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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 July 15, 2016

Midtown Community Hub Approved at City Council!

 

I am delighted to announce that, at long last and many years of work, City Council overwhelmingly supported my motion to build a Midtown Community Hub as part of the Davisville PS rebuild. The Hub will provide new and much-needed recreation opportunities for our community including:

  • A 3-storey, approximately 30,000 square foot city-owned Aquatic Centre
  • All-purpose community room
  • Expanded double gym in the new Davisville PS open to community on evenings and weekends

Today’s announcement is a result of over five years of hard work in partnership with the Midtown Hub advocacy group and other local residents/parents, Trustee Laskin, City and TDSB Staff. Construction is expected to start after the new school is completed in 2020.

 

The Midtown Community Hub is a significant part of our strategy to provide more services and public space for our rapidly growing Midtown community-- and comes along with recent Ward 22 parks and playground improvements, new green space acquisitions, affordable childcare spaces and more that we've invested in.

 

I believe that we should be planning for our resident's quality of life in a great community, rather than just more condos. Today, we took an important step forward.


Council Rejects Evidence-Based 24-Stop LRT Network for Scarborough and Approves a One-Stop Subway

 

In a deeply disappointing move, Council voted for a one-stop subway and rejected my motion to redirect funding toward a;

  • 7 stop LRT using the existing, traffic-separated RT corridor to link STC and Centennial College to Kennedy Station on trains with the same top speed as a subway (80 km/h), and;
  • 17-stop extension of the Eglinton Crosstown through Kennedy, serving Kingston Rd, UofT Scarborough and several neighbourhoods in between

As I noted in last week’s newsletter, these 24 stops could have been built for the same City commitment as the one stop. Aside from the one-stop, all other transit proposals (including the Relief Subway) in the approved plan remain unfunded aside from studies.

 

There is no doubt that new, fast-moving transit of some kind needs to be built to serve the Scarborough Town Centre as the current SRT is factually nearing the end of its lifespan. While I believe that the wrong decision was made by Council, I also believe it would unreasonable at this point to do nothing. Scarborough needs our support.

 

Therefore, I intend to work constructively with my colleagues to ensure that the subway (even if its not my preference) is built as efficiently as possible. I can also assure you that I will continue to advocate strongly for evidence-based transit planning while being thoughtful with tax dollars.

 

I hope that Council can learn from this mistake and move forward with transit projects that best meet the urgent needs of all Toronto residents.

 

For more information, please see this article and this editorial.


Yonge-Eglinton Planning Review Moving Forward

 

City Planning provided a significant update to Council on the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan review this week. The current study, which I have been working closely with city staff and the Midtown community on,  looks at growth, built form, hard infrastructure and social services in our community, and is the second phase of Midtown in Focus, our new public space Master Plan for Midtown.

 

This study will inform the development of up-to-date policy that will guide growth in the area and, in combination with necessary capital upgrades identified through the review, support the vitality and quality of Midtown Toronto. I frankly wish this had been done decades ago, but I am pleased that we are taking action, and moving forward, with this critical work now to improve the quality of life in our growing community.


Working Together to Address Seniors Issues at All Levels of Government
As Toronto's Seniors Advocate, I met with Ontario's (now former) Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs, Mario Sergio, to discuss a wide array of priorities to Toronto's seniors. At this meeting, we also agreed to organize a Seniors Summit to celebrate the proclamation of Seniors Month, the achievements of the Ontario Seniors Strategy and Toronto Seniors Strategy so far, and discuss next steps to continue to improve the lives of our growing elder population.

 

I am happy to report that our Toronto Seniors Summit held at Toronto City Hall on June 18 was a great success!  Thank you to the Honourable Laura Albanese, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Dr. Samir K. Sinha, Director of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network; representatives from the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, Lezlie Lee Kam, Chair of the Senior Pride Network and City staff for your participation.

 

City of Toronto divisions and community agencies were also present at the event to share information about services and resources available to seniors. Attendees also learned about ethno-cultural and LGBTQ-specific services and initiatives.

 

Overlapping the Seniors Summit was the appoinment of a new provincial Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs, Dipika Damerla. I was very pleased to meet with Minister Damerla (she's wonderful) last week and look forward to working closely together with her to build upon our respective seniors strategies and develop new, exciting initiatives to celebrate and support our diverse elder population.

Me and Dipika Damerla, Ontario's new Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs.

