E-Newsletter

Update: 2012 Budget - FYI, Some Proposed Service Cuts

Dear Friends and Residents,

I believe that when decisions are being made at City Hall that affect any neighbourhood or street in our ward, it is vital that those residents are informed.  When it comes to the 2012 City of Toronto Budget, Council's decisions will have an impact on not only one community, but the entire City.

Following up on my newsletter regarding the proposed cuts and service reductions contained in the 2012 budget, I am providing you a brief update on some of the specific details that were released yesterday afternoon. The following list is not exhaustive as I have just received 4 binders containing over 1,000 pages of information pertaining to the City's finances for the next year.

I will be spending the next month going over the documents and picking out items of interest to our community in order to provide a detailed list of proposed changes at a Budget Town Hall meeting I am hosting on January 11, 2012, 7:00pm at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre.

Preliminary list of facilities that are proposed to be closed or have service reductions in or directly adjacent to Ward 22 include:

  • Brown Public School: Elimination of programming at the shared-use community centre
  • Davisville Public School: Reduction in Student Nutrition Program funding
  • Central Eglinton Community Centre: Staffing level reduction that will cause a reduction in programs offered to community
  • Deer Park Public Library – reduce the number of hours from 62 to 56 hours per week, a 6 hour reduction (equivalent to two mornings)
  • Northern District Public Library – reduce the number of hours from 69 to 59.5 per week, a 9.5 hour reduction (equivalent to approximately three mornings)
  • Forest Hill Public Library – reduce the number of hours from 62 to 56 per week, a 6 hour reduction (equivalent to two mornings)

There are no school pools proposed for a reduction in funding in Ward 22.  However, across the city, the following school pools are slated for elimination of City programming:

  • Bedford Park
  • Frankland
  • Gordon A. Brown
  • Hillcrest
  • Runnymede
  • SH Armstrong
  • Sir Wilfred Laurier

Other City-wide recreational service reductions that may be of interest to Ward 22 residents include:

  • Phil White Arena: arena operations ceased between 7am and 4pm, Monday to Friday
  • High Park Zoo: closure
  • Far Enough Farm (Toronto Island): Closure
  • Closure of Fairhaven and Stanley Park outdoor pools

I will provide you with a more detailed analysis once I have completed reviewing the entirety of the budget documents I've received.  I recognize that some hard decisions will have to be made given the ongoing structual deficit the City of Toronto has been saddled with since amalgamation.  However, I will continue to advocate for and protect the services that Torontonians value and rely on every day.

Sincerely,

Josh

City Councillor
Ward 22 – St. Paul's
www.joshmatlow.ca


City Council committee agendas can be viewed at: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/decisionBodyList.do?function=prepareDisplayDBList

If you'd like to send an email directly to the members of the Budget Committee, these are the Councillors who sit on this committee.

Councillor Matlow's letter to residents on the 2012 City of Toronto Budget & TTC Service Reductions and Fare Changes

Dear Friends and Residents,

To ensure that you are informed on the decisions being considered at Toronto City Hall, I've prepared the following updates for you.

Please feel welcome to send me your feedback as hearing from the residents of Ward 22 assists me in advocating on our community's behalf at Council.

Sincerely,

Josh

City Councillor
Ward 22 – St. Paul's
www.joshmatlow.ca

1.   2012 City of Toronto Budget

Today, City Manager Joseph Pennachetti released the staff recommended 2012 Operating and Capital Budgets. The budgets contain $30 million in approved service eliminations and reductions as well as $65 million in efficiencies that are being actively reviewed by staff.

Also, Capital spending reductions in this budget could total $132 million over the next 10 years. Many of the cuts proposed today were a result of the Mayor's request to cut 10% from the budgets of every City Department, Agency, Board and Commission. While it is clear to me that savings need to be found to continue providing Torontonians with the services they expect and deserve, arbitrary targets are simply not a thoughtful way to create a budget that supports services Toronto residents rely on every day. We must consider reasonable sources of revenue while we consider reductions. Management and our collective agreements with the City's employee groups must be reviewed. And City services should be evaluated individually, and reduced or receive increased investment depending on need and our current financial situation.

While I recognize the mayor's intent to rein in spending, an order to cut without considering context, details or how residents would be affected by our decisions has led to a number of recommendations by staff that will have an adverse impact on our communities.

Some of the recommendations put forward in today's budget include:

  • Elimination of 7 TDSB school pools, 2 outdoor pools and 5 wading pools
  • Eliminating programming at 12 recreation centres in TDSB shared-use facilities
  • Reduction in Wheel Trans services for dialysis patients
  • Reduction in Toronto Public Library operating hours and purchasing of new materials
  • 36 fewer paramedics
  • Reduction in TTC bus and streetcar frequency
  • $4 million less in Community Partnership and Investment Program Grants
  • Elimination of WinterCity outdoor programming
  • Reducing road cleaning standards
  • Reduction in child care services in hostels
  • Reduction in horticultural service - annual flower bed, perennial and shrub display reduction
  • Reduction in street trees and urban forestry programs
  • Over $1 million reduction in Long Term Care Homes
  • Closure of several child care centres
  • Closure of several homeless shelters

On the revenue side, Staff is recommending a number of measures including:

  • 2.5% property tax hike.
  • Increased TTC fares
  • Increased user fees including recreation programs for children, seniors and low-income individuals, as well as ice rink permits
  • Increased garbage rates for multi-unit residential buildings (apartments)

I will present a more detailed analysis of this document to Executive Committee and full Council in the coming weeks but I would like to offer my initial impressions. While we must make some difficult but necessary decisions, many of the cuts proposed today are simply unsupportable from a basic good governance perspective. I heard from many residents during the Core Services Review process that services such as childcare, libraries, public transit and supportive housing were essential to the functionality of our city and our residents' basic quality of life.

In the New Year, I plan to host a town hall meeting on the proposed 2012 budget to ensure you have an opportunity to be informed and make your voice heard.  I'll send out details on the meeting date and location once they're confirmed.

I will continue to work with my community, councillors of every political stripe and City Staff to find solutions to Toronto's fiscal reality without cutting the services that make Toronto a liveable city for all residents.

