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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 May 31, 2017

Reimagining Yonge and Eglinton's Canada Square / TTC Bus Barns Public Meeting

For too many years, the TTC Bus Barns property at the southwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton was left as a derelict eyesore in the heart of our community. More recently, this site has been actively used as a construction staging area for Metrolinx's Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

I believe it's time to ensure that there is a plan in place so that these lands, along with rest of the Canada Square property, can be thoughtfully redeveloped when the LRT is completed. Leaders of our local residents' associations and I have had initial meetings with Oxford Properties, the developer of the site, and I have already informed them of four expectations I have on behalf of our community:

1. That any new development be based on good urban planning principles and be respectful of the City of Toronto's Official Plan

2. That any new development demonstrate an appropriate transition in scale to the adjacent neighbourhood

3. That plans be devised with the community and be respectful of local residents' feedback and not be appealed to either the OMB or the proposed Local Planning Appeals Tribunal

4. Any plan for the site must include a truly remarkable public space that would provide necessary public realm for both local residents and visitors alike. My vision is for a public space that one would find in cities like Rome, New York, London and Paris, rather than the concrete mediocrity we're accustomed to in Toronto.

Please join me and City Staff in a discussion about how you would like to see the TTC Bus Barns and Canada Square properties be redeveloped. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 7 at 7pm at the North Toronto Collegiate Institute Commons (17 Broadway Avenue).

To view the community notice for this meeting, please click here.

Improving the Deer Park Streetscape at Yonge & St. Clair: The New Planter Boxes Have Arrived!

As local residents know all too well, the public realm in the Yonge and St. Clair area is in great need of improvement, including the out-of-date, crumbling concrete planters in the area.

To help improve the neighbourhood, I directed developers' fees toward Section 37 streetscape improvements in the Yonge and St. Clair area. The motion allocated $200,000 for planting trees in new planters and other street enhancements. This is part of my plan for the renewal of the area including the restoration of Lawton Parkette and other public art features including the new iconic mural.

Despite some timeline setbacks experienced by City staff during the tender and manufacturing stages, our beautiful new planter boxes are finally here! You may have noticed the striking metal and wood boxes being installed over the past few days. Some will be solely planter boxes and others will provide seating to contribute to an age-friendly neighbourhood.

The new planters will replace the existing ones in the same locations. Urban Forestry has assessed the condition of all existing trees: for existing trees that are in good condition, the old concrete surrounds will be removed and replaced with the new planter boxes. Trees and associated planters in poor condition will be removed and replaced with new planters and new trees in the same location. Urban Forestry will be maintaining the new trees.


(Old vs. New, street tree planter boxes at Yonge & St. Clair)

REMINDER: Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Environment Day

On Thursday, June 1 from 4-8pm, I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The event will take place in the parking lot of North Toronto Memorial Arena (174 Orchard View Blvd).

Please drop off any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste.

For full event details and more information on acceptable drop-off items, please click here.

Provincial Legislation Establishing New Tribunal Replacing OMB Introduced Yesterday

In my last newsletter, I informed you that the Province had announced the elimination of the Ontario Municipal Board, to be replaced by the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal. This will give cities and residents more control over development decisions and community planning.

The government tabled the bill, titled the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, yesterday at Queen's Park. From the provincial press release, the proposed law will include the following reforms aimed at giving communities a stronger voice in local land use planning decisions:
  • For complex land use planning appeals, the tribunal would only be able to overturn a municipal decision if it does not follow provincial policies or municipal plans. This would depart from the current "standard of review" for land use planning appeals, where the Ontario Municipal Board is permitted to overturn a municipal decision whenever it finds that the municipality did not reach the "best" planning decision.
  • In these cases, the tribunal would be required to return the matter to the municipality with written reasons when it overturns a decision, instead of replacing the municipality's decision with its own. The municipality would be provided with 90 days to make a new decision on an application under the proposed new law.
  • The tribunal would retain the authority to make a final decision on these matters only when, on a second appeal, the municipality's subsequent decision still fails to follow provincial policies or municipal plans.
Under this new model, the tribunal would be required to give greater weight to the decisions of local communities, while ensuring that development occurs in a way that is good for Ontario and its future. 

For more information, the City's Planning Department prepared a detailed briefing note. The Planning department can be reached at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have any questions.

Ontario to Overhaul Land Use Planning Appeals System to Give Local Communities a Stronger Voice in Land Use Planning Decisions

Issue / Background:
On May 16, 2017 the Ontario Government announced it was taking action to overhaul the Province's land use planning appeals system to give communities a stronger voice in land use planning decisions and ensure people have access to faster, fairer and more affordable hearings.  As part of this process legislation will be introduced to create the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, which if passed, will replace the Ontario Municipal Board. 

