E-Newsletter

Councillor Matlow's Report (and transit update) for April 24, 2013

Dear residents,

It has been such a pleasure to see so many of you recently at the many events I attend in our community and at our neighbourhoods' local shops, parks, schools and main streets. Along with many other important priorities, every day, I hear from residents like yourself that a realistic plan to improve and expand our public transit system must be supported by Toronto city council now.

Please read my most recent update you below regarding transit, community meetings and more.

Sincerely,

Josh


Keeping Transit Funding and Expansion on Track and Moving Forward


Yesterday, Mayor Ford and a slim majority of his Executive Committee voted to defer a report on new revenue tools to pay for more and better public transit in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA). This is extremely disappointing because City Council needs to send its recommendations about new revenue tools to Metrolinx before the end of May if Toronto is to have any influence over which revenue tools the Province of Ontario eventually chooses. Mayor Ford and a small handful of councillors on the Executive Committee have effectively voted to let Metrolinx decide which revenue tools are best without any input from our region's largest city. They neither voted for transit revenue, or against it. Or for one revenue tool and against another. They simply voted to duck a difficult question.

This failure of leadership isn't good enough for the thousands of residents who wait to board our current subway system every day, are unable to find room on the first train that stops and then, when finally on, are crammed inside like sardines. This political dithering isn't good enough for everyone in our city who waits in long line ups to get onto our buses and streetcars every morning to get to work. Torontonians deserve better. Our city needs a transit system that keeps up an ever growing demand.

I am working with my colleagues to ensure there is an opportunity to debate this matter at City Council, and ultimately to have our City's voice heard by the Province as it selects new revenue tools that will pay for important improvements including the Downtown Relief subway line and an extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to the airport. Congestion is too severe and public transit is too crowded to allow Mayor Ford to defer decisions indefinitely.

To read more about the work I've been doing on our behalf to focus efforts on moving forward with a regional transit strategy, please click here. You can read more about how my colleagues and I are working together on this important priority in a recent article.

282 St. Clair Avenue West Public Meeting


I would like to invite you to an important community information meeting regarding a development application for 282 St. Clair Avenue West.

The original plan for this site was for an 11 storey condo building with 136 units. As a result of the hard work and advocacy from many in the community, including the strong showing at the previous public meeting I held, the developer is now submitting a revised plan for a 9 storey condo building with a maximum of 118 units. We have also pressed the developer into providing a more appropriate transition to the neighbourhood to the east and north of the site, additional set-backs and terracing off St. Clair, increased sidewalk width, retention of mature trees on Parkwood, and improved landscaping.

There is still more work to be done. For example, I am working with City Planning toward a further reduction in units.

I encourage you and your neighbours to learn more about the proposal. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback to City staff and the applicants.

When: Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Where: The First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, 175 St. Clair West

Reminder: 1331 Yonge Street Public Meeting


In response to resident concerns about traffic and safety related to a potential development at 1331 Yonge Street (the former CHUM site) I am holding a community information meeting on Tuesday, April 30th at 7 pm.  The meeting location will be The York School Gymnasium at 1639 Yonge Street. Representatives from City Fire, Ambulance and Transportation Services, along with our local planner, will be available to provide information and answer questions.

Please see the meeting notice for more information.

Beltline Clean-up


This spring, the Friends of the Beltline Clean-up will be on Saturday, April 27th from 10 am to 12 pm, beginning at Forest Hill Road Park. Please join me and the Beltline community in cleaning up our unique trail! For more information on the clean-up, please click here to view the event poster.

Spring Bazaar & Rummage Sale


This community fundraising event for Central Eglinton Community Centre will feature unique vendors and crafters, a bake sale table, a used book sale, door prizes, and more.

When: Friday, May 3, 10 am to 2 pm.

Where: 160 Eglinton Avenue East, at Redpath Avenue

Would you like to have green bins in your apartment building?


The (Organic) Green Bin Program is now available to all multi-residential buildings across the City that participate in the City's collection services.  The Green Bin Program allows participants to put organics (fruit and vegetables scraps, paper towels, coffee grinds, etc) out for separate collection along with garbage and recycling. By separating organics, such as food waste and soiled paper food packaging, your building will reduce the volume of garbage it sets out, reduce its fees, and ultimately help divert more waste from landfill.

If your building is on the program, or is about to start on the organics program, City staff are offering "in building" presentations for both residents and building staff/owners to learn about the program and to answer any questions. The City will also provide free kitchen containers for each unit.

To find out if a presentation has been scheduled for your building, simply contact your property management team or superintendent and they can call the Multi-Residential Inquiry Line at 416-396-5200. Additional information can be found by visiting http://www.toronto.ca/garbage/multi/green_bin_program.htm.

Councillor Matlow's Community Update for April 18, 2013

Dear residents,

As you already know, I have been working on several important issues coming to City Council along with local priorities here in our community. Please read my latest update to learn more about the proposed casino, an upcoming meeting regarding the proposed development at 1331 Yonge Street, and many more events including our Community Clean-up Days tomorrow and Saturday.

In particular, I am very happy to report to you that the Toronto Seniors Strategy is finally ready after two years of hard work, research, and city-wide consultation. The Community Development and Recreation Committee unanimously supported the Seniors Strategy and its pathway to a truly age-friendly Toronto. It will be coming to City Council for a final vote on May 7 and 8.

Sincerely,

Josh


Community Clean-up Days


This weekend, I will be joining registered groups for Community Clean-up Days on April 19th, 20th and 22nd. Groups that are participating in this year's clean-ups include local schools, community groups and BIAs throughout Ward 22.  For more information on the City of Toronto's Community Clean-up Days please visit http://www.toronto.ca/litter/clean-up/20minute.htm.

You will be able to find me at the following Clean-up Days events. I hope to see you there!

Friday


  • 11:30 am Greenwood College School
  • 1:15 pm Forest Hill Junior and Senior Public School
  • 2:15 pm The Mabin School
  • 3:00 pm Forest Hill Village BIA

Saturday

  • 10:00 am Republic of Rathnelly
  • 1:30 pm Foxbar Neighbourhood Association

Network Breakfasts for Seniors' Care Givers

Please join me at the ElderConnection Networking Breakfast on April 24th from 7:30 am to 9 am where I will be there speaking about the Toronto Seniors Strategy. You can join this networking group to make new contacts, catch up on news and developments, and get new business. The location of the meeting is the Dunfield Retirement Residence at 77 Dunfield Avenue.

Cost:

  • Members $25.00
  • Non Members $30.00
  • 65 + or fulltime student members $20.00
  • 65 + or fulltime student non-members $25.00

Agenda:

  • 7:30 - 8:00 am: Registration and networking:
  • 8:00 - 8:30 am: My talk on the Seniors Strategy
  • 8:30 - 9:00 am: More networking

Beltline Clean-up

This spring, the Friends of the Beltline Clean-up will be on Saturday, April 27th from 10 am to 12 pm, beginning at Forest Hill Road Park. Please join me and the Beltline community in cleaning up our unique trail! For more information on the clean-up, please click here to view the event poster.