2.  TTC Service Reductions and Fare Changes

Last Thursday, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has provided the specific service level adjustments stemming from previous reductions adopted by the Commission outlined in my September update. The service cuts, along with a fare increase, will negatively impact numerous residents in Ward 22 and across the city. This action is in response to the 10% cut to the TTC's budget requested by the Mayor's Office. Routes across Toronto will be affected.  In Ward 22, the following routes are slated for service changes 22:

  • 11 BAYVIEW/28 DAVISVILLE:During the morning peak period from Monday to Friday the combined service on Davisville Avenue will change from every 6 minutes to every 6 minutes 23 seconds. Service on Bayview Avenue will change from every 12 minutes to every 12 minutes 45 seconds.
  • 34 EGLINTON EAST: During the morning peak period from Monday to Friday, the combined service west of Kennedy Station will change from every 4 minutes to every 4 minutes 30 seconds.
  • 54 LAWRENCE EAST: The service west of Lawrence East Station to Eglinton Station during the morning peak period will change from every 4 minutes 30 seconds to every 5 minutes 15 seconds. The service west of Lawrence East Station to Eglinton Station during the afternoon peak period will change from every 4 minutes 30 seconds to every 5 minutes 15 seconds.
  • 512 ST CLAIR STREETCAR: Service will be increase during the morning peak period from Monday to Friday. The service will be improved from every 2 minutes 55 seconds to every 2 minutes 45 seconds. In the afternoon peak period from Monday to Friday the service will be improved from every 3 minutes 30 seconds to every 3 minutes 20 seconds. Service will be reduced during the midday Monday to Friday from every 5 minutes to every 6 minutes. On Saturdays, the service in the morning will change from every 4 minutes 40 seconds to every 5 minutes 30 seconds. During the afternoon the service will change from every 4 minutes to every 4 minutes 40 seconds. During the afternoon on Sundays and holidays the service will change from every 5 minutes 15 seconds to every 6 minutes 20 seconds.

The TTC is a public service. Public transportation is the only transportation option for many seniors, students and workers across the city. Many residents in our community rely on public transit to go grocery shopping, travel home from work, visit family or attend religious services on the weekend. Also, I am concerned about the safety of individuals, including seniors and women, traveling after dark that cannot afford a taxi and are left with long walks to their home if service is infrequent. Our community is already suffering from several routes having their operating hours significantly reduced.

The TTC, the Mayor's office and Council should be working to improve service to make transit the preferred options for Torontonians. Reducing service will, by the TTC's own estimates, turn riders away from public transit leading to increased air pollution and gridlock.

If done thoughtfully, finding efficiencies and making cuts at some of our Agencies, Boards and Commissions may have merit. However, the TTC is already woefully underfunded. While most of the service reductions presented may seem minor to some, they will exacerbate current problems of overcrowding and long wait times on transit routes throughout the City. Transit discussion should be focussed on much needed expansions, such as rapid transit to the airport and a Downtown Relief Line. Reducing basic services, such as these bus routes, will take Toronto in the wrong direction.

As your advocate, I will work to find solutions to this year's budget challenges that retain and improve the transit services Torontonians rely on.

November 10 Update from Councillor Josh Matlow

Dear Residents,

We have made a successful effort towards reforming Toronto's planning process.  This past week my colleagues on the Planning Growth management committee supported our request to ask Queen's Park to free Toronto from the OMB.  Please read details below.   I'm also including a variety of updates and public meeting notices for your information.

  1. Remembrance Day – City of Toronto Ceremonies
  2. City Committee Unanimously Supports Abolishing the OMB
  3. Urban Forestry Planting in Roycroft Park
  4. Avenue Road Watermain Project Update
  5. Toronto Police 53 Division Annual Town Hall Meeting
  6. Heritage Town Hall Meeting – Official Plan Review
  7. Toronto Hydro Town Hall Meeting
  8. Movember

As always, this is a busy time at City Hall, and my staff and I may not be able to provide a personal response to each and every email we receive.  But rest assured, I will read all correspondence you send me.  Your feedback is always appreciated and valued.

Sincerely,

Josh

City Councillor
Ward 22 – St. Paul's
www.joshmatlow.ca

1.   Remembrance Day – City of Toronto Ceremonies

Every year on November 11, we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who served their country.  City of Toronto ceremonies take place at City Hall and each of the Civic Centres across Toronto, as well as Fort York.  I will be attending the ceremony at Toronto Old City Hall, and I encourage you to take a minute to reflect at 11:00 am.  For those unable to attend an event in person, the Remembrance Day Service at Old City Hall is shown live on Citytv and broadcast live on the radio station Newstalk 1010.

East York Civic Centre - 10:45 a.m.
Memorial Gardens, 850 Coxwell Avenue
Program (PDF)
Contact: Nancy MacSween 416-392-4674

Etobicoke Civic Centre - 10:15 a.m.
Cenotaph - 399 The West Mall
Program (PDF)
Contact: Bev Kurmey 416-392-7805

North York Civic Centre - 10:45 a.m.
George Weston Recital Hall at the Toronto Centre for the Arts - 5040 Yonge Street
Program (PDF)
Contact: Annette Velho-Pereira  416-397-4158

Toronto Old City Hall - 10:45 a.m.
Cenotaph - 60 Queen Street West - Bay & Queen Streets
Program (PDF)
Contact: Idalina Matias  416-392-6745

York Civic Centre - 10:45 a.m.
York Memorial Collegiate - Auditorium - 2690 Eglinton Avenue West
Program (PDF)
Contact: RoseMarie Demarco   416-392-8191

Fort York National Historic Site/Strachan Avenue Military Cemetery - 10:45 a.m.
Garrison Common - 250 Fort York Boulevard
Program (PDF)
Contact: Richard Haynes  416-392-6907 x 223

2.  City Committee Unanimously Supports Abolishing the OMB

The amended motion Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and I submitted to free Toronto’s planning decisions from the purview of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) was unanimously approved by the Planning and Growth Management Committee on November 8th. The 6 Councillors on the committee agreed that it is finally time to rid Toronto of this quasi-judicial, anti-democratic body that has final say over local planning decisions. This motion will be debated by full Council at the meeting scheduled for November 29th  and 30th.  Also, the committee approved our plan to move forward with a  local appeals body for Committee of Adjustment applications

Thank you to all the residents that answered my call to make oral and written deputations – your voice made a difference! It is time to protect the fabric and character of our local neighbourhoods and allow our elected representatives to have the final say on the future of Toronto's neighbourhoods.

