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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 October 6, 2017

Unprecedented Action Toward Preserving Midtown Toronto's Heritage Approved at City Council!

As part of the Midtown in Focus study, I’m very happy to announce that my colleagues supported Staff recommendations to include an unprecedented list of 258 main street properties on the City’s Heritage Register at Council this week. This represents the largest number of properties ever recommended for heritage protection in a single report brought forward at City Hall in Toronto’s history.

This report is the result of a huge undertaking by Heritage Preservation staff to evaluate the historic and cultural merit of each of these properties. I was delighted to work with them on this initiative through the Midtown in Focus study and look forward to continuing to work together to help protect what’s left of Midtown’s architectural heritage. We’ve lost too much already.

I have always advocated for the most appropriate development on a given site that’s respectful of its existing surroundings and community. This move will allow for more thoughtful and proactive evaluation of these sites, rather than developers automatically receiving demolition permits upon request.

It’s imperative that we identify an efficient and effective method for staying ahead of the wrecking ball when it comes to our ability to preserve the historical structures, sites and even views that help tell Toronto’s story. Shaping a vibrant and livable future for our great city must include an understanding of- and respect for- its past.

With this landmark step to protect our city’s heritage, we are making history.


Motion to Help Fund an Accessible Playground at Oriole Park PS Approved

I am very pleased to announce that my motion to provide $350,000 in local developers' fees to support the construction of an accessible playground at Oriole Park PS was successfully approved at City Council.

As Oriole Park students and parents know well, the current playground is too small and inadequate for children with special needs at the school and in the wider community. The new accessible playground equipment will allow children of all abilities to participate, and to be included, in recreational activities with each other.

I’ve had the opportunity to help fund other accessible playgrounds throughout Midtown, most recently at Deer Park PS, and I believe it’s important that kids of every ability have the opportunity to be included in the life of their school and play with all their friends.

I very much look forward to working closely with Trustee Laskin, Principal Quimby, the Parent Council, and local residents to build a wonderful new playground for all of our community's children.


UPDATE: Three Exciting Park Projects are Underway this Fall!

Now that the community consultation meetings, design and tenders are complete, I'm pleased to announce that shovels are (or will be in the ground shortly) for three park projects in our community! Below is an update on anticipated timelines to completion for each of these green spaces:

190 Manor Road East – I'm pleased to say that construction at the former Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club site has now begun. I look forward to it being ready for the community to enjoy by 2018.

250 Manor Road East - At the new playground park beside Manor Road United Church, I have been informed that construction should begin within the next few weeks.  This brand new playground park is also scheduled for completion by the end of this year.

You can review the concepts and designs for both of these parks here.

Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground and June Rowlands (Davisville) Park – Construction for Phase 2 improvements began last week, will continue into the Fall and are scheduled to be ready by the end of this year. The illustrative plans showing the new playground and other programming can be viewed here.

If construction progresses as planned, and without any unforeseen impediments such an inclement weather, it is anticipated that work on all three parks will be completed by the end of this year.


Protecting Midtown Tenants from Extreme Heat

Earlier this year, 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.

I first moved a Council motion in 2012 to protect our community's renters from the health impacts of extreme heat including heat stroke, morbidity and mortality. The health dangers associated with prolonged heat events is increased by the fact that indoor temperatures tend to climb with each hot day. This is significant because populations that are susceptible to extreme heat tend to be more likely to spend time indoors, including the elderly and those who are chronically ill.

Landlords are currently required to ensure that the temperature in a rental unit not be lower than 21 degree Celsius – not that the heating system is 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. That's why I'm pleased to announce that my colleagues unanimously supported my motion at the October meeting of City Council to better regulate room temperatures in apartment buildings.

The motion directs City Staff to consult with tenants, landlords and other relevant stakeholders to identify potential solutions, including the possibility of setting a maximum temperature for apartments and adjusting the heat by-law to allow for variable dates that reflect the weather instead of fixed dates that reflect an arbitrary rule.

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. I will continue working to ensure that our City's laws protect that right.


Council Proclaims Glenn Gould Day in Toronto

I'm pleased to announce that my motion to proclaim September 25 as Glenn Gould Day in Toronto was unanimously supported at Council this week. Gould is one of the most internationally revered Canadians ever and was a resident of the Yonge and St. Clair area. His 1955 Goldberg Variations is the best-selling classical piano record of all time. In addition to his more than 80 highly influential albums, there are 85 books in a dozen languages, more than 20 feature films, as well as plays, ballets, pop songs, and literally thousands of articles about Glenn Gould.

