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Welcome

Dear residents and friends,

 

I deeply appreciate your support and confidence and I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with you on the many issues, challenges and opportunities we'll face together as a community here in Ward 22, St. Paul's and as a city.

 

I'm advocating for a more thoughtful, creative and responsible new approach for city council. I want council to engage our city's residents with an inspiring plan and make informed decisions that are based on evidence, community consultation and the merits of arguments - rather than ideology or left or right-wing partisanship.

 

My staff and I are here to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have. We're also working every day to improve our local neighbourhoods- along with supporting the many valued services Torontonians rely on every day. You are always welcome to contact me at 416-392-7906 or by email at councillor_matlow@toronto.ca.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Josh

Latest Videos

Councillor Matlow spoke on options for the Scarborough Subway, March 31, 2016.

Councillor Matlow spoke on tenant issues related to the Residential Tenancies Act, December 18 2013.

City Hall and Community Update for February 2, 2018

Remembering Mona Piper: Announcing our Community's new Mona Piper Playground

It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Mona Piper on January 31, 2018 at the age of 88. Mona passed away peacefully, surrounded by her loved ones in Sunnybrook Hospital's palliative care unit.

Keeping children safe at the corner of Millwood and Cleveland for 43 years, Mona was the longest serving crossing guard in Toronto. She was very proud that in all her years of service not a single kid was hurt on her corner while she was on duty. She was recognized by MP Carolyn Bennett as an Outstanding Neighbour and was recognized for protecting children by the Provincial Minister of Education this past September.

Her last year was marked by health issues. She spent five months in hospital recovering from a broken leg and a stroke. Unable to perform her crossing guard duties in an official capacity, Mona still protected the neighbourhood children. After returning home from the hospital she sat on her porch, which overlooked the corner where she had worked, watching over local children just as she had for the past 43 years.

I am delighted to announce that the playground in our new community park on the Manor Road United Church site at the corner Forman and Manor Rd. will be named Mona Piper Playground.


A Museum of Toronto at Old City Hall!

Our campaign to finally establish a city museum of Toronto took a major step forward at Councilthis week as my colleagues voted to further develop a design and plans for Old City Hall that include a Museum of Toronto, in addition to a Toronto Public Library branch, and moving the wedding chamber currently at City Hall.

Since 2012, I have been actively working to establish a City of Toronto museum, first at Casa Loma's under-utilized North Campus. At that time, Old City Hall was not available as it was in active use as a Provincial Court House. However, the courts are due to move in 2021 and I believe Old City Hall is a more desirable place for this purpose from a geographic, historical, and functional perspective. Old City Hall is one of the few sites in Toronto recognized by the Federal government as having historical value. This is a National Historical Site and has been since 1984. Indeed, it was our city's seat of government from 1899 to 1966.

I am pleased that my colleagues supported my motion to save Old City Hall from becoming a mall in 2015 and, instead, have Staff investigate the feasibility of a city museum at this iconic site. 

The initiative to establish a city museum began with former Mayor David Crombie forty years ago, yet Toronto remains one of the few cities of its size and prominence without a dedicated space to tell its stories. It is a shame that the majority of Toronto's historical collection (comprised of over 1.3 million cultural artifacts and archaeological specimens) remains out of public view in warehouses.

Now that the incompatible court functions are no longer an impediment, we have a rare opportunity to finally move forward with housing a city museum in a building that truly merits showcasing Toronto's rich socio-cultural and architectural history.  

To see my speech to Council on this issue, please see this video
For more information, please see this article


Successfully Protecting Davisville Village's Heritage: Council approves heritage designation of 505 Balliol Street

It was brought to my attention by local residents that the owner of this historic house at 505 Balliol sought to demolish it. This architecturally and culturally significant house was constructed in 1889, and was later adapted to serve the community as grocery store until 1951.  

With the support of Heritage Preservation staff, I successfully moved a motion at Council to protect it under the Ontario Heritage Act. You can read more about how the community and I worked together protect this local landmark here.


We Need Relief (Subway Line) Now!

As many of you experienced first-hand, Toronto's already overcrowded subway system was thrown into chaos this week. The serious delays on Tuesday and Wednesday caused by signal errors, track problems, and other incidents, punctuated the need for the Relief Subway Line.

As any resident who rides the subway knows, the Yonge Line is already at capacity. During rush hour at stations like Eglinton it is common to wait for two or three trains before boarding and once on, you’re crammed in like a sardine.