Please read the following articles in the Toronto Star and OpenFile for more information.

3.  Urban Forestry Planting in Roycroft Park

Urban forestry will be planting a variety of native trees and shrubs in a wooded section of Roycroft Park near the entrance off Boulton Drive.  This planting will follow the removal of several large invasive trees that took place earlier this fall, and is intended to be the next phase in a gradual replacement of undesirable non-native trees with more appropriate mix of native trees and shrubs.

Installation of Post and Paddle fencing is being proposed to closely follow the planting in this section of ravine, and will serve to protect young plants as they become established, while providing delineation to the natural area long term.  Fencing style will be chosen to match that which is already present onsite.

A planting plan for this project can be found here.

4.  Avenue Road Watermain Project Update

My office received the following update from City Staff regarding the Avenue Road watermain project.  Work currently underway starting at the south end of the project and going north is as follows:

  1. They are backfilling the tunnel shaft on Cottingham St. just opposite the High Level Pumping Station.
  2. They are installing watermain pipes within the tunnel between Cottingham St. and Rathnelly Ave.
  3. The dewatering system is still operating at the intersection of Oriole Parkway and Frobisher Ave. They are still installing watermain pipes within the tunnel on Oriole Parkway from Kilbarry Rd. to Chaplin Crescent.
  4. They have almost completed the digging of the last tunnel section of the entire project which is along Chaplin Crescent.  They will spend at least the months of November and December to install the watermain pipes within that tunnel.
  5. The dewatering system is still operating at the northwest corner of Avenue Rd. and Chaplin Crescent.  This dewatering system as well as all of the yellow road plates along Chaplin Crescent are scheduled to be removed from November 14 to 25. This will require the closure of Chaplin Crescent to westbound traffic for that time period.
  6. An emergency repair of a combined sewer located on Avenue Road between College View Avenue and Eglinton Avenue has begun. It will require a lane closure on Avenue Road at this location. This work should only take about a week.
  7. They are doing asphalt line painting on Avenue Road just on the north side of Eglinton Avenue in preparation to re-open this closed lane from Eglinton Ave. to Willowbank Blvd. this evening.
  8. There is a closure of the northbound curb lane from Willowbank Blvd. to Roselawn Avenue. This area is being used to store equipment and supplies that are used on a daily basis for work all along the stretch from Eglinton Avenue to Caribou Road.

5.  Heritage Town Hall Meeting – Official Plan Review

Date: Thursday December 1, 2011
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 pm
Location:  Room 308-309 Metro Hall, 55 John Street – SE corner John St and King St

The City is reviewing its Official Plan. As part of this review we are doing a full examination and updating of the Official Plan's Heritage policies with the assistance of a team of consultants and a Citizen's Heritage Advisory Committee.

Please come join the conversation on new heritage policies for Toronto's Official Plan.

For the full story of the Official Plan Review and our public consultation to date please visit the website at:  www.toronto.ca/opreview.

For further information contact Scott Barrett - [email protected] - 416-338-1083 or Paul Bain - [email protected] - 416-392-8781.

6.  Toronto Police 53 Division Annual Town Hall Meeting

Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Location: Dunfield Retirement Residence – 77 Dunfield Ave (East of Yonge, South of Eglinton)

The annual 53 Division Town Hall is an opportunity to learn about the work of 53 Division, meet the new Unit Commander Heinz Kuck and get your questions answered.  Topics that will be covered are traffic safety, crime overview and crime prevention tips.  All are welcome.

7.  Toronto Hydro Town Hall Meeting

Please join Toronto Hydro at one of their upcoming town hall meetings to discuss the current state of our electricity system and some of the improvements they are making to serve you better.

Toronto Hydro team members will be on hand to tell you more about work Toronto Hydro is doing in your community. The meetings will also give you an opportunity to learn more about Toronto Hydro and speak directly with members of our staff about:
* Key Construction Projects in your Area

• Power Outages
• Smart Meters
• Billing
• Time-of-Use Rates and Conservation Programs
• Workforce Renewal

Town Hall Locations and Times

Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Toronto City Hall - 100 Queen Street West
6 pm - 8 pm

Thursday, November 17, 2011
North York Civic Centre - 5100 Yonge Street
6 pm - 8 pm

Monday, November 28, 2011
Etobicoke Civic Centre - 399 The West Mall
6 pm - 8 pm

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Scarborough Civic Centre - 150 Borough Drive
6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

For more information, visit torontohydro.com/townhallsessions.

8.  Movember

On November 1st, I had clean-shaven face. Since then, I've been growing a mustache for the first time in my life and have become a billboard for the 30 days of "Movember" to raise awareness, and raise much-needed funds, to combat prostate cancer.

If you wish to support this important cause, I encourage you to visit my page as a member of the City Hall Councillors and Staff Team participating in Movember - http://ca.movember.com/mospace/2010970. Please donate to me, and my mustache, today!

October 26 Update from Councillor Josh Matlow

Dear Friends and Residents,

After two long days of City Council debates, I wanted to provide an update on some of the issues that were approved at City Hall.  I have also provided some infromation on upcoming events and a proposed “Ecopark” in our Ward.  You can find more information on the following subjects below:

  • TONIGHT - Public Meeting regarding 129 St. Clair Ave. W
  • Free Toronto from the OMB! Motion to be debated November 8th, 2011
  • City Council Moving Forward to Protect Animals - Shark Fins and Elephants
  • Macpherson "Ecopark" Proposal
  • New Waste Collection Model
  • Margery Winkler Memorial Bench at Hodgson Senior Public School
  • Relieving Gridlock and Traffic Congestion
  • Spadina Museum Salon – Persona: Politics and Private Lives in 20th-Century Canada
  • Parks Plan – Public Consultation

As always, this is a busy time at City Hall, and my staff and I may not be able to provide a personal response to each and every email we receive.  But rest assured, I will read all correspondence you send me.  Your feedback is always appreciated and valued.