Yonge-Eglinton Helicopter Disturbance Update

Last night, I was contacted by many residents disturbed by the persistent drone of a helicopter flying low over the Yonge and Eglinton area. I have learned that it was a private flight, not a film crew, and well within the rules set by Transport Canada, the federal agency that regulates aviation in Canada. This is clearly unacceptable. There is absolutely no excuse for a private, non-emergency flight to interrupt the peace and quiet enjoyment of thousands of midtown residents.

I intend to approach Transport Canada and our local federal representatives to have this regulatory loophole closed so that no private helicopters are permitted to fly low over our neighbourhoods on any weekday evening, unless it's an issue of health and safety. During other times, we should have plenty of advance notice to prepare for the disturbance.

1331 Yonge Street Public Meeting

In response to resident concerns about traffic and safety related to a potential development at 1331 Yonge Street (the former CHUM site) I am holding a community information meeting on Tuesday, April 30th at 7 pm.  The meeting location will be The York School Gymnasium at 1639 Yonge Street. Representatives from City Fire, Ambulance and Transportation Services, along with our local planner, will be available to provide information and answer questions.

Please see the meeting notice for more information.

City Council to Vote on Casino: May 7, 8

After several months of debate, delay, and distraction, the question of a Toronto casino will finally be decided by City Council at its meeting on May 7 and 8. I have heard from hundreds of members of our community on this issue, and I appreciate the deep passion for our City and our neighbourhoods that it has inspired in many of you. On both sides of the debate, I believe we all genuinely want to achieve a liveable, vibrant, prosperous home.

I have made my own position on this issue public for some time now. While I recognize the need to find sources of revenue to pay for our city's priorities, I do not believe that the long-term impact on Toronto, its neighbourhoods, its economy and its people are worth the gamble. I will not be supporting any proposal to place a casino in our city, nor any other proposals that contribute to the adverse social and economic impacts that gambling has.

Bright Hope Concert by Basakoli Choir of Toronto

Join the Basakoli Choir of Toronto for its Bright Hope Concert, a night of vibrant African music and fundraising. Proceeds are going to the refugee work of The Salvation Army in the Congo. The fundraiser is on Sunday, May 26 at 6 pm at the Global Kingdom Ministries, 1250 Markham Road. For more information and tickets, please visit http://basakolichoir.eventbrite.ca/.

Heritage Toronto Awards Call for Nominations

Heritage Toronto celebrates outstanding contributions by individuals and community organizations as well as industry professionals and associations in promoting and conserving Toronto's history and heritage landmarks. Nomination can be made by phone at 416-338-2175 or email at [email protected].

The deadline for nominations is Monday, June 3rd. The awards will be announced and presented on Tuesday, October 15th in conjunction with the William Kilbourn Memorial Lecture.  For more information, please visit www.heritagetoronto.org.

My Visit to the Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter

I recently had the pleasure of visiting with the Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter. The Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter is unique in many ways but in particular one very unique feature is that it allows for individuals who are homeless to bring their pets when accessing Bethlehem Shelter's beds. It was immediately apparent to me what an incredible impact that having pets in the shelter has on wellbeing.

At this time, the Bethlehem Shelter is greatly in need of the following items to continue to provide these incredibly special services:

  • Gently used clothing
  • Towels and facecloths
  • Toiletries (shampoo, soaps, shavers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap, etc)
  • Pet supplies (dog food, leashes, treats, flea powder, grooming supplies, litter/boxes, etc)

Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter is a registered charitable organization that relies on the generous support of individuals. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Danielle Ashby at [email protected] or by mail at:

Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter
1161 Caledonia Road
Toronto, Ontario M6A 2W9

Music and Memory: iPod Project

When you are visiting or caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias, it can be a challenge to communicate and find ways to help him or her rediscover pleasure in the world. Based on the evidence of the beneficial effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, the Alzheimer Society of Toronto is offering the Music and Memory: iPod Project, which uses iPods to bring personalized music to people with dementia. Please contact the Alzheimer Society at 416-640-6305 or [email protected] to inquire about eligibility with this exciting program. You can also learn more by visiting http://www.alzheimertoronto.org/ipod.html.

Would you like to have green bins in your apartment building?

The (Organic) Green Bin Program is now available to all multi-residential buildings across the City that participate in the City's collection services.  The Green Bin Program allows participants to put organics (fruit and vegetables scraps, paper towels, coffee grinds, etc) out for separate collection along with garbage and recycling. By separating organics, such as food waste and soiled paper food packaging, your building will reduce the volume of garbage it sets out, reduce its fees, and ultimately help divert more waste from landfill.

If your building is on the program, or is about to start on the organics program, City staff are offering "in building" presentations for both residents and building staff/owners to learn about the program and to answer any questions. The City will also provide free kitchen containers for each unit.

To find out if a presentation has been scheduled for your building, simply contact your property management team or superintendent and they can call the Multi-Residential Inquiry Line at 416-396-5200. Additional information can be found by visiting http://www.toronto.ca/garbage/multi/green_bin_program.htm.

Councillor Matlow's Community Update for April 5, 2013

Dear residents,

Please see the important updates I've prepared for you regarding some upcoming meeting meetings on proposed local developments, Forest Hill Road Park improvements, condo dwellers, Davisville Avenue tenants and much more! You'll also see my reports on some exciting Council decisions on the Arts, Homeless Shelters, Proposed Changes to Condo Advertising and A New Field for Maurice Cody PS!

Have a great weekend.

Sincerely,

Josh


Notice of Meeting Change: 1331 Yonge Street (CHUM site)


To respond to residents’ questions regarding traffic and emergency services access on Jackes Avenue, and their request that time is found to resolve the concerns they’ve raised, I will be moving to adjourn the statutory meeting for this item at Toronto & East York Community Council until the May 14th meeting of the same committee.

I understand that some people may have taken time off work or otherwise rearranged their schedule in order to make a deputation. That's why it is important to note that if you would still like to make a deputation on April 9th, I have arranged that it will be considered by the committee with the same weight as those making deputations on the new date. An individual, according to the rules, may not make a deputation on both dates.

In the interim, I will host a meeting with the community, City staff from Planning, Fire Services and Transportation Services. Once the date, time and location are finalized I will post the information through this e-newsletter and on my website.

Notice of Meeting Change: 87-107 Davisville Avenue and 108-128 Balliol Street


Due to a miscommunication between City staff and the applicants regarding the tree report for this site, I will be adjourning the statutory meeting for this item at Toronto & East York Community Council until the May 14th meeting of the same committee.

I understand that some people may have taken time off work or otherwise rearranged their schedule in order to make a deputation. That's why it is important to note that if you would still like to make a deputation on April 9th I have arranged that it will be considered by the committee with the same weight as those making deputations on the new date. Like I wrote in the previous post, an individual may not make a deputation on both dates according to City rules.

