News & Updates

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

Dear residents,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

281-289 Avenue Road

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

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

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

Toronto's Port Lands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

"Use of Streets and Sidewalks" Bylaw Update Public Meetings

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

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

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

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

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

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

A summary comparison of existing and draft proposed legislation here.

A summary of the draft proposed amendments is found here.

More questions? View our Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Synchronization of Traffic Signals and Streets By-law Update Public Open Houses

Dear Friends and Residents,

I believe one of City Hall's priorities should be taking prudent measures to tackle gridlock.  Therefore, along with my motion to increase fines and enforcement during rush hour, I have written to the City's Public Works and Infrastructure Committee requesting them to instruct Transportation Services to report back on the possible implementation of Synchronized Traffic Signals in the City of Toronto.  You can see the full letter here.

Oriole Park Neighbourhood Garage Sale

The Oriole Park Association (OPA) is sponsoring a garage sale in its neighbourhood on Saturday, September 24th.  So if you live in the area bounded by Chaplin Crescent in the south, Yonge Street in the east and Eglinton in the north, this is your chance to turn some of those unused items in your garage into cash.  The Association is advertising the event in the Toronto Star and the Village Post and they will post signs in strategic areas to direct interested buyers into the area.  For more details and information on how to have your address listed in the Star ad, check out their website at

Provincial Education Debate in St Paul's on Education Issues

TDSB Trustee Shelley Laskin will be hosting a St Paul’s Provincial Candidates Debate on Education Issues. It will be at Northern Secondary School on September 20th from 7:00 to 9:00pm, and will be moderated by Toronto Star Education Reporter Louise Brown.

For more information please email Shelley Laskin at Shelle[email protected] or you can call her office at 416-397-3094.

Official Plan Review -- Public Consultation Meetings

You are invited! Join City Staff at one of the six Open Houses being held across Toronto in September. These Open Houses are part of the first stage of the Official Plan and Municipal Comprehensive Reviews. This is a great opportunity to help shape your city, and share with them your observations and ideas on planning in Toronto.

Open House Format

You can attend at any time between 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. to view displays and share your insights with City staff. A presentation and facilitated discussion will occur at 4:00 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. so you can attend the session that works with your schedule. See below for schedule dates and locations.

If you're unable to attend an open house, you will be able to review the open house material on-line. Display boards, handouts and the presentation along with a summary of each open house will be posted on this page. You can also complete a survey or submit your comments at any time.

Tuesday, September 13
Metro Hall
Room 308/309
55 John St.
Wednesday September 14
Etobicoke Civic Centre
399 The West Mall
Tuesday, September 20
Scarborough Civic Centre
Council Chamber / Foyer
150 Borough Dr.
Wednesday, September 21
East York Civic Centre
Council Chamber / Foyer
850 Coxwell Ave
Monday, September 26
York Civic Centre
Council Chamber / Foyer
2700 Eglinton Ave West
Tuesday, September 27
North York Civic Centre
Members Lounge / Foyer
5100 Yonge Street

For more information please visit the City website at

Solid Waste Collection Changes – effective Tuesday, September 6th

Solid Waste Collection Changes – effective Tuesday, September 6th

Solid Waste Management continues efforts to increase efficiency by maximizing the automated truck collections.  The reconfiguring of the collection routes will require a change in residential collection days for some areas.

All households in Ward 22 BETWEEN YONGE AND BAYVIEW will have a change in their pickup.  This affects approximately 4,500 homes.

(click on the image for a larger picture - the boundary between "Wednesday 2" and "Thursday 2" is Mt. Pleasant Rd.)

If your new pickup schedule is now "Wednesday 2", you will start the cycle on Wednesday, September 7 with putting out your GARBAGE and Green Bin.  You can find the "Wednesday 2" calendar at If your new pickup schedule is now "Thursday 2", your date stays the same but your garbage and recycling weeks will switch, with GARBAGE and Green Bin being picked up on Thursday, September 8.  You can find the "Thursday 2" calendar at

Update on Davisville (June Rowlands) Park Splash Pad construction

The Davisville (June Rowlands) Park Splash Pad construction has been delayed by two weeks.

While I've been told that weather was the cause for the delay, like many of you, I am frustrated that we were told that this splash pad would be ready for the community by a deadline that has come and gone- as I expect that when Parks staff provide us with information, it will be accurate.

This morning I spoke with Tony Nagy, Senior Project Coordinator with Parks, Forestry & Recreation,and he assured me that the splash pad will indeed be open for use by  the July 16th weekend, weather permitting. I consider this a hard deadline and told Mr. Nagy that the community will expect so too.

I very much appreciate your patience and understand your justified frustration, which I have shared, and I am determined to see this project through to fruition.

Our new splash pad will be a wonderful asset for the Davisville Village neighbourhood and our entire community and I look forward to seeing our local children enjoying it very soon

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