglinton Room on the 2nd floor.


A rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to construct two 45 storey residential buildings at 55-65 Broadway Avenue. This meeting will be from 6:30pm-8:00pm.


A separate rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to construct a 36 storey rental apartment building at 89-101 Roehampton Avenue. This meeting will be held from 8:00pm-9:30pm.


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Giulio Cescato at 416-392-0459or [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.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.

Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

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

City Hall and Community Update for May 19, 2016

Our Community's Sharon, Lois & Bram Music Garden is Officially Open!



I recently had the privilege of welcoming local residents, MP Carolyn Bennett, and Mayor John Tory to June Rowlands (Davisville) Park for a performance by Sharon & Bram. The iconic Canadian children’s musicians (and midtown residents themselves) delighted the large audience as part of a celebration of the opening of the new Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground and Music Garden.


The event was the culmination of years of work to design and construct the Music Garden in partnership with Sharon, Lois & Bram, the remarkable Lesley Stoyan from Apple Tree Markets Group, the City's Parks staff and dedicated local parents and residents.


An elephant sculpture now stands at the entrance of the Garden welcoming children to the world of the trio’s beloved Elephant Show TV program. The new play structure features a stage connected to interactive musical instruments, including bongos and a xylophone.


The new Music Garden is part of a larger initiative I have undertaken to expand and improve green space in our community, and our quality of life, including future additions to June Rowlands (Davisville) Park. We've already worked with local parents to provide a splash pad and some new playground equipment there and public consultation will begin this autumn on a second phase, which will further improve the park.


Reuse, Recycle, Safely Dispose: Ward 22's Community Environment Day


Please join me at my annual Community Environment Day event. I hope to see you there!


Community Environment Day helps reduce the amount of reusable, recyclable or household hazardous waste going into landfill. The program provides a convenient way for you to drop off reusable and recyclable items such as clothing, small appliances, non-perishable food, electronics, etc. You can drop off household hazardous waste for safe disposal. By doing these things, you will also help support charities, schools, the local "sharing" economy and create new "green" jobs. For more information, please click here or call 311.


 


Family Fun at Ward 22's Spring Fun Fairs!


Over the next few weeks, I look forward to enjoying many of the spring fun fairs at some of Ward 22's remarkable schools. These community celebrations also raise funds toward our local parent councils' priorities. Thank you to all the volunteers who have done so much work on organizing these events!


  • Brown Jr PS – Garden Fete (May 28, 11am-3pm)
  • Maurice Cody Jr PS – Spring Fair (May 28, 10am-3pm)
  • Oriole Park Jr PS – May Fair (May 28, 11am-3pm)
  • Cottingham Jr PS – Fun Fair (June 4, 11am-3:30pm)
  • Eglinton Jr PS – Spring Fair (June 4, 11am-2pm)
  • Deer Park Jr and Sr PS – Fun Fair (June 9, 3:30pm-7pm)

Ward 22's Davisville Village Farmers’ Market Opens for Another Season!


I'm delighted to support AppleTree Markets, a local Ward 22 non-profit organization, that will once again be transforming June Rowlands (Davisville) Park into a vibrant "town square" for the fifth year of our community's popular farmers’ market at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park. The market is a place where you are sure to see friends and neighbours, while buying fresh produce, fish, meats, chocolate, and so much more.

 

This season, the market is open again and will operate weekly on Tuesdays between 3 and 7pm. I look forward to seeing you there!


Save the Date: 18 Brownlow Avenue Public Meeting


A rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning t
o construct two residential towers. I understand that there will be revisions to the original proposal presented by the applicants at this meeting.

 

To speak to the planner directly, please contact Giulio Cescato at 416-392-0459 or g[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.

 

This meeting will take place at 7pm on Tuesday, May 31.

 

Please note: The location of this public meeting is still TBD. I will be sure to post the venue on my website as soon as I receive that information.

 


Don't Let Your Basement Be Next – Get Tips on How to Prevent Basement Flooding


It's springtime, and the City is once again reminding homeowners to take steps to help prevent their basements from flooding. The City is doing its part to prevent heavy rainfall and runoff from ending up in your basement – by continually updating and maintaining Toronto's complex system of underground pipes, sewers and catch basins. Now find out what you can do by clicking here. Possible ways to limit a homeowner's risk of flooding include:

  • Fixing cracks in foundation
  • Ensuring the ground slopes away from the house
  • Clearing debris from eavestroughs and downspouts
  • Installing a sump pump to remove excess water
  • Installing a backwater valve to prevent water and sewage from backing up
  • Diverting your downspouts away from the foundation

City Reminds All Road Users to be Safe


The safety of all road users is a priority for the City of Toronto. That's why the City is reminding pedestrians, motorists and cyclists to take extra care, especially when travelling in residential neighbourhoods.


The City has produced lawn signs that encourage all motorists to drive safely as they travel in our neighbourhoods. To get a lawn sign, please contact my office at 416-392-7906 or [email protected] and I would be happy to deliver a sign to your door.


It's critical to be aware of your surroundings at all times when you are travelling.  All road users need to remember that safety is everyone's responsibility.


Annual D-Day Commemoration at Toronto City Hall


On Monday, June 6th at Nathan Phillips Square from 12pm-1pm, the City of Toronto will recognize the importance of honouring the service of our D-Day veterans.


All residents of Toronto are invited to join our war veterans who took part in the Allied invasion of Normandy, France on June 6, 1944, in commemorating this special occasion. This is an important time to celebrate and honour our veterans, to remember their sacrifice, and to teach our youth about the contributions made by veterans and the fallen heroes of this historic campaign.


The program includes a musical prelude which will begin at 12 noon followed by the official ceremony at 12:30pm. For further information you can visit the official website.


1 St. Clair Avenue West Mural – Public Consultation


Join the Sustainable Thinking and Expression on Public Space(STEPS) Initiative for a community info session about the 1 St Clair West mural, planned for summer 2016. Informed by input from hundreds of local residents and businesses, attendees will get a sneak peak at the mural's design.


The public consultation will take place on Thursday, May 26th from 6:30pm-7:30pm at
Deer Park Library (40 St Clair Ave E). To RSVP, please click here.


Spadina’s Austin Family and the Great War – A Full Day Program at the Spadina Museum


The Spadina Museum was home to the prominent Austin family for more than a century. On June 3rd, the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) is hosting a full day event at the Spadina Museum as part of the 2016 OGS Conference. The day will begin with a guided tour of the mansion, followed by lunch and time to explore the restored grounds and Edwardian gardens. There will be two presentations in the afternoon, including discussions and hands-on sessions with artifacts and archival documents from the First World War-era. These artifacts and documents will allow attendees to have a view of the war through the eyes of a soldier, a nurse, and an affluent family left on the home front.


Please register online here. For registration assistance please email [email protected].


City of Toronto's long-weekend activities include fireworks at Ashbridges Bay Park on Victoria Day


The City of Toronto will offer a wide variety of activities for residents on Monday, May 23, including the annual Victoria Day fireworks display at Ashbridges Bay. Many family attractions, including two farms, two historic sites and other facilities will be open, however City-operated recreation centres will be closed and recreation programs will not operate that day.


The City of Toronto will host Victoria Day fireworks at Ashbridges Bay Park starting at 10 p.m. on May 23. The show will feature about 2,000 fireworks, with a spectacular finale.


Golf:
Toronto's five municipal golf courses are located on beautiful parklands and offer early-bird rates. These affordable, high-quality and TTC-accessible courses are open daily, including Victoria Day. More information about City-run golf courses is available at http://toronto.ca/golf.


Tennis courts:
All public tennis courts will have nets up and be available for use throughout the Victoria Day weekend. Public sites are free and available to the general public. Tennis players are asked to share the courts by limiting their play time to half-hour intervals if others are waiting to use the courts. More information about public tennis courts is available at http://toronto.ca/tennis.


Splash pads:
Splash pads will begin to operate across the city on Saturday, May 21, with a few exceptions at sites under repair or located on outdoor pool decks. Splash pads operate daily from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and are activated through push-button features. Caregivers are reminded to supervise their children at these unsupervised water play areas. Information about splash pad locations, closures and late opening sites is available at http://www1.toronto.ca/parks/prd/facilities/splash-pads/index.htm or by calling 311.


Riverdale Farm:
Riverdale Farm is home to a variety of domestic farm animals, including Tamworth pigs, baby goats and Cotswold lambs. The breeds represent animals commonly found on a turn-of-the-century Ontario farm. Riverdale Farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. More information is available at http://toronto.ca/parks/zoo or by calling 311.


High Park Zoo:
Victoria Day is a great time to see the High Park Zoo's spring babies, including baby reindeer Snowflake. This attraction is open daily, year-round from 7 a.m. to dusk. More information: http://toronto.ca/parks/zoo.