Sincerely,

Josh

City Councillor
Ward 22 – St. Paul's
www.joshmatlow.ca

1.  TONIGHT - Public Meeting regarding 129 St. Clair Ave. W

What: Public meeting to discuss site plan proposal for 129 St. Clair Avenue West.
Where: First Unitarian Church – 175 St. Clair Ave. W
When: October 26th, 2011 at 6:30pm

In February of this year I co-hosted a meeting with City Planning on development proposals at 111 and 129 St. Clair Avenue West. At that meeting, local residents requested that I strike a working group to have in-depth discussions on the proposals and to see if we could convince the developers to better reflect the community’s needs in what they will eventually submit. Since then, I have been working closely with representatives from the residents' associations of Foxbar, Deer Park, Granite Place, South Hill, Forest Hill and the Bradgate Arms in a Working Group regarding the developers’ proposals for 111 and 129 St. Clair Avenue West. This Group, which I chaired, included City Staff, ratepayers and residents groups and the development applicants. After many months of work, the residents' associations have reached a consensus on the proposed developments.

The residents on the working group still have serious concerns regarding the proposal for 111 St. Clair West but has agreed on a plan for 129 St. Clair West that helps protect some of the heritage elements of the current church site and improves the public realm while protecting our neighbourhoods. However, it is important to me to hear your feedback before this agreement comes to city council.

I invite you to a meeting that will provide an opportunity to learn about and comment on the Working Group's proposal for 129 St. Clair West and an update on 111 St. Clair Avenue West.

Flyers for this meeting have already been distributed to local residents.

2. Free Toronto from the OMB! Motion to be debated November 8th, 2011

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and I have together submitted a motion to free Toronto’s planning decisions from the purview of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) – the quasi-judicial, anti-democratic body that has final say over local planning decisions. This motion will be debated at the November 8th meeting of the Planning and Growth Committee. At this meeting, there will be an opportunity for you to provide input to that committee by making a deputation or, if you cannot attend, email or letter. To sign up to make a deputation, or for further information, you can contact the clerk on the committee's website. It is time to protect the fabric and character of our local neighbourhoods and allow our elected representatives to have the final say on the future of Toronto's neighbourhoods. This is your opportunity to make your voice heard!

If you cannot make it out to the meeting in person please email the Planning and Growth Committee members - tell them to support the motion to abolish the OMB.

3. City Council Moving Forward to Protect Animals - Shark Fins and Elephants

I’m happy to report to you that Council passed a ban on shark fin products in the City of Toronto. We have now joined other cities such as Brantford and Missisauga, along with jurisdictions around the world, in taking a stand to protect an endangered species and our ocean ecosystems. It is estimated that 100 million sharks are killed every year for their fins. This is an unsustainable practice, as sharks are not able to reproduce quickly enough to replenish their population. Conservationists estimate that at this rate, most species of sharks will be extinct within a decade. When and if this happens, the stability of the entire marine ecosystem would disrupted, as sharks stabilize fish populations. Moreover, the practice of obtaining shark fins is unethical. Once the fins are removed, a shark is thrown back into the ocean unable to swim. This is an important reason why I believe shark fins should be banned in other cities as well. Toronto city council has made a strong statement by not accepting this unethical practice within our jurisdiction.

Council also approved a motion to direct the Toronto Zoo to send its elephants to a wildlife sanctuary in California. I believe this was a humane and ethical position which crossed the typical right vs. left divide, and is a decision we can all be proud of.

4. Macpherson "Ecopark" Proposal

For the past 10 months I have been working with community members on an exciting proposal to transform the hydro corridor on Macpherson (between Spadina Ave. and Davenport Rd.) from a derelict eyesore into a usable public space. After a very positive local meeting in August, I am happy to support a local resident's application for a City of Toronto grant to build a demonstration "Ecopark" with solar panels, community gardens, native plants and an electric car. This is an opportunity for the City to demonstrate its commitment to renewable energy, environmental stewardship and innovative public spaces. The new green space would also provide an educational experience for local schoolchildren from the Waldorf School, Huron Public School and Cottingham Public School.

5.  New waste collection model

On Monday, City Council decided to pursue a split-model waste collection trial. Starting next August, residents living west of Yonge Street will have their waste collected by a contractor. Residents east of Yonge Street will continue being served by public sector workers. Green for Life, the successful bidder for the contract was selected using the criteria set out in my motions passed by Council in May. These motions helped to ensure that the environment, public service, transparency and taxpayer protection are respected by the new operator. City staff believe this model will create a competition between the contracted and public sectors that will keep our fees lower, promote good customer service, save the City of Toronto over 80 million dollars during the next seven years and avoid labour disruption. Ultimately, I don't expect us to experience any dramatic change in service- our garbage and recycling will continue to be collected at the curb.

6.  Margery Winkler Memorial Bench at Hodgson Senior Public School

Earlier today I had the privilege of participating in the official dedication of the Margery Winkler Memorial Bench at Hodgson. It was a very moving ceremony and celebration of a community member who left us too soon. Margery Winkler, a former Hodgson parent and Professor of Landscape Architecture at Ryerson University. Margery's life was cut short after a courageous battle with cancer in 2009. She was committed to the creation of sustainable open spaces and used her expertise to help local schools transform their grounds.

The Hodgson and South Eglinton/ Davisville Village community and I are grateful for the support of my Council colleagues who unanimously supported my motion to provide an additional $500 for the new bench through development benefits .The bench will be available for public use as part of a sitting and garden area adjacent to the sidewalk on Davisville Avenue just east of Mount Pleasant.

7. Relieving Gridlock and traffic congestion

I strongly believe that curbing gridlock must be a priority for this term of council. Gridlock has an adverse effect on our economy, our quality of life and our ability to move people and goods around our city. My motion to have the City Manager work with the Police to increase enforcement for motorists that stop, stand, park illegally or otherwise obstruct traffic on arterial roads during rush hour was approved by Council. The motion also directed the Deputy City Manager look at other ways of deterring curb lane "hogs", including increasing fines. The question of exactly how much that fine will be is yet to be determined.

