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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 December 2, 2016

REMINDER: Public Meeting to Design Ward 22's Two New Park Spaces!

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.

Now the fun part begins! Please join me and your neighbours to discuss potential designs and uses for our two new parks at 6:30pm on Tuesday, December 6 in the gymnasium at Maurice Cody Jr Public School. City of Toronto Parks staff will also be in attendance.

Please click here to view the event flyer.


Ward 22's Hodgson Ice Rink is Now Open for the 2016/2017 Skating Season!

I am happy to announce that our community ice rink at Hodgson is now open for your skating pleasure! 

I am pleased that the 2016/17 skating year will once again feature expanded community hours at Hodgson ice. The agreement with the TDSB reached last year will see the rink open for community hours starting at 11:30am (rather than 4:30pm) every weekday.

For more information regarding hours of operation and specific programming, please visit thiswebsite.


Manor Road United Church Grand Re-Opening Celebration

Manor Road United Church is celebrating the Grand Opening of their renovated space on Saturday, December 10 & Sunday, December 11 and everyone is welcome!  

The church has several events planned over the course of the weekend, including the 3rd annual Santa’s pancake breakfast at 9:30am - 11am on Saturday, a Christmas Concert and Carol Sing at 7pm on Saturday, and a Celebration Service at 10:30am on Sunday. I look forward to giving opening remarks and congratulations at the official Open House celebration at 11:45am on Sunday. I hope to see you there!


Please Join Me in Celebrating the Holiday Season with our Mount Pleasant Village and Midtown Yonge BIAs this Weekend!

On Saturday, December 3, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, their elves and more will be on hand to celebrate the Mount Pleasant Village BIA Christmas Fair. The day will be filled with fun activities, as well as in-store promotions. New for this year will be a scavenger hunt! The event will take place along Mount Pleasant Road between Eglinton and Davisville from 10am to 4pm.

Full event details are available here.

Also, come enjoy some local shopping and holiday fun on Yonge Street between Soudan and Davisville. The Midtown Yonge BIA are ringing in the season at the intersection of Yonge Street and Lola Road with a 20ft Christmas tree, carolers & Santa himself. This event will take place on Saturday, December 3 and 10 from 1pm to 4pm.

Please click here to view the Midtown Yonge BIA event flyer.


Annual 58th Toronto Scouts Christmas Tree Sale

If you'll be looking for a Christmas tree, our local kids with the 58th Scouts, Cubs & Beavers have one for you! For over 60 years, local Boy Scouts have been selling fresh, Ontario-grown Christmas trees & wreaths to neighborhood residents. The sale starts November 26 and, as always, they can be found on the main lawn at the Church of the Transfiguration (111 Manor Rd East). Open weekdays 6am -9pm (weather permitting) and Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. Deliveries available. Call or text 647-970-0947 or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Please click here to view the flyer.


Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation Project

As many of you are aware, the City of Toronto will be carrying out waterproofing and structure rehabilitation work on the Rosehill Reservoir at David Balfour Park. These necessary upgrades will help to ensure the structural integrity of the reservoir, extend its service life, and bring the infrastructure to a state of good repair. I have been pleased to work with my colleague, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, City staff and local Residents' Associations on honing this restoration plan.

I certainly support the work that a core group of engaged residents has been doing toward the Vision Plan. We all want this park to be remarkable once the rehab work is completed, and I look forward to working together with the community on that front. 

Also, City staff had originally planned to host a Public Open House in November 2016 to discuss the project plans further with local residents. However, in response to comments received from the community so far, they have decided to postpone this event in order to allow for additional work to be completed. I will share the full meeting details with you for the Public Open House, once confirmed, via my e-newsletter and website. This event is anticipated to take place early in the New Year.


390-398 Spadina Road Development Proposal Update

City Planning recently issued a refusal report to construct a 9-storey mixed-use building at 390 Spadina Rd, consisting of 46 residential units. Unfortunately, the developer has appealed this decision to the OMB.

While this development is actually located in Ward 21 (on the west side of Spadina Road), it will obviously impact many Ward 22 residents directly across Spadina Road and throughout the Ward 22 portion of Forest Hill Village.

In February 2014, I successfully moved a motion requesting City Planning Staff to study Forest Hill Village (located along Spadina Road) and prepare Urban Design Guidelines to protect the small town feeling of this distinctive area. The mandate for the Forest Hill Village Urban Design Guidelines is to maintain the small town character of the area by identifying the appropriate urban character, materials and building rhythm and articulation for future developments and/or renovations within the study area. This includes a Staff recommendation for a maximum of four storeys  street wall for the Village.

These new guidelines will help strengthen City Planning’s position when assessing future development applications for the Village. To learn more about the new guidelines, please see this City report that was approved today by Toronto & East York Community Council. To speak to the planner directly, please contact David Driedger at 416-392-7613 or' ); // -->This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank" style="text-size-adjust: 100%; color: #2baadf; text-decoration: underline;" mce_style="text-size-adjust: 100%; color: #2baadf; text-decoration: underline;"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of the South Forest Hill Residents' Association (SFHRA) in fighting the current development proposal, their shared passion to preserve the character of the Village and to ensure that any development at this location is an appropriate one. For more information about SFHRA, please click here.

I look forward to joining SFHRA and my colleague, Councillor Joe Mihevc, for a community meeting about this proposal in the New Year. I will be sure to share details of that meeting with you via my e-newsletter and website, once known.

City of Toronto Invites Residents to Have their Say on Long-Term Financial Plan

The City of Toronto is hosting four public consultation meetings from December 5 to 8, in addition to an online survey that is available from December 5 to 23, to gather the public's input on how the City can manage expenses, raise revenue and optimize its assets as part of the development of its Long-Term Financial Plan.

Public meeting details:
  • Monday, December 5, Etobicoke Olympium, 590 Rathburn Rd.
  • Tuesday, December 6, Chinese Cultural Centre, 5183 Sheppard Ave. E.
  • Wednesday, December 7, Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Ave.
  • Thursday, December 8, Toronto Reference Library (Epic Hall), 789 Yonge St.
Each meeting features an open house session starting at 6pm. A staff presentation that begins at 7pm provides the context for table discussions, followed by an "open-mic" session for participants who want to make a brief statement. Pre-registration is requested athttp://www.investinginto.ca.

Live webcasts of the meetings will be available on the website for those who cannot attend in person, along with learning and background materials and the online survey. Consultation toolkits can be downloaded for those who want to conduct their own community meetings.

To keep Toronto strong and vibrant, there are some key issues that require attention, including transit, housing, investment in poverty reduction, and social cohesion. City Council has adopted economic, social and environmental strategies that can lead Toronto forward. A Long-Term Financial Plan will ultimately present options and create a road map to achieve long-term financial sustainability through multi-year expenditure and revenue strategies while supporting the City's ability to fund its city-building and policy aspirations.

Findings from the consultation process will be considered by the City Manager as he provides advice to Council on the development of the plan. A second phase of the consultation process, including another round of public meetings and an additional survey, will take place in 2017. Members of the public are also invited to join the conversation on social media, using the hashtag #InvestinginTO.

Winter Season Programming in Toronto

The City of Toronto offers affordable community recreation programming for the winter season. Residents of all ages can register for winter skating programs, swimming programs and March Break camps.

Get ready!
Registration begins at 7am on Saturday, December 3 for Etobicoke/York and Scarborough Districts, and 7am on Tuesday, December 6 for North York, Toronto and East York Districts.

Residents should visit toronto.ca/torontofun prior to registration day to:
  • Find out district registration dates
  • Build a list of choices (program titles and barcodes) using the website or the printed FUN Guide
  • Get a family number and client numbers to log in and register
  • Have a payment method ready or credit on the account, if fees apply

Residents can use the "Search Programs" options at toronto.ca/funguide to build wish lists and have a few options ready in case they don’t get into their first choice.

Using the website efun.toronto.ca is the easiest and fastest way to register for winter recreation. In September, 90 per cent of users were able to log in to the registration system in less than 11 minutes and, on average, once logged in, each registration was completed in just over seven minutes.

Those who wish to register for programs will need to set up an account. Call 416-338-4386, e-mail  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or speak with staff at a City community centre to get a family number and a client number, update your account information, put a credit on your account or request information on the Welcome Policy.