Council Supports Improved Road Safety Plan; More Work Needed to create a true "Vision Zero" Strategy

 

Council took a significant step toward protecting pedestrians and cyclists this week with an improved Road Safety Plan. While I still think there is a great deal more we must do to keep our friends and families safe on our roads, the increased $12.2-million in new funding announced before this Council meeting is welcome after the underwhelming original version released last month. Altogether, the Plan will provide the Transportation Services Division with $80 million over the next five years to implement measures that will help reduce the risk of serious collisions, including:

  • “watch your speed” radar signs
  • street lighting improvements
  • longer pedestrian crossing times
  • creation of “pedestrian safety corridors” in areas notable for serious collisions which would be targeted for safety measures like lower speed limits and no-right-turn-on-red provisions.
  • 50 mid-block pedestrian crossings
  • 100 new audible crossing signals to 20 intersections per year

These measures are borrowed from the “Vision Zero” strategy concept which shares responsibility for safety becomes with street designers as well as users. This approach recognizes that the built environment can be improved to mitigate and, hopefully, avoid the impacts of inevitable human error.

The City’s implementation strategy is based on three main pillars:

  • Design - Traffic calming measures cited above plus others found in the report
  • Enforcement - Toronto Police will be reporting back with enhanced enforcement including increased funding and staffing
  • Education - Aggressive driving and distracted driver campaigns

I will continue to challenge city hall to go further to support road safety, what must be a top priority, in every part of Toronto.

 

For more information, please see this article.


Game On!: Ball Hockey Ban Finally lifted

 

I am happy to report that City Council voted to end the ban on street hockey. I was happy to get the "ball rolling" with my initiative in 2011 which assisted Councillor Carmichael-Greb, whose motion finally helped us reach our "goal" this week. Sorry about the puns, I couldn't resist :)

 

The previous and unnecessary by-law sent the wrong message to our children, who we are encouraging to go outside and play, instead of staring at screens all day. I am pleased that we can now say “Game on!” to children in our neighbourhoods.

 

For more information, please see this article


No Trespassing, No More at Our Community's New Public Park. Now, Let's Design it Together!
Enjoying a celebratory removal of the private property signage at our new City-owned park space with local residents, including the remarkable Derek Tilley!
As many of you are aware, a developer purchased the Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club property (196 Manor Road East) from the Club’s Board, with the intent to build townhouses on the site. That's why I was delighted to report that my motion directing Parkland Acquisitions staff to negotiate with the owner to purchase the property for the City was successful. While the City was not able to acquire the entirety of the former lawn bowling club, 4/5ths of the site (1,138m2) will now become a public park with only one proposed townhouse.

 

 

Keeping this space green is very important to our community. That's why I worked closely with local residents and City Staff to acquire this property since this issue came to my attention over two years ago. This has been a very difficult challenge but we were resolved to create a park.

 

 

I look forward to continuing to work with the local neighbourhood residents to design the park shortly. I'll send out a community consultation notice when we're ready to proceed with the creative design phase!

 

 

Today’s announcement is part of our strategy to address the dearth of green space in our growing Midtown community. This includes the acquisition of a new park last year at Manor Road United Church (240 Manor Road East), which also avoided another townhouse development on local green space.


Review of City of Toronto Grants - Share Your Ideas

 

In Fall 2015, City Council approved a refocussing of the Community Investment Funding programs. The Community Investment Funding programs are time-limited, project-based funding totalling $3 million. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the grant programs advances the City's Council-approved strategic directions, find ways to better support new and emerging community groups, and respond to the changing needs of the community sector.

 

The City wants to hear feedback from grass-roots groups and organizations in order to generate practical ways to strengthen grant making. Staff want ideas on all grants processes, including making it easier for both grassroots and larger groups to apply for funding, what the City's role would be in providing resources to strengthen groups to fulfill their mission, what the range of project grant amounts should be, and how long projects should be funded.

 

Your input will reshape the current grant programs and processes to make them more accessible, transparent and accountable. A staff report of recommendations gathered from input will be presented to Council for approval in fall 2016 and the new grant programs will be launched in 2017. The grants budget of $3 million will not be reduced as a result of the review.

There are three different ways to share your ideas:

 

Community Investment Strategy Review Survey (fill out information about your group's needs by clicking here) Roundtables for Community Groups (register by clicking here) Community Town Hall (on September 27; to get your feedback on the draft staff report based on input from the Survey and Roundtables. Register by clicking here.)