A New Field at Maurice Cody


It is my great pleasure to announce, on behalf of our community, I moved a motion at Toronto City Council that was successfully approved yesterday dedicating $300,000 towards Maurice Cody PS' Dirt-to-Turf project.

These funds, which I identified from developer fees (Section 37) will now bring our field revitalization project very close to completion. On behalf of our community, I want express my deepest appreciation to Maurice Cody's Family & School Association, the Dirt-to-Turf Committee, every parent who has contributed to the ongoing fundraising efforts, and local businesses, such as Cobs Bread and Tremblett's Valu-Mart, that donated so much to our initiative.

A special thank you to Trustee Shelley Laskin, Principal Andrew Howard and TDSB Staff. The TDSB will be responsible for planning, building and maintaining this community asset and I look forward to working with them to see this project through to fruition as quickly as possible.

In the coming days, we'll start work on a community-use agreement to ensure access to the new field for our neighbourhood's families. I look forward to attending the next Family & School Association meeting on April 9th to discuss this contribution and answer any questions you may have.

I have also dedicated developer fees toward Eglinton, Hodgson, Northern and North Toronto. I am also working with parents from Davisville on a new project.

Please always feel welcome to contact me if there is a capital project at your Ward 22 school that could benefit the school and local residential community. I’ll do whatever I can to be of support.

Honest Advertising for Condo Developments


At the beginning of the application review process for a new condo, local residents are generally confronted with on-site, billboard, print and other advertising depicting a building that will be "coming soon" with no mention of a municipal approval process, opportunity for citizen input or that the rendering can be altered. This misleading advertising suppresses local engagement by giving the impression that the application is a "done deal".

To help address this problem I moved a motion at City Council, entitled A Picture Tells Too Many Stories: Honest Advertising for Proposed Developments, which requests that the province require developers to state that applications are subject to the approval of the City of Toronto in their advertising.

Increased Support for the Arts Approved at Council


For years various Toronto City Councils have periodically affirmed and re-affirmed our commitment to increase the per capita arts and culture funding to $25, with unfortunately little action to date. As a result, the City of Toronto has now fallen drastically behind other major North American cities in its funding for the arts, with an investment of only $18 per resident.  Our major and direct competitors, including Chicago ($26), Montreal ($32), New York ($74) and San Francisco ($87) all invest significantly more in their cultural activities.

That's why Councillor Wong-Tam and I moved a motion to increase funding to the arts with new revenue from a fee on commercial billboards. I am very pleased to announce that the increased funding proposed in that motion was approved at City Council yesterday. I am excited to see the positive effects this support will have on our arts & culture communities.

Update on Emergency Shelter Services


No one should have to spend a night on the street. I know that while the official reports may say there are open beds. However, that does not reflect the realities of individual need based on gender, physical ability, addiction, and mental health issues. Geography is also an issue, as a bed in north Scarborough is of little use to a person downtown. In particular, our shelter system appears to be failing women who are victims of domestic abuse.

I am pleased that Council supported the emergency measures, including the immediate addition of 172 new beds, put forward to address this serious problem at City Council yesterday.

Reducing the Cost of Paid Off-Duty Police Officers


As a member of the Council's Audit Committee, I set a process in motion to reduce the number of paid-duty police officers the City needs to hire at construction and work sites.

I, along with many residents, find it frustrating to see police officers standing by works sites while other budgets to important City services are being cut.

At Council yesterday, the City adopted a motion that could see Toronto follow Vancouver's lead by ensuring that lower paid enforcement officials are monitoring construction sites. If permitted, this initiative will save our city millions of dollars while ensuring that the police are focused on serving and protecting us, as they do well.

In 2011, these paid-duty officers cost the city almost $3 million. By applying a little common sense to where these officers are actually useful, I was able to have the guidelines changed. This initiative will save the city $1.8 million every year, about 60% of the former expense.

Cultural Services Public Consultations


In May 2011, City Council unanimously endorsed the Creative Capital Gains Report.  That report provides the framework for the City's arts and cultural investment. Cultural Services is working together with the Toronto Arts Council to seek input on setting the principles and priorities for new spending, targeted results, and methods of assessment. Please see below for more information on public consultation dates:

Downtown
St. Lawrence Hall
157 King Street East
Saturday, April 6th
1 to 4 pm



Etobicoke
Lakeshore Assembly Hall
1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive
Monday, April 8th
6 to 9 pm

Scarborough
Cedarbrae Library Auditorium
545 Markham Road
Tuesday, April 9th
6:30 to 9:30 pm



North York
Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge Street
Thursday, April 18th
6 to 9 pm



A survey is available for your feedback at http://fluidsurveys.com/s/city-of-toronto-cultural-services-creative-capital-investment/.

Irish Tea Fundraiser


St. Vincent de Paul will be hosting an Irish Tea fundraiser this Sunday, April 7th 2013. St. Vincent De Paul is a non-profit organization that provides valuable charity work in the community with single-parent families, children and vulnerable adults. The event will commence at 2:30 pm with harpist Eithne Heffernan, followed by a music recital with entertainer Hugo Straney. At 3:30 pm there will be an afternoon tea, Irish dancers, a raffle and live auction, and a bake sale.



Date: Sunday, April 7th from 2:30 pm to 5 pm
Location: Holy Rosary Church, 354 St. Clair Avenue West
Admission: $20 ($15 for seniors)

Culinarium Workshops


Culinarium, a Ward 22 gourmet food store, is presenting hands-on, engaging workshops all about eco-friendly gardening and vegetable growing techniques:

Wednesday, April 10th at 7:30 pm: Container Gardening 101
Tuesday, May 7th at 7:30 pm: Worms of Endearment: All About Indoor and Outdoor Vermicomposting

Forest Hill Art Show


The Forest Hill Art Club invites you to its annual show and sale of members' work from April 19th to 21st. The art show will feature artists' work in a variety of media.

Date: Friday, April 19th from 6 to 8 pm; Saturday, April 20th from 1 to 5 pm; Sunday, April 21st from 1 tp 5 pm
Location: Forest Hill Art Club, 666 Eglinton Avenue West

For more information, please call Marion Wilson at 416-654-5069.

Forest Hill Road Park Public Meeting


I would like to invite you and your neighbours to provide feedback and suggestions regarding potential improvements to the Forest Hill Road Park. This is a great opportunity to work together and enhance our local park. City staff will be in attendance to discuss potential options and answer any questions you may have.

Date: Thursday, April 11th at 6:30 pm
Location: Forest Hill Road Public School's Library, 78 Dunloe Rd.

Davisville Tenants Public Meeting


Do you have concerns about your rental unit or building, or feedback to share about issues affecting Toronto? Have your voice heard!  On April 18th I will be holding a meeting for tenants on Davisville Avenue at the Mount Pleasant Library, 599 Mount Pleasant Road, from 6:30 to 8 pm. I hope to see you there!

Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards


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 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 citizens or groups at an awards ceremony.

Deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, May 6, 2013.

Nominees must be residents of the City of Toronto. To nominate and for more information, please visit www.toronto.ca/civicawards.

LEAF Tree Tenders Volunteer Training Program



LEAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest. Since 1996 LEAF has actively engaged residents in urban forest stewardship through planting, education and training. On May 22nd to 29th LEAF will be offering arboriculture instruction to members of the public at the Northern District Library (40 Orchard View Boulevard). For more information on the four training dates and times, please visit http://www.yourleaf.org/tree-tenders-volunteer-training. All are welcome.

Shop Small Show your Community Spirit!


To celebrate the launch of Shop Small, American Express has launched a campaign on Facebook to profile over 4,000 Toronto merchants who are part of the Shop Small Network. Torontonians are asked to show their love for their favourite Shop Small business by voting for them on an interactive map on the American Express Canada Facebook page. The business that receives the most votes will be named Toronto’s Neighbourhood Gem, will be featured in an American Express Toronto Life Advertorial, and also receive a consultation with Facebook Canada to better understand how to utilize social channels to  drive their business. Let's vote for our favourite Ward 22 small businesses and showcase our Shop Small pride.

Condominium Consultations


The City of Toronto is consulting with Toronto's condominium occupants and the first round of the Condo Consultation is in its final stages.

The purpose of this consultation is to engage with condo residents, condo boards, businesses located in condo buildings, property managers, City staff and others to identify possible changes to City policies as they relate to condo living in Toronto. Some examples of existing issues that the City has been made aware of to date include access to parks and dog parks, recreational and community amenities, parking and visitor parking and childcare options in the neighbourhood.

The health of Toronto's condo communities is critical to the future health of our city as a whole. With the number of new condos quickly changing the face of Toronto, there's a lively and high profile discussion underway regarding what impact these condos will have/are having on the people living in the condos as well as on the broader city.

Summary reports from the first round of public meetings are now posted on the project webpage at http://www.toronto.ca/planning/condo_consultation.htm. A final comprehensive report will be written and posted this month, including feedback from these meetings, written feedback and survey feedback.  The round one survey is now online, and will be available until April 12th.

Opportunity for a 100km2 Rouge National Park


A third of Canada's population resides in Southern Ontario and has the opportunity to create a large national park by combining Rouge Park and the Greenbelt. The federal government's admirable effort to build Rouge National Park in May 2012 was unsuccessful. In response, Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker‏ and the City of Toronto suggested four recommendations for the federal government to improve the Rouge National Park plan:

1) Respect and strengthen the environmental vision and policies of approved Rouge Park and Provincial Greenbelt Plans.



2) Respect conservation science, long term park health, and visitor potential by including the 100+ km2 public land assembly within the park study area.



3) Ensure the restoration of a large mixed-wood and Carolinian forest habitat system linking Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine with public parkland and trails.



4) Follow a scientific and transparent public planning process, involving First Nations, local citizens and groups, to create the Park's boundaries, legislation and strategic plan.

For more information, please visit www.rougenationalparkfriends.com and www.pc.gc.ca.

Let's build a transit system that can meet our needs now

Dear residents,

On Tuesday morning, Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency, will announce revenue tools that will be considered to build The Big Move, our regional transit plan. These options have been short-listed from several that were discussed during their region-wide public consultation process. Metrolinx's report on funding mechanisms to support The Big Move is expected to go to Queen's Park in June of this year.

As I reported to you a few weeks ago, Metrolinx has already announced that construction on the Downtown Relief Line (DRL) will be accelerated by 10 years. The DRL is desperately needed to take the pressure off the already over-crowded Yonge line. This is great news for the entire Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) and Ward 22 residents who routinely wait 2 or 3 trains in the morning before getting on at Eglinton, Davisville, St. Clair or Summerhill.

For a long time I have been advocating for a regional plan for transit improvement and expansion, including working in collaboration with advocacy groups such as the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance and Toronto Region Board of Trade and others. I also successfully affirmed the City of Toronto's support of prioritizing a Downtown Relief Subway Line and an extension of the Eglinton Crosstown to Toronto Pearson International Airport (along with the premium Union-Pearson Express Rail) in the motion Council passed in February, 2012 by ensuring these items' inclusion.

I believe this regional transit approach will better reflect how people truly move across municipal boundaries everyday and, if the entire region is to benefit from better transit, then residents from Toronto and the GTHA should share in the responsibility for paying for it.

After decades of false starts and political gridlock, I believe its finally time our governments take action and build a transit system that will meet the needs of this, and future generations living and working in our growing region.

To read more about the work I've been doing to see this vision through to fruition, please click here.

Sincerely,

Josh

Federal Budget 2013, Toronto's Infrastructure Priorities and More.

Federal Budget 2013 and Toronto's Infrastructure Priorities


How does this year's federal budget, announced yesterday, affect our City? In short, there's some good news, but also a lot of room for improvement.

You may have seen the headlines about new infrastructure funding. The federal government is dedicating $47 billion to infrastructure spending across the country over the next decade, and they're also going to make gas tax transfers more predictable by raising the amount by 2% each year. Stable, predictable funding is an important step towards rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and catching up with our rapid growth.

I've heard clearly from Ward 22 residents that our first priorities for new infrastructure spending should be a new Downtown Relief Subway line, taking pressure off the critically overcrowded Yonge line, and emergency repairs to keep the Gardiner Expressway safe.

Unfortunately, the federal commitment to infrastructure spending won't come close to paying for even these two priorities for Toronto. I am urging the federal government to take more responsibility for solving the serious problem of congestion in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, which is a major economic challenge and should be a national concern. But I'm also a realist and recognize this is such an urgent problem that we can't wait for the federal government to act – we have to invest in our own infrastructure if we want anything built.

That's why I will continue to be a vocal supporter of Metrolinx's Investment Strategy to pay for improved and expanded transit across Toronto and our region.

Due to our advocacy, Metrolinx, the City of Toronto & the TTC have all formally designated the Downtown Relief Subway Line as a priority for the next phase of transit projects. If we don't clearly focus on how we'll fund transit projects, rather than continuously reopening old transit debates, nothing will get done.

And while this federal budget has some positive news for cities, it still neglects many urban priorities. We desperately need the federal government to develop national plans for daycare, housing, and transit. Remember, 80% of Canadians live in urban areas, and the federal budget should address our needs and reflect our priorities. I will continue advocating that, as density grows in our city, our infrastructure, including schools, roads, public realm, utilities and transit, finally keep up with the growing demand.

You can learn about the 2013 federal budget on the website of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Community Clean-Up Day


Spring has finally arrived (at least on the calendar) and it's time to give Toronto a good spring cleaning together! April 19 and 20 are this year's Community Clean-Up Days for schools, businesses, and neighbourhood organizations. You're invited to visit the Community Clean-Up Day website to register your local clean-up or to join an existing clean-up. Please register by April 15 to ensure that the City of Toronto can pick up all the trash and recyclables you collect, at no cost to you.