8. Spadina Museum Salon – Persona: Politics and Private Lives in 20th-Century Canada

Date:  Tuesday, November 8
Time:  7 to 9 pm
Location:  Spadina Museum, 285 Spadina Rd (paid parking next door at Casa Loma)
Cost:  $12

Speakers: Author Allan Levine and Toronto City Councillor Josh Matlow.

William Lyon Mackenzie King has often been thought of as Canada's greatest prime minister and its most peculiar. He was insecure, craved flattery, and was prone to fantasy - especially about the Tory conspiracy against him. What would the modern media have made of King's eccentric personality? What kind of balancing act did politicians of the 1920s have to do in contrast to politicians today? Allan Levine is the author of KING: William Lyon Mackenzie King: A Life Guided by the Hand of Destiny, a biography based on 57 years of the personal diaries of Canada's longest serving prime minister. He is joined by Toronto city Councillor, columnist and radio show host Josh Matlow. They will lead the discussion on the public versus private life of a politician – how these two faces have changed over the years due to our increasingly invasive media machine.

For more information email [email protected] or visit toronto.ca/spadina_salon or call 416-392-6910.

9. Parks Plan – Public Consultation

In 2010, City Council approved the development of a City-wide Parks Plan based on seven guiding principles: parks and trails as city infrastructure, equitable access for all residents, supporting a diversity of uses, nature in the city, environmental stewardship, place making and community engagement. The Parks Plan will guide acquisition, development, management and operation of the system of public parkland in the City of Toronto over a five-year period.

The City of Toronto is looking for your input on Park Plans. Attend one of four public consultation meetings or fill out our online survey!

Public consultation meeting dates and locations:

•      Scarborough - November 7, 2011, 7 pm to 9 pm at Warden Hilltop CC
•      North York - November 16, 2011, 7 pm to 9 pm at Mitchell Field CC
•      Toronto East York - November 24, 2011, 7 pm to 9 pm at Wellesley CC
•      Etobicoke York - December 1, 2011, 7 pm to 9 pm at Amesbury CC

Space is limited at the public consultation sessions. To register, email [email protected] or call (416) 338-6608 and indicate which meeting you would like to attend. ASL interpreting, attendant care services, other accommodation and drop-in activities for children three years of age and older are available on request. If you require these services, please indicate the service needed in your registration email or phone message at least 10 days prior to the meeting date.

October 6th Update from Councillor Josh Matlow

ear friends and residents,

Today is Election Day in Ontario.  I encourage you to vote for the party you best believe, based on your own research, will support our city.  Polls are open until 9:00 pm tonight – you can find your polling station here.

I also want to update you on the Avenue Rd Watermain project.  Since I first came into office I've asked City Staff to ensure that I'm aware of its progress so that I can keep our community informed.  You'll also find a survey on the new Orchard View Pedestrian Square, and some notices about upcoming events.  You can find more information on the following subjects below:

  • Update on Avenue Rd Watermain project
  • Share your thoughts about Orchard View Pedestrian Square
  • Friends of the Beltline – Help Clean Up and Plant our Beltline!
  • Sydney Sharma Legacy Fund
  • Much Ado About Nothing at Spadina Museum
  • The 2nd Annual Mount Pleasant Village Fall Fair

Over the coming weeks I will be working with my colleagues on initiatives such as combating gridlock and freeing Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board.  Moreover, City Council will soon be considering the prospect of contracting out garbage collection and will decide on the 2012 Budget.  As always, I will consider all perspectives, evidence and your feedback before casting my vote on behalf of the residents of Ward 22, St. Paul's.

This continues to be an extremely busy time at City Hall, and my staff and I may not be able to provide a personal response to each and every email we receive.  But rest assured, I will read all correspondence you send me.  Your feedback is always appreciated and valued.

Sincerely,

Josh

City Councillor
Ward 22 – St. Paul's
www.joshmatlow.ca

Update on Avenue Rd Watermain Project

My office received the following update from Technical Services regarding the work currently underway for the Avenue Rd Watermain Project starting at the south end of the project and going north:

  • The final short piece of tunnelling to connect completed tunnels on Cottingham St and Rathnelly Ave has just commenced.
  • They are installing pipes within the tunnel along Cottingham Street.
  • The work at the intersection of St. Clair Ave and Avenue Rd was completed last week and all lanes at that location are now restored to normal and re-opened.
  • The dewatering system is still operating at the intersection of Oriole Parkway and Frobisher Avenue. They are now installing pipes within the tunnel on Oriole Parkway from Chaplin Cres to Kilbarry Rd.
  • They are excavating a shaft at Oriole Park and when that is completed within the next few days they will start tunnelling from Oriole Park beneath Chaplin Crescent towards Avenue Road.
  • The dewatering system is still operating at the northwest corner of Avenue Rd and Chaplin Crescent.
  • They are applying the cement mortar lining within the watermain pipe from Tranmer Ave to College View Ave.
  • They are currently replacing a sanitary sewer connection on the south side of Eglinton Ave.

This watermain replacement project has been necessary but understandably very frustrating for those of us who live in the area and use Avenue Rd for our daily commute.  Lanes continue to be re-opened as progress moves forward.

Orchard View Pedestrian Square Survey

You may have noticed the trial run creation of a new pedestrian square, just north of Eglinton Ave on the west side of Yonge.  Although not in our ward, many of you either visit the square for the weekly Farmer's Market or pass through it on the way to Orchard View Library.  The trial run ends soon, and city staff are evaluating the Pedestrian Square and want your opinion.  Please take two minutes to complete the online survey and enter your name for a chance to win a $20 gift card.

The survey can be found at on my website here:  joshmatlow.ca/component/content/article/19-general/603-orchard-view-pedestrian-square.html.

Friends of the Beltline – Clean Up and Plant our Beltline!

Come out to clean up and plant our beltline!  We value your participation.

