E-Newsletter

City Hall and Community Update for June 17, 2016

Scarborough Transit Plan Rises Another $1 Billion

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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


REMINDER: The Toronto Seniors Summit is Tomorrow!


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


Date: Saturday, June 18


Time: 10am – 2pm


Location: City Hall, Council Chamber & Members Lounge


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

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

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


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


Luminato Festival Panel Talk on the Condominiumization of Toronto


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


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


Including myself, the panelists are:

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

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


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


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


I hope to see you there!


Heritage Toronto Recognizes the Imperial Plaza Murals



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Eglinton Way BIA Scavenger Hunt


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


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


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


The Scavenger Hunt grand prizes are:

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


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


Come discover all that Eglinton has to offer!


Bayview-Leaside BIA's First-Ever Sidewalk Sale


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


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


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


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


Celebrate Canada Day with Ward 22's Local MPs!


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

 

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

 

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

 

Come join in the celebrations!


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


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


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


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Kevin Friedrich at 416-338-5740 or [email protected]. Also, you may mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St W Floor 18 E Toronto On, M5H 2N2.


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


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


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


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


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Giulio Cescato at 416-392-0459 or [email protected]. Also, you may mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St W Floor 18 E Toronto On, M5H 2N2.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

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

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

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

City Hall and Community update for June 10, 2016

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


City Initiative to Support Tenants Moves Forward


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


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


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


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


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


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


For more information please see this article.


School Fun fairs and BBQs

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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


Toronto Attains Global Age-Friendly City Status!


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

 

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

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


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


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


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

 


Toronto Seniors Summit


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


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


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

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


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


I encourage you all to come, support and participate!


Happy 35th Anniversary to Montgomery Place!


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


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


Shop, Dine and Wine on Mount Pleasant!


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


Community Consultation: Proposed Provincial Growth Plan


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


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


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


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


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


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


Toronto Notice Mailing Dates

Property Type: Residential (former Toronto City)

Issue Dates: June 1, 2016

RfR Deadline: September 29, 2016

 

Property Type: Business Properties

Issue Dates: October 18, 2016

RfR Deadline: February 15, 2017


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


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


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


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


Enbridge Energy Conservation Programs


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


Smart Thermostats Program


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


Home Energy Conservation Program


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


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


Keep Track of Your Water Use This Summer


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


29-31 Pleasant Blvd. Development Proposal Public Meeting


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


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


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Kevin Friedrich at 416-338-5740 or [email protected]. Also, you may mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St W Floor 18 E Toronto On, M5H 2N2.


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


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


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


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


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Giulio Cescato at 416-392-0459or [email protected]. Also, you may mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St W Floor 18 E Toronto On, M5H 2N2.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

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

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

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

City Hall and Community Update for May 19, 2016

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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


 


Family Fun at Ward 22's Spring Fun Fairs!


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


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

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


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

 

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


Save the Date: 18 Brownlow Avenue Public Meeting


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

 

To speak to the planner directly, please contact Giulio Cescato at 416-392-0459 or g[email protected]. Also, you may mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St W Floor 18 E Toronto On, M5H 2N2.

 

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

 

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

 


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


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

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

City Reminds All Road Users to be Safe


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


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


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


Annual D-Day Commemoration at Toronto City Hall


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


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


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


1 St. Clair Avenue West Mural – Public Consultation


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Bladder Cancer Awareness Month


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


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


Crosstown LRT Eglinton Station Open House


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


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

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

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

City Hall and Community Update for April 26, 2016

Rail Safety Town Hall Meeting, Tomorrow!


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


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


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


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



Deer Park Accessible Playground Groundbreaking Ceremony


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


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


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




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


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


Date: Thursday, June 2, 2016

Time: 4pm - 8pm

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


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


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


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

 

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


Jane's Walks 10th Anniversary


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


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


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


Funding Opportunity for Community Groups


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

Access, Equity and Human Rights (AEHR) Investment Funding


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

Community Safety Investment (CSI) Funding


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


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


Province Backs Away from Problematic Childcare Regulations


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


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


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

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

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

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

City Hall and Community Update for April 5, 2016

A Comprehensive Rapid Transit Plan Moves Forward with a Network Approach

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Revised Gardiner Hybrid Plan Approved by Council

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


New Music Strategy Supported by Council

 

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

 

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


Noise By-Law Review

 

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


Province Moving in Wrong Direction on Surplus School Properties

 

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

 

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


Improving the Response to Infill Construction Sites

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The City’s strategy aims to:


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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Ontario Extending Funding to Paramedicine Programs for Seniors!