Key Points:
The proposed legislation will include various measures to transform Ontario's land use planning appeals system, including:
  • Mandating the new tribunal to give greater weight to the decisions of local communities, while ensuring that development and growth occurs in a way that is good for Ontario and its future.
  • Eliminating lengthy and costly "de novo" hearings for the majority of planning appeals.
  • Exempting a broader range of major land use planning decisions from appeal, including new Official Plans, major Official Plan updates and detailed plans to support growth in major transit areas.
  • Establishing a mandatory case conference for complex hearings to encourage early settlements, which would help reduce the time and cost of appeals and create a less adversarial system.
It will include reforms aimed at giving communities a stronger voice in local land use planning decisions including:
  • For complex land use planning appeals, the tribunal will only be able to overturn a municipal decision if it does not follow provincial policies or municipal plans. This is a departure from the current "standard of review" for land use planning appeals, where the Ontario Municipal Board is permitted to overturn a municipal decision whenever it finds that the municipality did not reach the "best" planning decision.
  • In these cases, the tribunal will be required to return the matter to the municipality with written reasons when it overturns a decision, instead of replacing the municipality's decision with its own. The municipality will be provided with 90 days to make a new decision on an application under the proposed new law.
  • The tribunal will retain the authority to make a final decision on these matters only when, on a second appeal, the municipality's subsequent decision still fails to follow provincial policies or municipal plans.
The Ontario government has identified the following Proposed Hearing Process:
The proposed legislation will also:
  • Restrict applications to amend new secondary (i.e. neighbourhood) plans for two years, unless permitted by a municipal council, and limit the ability to appeal an interim control by-law when first passed for a period of up to one year.
  • Give Local Appeal Bodies (LABS) more authority.  If passed the legislation will allow LABS to be able to hear appeals on site plans, in addition to their current scope of minor variances and consents.
The following matters will no longer be appeal-able under the proposed law:
  • Provincial approvals of official plans and official plan updates, including approvals of conformity exercises to provincial plans
  • Minister's Zoning Orders
The proposed new legislation will introduce major changes to the way land use planning appeals are conducted in order to reduce the length and cost of hearings and create a more level playing field for all participants as follows:
  • Requiring the tribunal to conduct mandatory case management for the majority of cases in order to narrow the issues and encourage case settlement. The tribunal will also be provided with modern case management powers to ensure meaningful case conferences.
  • Creating statutory rules regarding the conduct of hearings, including setting strict presumptive timelines for oral hearings and limiting evidence to written materials in the majority of cases.
  • Providing the tribunal with modern hearing powers to promote active adjudication, provide for alternative hearing formats and permit assignment of multi-member panels.
  • Giving elected officials greater control over local planning, resulting in fewer decisions being appealed, thereby making the decision-making process more efficient.

Inappropriate Development Proposal at 90 Eglinton West Deferred to Next Council Meeting

While not in Ward 22, local residents' associations and I share serious concerns about a development proposal at 90 Eglinton Ave W, near Yonge St. The Ward 16 proposal contravenes the intent of the Eglinton Connects by-law and Toronto's Employment Lands strategy, which mandates 100% office replacement in every new development.

Unfortunately, this application was supported by City Planning in a Final Report. The item was scheduled for debate at last week's Council meeting but was deferred until the next Council meeting as the agenda was not finished. I will continue working with local Councillor Christin Carmichael Greb to oppose this inappropriate development.

For more information, please see this Toronto Star article.

Relief Subway Line Planning Moves Forward, Project Still Unfunded

The Relief Line subway is Toronto's top transit priority. The new subway is desperately needed to reduce overcrowding on the Yonge line, which already sees many of you waiting 3 or 4 trains just to get on at Midtown stations including Eglinton, Davisville and St. Clair.

I am pleased that Council took an important step forward by voting to move forward with theplanning study for the Relief Line. Unfortunately, because of wasteful political decisions to move forward with the Gardiner Expressway and the Scarborough subway, the City does not have any capital funds to commit to this important infrastructure project. I also respectfully disagree with Mayor Tory that the future of the Relief Line should be tied to the extension of the Yonge line into York Region.

I will continue advocating for Council and Queen's Park to move forward on building this urgent and necessary evidence-based transit priority.

For more information, please see this article.

SERRA's Say NO to 18 Brownlow! Town Hall

SERRA (South Eglinton Ratepayers' & Residents' Association) invites you to a Town Hall meeting to bring the community an update on the ongoing opposition to the current development proposal for 18 Brownlow on Tuesday, June 6 at 6:30pm at the Church of Transfiguration (111 Manor Road East). SERRA has also kindly invited me to participate as a guest speaker.