Please call my office at 416-392-7906 or email me at [email protected] and I can provide you with free bags for trash and recyclables. I would also be delighted to join you and help clean up your corner of the community. And of course please feel welcome to contact me if you need any assistance with organizing your own clean-up event. See you soon!

Earth Hour 2013


8:30 pm tomorrow (Saturday, March 23rd) marks this year's Earth Hour. Please consider turning off your lights, going out to plant a tree or participating in Earthhour.org's Earth Challenges.  However you choose to spend your Saturday, please take a moment to focus on your impact on the environment and how you can contribute to a healthier more sustainable planet.

This environmental initiative has gained huge momentum and is celebrated in 152 countries and 7,001 cities across the globe. It unites us all in the fight to preserve the planet for generations to come. Join millions of concerned people from around the world and become involved in Earth Hour. For more information on events in Toronto, please visit http://www.wwf.ca/events/earthhour/event/.

Reminder: Greening Your Condo or Apartment Building


I'm hosting an event with the Green Team of First Unitarian Congregation on how to make your apartment greener and more energy (and cost) efficient, including strategies and resources that are available to you. Let's make a green and healthful Toronto together! Please join me on Tuesday, March 26th at 7 pm at the First Unitarian Congregation, Workman Hall, 175 St. Clair Avenue West.

Downtown Transportation Operations Study


The City of Toronto will host a drop-in event next week to obtain public input as part of a study of transportation in the downtown core.

The Downtown Transportation Operations Study is looking at ways to get more out of the existing transportation infrastructure, in an attempt to make travel in the downtown less challenging and more efficient for all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, drivers and those involved in moving goods across the

city.

The drop-in event will take place in the rotunda at Metro Hall, 55 John St., on Wednesday, March 27th from noon to 9:30 pm.

An online survey is available for the public to provide opinions on downtown transportation issues. The survey is available at http://www.toronto.ca/dtos.

The Trend Towards Historical Preservation in Toronto


Join George Brown College, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Ontario Association of Architects in an exciting lecture on historical preservation in Toronto, The Trend Towards Historical Preservation in Toronto.  Hear from myself and Councillor Mihevc (we've been working together to create a Museum of Toronto) as we discuss historical preservation on Thursday, March 28th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at George Brown College's Casa Loma campus, 146 Kendal Avenue, Room E321. This free event has limited seating and reservations are required. For more information or to reserve a seat please, contact [email protected].

Toronto General Hospital Fundraiser


On Thursday, April 25th Toronto General Hospital will be hosting their 4th Annual International Pub Night at St. Lawrence Hall, 157 King St E.  This event begins at 7:30 pm and is a fundraiser for the hospital's transplant program.  Tickets are $50 and include your first drink. There will be international beer and cider tastings, a raffle, an auction and a live band.  For more information or to purchase tickets please visit www.internationalpubnight.com.

Improvements to Snow Removal Update


As I previously communicated to you, I had written to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee asking that they direct the General Manager of Transportation Services to review and report back to the Public Works Committee with recommendations on how to improve the level of service for snow removal.  This was of course based on the experiences of many residents of Ward 22 this winter with the City's response to clearing and the general lack of snow removal from our city streets.

At the Public Works Committee meeting this week, the General Manager of Transportation Services was indeed directed to look into these concerns, and will be reporting back to the Committee in the fall on what steps they will be taking to address the concerns that we have raised.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about these concerns.  I will continue to advocate for you on this critical service.

Safe Beltline Trail Crossings


At the January Community Council meeting, I moved a motion to direct Transportation Services staff to report back to this April's Community Council meeting with viable options to install signalized crossings where the Beltline trail intersects with Oriole Parkway, Avenue Road and Bathurst Street.  This would include ensuring that these crossings are fully synchronized with the existing signalized intersections in the area.

This request was in response to concerns raised from trail users that there is no safe crossing that is truly contiguous for residents.  While City staff had initially refused any request to consider adding signalized crossings along the Beltline, at our urging, they are now fully reviewing every viable option.

City staff recently reported back to me this week that they need a little more time to complete this report.  I have asked them to ensure it is completed as soon as possible.  I will keep you updated as I receive more information.

Councillor Matlow's Community Update for March 15, 2013

Dear residents,

If you were able to take a March break, I hope you had a very enjoyable time with your family.

If, like me, you were working this week, I hope this finds you well nonetheless :)

Please see my latest update to you below. As always, please feel very welcome to contact me or my staff if we can be of assistance.

Sincerely,

Josh

PS- Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Synchronized Traffic Lights

I believe curbing Toronto's traffic congestion must be a priority for council. That's why I've been strongly supporting investment in a better, and expanded, transit system and cracking down on "curb hogs" who stop in traffic during rush hour. For many months, I've also been working to improve the synchronization of our city's traffic signals. Some lights are already synchronized, but many are broken down or use out of date technology. On my request, City staff will be reporting soon on how to improve the system and help get traffic flowing better.

You can read more about this issue in the Toronto Star and you can watch my interview with CTV News.

Toronto Casino Update

As I've written to you before, the majority of Ward 22 residents have told me they oppose a Toronto casino and I share their view. Based on consistent reports on problem gambling, traffic gridlock and potential adverse affects on the local economy, I will not be supporting a casino in the City of Toronto. I know that some of you may disagree with my decision. However, I respectfully submit to you that the known negatives outweigh any suggested benefits, and it's simply not worth the gamble.

I believe a report regarding a casino will arrive at Executive Committee in April and then be considered by Council by May of this year.

Many people have requested more information about the "No Casino" lawn signs they've seen around our neighbourhood. These are provided at no charge by the grassroots organization No Casino Toronto.

You can read about the latest developments in this Globe & Mail story.

New Funding for Central Eglinton Community Centre and Northern Secondary School

Accessibility upgrades and other improvements are coming soon to the Central Eglinton Community Centre (CECC), funded with $25,000 paid by condo developers for the privilege of building in our community. The CECC provides a variety of programs and services for people of all ages including parent/child activities and a range of social, recreational and leisure programs for older adults and seniors. This funding will help ensure that the CECC, and its important programs and services, will be fully accessible for people of all abilities.

I've also directed $75,000 to Northern Secondary School to transform the lawn on Mount Pleasant Road into an attractive public space for everyone to enjoy. The new outdoor meeting and learning area, which was once Walmsley Brook, will suggest a dry river bed with trees, rock seating areas, plantings and flagstone paths. This project will be of particular interest to the residents of several seniors' homes in the area who will benefit from nearby green space.

You can read more about both of these improvements in the Town Crier.

Guest Lecture Symposium: Heritage Preservation and Restoration in Toronto

The Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology at George Brown College has invited me to speak about the importance heritage preservation in Toronto and my own experience with Casa Loma. I'll be joined by other speakers including Councillor Joe Mihevc, E.R.A. Architects Principal Michael McClelland, and Renaissance Fine Homes Principals Matthew Garnet and Frank Vitale. Please join us.