The overcrowding is most critical at Bloor-Yonge station, which is already nearing capacity, with another 45% increase in users expected over the next twenty years. Even with signal improvements and the new, larger trains we can’t keep ahead of this growth without expansion elsewhere to alleviate the pressure. That's why the Relief Line was named as Toronto's top transit expansion priority by former Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig, TTC CEO Andy Byford,  Toronto's Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat and City Manager Joe Pennachetti .

City Council has unfortunately featured transit debates long on rhetoric and short on facts. The Relief Subway Line would provide an alternative to our existing subway system that’s already overcrowded during rush hours, curb gridlock on our city’s streets and increase access to jobs and attractions. It is the evidence-based subway expansion project that would be an integral part of a comprehensive network approach that would most improve Toronto’s economy and residents’ quality of life.

For more information and how to take action, please visit this webpage


Protecting our Natural Heritage: Vale of Avoca Masterplan moves forward

The Yellow Creek and Vale of Avoca are important parts of Midtown's natural environment. They allow us to escape the hustle and bustle of our big city without ever leaving it. Unfortunately, due to spills, degradation of the ravine slopes, and the natural course of time, Yellow Creek is in urgent need of maintenance.

Working closely with local residents, led by representatives of both the Summerhill Residents' Association and the Deer Park Residents' Group, Councillor Wong-Tam and I have written in the past to the City's Parks & Environment Committee, requesting a masterplan be created to support the restoration of Yellow Creek and the Vale of Avoca.

Councillor Wong-Tam and I put forward recommendations that were approved by Council to direct City Staff to evaluate the status of the ecological integrity of Yellow Creek and include an inventory, including the state of good repair, of existing facilities and features - including the trail network, invasive species and the health of the tree canopy, and identification of the departments or agencies responsible for implementing and maintaining these assets. This will be done in coordination with the Geomorphic Systems Master Plan Environmental Assessment and the recommendations of the Ravine Strategy.

Council also directed staff to do this evaluation in consultation with a working group comprised of relevant community stakeholders. Staff have also been directed to establish a timeline for the major works required, with the hope of also identifying immediate projects that the City, along with the community, can address immediately.

This push forward has been due in large part to the active stewardship by local residents, again led by the Summerhill Residents' Association and the Deer Park Residents' group. It has been my absolute pleasure to work with them, along with my colleague Councillor Wong-Tam.


Save the Regent Theatre! UPDATE

The iconic and historic Regent Theatre on Mt. Pleasant is under threat. Since learning that the 1927 heritage building was put up for sale, I have been working with local residents, representatives for the owner, and arts organizations to develop a plan for saving this important landmark.

Coming out of a very productive public meeting last week, I'm continuing to work with stakeholders to develop viable models to keep the theatre operating. Our goal is to ensure that any plan will include protecting the Regent Theatre's built form, as well as its cultural purpose, which contributes so much value to our community and city. Please keep following my community e-newsletter for future updates.


Yonge & St. Clair's Exciting Transformation Continues with New Business Improvement Area (BIA)

Yonge & St. Clair is currently undergoing a renaissance. I have been working with the local residents and businesses to create vibrant main streets by substantially improving the public realm with new planters and an iconic mural overlooking Scallywag's Patio. I am
happy to report that City Council supported the creation of a new BIA. I want to thank the local merchants who are working together to continue to improve Yonge and St. Clair's streetscape and it's re-emerging success. You can view the boundaries of the BIA and the Council item here.


Protecting Tenants' Rights – Important Meeting of the Tenant Issues Committee

As Chair of the City's Tenant Issues Committee, I advocate for renters across Toronto. Please feel welcome to attend our next meeting on Friday February 9th at 1:30pm in Committee Room 2 at City Hall where we will be looking at critical issues affecting housing in our city. I have provided the Agenda items below for your review. If you would like to make a deputation on any of these items please contact the Clerk -  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For your information, here are the priority items that will be on the agenda:

Toronto Fire Services – High Rise Residential Inspection Portal
In the wake of last year's Grenfell Tower Fire tragedy in London, I requested Toronto Fire Services to undertake a more transparent fire inspection process for tenants throughout our city. I was impressed with how quickly they delivered an online portal that allows tenants to review fire inspection results on currently 1541 high-rise apartment buildings. Toronto Fire Services will give a demonstration of their High Rise Residential Inspection Portal. Please read this article for more information.