Glenn Gould’s significance extends far beyond the realm of classical Music. Gould remains an international icon of creative innovation who, along with Marshall McLuhan, predicted and embraced the transformative impact of technology.

Gould was Canada’s first cultural diplomat - the first Western artist to perform in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War (1957). His playing was included on the celebrated Golden Record placed aboard the Voyager Spacecraft 40 years ago. Voyager, now 12.9 billion miles from earth, is the most distant man-made object from our planet. As the sole Canadian contributor to the Golden Record, Gould remains an enduring symbol of Canadian innovation and the embrace of the future, “the first Canadian in space.”

For more information on this unique genius, please visit the website for the Toronto-basedGlenn Gould Foundation.

Ravine Strategy

I was pleased to support a new Ravine Strategy for our city at this week's Council meeting. Toronto's unique ravine system is one of our greatest and green assets. The scale and scope of this urban green space system – over 300 km and 11,000 hectares – makes Toronto the envy of urban areas across the world. In Midtown, we are lucky to have several ravines that offer peaceful escape from our busy lives.

The Strategy provides, for the first time, an intentional and coordinated framework, vision and approach to management of this natural resource through a series of 20 actions under the five guiding principles: Protect, Invest, Connect, Partner, and Celebrate. These actions aim to guide the management of the ravines and ensure the protection of these irreplaceable lands is balanced with their use and enjoyment such that they continue to function and flourish for the next 100 years and beyond.

For more information, please read these City Reports.

PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE: Improvements to Pottery Playground and Splashpad!

I have heard from several residents that the playground equipment and splashpad at Pottery Playground on Merton Street could use improvements. That's why I'm happy to direct developers' fees toward some much-needed enhancements at this beloved community park.

Please join me on Monday, October 16 at 7pm to discuss exciting, new playground improvements!

The meeting will take place in Room 174 at Greenwood College (443 Mount Pleasant Road) and will give you a chance to review new playground and splashpad concept designs with myself and Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff. I hope to see you there!


Neighbour-to-Neighbour 2.0 Program Launch

In my capacity as Toronto's Seniors Advocate, I was delighted to join Seniors Affairs Minister, Dipika Damerla, MPP Han Dong and the Neighbourhood Group in celebrating International Seniors Day (October 1) and to launch its expanded Neighbour-to-Neighbour (N2N) 2.0 program.

The N2N 2.0 program keeps seniors in the downtown core socially connected and enables their engagement with their communities. It knows that over 8,000 adults aged 65+ are living alone in downtown Toronto and acknowledges that social isolation has many negative impacts on overall health and wellbeing. Social connection through Friendly Visiting combats isolation. There are several organizations working on this collaborative program, including the Neighbourhood Group, Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre, West Neighbourhood House and Parkdale Activity-Recreation Centre. Each agency is working towards the same important goal - reducing social isolation.

For more information on the Neighbourhood Group and the N@N 2.0 program, please email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 416-392-1509 x 326.



(Josh with the Minister of Seniors Affairs, Dipika Damerla, MPP Han Dong, City staff and aging experts at the Neighbour-to-Neighbour 2.0 program launch)


Ward 22's Annual Pumpkin Parade

Please join me, my family, Apple Tree Markets, friends and neighbors, for a community gathering at Glebe Manor Square East (Belsize Parkette) at 6:30-8:30pm on November 1st.

This is a fun community event where kids come in costumes, parents often bring drinks and everyone brings their pumpkins for an encore performance from Halloween the night before. I've arranged for your pumpkins to be picked up by the City if you'd like to leave yours at the park!


Parks, Forestry and Recreation Parkland Strategy Update

A city builds a park so that people can build community. Toronto is known for our parks and natural environment, and as Toronto grows, our parks system must grow along with it.

However, there are gaps in the system; areas in the city where more must be done. And we must reinvest and re-invigorate our existing green space.

Toronto's parks system is much more than official city parks; it includes open spaces, conservation lands, ravines, hydro corridors, schools and other privately owned, publicly accessible lands. We need to work together to ensure a livable Toronto for today, and for future generations.

The Parkland Strategy is a 20-year plan that will guide long-term planning for new parks and expansion and improved access to existing parks.  It will aid in the decision-making and prioritization of investment in parkland across the city.

To learn more, and to join in the conversation, visit toronto.ca/parklandstrategy.