Welcome Policy yearly credit
The Welcome Policy credit can be used to register for City recreation programs. People receiving social assistance (Ontario Works) and living in Toronto are pre-approved to receive this credit and should speak to their caseworker. More information about the yearly credit is available at toronto.ca/wp.

Free programs
Many community centres offer free recreation programs including leisure swimming and skating, and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults. More information about free and low-cost programming options is available at toronto.ca/lowcostrecreation.

Older adult discounts
Older adults (60+ years) who register for adult programs receive a 50 per cent discount.

#WelcomeTOwinter
Winter is arriving in Toronto’s parks, community centres and natural environments. Visittoronto.ca/winter for more information on winter activities and events.

Snow Clearing for Seniors and People with Disabilities in Toronto

If you are a senior or disabled resident of Toronto, the City will clear snow from the sidewalk in front of your home in those areas where the service is not provided by machine.

The City of Toronto provides sidewalk snow clearing in most of Toronto, however, there are some areas where equipment is unable to clear sidewalks due to insufficient sidewalk width for the plows, lack of boulevard space for snow storage, and on-street parking. Most of these areas are in the older, central parts of the city.

Seniors and people with disabilities living in areas where the city does not clear sidewalks can contact the City at 311 to register for the program. The service applies to the sidewalk in front of the home only. It does not include driveways or walkways leading to homes. All participants in the program must renew annually to continue to receive the service.


You can read more about this program, view a map of the areas where the city provides mechanical sidewalk snow clearing, and access the printable application here.

Take Steps to Prevent Frozen Pipes this Winter

The pipes in your home can freeze in cold weather. This can leave you with no water or cause
your pipes to burst, leading to expensive property damage. If your pipes are prone to freezing,
you may wish to contact a plumber for advice. Here are some other tips to protect your home:

Know your Pipes
  • Ensure you know where the main water shut-off valve is in your home and how it operates (in case your pipes burst)
  • Insulate pipes: wrap foam pipe insulation around pipes most at risk, especially near outside walls and in crawl spaces, the attic and garage
  • Eliminate drafts: seal air leaks in your home and garage to stop cold air from getting in
  • Check around windows and doors, electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes
  • Drain and shut the outdoor water supply: outdoor faucets are the first to freeze
  • Unscrew any hoses, turn off the outdoor water supply and let the taps drain
When the Weather Drops Well Below Zero
  • Keep your pipes warm: keep areas that contain indoor pipes above 8 degrees C, especially near the water meter
  • Turn on the tap: for your own peace of mind, you can choose to run a pencil-thin stream of water to ensure some movement of water in the pipes. However, you will be charged for the water used if you choose this step.
For more information, visit toronto.ca/frozenpipes.

Annual 58th Toronto Scouts Christmas Tree Sale

If you'll be looking for a Christmas tree, our local kids with the 58th Scouts, Cubs & Beavers have one for you! For over 60 years, local Boy Scouts have been selling fresh, Ontario-grown Christmas trees & wreaths to neighborhood residents. The sale starts November 26 and, as always, they can be found on the main lawn at the Church of the Transfiguration (111 Manor Rd East). Open weekdays 6am -9pm (weather permitting) and Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. Deliveries available. Call or text 647-970-0947 or email  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Please click here to view the flyer.

 
   

City Hall and Community Update for November 15, 2016

Make Your Voice Heard: OMB Review Public Meeting Tonight

Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is an unaccountable, unelected and anti-democratic provincially-appointed body that has final say over our city's planning decisions.

The provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Attorney General announced this week that they will begin a long overdue review of the way the OMB operates. As many of you know, I have been a long-time advocate of freeing Toronto from the OMB’s purview.

While the Province has stopped short of eliminating the OMB altogether, there are a number of very positive reforms proposed in the consultation document that would significantly improve the planning process for Toronto, including:
  • Only allowing the OMB to hear appeals on the “validity of the decision” by council, limiting the OMB’s ability to hear appeals and completely overturn decisions
  • Preventing appeals of secondary plans, including Yonge and Eglinton which is now under review, for two years
  • Requiring the OMB to send “significant new information” arising from a hearing back to councils for re-evaluation before rendering a decision
  • More actively promoting mediation to settle disputes, preventing adversarial hearings
  • Better training for OMB members, who are appointed by the Province
To learn more and have your say on this important issue to our community, you are welcome to attend a meeting hosted by the provincial government tonight:  

Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building, Room 201
Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Time: Registration and Open House 5-6pm/Town Hall 6-9:30pm

If you cannot attend, there are several other ways you can get involved, including:
Ontario Municipal Board Review
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Provincial Planning Policy Branch
777 Bay Street, 13th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5

The deadline for feedback is December 19, 2016.

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

Revised SmartTrack Approved Despite Lack of Basic Information

Council voted last week to spend at least $71 million on pre-construction work, including planning analysis and property acquisitions, related to the revised SmartTrack plan.

As I wrote in my letter to you last week, Council made this decision to spend time and money without knowing if the Eglinton Crosstown West extension will connect to the airport, how many people will ride the new line, how it will be paid for and other basic information typically provided to Council before advancing a transit project.

Despite my concerns regarding the process and the potential utility of this project, I do think this initiative has merit. I have long been a supporter of extending the Crosstown to the Pearson airport and the concept of adding Toronto stations on GO lines makes a lot of sense as the Province electrifies its lines.  However, it is unfathomable to me that we would move forward without even knowing if the former is possible or any context of where this project fits in Toronto’s transit priorities.

I will provide updates on this project as they become available.

New Ward Boundaries

The Toronto Ward Boundary Review, initiated to help ensure that each person is fairly represented, was approved by Council last week. The team from the Canadian Urban Institute that conducted the Review looked at the number of people living in each ward, as well as other factors such as geographic communities of interest and neighbourhoods, major physical and natural boundaries and population trends, to ‘draw the lines’ among Toronto’s wards.

Council adopted the recommendation from the outside team to add 3 new wards, following recent changes by the federal and provincial governments to add the same number of new representatives to address Toronto’s growing population. Any changes that occur as a result of the review will likely come into effect for the municipal election that takes place in 2018.

To read more about this issue and the upcoming changes, please click here.

Make Your Voice Heard: Public Consultation Meeting on Potential City of Toronto Museum at Old City Hall

Since 2012, I have been actively working to establish a City of Toronto Museum. Toronto is one of the few cities of its size in North America not to have a place to showcase its history.

I originally advocated for the museum to be at Casa Loma's under-utilized North Campus, there is no question that Old City Hall is a more desirable place for this purpose from a geographic, historical, and functional perspective. With the Province opting not to renew its lease for provincial courts, we have a rare opportunity to finally move forward with a City Museum in a building that merits Toronto's dynamic history.

Last Year, City Council supported my request to reject suggestions that Old City Hall be turned over to mostly retail uses in favour of a museum. You are welcome to attend the following meeting to have your say on this issue:

Location: Metro Hall, 55 John Street
Date: Tuesday November 22, 2016
Time: 6:30–9pm

Exciting Improvements on the Way for Glenn Gould Park!

Many of you have written to me about the construction activity that has recently commenced at Glenn Gould Park. Following the public consultation I held with Parks staff in September 2015, I am pleased to announce that this park will be receiving some much-needed enhancements 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 will be piano-themed, as a nod to the late internationally-renowned pianist and Ward 22 resident after whom the park is named.

It is anticipated that construction on the park improvements will be completed in late Fall, though this is a weather dependent timeline. I will be sure to share any further updates about progress on the park, as I receive them.


Let's Design Davisville's Two New Park Spaces!

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.

Now the fun part begins! Please join me and your neighbours to discuss potential designs and uses for our two new parks at 6:30pm on Tuesday, December 6 in the gymnasium at Maurice Cody Jr Public School. City of Toronto Parks staff will also be in attendance.

Save the Date: Oriole Park Association AGM

Please join me for the Oriole Park Association's Annual General Meeting at 6-9pm on November 16, 2016 at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West).

The meeting will commence with the President's report, followed by the election of board members and presentation of the Garden of the Year award. Upcoming community events will also be discussed.
I will be giving an update to attendees on local and City-wide priorities at the meeting. Following that, Steve Paikin, anchor of TVO's "The Agenda", will talk about his recent book Bill Davis: Nation Builder and Not So Bland After All. The evening will conclude with a book signing.