Toronto Island Park:
Beginning on Friday, May 20, the City will switch to its summer ferry schedule, offering trips to the islands every 15 minutes. Toronto Island Park is a great place for a scenic picnic, hike or bike ride and also features the interactive Franklin Children's Garden. Many attractions offered by independent operators are also onsite including Centreville Theme Park (opening May 21) and Far Enough Farm. As a popular destination spot, especially on beautiful, sunny days, Toronto Island Park can get quite busy. To help plan their day and avoid the ferry lineups, members of the public can check the peak-times schedule at http://toronto.ca/ferry. Fares and other information about the amusement park and farm are available here.


Conservatories:
A wide variety of flowers are in full bloom at Centennial Park Conservatory (151 Elmcrest Rd.) and Allan Gardens Conservatory (19 Horticultural Ave.). Both conservatories are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., all year long. Admission is free. Information is available by calling Centennial Park Conservatory at 416-394-8543 and Allan Gardens Conservatory at 416-392-7288, or visiting http://toronto.ca/conservatories.


Bike and skate parks:
The City maintains several bike and skate parks across Toronto, including the new Sunnyside Bike Park which opened for the season on May 15. Locations and details: http://toronto.ca/parks/bikeparks.


Historic sites:
Two of the City's 10 historic sites, Fort York National Historic Site and Spadina Museum, will offer events, activities and tours on Victoria Day, Monday, May 23; remaining sites will be closed. All of the historic sites will be open over the weekend, except for the Market Gallery which will be closed on Sunday. Admission fees and activities details vary by location. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/museum-events.


Bladder Cancer Awareness Month


Bladder Cancer Canada (BCC) is launching the first Bladder Cancer Awareness Month in May. Bladder cancer is the 5th most common cancer in Canada, yet is relatively unknown to the public. Events are planned across Canada in May to promote awareness of #BladderCancer and BCC is calling on Canadians to #ShowYellow. On May 14, BCC celebrated Bladder Cancer Awareness Month in spectacular fashion. Toronto's CN Tower was lit in yellow and red to support BCC’s “See Red? See Your Doctor” Campaign.


Please click here to find out how easy it is to get involved. And visit the website to find out more about Bladder Cancer Awareness Month.


Crosstown LRT Eglinton Station Open House


Metrolinx, the provincial agency that is responsible for the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown,  is hosting an open house for the future Eglinton station on Monday May 30th.  For more information, please click here. If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about their construction, you may contact the Crosstown Community Office at 416-782-8118.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

To ensure you are informed and engaged about development proposals being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage.
My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.

Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

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

City Hall and Community Update for April 26, 2016

Rail Safety Town Hall Meeting, Tomorrow!


Disasters over the past several years in Lac Megantique, in Northern Ontario, and the United States have demonstrated the risks involved with moving hazardous materials, such as crude oil, by rail. That's why I've been working with local residents and community organizations for several years now to convince the federal government to put responsible regulations in place to protect Canadians. You can read my 2014 motion to City Council on this important issue
here.


In 2015, I wrote a letter, signed by my colleagues to urge the then-Transportation Minister Lisa Raitt to enact significant safety measures. This commitment was recently renewed with my letter to Hon. Marc Garneau, the new Minister of Transportation, that was also signed by Mayor Tory and all councillors representing wards that are traversed by the CP rail line. I commend the new government for actively listening to our concerns and am very hopeful they will soon move forward with necessary measures to protect residents living near rail corridors.


The urgent importance of our initiative has been recognized by the Toronto Star and other media outlets. Now is the time for action to protect our communities!


Also, I am pleased to have been asked by local MPs Carolyn Bennett and Chrystia Freeland to moderate a conversation at public meeting with Minister Garneau. Please join me for this important event at 6:30pm on Wednesday, April 27 at Walmer Road Baptist Church (188 Lowther Avenue).



Deer Park Accessible Playground Groundbreaking Ceremony


Deer Park Public School was one of the many schools that had its wooden play structures removed a decade ago due to safety concerns. The few play stuctures on site are inadequate for the special needs students at the school and in the wider community.


That's why I was happy to support the efforts of local parents, and Trustee Laskin, to contribute funds through a motion toward a new, fully accessible playground at Deer Park last year. This new playground will ensure that every child in the community will be finally able to play with their friends, rather than sit on the sidelines.


This morning, the community celebrated the start of this important project with a groundbreaking ceremony that I was honoured to participate in. I look forward to the project being completed soon and seeing children of all abilities enjoying the new playground!




Reuse, Recycle, Safely Dispose: Ward 22's Community Environment Day


Please join me at my annual Community Environment Day event. I hope to see you there!


Date: Thursday, June 2, 2016

Time: 4pm - 8pm

Location: North Toronto Memorial Arena parking lot (174 Orchard View Blvd)


Community Environment Day helps reduce the amount of reusable, recyclable or household hazardous waste going into landfill. The program provides a convenient way for you to drop off reusable and recyclable items such as clothing, small appliances, non-perishable food, electronics, etc. You can drop off household hazardous waste for safe disposal. By doing these things, you will also help support charities, schools, the local "sharing" economy and create new "green" jobs. For more information, please click here or call 311.


Ward 22's Davisville Village Farmers’ Market Opens for Another Season!


I'm delighted to support AppleTree Markets, a local Ward 22 non-profit organization, that will once again be transforming June Rowlands Park into a vibrant "town square" for the fifth year of our community's popular farmers’ market at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park. The market is a place where you are sure to see friends and neighbours, while buying fresh produce, fish, meats, chocolate, and so much more.

 

This season, the market begins on May 10th and will operate weekly on Tuesdays between 3 and 7pm. I look forward to seeing you there!


Jane's Walks 10th Anniversary


Interested in learning more about the city's distinct neighbourhoods and diverse cultures? This year, volunteers from across the city will be leading Jane's Walks, a celebration of the legacy Jane Jacob's left on our city.


Two Jane's Walks will be occurring in Ward 22, and best of all, they're free!
The first, "Trains, Trams and Roads in Summerhill and Deer Park," will be a one-hour walk led by Ken Brown on May 7. You can find out more about this walk here. The second, "Retracing Stop Spadina", will be a two-hour walk led by HiMY SYeD on May 1 and 7. You can find out more about this walk here.


For more information about Jane's Walks and many other events happening around Toronto, please click here.


Funding Opportunity for Community Groups


The City is encouraging non-profit organizations that address community safety or access, equity and human rights of equity-seeking groups to apply for two different grant programs.

Access, Equity and Human Rights (AEHR) Investment Funding


The Access, Equity and Human Rights (AEHR) Investment Program provides short-term funding to community-based projects that act on human rights, accessibility, equity, discrimination and hate crime concerns in their neighbourhoods and communities. (Deadline for application is at 11:59pm, June 8.)

Community Safety Investment (CSI) Funding


The Community Safety Investment (CSI) program provides short-term funding of 1-3 years for outcome-focused activities that build community capacity for violence prevention and increase safety for the most vulnerable groups in Toronto. Priority will be given to community groups that help seniors, youth most vulnerable to involvement in serious violence and crime, newcomers, undocumented workers and Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs) (Deadline for application is at 11:59pm, June 15.)


An information session for these grant programs will also be held May 4 at City Hall from 10am-12pm.


Province Backs Away from Problematic Childcare Regulations


I’m pleased to report that the Province has responded to the sincere concerns from parents and the City’s Children Services by backing away from proposed changes that further compromised the affordability and accessibility of childcare. These regulations would have lowered the age groupings for infants and toddlers, that would have lead to a reduction of over 2000 child care spaces and increased fees for parents.


These impacts are outlined in detail in this report prepared in response by the City.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.

Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

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

City Hall and Community Update for April 5, 2016

A Comprehensive Rapid Transit Plan Moves Forward with a Network Approach

 

I hope that we are closer than we ever have been before.

 

As you know, I have strongly advocated for a more honest and comprehensive approach to transit planning in Toronto and the GTHA. I've also challenged plans that made no sense in order to make them better and less costly. For far too long, our city has looked at projects in isolation, and through the cynical lens of self-serving political pursuits, which has led to inaction or, even worse, terrible and expensive decisions.

 

That’s why I am very pleased that Council has asked Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat to continue studying a coordinated, network-approach transit plan that includes:

  • The Relief Line subway
  • SmartTrack
  • Express One Stop Scarborough Subway Extension
  • Eglinton Crosstown East Extension to UofT Scarborough
  • Eglinton Crosstown West Extension to the Airport
  • Waterfront East LRT
  • Waterfront West LRT

While I am actually optimistic that this new approach will lead to better results, I do have several questions. For example, I want to know if there might be cost savings if the revised Scarborough subway follows the route of an existing at-grade corridor that is currently being used for the SRT as both TTC and Metrolinx reports suggest.  My colleagues, including Mayor John Tory, overwhelmingly supported my motion to ask Staff to explore whether it would be possible.

 

I am very grateful to Mayor Tory for choosing a more evidence-based approach on transit planning and being willing to champion a better plan. I also deeply appreciate the work of our chief planner, along with her tireless and skilled team, who worked around the clock to deliver this plan to Council.