Forest Hill Village Streetscape Masterplan Public Workshop Consultation

When: Monday October 30th from 6:00 to 8:30pm

Where: Grace Church on-the-Hill - Gymnasium, 300 Lonsdale Rd.

Forest Hill Village community members are invited to join me and my colleague Councillor Mihevc, members of the Forest Hill Village BIA, and representatives from PLANT Architect Inc. at a Public Consultation Workshop for the Streetscape Master Plan of Forest Hill Village.

The local BIA is seeking community feedback and input on the proposed Master Plan and invite the public to share their ideas on how to enhance Forest Hill’s village-like feel and improve the streetscape. Using the recently refreshed Village Master Plan and Urban Design Guidelines I initiated as a starting point, the public will be encouraged to provide input on how to enhance pedestrian safety and activity, provide additional soft landscaping and social space, and increase bicycle activity in Forest Hill Village.


Cycle Toronto Midtown Welcomes You to a New Members Night

Can safety be improved for people who bike in Midtown Toronto? On Thursday October 26, joinCycle Toronto's local ward advocacy group, over pub food and drinks, to learn what they do and how you can get involved. Feel welcome meet at 7pm at The Abbott Pub on Eglinton, between Spadina Road and Avenue Road.

For more information, please click here.


New Parking Violation Dispute Process

The City of Toronto has introduced an Administrative Penalty System (APS) - an easier, more convenient process for disputing parking violations. Disputes will be handled by the City instead of through the court, providing you with faster resolutions and a more efficient process.

Screening reviews are now available online or in-person with a City of Toronto Screening Officer. The Screening Officer can affirm, vary or cancel the penalty, and vary or cancel any fees. The Screening Officer can also provide individuals with additional time to pay the penalty, if required.

Not satisfied with the decision of the Screen Officer? You may request an additional review with an Administrative Penalty Tribunal Hearing Officer. The decision of the Hearing Officer is final and will not be reviewed further.


Harvest Moon Cabaret

On Saturday, October 28 at 7:30pm, Glebe Road United Church (20 Glebe Road East) will be hosting their annual Harvest Moon Cabaret fundraiser! Prepare to be scared, enchanted and bewitched in this year's Halloween themed show. Enjoy a fun evening of music, food, wine and raffle baskets!


For further details and ticket ordering, please click here.


Nominate a Woman of Distinction

Do you know a woman who is making a difference and improving the lives of women and girls? Every year, YWCA Toronto honours the work of remarkable women who are creating new opportunities for women and girls in a wide array of areas such as leadership, business, education, social justice, advocacy, art, health and philanthropy.

For more information, please click here.


Noise Management Program Benchmarking and Best Practice Study

As a part of Toronto Pearson's commitment to mitigating noise impacts for residents who are negatively affected by aircraft noise, the GTAA commissioned a Noise Management Benchmarking and Best Practices study.  The purpose of the study is to determine what successful measures other international airports have taken to reduce the impacts of operational noise. The study looked at 11 areas of noise management at 26 comparative airports around the world to identify potential new programs to be adopted at Toronto Pearson.

Recommendations from this study will be used to help inform the GTAA’s updated five-year Noise Management Action Plan, which will  also include input from NAV CANADA’s Independent Toronto Area Airspace Noise Review, Toronto Pearson Residents’ Reference Panel report, their recent survey on noise fairness and airport growth and public consultations over the last year.

The full Noise Management Program Benchmarking and Best Practices Study is available here.


Ecumenical Annual Food Drive

Churches in Rosedale, Moore Park and Leaside are again sponsoring a Christmas Drive (the 46th consecutive) to assist local food banks and agencies that are in urgent need of help at this time of year. Flyers are delivered to area households on Saturday, November 18 and donations are then picked up on the following Saturday, November 25. There are two locations. The first is Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church  (OLPH) on St. Clair Avenue East, one block west of Mount Pleasant Road. The other is St. Cuthbert’s Church on Bayview Avenue, south of Millwood Road near Humphreys Funeral Home.

Times on both days begin at 9:30 am. Donations are sorted and packed at OLPH with same day delivery to recipient food banks and agencies. In 2016, about 16,000 items were collected and it is hoped to better this figure this year as the demand is still great. Financial donations are also welcome and tax receipts are available. About 300 volunteers are required and community hours (generous ones) are available for high school students who require for graduation or other reasons.

In addition, two area Sobeys stores (St. Clair Avenue just east of Yonge Street and Wicksteed Avenue near Laird Drive) are once more supporting this effort by holding in-store drives throughout the Christmas season. These sources typically add another 10,000 or so to the overall total.