Date:  Saturday, October 15th
Time:   9:30 am to 12:00 noon
Location:  Meeting at Forest Hill Rd. Park at Avenue Rd & Chaplin Cres

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

  • City of Toronto Parks and Recreation and Urban Forestry - who are supplying gloves, plants, shovels, trucks etc.
  • Effie & Tony of Second Cup at 518 Eglinton Ave - who are serving complimentary hot chocolate.
  • Donna Koegl - for her efforts in organizing the cleanup.
  • The FRIENDS OF THE BELTLINE.

For more information and to volunteer visit the website www.EglintonAveLiving.ca.

Let us know you are coming - register at www.eventbrite.com/event/2216403322.

Please make sure to wear appropriate footwear.

Sydney Sharma Legacy Fund

For the last several months, the Maurice Cody community has been mourning the tragic loss of one of their students, five-year-old Sydney Sharma.   With the support of the Sharma family, the Toronto District School Board has decided to dedicate the new Maurice Cody kindergarten playground to Sydney.  They will honour the memory of a lively, joyful and loving child with a playground full of laughter and imagination.  Thank you so much for contributing to this wonderful project.

You can donate by going to www.canadahelps.org/GivingPages/GivingPage.aspx?gpID=14651.

Tax receipts for all gifts will be issued via email from the Toronto Foundation for Student Success.

Much Ado About Nothing at Spadina Museum

Currently, a production of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is on Spadina Museum: Historic House & Gardens in our ward.

The show is set in post WW1 Toronto with the audience following the actors through the house and around the grounds in the style of a walking tour.  The show runs from September 28 - October 16 and tickets are available on totix.ca.

The 2nd Annual Mount Pleasant Village Fall Fair

Date:  Saturday October 15th, 2011
Time:  10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Location:  Along the East and West sidewalks of Mount Pleasant, from Eglinton to Davisville, and along the south side of Eglinton, east of Mount Pleasant.

The 2nd Annual Mount Pleasant Village Fall Fair will be bringing out the best from our dynamic community and businesses!   You will experience dazzling performances, fabulous free samples and sidewalk sales, contests and delicious food tastings, interactive activities, treats, and crafts for kids and adults.  A celebrity meet-and-greet with Bret “The Hitman” Hart, spokesperson for Stroke Recovery Canada.  That’s not all! The first thousand visitors to come to The Mount Pleasant Fall Fair receive a free gift.

Our Fall Fair is also very proud to have partial proceeds benefiting March of Dimes Canada in partnership with United Way Toronto.

For more details and information on how to get your passport to win even MORE great prizes, please visit www.mountpleasantvillage.ca

September 2011 Update from Councillor Josh Matlow

Dear Friends and Residents,

This Monday, September 26th, city council will be considering the city manager's recommendations arising from the Core Service Review.  While I strongly agree with reviewing the services the City provides and how it provides them, I am concerned that this process was done hastily, without enough regard to context and information on expected revenue.  Moreover, in my opinion the public consultation process was inadequate.  I am working closely with my colleagues from every political perspective towards finding solutions to Toronto's structural deficit, while protecting the services that are important to our residents.

Please click here to read my statement on this subject I previously sent to our community.

Also, please review this update I've prepared for you below on the following issues and events:

  • Waterfront Update
  • TTC Service Reductions
  • Free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Motion
  • Relieving Congestion Motion
  • Northern Secondary School Field
  • Provincial Election - Candidate's Debate
  • The 2nd Annual Mount Pleasant Village Fall Fair

This is an extremely busy time at City Hall between an ambitious Council schedule and a large number of projects in Ward 22.  Therefore, my staff and I may not be able to provide a personal response to each and every email we receive, but rest assured, I will read all correspondence you send to me.  Your feedback is always appreciated and valued.

Sincerely,

Josh


City Councillor
Ward 22 – St. Paul's
www.joshmatlow.ca

Waterfront Update

I am very happy to report that a unanimous council vote was cast in favour of retaining Waterfront Toronto as the lead agency to continue developing a mixed use, green and people-friendly waterfront we can all be proud of.

The public reaction to the Mayor's ill-conceived plan from many Toronto residents, including hundreds from Ward 22, led to a compromise that retained Waterfront Toronto's thoughtful, progressive and award-winning vision while opening the door to faster timelines if they can be achieved in a responsible manner.

This issue has demonstrated the power of civic engagement and advocacy. I am honoured to have had the opportunity to work with many passionate residents of St. Paul's to defend our waterfront.  Please click here to read my statement on this topic I sent to you previously.

TTC Service Reductions

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) recently proposed a number of service reductions and capital improvement delays to meet the budget reduction targets requested by the Mayor's office. At the TTC Commissioner's meeting on September 16, 2011 the following service and capital reductions were adopted:

  • The removal of 89 peak-period buses on approximately 50 routes across Toronto. This measure will cause crowding and less frequent service
  • During off peak hours on high use bus routes, service standard guidelines now dictate that, on average, 20% of passengers will be without a seat in comparison to the previous standard that every passenger will get a seat. This measure will cause crowding and less frequent service
  • Delaying the delivery of 15 new street cars and 10 new "Rocket" subway cars
  • Delaying the purchase of 134 new buses
  • The commission also asked staff to look for alternate funding to continue Wheel-Trans service for about 700 dialysis patients who do not have limited mobility

The TTC is a public service. Public transportation is the only transportation option for many seniors, students and workers across the city. Many residents in our community rely on public transit to go grocery shopping, travel home from work, visit family or attend religious services on the weekend. Also, I am concerned about the safety of individuals, including seniors and women, traveling after dark that cannot afford a taxi and are left with long walks to their home if service is infrequent.

The TTC, the Mayor's office and Council should be working to improve service to make transit the preferred options for Torontonians. Reducing service and delaying the purchase of faster, more comfortable vehicles will, by the TTC's own estimates, turn riders away from public transit leading to increased air pollution and gridlock.

As your advocate, I will continue working to find solutions to this year's budget challenges that retain and improve the transit services Torontonians rely on.

Free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Motion

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27, Toronto – Centre) and I put forward a motion to eliminate the OMB from Toronto's planning process. At yesterday's Council meeting it was referred to the Planning and Growth Committee. There will be an opportunity to provide input to that committee via public deputations or letters in the coming weeks. I will be sure to notify you once I have the details so that you have an opportunity to make your voice heard. It is time for our local communities to have the final say on the future of Toronto's neighbourhoods.