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. Some of the key issues are:
  • The north side of Soudan and part of Redpath Avenue have been purchased by a developer who plans to put up two 24-storey rental towers on a four-story podium that will stretch along the north side of Soudan Avenue from Redpath to Brownlow Avenues – and abutting the townhouses on Redpath
  • The development represents more than 360 rental units, but with insufficient provision of parking and little regard for traffic flow and shadow impact
  • The City has designated part of the site for parkland dedication, which the development has not adequately addressed
  • This development offers no appropriate transition to the low rise houses on the south side of Soudan and the townhomes on Redpath. On the Soudan side there will be a massive four-storey podium – almost a wall - across the street from modest two-storey homes. On Redpath, one of the towers will be directly abutting the townhomes. And, on Brownlow, one of the towers will directly block the existing rental building at 18 Brownlow, owned by the same developer.
You can learn more about this development and SERRA's advocacy at the recently-created website NoToBrownlow.com. For the event flyer, please click here.

Midtown in Focus Open House

The Yonge and Eglinton area has experienced significant growth and change in the last decade. We need your input to ensure that the community continues to be an attractive place to live, work, learn, play and invest.

That's why 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, great old and new buildings, community services and facilities, transportation and servicing infrastructure.

Join the conversation! This Saturday (June 3), the City is hosting a public open house and workshop regarding the Midtown in Focus study to share work to date and gather your comments and ideas for the future of Midtown. I encourage you to drop by the Commons at North Toronto Collegiate Institute between 9:30am-2pm this Saturday.

REMINDER: Deer Park Residents Group Annual General Meeting

Please join me for the Deer Park Residents Group (DPRG) Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, June 6 at Calvin Presbyterian Church (26 Delisle Avenue). The membership desk will open at 6:30pm and the meeting will commence at 7pm.

The annual meeting of the DPRG is an opportunity for residents of our neighbourhood to learn about activities during the past year. The agenda will include a summary of actions taken by the DPRG, events in our district and an election of members of the Board for the coming year. I will be speaking to attendees about developments in Ward 22 and beyond that have an impact on all of us. Any persons attending who are not already members of the DPRG will be encouraged to join.

The DPRG welcomes members who have an interest in participating in its activities and serving on the Board. Please feel welcome to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

Brentwood Towers Tenants' Association AGM

I look forward to participating in the upcoming Brentwood Towers Tenants' Association (BTTA) Annual General Meeting at 7:30pm on Tuesday, June 13 at Calvin Presbyterian Church (26 Delilse Avenue) to update members on local and city-wide issues and developments.

Sherwood Park Residents’ Association AGM

I also look forward to participating in the upcoming SPRA Annual General Meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, June 14 at The Sherwood (2567 Yonge Street) to update members on local and city-wide issues and developments.

For information on the SPRA, please click here.

REMINDER: Chaplin Estates Garage Sale

Please join me on Saturday, June 3rd for the Chaplin Estates Garage Sale! The event will take place in the area bounded by Yonge Street, Chaplin Crescent, and Eglinton Ave W and will run from 8am to 2pm. I hope to see you there!

Blessing of the Animals and Community BBQ at Glebe Road United Church

My friends at Glebe Road United Church and the Midtown Yonge BIA will be hosting a Special Service for you and your pet on Sunday, June 4. All are welcome! Bring your pets, bring your family, bring your friends. The Service will be followed by a community BBQ and plenty of activities for the kids!

For full event details, please click here.

New Green Bins Roll Out Across Ward 22

The City continues to phase in delivery of the new Green Bins and the neighbourhoods in the southern part of District 2, west of Yonge Street and south of Eglinton Avenue. It will take about three months to complete this distribution. Solid Waste crews deliver to one collection route per day, which represents approximately 1,500 households. Don't be alarmed if you see residents in your area with new bins and you have not received one -- yours is coming. On the same day that residents get their new Green Bin, the old one will be taken away and recycled. If crews miss removing your old bin that day, set it out empty on your next collection cycle and it will be picked up then (those who miss this second opportunity may contact 311 to arrange removal).

As Solid waste staff move through our neighbourhoods, you can check the bin delivery progress in your area at www.toronto.ca/greenbin. These maps are updated weekly and are a useful tool to refer to regarding inquiries on the delivery status of the new Green Bins.

Here are the City of Toronto's messages about  some of the New Green Bin's key features (with my comments in italics):
  • It is animal-resistant so it can be stored outside or placed at the curb the night before collection with the lid in the locked position. (we'll see about that- the mayor called them "raccoon-proof" but I'll want to see if they actually are)
  • It is larger (much larger, perhaps too large) and can hold more organics. Plus, it meets automated collection requirements.
  • Set out is important. Place the bin with the dial in the locked position with the arrows on the top of the lid facing the street to receive collection. Please remember to leave 0.5 metres between bins for automated collection.
More tips on using your new bin will be delivered with the bin. It is important to start using your new bin on your next collection day because we will no longer be able to collect from the old one. If you are currently an approved garbage and recycling bag-only customer, City staff will contact you to determine if the new Green Bin is suitable for your property.

Over the years, your strong participation in the Green Bin Program makes it the most successful and beneficial program of its type in North America. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

Health & Beauty Day At Central Eglinton Community Centre

The wonderful folks at Central Eglinton Community Centre (160 Eglinton Avenue East), including Executive Director John Carey, are hosting their 2017 Heath and Beauty Day at 10am-3pm on Friday, June 9. They will have free seminars, Pilates and Yoga classes and much more to explore for your health and well-being.