Davisville Parks and Public Realm Workshop

As part of the Midtown in Focus study, the City of Toronto is developing a vision for parks and public spaces in the Yonge-Davisville area.  Please join me and City Planning staff at a workshop at 1-5pm on Saturday, November 19th at Greenwood College School (443 Mount Pleasant Road). The event will include an overview presentation, walking tours and group activities focused on opportunities for developing a safer, better connected, more inviting and beautiful public realm.  

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Paul Farish at 416-392-3529 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by November 15th, 2016.  To learn more about the Midtown in Focus study, please visit www.toronto.ca/planning/yongeeglinton.

Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation Project Update

The City of Toronto will be carrying out waterproofing and structure rehabilitation work on the Rosehill Reservoir at David Balfour Park. These necessary upgrades will help to ensure the structural integrity of the reservoir, extend its service life, and bring the infrastructure to a state of good repair. I have been pleased to work with my colleague, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, City staff and local Residents' Associations on honing this restoration plan.

City staff have provided the following update on the project:

In recent weeks the Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation project team has received many comments and questions from local residents. The City is grateful for the time and effort the community is dedicating to this project, and appreciates the feedback provided.

The project team had originally planned to host a Public Open House in November 2016. However, in response to comments received from the community we have decided to postpone this event in order to allow for additional work to be completed. We apologize for this change in schedule, but feel this will afford the project team more time to incorporate feedback. We will provide updates when a Public Open House date has been set. This event is anticipated to take place in early 2017.

For more information on this project, which is being updated throughout the construction process, please click here.


The Jeff Mann Scholarship - Fundraising Call to Action

Lost too early, Jeff Mann was a beloved teacher at Deer Park Public School, a dedicated coach, mentor and friend to many. Mr. Mann inspired students to reach their potential while instilling positive values of strong character and good citizenship. A scholarship has been created to celebrate Mr. Mann's legacy and continue his memory.

Each year starting in June 2017, two scholarships of $2500 will be awarded to one male and one female grade twelve graduate who will continue post-secondary studies. Scholarship recipients will be Deer Park graduates who demonstrate leadership and contribution through sport. Applicants will demonstrate a passion to improve, tenacity, a competitive spirit, and inspire those around them to be better.

$50,000 is being raised to make the scholarship a reality.  Help celebrate Mr. Mann's legacy with a generous donation. Donations of $25 or more are eligible for tax receipts. All donations are appreciated.

To donate online visit:  squareup.com/store/jeff-mann-scholarship-fund
For more information:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (416)-508-5005
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JeffMannMemorial/


(Jeff Mann)


Ecumenical Christmas Food Drive

Churches in Rosedale, Moore Park and Leaside are again sponsoring a Christmas Drive (the 45th consecutive) to assist local food banks and agencies that are in urgent need of help at this time of year. Flyers are delivered to area households on Saturday, November 19 and donations are then picked up on the following Saturday, November 26. There are two locations. The first is Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church  (OLPH) on St. Clair Avenue East, one block west of Mount Pleasant Road. The other is St. Cuthbert’s Church on Bayview Avenue, south of Millwood Road near Humphreys Funeral Home.

Times on both days are from 9:30 am until around 1 pm. Donations are sorted and packed at OLPH with same day delivery to recipient food banks and agencies. In 2015 about 18,000 items were collected and it is hoped to better this figure this year as the demand is still great. Financial donations are also welcome and tax receipts are available. About 300 volunteers are required and community hours (generous ones) are available for high school students who require for graduation or other reasons.

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

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

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

Toronto Seniors Strategy: Older Torontonians, Caregivers and Community Agencies Serving Seniors... We Want to Hear From You!

Over the next two decades the number of seniors in Toronto will more than double. To prepare for this, the City adopted its first age-friendly plan – the Toronto Seniors Strategy – in 2013. With 86 of the original 91 recommendations now implemented, the City is working with the older Torontonians, caregivers, agencies and other orders of government to co-create the next version – "2.0".

As we prepare the strategy's next phase, City staff would like to drop in on existing meetings in the community to talk about how the City and its partners can make Toronto more age-friendly. This community engagement phase will continue until the end of 2016.

If you are interested in having City staff come to one of your upcoming community meetings, please contact the Project Lead, Andrea Austen at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 416-392-5140.

Support Heritage Toronto & Promote Pride in Our City's Old Homes

Heritage Toronto's Century House Plaques are a unique way for homeowners to show pride in their homes and their place in Toronto's history. These hand-made steel and enamel markers are produced locally and available to owners of any house within the City of Toronto that is over 100 years old.

A great gift idea for the upcoming holidays, a Century House Plaque serves as an elegant address marker that can be installed either in a garden or on a building itself.

The purchase of a Century House Plaque also greatly supports important Heritage Toronto programs, such as neighbourhood tours, and new programming promoting heritage education like their upcoming Heritage Primer series.

For more information on the Century House Plaques, and to promote their purchase as holiday gifts, please click here.

Adopt-A-Street Tree!

Healthy trees offer many environmental, economic and health benefits while also bringing beauty and nature into our neighbourhoods. Trees growing on urban streets face harsh conditions which can negatively affect their health – but we can all help! LEAF and the City of Toronto are excited to release the Adopt-a-Street-Tree Manual, a guide for Torontonians on how to care for commercial street trees in their communities. Come learn about existing Adopt-a-Street-Tree pilot projects and find out what resources are available to help you start your own. Connect with other groups across Toronto interested in helping our street trees thrive.

This information session will take place on Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 1-3pm in the Gladstone Library Community Room (1101 Bloor Street West). To learn more and register, please click here.

Pop-Up Consultations on Facilities, Permits and Sport Programs

Parks, Forestry and Recreation (PFR) is working on a number of initiatives to improve City parks and recreation facilities and services for residents. You may be interested in learning more about three projects that PFR will be consulting the public about over the next two months.

Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan (FMP)
The FMP will prioritize investment in parks and recreation facilities over 20 years. It will guide the creation of new facilities, the renewal of existing facilities, and recommend strategies to optimize facility use to meet local and city-wide needs. Learn more about the FMP and its consultation process: www.toronto.ca/parks/facilitiesplan

City of Toronto Sport Plan
The Sport Plan will guide the planning and delivery of City sport programs and services. Developed with the Toronto Sports Council, this five-year plan aims to advance sport by increasing awareness of and participation in sport programs, and by strengthening Toronto's network of community sport organizations. Learn more about the Sport Plan and its consultation process: www.toronto.ca/cityofsport

Parks and Recreation Permit Process Review
The Permitting Process Review is part of our commitment to improving the systems and business processes that are at the center of our work. The review will identify opportunities to improve the customer experience and reduce the amount of time required to obtain a permit. Learn more about the Permit Review Process and its consultation process:
www.toronto.ca/makingpermittingbetter

Consultation Details
From Saturday November 5 to Wednesday November 30, staff will be located in fourteen busy locations across the city to discuss issues and consult with people in-person. This approach is a convenient and interactive way for residents to learn about and provide feedback on the three projects.

For consultation meeting information, please click here.

These consultations are just one of several engagement tactics being used by each of these projects to gather public and stakeholder input.

For more information, please feel free to contact the project staff:

Public Consultation on Toronto's Long-Term Financial Plan

The City of Toronto is launching its public consultation on the development of its Long-Term Financial Plan. Information about the consultation, including background reports and engagement opportunities, a series of online surveys and two rounds of community meetings, is available here.

The City is asking for the public's input on some challenging questions about how the City can manage expenses, raise revenue and optimize its assets. I encourage you to share your input, ideas and solutions at a series of public meetings or by participating online.

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. 
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.
   

Keeping You Informed & Engaged: My Analysis of the SmartTrack Proposal Before Council this Week

 

Dear residents,

This week, Council will decide whether to proceed with Mayor Tory’s revised SmartTrack plan as Toronto’s top transit priority. Since the release of the Staff Report, the mayor has received a great deal of criticism for not fulfilling his campaign promise of delivering 22 stations in 7 years with the City’s funding portion completely paid for by Tax Increment Financing (TIF). As I’ve written previously, I commend Mayor Tory for accepting that the Western Spur (new heavy rail line to the airport) portion of his plan is unworkable. As your councillor, the question I’m considering now is whether or not the plan as presented this week is well thought out, reflects Toronto residents’ priorities for transit, has a transparent financing plan and is worth a large investment of your money.