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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


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


Improving the Midtown Yonge Streetscape and Supporting Small Business

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


Lionel Conacher Park Splash Pad Public Meeting


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

 

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


St. Clair Avenue West Mural Project

 

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

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


Growing Up: Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

 

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

 

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


The Probus Club Wants You!

 

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

 

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


Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards Nominations Now Open

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


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

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


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


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


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


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


Reminder to Change Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries


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


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


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


Tips for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms:

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


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


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


More information is available here.


TransformTO Community Conversations


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

Community Conversations:

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

All events run from 6pm-9pm.

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

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


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

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

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

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

A Comprehensive Rapid Transit Plan Moves Forward with a Network Approach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Revised Gardiner Hybrid Plan Approved by Council

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

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

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

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

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


New Music Strategy Supported by Council

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

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


Noise By-Law Review

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


Province Moving in Wrong Direction on Surplus School Properties

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

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


Improving the Response to Infill Construction Sites

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

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

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

The City’s strategy aims to:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


Improving the Midtown Yonge Streetscape and Supporting Small Business

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


Lionel Conacher Park Splash Pad Public Meeting

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

 

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


St. Clair Avenue West Mural Project

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


The Probus Club Wants You!


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

 

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


Reminder to Change Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries

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

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

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

Tips for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms:

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

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

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

More information is available here.


TransformTO Community Conversations

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

Community Conversations:

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

All events run from 6pm-9pm,

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

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


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

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

City Hall and Community Update for March 8, 2016

Developing Toronto's Transit Network Plan

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

I know. I'm frustrated too.

 

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

 

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

 

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


Metrolinx Lowers Fares for Union-Pearson Express Train


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


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


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


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


 

Toronto Attains Global Age-Friendly City Status!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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


Proposed Noise By-Law Changes Postponed Indefinitely

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


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


City and Unions Moving Toward New Collective Agreements Without Labour Disruption

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

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

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

Metrolinx Holding Joint Public Consultations on Future Transit Initiatives

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

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

Yonge-Eglinton Planning Review Moving Forward

Building on the success of Midtown in Focus, the new public space Master Plan for Midtown, the I've supported our City Planning Division to lead an inter-divisional review of growth, built form and infrastructure issues in the Yonge-Eglinton area. This study will inform the development of up-to-date policy that will guide growth in the area and, in combination with necessary capital upgrades identified through the review, support the vitality and quality of Midtown Toronto. I frankly wish this had been done decades ago, but it is critical to support our quality of life in a growing community.

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


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

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

City of Toronto Launches Online Tool for Viewing Water Use


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


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


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


Free Income Tax Clinic


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


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


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


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


Imagine Eglinton Art Challenge


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Both centres will close for the season on March 21.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


How to register:

Step 1: Get family and client numbers

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

Step 2: Choose programs

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

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


There are four ways to register:


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


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


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


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


Clean Toronto Together 2016 - Registration Opens Today


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

 

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


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


Toronto Seniors Forum is Recruiting New Members - Get Involved!


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


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


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


To complete the online application, please click here.


City of Toronto Public Focus Group Session for Seniors


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


Volunteer Toronto Hosts Upcoming Seniors Volunteer Fair


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


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


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


For more information on this event, please click here.


Alzeimer's Society of Toronto


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


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


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

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

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

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

City Hall and Community Update for February 5, 2016

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

 

I'm excited to be co-hosting a community skating party with our local MPs, Rob Oliphant and Carolyn Bennett at Hodgson Ice Rink (East of Mt. Pleasant, on Davisville behind Hodgson school). Please join us from 1pm to 3pm on Sunday, February 7 for a fun, family-friendly afternoon with free coffee and hot chocolate.

City Hall and Community Update for January 5, 2016

Expanded Community Hours for Hodgson Rink!

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

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Dear residents,

Over the past year, we've accomplished so much for our Ward 22 community - and there's still much more to do. I'm truly grateful for the friendships we've made and the remarkable community we continue to build and protect together.

We've also focused on providing necessary, thoughtful, honest and fiscally-responsible leadership on many of the important issues being debated at city hall.   I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hannukah if you celebrated, Happy Festivus :) and a Happy Holiday season! I also hope you have a Happy New Year and look forward to continue working closely with, and for, you in 2016.