Municipal Licensing and Standards – Update on Heat in Apartments
Last fall, many Midtown tenants suffered during a late September heatwave. Some residents reported temperature readings of over 30 degrees Celsius in their units as a result of their landlords turning on heat and/or not turning on air conditioning.

Landlords are currently required to ensure that the temperature in a rental unit not be lower than 21 degree Celsius, but that rue does not require a building's heating system to be on. Unfortunately, some landlords misinterpreted the City by-law and turned on the heat in their buildings. Others reported being concerned that if they turned off their heat and/or turned on their air conditioning that they could be fined should the temperature suddenly drop.

I asked landlords to use common sense when making these decisions and assured them that our by-law officers would do the same. A request was unfortunately the only tool I had available during this fall's heatwave. It is unacceptable that members of our community were baking in their apartments this past fall – everyone has the right to a comfortable and healthy home. That's why I'm eager to receive an update from City Staff on their response to my motion on better regulating room temperatures in apartment buildings.

For more information, please see this article.

City Planning – 2018 Rental Housing Market Conditions in Toronto

As many of you know, there is a rental housing crisis in Toronto. Vacancy rates have been hovering around 1% in the past year and very few of the limited apartments available are affordable.

City Planning will provide an overview of current conditions in Toronto's rental housing market. The presentation will review key data and trends in rents, vacancy rates, the stock of rental housing, proposed and under construction rental units, and other metrics to better understand the rental housing context in the City.

For more information on my work to improve affordability for renters, please see this article on ending unlimited rent increases in apartments built after 1991, and this information pamphlet on eliminating rent increases above the provincially mandated guideline.

Update on RentSafe TO –Apartment Building By-law
The new Tenant Protection by-law was passed by Council last spring to provide much needed protection for Toronto renters. The provisions of the by-law have been in force by July of this year.

This comprehensive new by-law includes several motions I moved to support tenants, including:

  • A “Rentsafe” rating program for buildings modelled off of the “Dinesafe” program for restaurants. This would require landlords to post a colour-coded sign that displays the City's rating in a prominent, publicly identifiable location, along with posting the same information on the City's website
  • Requesting that the Province grant the City the power to fine landlords for property standards violations
  • Establishing guidelines for when the Property Standards Committee can grant time extensions on work orders for violations and to limit those criteria to situations that are only extraordinary circumstances
  • Developing standard operating procedures for City enforcement officers which provide targeted timelines by violation category to bring landlords into compliance with City by-laws from the date an order is issued, and make the standards available to the public on the City website
  • Ensuring that landlords will not be able to rent vacant units if they have outstanding property orders in the building for vital services such as heat or water

Municipal Licensing and Standards Staff have audited every large apartment building in Toronto over the past year and will be providing an update to the Committee on their initial findings.

For more information on this ground-breaking legislation, please see this article.


PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE: Consultation on Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan

In 2015, I helped initiate the Midtown in Focus review of growth, built form, social services and infrastructure issues in the Yonge-Eglinton area. I believe this work should've been done two decades ago, before the condo boom. After two years of intensive study by our dedicated City Planning Staff, we now will have an up-to-date policy that will guide growth in the area and, in combination with necessary improvements identified through the review, support the vitality and quality of life in Midtown Toronto.

The report, approved by Council late last year, tells the rest of Toronto what we as Midtown residents already know: social services and hard infrastructure have not kept pace with the rapid growth in our community. This has to change.

I successfully moved a motion with Councillor Robinson requesting City Planning to further support local residents by reporting on potential measures to help ensure that social services and physical infrastructure can accommodate existing and projected growth in the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan area. Please see below for the meeting details.

Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Time: 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM 
Location: North Toronto Collegiate Institute, Cafeteria, 17 Broadway Avenue
Workshop Schedule:
10:30-11:30: Proposed Secondary Plan / Parks and Public Realm
11:45-12:45: Community Services and Facilities / Transportation
1:15-2:15: Proposed Secondary Plan / Parks and Public Realm / Community Services and Facilities / Transportation

If you would like more information about the Open House or the study, please contact the Senior Planner at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 416-392-3529


Toronto-St. Paul's Roundtable on Homelessness

Please join me, my fellow elected officials and representatives from local organizations to participate in a round table discussion with an audience of community members on Sunday February 11th from 3:00pm-5:00pm at Holy Blossom Temple (1950 Bathurst Street, south of Eglinton) in the Philip Smith Congregational Room. Our aim is to engage, educate, and inspire the community members present to be part of the solution. I hope to see you there!