This is a fun event for both families and young persons and is in aid of a worthwhile cause to benefit the less fortunate members of our community. 

If further information is required, please contact the Campaign Chair, Brian Kearney, at 416-972-0585 or by e-mail at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Central Eglinton Community Centre's "Discovering Technologies" Program

Sign-up for Central Eglinton's "Discovering Technologies" Program! Children in grades two and three are welcome to join Storytelling with Lego, Keyboarding and Coding with Scratch and Intro to Robotics with Lego WeDo. To register, please call 416-392-0511 ext. 0 or visit theirwebsite.


Annual Charity Auction at Central Eglinton Community Centre

You're invited to attend Central Eglinton's Annual Charity Auction on Monday, October 23rd at the Granite Brewery! The silent auction begins at 6pm, and the live auction starts at 7pm. Some of the fabulous items up for bid include movie and entertainment passes, salon and spa vouchers, dinners for two, children's toys and games, sporting event tickets and much more! Please phone 416-392-0511 ext. 0 or visit the CECC website for more information.


Nominate Your Outstanding Neighbour!

In honour of Canada 150, Hon. MP Carolyn Bennett is celebrating the amazing neighbours and ‘unsung heroes’ of Toronto-St. Paul’s. Send your nomination of someone who has made outstanding contributions to our community to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by October 15, 2017. A panel of Order of Canada recipients will select the winners and a reception will be held in late October to celebrate!

For more information, please click here.


PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE: 75 Broadway Avenue Development Meeting

A rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to replace the existing 10-storey apartment building with a 40-storey apartment tower containing 402 units.

This meeting will take place at 6:30pm on Tuesday, October 24 in the Auditorium at Northern Secondary School.

To speak to the planner directly, please contact David Driedger at 416-392-7613 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 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.


"Not Down the Drain" TO Water Campaign

Do you know what can and can’t go down your drain? Putting the wrong things in your pipes can have some pretty nasty consequences, including basement flooding, polluting our streams, rivers and the Lake, as well as clogging City pipes – something that ends up costing us all. Please note that items like grease, wipes and dental floss should not go down the drain.

For more information, please click here.

Development Proposals in Ward 22

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

My webpage listing all the proposed developments in Ward 22 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. 

I initiated Midtown in Focus, a review of the necessary infrastructure and social services that support our community's quality of life in the Yonge and Eglinton area. This study includes transit, roads, public realm, utilities, school capacity, recreation, affordable childcare, heritage properties and much more. I believe this should have been done thirty years ago, before the condo boom. However, I believe this work is critical to ensure that Midtown Toronto is planned for people rather than developers' pocketbooks. Click here to learn more about this initiative.

The OMB is a quasi-judicial, un-elected and un-accountable provincial body that has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario. The tribunal's powers to overrule decisions made by our elected municipal representatives are anti-democratic and often lead to planning decisions that far too often support the interests of the development industry over those of our communities and our city's official plan. To read more about the OMB and my advocacy to free Toronto from its purview, please click here.
   

Cool Off This Weekend at City's Reopened Splash Pads!

Dear residents,



I heard from many of you in the last day that you were disappointed that the City's splash pads were not operational with unseasonably high temperatures expected to continue. That's why I am delighted to share with you that we successfully advocated to have the vast majority of the City's splash pads turned back on for the weekend. The General Manager of Parks informed my office this afternoon that they will be able to reset the timers on pads by the end of the day tomorrow! While most pads will be operational, due to technical constraints, there may be a couple throughout the city that cannot be turned back on.



I look forward to cooling off with my daughter Molly over the next couple of days at our local splash pad. Hope that you and your family have the opportunity to do the same!

Sincerely,

Josh

   
   

Upcoming Fun, Exciting & Important Ward 22 Community Events!

Dear residents,

We’re truly fortunate to have such a vibrant local community here in Midtown Toronto and I'm delighted to share some really exciting events coming up over the next few weeks! Please come out to support our local businesses and spend quality time with our neighbours and friends. I’ve also included some important public meetings that might be of interest to you. 

My family and I hope to run into you soon!

Best regards,

Josh



Come Celebrate the Mount Pleasant Village BIA's 8th Annual Harvest Fair!

I welcome you to join me and my friends at the Mount Pleasant Village BIA in celebrating the 8th annual Harvest Fair on Saturday September 23rd from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Activities include fall themed family photos, a workshop with Frankie Flowers, face painting, caricaturist, stilt walkers, kids arts & craft corners, pumpkin carving and painting, sidewalk sales, special food offerings, live music and much more!