I deeply appreciate your friendship, confidence and support. In the new year, as always, please feel very welcome to contact me if I can ever be of assistance to you. My team and I are here to support you.

Warm regards,

Josh


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

City Hall and Community Update for December 11, 2015

Proud to be Appointed City of Toronto Seniors Advocate

 

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

 

Since its inception two years ago, 86 of the 91 recommendations have been either partially or fully implemented, including the provision of seniors’-centred social services at appropriate TCHC buildings, and an increase in home visits by City paramedics. I am proud of the major steps we have taken, but there is still more work to be done.

 

That’s why I want to thank Council for giving me the opportunity to serve as the City of Toronto’s Seniors Advocate, so I can continue working on the next phase of the Seniors Strategy. I deeply appreciate their confidence and support for the work we're doing.


Next Update: Davisville Power Outages

 

As I mentioned in my previous update - I've heard from many of you that recurring power outages over the past several months have been disrupting your daily lives, from resetting alarm clocks to damaging electronic devices. My family and I have also been affected by these outages and share your frustrations, not only about the inconveniences they can cause but also the dramatic increase in the frequency at which they are occurring compared to past years.

 

As I have stated before - I do understand, and even appreciate the fact, that upgrading their infrastructure is important and necessary. However, I have made repeated requests to Toronto Hydro, asking them to share all information available with the public about the cause of these outages and what is being done to reduce their frequency.  I met with their communications staff earlier this week – and they have provided me with an additional update with regards to their Millwood Project.

 

If you continue to experience outages in the meantime, or have any other issues you'd like to share regarding their service, please contact Toronto Hydro directly at 416-542-8000.

 

Here is, verbatim, what they shared with me yesterday:

 

Toronto Hydro Update:

 

Thank you for your cooperation and patience - Phase 3 of 6 of Toronto Hydro’s Millwood Project is now complete.

 

Toronto Hydro is investing in your neighbourhood. The Millwood Project is a six-phase, $19 million project that will improve power reliability in the area bounded by Oriole Parkway, Eglinton Ave, Bayview Ave and Carstowe Ave.

 

We appreciate your patience throughout the project, and are pleased to report that Phase 3 was completed this fall. Construction was completed in September as planned; however, Hydro One and our control room required additional testing to ensure the upgraded equipment is safely integrated into our power grid. We completed this work in November and apologize for the numerous short duration outage, called momentary outages, that occurred while testing and switching over.

 

Before the new equipment was integrated into our system, many residents in the area experienced momentary outages as well as longer duration outages, called sustained outages.  During October and November, the area experienced two sustained outage and one momentary outage. These outages were caused by foreign interferences that are difficult to control such as tree branch and animal contact. Now that the new equipment is integrated into our system, we are able to minimize the number of homes impacted by such interferences.

 

While we cannot guarantee uninterrupted power, this project will significantly reduce both the duration and frequency of outages as well as the number of customers affected in that area.

 

Toronto Hydro is continuing to invest in your community, and preparation for Phase 4 of 6 of the Millwood Project has begun. Since 2014, Toronto Hydro has invested approximately $22.2 million ward-wide, and plans to invest another $16.5 million over the next year or 5 years, pending the approval of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). Once the OEB makes their decision known, we will provide more detailed information on next phases of the Millwood Project and other investments in Ward 22.

 

Our commitment to you is to keep you informed and up to date on projects and outage information as it relates to your area.

 

Our capital projects communications includes:

· Notice to your Councillor

·         Delivered general letters to affected residents with project contact information

·         Delivered equipment letters

·         Planned outage notification (24-48 hours prior to the outage)

 

More information is also available on our website at http://www.poweruptoronto.ca/projects/map.

 

Information on unplanned outages is available through our call centre at 416-542-8000, with automated power outage messages updated approximately every hour. You can also find regularly updated information on our website. Search our new outage map by address and find estimated times for restoration, detailed boundaries, and number of customers affected. For major outages, register to receive alerts at outageTO.com.

 

We look forward to continuing to work with Councillor Matlow to improve communications with the residents of Ward 22.


Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground Improvements - Our New Music Garden is Completed!

 

I'm excited to announce that the new and improved playground equipment and brand new musical garden in June Rowlands (Davisville) Park are now ready for all to enjoy! I was delighted to work with Sharon & Bram, Apple Tree Group and Community In Action (CIA) on this magical project that is already receiving very positive feedback from kids and adults alike.