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, entrance off Millwood/Harwood, behind Hodgson PS). 

Please join us from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday, February 4th for a fun, family-friendly afternoon with free coffee and hot chocolate.

I look forward to seeing you there!


PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE: Making Further Improvements to June Rowlands (Davisville) Park

Last year, the City of Toronto constructed a new Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground at June Rowlands Park. This was done after a community consultation process that chose the new design. However, since the new playground was constructed, I've heard residents express concerns over the design, and request our playground include more features for younger children.

On Tuesday, February 20th at 7pm City Staff will be joining me at Greenwood College, Room 174 (443 Mount Pleasant Road) to discuss how we can further improve the playground design. Your thoughtful feedback throughout this process will help ensure the playground be inclusive of all users.


PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE: 368-386 Eglinton Avenue East Development Meeting

This development application proposes to amend the Zoning By-law to permit an 11-storey addition to an existing 13-storey rental apartment building. The proposed addition would add 96 new apartment units and 42 parking spaces. You can read the preliminary staff report here for more details about the proposal.

This public meeting will take place at 6:30pm on Wednesday, February 7 at the Best Western Roehampton Hotel (808 Mount Pleasant Road).

To speak to the planner directly, please contact Alex Teixeira at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 416-392-0459 . 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.


Toronto Seniors Forum Seeking New Members

The Toronto Seniors Forum is a diverse group of Toronto residents age 60 and above. The Forum is comprised of members who meet monthly to examine, advocate, and advise on seniors' issues that matter to older Torontonians. If you are interested in applying to become a new member, please review this flyer. Selected applicants will be invited for an interview for membership.


Have an innovative idea to reduce waste in your community?

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to support innovative community-based efforts to reduce residential waste and increase participation in Toronto's waste diversion programs. Priority for funding will be given to projects that reduce waste in apartments and condos. Examples of projects that could be eligible include waste education and engagement programs and initiatives that align with Toronto's Long Term Waste Management Strategy, such as the repair, exchange, swapping and sharing of goods. Applications close February 23, 2018. For more information and to submit an Expression of Interest click here.


Know Before You Throw! Ask the Waste Wizard

Don't know what to do with your old skates or plastic takeout containers? Unsure whether a certain item or type of packaging goes in the Blue Bin (recycling)? Not entirely clear on what is considered Green Bin (organics) material? When in doubt, ask the Waste Wizard, the City of Toronto's online search tool that provides information on how to properly dispose of over 2,000 items. It's quick and easy to use. Simply visit this webpage and type in the item you're wondering about.


Support Your Local Out of the Cold Program

For the past few years, volunteers at the apartment towers at 400 Walmer Road, supported by management, Vertica Resident Services, have been collecting and redeeming the liquor, wine and beer bottles and cans which the residents have discarded. The proceeds have been directed to the Out of the Cold program at St. Matthews United Church, on St. Clair Avenue. Although the 21 ‘Out of the Cold’ programs in Toronto run for 5 months, this is really a year-round effort, which cover a significant portion of the cost of food for the guests. This is an ideal project for apartment residents who wish to support their local Out of the Cold program. For further information, contact outofthecold.400walmer@gmail


St. Cuthbert's Annual Pancake Supper

Please join my friends at St. Cuthbert's Church for their annual pancake supper held in their Lamb Hall from 5:30pm-7:15pm on Tuesday, February 13th. Tickets can be purchased after the 8:00am or 10:00am Sunday service on February 4th, and 11th or from the Parish Office 9:00am-1:00pm Tuesday – Friday. For more information, please click here.


Programs & Classes Available at Our Local Libraries

Do you love to read or want to join a yoga class? I welcome you to check-out the following webpage to review all the programs and classes that are available during the months of February and March at Deer Park and Mt. Pleasant Toronto Public Libraries.

 
   
   

City Hall and Community Update for January 12, 2018

Providing Shelter for our Most Vulnerable Residents

Over the holidays, and into last weekend, we experienced a record-breaking cold snap. The City's Medical Officer of Health declared Extreme Cold Weather Alerts as overnight temperatures went below -20 several times.

 

While the weather during this recent period was especially severe, it should not have been a surprise that it was cold in Toronto during winter. That's why it was particularly disheartening that our City was not prepared to provide shelter for our most vulnerable residents when they needed it most.

 

This completely unacceptable situation was entirely preventable. My colleague Kristyn Wong-Tam moved a motion at Council in early December to request that the federal government open the downtown Armouries to provide emergency shelter space following the advice of front line workers, advocates, and healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, the Mayor and a majority of Council voting against even making this request.