SERRA's "Say NO to Brownlow" Community Yard Sale

SERRA (South Eglinton Ratepayers' & Residents' Association) invites you to a community yard sale that will help fund and support the community's continued fight against an inappropriate development proposal, 18 Brownlow. As many of you are aware, the current proposal not only demonstrates complete over-development of the site, but does not respect the principles of the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan. In order to oppose this at Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), SERRA has had to hire a lawyer and planner. Working with professionals costs a lot of money, and any support will go towards making a case for better development in our community!

Please join us between 9am-4pm on Saturday, September 23rd on the block of Soudan between Mount Pleasant & Redpath to meet your neighbours, find some bargains, and demand good development for our community. Please click here for more information.



Sarah and Claire's 10th Annual Food Drive

Sarah and Claire challenge neighbourhoods in the City of Toronto to give back and make a difference in their community. Sarah Jordan started a food drive when she was in Grade 1, after hearing a story about Daily Bread Food Bank and their Thanksgiving Food Drive, on CBC Radio.  Now entering its 10th year, the food drive, run by Sarah and her sister Claire (11) has raised over 290,000 pounds of food and has involved thousands of students in Toronto (last year alone, over 7,000 students participated).  Sarah’s Food Drive is also the largest community-based food drive in support of Daily Bread Food Bank. Sarah & Claire’s goal this year is to raise 100,000 pounds of food.

I will be joining Sarah and Claire in their efforts to help raise funds and food to help eliminate hunger on Sunday September 24th at Leaside Memorial Gardens (1073 Millwood Road) between 10am-3pm. The event is in collaboration with the 65th Anniversary of Leaside Memorial Community Gardens, who will also be there with memorabilia from the various hockey and skating teams.

For more information and to find out how your local community can get involved please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit sarahsfooddrive.com



First Public Open House to Review the Casa Loma Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study

This spring, Council authorized City Planning Staff to initiate the Casa Loma HCD Study in order to determine whether the neighbourhood should receive this designation. The study will include surveying and analyzing the neighbourhood's existing conditions to develop a better understanding of the neighbourhood's character. Please drop by the open house with me on Thursday, September 28th, between 5-8pm at the City of Toronto Archives (255 Spadina Road), to review preliminary findings and provide feedback. You can read more about this initiative here.



Park and Bark Dog Show

Calling all dog lovers! Please come join me and our community’s furry friends in attending The Big !dea Lab's Park & Bark Dog Show on Saturday September 16th from 9:00am to 1:30pm. This free special event will be held in the new parking lot just north of Davisville, on the east side of Yonge. It's im-paw-sible not to come!



Church of Transfiguration Annual Fall BBQ

The Church of Transfiguration will be hosting their annual Fall BBQ on Sunday, September 17th from 12:00pm to 3:00pm at 111 Manor Road East. A bouncy castle, live music, face painting and food will be provided. I look forward to seeing you there!



REMINDER: Sir Winston Churchill Park Association's First General Meeting

Join the newly formed Sir Winston Churchill Park Association for their first general meeting at Grace Church on-the-Hill on Wednesday, September 20th at 7:00pm.
For more information and to sign up for updates, check out the newly formed Sir Winston Churchill Park Association website or email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



REMINDER: Independent Toronto Airspace Final Review

It's time for fair flight paths. Join Helios at 7:00pm on Monday, September 18th as they present an overview of the recommendations they are making to NAV Canada to mitigate the impact of aviation noise on the GTA.For event details, please click here.



2nd Annual Bayview-Leaside Apple Fest

The Bayview-Leaside BIA is happy to invite you, your family and friends to the 2nd annual Apple Fest! Join us on Saturday September 30th and Sunday October 1st from 12:00pm to 5:00pm to celebrate the apple and pay homage to apple orchards with ciders, pies, live music, art and much more!



Seed & Kernel Festival

Brought to you by our friends at the AppleTree Group, please join us in celebrating the Seed & Kernel Festival on Saturday, September 23rd from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Yonge and Davisville parking lot. Events include a corn maze, bouncy castle, harvest market and lots more. Hope to see you all there!

   

Announcing an Unprecedented Action Toward Preserving Midtown Toronto's Heritage

The Yonge and Eglinton area has experienced significant growth and I believe it is vital that we ensure that the community is an attractive place to live, work and play. Our quality of life should always be the focus of urban planning.