 

Too many Torontonians have been waiting for too long for a transit plan that makes sense, and can be built ASAP to improve their lives. Our system is already overcrowded on lines such as the Yonge subway through midtown down to Bloor, along streetcar routes such as King and at capacity on routes such as the existing Scarborough RT.

 

We now need to move forward with a network plan we believe in, and work hard to ensure the funding is in place to see the plan through to fruition.

 

It is expected that the results of this study will be brought to Council this June. As always, I'll continue to keep you up to date.


Revised Gardiner Hybrid Plan Approved by Council

 

Last week, Council approved a modified hybrid reconfiguration specifically for the 1.4 km Gardiner East section. The new plan removes one of the ramps and pushes the elevated roadway back from the waterfront at a significant cost.

 

As I have previously written, I would have preferred the “Boulevard” option. While this new plan allows for a more connected waterfront and opens up more land for development, it will still be direct our limited resources toward serving relatively few people.

 

The revised hybrid will now cost approximately $500 million more than removing the elevated highway and replacing it with an at-grade boulevard. It will now also demand cars slow down significantly for a portion (due to the turn radias connecting the DVP). However, the construction time will be shorter than the Boulevard option.

 

For the same cost, the City could have fulfilled a promise to new businesses and residents by moving forward with the Waterfront East LRT, or helped address any one of Toronto’s long list of unfunded capital priorities, including the backlog in social housing repairs or the Relief Subway line.

 

In total, I believe history will not view this decision kindly. However, I also acknowledge that Council made the best decision based on the options (which discluded the Boulevard) in front of it last week.


New Music Strategy Supported by Council

 

A new music strategy that hopes to unleash the economic development potential of Toronto’s Music industry, in much the same way the film industry was developed, received unanimous approval from Council. The new plan will promote music-based tourism to our city while looking at better ways to support artists.

 

There was concern expressed by some residents that approving this initiative would lead to new exemptions for amplified music in City parks. I worked with Councillor Wong-Tam and other colleagues to address these concerns with a motion that referred any proposed noise by-law changes to the Noise by-law review currently being undertaken by Licensing & Standards Committee.


Noise By-Law Review

 

I deferred the previous proposals by Staff that allowed for a more lax noise by-law. I have been informed that Staff will be bringing an improved set of recommendations to Licensing & Standards Committee this May. I know this is an important issue for many in our community and I will provide further updates when the new report is released. I will certainly continue to do everthing possible to protect the quality of life in our neighbourhoods.


Province Moving in Wrong Direction on Surplus School Properties

 

It was very timely that Council debated the City’s position on regulations related to school boards selling surplus properties. As part of the province’s Grants for Student Needs funding, the Ministry of Education announced that both the City and other school boards will have to pay full market value for school properties deemed surplus.

 

This move will make it more difficult to keep public land in public hands. As Chair of the City-School Boards Advisory Committee, I will work with Mayor Tory to advocate for the Toronto’s interests on this issue.


Improving the Response to Infill Construction Sites

 

Throughout many of our neighbourhoods we are fighting a dramatic increase in inappropriate infill development projects that threaten the fabric and stability of our residential communities. The battles have played out through the Committee of Adjustment and the Ontario Municipal Board, where they often are approved and residents are then forced to start the next fight – the construction process.

 

When these new homes are built, it is incredibly disruptive to local residents, as they are being built right in the heart of residential neighbourhoods and the impacts are literally in people’s front yards. Often, contractors will work beyond permitted noise bylaw hours, they take over on-street parking, and block the public right of way. Of particular concern is the excessive noise and dust from stone and rock cutting performed on site, which is disruptive and hazardous for immediate neighbours. On some streets there are several of these projects occurring simultaneously, and once one job is completed another begins.

 

I have been working with several residents to help mitigate the impacts these infill construction sites have on the local community and last week City Council approved a strategy to help address this issue.

 

The City’s strategy aims to:


  • Improve the complaint management strategy to manage and respond to complaints more quickly;
  • Improve communication with residents to provide clear, understandable information so that issues can be resolved in a more timely manner;
  • Encourage good construction practices in the building industry through education, more effective enforcement, increased use of tickets, and an additional mandatory inspection and increased building inspector knowledge.

 

City Council also directed the Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards to work in consultation with Toronto Buildings, The Energy and Environment Office and Toronto Public Health to come back to City Council in 2017 with recommendations on dust control measures related to infill construction.

 

For your review, here is the report that was approved at City Council last week.


Further Progress for Creating a Made-for-Toronto Local Appeal Body (LAB)

 

Last week, Council approved the implementation of a (LAB) for the City after a follow-up report from February 2016. Three out of the five motions were approved and can be viewed here. The background for this decision comes from the Province of Ontario granting the City of Toronto the power to establish a LAB, to hear "appeals" of Committee of Adjustment decisions on both minor variances and consent applications.

 

While this is a better process, I look forward to seeing more details as the LAB begins to take shape. This LAB will be arms-length from Council and completely independent.

 

In was clear to me that this is not an initiative City Staff would've proposed themselves, based on their responses at Council. I also do have some concerns about the downloading of costs to the City for the appeals work from the Province.

 

That being said, the Province currently only allows Toronto to create a local body to hear minor variances appeals, not on large-scale development projects. They have said at various times that Toronto must move forward with this LAB before they will seriously consider freeing us from the OMB. Therefore, I believe its a necessary step we must take.

 

We now need to continue advocating to completely free Toronto from the OMB's purview with regard to other impactful planning decisions, such as large-scale development in our communities.


Ontario Extending Funding to Paramedicine Programs for Seniors!

As Toronto's Seniors Advocate, I recently met with Ontario's Minister Responsible for Seniors, Mario Sergio, to discuss a wide array of priorities to Toronto's seniors including the import and convenience of these programs to many seniors and how these programs can contribute to lessening demand on 911, hospital waiting rooms and emergency services.

Please read today's article about the Province's wonderful and helpful announcement. Thank you especially to Dr. Samir Sinha, Minister Mario Sergio and Minister Eric Hoskins for your advocacy and action.

New Solar Panel on Local EMS Station Will Reduce CO2 and Create Revenue

Shifting to renewable power is one important measure that cities can take to help cut CO2. As a School Trustee I helped to initiate the Green Grid program which uses solar panels to create clean energy and teach kids about environmental stewardship. As your City Councillor, I am proud to be involved in a similar program that uses City facilities to reduce our reliance on the traditional energy grid while creating additional revenue for the City.

 

In Ward 22, a new solar panel has just been installed on the roof of EMS Station 18 at 643 Eglinton Avenue West. The 10 kilowatt panel generates about 11,000 kilowatt hours of clean electricity per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 500 kilograms annually. This project will generate $80,000 in revenue for the City over its 20 year lifespan through the sale of electricity to the Province under a micro Feed-in Tariff contract.

 

Increasing the use of renewable energy is only one change that cities can make to reduce greenhouse gases. Expanding public transit, designing more compact, walkable neighbourhoods and planting more trees can also significantly reduce our environmental footprint while improving our quality of life and the economy.

 

To learn more about what local governments around the world are doing to improve the environment, please click here.


Ward 22's Davisville Village Farmers’ Market Opens for Another Season!

 

AppleTree Markets, a local Ward 22 non-profit organization, will once again be transforming June Rowlands Park into a temporary town square for the fifth year of their popular farmers’ market. I am delighted to support this community-building initiative at June Rowlands (Davsiville) Park. The market has been a place where you are sure to see friends and neighbours, while buying fresh produce, fish, meats, chocolate, and so much more.


This season, the market begins on May 10 and will operate weekly on Tuesdays between 3 and 7pm. I look forward to seeing you there!


Improving the Midtown Yonge Streetscape and Supporting Small Business

 

With the Yonge station set to open at the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton in 2020, it is imperative that the local BIA start developing a unified streetscape design as soon as possible.

 

That's why I moved a motion to provide the Midtown Yonge BIA with $47,500, fully funded by Section 37 community benefits, to design a Streetscape Masterplan that will start the process of adding new trees, street furniture and other enhancements in the coming years.

 

This plan will help improve the walkability and attractiveness of the street which will, in turn, help attract new businesses to the neighbourhood.

 

Please feel welcome to attend the upcoming open house, to review and provide feedback on the current proposal with PLANT ARCHITECT Inc, the BIA Board of Management and staff from the City's BIA Office.The meeting will be held from 5pm to 9pm on Tuesday, April 19 at Grano (2035 Yonge Street).

 


Lionel Conacher Park Splash Pad Public Meeting


Please join me on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 7pm to discuss an exciting, new children's splash pad for
Lionel Conacher Park.

 

The meeting will take place in the Gymnasium at Cottingham Junior Public School (85 Birch Avenue) and will give you a chance to review the new splash pad design with myself and Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff. I hope to see you there!


St. Clair Avenue West Mural Project

 

The award-winning public arts organization STEPS, responsible for the World’s Tallest Mural at Sherbourne and Wellesley is teaming up with Slate Asset Management and celebrated international artist PHLEGM to create a 12-storey mural at 1 St. Clair Avenue West.