Along with the new music garden (which features low-noise instruments and a small childrens' stage), we added more features to the playground to make it animated and fun, including a large elephant to climb on and various wayfinding signs.

I also intend to work with our community soon on a master plan for the replacement equipment and further park improvements. Also, keep checking my updates for notice about a celebratory community concert in the Spring :)


Safe and Accessible Crossings for the Beltline Park Trail

 

Many trail users have expressed their concerns regarding the lack of safe pedestrian-cyclist crossings where the Beltline meets Oriole Parkway and Avenue Road. Until now, there have been no safe crossing points that allow the trail to be truly contiguous for residents.

 

Last year, I requested City Staff to report to Community Council with viable options to install signalized crossings at these locations that are synchronized with the existing signalized intersections. Staff recommendations to install a signalized crossing on Avenue Road south of Chaplin Crescent and replace the existing traffic median on Oriole Parkway with a pedestrian-cyclist refuge island were approved by both Community Council and City Council.

 

I am pleased to announce that the Avenue Road signalized crossing is now live and the Oriole Parkway refuge island should be completed shortly.

 

For more information, please read this Town Crier article.


Glen Edyth Park Playground Improvements Public Meeting

 

Please join me on Wednesday, January 13, 2016 at 7pm to discuss exciting, new playground improvements for Glen Edyth Park.

 

The meeting will take place in the Theatre Room at the Toronto Archives (255 Spadina Road) and will give you a chance to review several new playground design options with myself and Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff. I hope to see you there!


Davisville Jr. Public School Library Fundraiser

 

Looking for gift ideas? If you purchase an Indigo gift card, then a percentage of your purchase will benefit our school library. You could give an Indigo gift card as a present, or simply use it yourself to make purchases at Indigo immediately.

 

To purchase an indigo gift card that will also be used to fundraise for Davisville Pubic School, please click here.


City Planning Pop-Up Information Stations

 

On Sunday, December 13, City Planning will be hosting a Pop-Up Information Station in the Yonge Eglinton Centre regarding the City's ongoing work in support of the long-term livability and vitality of Midtown.

 

Building on our Midtown in Focus parks and public realm initiative, we are reviewing growth trends and hard and soft infrastructure needs in the Yonge-Eglinton area to inform a much-needed planning policy reset.

 

Over the coming weeks and throughout January, City Planning will be hosting a series of public pop-up stations at various locations to share information and hear your insights and priorities for your community.

 

The first Pop-Up will be held on Sunday, December 13 at the Yonge Eglinton Centre (20 Eglinton Avenue West) in the Centre Court from 12:30 to 2:00pm.

 

Additional Pop-Ups Stations will take place at North Toronto Collegiate (December 14) and Northern Secondary (December 15) with more pop-ups, public meetings and other consultation opportunities to follow in 2016. We will share dates and locations once they are finalized. Please stay tuned for future announcements. More information is available here.


Santa Pancake Breakfast at Manor Road United Church


On Saturday, December 12 at 9:30-11am, Manor Road United Church will be hosting their annual Pancake Breakfast ($5 per person). This fun and festive morning will also include  a visit with Santa, carolling, kids' crafts, and a bake sale. All proceeds from the event will go to Teresa Group Holiday Gift Program.

Boy Scouts' Christmas Tree Sale

 

It’s time for the annual 58th Toronto Scouts Christmas Tree Sale!

 

For over 60 years, local Boy Scouts have been selling fresh, Ontario grown Christmas Trees & Wreaths to neighborhood residents.  The sale started November 28 and, as always, they can be found on the main lawn at the Church of the Transfiguration (111 Manor Rd E.). Open weekdays 6am – 9pm (weather permitting) and Sat-Sun 9am - 6pm.  Deliveries available.  Call or text 647-918-2490.


Yorkminster Park Meals on Wheels

 

One local charity making a difference in our community is Yorkminster Park Meals on Wheels. Operating out of the Yorkminster Park Baptist Church at Yonge and St. Clair, the charity delivers nutritious meals to the sick, elderly and disabled, supporting them in their desire to remain at home and live independently.

 

Currently, Yorkminster Park Meals on Wheels delivers approximately 12,000 hot meals and 20,000 frozen meals annually to clients within the North Toronto area. While delivering hot and frozen meals to those in need, the volunteers provide a compassionate visit to clients that may not have other social interaction throughout the day.