Full event details are available here.

Green and Cool Roof Grants

Time for a new roof? The City offers incentives for the installation of green and cool roofs on Toronto's residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. Green roofs are eligible for $100 per square metre, cool roofs from $2 to $5 per square metre. You can also get a grant to assess the capacity of your building to support a green roof. Learn more and apply at Eco-Roof Incentive Program.

Bike Month 2017

The City of Toronto, through its Live Green Toronto and Smart Commute Programs, has partnered with Cycle Toronto to host dozens of rides, races, tours and festivals across the City to celebrate Bike Month! You can view the full calendar of events here.

145 - 149 Chaplin Crescent Public Meeting

The City has received an application to amend the Zoning By-law to permit five 3-storey townhouses each containing a 1-car integral garage a proposed height of 12.5 metres. The site is adjacent to the Kay Gardiner Beltline Trail.

Please join me at 7pm on Wednesday, May 31 (tonight) in the Cameron Room at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (1585 Yonge Street), for a meeting to discuss the proposed development. City Planning staff will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.

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.
 

Sarah & Claire's 10th Annual Food Drive

 

14 year old Sarah and 11 year old Claire challenge neighbourhoods in the City of Toronto to give back and make a difference in their community

 

WHAT: SARAH & CLAIRE’S 10TH ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE (2017)

 

Sarah Jordan (14) 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.

 

WHEN: Year-round, with a focus on Fall & Thanksgiving (October 9th, 2017)

 

Because the food drive first started at Thanksgiving, most activity around Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive happens in the Fall (September/October). That said, the food drive has become a year-round effort, with activities and the collection of food and funds happening throughout the year.

 

HOW: To accomplish their ambitious goal for 2017, they will need to continue to engage their local Leaside & Davisville communities, and also look to the broader City of Toronto to get involved. Local communities can get involved through local businesses, schools, and by organizing and running their own fundraisers in support of Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive.

 

For more information and to find out how your local community can get involved:

 

Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive

 

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Web: sarahsfooddrive.com

   
   
   

OMB to be overhauled; New Planning Tribunal Substantive Step for Toronto Neighbourhoods

Cities and residents will have more control over development decisions and community planning


Toronto City Hall – Councillor Josh Matlow welcomed the elimination of the Ontario Municipal Board, to be replaced by the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal, announced by the Province this morning as a positive step toward greater local control of the planning process for Toronto.

 

"These substantive reforms could finally put vital decisions about how our neighbourhoods will grow into the hands of local planners, communities and ultimately, local elected representatives," said Matlow. "I look forward to working with the Province to ensure that this new tribunal levels the playing field for residents and contributes to their quality of life."


Some of the planning process improvements to be implemented by the new Local Planning Appeals Tribunal include:


·         Approved Official Plan updates and amendments will be shielded from appeals in perpetuity
.         New Tribunal will only be allowed to hear cases on the "validity of the decision" by council, making it a true appeals body 
·         Secondary Plans will be shielded from appeals for two years
·         New agency to provide local residents with free planning and legal advice as well as representation

 

Councillor Matlow has been working to eliminate the OMB since 1999 as Campaign Director of the environmental advocacy organization, Earthroots. In 2012, Councillor Matlow and his colleague Councillor Wong-Tam moved a motion to request the provincial government to remove Toronto from the OMB.

 

Councillor Matlow looks forward to reading the details of the legislation and will provide analysis to his community when this information is made available.

   

City Hall and Community Update for May 1, 2017

Leadership on Housing and Transit Begins by Setting the Right Priorities

I'm very concerned about how, while the mayor understandably calls on the Province for adequate funding for the significant transit and housing shortfalls in Toronto, I believe there have been decisions made at city hall that have not demonstrated thoughtful or competent management of these priorities from either a financial or social and urban planning policy perspective.

Please click here for a video of a portion of my comments about this during last week's city council meeting while we were debating the closure of TCHC homes.

Province Introduces Legislation to End Unlimited Rent Increases in Apartments Built After 1991

The longstanding issues with the province's 1991 rental loophole allowing unlimited increases have recently been exacerbated by landlords taking advantage of Toronto's overheated housing market by doubling rents in some cases. After a long campaign by the Federation of Metro Toronto Tenants Associations, ACORN, ACTO, my office and many others, I want to commend the provincial government for introducing the Rental Fairness Act, 2017 to end unlimited rent increases on apartments built after 1991.

The legislation also includes additional changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, including:
  • Enabling a standard lease to help both tenants and landlords know their rights and responsibilities, while reducing the number of disputes
  • Protecting tenants from eviction due to abuse of the "landlord's own use" provision
  • Ensuring landlords can't pursue former tenants for unauthorized charges
  • Prohibiting above-guideline rent increases in buildings where elevator maintenance orders have not been addressed
  • Removing above-guideline rent increases for utilities, to protect tenants from carbon costs and encourage landlords to make their buildings more energy efficient.
While I strongly support all of the initiatives the Province has taken with this legislation, more action is needed to eliminate Above the Guideline Rent Increases for routine capital maintenance. This provision negatively impacts so many people in our community, including seniors on fixed incomes.