As part of STEPS' consultation process, they are conducting a survey to gather resident feedback to help inform the mural's design. To access the survey and learn more about this project, please click here.


Growing Up: Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities

City Planning has initiated a study entitled Growing Up: Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities.  The study seeks to examine how families with children and youth can be better accommodated in mid and high-rise neighbourhoods – the fastest growing building type in the city. The objective of the study is to ensure that families with kids, both present and future, are provided with the opportunity to grow up and thrive in higher density housing.

This study follows up on a number of City Planning initiatives to encourage family friendly developments including the deferred 2010 draft OPA to require 3 bedroom units in new developments, the Condominium Consultations and the Chief Planner's Roundtable on Planning Cities for Families. The study will address both the quantity and quality of new housing by exploring the needs of families at three scales (the unit, the building and the neighbourhood) and result in new Official Plan policies and a Handbook containing performance standards and guidelines.

The study website has been updated to include the study approach which explains the work being undertaken in each of the three phases.  An overview of the consultation approach which lists all of the consultation activities that will be undertaken throughout the course of the study is attached.  You may also be interested in reviewing demographic profiles of households with children in each of our seven study areas: the Downtown and Centres (Etobicoke, North York, Yonge Eglinton, and Scarborough Civic Centres) as identified on Map 2 Urban Structure as well as two additional areas – Humber Bay Shores and the Sheppard Corridor.

As part of the first phase of the study, we have launched an online survey to learn about the experiences of families raising children in mid and high-rise buildings.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, feel free to contact Ann-Marie Nasr, Manager, SIPA, [email protected] 416-392-3078.


24-Hour Client Care Centre Number for Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) Residents

 

Following a recent meeting I conducted with residents and staff from TCHC, it was brought to my attention that a very useful, yet under-utilized resource exists to assist tenants in accessing important requests. TCHC tenants can speak with a client care representative 24/7 for emergency and routine maintenance requests, questions about rent or leases, requests to transfer to a different unit, information about how to add or remove someone from a lease, or many other matters pertaining to your tenancy.

 

The system operates similarly to Toronto's 311 service, whereby each request is processed efficiently and assigned a unique reference number the caller can follow up on.

 

TCHC Client Care can be reached at 416-981-5500.

 

For information on a number of other important contact numbers for TCHC tenants, please click here.


Public Consultations on the Recommendations from the Mayor's Task Force on Toronto Community Housing

 

Toronto Community Housing tenants are invited to public meetings regarding the recommendations made in the final report of the Mayor’s Task Force on Toronto Community Housing. The meetings will be an opportunity for tenants to hear about the recommendations and share their views regarding how the City should move forward on the Task Force recommendations.

 

Please click here for a complete list of meeting dates and locations between April 11th to 25th.


The Probus Club Wants You!

 

THE PROBUS CLUB of TORONTO welcomes PROfessional BUSiness men and women who have retired from their jobs or businesses and want to maintain a social network with others who have similar interests. The club meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 10am to 12pm in the Holy Rosary Parish Hall, 356 St. Clair Ave. West.

 

For more information on joining the Probus Club of Toronto, please e-mail [email protected].


Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards Nominations Now Open

Do you know someone or a community group who is making a difference in Toronto by reducing barriers to civic participation? Celebrate their accomplishments – nominate them for an award!

 

The City's Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards recognize significant efforts of Toronto residents who are working to build a city in which all residents are full and equal participants in the social, cultural, economic, recreational and political life of the city. Each year, the City celebrates the contributions made by nominated residents or groups at an awards ceremony held in December.

 

Deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, May 2, 2016.

 

Nominees must be residents of the City of Toronto. To nominate and for more information including past recipients, please click here.


City of Toronto Long-Term Waste Management Strategy - Next Steps

Solid Waste Management Services is undertaking the development of a Long Term Waste Management Strategy ("Waste Strategy") to guide decision making on how the City's waste will be managed over the next 30 to 50 years. The Draft Waste Strategy is now complete and was approved at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting on Tuesday March 1, 2016.


Councillor Information Sessions were held earlier this week to provide an update on how the public will be engaged on the Draft Waste Strategy from March 29, 2016 to April 27, 2016. Attached is the presentation that was delivered at those sessions.


This final phase of the Waste Strategy is pivotal. We are looking for your help to promote the March-April public consultation events and encourage residents to attend an event or take the online survey (survey available from March 29 – April 27, 2016 at www.toronto.ca/wastestrategy). The feedback received through March & April 2016 will help shape the final Waste Strategy that will be presented to Public Works and Infrastructure Committee in June 2016 and City Council in July 2016.


If you are interested in receiving future updates, you may sign up for the electronic mailing list by entering an email address at www.toronto.ca/wastestrategy. Anyone interested in following the project on Twitter may do so @GetInvolvedTO and join the conversation #TOwastestrategy.


For more information, please contact Charlotte Ueta, Acting Manager of Waste Management Planning at 416-392-8506 or [email protected].


Reminder to Change Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries


Toronto Fire Services reminds residents that this weekend's start of daylight savings time, when clocks are moved forward one hour, is also a convenient time to replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.


Every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm installed on every level and outside all sleeping areas. Working smoke alarms can increase your family’s chance of survival in a fire by providing early warning for escape. Every second counts.


As of April 2015, every home in Ontario with a fuel burning appliance or attached garage must have a working carbon monoxide alarm installed outside all sleeping areas. Working carbon monoxide alarms alert you to the presence of this colourless, odourless, tasteless and potentially deadly gas.


Tips for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms:

  • When installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, read the manufacturer’s instructions on correct placement, testing and maintenance.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every month using the test button.
  • Replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries at least once a year and whenever the low-battery warning chirps.
  • Replace smoke alarms that have been in place for 10 years or longer. Replace carbon monoxide alarms that are seven years and older.
  • Avoid removing the battery in response to a sounding smoke alarm due to cooking or steam. Instead, move the smoke alarm to a better location or use the hush-button feature that will temporarily silence the alarm.
  • Consider installing combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms with a 10-year lithium battery.


Homeowners are responsible for installing and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords are responsible for ensuring that their rental properties comply with the law. It is against the law for tenants to remove smoke or carbon monoxide alarm batteries or to tamper with the alarms in any way.


Failure to comply with the Ontario Fire Code requirements could, upon conviction, result in a maximum fine of up to $50,000 for individuals, imprisonment, or both, and up to $100,000 for corporations, imprisonment, or both.


More information is available here.


TransformTO Community Conversations


Toronto residents are invited to join a community conversation about climate change and how we can shap Toronto's future as a low-carbon city. The City will host 4 community conversations this spring to build a vision of what Toronto will look like in the year 2050 with drastically reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Community Conversations:

  • April 25 - Metro Hall (55 John Street)
  • April 27 - Ken Cox Community Centre (28 Colonel Samueal Smith Park Drive, Etobicoke)
  • May 3 - Scarborough Civic Centre (150 Borough Drive)
  • May 9 - North York City Centre, Memorial Hall (5110 Yonge Street)

All events run from 6pm-9pm.

The conversations are part of TransformTO: Climate Action for a Healthy, Equitable, Prosperous Toronto, a City initiative in collaboration with Toronto Atmospheric Fund.

To learn more and register for an event near you, please click here.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.

Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

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

A Comprehensive Rapid Transit Plan Moves Forward with a Network Approach

I hope that we are closer than we ever have been before.

As you know, I have strongly advocated for a more honest and comprehensive approach to transit planning in Toronto and the GTHA. I've also challenged plans that made no sense in order to make them better and less costly. For far too long, our city has looked at projects in isolation, and through the cynical lens of self-serving political pursuits, which has led to inaction or, even worse, terrible and expensive decisions.

That’s why I am very pleased that Council has asked Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat to continue studying a coordinated, network-approach transit plan that includes:

  • The Relief Line subway
  • SmartTrack
  • Express One Stop Scarborough Subway Extension
  • Eglinton Crosstown East Extension to UofT Scarborough
  • Eglinton Crosstown West Extension to the Airport
  • Waterfront East LRT
  • Waterfront West LRT

While I am actually optimistic that this new approach will lead to better results, I do have several questions. For example, I want to know if there might be cost savings if the revised Scarborough subway follows the route of an existing at-grade corridor that is currently being used for the SRT as both TTC and Metrolinx reports suggest.  My colleagues, including Mayor John Tory, overwhelmingly supported my motion to ask Staff to explore whether it would be possible.

I am very grateful to Mayor Tory for choosing a more evidence-based approach on transit planning and being willing to champion a better plan. I also deeply appreciate the work of our chief planner, along with her tireless and skilled team, who worked around the clock to deliver this plan to Council.

Too many Torontonians have been waiting for too long for a transit plan that makes sense, and can be built ASAP to improve their lives. Our system is already overcrowded on lines such as the Yonge subway through midtown down to Bloor, along streetcar routes such as King and at capacity on routes such as the existing Scarborough RT.