When: Thursday, March 28 at 6:30 pm

Where: 146 Kendal Ave., George Brown College, Building ‘E’, Room E321

St. Patrick's Day Celebration

Are you feeling green this weekend and interested in celebrating St. Paddy's Day with community? Well, looks like you struck gold! Our Member of Parliament, Carolyn Bennett is holding her Annual St. Paddy's Day Gathering. Come out on Saturday, March 16th from 4:30 to 6pm, at the the Unicorn Pub, 175 Eglinton Ave. Carolyn and her St. Paul's Constituency Office welcome all members of the community, their friends and family to this fun-filled event. I hope to see you there!

Event: "Why are more consumers choosing to support organics?"

On Sunday, March 17th at 12:30 PM, the First Unitarian Church at 175 St. Clair Ave. W. is holding an event called "Why are more consumers choosing to support organics?" Presentations will allow you to learn how your purchasing choices will protect our environment and health; feel inspired by their certified organic farmer Peter Finch; learn the best tips on starting and maintaining an organic garden; learn what is used in certified organic farming to deal with pests; and have your questions answered! New certified organic seeds will be available for sale and all proceeds go to Urban Harvest. Please RSVP to [email protected].

A New LCBO for Bayview Avenue for Davisville Village Residents

In a discussion earlier this week with our local MPP, Dr. Eric Hoskins' office, I learned that a new LCBO will be opening in our community, at the corner of Bayview Avenue and Millwood Road (in the old Blockbusters). It's expected to open in late April.

Building an Equitable City Together

The City of Toronto with the support of the Access, Equity and Human Rights (AEHR) Working Group would like to invite you to attend a panel discussion highlighting four inspiring stories from senior leaders within the Toronto Public Service that explores how equity considerations are shaping City infrastructure.

There will be discussion sessions on:

  • The City's draft Equity, Diversity & Human Rights Framework
  • Ongoing mechanisms for community engagement on equality issues in the city
  • Measuring the impact of equity work

When: Thursday, March 28 at 9:00 am

Where: 789 Yonge St (one block north of Bloor St.) at the Toronto Reference library in the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon 2nd floor

Cost: Free

Registration Deadline is March 18, 2013. Register online here: buildingequitablecity.eventbrite.com

Call For Entries: 2013 Toronto Urban Design Awards

Every other year, the City of Toronto holds Urban Design Awards to acknowledge the significant contribution that architects, landscape architects, urban designers, artists, design students, and city builders make to the look and livability of our city.

The 2013 call for entries opens today, March 15, and closes at 4 p.m. on May 16. I encourage all designers, architects and developers working in Toronto to submit eligible projects.

Entries will be on public display at City Hall beginning September 9, 2013. For more details, please visit toronto.ca/tuda.

Reminder: Greening Your Condo or Apartment Building

I'm hosting an event with The Green Team of First Unitarian Congregation on how to make your apartment greener and more energy (and cost) efficient, including strategies and resources that are available to you. Let's make a green and healthful Toronto together!

Date: Tuesday, March 26, at 7 pm

Where: First Unitarian Congregation, Workman Hall, 175 St. Clair Ave. W.


For ongoing council and community information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.ca.

Councillor Matlow's Community Update for March 8, 2013

Dear residents,

Please read below my latest community update to keep you engaged and informed. I wish you a very happy International Women's Day.

Sincerely,

Josh


Remembering Charlotte Maher


This week, I was deeply saddened to learn of my friend Charlotte Maher's passing. Charlotte made invaluable contributions to the Midtown and North Toronto community through her pioneering work with organizations such as People and Organizations in North Toronto (P.O.I.N.T), the Central Eglinton Community Centre, the Upper Yonge Village Day Care, the Sherwood Park Residents’ Association, and Senior Peoples’ Resources in North Toronto (SPRINT).

It was an honour to work with Charlotte on creating an age-friendly Toronto. I loved her dearly and will always appreciate the many contributions she made over many years to our community.

On behalf of our community, I am so grateful to Chrlotte Maher for her many contributions.  She will be missed.

International Women's Day


Proclaimed in 1977 by the United Nations, International Women's Day is an international day of reflection on women's rights and advances that have been made towards women's equality both in Canada and internationally. This year, International Women's Day is being celebrated today on Friday, March 8th. I urge you to take a moment to reflect on all the advances made in the women's rights movement as well as reflect on the challenges still facing women today. I hope that we can all work towards a day that my daughter, and all women, will have truly equal access to every one of life's opportunities.

Seniors Strategy at Community Development and Recreation Committee


As Chair of the Seniors Strategy Subcommittee, I am very pleased to confirm that the City of Toronto's Seniors Strategy will be coming to the Community Development and Recreation Committee (CDRC) on April 17th before going to City Council in May. Please be advised that this date had changed recently, as the Seniors Strategy was originally scheduled to go before CDRC on March 18th. I have heard many positive suggestions to improve our city's physical environment to reflect the priorities of an aging population and look forward to discussing the Strategy further at CDRC next month and encourage you to come and either visit, or even make a deputation, at this meeting!

Taking Action on the Roots of Youth Violence


It's been such an honour working with our communities and the co-authors of the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, Dr. Alvin Curling and the Honourable Roy McMurtry, to move this important work forward. I would like to once again thank Mayor Ford and my colleagues for their unanimous support of my motion, Taking Action on the Roots of Youth Violence. I am very happy to share with you a recent letter from Dr. Curling, commending Toronto City Council for addressing this priority and encouraging us to not stop stop until this work is done.

Improving snow removal services for Toronto's residents


This winter I have heard from many of you, with some valid and reasonable concerns with regards to the City's level of service when it comes to snow removal.

Prior to my February 28th meeting with the General Manager of Transportation, I shared with you a letter itemizing theses concerns with City staff and I indicated I wanted to help find ways to resolve these concerns.

As a follow up on this issue, please see my letter to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee asking that formal direction be given to staff to address the service level gaps for snow removal. I will update you as this progresses.

Art Shoppe Update


After many years of speculation about the future of the Art Shoppe site at 2131 Yonge Street, developers have submitted an application to build two residential towers of 38 and 29 storeys. Local residents and I met with the applicants and firmly expressed that due to the lack of transition between the towers and the single-family neighbourhood to the east, the proposal is completely inappropriate. Also, the Art Shoppe site is outside of the designated Yonge-Eglinton Growth area as defined by the Province and the City. The community accepts that a development of some kind will occur at this location, but a mid rise building would be more appropriate.

City Planning is in agreement with the community and me on this site and we will co-host a public meeting in the spring. I will be sure to provide information on the meeting as soon as it becomes available. As soon as I receive a preliminary report from City staff, I will post it on the interactive map on my website.