 

The charity was founded by volunteers in 1966, and almost 50 years later, volunteers continue to be the backbone of the organization.

 

If you know of someone who would benefit from receiving Meals on Wheels, please contact them by phone (416-482-0549) or email ([email protected]).  If you are interested in volunteering for the charity, please visit their website to learn more about volunteering opportunities. Charities such as Meals on Wheels rely on the generosity and the community spirit of donors.  If you would like to make a donation please visit their website or contact them directly.


A Successful 2015 Ecumenical Christmas Food Drive

 

The Drive was an overwhelming success this year with 18,000 items collected, 25% greater than last year, and it marked a return to pre-2010 levels. In addition, almost $3,000 in cash and cheques were received for further purchases by the food banks. A special thanks to all those who contributed and also those who volunteered.

 

Please note you can still donate at two local Sobeys store locations  (Yonge/St. Clair or Leaside at Laird/Wicksteed) via their pre-packaged bag schemes that are presently underway and will continue until early January 2016.


Carols with Friends

 

On Monday December 21 at 7pm, St Cuthbert's Anglican Church (1399 Bayview Avenue) is hosting their Carols with Friends event. This will be an evening of singing Christmas carols, followed by everyone enjoying some hot mulled cider. Admission is free with a donation of non-perishable food items for the food bank. Everyone is welcome!


At the Spadina Museum: A Roaring Twenties Christmas

 

Experience a 1920s Christmas on a guided tour of Spadina Museum. Holly wreaths, garlands of evergreens and mistletoe festoon the house based on the memories of the Austin family grandchildren. In the kitchen, visitors will enjoy holiday treats made from original recipes and sip mulled cider warmed on the Art Deco gas range. Holiday admission applies: Adults 8.85, Seniors/Youth (13-18 yrs.) $7.08, Children (6-12 yrs.) $5.75 (plus tax), Children (5 and under) are free.

 

November 24 to January 3
Tuesday to Friday: 12 to 4 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12 to 5 pm
Closed Mondays, December 25 & 26 and January 1


Also at the Spadina Museum: Flashman Versus Evil: A Grudge Match - The Golden Age of Radio

See a re-created 1930s radio show – commercials included! We find the hero, Flashman, under the spell of an evil queen. His friends brave dangerous jewellery, irony-laced barbs and goat-riding henchmen to save Flashman and the Universe!

 

Enjoy this fast-paced comedy, complete with live music, sound effects and a cast playing multiple roles. During your visit, tour this beautifully restored estate. Kids can try hands-on activities, including cookie decorating in the historic kitchen, and making a secret message decoder – a gimmick used by advertisers in the early days of radio to send encrypted messages to listeners. Adults $12, Seniors/Youth $10 and Children $8 (plus tax). Tickets available online or at the door.

 

Sundays December 6, 13 & 20
Shows at 1 & 3 pm
Museum tours: Noon, 2 and 4 pm


Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan

 

As the City works towards developing a Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan, City staff are working to engage residents in the process through an online survey. If you wish to provide your thoughts and opinions on Toronto's parks and recreation facilities, and to learn more and submit your feedback, please click here.


Recycling & Collection Calendars

 

All residents, whether you live in a house or apartment/condo will receive a calendar in December. The calendars have important information about proper waste disposal and include a pull-out recycling guide.

 

If you want to downsize your Garbage bin, call 311 or go online at www.toronto.ca/311.

 

If you live in a house and have not received your calendar by mid-December, please contact 311. If you live in an apartment/condo and have not received your calendar by mid-December, please contact your Property Manager.

 

Holiday curbside collection changes affect Friday collection only: Friday, December 25 moves to Saturday, December 26; and Friday, January 1 moves to Saturday, January 2, 2016.


Annual Christmas Concert at City Hall

 

You are all invited to attend the annual Christmas Concert at City Hall, on December 24, 2015. The concert begins at 11:30 am and will conclude at 12:30pm. Please visit the official event page for further details.


'Tis the Season to be Green

 

The City of Toronto's Solid Waste Management Services Division is encouraging residents to "think green" this holiday season.

 

Toronto manages about 1 million tonnes of waste each year. In 2014, residents in single family homes diverted 66% of waste from landfill, and residents in apartments and condos diverted 26%. Together, Toronto diverted 53% of waste from landfill disposal.