 

Residents Invited to Help Shape the Future of Toronto's Ravines

 

The City of Toronto has been working with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and consulting with the public and a wide range of stakeholders since early 2015 to develop a strategy on Toronto's ravines.

 

To date, a vision and set of principles and actions have been developed to represent the core ideas and values that will guide the City in future decision-making related to ravines. Before finalizing the principles and recommendations, the City would like to hear from the public.

 

All Torontonians are invited to provide input by participating in the upcoming Ravine Strategy pop-up consultation. Some have already taken place, but please see below for upcoming dates:

 

Sunday, July 17, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Thompson Memorial Park (behind museum along main path), 1007 Brimley Rd. Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Environment Day in Ward 1, Albion Centre, 1530 Albion Rd. Saturday, July 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Junction Farmers Market, 2960 Dundas St. W.

 

As additional sites may be added, residents are encouraged to check http://www.toronto.ca/ravinestrategy for the most up-to-date schedule as well as more information about the strategy.


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



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

 

Let's Move Forward Now with a 24-Stop Rapid Transit Network for Scarborough

Dear residents,


Many of you know that I have been advocating for an evidence-based transit plan in Scarborough for several years now. For those who haven’t been following recent developments, if you thought a 3-stop subway for $3.56 billion was a bad idea, Council might actually choose to build a single subway stop rather than a 24-station LRT network for Scarborough.


The Plans



The $3.2 billion 1-stop subway shown in the map above would provide fast service from Scarborough Town Centre (STC) to Kennedy Station. It would also eliminate the need to transfer at Kennedy Station. But Scarborough is a big place, comprising 35% of Toronto’s land area. What about the rest of Scarborough that would be left on the bus?



For approximately the same City funding, we can choose instead to build 2 LRT lines. One would have 7 stops using the existing RT corridor to link STC and Centennial College to Kennedy Station. This project is part of the signed Metrolinx Master Agreement, and would be mostly funded by the provincial government. Then, with money saved by moving forward now with the approved LRT, Council could fund a new 17-stop extension of the Eglinton Crosstown through Kennedy, serving Kingston Rd, UofT Scarborough and several neighbourhoods in between.



I include this picture of the Centennial College station as a reminder that the 7-stop LRT will go through its own corridor on trains that have the same top speed as a subway (80 km/h).

 

Who Are We Building Transit For?

Combined, the LRT lines would provide rapid transit to the 96,200 existing residents and employees who are within walking distance of a station. That's 6 times more than a 1-stop subway. The 24 LRT stations’ geographic coverage better matches the needs of residents who want more than just to leave Scarborough.


As this map demonstrates, 48% of trips are local compared to just 23% ending downtown. The peak hour ridership for the subway is projected at 7,300 passengers, which is higher than the current RT but less than half the capacity of the LRT which is capable of handling 16,000 passengers per hour in one direction. Further, ridership projections for a 1-stop subway predict almost 8,000 fewer daily users in 2031 than the current 5-stop SRT has now.

These numbers suggests that the subway will run empty most of the day. While people want transit to get them to work or school in the morning, they also need transit to go shopping, see a movie or visit with friends and family.

As Toronto Star report Ben Spurr notes, the LRT network also does a better job of delivering transit access to marginalized communities by serving 25,900 people living in 5 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs) and 3 former Priority Neighbourhoods. The 1-stop subway would only serve 1,700 NIA residents.

 

Development Potential


This slide from a City Planning presentation illustrates the potential of the STC precinct by overlaying the area’s street pattern (red), and boundary (blue), on a map of downtown Toronto. Tasked with providing a planning rationale for a subway stop, the City's Planning staff have developed a remarkable proposal for the area that would transform STC’s parking lots and ring roads into a more urban, pedestrian-friendly street grid.


It is unfortunate that some have falsely created an exclusive causal relationship between this visionary plan and the 1-stop subway. That’s simply misleading. The LRT would have more than double the capacity to serve projected ridership and its east-west alignment would better facilitate expansion of the STC area with an additional stop at McCowan – a flaw in the subway plan that City Planning already identifies in its report shown below.


This chart cites the enhanced development potential of an extra stop in the eastern portion (McCowan Precinct) of the STC area as being an advantage of a subway route along the current RT corridor.



As the above map shows, the 7-stop LRT is already planned to travel in the corridor used for the current RT and has a stop in the McCowan precinct of the STC area. That's one of the reasons why our Chief Planner previously stated that an LRT, rather than a subway, would better stimulate economic development, while also serving more low-income residents as well as students.