 

There are certainly issues with temporarily converting the Armouries into shelters by the location in Moss Park is vital for those that cannot find space in the surrounding shelters. The alternative site at the Better Living Centre in the CNE grounds isn't within a reasonable proximity to many of those people we are trying to help.

 

I commend the federal government for acting swiftly after the Mayor finally made the request. Local MP Adam Vaughan and the Minister of Defence helped ensure that the spaces were ready at no cost to the City.

 

While emergency shelters, such as the armouries, provide a potentially life-saving service during a time of need, we need to address the underlying issues that have led to this marked increase in the homeless population. All three levels of government must work together on measures to create more affordable housing and provide adequate addiction and mental health services.

For more information, please visit this article.


 

Public Meeting for Revised 18 Brownlow Development Application

 

City Planning will be hosting a public consultation meeting on the revised application for 18 Brownlow.

 

The original development application submitted in November 2015 proposed two residential towers of 25 and 20 storeys linked by a 4-storey base building. A community consultation meeting for the proposal was held in May 2016. In June 2016 the applicant appealed the application to the Ontario Municipal Board.

 

Revised Proposal

The proposal has been revised to remove the property at 18 Brownlow Avenue from the application and reduce the number of residential towers from two to one. The revised proposal is for one 24-storey residential tower including a 3-storey base building at 174-188 Soudan Avenue and 71 and 73 Redpath Avenue. It would contain 175 dwelling units and 137 parking spaces.

 

I have been working with the South Eglinton Residents' and Ratepayers Association (SERRA) to oppose this inappropriate development since it was first submitted. While we are pleased one of the towers has been removed, the remaining tower is still far too tall. The existing Secondary Plan for the Yonge-Eglinton Area states that heights and densities should descend as a site becomes further away from the main intersection. This proposal is higher than many of its neighbours closer to Yonge and Eglinton.

 

If you cannot attend the meeting you can speak to the planner, Alex Teixeira, at (416) 392-0459 or email at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Details for the Community Meeting are as follows:

 

Date: January 17, 2018
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Place: Best Western Roehampton Hotel – 808 Mount Pleasant Road



Town Hall Meeting to Save the Regent Theatre!

Since the 1920s, the Regent Theatre (once known as the Belsize and then the Crest) has been an iconic theatre on Mount Pleasant Road in the heart of Toronto. This historic landmark has now been put up for sale by the owners.

I'm inviting members of our community, arts and culture industry leaders, city staff, the property owners and all creative thinkers to come together for a conversation on how best to preserve the Regent's built form and purpose. It will be held on Monday, January 24th, 7pm at  Greenwood College in Room 174 (443 Mount Pleasant Road). Please help spread the word by the sharing the flyer, and we hope to see you there!



Councillor Josh Matlow's 2017 City of Toronto Budget Town Hall Meeting

It's very important to me that I accurately reflect our community's priorities, and represent you, when I vote on our behalf on the City of Toronto's budget. On Monday, January 29th at 7pm, I'll host my 2018 Budget Town Hall for Ward 22 residents. The meeting will take place in Room 174 at Greenwood College (443 Mount Pleasant Road).

The City of Toronto's budget will affect virtually every City service and encourage your feedback. I hope you will be able to attend.

If you would like more information on the proposed 2018 City of Toronto Budget in advance of my Town Hall meeting, please click here and here.



Save The Date: Community Skating Party with Josh Matlow, Rob Oliphant & Carolyn Bennett!

I'm excited to once again be co-hosting a community skating party with our local MPs, Rob Oliphant and Carolyn Bennett at Hodgson Ice Rink (East of Mt. Pleasant, entrance off Millwood/Harwood, behind Hodgson PS).

Please join us from 2pm to 4pm on Sunday February 4th for a fun, family-friendly, afternoon with coffee and hot chocolate. More details to come.

I hope to see you and your family there!



Have your Say in the Naming of our Two New Community Parks on Manor Road!

As many of you are aware, we've worked together as a community to create two new city parks that will be complete and ready to enjoy just in time for spring! There is now an exciting opportunity to be a part of the naming process, and your input is deeply important.


160 Manor Road East

The former Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling site has been transformed into a light recreational park that is complete with a bocce court, gaming tables, accessible pathway and a tranquil green space. I was delighted to hear from a few local residents over the holidays that there have already been some bocce games enjoyed, despite the chilly weather!