We now need to move forward with a network plan we believe in, and work hard to ensure the funding is in place to see the plan through to fruition.

It is expected that the results of this study will be brought to Council this June. As always, I'll continue to keep you up to date.


Revised Gardiner Hybrid Plan Approved by Council

Last week, Council approved a modified hybrid reconfiguration specifically for the 1.4 km Gardiner East section. The new plan removes one of the ramps and pushes the elevated roadway back from the waterfront at a significant cost.

As I have previously written, I would have preferred the “Boulevard” option. While this new plan allows for a more connected waterfront and opens up more land for development, it will still be direct our limited resources toward serving relatively few people.

The revised hybrid will now cost approximately $500 million more than removing the elevated highway and replacing it with an at-grade boulevard. It will now also demand cars slow down significantly for a portion (due to the turn radias connecting the DVP). However, the construction time will be shorter than the Boulevard option.

For the same cost, the City could have fulfilled a promise to new businesses and residents by moving forward with the Waterfront East LRT, or helped address any one of Toronto’s long list of unfunded capital priorities, including the backlog in social housing repairs or the Relief Subway line.

In total, I believe history will not view this decision kindly. However, I also acknowledge that Council made the best decision based on the options (which discluded the Boulevard) in front of it last week.


New Music Strategy Supported by Council

A new music strategy that hopes to unleash the economic development potential of Toronto’s Music industry, in much the same way the film industry was developed, received unanimous approval from Council. The new plan will promote music-based tourism to our city while looking at better ways to support artists.

There was concern expressed by some residents that approving this initiative would lead to new exemptions for amplified music in City parks. I worked with Councillor Wong-Tam and other colleagues to address these concerns with a motion that referred any proposed noise by-law changes to the Noise by-law review currently being undertaken by Licensing & Standards Committee.


Noise By-Law Review

I deferred the previous proposals by Staff that allowed for a more lax noise by-law. I have been informed that Staff will be bringing an improved set of recommendations to Licensing & Standards Committee this May. I know this is an important issue for many in our community and I will provide further updates when the new report is released. I will certainly continue to do everthing possible to protect the quality of life in our neighbourhoods.


Province Moving in Wrong Direction on Surplus School Properties

It was very timely that Council debated the City’s position on regulations related to school boards selling surplus properties. As part of the province’s Grants for Student Needs funding, the Ministry of Education announced that both the City and other school boards will have to pay full market value for school properties deemed surplus.

This move will make it more difficult to keep public land in public hands. As Chair of the City-School Boards Advisory Committee, I will work with Mayor Tory to advocate for the Toronto’s interests on this issue.


Improving the Response to Infill Construction Sites

Throughout many of our neighbourhoods we are fighting a dramatic increase in inappropriate infill development projects that threaten the fabric and stability of our residential communities. The battles have played out through the Committee of Adjustment and the Ontario Municipal Board, where they often are approved and residents are then forced to start the next fight – the construction process.

When these new homes are built, it is incredibly disruptive to local residents, as they are being built right in the heart of residential neighbourhoods and the impacts are literally in people’s front yards. Often, contractors will work beyond permitted noise bylaw hours, they take over on-street parking, and block the public right of way. Of particular concern is the excessive noise and dust from stone and rock cutting performed on site, which is disruptive and hazardous for immediate neighbours. On some streets there are several of these projects occurring simultaneously, and once one job is completed another begins.

I have been working with several residents to help mitigate the impacts these infill construction sites have on the local community and last week City Council approved a strategy to help address this issue.

The City’s strategy aims to:

  • Improve the complaint management strategy to manage and respond to complaints more quickly;
  • Improve communication with residents to provide clear, understandable information so that issues can be resolved in a more timely manner;
  • Encourage good construction practices in the building industry through education, more effective enforcement, increased use of tickets, and an additional mandatory inspection and increased building inspector knowledge.

City Council also directed the Executive Director of Municipal Licensing and Standards to work in consultation with Toronto Buildings, The Energy and Environment Office and Toronto Public Health to come back to City Council in 2017 with recommendations on dust control measures related to infill construction.

For your review, here is the report that was approved at City Council last week.


Further Progress for Creating a Made-for-Toronto Local Appeal Body (LAB)

Last week, Council approved the implementation of a (LAB) for the City after a follow-up report from February 2016. Three out of the five motions were approved and can be viewed here. The background for this decision comes from the Province of Ontario granting the City of Toronto the power to establish a LAB, to hear "appeals" of Committee of Adjustment decisions on both minor variances and consent applications.

While this is a better process, I look forward to seeing more details as the LAB begins to take shape. This LAB will be arms-length from Council and completely independent.

In was clear to me that this is not an initiative City Staff would've proposed themselves, based on their responses at Council. I also do have some concerns about the downloading of costs to the City for the appeals work from the Province.

That being said, the Province currently only allows Toronto to create a local body to hear minor variances appeals, not on large-scale development projects. They have said at various times that Toronto must move forward with this LAB before they will seriously consider freeing us from the OMB. Therefore, I believe its a necessary step we must take.

We now need to continue advocating to completely free Toronto from the OMB's purview with regard to other impactful planning decisions, such as large-scale development in our communities.


Ontario extending funding to Paramedicine Programs for Seniors!
As Toronto's Seniors Advocate, I recently met with Ontario's Minister Responsible for Seniors, Mario Sergio, to discuss a wide array of priorities to Toronto's seniors including the import and convenience of these programs to many seniors and how these programs can contribute to lessening demand on 911, hospital waiting rooms and emergency services.
Please read today's article about the Province's wonderful and helpful announcement. Thank you especially to Dr. Samir Sinha, Minister Mario Sergio and Minister Eric Hoskins for your advocacy and action.

New Solar Panel on Local EMS Station Will Reduce CO2 and Create Revenue
Shifting to renewable power is one important measure that cities can take to help cut CO2. As a School Trustee I helped to initiate the Green Grid program which uses solar panels to create clean energy and teach kids about environmental stewardship. As your City Councillor, I am proud to be involved in a similar program that uses City facilities to reduce our reliance on the traditional energy grid while creating additional revenue for the City.

In Ward 22, a new solar panel has just been installed on the roof of EMS Station 18 at 643 Eglinton Avenue West. The 10 kilowatt panel generates about 11,000 kilowatt hours of clean electricity per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 500 kilograms annually. This project will generate $80,000 in revenue for the City over its 20 year lifespan through the sale of electricity to the Province under a micro Feed-in Tariff contract.

Increasing the use of renewable energy is only one change that cities can make to reduce greenhouse gases. Expanding public transit, designing more compact, walkable neighbourhoods and planting more trees can also significantly reduce our environmental footprint while improving our quality of life and the economy.

To learn more about what local governments around the world are doing to improve the environment, please click here.


Ward 22's Davisville Village Farmers’ Market opens for another season!


AppleTree Markets, a local Ward 22 non-profit organization, will once again be transforming June Rowlands Park into a temporary town square for the fifth year of their popular farmers’ market. I am delighted to support this community-building initiative at June Rowlands (Davsiville) Park. The market has been a place where you are sure to see friends and neighbours, while buying fresh produce, fish, meats, chocolate, and so much more.


This season, the market begins on May 10 and will operate weekly on Tuesdays between 3 and 7pm. I look forward to seeing you there!


Improving the Midtown Yonge Streetscape and Supporting Small Business

 

With the Yonge station set to open at the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton in 2020, it is imperative that the local BIA start developing a unified streetscape design as soon as possible.

 

That's why I moved a motion to provide the Midtown Yonge BIA with $47,500, fully funded by Section 37 community benefits, to design a Streetscape Masterplan that will start the process of adding new trees, street furniture and other enhancements in the coming years.

 

This plan will help improve the walkability and attractiveness of the street which will, in turn, help attract new businesses to the neighbourhood.

 

Please feel welcome to attend the upcoming open house, to review and provide feedback on the current proposal with PLANT ARCHITECT Inc, the BIA Board of Management and staff from the City's BIA Office.The meeting will be held from 5pm to 9pm on Tuesday, April 19 at Grano (2035 Yonge Street).

 


Lionel Conacher Park Splash Pad Public Meeting

Please join me on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 7pm to discuss an exciting, new children's splash pad for Lionel Conacher Park.

 

The meeting will take place in the Gymnasium at Cottingham Junior Public School (85 Birch Avenue) and will give you a chance to review the new splash pad design with myself and Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff. I hope to see you there!


St. Clair Avenue West Mural Project

The award-winning public arts organization STEPS, responsible for the World’s Tallest Mural at Sherbourne and Wellesley is teaming up with Slate Asset Management and celebrated international artist PHLEGM to create a 12-storey mural at 1 St. Clair Avenue West.

As part of STEPS' consultation process, they are conducting a survey to gather resident feedback to help inform the mural's design. To access the survey and learn more about this project, please click here.