(If you are unable to click and play the embedded video above, please use this link)

 

“Torontonians just want us to start building something”


The suggestion implied by users of this now familiar refrain is that the 1-stop subway will be faster to build than the LRT. The recommendation before Council suggests otherwise:


“3.  City Council request the City Manager and the Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Transit Commission to remove from consideration the 3-stop McCowan Scarborough Subway Extension (SSE) and continue to develop an SSE Express option, by conducting the following:

a.  retaining the services of a third-party rail transit construction and cost –estimation expert to undertake a risk assessment and detailed review of the TTC's 5 percent design cost estimates for the McCowan corridor and other possible express subway alignment options”


Three important points that I think are worth highlighting in that recommendation: first, moving forward with the 1-stop option will require going back on the previous 3-stop plan. Second, the one stop subway is only at the 5% design stage. Finally, Staff are recommending that alignments other than McCowan be explored. In short, no one is going to pick up a shovel and start digging a tunnel after the vote, if Council chooses the one-stop subway.



It’s also important to note that Staff are presenting a completion date and cost that assumes a choice not even available to Council. The above chart states that the 1-stop subway will be in service by 2025, assuming that Council approves an alignment next week. But, as previously mentioned, the recommendation regarding the subway does not provide that option. This is a significant discrepancy that must be cleared up before Councillors vote on this issue.


The 7-stop LRT, on the other hand, was at 100% design stage and shovel-ready in 2010. In fact, it was originally slated to be in operation for the Pan Am Games last year. However, circumstances have changed since then and two changes will have to be considered.


The first, and most significant, is a redesign of the LRT platform at Kennedy Station.



The diagram above, depicting the 7-stop LRT in red at the “concourse” level, is from the 2010 approved Environmental Assessment. After Council rejected the plan in favour of a 3-stop subway in 2013, Metrolinx allowed for the Eglinton Crosstown terminus (in blue) to take the concourse level. While a different alignment would be required (the Crosstown is east-west while the Scarborough LRT is north-south), the obvious solution is to run the 7-stop LRT from the subway level. The change would involve additional design work but it would result in a further improved transfer to the subway.


The other change required would be at Lawrence station. The LRT shares the same corridor with the Stoufville GO line for a portion of its 7.6 km. An additional commuter station at Lawrence was recently announced as part of GO RER/SmartTrack at the same proposed site of the LRT stop. There is a strong possiblity that having both stops in the same place would either not be technically feasible or justified from a ridership perspective. I would anticipate that this issue would require some investigation from City Staff and Metrolinx, but it doesn’t strike me as a particulary complex issue.


The two issues cited above will require some additional work but, even with those revisions, the LRT is inarguably far more advanced than the subway. Perhaps that’s why someone found it necessary to release a TTC briefing note earlier this week that presented some rather unrealistic scenarios that made the possiblity of a return to the 7-stop option seem more difficult than it needs to be.


The most egregious suggestion was that construction on the LRT could not begin until the Crosstown Station at Kennedy was finished in 2021, making the completion date late 2026. With all due respect to the TTC, this makes no sense. There has been no explanation, reasonable or otherwise, provided as to why construction couldn’t start on the other 7.6km of the route first. Start at Sheppard. Start in the middle. Start anywhere else. Finish at Kennedy Station. Or, given that the Crosstown platform would be constructed on top of the LRT platform, it is reasonable to think that work could be done on both at the same time.

 

Cost Considerations


The same briefing note used the later construction date to escalate the costs of the LRT to $3 billion due to inflation, creating sticker shock amongst some members of Council. This stated rise in cost is misleading. An escalated cost due to inflation does not mean an increase in the real cost. The value of the commitment remains constant.



As shown in the Master Agreement, the provincial government committed its project funding in 2010 dollars. Paying the inflated cost of that contribution in the year of expenditure does not change the impact to the Province in real terms.


Of more importance, and notably absent from the TTC briefing note, the LRT is a provincial project.



Queen’s Park is responsible for both the initial capital costs and, as shown in this section of the Master Agreement (Page 95 – Schedule G), the ongoing maintenance costs as well.


There is some disagreement as to whether the City would be responsible for operating costs. The wording in the agreement seen above states that the TTC will operate the LRT “under contract with Metrolinx”. The agreement further states that “an operating agreement between Metrolinx and the TTC will be prepared…on commercial terms”. It seems clear to me that Metrolinx will pay the TTC to operate the LRT, but others are steadfast in alternative interpretations.