For more information please see this CBC article.

Community Groups Request Province to Require Comparison of Scarborough Subway with LRT Plan

Over 20 community organizations including Scarborough Transit Action, TTC Riders, and Toronto Environmental Alliance have signed a letter to Premier Wynne and Environment Minister Murray requesting the province to require the City to undertake a comparative evaluation of the 1-stop Scarborough subway extension and the 7-stop LRT. The groups cited my motion to Council last month asking for a similar analysis. Unfortunately, Council voted against my motion asking for factual information. To date, City Council has not been provided with a side-by-side comparison of the two options.  

As the organizations state in their letter, Ontario’s Transit Project Assessment Process allows the Premier and Minister to intervene if there is “potential for a negative impact on a matter of provincial importance that relates to the natural environment.” Given that the number of riders projected for the subway continues to fall and the escalating cost has left inadequate funding for the 17-stop Eglinton East LRT, the letter writers assert that:
  • The Scarborough subway extension has the potential to exacerbate, rather than reduce, Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions
  • That building the seven-stop LRT instead, would reduce Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions arising from transportation.
For more information please see this Toronto Star article.

Council Approves Strategy to Provide 30,000 New Child Care Spaces

As a parent of a four year old daughter, I know how difficult it is to find quality daycare space in Toronto. Like many of you, I had to put Molly on a waiting list shortly after she was born to ensure she would even have a spot. That's why I was pleased that Council approved the Childcare Growth Strategy last week.

The program seeks to create 30,000 new licensed spaces in the city. The goal of the program is to ensure daycare spaces for 50% of children 0-4 years old by 2026. The percentage of children in that age range currently served by the city’s daycare system is 31 per cent.

The City initiative is contingent upon the federal and provincial governments contributing 80% of the costs. The province sent a strong signal that they are willing to contribute to this plan with a funding boost in last week's budget.

For more information please see this CP24 article.

Province Announces Measures to Cool Toronto's Housing Market

Also in last week's budget, the provincial government introduced a number of measures they hope will cool down Toronto's housing market. One of these measures is a 15% Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) on non-Canadian citizens, non-permanent residents and non-Canadian corporations buying residential properties containing one to six units in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). Other measures include:
  • A program to leverage the value of surplus provincial land assets across the province to develop a mix of market-price housing and affordable housing.
  • Legislation that would allow Toronto to introduce a vacant homes property tax in an effort to encourage property owners to sell unoccupied units or rent them out
  • A review of the rules real estate agents are required to follow to ensure that consumers are fairly represented in real estate transactions.
  • Education for consumers on their rights, particularly on the issue of one real estate professional representing more than one party in a real estate transactions
  • A partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency to explore more comprehensive reporting requirements so that correct federal and provincial taxes, including income and sales taxes, are paid on purchases and sales of real estate in Ontario.
For more information, please see this background document from the Ministry of Finance.

Meeting Announcement: North Toronto Memorial Community Centre Construction

While the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre is located in Ward 16, I know that many members of our community use the facilities for important and well-cherished recreation, classes, and social services. That's why I was so concerned when I was informed about the needed repair work that is threatening to shut down the centre for over a year starting this fall.

After meetings I've had with North District Staff, I am convinced that this rehabilitation work is necessary. However, I am advocating that they adopt a phased approach for the project that will see some of the facilities, and programs, at the Centre open during the entirety of the construction period.

The public meeting will be held at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre at 6:30pm on Wednesday, May 17.

Ontario Municipal Board Will no Longer Hear Minor Variance Appeals

Committee of Adjustment decisions on minor variances (generally related to single-family homes) will no longer be appealable to the Ontario Municipal Board. Instead, Toronto has now established its own Local Appeals Body.

I hope that this is an important first step toward Toronto having greater freedom from the OMB.

For more information, please see this Toronto Star article.

Possible Bid-Rigging on City Paving Contracts

The Auditor General brought a report raising serious concerns about potential bid ringing on City paving contracts to Council last week. I'm very concerned in regard to both these specific allegations and the larger systemic issues that report raises. I am pleased that my colleagues voted unanimously to approve my motion. I believe any contractor taking advantage of the City, and ripping off residents' tax dollars, should never do business with Toronto again. For more information, please see this Toronto Star article.

Further Council Motions Demand Stronger Heritage Protection Policies for Toronto

Toronto has a shameful record when it comes to protecting its architectural heritage.