Growing Up: Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities
City Planning has initiated a study entitled Growing Up: Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities.  The study seeks to examine how families with children and youth can be better accommodated in mid and high-rise neighbourhoods – the fastest growing building type in the city. The objective of the study is to ensure that families with kids, both present and future, are provided with the opportunity to grow up and thrive in higher density housing.

This study follows up on a number of City Planning initiatives to encourage family friendly developments including the deferred 2010 draft OPA to require 3 bedroom units in new developments, the Condominium Consultations and the Chief Planner's Roundtable on Planning Cities for Families. The study will address both the quantity and quality of new housing by exploring the needs of families at three scales (the unit, the building and the neighbourhood) and result in new Official Plan policies and a Handbook containing performance standards and guidelines.

The study website has been updated to include the study approach which explains the work being undertaken in each of the three phases.  An overview of the consultation approach which lists all of the consultation activities that will be undertaken throughout the course of the study is attached.  You may also be interested in reviewing demographic profiles of households with children in each of our seven study areas: the Downtown and Centres (Etobicoke, North York, Yonge Eglinton, and Scarborough Civic Centres) as identified on Map 2 Urban Structure as well as two additional areas – Humber Bay Shores and the Sheppard Corridor.

As part of the first phase of the study, we have launched an online survey to learn about the experiences of families raising children in mid and high-rise buildings.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, feel free to contact Ann-Marie Nasr, Manager, SIPA, [email protected] 416-392-3078.


24-Hour Client Care Centre Number for Toronto Community Housing (TCHC) Residents

Following a recent meeting I conducted with residents and staff from TCHC, it was brought to my attention that a very useful, yet under-utilized resource exists to assist tenants in accessing important requests. TCHC tenants can speak with a client care representative 24/7 for emergency and routine maintenance requests, questions about rent or leases, requests to transfer to a different unit, information about how to add or remove someone from a lease, or many other matters pertaining to your tenancy.

The system operates similarly to Toronto's 311 service, whereby each request is processed efficiently and assigned a unique reference number the caller can follow up on.

TCHC Client Care can be reached at 416-981-5500.

For information on a number of other important contact numbers for TCHC tenants, please click here.


Public consultations on the recommendations from the Mayor's Task Force on Toronto Community Housing

Toronto Community Housing tenants are invited to public meetings regarding the recommendations made in the final report of the Mayor’s Task Force on Toronto Community Housing. The meetings will be an opportunity for tenants to hear about the recommendations and share their views regarding how the City should move forward on the Task Force recommendations.

Please click here for a complete list of meeting dates and locations between April 11th to 25th.


The Probus Club Wants You!


THE PROBUS CLUB of TORONTO welcomes PROfessional BUSiness men and women who have retired from their jobs or businesses and want to maintain a social network with others who have similar interests. The club meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 10am to 12pm in the Holy Rosary Parish Hall, 356 St. Clair Ave. West.

 

For more information on joining the Probus Club of Toronto, please e-mail [email protected].


Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards Nominations Now Open
Do you know someone or a community group who is making a difference in Toronto by reducing barriers to civic participation? Celebrate their accomplishments – nominate them for an award!

The City's Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards recognize significant efforts of Toronto residents who are working to build a city in which all residents are full and equal participants in the social, cultural, economic, recreational and political life of the city. Each year, the City celebrates the contributions made by nominated residents or groups at an awards ceremony held in December.

Deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, May 2, 2016.

Nominees must be residents of the City of Toronto. To nominate and for more information including past recipients, please click here.


City of Toronto Long-Term Waste Management Strategy - Next Steps
Solid Waste Management Services is undertaking the development of a Long Term Waste Management Strategy ("Waste Strategy") to guide decision making on how the City's waste will be managed over the next 30 to 50 years. The Draft Waste Strategy is now complete and was approved at the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting on Tuesday March 1, 2016.

Councillor Information Sessions were held earlier this week to provide an update on how the public will be engaged on the Draft Waste Strategy from March 29, 2016 to April 27, 2016. Attached is the presentation that was delivered at those sessions.

This final phase of the Waste Strategy is pivotal. We are looking for your help to promote the March-April public consultation events and encourage residents to attend an event or take the online survey (survey available from March 29 – April 27, 2016 at www.toronto.ca/wastestrategy). The feedback received through March & April 2016 will help shape the final Waste Strategy that will be presented to Public Works and Infrastructure Committee in June 2016 and City Council in July 2016.

If you are interested in receiving future updates, you may sign up for the electronic mailing list by entering an email address at www.toronto.ca/wastestrategy. Anyone interested in following the project on Twitter may do so @GetInvolvedTO and join the conversation #TOwastestrategy.

For more information, please contact Charlotte Ueta, Acting Manager of Waste Management Planning at 416-392-8506 or [email protected].


Reminder to Change Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries

Toronto Fire Services reminds residents that this weekend's start of daylight savings time, when clocks are moved forward one hour, is also a convenient time to replace the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Every home in Ontario must have a working smoke alarm installed on every level and outside all sleeping areas. Working smoke alarms can increase your family’s chance of survival in a fire by providing early warning for escape. Every second counts.

As of April 2015, every home in Ontario with a fuel burning appliance or attached garage must have a working carbon monoxide alarm installed outside all sleeping areas. Working carbon monoxide alarms alert you to the presence of this colourless, odourless, tasteless and potentially deadly gas.

Tips for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms:

  • When installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, read the manufacturer’s instructions on correct placement, testing and maintenance.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms every month using the test button.
  • Replace smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries at least once a year and whenever the low-battery warning chirps.
  • Replace smoke alarms that have been in place for 10 years or longer. Replace carbon monoxide alarms that are seven years and older.
  • Avoid removing the battery in response to a sounding smoke alarm due to cooking or steam. Instead, move the smoke alarm to a better location or use the hush-button feature that will temporarily silence the alarm.
  • Consider installing combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms with a 10-year lithium battery.

Homeowners are responsible for installing and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Landlords are responsible for ensuring that their rental properties comply with the law. It is against the law for tenants to remove smoke or carbon monoxide alarm batteries or to tamper with the alarms in any way.

Failure to comply with the Ontario Fire Code requirements could, upon conviction, result in a maximum fine of up to $50,000 for individuals, imprisonment, or both, and up to $100,000 for corporations, imprisonment, or both.

More information is available here.


TransformTO Community Conversations

Toronto residents are invited to join a community conversation about climate change and how we can shap Toronto's future as a low-carbon city. The City will host 4 community conversations this spring to build a vision of what Toronto will look like in the year 2050 with drastically reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

Community Conversations:

  • April 25 - Metro Hall (55 John Street)
  • April 27 - Ken Cox Community Centre (28 Colonel Samueal Smith Park Drive, Etobicoke)
  • May 3 - Scarborough Civic Centre (150 Borough Drive)
  • May 9 - North York City Centre, Memorial Hall (5110 Yonge Street)

All events run from 6pm-9pm,

The concversations are part of TransformTO: CLimate Action for a Healthy, Equitable, Prosperous Toronto, a City initiative in collaboration with Toronto Atmospheric Fund.

To learn more and register for an event near you, please click here.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page
To ensure you are informed and engaged about development proposals being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage.
My Proposed Developments webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.
Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

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

City Hall and Community Update for March 8, 2016

City Hall and Community Update for March 8, 2016

Developing Toronto's Transit Network Plan

 

City Planning staff have prepared a report that will be considered at Executive Committee tomorrow, and then at City Council, on proposed steps to move forward with a transit expansion network for our city.

 

I strongly support this more comprehensive approach than we've seen before.

 

However, I continue to expect that decisions that Council makes, expecially major public policy issues which would cost billions of dollars, be informed, evidence-based and fiscally-responsible. Please see this recent article that describes my concerns about how this latest incarnation of transit planning is being considered.

 

For your review, here is the staff report. But beware, it's hundreds of pages long and includes seemingly non-sensical charts evaluating a network that is no longer actively being considered. Meanwhile, the full network that planning staff will ask Council to consider is not included in this report.

 

I know. I'm frustrated too.

 

This, sadly, has been the state of transit planning in Toronto for far too long. Residents in Midtown, and across the city, wait everyday as crowded subway trains, streetcars or buses go by due to overcrowding on our current transit system. It often takes more than two hours for many Scarborough residents to get work or school and back. Our waterfront is underserved, Jane Street has been forgotten and very few of the projects already designated as priorities, such at the Relief Subway Line, are funded by any order of government. I believe this is unnacceptable.

 

I will continue to demand that both the process, and most importantly the outcomes, are more honest, realistic and have the same sense of urgency most people in Toronto have had for a long time. We've been waiting for too long.

 

Ultimately, I want us all to be served by a remarkable public transit system.


Metrolinx Lowers Fares for Union-Pearson Express Train


I am very pleased that Metrolinx has listened to Toronto residents and reason with their recent announcement that the transit agency will be lowering fares on the Union Pearson Express (UPX) train by March 9 of this year. The airport link will now cost $12 for cash fare ($9 with a Presto card) from Union to Pearson, in addition to lower fares between Bloor and Weston. Please see this chart for a full breakdown of the new fare structure.