That's why I initiated a review of the area’s secondary plan (which should’ve been done many years ago) to support additional services and infrastructure for our midtown neighbourhoods to finally keep up with the pace of growth in this provincially designated urban growth centre. I’ve been actively working with the City and the Midtown Working Group to develop a plan for the Yonge and Eglinton area, Midtown in Focus, that ensures the ingredients of a livable community are in place, including parks and public spaces, community services and facilities such as affordable daycare and recreation, transportation and servicing infrastructure. An important part of this initiative is a focus on heritage preservation.

As part of the Midtown in Focus study, I’m very happy to announce that today Heritage Preservation Services is supporting recommendations to include an unprecedented list of 258 main street properties on the City’s Heritage Register at the Toronto Preservation Board. This represents the largest number of properties ever recommended for heritage protection in a single report brought forward at City Hall in Toronto’s history.

This report is the result of a huge undertaking by Heritage Preservation staff to evaluate the historic and cultural merit of each of these properties. I was delighted to work with them on this initiative through the Midtown in Focus study and look forward to continuing to work together to help protect what’s left of Midtown’s architectural heritage. We’ve lost too much already.

City Planning will also be reporting back today on council's request to implement a city-wide heritage survey. As you may recall, I successfully moved a motion several years ago that sought a more timely and proactive method for providing protection to Toronto’s heritage-worthy properties under the Ontario Heritage Act. Since then, three more motions were passed at City Council earlier this year with the same mandate, in the wake of the wanton demolition of a historic bank building at 2444 Yonge Street.

I have always advocated for the most appropriate development on a given site that’s respectful of its existing surroundings and respectful of community.

It’s imperative that we identify an efficient and effective method for staying ahead of the wrecking ball when it comes to our ability to preserve the historical structures, sites and even views that help tell Toronto’s story. Shaping a vibrant and livable future for our great city must include an understanding of- and respect for- its past.

Today, with this landmark step to protect our city’s heritage, we are making history.

   

City Hall and Community Update for July 7, 2017

Rest in Peace, My Friend and Colleague, Councillor Pam McConnell

Today at City Council, we were informed of the passing of Ward 28's Councillor Pam McConnell. Pam was a veteran city councillor and a caring and effective advocate for her community. She courageously lead the efforts to revitalize Regent Park, fought to protect the architectural heritage of neighbourhoods including Cabbagetown and St. Lawrence and championed the City of Toronto's Poverty Reduction Strategy, among many other significant accomplishments.

As her seatmate at Toronto & East York Community Council, I knew Pam as a loving mother and grandma. We would very often discuss our families, and share photos of my daughter and her grandchildren.

I know I speak for our entire community by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to her family for her remarkable service to the residents of Toronto. I also wish them our very sincerest condolences.

I will miss her dearly.

Yonge-Eglinton Planning Review Moving Forward

Building on the success of Midtown in Focus, the new public space Master Plan for Midtown, 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. Our midtown area, as the population grows, needs improved hard infrastructure such as transit, pipes and wires capacity, and social services such as school space, affordable childcare and recreation, to support building a community for people, rather than just condo developers.

I frankly wish this had been done decades ago, but it is critical to support our quality of life in a growing community.

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. I expect updates to the study this fall.

90 Eglinton Ave West development approved by Council despite being contrary to the City of Toronto's policies and Official Plan

While not in Ward 22, local residents' associations and I are very disappointed that a development proposal at 90 Eglinton Ave W, near Yonge St was approved at Council this week. The Ward 16 proposal contravenes the intent of the Eglinton Connects by-law and Toronto'sEmployment Lands Strategy, which mandates 100% office replacement in every new development.

To uphold Council policy, I moved an amendment to a refusal motion moved by local councillor, Christin Carmichael Greb, that required the developer to provide full office replacement and respect the intent of the Eglinton Connects plan for a midrise development on this site. My amendment was approved but Carmichael Greb’s motion was defeated. Subsequently, the item, as amended, was defeated. There is nothing that can be done at this point to reopen the item.

The only recourse at this point is for a Residents' Association, or another person or group involved in the process, to make an appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board.

I will continue to advocate for adherence to the Eglinton Connects plan and full office replacement to help ensure that our community's vision of an appropriately-scaled and complete neighbourhood where people can live, work, and play is implemented.

For more information, please see this article.

Council Approves Start of Updated Plan for Yonge and St. Clair

As many local residents know, there is increasing development pressure in the Yonge and St. Clair area. Many of the current development proposals do not conform to the existing policies of the Secondary Plan.