The Plan

The new SmartTrack plan consists of 6 stations added in Toronto to the Province’s GO Regional Electrified Rail (RER) plan and, in lieu of the Western Spur, a western extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT (this was part of the earlier “Transit City” Plan). The cost of both projects is $3.7 billion – it is estimated that Toronto is responsible for $2 billion of that total cost.

Additional RER Stations


























The Province’s RER plan entails electrifying existing GO tracks, which facilitates new trains that can stop and start much faster than the current diesel trains. This technology makes it feasible to add stations to a line and provide more frequent service. As depicted in the map above, the province is already providing a number of stations in Toronto. Council will consider funding additional stations at St. Clair West, Liberty Village, East Harbour (Unilever site), Gerrard, Lawrence East and Finch East.

While I support the concept of better utilizing existing GO lines to serve Toronto’s transit needs, there is simply not enough information in the staff report provided to Council to determine whether these 6 stations are a good investment. There was a fairly detailed reportpresented to Council in July 2016 that looked at several scenarios for adding additional GO RER stations but none of the scenarios modeled match what’s being put forward now. The report supporting the current plan does not provide ridership projections or apply a social equity lens to determine the demographics of the users. There is no analysis of development potential or even how much it will cost to build each station. It is not yet known how frequently the trains will run or whether accessing trains at these stations will require a TTC or GO level fare. This missing information is necessary to reasonably assess any transit project.

All that Council was provided was a lump sum, preliminary cost for the stations and a basic overview of some design issues at each station.


Eglinton Crosstown West Extension




As shown in the map above, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension is a continuation of the line currently under construction to at least Renforth Drive in Etobicoke, on Toronto’s municipal boundary with Mississauga. And the at least part is the problem.

The Staff report requests $420 million from the City of Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to cover the cost of the line in their respective jurisdictions. This request was met with surprise and anger by the local mayor and councillors, placing a connection to Pearson in doubt.

I have long been a supporter of extending the Crosstown further west but the utility of the extension is greatly diminished if the line stops short of the airport. Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat stated last week that, while the line travels through relatively low-density areas with limited development potential in Etobicoke, reasonable ridership would be generated by the Airport Corporate Centre office district and the airport itself. Both of these trip generators would not be directly connected if the line stopped at Renforth.


Network Approach?

Also absent from this report is any context regarding where these lines fit into Toronto’s transit network. The City’s Planning Division spent years developing the Feeling Congested framework to assess the utility of transit projects.



Top 5 Performing Rapid Transit Projects

A.   Relief Line (subway)
E.   Don Mills LRT
N.   Scarborough Malvern LRT
R.   Waterfront West LRT
V.   Waterfront East LRT

Next 5 Top Performing Rapid Transit Projects

C.   Durham-Scarborough BRT
F.    Eglinton LRT West Extension
K.   Jane LRT
P.    Steeles LRT/BRT West
W.   Relief Line East Extension

(Source: City Planning)

The above map shows the rankings of proposed transit lines using City Planning’s evaluation criteria. The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension is the 7th ranked project and additional GO RER stations aren’t considered.

If Staff are, in effect, recommending that SmartTrack be built ahead of other projects that were deemed to perform better, such as the Relief Line, some explanation needs to be provided.


Financing
Equally concerning as the lack of information on the plan itself, is the absence of a clear funding strategy. Even more concerning are some of the financing mechanisms put forward in the Staff report.

Tax Increment Financing

During the 2014 Mayoral campaign, John Tory pledged to fund the city’s portion of SmartTrack entirely through a mechanism never before used in Ontario called Tax Increment Financing(TIF). Under a TIF, infrastructure is funded by capturing property tax revenue in the area surrounding the new asset that presumably wouldn’t have been created without the initial investment.



(Professor Kevin Ward, Dept of Geography, University of Manchester)

A public investment in a new stadium on a greenfield site (for example, the Canadian Tire Centre where the Senators play in Kanata outside Ottawa) is a classic example of how, if employed, a TIF might have had merit. In this example, a TIF may be a reasonable funding tool as any new restaurants, hotels, or souvenir stores in close proximity could reasonably be attributed to the stadium. The idea is that, over time, the government recoups its investment from the new property tax revenue at no cost to municipal ratepayers. As well, the municipal services required in the area could be minimal if it is largely commercial.


(Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, Ontario)

Using a TIF to fund SmartTrack, however, is deeply problematic.

The City proposes the establishment of TIF zones around certain stations built as part of SmartTrack. Analysis by Strategic Regional Research Associates (SRRA), under contract by the City, states that 23,737 new condo units and almost 11 million sq/ft of new office space will be built between 2017 and 2042 as a direct result of SmartTrack. The preliminary recommendation of Staff is to capture 50% of the property tax, estimated at $950 million over 25 years, generated by this growth through TIF to fund SmartTrack.

The SRRA report attached to the City’s staff report, however, was produced in January 2016 using the 22 stop version of SmartTrack instead of the pared down version now being considered. The assumptions underpinning the new projections have not been included for consideration. Residents and Council cannot even assess where SRRA are suggesting the new growth will occur.

Based on the January report, one can reasonably assume that most of the growth projected will occur in the sites close to downtown, such as the Unilever site and Liberty Village. In these high growth areas, it is dubious to attribute new development to the introduction of a station. Liberty Village, for example has no problem attracting growth, is almost built out in the residential section, and much of the employment-designated area in the western portion has heritage protection which limits development opportunities. The residents of Liberty Village desperately need new transit because of the density that already exists. To suggest that significant new growth will occur as a result of that needed transit does not match up with the reality on the ground.



(Liberty Village)

report on the use of TIFs in Chicago by the Cook County Assessor’s Office found that the financing tool was ineffective:

“Despite the extensive use of TIFs in Chicago there is little empirical evidence of the effectiveness of TIFs in promoting economic growth, while there is some indication that they benefit disproportionately from already occurring growth.”

Even if new growth could be directly attributed to SmartTrack, capturing 50% of the new property tax specifically for a transit project will require the city to find commensurate funds to provide services for the projected residential communities. Unlike in the previous greenfield arena example, residential development requires libraries, community centres, parks, child care, and other basic amenities that contribute to our quality of life. Former City Manager Joe Pennachetti stated that TIFs are the “same thing” as a property tax increase in an article on TIFs by Daniel Dale in the Toronto Star during the 2014 election.


Next Steps

City Staff have sequenced the project using a “Stage Gate” process that offers Council several points at which it can opt to not continue with SmartTrack. The project is currently in Stage Gate 3, but as previously mentioned, the public is still missing basic information.




I have no doubt the Stage Gate process could have potential benefits for the management of large transit projects but, in this instance, key pieces are moving forward without critical information. Nowhere is this more evident than in the timing of the funding plan. The Staff recommendation states that a firm funding strategy will only be provided after Council completely commits to the project in Stage Gate 5:

18.  City Council direct the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer to:
…report back to Council with the implementation of this recommended strategy once the capital cost estimates have been refined to a Class 3 level and Council confirms its definitive commitment to the project.”

It is absurd to suggest that the City would obligate itself to invest billions of dollars into a project with no idea how it will be funded.

To further complicate matters, the Province has given the City until November 30, 2016 to decide whether it wants to commit to $71 million in pre-construction work, including planning analysis and property acquisitions, related to the 6 additional GO RER stations. As well, Council is being asked to assume liability for an unidentified amount of sunk costs to be paid to Metrolinx if the City decides at a later date that the project is not worth pursuing.

While I’m unclear as to the reasons why this incomplete report was only provided last week, despite Metrolinx notifying the City in June of the deadline, the result is that Council has been put in an unreasonable position. Either we blindly commit the City to a project with little information or forego a potentially worthwhile transit investment for Torontonians.

On the whole, I believe this to be an even worse process than the one that resulted in Council choosing the One-Stop subway in Scarborough. I’m not suggesting that the SmartTrack project itself is worse, but there was far more information available, as often misleading and incomplete as it was, to the public and Council during the Scarborough transit debate. Prior to the unfortunate Scarborough vote, there was at least a transparent funding plan in addition to some, albeit imperfect, planning analysis. While the report before us this week at Council is named Transit Network Plan Update and Financial Strategy, there actually is no clear and transparent financing strategy included in the document.