Since the rumours of high fares for the Union-Pearson Express (UPX) train surfaced in the summer of 2014, I have been advocating for a lower cost for riders. I successfully moved a motion at Council two years ago, requesting that this service be made more  affordable and accessible to residents. Further, because I felt this service would have difficulty drawing riders, I was concerned about additional subsidization from taxpayers.


Even with increased tourism from the PanAm games last summer, the UPX had very low ridership figures upon opening, and the number of passengers continued to drop through last fall. Even on the busiest days, the airport line was attracting fewer riders than most TTC bus routes. Transit-starved Torontonians were understandably frustrated, watching empty trains pass by with critical projects such as the Relief Line and the Waterfront LRT are still in the planning stages.


I appreciate that Metrolinx and the Provincial Government changed the fare structure to make UPX more accessible. Once electrified, I encourage them to make this line a more integral part of our transit network by adding more stops and expanding capacity on the line.


 

Toronto Attains Global Age-Friendly City Status!

 

During my first year as our city councillor, I initiated the City of Toronto’s Seniors Strategy: a proactive, holistic and inclusive initiative that seeks to create a truly accessible, respectful and age-friendly Toronto.

 

Since its inception two years ago, 86 of the 91 recommendations have been either partially or fully implemented, including the provision of seniors’-centred social services at appropriate TCHC buildings, and an increase in home visits by City paramedics.

 

Having since been appointed the City of Toronto’s Seniors Advocate, I am working on the next phase of the Seniors Strategy. I am proud of the major steps we have taken, but there is still more work to be done.

 

In recognition of the recent successful implementation of Toronto’s inaugural Seniors Strategy, I am delighted to announce that on February 22 the World Health Organization (WHO) pronounced Toronto the latest global city to be awarded the status of a WHO designated Age-Friendly City!

 

Toronto's inclusion in the WHO's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities speaks to the city's commitment to serving seniors in an equitable, respectful and inclusionary way to improve their quality of life and support their full participation in civic life. I look forward to working alongside the WHO and all of our partners to continue to develop, enhance and implement our Toronto Seniors Strategy.


Proposed Noise By-Law Changes Postponed Indefinitely

City Staff have heard loud and clear from councillors, Residents’ Associations, and our neighbours that the proposed changes to the noise by-law were wrong and unhelpful. The new, and very high, decibel level limit threatened our right to peacefully enjoy our homes.


I am pleased that Staff have recognized their report was flawed. The report that was intended for the next meeting of the Licensing and Standards Committee has been pulled and we have not been told if, or even when, a new set of recommendations will be coming forward. I will be sure to update you if there is any further news on this issue.


City and Unions Moving Toward New Collective Agreements Without Labour Disruption

At a Special Meeting of Council last week, a new collective agreement was approved for  Toronto Civic Employees' Union Local 416 (CUPE), which represents 4,200 outside workers and paramedics.

The agreement approved at last week's Special Council meeting is a four-year contract (January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2019) within the bargaining mandate set by the City's Employee and Labour Relations Committee.

I am also happy to report that the City and CUPE Local 79, which represents the City's 21,000 inside workers, have reached a tentative agreement on their new contract. The union membership will vote on the agreement later this week. The latest information is available here.

Metrolinx Holding Joint Public Consultations on Future Transit Initiatives

Metrolinx is combining consultations in order to make it easier for residents and stakeholders to learn more about a number of projects that will enable transit expansion.
Projects to be discussed at these sessions include:
  • Electrification of the GO Rail Network: Electrification of Metrolinx-owned rail corridors will enable more frequent and faster train service.
  • New Stations on the GO Rail Network: Today 64 GO train stations serve thousands of customers and six more are under way. We would like to add even more stations so more people can access transit.
  • Integrated Transit Fares: We want to make crossing municipal boundaries and switching between transit systems simple and hassle-free.
  • Regional Transportation Plan Review: Metrolinx is launching the formal review process for the Regional Transportation Plan, which guides the work being done to transform the transportation network in the GTHA.
Metrolinx will also be engaging with the public through an online engagement process: http://www.Metrolinxengage.com. This service will allow the public to view the presentations and provide their feedback.

I support the transit agency’s decision to hold public consultations on several projects at the same time so that you can assess them from a network perspective, instead of viewing them in isolation of one another. To build a truly seamless transit network, Metrolinx and City Planning need to work together on the Relief Line, SmartTrack, Waterfront LRT, Eglinton Crosstown to Pearson airport, Jane LRT, the Finch and Sheppard LRTs, and improving the Scarborough transit plan. The remaining public consultations are scheduled for the following dates and locations:
  • Burlington: March 8th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Robert Bateman High School (5151 New St., Burlington)
  • Mimico: March 9th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Lakeshore Collegiate Institute (350 Kipling Ave., Etobicoke)
  • Durham Junction: March 10th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Glengrove Public School (1934 Glengrove Rd., Pickering)
  • Don Yard/Toronto: March 22nd, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Nelson Mandela Park Public School (440 Shuter St., Toronto)

Yonge-Eglinton Planning Review Moving Forward

Building on the success of Midtown in Focus, the new public space Master Plan for Midtown, the 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. I frankly wish this had been done decades ago, but it is critical to support our quality of life in a growing community.

Last Wednesday, City Planning gave an update on their progress to the Midtown Planning Group.  For your review, the presentations and handouts from Wednesday are now online at the links below:


I look forward to hosting public consultations on this issue with City Planning later this spring. Meeting details will be provided as soon as they become available.

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.

City of Toronto Launches Online Tool for Viewing Water Use


The City of Toronto has launched MyWaterToronto, an online tool that enables customers to view their water use information from their computer or mobile device. Customers can access the tool at http://www.toronto.ca/mywatertoronto.


To log on, customers can visit http://toronto.ca/mywatertoronto and enter their utility account information. Customers can then view their total and average water use by day, week, month or year in graph or chart format. The tool also provides the opportunity to enter additional details such as temperature and precipitation to help customers better understand why they may have used more or less water during a particular time period. Automated water meters send water consumption data directly to the City several times a day.


MyWaterToronto has been loaded with more than one billion water meter readings, which enables customers to view their water use data from January 1, 2015, up to the day before they log on.


Free Income Tax Clinic


Central Eglinton Community Centre (160 Eglinton Ave. East) offers a FREE Income Tax Clinic from March 1 to April 22.


CECC's trained volunteers would like to help you with your income tax return. They are booking appointments at this time. Please phone 416-392-0511 Ext 0 to book your appointment. Appointments are available days, evenings and Saturdays. To access the clinic, you must have an appointment (no walk-ins).


Tax returns will be e-filed or prepared on paper. Certain income guidelines and other restrictions apply (only 2015 tax returns will be processed; no business or self-employed returns, no bankruptcy/post-bankruptcy returns, no death returns, no returns involving capital gains or rental property).


For more information, please phone Nancy at 416-392-0511 Ext 225 or send an email to [email protected].


Imagine Eglinton Art Challenge


To promote the Eglinton Crosstown LRT Project and engage different walks of life along Eglinton Avenue, Metrolinx is holding a drawing competition for children between the ages of 6 to 12 years. Children are encouraged to envision and draw how Eglinton will look, once the Crosstown Light Rail Train is up and running.


Entries can be dropped off at the Crosstown Community Offices or at the following TPL branches: Mount Dennis Library, Evelyn Gregory Library, Maria Shchuka Library, Forest Hill Library, Northern District Library, and Leaside Library.


The submission deadline is March 31. The winning entries will feature on the construction fences at various Crosstown LRT construction sites along Eglinton.


Please visit www.thecrosstown.ca\drawing for full details of the competition.


City of Toronto Offers Many Free and Affordable Activities During March Break


During March Break, March 14 to 18, the City of Toronto will offer free and low-cost activities at its community centres, parks and historic sites. Highlights of Parks, Forestry and Recreation division activities and attractions follow, in addition to information about Toronto's historic sites/museums.

Camps
March Break camps are a great opportunity for children and youth to enjoy a range of activities. Participants enjoy activities such as arts, crafts, music, drama, sports and games. More camp details are available here or by calling 311.

Drop-in programs
City of Toronto community centres offer various free or low-cost programs for all ages. More information is available here or by calling 311.

Skiing and snowboarding
The City's Centennial Park and Earl Bales ski and snowboard centres will be open, weather permitting, for March Break on the following schedule:
Centennial Park Ski and Snowboard Centre
March 14 to 20 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Earl Bales Ski and Snowboard Centre
March 14 to 19 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
March 20 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Both centres will close for the season on March 21.

The use of helmets is mandatory when participating in programs and lessons at both centres and the use of a recognized ski or snowboard helmet is strongly recommended for all other participants while on the slopes. More information is available here.

Skating
Thirty-seven outdoor artificial ice rinks are open until the end of the day on March 20, weather permitting. Locations, hours and program details are available here.