The wanton demolition of the Bank of Montreal building at 2444 Yonge Street earlier this year and the Stollery's Building at Yonge and Bloor in January 2015, are just two of the most recent examples of the City's inability to stay ahead of development applications. We need to implement a more proactive mechanism to protect better protect Toronto's built heritage before. That's why I moved a motion in 2015 to strengthen our heritage policy framework.

Currently, for a building to have protection, it must be either “listed” or “designated” under the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA). A very lengthy process is required for a property to become listed, including a full evaluation and completed Staff research report, followed by consideration by both Community Council and City Council. Only following City Council approval does a property become eligible for protection under the OHA, including demolition protections under the Ontario Planning Act. This review process can take up to five months to complete for a single property. For a property to become fully designated, the process can take up to eight months. There is nothing to save a heritage property from the wrecking ball while this process is taking place.

One of the recommendations in my motion asked City Planning staff to report back to Planning and Growth Management Committee on the feasibility of undertaking a city-wide heritage survey, much like the one that was recently completed in Los Angeles (SurveyLA), in an effort to be more inclusive, proactive and expeditious. 

We are still waiting on the Chief Planner to take action on this Council direction.

A recent Toronto Star Op-Ed article by Michael McClelland of ERA Architects spurred three separate motions at last week's City Council meeting asking for the very same thing I did over two years ago: a survey of the entire city. I am thankful for the additional impetus and urgency my colleagues' motions have lent to my initial request to push this important step forward swiftly. We've lost too much of our built heritage already.

You can read more about the current challenges facing the City's heritage policy and my efforts to improve them in this article.

Also, for your convenience, I have created an interactive map of all heritage properties located in Ward 22.

Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Environment Day

On Thursday, June 1 from 4-8pm, I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The event will take place in the parking lot of North Toronto Memorial Arena (174 Orchard View Blvd).

Please drop off any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste, or even replace your damaged green bin.

Ward 22 Parks Update

Manor Road East Parks
Working together as a community, we successfully fought to preserve green space at the former Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club site. We also worked amicably with the Manor Road United Church to create public space rather than a townhouse development at their site.

 

For your information, here are the final illustrative panels of the designs for our two brand new City parks. I am happy to move forward with these plans, as mandated by the community. I'd like to thank all of the residents who helped shape the vision for these parks by attending my public meetings and writing to me with your feedback. Also, thank you to the appropriate City staff and design consultants for bringing the community's ideas to life!

 

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


June Rowlands Park (including Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground)
For your information and review, here are the final illustrative panels of the exciting improvements to Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground at June Rowlands Park. Special thanks to Lesley Stoyan, the Communities in Action Group, Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison for their participation, our design team, Dan Connolly and City Parks staff and everyone who contributed to the community consultation meeting I hosted on April 3 at Greenwood College School.

 

These concepts represent what the community approved at the public meeting. That being said, I have heard from a number of local parents who would like to see more toddler-friendly equipment in any future playground enhancement plans. I strongly agree and plan to work with residents and City staff to make this happen.

 

If construction on the current phase of improvements progresses as planned, and without any unforeseen impediments such an inclement weather, work should begin sometime this fall (also to avoid impacting the enjoyment of our park during the summer season!).


Glenn Gould Park
I am delighted to announce that the improvements to Glenn Gould Park are almost complete!

It was a great pleasure to work with local residents to make much-needed enhancements to the park, including new playground equipment, a water bottle filling station and ornamental fencing to better protect children at play from this busy intersection. Patterning for the new playground curbing and surfacing is piano-themed, as a nod to the late internationally-renowned pianist and Ward 22 resident after whom the park is named.

A final inspection by City staff will take place shortly and our new-and-improved park should be ready to enjoy by Victoria Day weekend!

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


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


This season, the market begins on May 9 and will operate weekly on Tuesdays between 3 and 7pm.

I look forward to seeing you there!


Davisville Village Jane's Walk

I am delighted that the South Eglinton Ratepayers' and Residents' Association (SERRA) has created a Jane's Walk that explores Ward 22's Davisville Village, from its earliest days through the neighbourhood's continuing transformation. The walk takes place at 2pm on Saturday, May 6 and will begin outside the historic J. Davis Post Office and General Store at 1909 Yonge Street (now, Starbucks). For further event details, please click here. I hope to see you there!

For your information, the full list of this year's Jane's Walks across Toronto is available here.

REMINDER: Toronto-St. Paul’s Summit: Working Together for a Better St. Paul’s

Please join me and my colleagues representing all levels of government at this year's St. Paul's Summit on Sunday, May 7 at Christ Church Deer Park (1570 Yonge Street), 3-5pm. Together with the St. Paul's community we will be talking about key issues affecting our country, province, city, school boards and neighbourhoods.


I am honoured to be joining federal MP, Dr. Carolyn Bennett, provincial MPP, Dr.Eric Hoskins, my local colleagues at City Hall and school trustees in this important conversation with our residents.


REMINDER: Deer Park Residents Group Annual General Meeting

Please join me for the Deer Park Residents Group (DPRG) Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, June 6 at Calvin Presbyterian Church (26 Delisle Avenue). The membership desk will open at 6:30pm and the meeting will commence at 7pm.