The SmartTrack report does not provide the mayor or Council with sufficient information to make an informed decision, given the money and resources being requested.

Some have suggested a distracting and simplistic narrative: that we should simply build anything, just build it. That you're either for transit or against it. That anyone who raises legitimate concerns about SmartTrack is a “Debbie or Douglas Downer” and only looks for ways to say “no” rather than “yes”. I believe most Torontonians see through that rhetoric and are more thoughtful than that. I also don't believe that that messaging is fair to those who are raising reasonable and sincere questions and/or concerns.

In fact, that kind of binary decision-making is why we’re still subsidizing the woefully underused Sheppard subway and led us to proceed with spending over $3 billion for one subway stop in Scarborough when there was a demonstrably better option on the table.

I share Toronto residents’ frustration about the lack of progress on public transit over many decades. Far too often, politics has come before people when it comes to transit planning and the decisions made. I want our city to focus on relieving the existing overcrowding on our subway, bus and streetcar lines and expand out rapid transit network to truly connect Toronto's neighbourhoods. Ultimately, many residents will continue to be reliant on their cars until we finally have a transit system that is accessible, affordable and actually gets people where they need to go.

On your behalf, I will continue to advocate that we move forward now on building transit that’s based on evidence and Toronto’s real and pressing needs, with honest and transparent financing strategies.

Sincerely,

Josh

 

   

City Hall and Community Update for October 7, 2016

Dear residents,


As always, I hope you find my latest update to you helpful, interesting and informative. I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful long weekend.


I hope to see you out in the community soon!


Best regards,


Josh


Provincial Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) Consultation Process Started: Make your voice Heard!


The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is an unaccountable, unelected and anti-democratic provincially-appointed body that has final say over our city's planning decisions.


The provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Attorney General announced this week that they will begin a long overdue review of the way the OMB operates. As many of you know, I have been a long-time advocate of freeing Toronto from the OMB’s purview.


With our review of the Yonge and Eglinton Secondary Plan study and the Midtown in Focus Public Realm plan, I've also been actively advocating for a renewed focus on planning for people, rather than just condos- infrastructure such as pipes, wires, transit and roads along with social servies such as childcare, school capacity and recreation and much more must be the priority for planning communities.


While the Province has stopped short of eliminating the OMB altogether, there are a number of very positive reforms proposed in the consultation document that would significantly improve the planning process for Toronto, including:

  • Only allowing the OMB to hear appeals on the “validity of the decision” by council, limiting the OMB’s ability to hear appeals and completely overturn decisions
  • Preventing appeals of secondary plans, including Yonge and Eglinton which is now under review, for two years
  • Requiring the OMB to send “significant new information” arising from a hearing back to councils for re-evaluation before rendering a decision
  • More actively promoting mediation to settle disputes, preventing adversarial hearings
  • Better training OMB members, who are appointed by the Province


I look forward to constructively participating in this consultation and I encourage you to make your voice heard. For details on how you can participate, please visit the Ministry of Municipal Affair’s website and scroll to the bottom of the page.


For more information, please see this Toronto Star article and this CBC News story.


Hydro One Clear Cut Update: Funding Approved to Replace Trees and Make Other Improvements in Robertson Davies Park


As many of you know, on September 1, Hydro One cut down 29 mature trees in Robertson Davies Park. This action was in contravention of a 2012 agreement with our community in which Hydro One assured residents that mature trees would not need to be cut down in order to keep limbs a safe distance required from the overhead electrical conductors.


While the mature trees cannot be replaced, the neighbourhood and my office have been working to ensure that Hydro One make amends for its error to the fullest extent possible. At a September 28 community meeting at Cottingham PS, Hydro One committed to replacing the felled trees while also providing a noise barrier, and other park enhancements.


I am happy to report that I successfully moved a motion at Council this week which facilitated Hydro paying $200,000.00 for trees, shrubs, park furniture, and other amenities for park enhancements at Robertson Davies Park.


As part of the project, Hydro One will also work with Canadian Pacific Railway to construct a sound wall on the Railway’s property.


For more information, please contact Hydro One at:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (416) 345-6799.


Rail Deck Park Takes Important Step Forward


Earlier this summer, Mayor Tory and local Councillor Joe Cressy announced an innovative idea to explore decking the rail corridor between Union Station and Bathurst to provide space for a large park. While the cost is significant, the rapid pace of growth downtown requires measures like this to ensure that residents have a reasonable quality of life. Midtown residents certainly understand this need.


While I have concerns about how the City will fund the project, given our unfunded list of capital priorities, I am happy to support Mayor Tory and my colleague Councillor Cressy (Ward 20) to move forward with studying the feasibility of this idea.


Expanding Hours for By-Law Enforcement Officers


A consistent concern from many residents is noise from construction and other activities occurring outside of permitted hours (7am-7pm on weekdays, 9am-7pm on Saturdays, no construction allowed on Sundays). That’s why I’m pleased to report that I successfully moved a motion at Council this week requesting the Director of Licensing and Standards to report on the feasibility of Staff working overnight and weekends to enforce noise and other by-laws.


If you are concerned about a potential noise by-law violation from construction or other activities in your neighbourhood, please do call 311.


Fighting Overdevelopment of Yonge-Eglinton at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)


This week at Council, I successfully passed motions to send City Planning and Legal Staff to fight several poorly-planned developments that are proposed for the Yonge-Eglinton area, including:


18 Brownlow Avenue


This application is for two towers (25 and 20 storeys) with 648 units facing Soudan, between Brownlow and Redpath. The site is far too small for this significant density. Further, heights and densities are supposed to decrease as sites move away from Yonge and Eglinton. This development is even taller than the OMB-approved 19-storey tower at Lillian and Soudan, which is closer to the major intersection.


City Planning has suggested that a midrise building would be more appropriate for this site and will be advocating for this solution at the OMB.


On a positive note, I was successful in moving a motion last March that secured a 10m green strip along Soudan, forcing the developer to set his building back further from the street regardless of the final outcome at the OMB.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


89-101 Roehampton


This application is for a 36-storey rental apartment building containing 236 units. The tower would be attached to the existing 19-storey, 128-unit rental apartment building on the site.


This proposal is extremely disrespectful to the existing tenants who would have to endure years of intrusive disruption. Further, this ‘parasitic’ proposal contravenes the City’s Official Plan Amendment 320 which prohibits infill that creates “…high rise additions to existing apartment building(s).” The addition would create a massive slab building up to the 19th floor, with a combined floor plate of approximately 1,092 square metres. This is much larger than the recommended maximum floor plate for tall buildings in the Tall Building Design Guidelines of 750 metres.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


55 Eglinton


This application is for a 47-storey tower containing a total of 455 residential units on the site of an existing office building. The application represents overdevelopment of a small, mid-block site that doesn’t allow the developer to meet tower separation distances of a minimum of 25 metres, as requested by City Planning.


This proposal also contravenes OPA 231, which legislates full replacement of office space. It is important that Yonge and Eglinton contain a mix of work and commercial spaces in addition to the new residential development to ensure that the area does not become a bedroom community.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


Glebe Manor Parkettes (on Belsize Drive) Update and 4th Annual Pumpkin Parade


Many of you have noticed that the fencing around the portion of the Belsize Drive parkettes (Glebe Manor Square) between Harwood Road and Forman Avenue is still up, despite the anticipated removal date of September 24.


I have been speaking relentlessly with Parks staff about re-opening this space to the community. They have been consistently monitoring the status of the re-seeded areas and continue to express real concerns about how the exceptionally hot summer weather affected the grass and have told me, in no uncertain terms, that they are not ready to take it down. Their estimate is that the fencing should remain until the end of October.


I know this is frustrating but I recognize that it would be wasteful and irresponsible to ignore staff's professional advice, given the large investment that we've made into beautifying our park for the long-term.

Join us at this year's community Pumpkin Parade on November 1!


Despite this setback, I'm excited to announce that our 4th Annual Pumpkin Parade will still take place at Glebe Manor East parkette! This year,
we will be holding the event in the eastern portion (between Forman Avenue and Boyton Road). Staff have advised me that, even if the fencing is removed from the western half, it wouldn't be wise to have the newly germinated grass trampled by possibly hundreds of people at once.