Relieving Congestion Motion

My motion with Councillor Layton to increase enforcement and fines for motorists that stop, stand, park illegally or otherwise obstruct traffic on arterial roads during rush hour was referred to the Committee of Government Management. There will be an opportunity to provide input to that committee via public deputations or letters in the coming months. I will be sure to notify you at that time.  Please click here to read a thoughtful column on this motion by the Globe & Mail's Marcus Gee.

Northern Secondary School Field

Thanks to many years of good work and advocacy by both the school and local residential community, my motion to allocate $630,000 of Section 37 funds to contribute to rebuilding Northern's field passed unanimously through City Council.  The funds will soon be transferred to the TDSB and I look forward to celebrating the re-opening of Northern's Clarke Pulford Field in the near future.

Provincial Election - Candidate's debate

This is the only all-issue public debate scheduled in St. Paul’s, sponsored by the Forest Hill, South Eglinton, Deer Park, Oriole Park, South Hill, and Foxbar Residents’ Associations.

Date:  Monday, September 26, 2011-09-23
Time:  7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location:  Christ Church Deer Park - 1570 Yonge St. (NW corner of Yonge & Heath St.)

Parking is available on City lots on Heath opposite the church; on Alvin (1 block E of Yonge & S of Heath); side street parking.

The 2nd Annual Mount Pleasant Village Fall Fair

Date:  Saturday October 15th, 2011
Time:  10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Location:  Along the East and West sidewalks of Mount Pleasant, from Eglinton to Davisville, and along the south side of Eglinton, east of Mount Pleasant.

The 2nd Annual Mount Pleasant Village Fall Fair will be bringing out the best from our dynamic community and businesses!   You will experience dazzling performances, fabulous free samples and sidewalk sales, contests and delicious food tastings, interactive activities, treats, and crafts for kids and adults.  A celebrity meet-and-greet with Bret “The Hitman” Hart, spokesperson for Stroke Recovery Canada.  That’s not all! The first thousand visitors to come to The Mount Pleasant Fall Fair receive a free gift.

Our Fall Fair is also very proud to have partial proceeds benefiting March of Dimes Canada in partnership with United Way Toronto.

For more details and information on how to get your passport to win even MORE great prizes, please visit www.mountpleasantvillage.ca

My position on the release of the City Manager's final core service review report

Dear residents,

As many of you may have heard, City Manager Joseph Penachetti announced details of his final report on the Core Service Review that will be considered at the Executive Committee on September 19th and will be debated at city council on September 26th.

The report contains over $100 million in proposed budget cuts for 2012 and was delivered via a media briefing before elected councillors had an opportunity to see the document.  Moreover, it was released during Community Council day when all councillors were busy attending to local matters impacting their wards. Sadly, this undemocratic process lent itself to a battle of sound bites rather than to a thoughtful, contemplative and evidence-based assessment on Monday.

Some of the recommendations put forward by the City Manager include:

  • Reduce new affordable housing
  • A reduction of subsidized child care spaces
  • Eliminate or charge a premium fare for Blue Night (late night) bus and streetcar network
  • Close City museums with low attendance
  • Eliminate animal pick-up and delivery to shelters, except in emergency
  • Reduce snow clearing and grass cutting in parks
  • Closing some (non-specified) library branches
  • Paid Duty police presence at construction sites
  • Eliminating horticultural activities
  • Outsource or eliminate zoos and farms including the Toronto Zoo and Riverdale Farm
  • Eliminate Environment Days
  • Eliminate 4 free garbage bag tags
  • Eliminate the Hardship fund which provides medical products to low-income residents
  • Dental care for low-income residents
  • Reduce or eliminate grants funding for arts and community organizations
  • To read the full report, click here

I plan to present a more detailed analysis of this document to Executive Committee and full Council in the coming weeks, along with constructive suggestions, but I would like to share my initial impressions with you. Frankly, I find it irresponsible to propose cutting childcare spaces without a plan in place to support families that rely on this crucial service. While I am in full agreement that the province should provide the funds to deliver childcare, we have a duty to ensure that families are still able to work knowing that their kids are in a safe, affordable and structured environment. The elimination of the Blue Night bus network would unfairly impact those least able to cope with substantive restrictions to their mobility. Many Torontonians do not operate in a 9 to 5 workplace and would be left with few means of getting to and from work if this service was cut.

The elimination of medical and dental services for low-income Torontonians are probably best delivered at the provincial level but, like with childcare, I believe we have an ethical responsibility to deliver those services until an alternative funding arrangement is found.

I will not support any cuts that would diminish Toronto's already underfunded and vital arts and culture community. I find it puzzling that the report recommends eliminating Toronto International Film Festival funding while it is being celebrated and generating revenue for the local economy. Our arts and culture events showcase Toronto to the world and contribute to making our city a global centre.

I will also not support reducing the work done by the Toronto Environment Office (TEO) and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund which, in many cases, have saved the City significant money while contributing to protecting our natural environment and public health. I am open to finding new ways to contribute to the programs the TEO offers outside of the property tax base.

Lower standards for Municipal Licensing and Standards enforcement, Toronto’s planning department, and heritage preservation, the closing of library branches along with several other items, I know would be of great concern to the residents of our community.

To offset the proposed service reductions and to ensure that we do have a balanced budget, Council must finally have an adult, responsible, and thoughtful  conversation about revenue sources while considering precision, not reckless, potential cuts and efficiencies. This should have been done concurrently.

I submit the City should carefully consider the possibility of toll roads. Tolls would be collected from those in the 905 who commute to our city each day via the Gardiner and DVP, which have been wholly paid for and maintained by Toronto residents’ tax base since being downloaded by the Harris government. This new revenue should directly offset the burden our public transit system has on the overall operating budget. The City should move to collect on millions of dollars in Provincial Offences Act tickets from the Ontario government that are estimated to be $40 million a year. The City could also eliminate paid duty police officers from construction sites, replace them with wardens, and rationalize some services online, including other cuts and efficiencies that would not have an adverse impact on Torontonians. The aforementioned initiatives, coupled with a modest property tax increase, along with reasonable increases in some user fees, could remove the need for most of the draconian proposals contained in the report.