That's why I moved a motion to update and strengthen the policies of the local Secondary Plan. The motion also directs City Planning Staff to advise developers that City Council will not support new proposals in the Yonge St. Clair Secondary Plan Area that permit development at a scale, intensity or character that requires reconsideration of the Secondary Plan policies prior to adoption of this new review.

Branded Neighbourhood Street Signs Approved for Deer Park

Deer Park, surrounding Yonge and St. Clair, has a long and storied history. The area was referred to by the First Nations peoples as “Mashquoteh”, which is Ojibway for meadow or woodland where deer come to feed. In 1837, Agnes Heath, widow of Col. Charles Heath, relocated from India to Canada with her children and purchased 40 acres northwest of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue West (then known as the Third Concession Road) and appropriately named it Deer Park.

The area was annexed to the City of Toronto in 1908 and was established as one of Toronto’s finest residential districts by the 1930s. Pianist Glenn Gould, Group of Seven founding member J. E. H. MacDonald, writer Farley Mowat, and former Prime Minister John Turner have all called Deer Park home.

I am happy to report that my motion to honour this historic neighbourhood with branded street signs, paid for through development fees, was approved at Council this month.

Fire Services to Provide Greater Transparency to Toronto Tenants in the Wake of British High Rise Tragedy

After the recent apartment fire tragedy in England, I was surprised to learn that tenants did not have access to the fire inspection records of their own homes. If a resident wanted to obtain these records they would have to file an onerous Freedom of Information request with the provincial government.

I am happy to report that after I raised concerns about this practice, Deputy Fire Chief Jim Jessop agreed to make the inspections more accessible. As the Chair of the Tenant Issues Committee, I have asked him to provide further details at our meeting on October 19, 2017.

For more information, please see this article.

Auditor General's Investigation into Questionable Toronto Parking Authority Land Deal Moves Forward

I am pleased that a very questionable land deal involving the Toronto Parking Authority is being investigated further. Auditor General Beverly Romeo-Beehler’s nearly 10-month investigation questioned both the process and the $12.2-million price of a proposed land deal in the northwest end of the city. Her report outlines obfuscation by parking authority executives, prodding by the local councillor who was looking to push the deal forward, and potential conflicts among hired lobbyists and consultants with prior connections to the land, according to the Toronto Star. Please read this article for more information.

I strongly support the plan to have the current board members of the Toronto Parking Authority be put on temporary leave while further investigation takes place, with the City Manager taking over control of the governance of the Board. More information on Council's decision is available in this article.

Climate Change Plan Requires Adequate Funding To Succeed

TransformTO: Toronto's Climate Action Plan is a great road map for how we can meet our target of an 80% reduction of greenhouse gases against 1990 levels by the year 2050. However, our current pace of change is insufficient to achieve that target.

The plan shows that the 2050 goal is achievable with existing technologies but it means bold action is required to transform Toronto's urban systems - buildings, energy, transportation and waste. That will require further resources and leadership at City Hall.

For more information, please see this article.

Federal Government Contributes $4.8 billion for Toronto Transit Projects

The federal government announced they would contribute $4.8 billion toward 1/3 shares of transit projects in Toronto. City council has submitted four priority projects for the federal transit fund:
  • The Relief Subway Line ($6.8 billion)
  • RER ($3.7 billion)
  • Eglinton East LRT ($1.7 billion)
  • Waterfront transit ($1.5 billion)
Together, the projects are estimated to cost $13.7 billion.

I sincerely thank the federal government for their significant contribution. Among other important projects, this marks the first capital money for the much-needed Relief Subway Line.

The federal government has required the Province and the City to each contribute a 1/3 share for the projects. The province has yet to confirm their participation and I have concerns regarding the City's ability to pay its share as we have reached our debt ceiling as a result of ill-advised projects including the Scarborough Subway and the Gardiner East rebuild.

If the province and Council make clear choices about their priorities, we can work together to ensure that this federal funding kick starts the next wave of important transit projects in Toronto.

For more information, please see this article.

New Plan for Senior Tenants in Toronto Community Housing a Good First Step

Phase 1 of the Tenants First Implementation Plan was approved at Council this week. The plan will see the creation of a new Seniors Housing and Services entity that is more directly accountable to City Council, that strategically aligns City programs and services for seniors, including coordinating the provision of services by community and provincial agencies, and is responsible for management of the 83 seniors-designated buildings currently within the TCHC portfolio.

