Action Being Taken to Combat Traffic Congestion
Traffic congestion impacts our ability to get to work on time, spend more time with our families at the end of the day and move goods and services around our city and region. As many of you know, I have been working hard on combatting gridlock with evidence-based initiatives since early on in the previous term of Council. While I recognize that the long-term solution is a greatly improved public transit system, there are specific measures we can take immediately to help improve the situation. Unfortunately, the previous administration had little interest in taking real action.
I am delighted that John Tory, our new Mayor, has acted swiftly since taking office. He has incorporated ideas, such as the motion I successfully moved in 2011, to increase fines and enforcement for drivers parking in curb lanes during rush hour. The first day of the Mayor's crackdown saw 29 cars towed during the morning rush alone.
I further commend Mayor Tory for signalling that he will take action on developers that block lanes for construction. In August of last year, I moved a motion asking City staff to look at the feasibility of increasing the upfront fee for blocking a lane, to encourage developers to look for alternate solutions that do not negatively impact residents. My motion also proposes implementing escalating monthly fees for blocking a street lane to encourage developers to use a lane for the least amount of time possible. I believe you will see the intent of this motion reflected in the Mayor's Gridlock Plan.
The long term goal should be to eliminate this practice altogether. Developers in New York are able to construct buildings without taking up traffic lanes or sidewalks; we should demand the same in Toronto. Please see this City News report for further information on this issue.
While it is unrealistic and unreasonable to expect Mayor Tory to solve gridlock overnight, I am proud to have a mayor who is prepared to take action, and make hard decisions, to improve the lives of our city's residents and get Toronto moving.
Toronto Ward Boundary Review Meeting: Have Your Say!
The Toronto Ward Boundary Review is looking at the size and shape of Toronto’s wards. This Review is being undertaken to ensure that each person in Toronto is fairly represented at City Council. The Review will look at the number of people living in each ward, as well as other factors such as geographic communities of interest and neighbourhoods, major physical and natural boundaries and population trends, to ‘draw the lines’ among Toronto’s wards. Any changes that occur as a result of the review will come into effect for the municipal election that takes place in 2018.
Public meetings are currently being held across the city as part of round one of the review's public consultation process. The meeting located nearest to Ward 22 will be held 6pm-9pm on Thursday, January 15 at Northern District Library (40 Orchard View Blvd., Meeting Room 224 ABC). If you are unable to attend the public meeting, please consider completing the online survey.
Crosstown Update: Highbourne Road Access at Eglinton Ave West
I was notified by Metrolinx today that Highbourne Road will be closed at Eglinton Avenue West on Monday, January 12th. Metrolinx has sent out notices to all Highbourne Road residents and local businesses, but I also wanted to take this opportunity to share this temporary road closure notice with you. For more information, please click here.
Basement Flooding has impacted many households across Ward 22. After every major rain storm, my office is contacted by residents who have suffered damages to their property as the result of basement or surface flooding. In fact, my family and I have had our own basement flooded- we've gone through this awful experience too.
I have been working with residents and City staff to address this problem in different areas across the ward. This past week, I met with the General Manager of Toronto Water and he has confirmed that a recommendation to conduct a Basement Flooding Study Area, that will cover the majority of the ward most impacted by flooding, will be brought forward to City Council by staff this winter for approval.
The objective of the study is to provide recommendations to reduce the risk of future flooding during severe storm events. The study will include a public consultation component that I will update you about, once confirmed.
A Big Thank You to Aroma Espresso Bar at Pleasant Blvd. and Yonge St!
Last month I was joined by families from across Ward 22 to celebrate the opening of our new Hodgson Ice Rink, and Arta Kadenaj from Aroma Espresso Bar (1407 Yonge Street) kindly donated coffee, hot apple cider and tasty treats for the event. Kind thanks to Arta for her generosity and helping to make our community skating party such a success!
Bienvenue à Holy Rosary!: New French Immersion Program in Midtown
Holy Rosary Catholic School is excited to announce that, along with their regular full-day kindergarten program, they will be offering a new French Immersion program in September 2015! The program will begin with a blended full day kindergarten class, including both Junior and Senior Kindergarten in 2015, and grow one year at a time alongside the current English stream. French Immersion Instruction is entirely in French until the end of Grade 2; English-language instruction is added in Grade 3. From Grade 5 to Grade 8, instruction is given 50 per cent in French, 50 per cent in English.
Admission to a Catholic elementary school is open to children who are baptized Catholic or who live with a parent who is baptized Catholic. A full list of all required documentation and admission criteria can be found on the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s website at www.tcdsb.org
All registration for September 2015 can be done online at https://soar.tcdsb.org or in person at the school, which is located at 308 Tweedsmuir Ave. For more information please call Holy Rosary Catholic School at 416-393-5225.
Spadina Museum Tours and Exhibits
See Spadina, and the history of Toronto, through the eyes of the Austin family, who made it their home. Business people, artists, socialites and philanthropists, the Austins were a prominent family whose struggles and triumphs were closely tied to those of Toronto as they entered the 20th century.
Meet the Austins: A Toronto Family Between the Wars at Spadina Museum
Saturdays and Sundays, beginning January 10
12:15 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Regular admission applies.
For more information on this event, please visit the City's Arts and Culture website.
For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.ca. Click here to read my previous community updates.