Casa Loma's March Break Program


Are you looking for activities over the March break for you and your kids? Casa Loma is holding a carnival-themed program where children will be entertained by the likes of Houdini! The Casa Loma Carnival will be running from March 11th to 16th, and this unique interactive installation will feature a variety of performances, games, and spectacles that can be enjoyed by participants of all ages.

For more information please visit http://www.casaloma.org or call 647-725-0707. Events include:

  1. Big Top Cookie Workshop: March 13, 14, 15 & 16, 11:00 am - 12:00 noon.  Children: $18.75 + HST, adults: $23.00 + HST. General Admission to Casa Loma is included. Children will decorate freshly baked carnival-themed cookies and will bring home their collection in a whimsical popcorn box. Pre-registration is necessary for this event. To register, please phone 647-725-1826.
  2. Breakfast with Houdini: March 13, 14, 15 & 16, 8:30 am - 9:30 am.  Children and adults: $25.00 + HST. General Admission to Casa Loma is included. Delight in an exciting breakfast, with the incredible Houdini, in the Casa Loma Conservatory. Children will enjoy Performers Pancakes, Ringmaster Sausages, Stage of Syrup and Butter, and Circus of Fruit. The price also includes a self-guided touring and the Casa Loma Carnival.  Adults will enjoy Assorted Acrobatic Breakfast Pastries, Juggling of Coffee, Tea, and Orange juice. Pre-registration is necessary for this event. To register, please phone 647-725-0707.

TABS On Toronto


The Toronto Public Space Initiative is launching a brand new civic engagement tool called TABS On Toronto that will let residents, media, staff, and organizations sign up for email alerts from City Council based on their keyword preferences.

This system will help residents and organizations such as BIAs and Resident's Associations, City Staff, Media, NGOs, and Councillor's Offices by:

  • Saving them time and money as they won't need to conduct manual searches for the up-to-date information they seek.
  • Making it easier for stakeholders to engage with City Hall and hold government accountable.
  • Helping to prevent stakeholders from missing important issues.

For more information, please visit www.tabsontoronto.ca.

Bill Bosworth Memorial Award nominations


The Mothercraft Board of Directors has launched the Bill Bosworth Memorial Award. This biennial award recognizes outstanding contributions, leadership and innovation in the provision or development of services to families with young children in the City of Toronto. The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 19th, 2013, at 5 pm. The recipient of the Bill Bosworth Memorial Award will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and will be presented with the award at a special ceremony. Bill Bosworth was a long-serving Mothercraft Board Director and deeply committed to making a difference for families. For more information, please visit www.mothercraft.ca.

Greening Your Condo or Apartment Building


Please join me with The Green Team of First Unitarian Congregation to learn how to make your apartment greener and more energy efficient, including strategies and resources that are available to you. Let's make a green and healthful Toronto together!

Date: Tuesday, March 26, at 7 pm

Where: First Unitarian Congregation, Workman Hall, 175 St. Clair Ave. W.


For ongoing council and community information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.ca.

Councillor Matlow's community update for February 25th, 2013

Dear residents,

Ward 22 certainly had a very successful city council meeting last week. I very much appreciate my colleagues' support.

I want to remind you that while I work hard to reflect, and represent, our community when making city-wide policy decisions, my staff and I are also here every day to help resolve more local and specific concerns regarding the delivery of city services.

Please always feel welcome to contact my office if can be of assistance to you. I recognize that even the issues that seem small are in fact deeply important ones to those immediately impacted by them. My number is 416-392-7906 and my email address is [email protected]

Please see my latest update to you below.

Sincerely,

Josh


Roots of Youth Violence


My office and I had been working on a Roots of Youth Violence motion for the past several weeks. My intention was for this motion, based on the recommendations put forward by Alvin Curling and Roy McMurtry's The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence Report, to come forward at a time when we weren't reacting to a recent spate of shootings. However, as the tragic events that have taken two 15 year olds in the past 10 days have shown, that moment is becoming harder to find as these tragic events keep happening.

I'm pleased that Council passed my motion which recognizes that extensive consultation has taken place and reports with sound recommendations have already been written. We now need to take genuine and sincere action.

The motion passed Council unanimously, seconded by Councillor Michael Thompson, with input across partisan lines from my colleagues including Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday and Councillor Adam Vaughan. This issue demanded that Council work together to tackle a serious and ongoing problem. I'm proud to say that thus far my colleagues, including Mayor Ford, have come through for Torontonians.

However, there's a couple more steps to take before the recommendations in my motion are moved forward for implementation. I'll let you know when we expect this to come to the City's Executive Committee soon.

Northern Secondary School Green Space Improvement


Together, we successfuly rebuilt Northern Secondary School's Clarke Pulford Field for students and the local residential community. Now we have an opportunity to beautify the greenspace on Mount Pleasant Road.

I am pleased that my motion to transfer $75,000, secured through developer's fees, for the Northern Lakes Landscape Design Project was approved by Council. The new outdoor meeting and learning area in front of Northern Secondary School seeks to recreate the once vibrant ecosystem of Walmsley Brook. The project will suggest a dry river bed with trees, rock seating areas, plantings and flagstone paths.

This project will provide an enhanced seating and strolling area for the wider community providing a peaceful public space in a busy area. The Northern Lakes project will be of particular interest to the residents of several nearby seniors' homes who will benefit from nearby green space.

Supporting the Central Eglinton Community Centre


I am also pleased that Council supported my motion to transfer $25,000.00, also secured through developer's fees, to ensure that the Central Eglinton Community Centre's (CECC) expansion is fully accessible.

The CECC provides a variety of programs and services for people of all ages including parent/child activities and a range of social, recreational and leisure programs for older adults and seniors. The Centre also provides after school programs, food bank box, income tax clinics, legal advice, financial planning and employment & training information and opportunities.

This funding will help ensure that the CECC, and its important programs and services, will be fully accessible for people of all abilities.

Reminder: Community Meeting Notice for Development Proposal at 281-289 Avenue Road

I have been working closely with our Cottingham and Rathnelly neighbourhoods for the past two years regarding a proposed condo development on Avenue Rd. Along with addressing several concerns we have about this proposal, I have invited City staff to discuss the applicant's proposal to cut down trees along their lot line in Robertson Davies Park in order to build the driveway into their development. I believe it's fundamentally wrong that trees could be cut down in a public park to facilitate a new condo building. I am inviting local residents to share their views on the proposal. Please join me on Wednesday, February 27th from 7 pm to 9 pm at the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto's Sunderland Hall, 175 St. Clair Avenue West.

2013 Live Green Toronto Awards


The first entries for the 2013 Live Green Toronto Awards are in and voting has begun! You can enter, vote and have your say in the search for Toronto's greenest youth, individual, group, small business and corporation. The final entry deadline is March 3rd, 2013. Winners will receive a Live Green Toronto Award, $2,500 courtesy of award sponsors and a chance to share their story on CP24.

For more information, please visit www.livegreentoronto.ca.