Either way, all of the ongoing costs associated with the subway will be Toronto’s responsibility.



The above chart shows the 60-year Life Cycle costs (2016 dollars) for the 1-stop subway. The City will be responsible for $1.76 billion in recapitalization costs (replacing tracks, signals, trains, tunnel segments, etc) and $1.087 billion in operating and maintenance costs.


To be fair, let’s say that the operating costs for the LRT would be borne by the City. And, because the operating and maintenance costs aren’t broken out, let’s say that the maintenance costs are a very low percentage of the $1.087 billion. Together, that leads to a very conservative estimate of $2 billion in ongoing costs the City will have to pay for the subway that it would not be responsible for with the LRT.

 

Priorities


When we choose to build large infrastructure projects that benefit relatively few people, like the underused Sheppard subway, poorly planned Union-Pearson Express (UPX), and unnecessary Gardiner East rebuild, there is less funding available to serve your real needs.


A 24-station LRT network would not only provide more transit for Scarborough residents but would also leave an average of at least $33 million extra every single year for the next 60 years available for daycare spaces, youth recreation programs, parks, libraries, and affordable housing.


Despite a steady diet of populist rhetoric, the project isn’t even that popular. Poll after poll shows that Scarborough residents see through pandering statements, caring more about whether new transit will take them where they need to go rather than the type of vehicle.


Council will meet on July 12 with an opportunity to put people before politics. Let’s move forward move with 24 stops for Scarborough.

   

City Hall and Community Update for June 17, 2016

Scarborough Transit Plan Rises Another $1 Billion

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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


REMINDER: The Toronto Seniors Summit is Tomorrow!


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


Date: Saturday, June 18


Time: 10am – 2pm


Location: City Hall, Council Chamber & Members Lounge


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

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

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


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


Luminato Festival Panel Talk on the Condominiumization of Toronto


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


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


Including myself, the panelists are:

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

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


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


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


I hope to see you there!


Heritage Toronto Recognizes the Imperial Plaza Murals



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Eglinton Way BIA Scavenger Hunt


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


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


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


The Scavenger Hunt grand prizes are:

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


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


Come discover all that Eglinton has to offer!


Bayview-Leaside BIA's First-Ever Sidewalk Sale


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


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


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


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


Celebrate Canada Day with Ward 22's Local MPs!


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

 

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

 

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

 

Come join in the celebrations!


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


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


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


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Kevin Friedrich at 416-338-5740 or  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.


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


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


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


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


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Giulio Cescato at 416-392-0459 or  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.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

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

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

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

   

The Toronto Seniors Summit is this Saturday!

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


Date: Saturday, June 18

Time: 10am – 2pm

Location: City Hall, Council Chamber & Members Lounge


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

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

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

Josh

   
   
   

City Hall and Community update for June 10, 2016

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


City Initiative to Support Tenants Moves Forward


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


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


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


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


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


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


For more information please see this article.


School Fun fairs and BBQs

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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


Toronto Attains Global Age-Friendly City Status!


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

 

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

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


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


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


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

 


Toronto Seniors Summit


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


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


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

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


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


I encourage you all to come, support and participate!


Happy 35th Anniversary to Montgomery Place!


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


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


Shop, Dine and Wine on Mount Pleasant!


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


Community Consultation: Proposed Provincial Growth Plan


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


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


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


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


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


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


Toronto Notice Mailing Dates

Property Type: Residential (former Toronto City)

Issue Dates: June 1, 2016

RfR Deadline: September 29, 2016

 

Property Type: Business Properties

Issue Dates: October 18, 2016

RfR Deadline: February 15, 2017


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


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


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


Interested residents are asked to begin the process of hosting a community conversation by emailing the TransformTO team at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and to submit a summary of their conversations to the City by June 20, 2016. More information is available on the TransformTO website.


Enbridge Energy Conservation Programs


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


Smart Thermostats Program


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


Home Energy Conservation Program


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


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


Keep Track of Your Water Use This Summer


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


29-31 Pleasant Blvd. Development Proposal Public Meeting


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


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


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Kevin Friedrich at 416-338-5740 or  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.


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


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


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


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


To speak to the planner directly, please contact Giulio Cescato at 416-392-0459or  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.


Updated Ward 22 Development Page

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

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

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

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

   

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