The annual meeting of the DPRG is an opportunity for residents of our neighbourhood to learn about activities during the past year. The agenda will include a summary of actions taken by the DPRG, events in our district and an election of members of the Board for the coming year. I will be speaking to attendees about developments in Ward 22 and beyond that have an impact on all of us. Any persons attending who are not already members of the DPRG will be encouraged to join.

The DPRG welcomes members who have an interest in participating in its activities and serving on the Board. Please feel welcome to email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

REMINDER: South Eglinton Ratepayers' and Residents' Association Annual General Meeting

The South Eglinton Ratepayers’ and Residents’ Association (SERRA) is constituted for the purpose of furthering and protecting the common interests of its members relating to real estate, zoning, municipal planning and any other matter touching on or relating to real property within the membership area, bounded by Yonge Street, Bayview Avenue, Eglinton Avenue and Merton Street.

SERRA will be holding its AGM this year at 7pm on Monday, May 8 at Greenwood College School (443 Mount Pleasant Road). I hope to see you there!

Chaplin Estates Garage Sale

Please join me on Saturday, June 3rd for the Chaplin Estates Garage Sale! The event will take place in the area bounded by Yonge Street, Chaplin Crescent, and Eglinton Ave W and will run from 8am to 2pm. I hope to see you there!

Toronto Police 53 Division Annual Open House

The officers and staff of 53 Division invite you to their annual open house at 75 Eglinton Avenue West. The event will take place at 11am-3pm on Saturday, May 13. There will be station tours, face painting a BBQ and many more family-friendly activities.

City of Toronto Community Stewardship Program

City staff are preparing to launch their 16th year with the Community Stewardship Program that runs from May - September.

The Community Stewardship Program works with volunteers in City of Toronto natural areas to plant native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers, remove invasive species (a leading cause of biodiversity loss) and monitor site conditions through citizen science. Volunteers are led by experienced City Staff and can also participate in expert-led workshops on various environmental topics.

The City has goals of increasing tree canopy cover, improving the quality of natural habitats, and engaging the public in our green spaces. This Program gives the public the opportunity to learn about Toronto's ravines and how they're managed with hands-on activities to keep these places healthy.
There is a stewardship site in Ward 22 – Nordheimer Ravine. For more information about the program and how you can get involved please click here.

ESL Service at Central Eglinton Community Centre

If you are looking for an informal place to practice English, you are invited to join CECC's free "English Conversation Circle" on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. The English Conversation Circle is facilitated by a volunteer, and runs from 6:30pm to 8:00pm.

For full program details, please click here.

Homelessness Awareness Campaign

I am pleased to share information about a month-long public awareness campaign that launched on April 24 to encourage Torontonians to talk about homelessness. 

This campaign builds on the City's relationship with the Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness and adds a new dimension to the Toronto for All campaign.

Phase 1 of this City of Toronto public awareness campaign ran in the summer of 2016 and focused on Islamophobia. In the fall of 2016, Phase 2 helped to encourage dialogue among residents and media in Toronto and internationally with a campaign on anti-Black racism.

This campaign phase is designed to challenge perspectives on homelessness and to spark a conversation that will lead to more people understanding that an inclusive Toronto means including those who are currently experiencing homelessness.

The Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness (TAEH) is a growing, community-based organization of more than 100 agencies each committed to ending chronic homelessness. The Alliance and its members are key City partners in the delivery of homelessness services to vulnerable Toronto residents.

The overarching long-term goal of the Toronto for All campaign is to create a Toronto that says "no" to all forms of discrimination. The goal with the current campaign is to challenge existing perspectives on homelessness and to make people confront any lingering sense that it's okay to deny access to their neighbourhoods just because people are experiencing homelessness. Over the next few months, the Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness will be holding a series of community conversations about homelessness. Funding for the campaign comes from the provincial government.

Like the other phases of the Toronto for All campaign, this one is based on the free transit shelter space that the City secured as part of its contract with Astral Media. In addition, there is interior-subway and social media advertising. To find more information and learn about ways to participate in the ongoing conversation, click here.

Toronto Residents Are Invited to Share Their Views on Prohibited Animals

The City of Toronto is reviewing prohibited animal regulations and is inviting members of the public to share their views at two public meetings or through an online survey.

A consultation meeting will be held on Monday, May 1 at Metro Hall, Room 310, 55 John St., from 6:30 to 8:30pm.

Key areas of discussion include the process to add or remove animals from the prohibited animals' list, as well as identifying the extent of use and possibility of regulating prohibited animals in educational programming at birthday parties, parades and other activities.

A staff report with recommendations is expected to go to the City's Licensing and Standards Committee for consideration later this year.       

For more information about the review and the online survey click here.