250 Manor Road East

We worked successfully with Manor Road United Church to secure the Eastern portion of the property as a city park and playground. As soon as the ground thaws in the spring, the last bit of construction will proceed. But first, both the park and playground will need to be named.

The community has already contributed a lot of great feedback on these potential new park names, and they are reflected in a short survey that City Parks Staff have prepared. The survey (click here) will be open for responses until Friday, January 26th.



Have Your Say on the Development Charges Review – Public Consultation Meetings

The City is currently conducting a review of the development charges bylaw and is looking for feedback from the public on the proposed rates and polices.

Development charges are fees collected from developers at the time a building permit is issued. The fees help to pay for the cost of infrastructure required to provide municipal services to new development, such as roads, transit, water and sewer infrastructure, community centres, fire and police facilities. You can read more about development charges here.

There are two public consultation meetings being held by the City:

North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 3
5100 Yonge St.
Monday, January 15, 6-8 p.m.

Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 4
100 Queen St. W.
Wednesday, January 17, 6-8 p.m.



Be prepared! Protect your pipes from freezing


With the busy holiday season approaching, don't forget to take the steps necessary to protect your pipes from freezing. If you are leaving for an extended period of time, turn off the water at the main service valve in the basement and open the taps to drain the water from your plumbing lines. Homeowners should also open kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing. Get more frozen pipe prevention tips.



St. Cuthbert's Community Potluck Dinner

Join me and my friends at St. Cuthbert's Church on Saturday, January 20th at 6:00pm for a potluck dinner. Feel welcome to bring your family, friends and food to share. For more event details, please review this flyer.



Smashing Barriers: Redefining What It Is To Be Blind

On January Tuesday 16th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, CNIB Ontario will be hosting an event as part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TDOF). This community event will be encouraging all residents in the Yonge and St. Clair area (and across the City) to come and experience sight loss simulation and virtual reality as it relates to people with sight loss, as well as other interactive activities. For more event details, I welcome you to visit the following Facebook page and view the event listing on TDOF's website.



Smart City Challenge: How would you improve Toronto through data and technology?

The City is competing for $50 million in the Federal Smart Cities Challenge and we need your help to come up with an ambitious and unique idea.Using data and technology, smart cities have the potential to improve all aspects of livability and opportunity in a city– from transportation, the environment, economy, communities, engagement and social services. We want to know your ideas for how data and technology can make a meaningful impact to life in Toronto.

Think big! Please share your ideas by February 2, 2018 by completing an online survey or through a hardcopy form at a local Toronto Public Library branch.

For more information including how you can share your idea and get involved, visit the Smart Cities Challenge page.



2018 Community Projects and Events Grants

The City of Toronto is excited to announce the launch of the 2018 Community Projects and Events funding stream. Through this fund, the City of Toronto provides two streams of one-time funding that support community groups and organizations to build vibrant, equitable, inclusive and safe communities. The deadline for submitting an online Letter of Intent is Friday, February 2nd at 11:59pm. If you are interested in taking advantage of this amazing opportunity, please visit the City's website to review their grant guidelines and application questions.

 



Fire Prevention Inspection Results

Toronto Fire Services recently announced that the fire inspections conducted as of January 1, 2017 in highrise buildings across Toronto are now available online. The list includes properties where violations of the Ontario Fire Code have been found and addressed, as well as properties that had no observable violations. I want to extend my gratitude and appreciation to Toronto Fire Services for always keeping Torontonians' safety in mind!



Liz McFarland: Farewell and Congratulations!

For the past four years, Liz McFarland has served our community in her role as my Constituency Assistant. Liz has worked tirelessly, and with great skill and dedication, for the residents of Ward 22 (she's also a local resident herself). While I'm happy to announce that Liz has started in her new role at Heritage Preservation Services in the City of Toronto's Planning Department, I'm also sad to see her go. She has become a true friend to me, her colleagues in my office and to so many people who she has helped. On behalf of our community, I wish Liz happiness and great success on the important work that she will be doing to preserve our city's architectural and cultural heritage. Knowing Liz, she will still be reviewing this for any factual errors and grammar mistakes. Knowing Liz, she will still be proofreading this for any grammar mistakes I've made :)

   
   
   

City Hall and Community Update for December 13, 2017

Our Fight to Abolish the Ontario Municipal Board- Province Passes Legislation to Eliminate OMB




After years of advocating alongside my colleague, Kristyn-Wong Tam and local residents' associations, the Ontario legislature voted to move forward with major changes to the planning appeals system in Toronto yesterday. Bill 139, the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 will replace the OMB with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. While I have serious concerns that the permissive transition regulations are leading to a rush of planning applications being appealed prior to the new Tribunal being in place, the new rules will significantly level the playing field between communities and developers.