Indoor leisure skating programs, including caregiver and tot, family skate and shinny, are free for all ages. CSA-approved hockey helmets are mandatory for children under six years of age and all shinny hockey participants, and are recommended for skaters of all ages. Schedules and locations are available here.

Swimming
City of Toronto pools offer free March Break swimming opportunities. More information is available here.

Attractions
Riverdale Farm (201 Winchester St.)
Visitors can tour Riverdale Farm's scenic grounds to see domestic farm animals such as pigs, horses and sheep. The farm's Meeting House will offer crafts and games and farming demonstrations will be provided throughout the day. The farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is accessible to all. Admission is free. More information is available here.

High Park Zoo (on Deer Pen Road)
Established 120 years ago, the High Park Zoo is home to domestic and exotic animals, including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle and yaks. Admission to the zoo is free and it's open daily from dawn to dusk. More information is available here.

Toronto Island Park
Just minutes away from downtown by ferry, Toronto Island Park offers March Break fun for everyone. It's a great place to walk, roll, cycle, explore and enjoy the city skyline. A list of ferry fees and the schedule are available here.

Playground Paradise (Flemingdon Park Community Centre, 150 Grenoble Dr.)
Playground Paradise offers fun for children aged 12 and under. Kids can play on a two-storey play structure, go down the spiral slide, swing on the track ride, and play in the ball pit. A fee of $2.50 per child applies. More information is available by calling 416-395-6014. Schedule during March break:

March 14, 16 and 18 from 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., 4 to 6 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
March 15 and 17 from 10 a.m. to noon

Conservatories
The spring flower shows are in full bloom at Centennial Park Conservatory, 151 Elmcrest Rd. and Allan Gardens Conservatory, 19 Horticultural Ave. Both shows feature various spring flowering plants, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. The Easter displays, featuring lilies and hydrangeas, will open at both conservatories on March 20.

The conservatories are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and admission is free. More information is available by calling Centennial Park Conservatory at 416-394-8543 and Allan Gardens Conservatory at 416-392-7288.

Historic Sites
Many of the City's 10 historic sites are open during March Break for tours. The sites highlighted below will also offer drop-in family activities including crafts, games and tasty treats from historic kitchens. Regular admission fees apply. Times and activity details vary by location. More information about drop-in activities is available here.

Museum drop-in activity times by location:
Colborne Lodge (Colborne Lodge Dr. in High Park)
March 12 to 20 from 12:30 to 4 p.m.

Fort York National Historic Site (250 Fort York Blvd.)
March 14 to 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Gibson House Museum (5172 Yonge Street)
March 12 and 13 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
March 16 to 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mackenzie House (82 Bond St.)

March 12 to 20 from 12 to 4 p.m.
Scarborough Museum (1007 Brimley Rd.)
Weekends only from 12 to 4 p.m.

Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Rd.)
March 12 to 20 from 12 to 5 p.m.

Todmorden Mills Heritage Site (67 Pottery Rd.)
March 12 to 20 from 12 to 4 p.m.

Four of the historic sites are also offering day camps. Please click here for more information on those camps.

Registration for City of Toronto Spring/Summer Recreation Programs Opens this Weekend


The City of Toronto offers a variety of recreation programs for all ages, skill levels and interests. Registration for spring and some summer recreation programs, including summer camps, begins this weekend.


Registration starts in Toronto and East York: Wednesday, March 9 at 7am


I've heard from many of you that registering for these programs can be a very frustrating experince, with the website often down and no one available to recieve your call if you phone. I personally have brought this to the attentuion of City Staff and have asked for immediate improvements. I know that Mayor Tory has too. I am hopeful that we will see changes to this process soon.


How to register:

Step 1: Get family and client numbers

To sign up for recreation programs, Toronto residents need a family number and client number for each member of the family. Before registration day, call 416-338-4386 or speak with staff at a City community centre to get these numbers. Alternatively, download a New Family Account application form here and email it to the City at [email protected].

Step 2: Choose programs

To find out about and choose programs, visit http:www.toronto.ca/torontofun or look for the Spring/Summer FUN Guide available at City Hall, civic centres, community centres and libraries. Residents are encouraged to have a few program choices for each person in case the preferred program is full.

Step 3: Register
Registration starts at 7 a.m. Many programs fill up quickly. Registering online is the quickest and easiest way to sign up for programs. Be sure to have all information and payment options ready.


There are four ways to register:


Online: Register online at http://efun.toronto.caBy phone: Touch Tone Registration (TTR) is available at 416-338-0000. Operator assisted phone call: Call 416-338-4386 to register through a customer service representative. In person: Register in person at select locations. For a list of these locations, visit http://www.toronto.ca/parks/registration, call 311 or speak to staff at a City community centre.


Parks, Forestry and Recreation programs are popular and many have waiting lists. If it turns out that you are unable to attend the program you registered for, contact your local community centre or call 416-338-4386 so the spot can be offered to someone else.


The City of Toronto offers a yearly credit called the Welcome Policy for residents with low incomes that can be used to register for City recreation programs. Anyone receivingsocial assistance (Ontario Works) and living in Toronto is pre-approved to receive this credit – talk to your caseworker. More information about the yearly credit is available at http://www.toronto.ca/wp.


Many community centres offer free recreation programs, including leisure swimming, skating, drop-in programs and more for children, youth and older adults. Older adults (60 years and older) who register for adult programs will receive a 50 per cent discount. More information about free and low-cost program options is available here.


Clean Toronto Together 2016 - Registration Opens Today


Online registration for the City of Toronto's Annual Spring Clean Up opens today (Tuesday, March 8). Visit the Clean Toronto Together campaign website to register your Community, Corporate, or School clean-up events.

 

This is an opportunity to get together with friends, family, coworkers and classmates to clean a park, laneway or any other space that needs your help. Corporate & School 20-Minute Makeover will take place at 2pm on Friday, April 22. Community Clean-up Days can be planned for Saturday, April 23 or Sunday, April 24. Please visit livegreentoronto.ca or call 311 for more information on how to get involved.


If you're planning a local Ward 22 neighbourhood or school clean-up and would like support from my office, please email me at [email protected]. Also, let me know if you would like me to personally come by and help!


Toronto Seniors Forum is Recruiting New Members - Get Involved!


The Toronto Seniors Forum is a diverse group of Toronto residents aged 60 and above. The group is sponsored by the City of Toronto's Social Development Finance and Administration Division.  The Forum is comprised of 22 members who meet monthly to examine, advocate, and advise on seniors' issues that matter to older Torontonians.


Experience opportunities to advocate for change on issues that matter, develop an age-friendly Toronto and network with other seniors organizations.


For more information, please visit the Toronto Seniors Forum website. You may also contact Tina Peach at 416-392-8630 or [email protected].


To complete the online application, please click here.


City of Toronto Public Focus Group Session for Seniors


The City of Toronto is developing a 20-year master plan on Parks and Recreation facilities, and will be holding a seniors-specific focus group to gather feedback on Thursday, March 24 from 10am to 12pm at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West). I hope to see you there!


Volunteer Toronto Hosts Upcoming Seniors Volunteer Fair


Volunteer Toronto is our city's #1 place for volunteers and those who need them. As Canada’s largest volunteer centre, Volunteer Toronto aims to build a caring and committed community of people who give their time toward building a healthy Toronto.


One way this can be done is by better supporting seniors who are looking for volunteer opportunities. Therefore, Volunteer Toronto is organizing a Seniors Volunteer Fair where that seniors can meet face-to-face with organizations that need them! The particular focus of this event will be connecting seniors and organizations that exist in North York. They will have 25 non-profits present and are aiming for 300 attendees.


The Seniors Volunteer Fair will be held on Wednesday, March 23 from 1pm to 4pm at North York Memorial Community Hall, Burgundy Room (5110 Yonge Street).


For more information on this event, please click here.


Alzeimer's Society of Toronto


If you have dementia, or care for someone with dementia, the Alzeimer's Society of Toronto is here to support you. The Alzheimer's Society of Toronto offers free counselling, workshops, and engaging programs to promote living well with dementia. Find them online or call 416-640-6317.


The Alzeimer's Society of Toronto would like to invite you to their upcoming event, Research Night with Dr. Barry Greenberg, about Current Alzheimer’s Disease Research on March 21. For full event details, please click here.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

This webpage has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans.

Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

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

City Hall and Community Update for February 5, 2016

City Hall and Community Update for February 5, 2016

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, on Davisville behind Hodgson school). Please join us from 1pm to 3pm on Sunday, February 7 for a fun, family-friendly afternoon with free coffee and hot chocolate.

City Hall and Community Update for January 5, 2016

Expanded Community Hours for Hodgson Rink!

I am happy to report that we have finally been successful in expanding community hours at Hodgson ice rink. While we were successful at getting a new rink built, there were many of us who weren't satisfied with the relatively few hours initially dedicated to the community. Since the new rink opened, the school has had exclusive access until4:30pm every weekday, even though it is not fully utilized. Today, the TDSB has finally signed off on our proposal to expand hours for community ice time.

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