Please join me, my family, Apple Tree Markets, friends and neighbours, for the Pumpkin Parade at 6:30-8:30pm on November 1.
This is a fun community event where everyone brings their pumpkins for an encore performance from Halloween the night before. I've arranged for your pumpkins to be picked up by the City if you'd like to leave yours at the park!


New Resource to Help School Communities and Residents Improve Traffic Safety

As many of you know, I've been working with parents and residents in every Ward 22 neighbourhood on traffic safety concerns on streets across our community. As your councillor and as a local parent myself, there is no higher priority.

The Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) is pleased to release the Guide to Safer Streets Near Schools: Understanding Your Policy Options in the City of Toronto, a new resource created to help school communities and residents improve traffic safety in their neighbourhoods.

The guide complements the newly released Road Safety Plan by the City of Toronto, and is designed to further enhance the accessibility of the relevant policies for residents. 

“The Guide to Safer Streets Near Schools explains the processes for requesting street improvements in the City of Toronto in a simple and easy to understand format. This resource can help empower school communities by providing direction and tools to assist in advocating for neighbourhoods with slower vehicle speeds and safer street crossings, thereby enhancing the communities in which we  live, work, and play,” shares Richard Christie, the Senior Manager of Sustainability at the Toronto District School Board.

The resource is available as a PDF for download from
saferstreetsnearschools.ca,where readers will also find a web version that includes downloadable templates and samples from the accompanying toolkit.

Recreational Opportunities at City of Toronto Attractions on Thanksgiving Monday


The City of Toronto encourages residents to make the most of this year's Thanksgiving holiday ­­on Monday, October 10. The following attractions and activities will be available to the public on the Thanksgiving holiday:


Toronto Island Park
(ferry located at 9 Queens Quay W.)


Just minutes away from downtown, Toronto Island Park is a great place to walk, cycle, explore and view the city skyline. Ferries will run on their fall schedule. More information is available
here.


Riverdale Farm
(201 Winchester St.)

Featuring traditional farm animals, Riverdale Farm is the perfect place for animal lovers. The farm is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and activities are free. More information is available
here or by calling 416-392-6794.


High Park Zoo
(on Deer Pen Road)


The High Park Zoo, featuring domestic and exotic animals including Toronto's famous capybaras Bonnie and Clyde, is open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. The llama pen is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends and statutory holidays. More information is available
here or by calling 311.


Parks, trails and green spaces


Torontonians can get outside and enjoy the parks, trails and green spaces their city has to offer, with hundreds of public parks and about 600 kilometres of trails. More information is available on the City's website:

Tennis


L'Amoreaux Tennis Centre  (300 Silver Spring Blvd. in Scarborough) will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the holiday Monday. Scarborough Winter Tennis Club members can book six days in advance. All non-members can book a day in advance. Prime-time rates apply. More information is available
here or by calling 416-396-4041.


All community centres and indoor pools run by Parks, Forestry and Recreation will operate on their regular schedule on Friday, October 7, Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9, and will be closed on Monday, October 10 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Regular programs and services will resume on Tuesday, October 11.


Golf


All five City of Toronto golf courses will be open on Thanksgiving Day, with the first tee-off at 7:30 a.m. and the last nine-hole tee-off time at 5:30 p.m. Holiday rates will be in effect. More information is available
here.


Thanksgiving Day at Toronto's Historic Sites


Two of the City's 10 historic sites will offer tours on Thanksgiving Day (October 10) as described below.


Fort York National Historic Site
(250 Fort York Blvd.)


Fort York National Historic Site will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 10, featuring tours and new exhibitions. Regular admission applies.


Spadina Museum
(285 Spadina Rd.)


Spadina Museum will be open and offer afternoon tours themed on the Austin family, which originally made Spadina Museum its home, on October 10. Regular admission applies. Museum hours are noon to 5 p.m.


All of the historic sites except Zion Schoolhouse will be open on Saturday and Sundaythis weekend. Operating hours and activity details vary by location. Please click herefor more information.


Sarah and Claire's 9th Annual Food Drive Community BBQ

Please join me on Saturday, October 8 for a community BBQ at Valu-Mart (1500 Bayview Avenue), co-hosted by Mike Tufts of South Bayview Valu-Mart and Patrick Rocca. The event will run from 11am-3pm and feature a BBQ, cotton candy, and a visit by Pawsitively Pets.

Also, please feel welcome to drop off any non-perishable goods in the specially marked bins in the store or buy a pre-bagged bag of groceries for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Save the Date: Oriole Park Association AGM

Please join me for the Oriole Park Association's Annual General Meeting at 6-9pm onNovember 16, 2016 at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West).

The meeting will commence with the President's report followed by the election of board members and presentation of the Garden of the Year award. Upcoming community events will also be discussed.

I will be giving an update to attendees on local and City-wide priorities at the meeting. Following that, Steve Paikin, anchor of TVO's "The Agenda", will talk about his recent book Bill Davis: Nation Builder and Not So Bland After All. The evening will conclude with a book signing.


Upcoming Mid-Term Appointments

Do you want to make a difference in your city? Toronto residents are needed to serve on a range of City boards and committees. Board members provide oversight of their agency or corporation, bring a community perspective to board discussions, and help to reflect the needs and interests of Torontonians.


This fall, the City of Toronto will be recruiting for more than 70 public member positions across 20 boards. Bring your skills and experience to the table. To learn more about these opportunities and apply online, please click here.


Sign up for the public appointments e-updates to receive information about application deadlines, vacancies, and new opportunities to join a City board here.


New
– Diversity Dashboard


To enable the City to achieve its objectives for access, equity, and diversity and to assist the City in its efforts to appoint boards that collectively reflect the diversity of the community, applicants are encouraged to complete a voluntary, confidential diversity survey as part of their application. We recently added a diversity dashboard to our website which provides an overview of the demographic data for board applicants and appointees. The dashboard can be found here.


Nominations Open for the 37th YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Awards

Do you know a woman who is making a difference and improving the lives of women and girls? The YWCA wants to celebrate her. Every year, YWCA Toronto honours the work of remarkable women who are creating new opportunities for women and girls in our city and around the globe in a wide array of areas such as business, education, social justice, advocacy, arts, health and philanthropy.

Nomination deadline is Friday, November 4, 2016.

Save the date: the 37th YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction Awards will take place onThursday, May 18, 2017 at The Carlu.

For more information, please visit womenofdistinction.ca or contact Phoebe Wong, Manager of Events, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


CERA’s Eviction Prevention for Seniors Project

Did you know that the number of homeless seniors in Toronto doubled between 2009 and 2013? And that at least 10% of the homeless population of Toronto are older adults? The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) is working with seniors across the GTA to identify eviction prevention strategies that work for them. They need to hear from senior tenants about their experiences and needs.

You can share your story and thoughts in a variety of ways – fill out a tenant survey online or contact CERA directly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 416-944-0087 ext 3. CERA is also seeking feedback from service providers and landlords in Toronto on this important issue. I encourage you to help them identify realistic solutions to the issue of seniors being evicted from rental housing.


390-398 Spadina Road Development Proposal Update


City Planning recently issued a refusal report to construct a 9-storey mixed-use building at 390 Spadina Rd, consisting of 46 residential units. Unfortunately, the developer has appealed this decision to the OMB.


While this development is actually located in Ward 21 (on the west side of Spadina Road), it will obviously impact many Ward 22 residents directly across Spadina Road and throughout the Ward 22 portion of Forest Hill Village.


In February 2014, I successfully moved a motion requesting City Planning Staff to study Forest Hill Village (located along Spadina Road) and prepare Urban Design Guidelines to protect the small town feeling of this distinctive area. The mandate for the Forest Hill Village Urban Design Guidelines is to maintain the small town character of the area by identifying the appropriate urban character, materials and building rhythm and articulation for future developments and/or renovations within the study area. This includes a Staff recommendation for a maximum of four storeys  street wall for the Village.


These new guidelines will help strengthen City Planning’s position when assessing future development applications for the Village. To learn more about the new guidelines, please see this City report that was approved today by Toronto & East York Community Council.


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


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.