Davisville Redevelopment Proposal Update


As your City Councillor, I have been closely following the TDSB's efforts towards a condo- development proposal on their Davisville PS property that would ultimately come to City Hall. Soon after taking office, I met with the local school trustee and school board staff to discuss their options for redevelopment. I clearly informed the TDSB representatives that Davisville PS is located in a Neighbourhood designated zone under Toronto's Official Plan. This designation allows for a maximum of 4 storeys. I am very willing to work with the TDSB on a plan for their property that would respect the City of Toronto's Official Plan.

Recently, the Ministry of Education halted their support for further capital projects by the TDSB. This action by the Province doesn't appear to have stopped the TDSB's plans for Davisville as the Board quietly declared a portion of the school's playground surplus at a recent meeting.

For further background information please see my letter to residents regarding this issue. Please also read this story from Saturday's Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/rumble-in-north-toronto-as-school-board-goes-toe-to-toe-with-city-over-development-plan/article9002153/?service=mobile.

I am committed to supporting Davisville PS, Metro School for the Deaf and Spectrum parents' interests to have great school for their kids while asking that the school board, and Province, fulfills its responsibilities to students by keeping school facilities in good repair without adversely impacting local neighbourhoods.

Maurice Cody Dirt-to-Turf Campaign


Maurice Cody Junior Public School has initiated an exciting campaign to help to fund a new artificial turf playing field. I am working to ensure that the City dedicates development funds to this local community initiative and I encourage you to consider a charitable donation. For a breakdown of sponsorship levels and information about the benefits of sponsorship, please visit http://schoolweb.tdsb.on.ca/mauricecody/Sports.aspx.

A Toronto Casino?

I expect that a vote may come to city council as early as this April on whether or not we will see a large casino open in Toronto.

As I've written to you before, the majority of Ward 22 residents have told me they oppose a Toronto casino and I share their view. Based on consistent reports on problem gambling, traffic gridlock and potential adverse affects on the local economy, I will not be supporting a casino in the City of Toronto. I know that some of you may disagree with my decision. However, I respectfully submit to you that the known negatives outweigh any suggested benefits, and it's simply not worth the gamble.

Attending Community Meetings


Hosting and attending community meetings and other events in Ward 22 is very important to me to both engage and inform residents. I am always very pleased to update residents on local issues and on policy decisions made by City Council. Over the past month, I've meet with various local groups and residents including:

  • The Central Eglinton Community Centre
  • Yorkminster Park Baptist Church's Out of the Cold Program
  • The Republic Residents' Association and the Rathnelly Area Residents Association
  • Mount Pleasant Road Baptist Church and The Estonian Church
  • Eglinton PS parents
  • Local businesses
  • 53 Division (Toronto Police Services)
  • Many dozens of individual residents and their families

My schedule fills up quickly, so please contact my office as early as possible if you'd like me to attend your local meeting to address questions, concerns and if you need my assistance.


Councillor Matlow's February 5, 2013 Update

Dear residents,

I believe that improving and expanding our public transit system and fighting traffic gridlock must be top priorities for City Council. Every day, drivers find themselves waiting in traffic, cyclists try to navigate our busy streets and subway riders find themselves packed like sardines if they are even able to fit onto an overcrowded train.

We can only achieve the change we want if we make our voices heard. I encourage you to participate in Metrolinx's conversation on funding The Big Move, which the planned Eglinton Crosstown LRT and a downtown relief subway line are a part of. Please see this meeting notice below, including other items of interest to those of you who are condo owners and tenants, environmental stewards, community advocates, and seniors.

And as always, please feel welcome to contact me at 416-392-7906 or by e-mail at [email protected] if I can ever be of assistance to you and your family.

Sincerely,

Josh


Reminder: Metrolinx Public Roundtable Meetings

This month, Metrolinx will be hosting public roundtable meetings regarding The Big Move, a plan to rebuild transportation in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. For more information on the Toronto meeting dates, please visithttp://www.bigmove.ca/roundtable. Improving our city and region's transportation network is an issue I have actively worked on for a long time and I support the direction Metrolinx is taking with The Big Move. To read more about my advocacy for improved and expanded transportation, please click here. I plan to attend the roundtable at Metro Hall this Saturday, February 9th from 1 to 3 pm and I hope to see you there!

Public Consultation With Condominium Occupants


I am delighted to announce that the City of Toronto's Planning department is starting a consultation process with condo owners to find out about issues and problems with the way people are living in condos. Some of the issues that will be discussed during the consultation will include:

  • Access to parks and dog parks
  • Recreational and community amenities
  • Parking , bike parking and visitor parking
  • Childcare

The consultation will focus on identifying the issues that condo residents are currently experiencing and developing a set of ideas to help the City of Toronto address these issues. You are welcome to attend any of these meetings, which will be from 7 to 9 pm.

February 12th, 2013
Bram & Bluma Appel Salon
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street (at Yonge and Bloor)

February 27th, 2013
Congregation Darchei Noam
864 Sheppard Avenue W
(At Allen and Sheppard Ave W)


2013 Live Green Toronto Awards


Nominations are open for the City's Live Green Toronto Awards. With video entries and public voting, the Live Green Toronto Awards offer everyone an opportunity to participate in the City's search for Toronto's greenest people, groups and businesses. Entrants must submit a short video, up to 90 seconds in length, and tell their green story in 500 words or less.

You can view the videos and vote for your favourites; votes cast in the first round (January 21st to March 3rd) will help the judges determine the finalists. Votes cast in the second round (March 15th to April 19th) will determine the winners.

Winners will receive a Live Green Toronto Award, $2,500 courtesy of award sponsors and a chance to share their story on CP24.

Enter, view and vote begins January 21st. The final entry deadline is March 3rd.

For more information, please visit www.livegreentoronto.ca.

2013 Community Investment Funding Programs - Call for Applications


Applications are now open for the following four Community Investment Funding Programs, which are delivered by the City. I would like to share the following information on the application procedure, funding deadlines and project goals. You can apply online through the Corporate Grants Information System, and instruction on how to apply can be found at www.toronto.ca/grants.

Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests' 2013 Programs


I would like to share this information about Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests' 2013 programs with you:

LEAF's subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program helps residents of Toronto and York Region plant native shade trees and shrubs in their yards. Orders can be placed now for spring delivery of Native Garden Kits (birds, butterflies, or shade options) as well as native edible and heritage fruit trees, including the rare pawpaw tree (quantities are limited).

LEAF's Tree Tenders Volunteer Training Program sessions. This spring this course will be offered in Richmond Hill (June 8,12, and 15) for the first time, as well as in Toronto (April/May). This multi-day course offers a combination of indoor and outdoor arboricultural training, giving citizens the tools to improve the urban forest in their neighbourhood. You can sign up now to get an early opportunity to register.

New Access Point for Seniors' Resources


A one-step access point for all seniors' resources in Ontario has been established. Residents may call 1-888-910-1999 or visit www.ontario.ca/seniors in order to access information on various programs throughout the province.

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