Update on Seniors Issues

Over the next two decades, the number of seniors in Toronto will more than double. To prepare for this, I initiated the Toronto Seniors Strategy – in 2013. With 86 of the original 91 recommendations now implemented, City staff and I, in my capacity as Toronto's Seniors Advocate, are working with older Torontonians, caregivers, agencies and other orders of government to co-create the next version of our strategy - TSS 2.0. This next phase will be completed in the Fall.

An important goal for version 2.0 of the Toronto Seniors Strategy is to start re-framing how seniors are referred to in City policies and practices. That's why I'm pleased to announce that my motionPlanning an Age-Friendly Toronto, was approved at City Council this week. It makes an explicit link between Council’s commitment to being an age-friendly city and the City’s Official Plan. When the new Official Plan review process begins in the next few years, we will be reinforcing and building on policies in the current plan that are consistent with creating an age-friendly built environment.

Also, I was honoured to recognize my friend, Frances Chapkin at Council this week. Frances has been chosen as Ontario's 2017 Senior of the Year! This is a well-deserved award for someone who has devoted decades of her life to volunteer work aimed at improving the lives of our elder population.


(Josh at the City's Seniors Month Launch Event with Ontario's 2017 Senior of the Year, Frances Chapkin)
The Republic of Rathnelly Celebrates their 50th Anniversary through Festivities and New Laneway Names

I deeply enjoyed the opportunity to join the residents of the Rathnelly community in celebrating their 50th annual Rathnelly Day! This day marks a unique example of community activism in our city's history when hundreds of residents boldly (and cheekily) declared succession from Canada to protest the construction of the Spadina Expressway.

In keeping with this spirit, I had the pleasure of working with my friends from RARA (Rathnelly Area Residents' Association) and Transportation Staff to commemorate the community's history and important individuals through five laneway namings: Robin Fraser Lane, Rebellion Lane, Michael Snow Lane, Stop Spadina Lane and Aileen Robertson Lane. Long live the Republic!

You can read more about the rich history of Rathnelly Day here.


(Josh at the Republic of Rathnelly's 50th anniversary celebration)
What's On: Events at Ward 22 Toronto Public Library Branches for July - August 2017

The Deer Park and Mount Pleasant Toronto Public Library branches are offering many exciting programs this summer. To learn about the programs being offered, please click here

You can also stay up-to-date with the latest library news and upcoming programs by signing up for the their What’s On at the Library enewsletter.

Summer Officially Kicks Off with the Opening of Outdoor Pools

Last week marked the official kick-off of the 2017 summer season with the opening of 59 city-wide outdoor pools and over 100 wading pools.

The City's outdoor pools will remain open, weather permitting, with varying schedules, until Labour Day weekend. For information about pool hours, operations and locations, please click here or call 311.

Supervision or swimming ability requirements are in place for children under 10 years of age. Leisure swimming is free for all ages.

Over 90 splash pads are open across the city and will remain open until September 17. Splash pads operate daily from 9am to 8:30pm and are activated through push-button features. Caregivers are reminded to supervise their children at these unsupervised water play areas.

More than 100 supervised wading pools are also open for the summer. Each will operate on individual schedules until September 3, weather permitting. Wading pools are shallow water areas for children located in parks. Caregivers are reminded to supervise children at all times in these areas.

Have your say! Protecting Toronto's pollinators

The City is inviting residents to share their views on a proposed strategy to protect Toronto's bees and other pollinators. The purpose of the strategy is to identify actions that can be taken by the City and the community to protect, enhance and create habitat for Toronto's pollinators. Toronto is home to more than 360 species of bees, and more than 100 species of butterflies and other pollinators. Some species are in decline. Learn more and share your views.

Volunteer Toronto: Becoming a Board Member Workshops

Are you a professional interested in volunteering in a leadership role? Volunteering as a non-profit board member may be the role for you. To find out what's involved and meet non-profits who are actively looking for volunteers to join their board, visit one of Volunteer Toronto’s upcoming workshops. 

For upcoming workshop dates and locations, please click here.

Development Proposals in Ward 22

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

My webpage listing all the proposed developments in Ward 22 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. 

The OMB is a quasi-judicial, un-elected and un-accountable provincial body that has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario. The tribunal's powers to overrule decisions made by our elected municipal representatives are anti-democratic and often lead to planning decisions that far too often support the interests of the development industry over those of our communities and our city's official plan. To read more about the OMB and my advocacy to free Toronto from its purview, please click here.
   

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