   

City Hall and Community Update for September 9, 2016

Hydro One's Clearcut of 29 Trees in Robertson Davies Park


On Thursday, September 1, Hydro One broke a promise to Ward 22 residents by cutting down 29 mature trees in Robertson Davies Park on Avenue Rd. In 2012, after months of hard work, our community reached an agreement with Hydro One to protect a stand of trees on the South side of the park.


These trees not only provided shade and aesthetic value for park users but also acted as a buffer to the CP Rail line abutting Robertson Davies. Visiting the park shortly after the incident it was obvious how intrusive the sound of the freight train can be with the loss of the trees.


Hydro One has provided an apology to the community and has committed to “fix” the problem. Unfortunately, and realistically, nothing they can do now will be able to replace the mature trees that were lost- they were 40 year-old mature trees and the damage is irreversible. I do, however, expect them to do everything necessary to mitigate the terrible impact of this action.


I requested they write directly to nearby residents. The next step I've requested is for Hydro One to hold a community meeting to account for their actions and receive your direction on how best to move forward. I will notify you as soon as a meeting date is set.


For more information, please call Hydro One at this number: 416-345-6799 or email them at this address:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Please also see this This is a link for a CityNews story on the issue.


Here is a letter that Hydro One distributed to neighbours:

-------------------------------------


September 2, 2016


Dear Neighbour,


We are writing to you today to apologize. Yesterday, Hydro One made a mistake. Our forestry crew was in Robertson Davies Park to trim Norway maples located under the transmission line. After trimming two trees, a decision was made on the ground that the trees would not survive the pruning and that it was best to remove them. This decision was made without the knowledge that we have a long history of working with your community to protect those trees.


The proper process in this instance is that if the crew had to alter the work plan, they are required to contact a supervisor to discuss the change. Work should have stopped and a community meeting should have been planned to discuss the health of the trees. We apologize that this did not happen. We will understand exactly how this mistake was made and ensure that it is never repeated.


We will work with the City of Toronto and Councillor Josh Matlow to fund a replanting plan that restores the park to the community’s satisfaction. If you have any questions, come see us today in the park where we will be until 5 p.m. If you miss us in the park, you can call our Community Relations Office at (416) 345-6799. We will work with you to regain the trust that we had built with your community.


Sincerely,


Jon Rebick

Vice President, Lines and Forestry,
Hydro One


Public Open House to Discuss Future of Davisville School Site and Community Hub


As you may know, I successfully moved recommendations at city council to move forward with a Community Hub, with public recreation space including a double gym and swimming pool, at Davisville PS.


Please join Trustee Laskin and myself for an open house to discuss the future of the Davisville PS site and provide your feedback on the new Community Hub, which was approved last month by City Council, the school rebuild, and the child care facilities.


Where
: Hodgson Sr Public School (Gymnasium) - 282 Davisville Ave


When
: Tuesday September 20, 7pm – 9pm


Glebe Manor Parkettes (on Belsize Drive) Update


I'm delighted to announce that the improvements to the parkettes are now completed!


That being said, several of you have contacted me, wondering when the orange fencing will be removed from portions of the parkettes. Part of the recent improvements included re-seeding of the grass, which is why the fencing remains. The contract between the City and the Landscape Architecture firm stipulates a 4-month protection period of these re-seeded zones, to ensure the new seed takes root properly without being trampled by people and pets.


Had the weather conditions this summer been more favourable for growth (more rain and less intense, prolonged heat), please be assured that I would have agreed with some of you that the fencing should be removed ahead of schedule so the entire green spaces could be enjoyed by all sooner than later. In fact, I did have that conversation with those overseeing this project recently. Considering the situation, though, it seems most responsible to give the seeding the full protection period suggested in the contract. This will potentially avoid having to re-seed next year and reinstall the fencing for several more months. The fence removal date is projected for September 24.


I just wanted to share this update with you and I look forward to enjoying the full extent of our revitalized parkettes very shortly!


'Movie Night in the Park' Returns to June Rowlands (Davisville) Park with The Incredibles!


For the third year in a row, please join me and my family for 'Movie Night in the Park'. This year's family-friendly outdoor movie screening will be The Incredibles.

 

I would like to extend a big thank you to Apple Tree Markets for organizing the event and to local sponsors for their support in making it happen.

 

I look forward to sharing an amazing evening of cinema with our community on Friday, September 23 at 8pm. (Rain date: Saturday, September 24).


Mount Pleasant Village Harvest Fair


I hope to see you at the 7th annual Harvest Fair hosted by the Mount Pleasant Village BIA on Saturday, September 24. Festivities and attractions include sidewalk sales, live music, pumpkin carving, a pie-eating contest, and a petting zoo. All activities will take place on Mount Pleasant Road between Eglinton and Davisville from 10am to 4pm.


I hope to see you there!


More details are available on the Mount Pleasant Village BIA website.


Please Join Me for Heritage Toronto's Atop Davenport Hill in the 1920s Tour!


In the 1920s, Davenport Hill was home to some of Toronto’s wealthiest families, such as the Eatons and Austins, and well known visitors, including Ernest Hemingway. Led by historians from Spadina Museum, this walk explores the development of Davenport Hill from a neighbourhood of grand estates to a suburban development.


I am delighted to have been invited to say a few words at the beginning of this walking tour at 1:30pm on September 25 to welcome participants.
The tour is being co-presented with Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens, starting at Spadina Museum (285 Spadina Road) and ending at Winston Churchill Park (301 St Clair Ave W).


​In Memorium - Jeff Mann

I'm deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and tragic passing of Deer Park PS' kind-hearted and dedicated teacher, Jeff Mann. Our community loved him. I will always remember him as a generous, friendly and caring person who so clearly loved what he did so well- educating kids. We will dearly miss him.


Monthly Utility Billing Option – one year pilot program


The City of Toronto's Revenue Services is now offering property owners the option to receive their utility billings on a monthly basis. This one year pilot program allows a monthly billing option to residential customers for payment of their utility bill in a more efficient way and in manageable payment increments.
Program applications are now available online and at Enquiry/Cashier counters at City Hall and Civic Centres.


For more information on Monthly Utility Billing – one year pilot program, please click here or contact Lionel Kharag, Supervisor Utility Billing, Revenue Services 416-395-6713.


The City of Toronto Adopts a New Waste Strategy


Following two years of extensive work, the Long Term Waste Management Strategy was approved by City Council on July 15, 2016. This comprehensive strategy will guide waste management in Toronto for the next 30-50 years.


The new Waste Strategy puts priority on reducing waste and minimizing the amount sent to landfill. It emphasizes the importance of community engagement and encourages prevention of waste, maximizing its value before disposal and supporting the move towards a circular economy.


As part of the approval of the Waste Strategy, City Council endorsed an aspirational zero waste goal for Toronto. Zero waste represents a shift in thinking to look at innovative ways to conserve and recover resources and minimize the volume of waste requiring disposal. As we start implementing the Waste Strategy recommendations, including some of the great ideas from the community, please look for new initiatives you can do to help support Toronto’s zero waste goal. We need your help and look forward to your continued participation as we roll out the Waste Strategy's new programs and services.


A copy of the final Waste Strategy can be viewed here.



Yellow Creek and the Vale of Avoca Restoration


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


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


Please click here to read our letter.


Another Opportunity to Comment on the Toronto Ward Boundary Review


The Toronto Ward Boundary Review (TWBR) team is seeking feedback from the public, stakeholders and Members of City Council on two items outlined in the Toronto Ward Boundary Review Additional Information Report:

· REVISED OPTION 2 which has 44 wards and incorporates the refinements suggested during the TWBR public consultation process in August - November 2015; and;

· A WARD OPTION that is aligned, where possible, with the boundaries of the 25 federal and provincial ridings.

This information was requested by the City of Toronto Executive Committee at its meeting on May 24, 2016. Based on the input received, a TWBR Supplementary Report will be prepared and submitted to the Executive Committee meeting on October 26, 2016.

