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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 tenant issues related to the Residential Tenancies Act, December 18 2013.

Councillor Josh Matlow spoke regarding development charges, October 9, 2013.

Art Shoppe Settlement Details Now Public

Earlier this year, the applicants for the Art Shoppe development chose to bypass the democratic process and take their proposal directly to the OMB. At the pre-hearing, I ensured that our community's interests were well represented by City Planning and Legal staff. The OMB suggested mediation instead of a full hearing.

 

I worked very closely with the South Eglinton Residents' and Ratepayers' Association (SERRA) and the Quantum Owners and Residents Association (QuORA) representing the nearby condo owners. The results of the mediation was presented as a confidential item to City Council in late August. I am now legally allowed to share the results of the mediation.

 

The community representatives were able to reduce the proposal from two towers of 38 and 29 storeys to one 28 storey tower on the north side of the site stepping down to a 12 storey midrise on the south side. Also, the building will step down to 6 storeys on the eastern side.

 

While I would have preferred the entire site to be a midrise building, I believe the community members and City staff were able to achieve the best result possible, given the situation. I, along with local residents, fought hard to mitigate the impact this development could have on the adjacent neighbourhood and condos next door.

 

We were able to secure 1,100 square metres of new park space on the east side of the building by having the developers give the first two houses east of Yonge street on Soudan over to the City. The City will connect this new park to the existing one on Hillsdale. This park will create a buffer between the new building and the neighbourhood to the east.

 

Importantly, by lowering the height to 12 storeys on the south side of the development, we were able to help protect Yonge Street, south of Hillsdale, from being developed with heights greater than midrise.

 

You can see the full details of the mediated settlement here.

 

City Council Update- Final of this term

Dear Residents,

 

I hope this finds you well and that you had a great summer!

 

As I shared with you in my most recent update, I will be able to continue sending you regular updates after the municipal election on October 27th.

 

However, I do continue to keep my website, Twitter and Facebook pages very current with news and events from our Ward 22 neighbourhoods.

 

I've included information about a few items below that were considered at this term's final City Council meeting (held between August 25-28th) that may be of interest to you and your family.

 

Melissa, Molly and I hope to see you out in our community soon.

 

Best wishes,

 

Josh

 


Motion Approved for a Potential Public Park at the Glebe Manor Bowling Club


As many of you are aware, a developer is in the process of purchasing the Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club property (196 Manor Road East) from the Club’s Board with the intent to build townhouses on the site.

 

This green space is very important to our community. In fact, we have a dearth of green space in our growing Midtown neighbourhoods. That's why I've been proactively working closely with local residents to acquire this property as a public park since this issue came to my attention several months ago.

 

Earlier this year, I successfully moved a motion at Council directing Real Estate Services staff to evaluate the fair market value of the property at 196 Manor Road East, and directing Parkland Acquisitions staff to begin negotiations with the current owner(s) for the purpose of purchase by the City and report back to Council's Executive Committee in August. I'm happy to report that both the Executive Committee and Council supported recommendations for the City to purchase the site if there is a willing seller. I also saw many of you at a public information meeting I held at Hodgson Sr PS on June 18.

 

The City has still not received any indication from the owner that they are willing to sell the property with a purpose to preserve the green space. In fact, they seem intent to move forward with a townhouse development, which I am strongly opposed to. While Council supported my initiative to make the funds available to purchase the lawn bowling club, Staff have not had a willing seller to negotiate with.

 

I have been working with a group of the lawn bowling club shareholders, who are mounting an opposition to the current Board's decision to sell the property to a developer. They need your support and assistance. For more information on their efforts to keep this space green, and how you can help, please click here.

 

The community and I are dedicated to taking every legal means to preserve this green space in perpetuity. I will continue to update you every step of the way.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

 


Making the Union-Pearson Express Fare More Affordable, Competitive and Fair


Metrolinx's Union-Pearson Express line is a welcome addition to Toronto's transit network. For too long, our city has been one of the few world centres without rapid transit to its International Airport.

 

While I'm certainly pleased that this critical infrastructure appears to be on budget and will be ready to open for the Pan Am Games next year, I moved a motion at Council expressing some major concerns with emerging cost details that limit the accessibility of this line.

 

While the passenger fare has yet to be confirmed, media reports have estimated that the new line could cost riders upwards of $30 per trip. This cost may, or may not, have an effect on business or international travelers but it would barely be competitive with taxis or limousines for residents. Common sense would dictate that if a resident living anywhere other than downtown (within close proximity to Union Station) can be picked up from their house and taken to the airport for $50-60, they may opt to spend the extra money to avoid the additional time as the cost differential is not that substantial.

 

Further, a couple or a family might actually find it more expensive to take the Union­ Pearson Express.

 

Another troubling consumer cost detail associated with the Union-Pearson Express is the $1.85 fee passengers are being charged for not parking at the airport. The City of Toronto and other municipal governments in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area are actively encouraging residents to use public transit. This fee would penalize air travelers for making a choice that helps fight congestion.