From the provincial Bill 139 backgrounder, here are some of the significant reforms coming to the planning process under the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal:

  • "de novo" (entirely new) hearings for the majority of land use planning appeals will be eliminated. Instead, the tribunal will function more like a true appeal body for major land use planning decisions.
  • Under the new standard of review for land use planning appeals involving matters like official plans and zoning bylaws, the tribunal will only be able to overturn a matter if the tribunal determines that the municipal decision is inconsistent with, or does not conform to provincial policies and municipal plans.
  • Establishing clear timelines for the hearing process to help ensure timely decisions
  • Eliminating lengthy and often confrontational examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses by parties and their lawyers at the oral hearings of major land use planning appeals
  • The act will establish the free Local Planning Appeal Support Centre, a new provincial agency, offering guidance on the Tribunal process and general planning matters as well as providing planning and/or legal representation in some cases.
  • Provincial approvals of official plans and official plan updates, including approvals of conformity exercises to provincial plans will be shielded from appeal
  • Secondary Plans (such as Midtown in Focus in the Yonge-Eglinton area) will be shielded from amendment applications for 2 years after approval

For more information please see this provincial news release and the final version of Bill 139. I will continue to update you as new information about these reforms are made available.



Council Votes against Value-for-Money Audit (the most basic and relevant facts) on Scarborough Transit

It is unfortunate that, yet again, the Mayor and Council decided to not ask for relevant and important information, regarding the future of our rapid transit system and the expenditure of billions of tax dollars, by voting against my motion to finally see a Value-for-Money comparison of the 1-stop subway extension with a 7-stop LRT in the McCowan corridor.


I will continue to advocate for honest and evidence-based transit that will serve more people, with more stations, and with every available dollar used thoughtfully. For more information on this issue, please listen to this Metro Morning interview, and read this editorial, column, and article.



Midtown in Focus: Draft Review of Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan Approved at Council

In 2015, I helped initiate the Midtown in Focus review of growth, built form, social services and infrastructure issues in the Yonge-Eglinton area. I believe this work should've been done two decades ago, before the condo boom. After two years of intensive study by our dedicated City Planning Staff, we now will have an up-to-date policy that will guide growth in the area and, in combination with necessary improvements identified through the review, support the vitality and quality of life in Midtown Toronto.

The report, approved by Council last week, tells the rest of Toronto what we as Midtown residents already know: social services and hard infrastructure have not kept pace with the rapid growth in our community. This has to change.

I successfully moved a motion with Councillor Robinson requesting City Planning to further support local residents by reporting on potential measures to help ensure that social services and physical infrastructure can accommodate existing and projected growth in the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan area. 

I look forward to seeing you in the New Year as Planning Staff consult further on their Review.

For more information, please see this report.



PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE: 2161 Yonge Street Development Meeting

This development application proposes to amend the Zoning By-law to permit a mixed use building that is 36 storeys in height including a 6-storey base building inclusive of office and retail. The proposed residential tower would contain 288 new condominium units and the 155 parking spaces will be provided below-grade.

This public meeting will take place at 7pm tonight (December 13th) at Glebe Road United Church, 20 Glebe Road East

To speak to the planner directly, please contact Alex Teixeira at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 416-392-0459 . 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.



SAVE THE REGENT THEATRE- Iconic Local Movie House on Mount Pleasant for Sale

I’m very concerned about the sale of the iconic and historic Regent Theatre on Mount Pleasant. In addition to the theatre being listed on the Heritage Registry, I successfully moved a motion at Community Council to have Heritage Preservation staff evaluate its full designation which would provide it with even greater protection. However, there are still concerns that its future could be threatened. I'm looking into every creative option that can be considered to protect its use and built form. I will certainly keep you updated on this!

 



Update on Our New and Improved Parks!

I'm delighted to share the exciting news with you that four new park projects are complete (or nearly complete) and will be ready to fully enjoy for this coming spring season! Below is an update for each of these new or improved green spaces:

Lionel Conacher Park

I am pleased to inform you that the Lionel Conacher Waterplay Improvements project is complete! The upgraded wading pool and new splash pad area will be operational and open to the public for the 2018 swimming season.