Eliminate Surprises with New City of Toronto Tax Calculators

Looking to buy a new home? Use the new Municipal Land Transfer Tax (MLTT) and enhanced residential Property Tax calculators to get tax estimates instantly to help plan and budget for your next move. These new calculators are available online and can be used anytime, anywhere. The MLTT calculator provides estimates for first-time home buyers, single family homes and all other properties. The enhanced Property Tax calculator provides a detailed estimate of the property taxes for residential properties and a breakdown of how your tax dollars are working for you. This is part of the City's commitment to modernizing services and improving customer experience.

For more information about Municipal Land Transfer Tax and/or Property Tax, please click here.

Independent Toronto Airspace Review Update

Please see below for an update from the Principal Consultant at Helios:

A change to our programme: as you are all probably aware the GTAA is undertaking maintenance work on runway 05 / 23. I understand that this has caused a substantial change in the usual pattern of runway and airspace usage. With this change in traffic patterns there has been an increase in interest in Helios’s airspace review and the recommendations that we are considering. Due to this increased interest NAV CANADA have asked Helios, and we have agreed, to change our programme to allow all community members to continue to submit comments up to the end of May 2017. Comments can be submitted via the normal email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . This change in programme means that Bo and I are unable to honour our commitment to deliver the final presentation by the end of June 2017, for this we apologise. I will be in touch as soon as I have a new date for the final presentation.

Updates to the review’s website: a new document has been added to the studies website that provides an overview of the three studies that Helios is currently delivering for either NAV CANADA or the GTAA.

In addition three additional FAQs have been added:
  • Does this review mean recommendations can be implemented without consultation?
  • Is Helios involved in other studies related to Toronto Pearson Airport or airspace?
  • What is the ICAO Balanced Approach to Aircraft Noise Management?
There are some links within the answers to these questions that provide further background information.

To learn more, please click here.

Spring 2017 Tree For Me Event

Get a free tree for your home and learn how to plant and care for it through Tree For Me. With Tree For Me events happening across Toronto this spring, it couldn't be easier to help grow Toronto's tree cover!
Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation staff would like to invite you to attend a Tree For Me event to experience this first hand! You can pre-register for the events by clicking here.

NoToBrownlow.com Website is Now Online

The South Eglinton Ratepayers' and Residents' Association (SERRA) has asked that I share the following message with you regarding this inappropriate development proposal: 

Have you been following the NoToBrownlow campaign? SERRA has formed a Party to fight this development at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Here are some of the key points:
  • The north side of Soudan and part of Redpath Avenue have been purchased by a developer who plans to put up two 24-storey rental towers on a four-story podium that will stretch along the north side of Soudan Avenue from Redpath to Brownlow Avenues – and abutting the townhouses on Redpath.
  • The development represents more than 360 rental units, but with insufficient provision of parking and little regard for traffic flow and shadow impact.
  • The City has designated part of the site for parkland dedication, which the development has not adequately addressed.
  • This development offers no appropriate transition to the low rise houses on the south side of Soudan and the townhomes on Redpath. On the Soudan side there will be a massive four-storey podium – almost a wall — across the street from modest two-storey homes. On Redpath, one of the towers will be directly abutting the townhomes. And on Brownlow one of the towers will directly block the existing rental building at 18 Brownlow, owned by the same developer.
The City is strongly opposed to this development and is a Party, along with SERRA, at the full 9-day OMB hearing beginning July 31st.

SERRA has had to hire a lawyer and planner to help us fight this development. Working with professionals at the OMB costs money – a lot of money!

We’ve set up a website with more information and encouragement to donate. Go to our website notobrownlow.com and hit the Donate button.

39-41 Roehampton Avenue Public Meeting

 

A rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to construct a 49-Storey residential tower containing 617 residential condominium units. The proposal also includes a publically accessible open space (POPS) on the site.

Please join me at 6:30pm on Thursday, May 4 in the Best Western Roehampton Hotel & Suites (808 Mount Pleasant Road), for a meeting to discuss the proposed development. City Planning staff will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.

1982-1984 Yonge Street Public Meeting

The City has also received an application to amend the Zoning By-law to permit a new mid-rise, mixed use building on Yonge Street, just south of Belsize Drive. The new building is proposed to be 8 storeys with retail on the ground floor, office on the second floor and contain 30 residential rental units.

Please join me at 6:30pm on Thursday, May 11 in the gymansium at Oriole Park Jr Public School (80 Braemar Avenue), for a meeting to discuss the proposed development. City Planning staff will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.

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.
   

Final Designs for Ward 22's Two Brand New City Parks

Dear Residents,


For your information, here are the final illustrative panels of the designs for our two brand new City parks on Manor Road East (at the former Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club and the eastern portion of Manor Road United Church). I am happy to move forward with these plans, as mandated by the community. I'd like to thank all of the residents who helped shape the vision for these parks by attending my public meetings and writing to me with your feedback. Also, thank you to the appropriate City staff and design consultants for bringing the community's ideas to life!


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

 

Best Regards,


Josh

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


   

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