 


New Playground for Eglinton Public School


As students and parents are all too familiar, the playground at Eglinton PS is in serious need of improvement and has been for many years. Over two years ago, I secured developers' fees for school upgrades through a nearby development. After extensive consultation with the school community, Trustee Laskin submitted a very exciting plan for a revitalized outdoor area, including:

 

  • New landscaping
  • Funnel ball game
  • Tetherball game
  • Bicycle racks
  • New trees and planters
  • New sandbox
  • Custom water wall
  • Additions to existing play equipment
  • Stone seating wall
  • Chess tables
  • Custom puppet show booth

 

My motion, supported by Council, included a Community Access Agreement (which will have to be signed by the TDSB) securing access for the wider community to the enhanced play area during evenings and weekends.

 


Improving the Mount Pleasant Road Streetscape and Supporting Small Business


With the Mount Pleasant Crosstown station set to open at the intersection of Eglinton and Mt. Pleasant in 2020, it is imperative that the local BIA start developing a unified streetscape design as soon as possible.

 

That's why I moved a motion to provide the Mount Pleasant BIA with $30,000, fully funded by Section 37 community benefits, to design a Streetscape Masterplan that will start the process of adding new trees, street furniture and other enhancements in the coming years.

 

This plan will help improve the walkability and attractiveness of the street which will, in turn, help attract new businesses to the neighbourhood.

 

The new plan will be developed in consultation with the South Eglinton Residents' and Ratepayers' Association, the Davisville Village community and myself. Public meeting notices will be posted in early 2015.

 


Improving the Deer Park Streetscape at Yonge & St. Clair


As local residents know all too well, the public realm in the Yonge and St. Clair area is in great need of improvement. The sidewalks are cracked and the very few existing trees are in poor health, sitting in out-of-date planters that are used as a receptacle for cigarette butts and garbage.

 

To help improve the neighbourhood, I have directed developers' fees toward Section 37 streetscape improvements in the area. The motion allocates $200,000 for planting trees in new, City-standard planters and other street enhancements.

 


Beautifying Oriole Parkway


At present, the Oriole Parkway median is a mostly concrete strip separating the north and southbound lanes. I believe it has the potential to be a remarkable street with a more residential character.

 

My recent motion directs $315,000, entirely paid for through developers' fees, for the installation of planters for approximately 60 trees, new curbs, top soil and sod on the median between Eglinton Avenue and Imperial Street. In addition, the funds will be used to beautify the eastern boulevard of Oriole Parkway between Kilbarry Road and Lonsdale Road.

 

There will be a notice sent to Oriole Parkway residents in the new year to discuss what specific improvements should be made. The intention of this initiative is to create a more attractive public realm on Oriole Parkway for the neighbourhood to enjoy, while also alerting drivers that they should control their speed in this residential area.

 


Taking Back Our Streets – Getting Developers out of Traffic Lanes


As many of you know all too well, traffic congestion is a significant problem for Toronto's motorists, public transit users and cyclists. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently noted that the Greater Toronto Area suffers from the longest work commute times in North America. Estimates have put the cost of congestion to our city's economy at $6 billion a year while negatively impacting on the quality of life of our residents.

 

Of course, the long-term solutions to this problem include building a more accessible, affordable, extensive and efficient public transportation system. But, in the meantime, we must take every opportunity to ease congestion.

 

The practice of allowing developers to block lanes of traffic for construction negatively impacts motorists, surface transit users, cyclists and pedestrians. This usage of our streets causes bottlenecks, backing up traffic several blocks on major arterial roads, and can lead to inconvenient and, in some cases, unsafe conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

 

Toronto's streets must be used more efficiently.

 

To help address this issue, I successfully moved a motion at Council requesting Transportation Services staff to study the feasibility of eliminating the practice of allowing developers to occupy a lane of traffic for construction.

 

My motion also recognizes that the long-term goal of eliminating the practice of using lanes for construction may need some interim provisions to open traffic lanes for the public as quickly as possible. At present, there is little incentive for developers to keep their construction staging area on their own property, rather than impose on public space, since the applicant's fee is largely comprised of a modest up-front payment, followed by a very minimal monthly fee thereafter.

 

That's why I also requested City Staff to look at the feasibility of increasing the initial up-front fee for blocking a lane to encourage developers to look for alternate solutions that do not negatively impact residents, and the feasibility of escalating monthly fees for blocking a street lane to encourage developers to use that lane for the least amount of time possible.

 


Reducing the Cost of Paid-Duty Police Officers


As a member of the Council's Audit Committee, I set a process in motion to reduce the number of paid-duty police officers the City needs to hire at construction and work sites.

 

I, along with many residents, find it frustrating and wrong to see uniformed police officers standing by work sites while other budgets to important City services are being cut.

 

I am happy to report that my colleagues on Audit Committee and, subsequently, City Council, supported my motion requesting the province to follow Vancouver's lead by ensuring that lower-paid enforcement officials are monitoring construction sites. If permitted, this initiative will save the City of Toronto, businesses and community organizations millions of dollars while ensuring that the police are focused on what they're best at - serving and protecting us.