To allow the newly installed sod a little more time to germinate, the perimeter protection fencing will be removed next week.

June Rowlands (Davisville) Park

Over the past year, I worked closely with parents and local residents to envision the new Sharon Lois & Bram Playground and Musical Garden. That is why I'm excited to announce that the fencing will be removed and the playground will be ready to enjoy this week! Special thanks to Lesley Stoyan, the Communities in Action Group, Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison for their participation in my design team, Dan Connolly and City Parks staff and everyone who contributed to community consultation meeting I hosted in the spring.

Please note that are a few finishing touches that will be completed in the fall including a wooden harvest table, and additional planting and lighting.








190 Manor Road East (Former Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club)


It's almost ready! After working together as a community, we successfully fought to preserve green space at the former Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club site. Keeping in the spirit of having publically accessible space for recreation, we envisioned a park that is now complete with a large and open flexible bocce court and games tables.

250 Manor Road East (Playground and Park beside Manor United Church)

While construction was nearly complete, the quick turn in weather means that some parts of the new playground will be completed in early spring. Please stay tuned for further updates on the brand new playground and park!



St. Cuthbert's Carols with Friends

 

Gather your friends and family for an evening of carol singing followed by mulled cider and cookies with St. Cuthbert's Anglican Church on Monday December 18th at 7:00pm! Donations of non-perishable food for the Flemingdon Park Community Food Bank are gratefully received.


 

TransformTO '2050 Pathway to a Low-Carbon Toronto'

Let's #TransformTO together! To reduce climate change all homes and buildings need to be more energy efficient. Learn how you can get started by clicking here.


 

#CNIBShopTalk: BlindSquare Enabled Project

It was my great pleasure to help CNIB launch their #ShopTalk: BlindSquare Enabled Project. This accessibility campaign aims to make the Yonge and St. Clair neighbourhood the most accessible in Canada through the placement of beacons in businesses. I welcome you to watch this video to learn more about this amazing project!


 

Holiday Wish List: A Guide to Helping Toronto's Homeless & Vulnerable

 

The City of Toronto surveyed agencies that run shelters, drop-ins and other services, asking them what gifts would bring cheer to their clients during the holidays. Fifty agencies are on this year's list, which details specific items that clients need, along with contacts and information about volunteer opportunities and holiday events. The most requested items on this year's list are winter clothing, gift cards, toiletries, baby products and non-perishable food. If you are interested in checking out this holiday wish list, please click here.


Annual 58th Toronto Scouts Christmas Tree Sale

It’s the annual 58th Toronto Scouts Christmas Tree Sale!  For over 60 years, local Scouts have been selling fresh, Ontario grown Christmas Trees & Wreaths to neighborhood residents.  They are located on the lawn at the Church of the Transfiguration, 111 Manor Rd East.  Open weekdays 6:00pm-8:30pm and Sat-Sun 9:00am-6:00pm.  Deliveries available.  Call or text 437.776.1591 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Please click here to view the flyer.



Sir Winston Churchill Park Association

Are you looking to improve the green space, cultural, and recreational activities of Sir Winston Churchill  Park? I welcome you to check out the new and improved Sir Winston Churchill Park Association webpage and Facebook page!



Add More Blue & Green to your Holidays

This holiday season – know before you throw.  Learn what holiday waste goes in the Blue Bin, Green Bin and Garbage Bin by clicking here. Let's keep recyclables and organics out of our landfills!



Update on the Independent Toronto Airspace Review

It's time for real action on fair flight paths to protect residents' quality of life! Back in September, Helios presented an overview of the recommendations they are making to NAV CANADA to mitigate the impact of aviation noise on the GTA. Recently, NAV CANADA issued a response that addresses each recommendation, outlines actions they are committing to take and provides timelines for the significant work ahead.



Midtown Yonge BIA Events

Join my friends at Midtown Yonge BIA this weekend from 2pm-5pm for their Midtown Merriment Holiday Caroling! For more details, please click here. Additionally, I hope to see you this evening at 5:30pm for their Menorah Lighting Ceremony and Chanukah Community Celebration on the southwest corner of Yonge and Davisville.



#Picture2050 Contest

What does a caring, thriving, climate-friendly city of the future look like? #Picture2050 is a photography contest for photographers of all ages, inspired by the Toronto's TransformTO Climate Plan. The goal of the plan is to reduce Toronto’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and build a healthy, equitable and prosperous city. Find all the contest rules and submit your photos at the contest website

   

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