Participate

There are two ways to provide comments:

• Complete a survey

• Attend one of four public meetings happening this September (visit www.drawthelines.ca for details)


o Sept 14th, 2016. 7-9pm. Metro Hall


o Sept 15th, 2016. 7-9pm. Scarborough Civic Centre


o Sept 19th, 2016. 7-9pm. North York Civic Centre


o Sept 21st, 2016. 7-9pm. Etobicoke Civic Centre


Project Background & Timeline

From July 2014 to February 2015, the TWBR conducted a civic engagement and public consultation process to collect opinions on Toronto's current ward alignment to ensure that wards have more equal population sizes. Currently, they are very disproportionate across the city.
The results informed the development of five options for re-aligning Toronto’s wards. A second round of the TWBR’s civic engagement and public consultation process solicited feedback on these options between August and November 2015. The TWBR Final Report (May 2016) summarized the TWBR process and recommended a new ward structure.

More information can be found at www.drawthelines.ca

Municipal Licensing and Standards and Parks, Forestry and Recreation Launches Responsible Dog Owner Campaign


The City of Toronto is encouraging residents to be responsible pet owners and keep their dogs on a leash at all times. In addition to increased bylaw enforcement in parks, changes in shifts and "zero tolerance" for dogs off-leash, a communications campaign is being launched with Parks to educate residents about their responsibilities when having pets in the city.


Components of the campaign include advertising in Parks Fun Guide and transit posters in TTC shelters. Other components include posters, Dogs Off Leash 101 public education piece, information on website, postcards and social media campaign.


For more information, please contact Rose Burrows at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 416-392-7810.


Basement Flooding & Water Quality Improvements Study


A Master Plan Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study is underway to determine the contributing factors for surface and basement flooding in Study Area 40 and recommend solutions to improve the City’s sewer system and overland drainage routes in order to mitigate flooding problems. This study will also aim to improve the quality of stormwater runoff before it is discharged to watercourses.


Please feel welcome to attend the first Public Information Centre (PIC) to learn about factors contributing to surface and basement flooding and the different options being considered to reduce flooding in Study Area 40.


Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Time: 6pm to 8pm


Location: North Toronto Memorial Community Centre 200 Eglinton Ave West (at Avenue Road)


You will have an opportunity to view display boards and speak one-on-one with project staff.


Also, there is still time to complete the online survey.


For more information, please contact Mae Lee, Public Consultation Unit, at 416-392-8210 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Retiring on a Low Income: Plain Language Advice


The City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto Public Library to provide a lecture series including, "Retiring on a Low-Income".


You need to know how to get the most from income security programs. M
any financial advisors are unfamiliar with how they work - together and with other income sources. John Stapleton, Open Policy Ontario, will help you understand:

·         Old Age Security

·         Guaranteed Income Supplement

·         Canada Pension Plan

·         Ontario Disability Support

Attend a free workshop at a Toronto Public Library branch:

  • Parliament: Sept. 27 at 6pm
  • Danforth/Coxwell: Sept. 28 at 6pm
  • Lillian H. Smith: Oct. 4 at 6:30pm
  • New Toronto: Oct. 12 at 6:30pm
  • Thorncliffe: Oct. 20 at 6:30pm
  • St. James Town: Oct. 25 at 6:30pm
  • Lillian H. Smith: Nov. 2 at 1pm
  • Albert Campbell: Nov. 9 at 6pm
  • Parkdale: Nov. 15 at 6:30pm

Free refreshments and workbooks. All are welcome!


The corresponding Workbook (same title) is available on John Stapleton's website.


"Get Emergency Ready" in Multiple Languages Promotes Personal and Family Preparedness


Toronto is a multicultural society made up of many different communities and languages. As part of its legislated mandate to educate the public on how to be prepared for emergencies, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has translated its publicly available preparedness guides into 11 languages, based on the top language groups identified by Statistics Canada.


In an effort to promote the availability of this information in multiple languages, the OEM is encouraging residents to visit their website, where you can view and download the OEM's personal preparedness guide in your choice of language.


For more information, please contact the Office of Emergency Management at 416-392-4554 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Fighting Overdevelopment of Yonge-Eglinton at the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)


This week at Toronto & East York Community Council I successfully passed motions to send City Planning and Legal Staff to fight several poorly-planned developments that are proposed for the Yonge-Eglinton area, including:


18
Brownlow


This application is for two towers (25 and 20 storeys) with 648 units facing Soudan, between Brownlow and Redpath. The site is far too small for this significant density. Further, heights and densities are supposed to decrease as sites move away from Yonge and Eglinton. This development is even taller than the OMB-approved 19-storey tower at Lillian and Soudan, which is closer to the major intersection.


City Planning has suggested that a midrise building would be more appropriate for this site and will be advocating for this solution at the OMB. On a positive note, I was successful in moving a motion last March that secured a 10m green strip along Soudan, forcing the developer to set his building back further from the street regardless of the final outcome at the OMB.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


89-101
Roehampton


This application is for a 36-storey rental apartment building containing 236 units. The tower would be attached to the existing 19-storey, 128-unit rental apartment building on the site.


This proposal is extremely disrespectful to the existing tenants who would have to endure years of intrusive disruption. Further, this ‘parasitic’ proposal contravenes the City’s Official Plan Amendment 320 which prohibits infill that creates “…high rise additions to existing apartment building(s).” The addition would create a massive slab building up to the 19th floor, with a combined floor plate of approximately 1,092 square metres. This is much larger than the recommended maximum floor plate for tall buildings in the Tall Building Design Guidelines of 750 metres.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


55
Eglinton


This application is for a 47-storey tower containing a total of 455 residential units on the site of an existing office building. The application represents overdevelopment of a small, mid-block site that doesn’t allow the developer to meet tower separation distances of a minimum of 25 metres, as requested by City Planning.


This proposal also contravenes OPA 231, which legislates full replacement of office space. It is important that Yonge and Eglinton contain a mix of work and commercial spaces in addition to the new residential development to ensure that the area does not become a bedroom community.


For more information, please see the Staff Report.


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.

   

Our letter requesting a Master Plan for the restoration of Yellow Creek and the Vale of Avoca

August 25, 2016


Parks and Environment Committee

 

Re: Yellow Creek / Vale of Avoca Master Plan

 

Dear Chair and Committee Members,


The Yellow Creek and Vale of Avoca areas are beloved parts of Ward 27 and 22.  In an urban environment, such green spaces represent a precious resource; offering recreation for residents, a natural habitat for wildlife and an abundance of plant diversity.  The area also houses vital infrastructure including sewer lines, stairs, bridges and other public facilities.

 

In past years this vale and watercourse has been a source of pride for the local community, hosting picnics and hikes, and boasting a beautiful rose garden.  Unfortunately, the park is now challenged in many ways.  Flooding and overflow has contributed to bank degradation, erosion, washed out bridges and impassable trails.  The public's access has been restricted due to broken stairs, closed access points and many areas made dangerous due to tree fall.  Yellow Creek itself has been polluted by spills, causing further degradation to the Vale; an area designated as Environmentally Significant by Parks, Forestry and Recreation

 

With the recognition that a geomorphic study of Yellow Creek, is to be conducted by Toronto Water for 2017, the local community has stepped forward to ask that City divisions come together to address the multiple pressing needs of this Environmentally Significant Area.  While the pending Ravine Strategy is a positive step towards increasing collaboration on such projects - and we are willing to work with the City to advance its goals - the need in the Vale of Avoca is pressing and immediate.

 

In order to protect and restore the Vale of Avoca, we believe it is necessary to create a Master Plan that integrates the budgets, construction schedules, and communication plans of the various invested divisions and their overlapping responsibilities. Such a plan will serve to create a model that will be useful in application to similarly distressed natural areas, and will be supportive of the Ravine Strategy's larger goals. We therefore recommend the following:

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

Request the Deputy City Manager of Cluster A to report to the February 2017 meeting of the Parks and Environment Committee on the feasibility and process to develop a Master Plan for the Yellow Creek and Vale of Avoca area that:


a.  includes an inventory and state of good repair of existing facilities;

b.  considers past and current plans, assessments and studies

c.  coordinates the planning for future work of Toronto Water, Transportation, Parks, Forestry, Natural Environments, and the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority and other divisions and agencies;

d.  ensures that the Master Plan identifies relationships and responsibilities for the implementations and maintenance of planned improvements; and

e.  establishes a working group comprised of relevant community stakeholders to identify areas of priority community concern.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Josh Matlow                             Kristyn Wong-Tam

Toronto City Councillor              Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's                 Ward 27 – Toronto Centre-Rosedale

   

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