 

The City is committed to continuing to improve waste diversion efforts and moving closer to the goal of achieving 70% waste diversion to preserve the long-term capacity of our Green Lane Landfill.  We encourage residents to think first about reducing the amount of waste we generate, then consider reuse or recycling before disposal.

 

"Create Memories, Not Garbage" this holiday season.


Here Comes the Snow!

 

As winter approaches, we wish to share some information related to snow clearing on roads and sidewalks. Expressways and main roads are salted as soon as the snow begins, and plowing begins as the snow accumulates.

 

Local road plowing begins when the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimeters. During this time, snow service requests will not be taken by 311 and residents are asked not to call 311 during the storm to ask when their street will be plowed. Residents should call 311 to report urgent winter-related calls only.

 

The City has identified a priority network of bike lanes and cycle tracks in the downtown core that will receive enhanced winter maintenance this winter, including snow plowing and salting to improve safety for cyclists.

 

Finally, the City will clear snow from sidewalks on roads with high pedestrian traffic and on routes where it is possible to do so after two centimeters of snow has fallen. Property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place. I am advocating for much better service on midtown sidewalks to improve accessiblity.

 

To learn more about sidewalk snow clearing,please click here.


Help the Homeless this Holiday Season

 

The City of Toronto is advising residents who would like to help people in Toronto who are homeless and vulnerable this holiday season to consider the 2015 Holiday Wish List created with input from community agencies. The City surveyed agencies that run shelters, drop-ins and other services for homeless people, asking them what would bring cheer to their clients during the holidays.

 

The 2015 Holiday Wish List is now available here.

 

The most common items on this year's Wish List are winter clothing, toiletries and gift cards for groceries – items that may seem routine but that can make a big difference to a person or family in need. Many agencies are also looking for volunteer help with activities such as sorting donations, serving food and wrapping gifts.


Winter Preparedness: Reducing Vulnerabilities through Social Safety Networks

 

The Specialized Program for Interdivisional Enhanced Response to Vulnerability Proof of Concept Program is working with City Divisions and Partnership Agencies to develop "The Open Dialogue on Vulnerability in Toronto" series. The series will increase awareness about situations impacting vulnerable Torontonians, the programs and services available, build networks across the service system and create opportunities for operation and systemic level innovation.

 

As the second anniversary of the 2013 Ice Storm approaches, let’s explore lessons learned and steps being taken to improve responses. This public session is geared to those who would like to learn more about emergency preparedness, including community engagement and the development of social safety networks to support Toronto’s most vulnerable.

 

WHEN: Friday December 18, 2015 (from 9am – 12:30pm)

COST: Free! Tickets are available here.

WHERE: North York Civic Centre, Council Chambers| 5100 Yonge Street

 

For more information, please contact Lavinia Corriero Yong-Ping at 416-397-9970 or [email protected].


LIVE Today: Toronto's New Safety Information System for Sexual Violence Alerts

 

The Safety Information System (SIS) is a new way for Toronto residents to get and share information about sexual violence including rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. People who subscribe online will get: police-issued crime alerts and relevant news stories; prevention information to challenge violence individually and in your communities; information about safety-related events and projects; inspiring, creative messages and materials on reducing violence and building safer spaces; and an opportunity to submit your own creative anti-violence messages, art and useful information to send out through SIS

 

Messages will get to those who sign up through the channels they choose (e.g. text, voice, email, app, social media). This project is funded by the City of Toronto and supported by Toronto Police Services. More information about the project is available here.


Toronto Renovates Homeowners Program Resumes Accepting Requests

 

The Toronto Renovates Homeowners Program has resumed accepting Assessment Request forms.

 

The Toronto Renovates Homeowners Program offers federal/provincial funding for lower-income seniors and people with a disability who wish to make health and safety repairs or accessibility modifications to their homes.

 

Once a request form has been approved, a Toronto Renovates program officer will contact you to arrange an appointment. You can download the form or contact the Affordable Housing Office at 416-397-4169 to have one mailed to you. If you have any further questions about the program, please contact Chip Au, Manager, Housing Improvement Programs, 416-392-0587 or [email protected].

 

Note: Due to pent-up demand and limited funding this application process may be suspended again in the future.


Proposed Developments in Ward 22

 

To ensure that you are informed and engaged about development proposals that are being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage with locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).


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

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