In recent weeks the City Manager has made recommendations, including those in support of an ill-conceived new plan for the Portlands, that have not included substantive information nor the data needed for Council to make an informed decision. Mr. Pennachetti's recommendations on the Core Service Review seem to only recognize the services that the City is legislatively mandated to provide rather than what Torontonians expect from their municipal government. Despite the poor decision to release the report in such an ill-considered fashion, and the strong concerns I have about the proposals, I will review each one in great detail with regard to their impact on the City budget and, most importantly, how residents who rely on these services will be affected by the decisions council makes.

We must thoughtfully review our City services and collective agreements with our employee groups and make difficult decisions to ensure our city’s solvency for years to come. But this study should be done responsibly, with regard to context rather than arbitrary numbers, with a genuine public consultation process, with a statement of ethics and values and given the appropriate time to be done well and without ideological pursuits.

For me, this is not about a contest of right versus left.  I simply will not support any measure that is clearly wrong for our city and its residents.

I will continue to work with all of my colleagues, from every political perspective, in order to find solutions. I will also be sure to keep you updated on where we go from here. Meanwhile, please feel very welcome to offer me your feedback as your opinions are important and helpful.

For more information, please click here to listen to my interview on CBC Radio's Here and Now on this issue.

Sincerely,

Josh

Josh Matlow
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22, St. Paul's

281-289 Avenue Road

From: Concerned Cottingham <[email protected]> Date: Sun, 11 Sep 2011 19:05:17 -0400

Subject: **time sensitive** CONDO & Community Council meeting

We have been working with Josh Matlow a great deal over the past week. Considering the inconvenient & nonspecific timing for the Community Council meeting tomorrow, we have good news. Tomorrow's particular Council meeting is NOT critical for our cause- therefore, if tomorrow is difficult for you, there is no pressing need to attend. Subsequent meetings are much, much more important. For those that would still like to attend, the Community Council meeting tomorrow begins at 9:30am & early indications are that our issue won't be tabled until 2pm or 3pm.  But note, this timing is influx, and our issue may be tabled much earlier than currently anticipated. We will post further timing information to our website tomorrow; as soon as we receive it.  Please see below for some comments from Josh Matlow on the next steps following tomorrow's meeting:

Toronto's Port Lands

I believe it is absolutely vital to create a mixed use, green and people-friendly waterfront for Toronto of which we can all be proud.

While it is healthy to review plans, and consider new ideas, I would like council to build onto a decade of work, and millions of dollars invested by Waterfront Toronto rather than hastily shift to a new plan for the port lands.

Moreover, it is paramount that the City of Toronto genuinely consult with its residents before changing plans that were agreed upon through consultation in the first place.

Ultimately, all decisions at city council should be made thoughtfully and responsibly.

Given that so many questions remain unanswered regarding the proposed new course for the port lands, including potential liabilities, the need for new environmental assessments and how it may or may not compliment the investments made into Waterfront Toronto's plan to date, and the fact that there wasn't a genuine public consultation process included before changes were made, I cannot support it.

I will continue working with all of my colleagues to ensure Toronto has a plan for the port lands, and our entire waterfront, that builds on the good work done by Waterfront Toronto.

For more information on the subject, please see this article from the National Post.

Sincerely,

Josh
Councillor Josh Matlow
Ward 22, St. Paul's
City of Toronto
www.joshmatlow.ca

"Use of Streets and Sidewalks" Bylaw Update Public Meetings

The City of Toronto has dozens of by-laws and regulations governing how streets and sidewalks are used. These regulations are for the most part left over from the previous municipalities (East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, Toronto, York and Metropolitan Toronto) that were amalgamated to form the City of Toronto in 1998.

The City is working to harmonize these regulations into a single, consistent by-law that uniformly manages activities occurring on public streets. Harmonizing these regulations will streamline the approval process for several activities and will result in consistency, efficiency and fairness to all residents and business owners in Toronto.

Background
On July 14, 2011, City Council endorsed a plan to consult with the public and stakeholders on proposed changes to Chapter 743 (Streets and Sidewalks, Use of) of the Toronto Municipal Code, known commonly as the "Streets By-law." The report to Council and supporting information is found online.

Consultation will be conducted online, and will also include four public open houses, an information  session for representatives of Business Improvement Areas, and two information sessions for representatives of the City’s various residents' associations..

About the Streets By-law
The updated Streets By-law will provide a uniform set of regulations for most activities that occur in our public rights-of-ways. Many issues will be included in the by-law, including but not limited to the following:

  • obstructing and encroaching on streets
  • excavating and maintaining streets and boulevards
  • temporary street occupations
  • commercial/industrial boulevard parking
  • banners in streets
  • canopies and awnings
  • temporary decorative lighting and street decorations
  • memorials in streets
  • approving driveways and walkways

A summary comparison of existing and draft proposed legislation here.

A summary of the draft proposed amendments is found here.

More questions? View our Frequently Asked Questions

Get Involved
Our proposed amendments to the Streets By-law is an important initiative that affects you and your property. Please take the time to help the City make sure the new by-law reflects the needs of your community. There will be four public open houses in the fall of 2011 where you will have the opportunity to learn more about the proposed changes, ask questions of staff, and provide feedback. Details of these open houses are as follows:

  • September 8, 2011
    Etobicoke Civic Centre - Foyer
    6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

  • September 14, 2011
    North York Civic Centre – Committee Room 3
    6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

  • September 15, 2011
    Metro Hall – Room 310
    6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

  • September 19, 2011
    Scarborough Civic Centre – Committee Rooms 1 & 2
    6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Contact Us
If you have questions about this project, please contact us:

  • Allan Smithies
    Project Manager
    Traffic Planning/Right-of-Way Management
    Etobicoke York District
    Transportation Services
    [email protected]
    416-394-8412

  • Mae Lee
    Senior Public Consultation Coordinator
    Pubic Consultation Unit
    [email protected]
    P 416-392-8210
    TTY  416 397 0831 
    F 416 392 2974

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