 

For more information, please read this article.

 

Along with many police priorities, I hear from Ward 22 residents every day, including from fellow parents, that traffic safety and more enforcement in our neighbourhoods should be an important place where police resources go.

   

Toronto Public Library events for adults from September to December

The Toronto Public Library branch at Deer Park is offering many programs for adults from September to December, 2014. To learn about the programs being offered or to see library contact information, continue reading below.

 

Contact Information:


TPL Deer Park Branch

40 St. Clair Avenue East

Toronto, Ontario

416 393 7657

 

September


Author Talk. Disobeying Hitler by Professor Randall Hansen.

Tuesday Sept 9 at 2 pm

Disobeying Hitler tells of German revolt against the dying Nazi tyranny.

Professor Randall Hansen, political scientist, historian, U of T discusses new evidence on three direct violations of orders made personally by Adolf Hitler: The refusal by the commander of Paris to destroy the city; Albert Speer's refusal to implement a scorched earth policy in Germany; and the failure to defend Hamburg against invading British forces.

 

Read more

   

Age-Friendly Focus Group for the Deer Park Neighbourhood: A City for All Ages

 

 

You can download a printable PDF of this notice by clicking here.

   

Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club Update

 

Dear Residents,

 

Late last week it came to my attention that a Building Permit notice was posted at the Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club site (196 Manor Road East). Further investigation revealed that the permit was for an eight-foot sign to be erected on the property. I am not aware of what the owner intended to put on the sign.

 

However, I am happy to report that the permit has now been revoked and the owners have been ordered to remove the public notice of the permit. This is indeed good news but we must keep moving forward to acquire the property as a City Park.

 

As many of you are now aware, a developer is in the process of purchasing the Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club property (196 Manor Road East) from the Club’s Board with the intent to build townhouses on the site.

 

This green space is very important to our community. That's why I've been proactively working closely with local residents to acquire this property as a public park since this issue came to my attention several months ago.

 

Earlier this year, I successfully moved a motion at Council directing Real Estate Services staff to evaluate the fair market value of the property at 196 Manor Road East, and directing Parkland Acquisitions staff to begin negotiations with the current owner(s) for the purpose of purchase by the City and report back to Council's Executive Committee in August. I'm happy to report that both the Executive Committee and Council supported recommendations for the City to purchase the site if there is a willing seller. I also saw many of you at a public information meeting I held at Hodgson Sr PS on June 18.

 

The City has still not received any indication from the owner that they are willing to sell the property with a purpose to preserve the green space. In fact, they seem intent to move forward with a townhouse development, which I am strongly opposed to. While Council supported my initiative to make the funds available to purchase the lawn bowling club, Staff have not had a willing seller to negotiate with.

 

I have been working with a group of the lawn bowling club shareholders, who are mounting an opposition to the current Board's decision to sell the property to a developer. They need your support and assistance. For more information on their efforts to keep this space green, and how you can help, please click here.

 

The community and I are dedicated to taking every legal means to preserve this green space in perpetuity. I will continue to update you every step of the way.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

   

Metrolinx Crosstown Open House Notice

 

You can download a printable PDF of this notice by clicking here.

   

NOTICE OF MOTION: Making the Union-Pearson Express Fare More Affordable, Competitive and Fair for Toronto Residents

NOTICE OF MOTION: Making the Union-Pearson Express Fare More Affordable, Competitive and Fair for Toronto Residents

 

Moved by:

 

Councillor Matlow

 

Seconded by:

 

Deputy Mayor Kelly

 

SUMMARY:

 

Metrolinx's Union-Pearson Express line is a welcome addition to Toronto's transit network. For too long, our city has been one of the few world centres without rapid transit to its International Airport.

 

While residents are pleased that this critical infrastructure appears to be on budget and will be ready to open for the Pan-Am games next year, they have some major concerns with emerging cost details that limit the accessibility of this line. These troubling details include potentially high fares and a fee in lieu of parking paid to the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.

 

While the passenger fare has yet to be confirmed, media reports have estimated that the new line could cost riders upwards of $30 per trip. This cost may, or may not, have an effect on business or international travelers but it would barely be competitive with taxis or limousines for residents. Common sense would dictate that if a resident living anywhere other than downtown (within close proximity to Union Station) can get picked up from their house and taken to the airport for about $50-60, they may opt to spend the extra money to avoid the additional time as the cost differential is not that substantial. Further, a couple or a family might find it actually more expensive to take the Union-Pearson Express. The passenger fare must be made accessibile for Toronto residents.

 

Another troubling consumer cost detail associated with the Union-Pearson Express is the $1.85 fee passengers are being charged for not parking at the airport. The City of Toronto and other municipal governments in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area are actively encouraging residents to use public transit. This fee would penalize air travelers for making a choice that helps fight congestion. This potential fee runs counter to our public policy goals and should not be implemented.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

  1. City Council directs the City Manager to request that Metrolinx the passenger fare for the Union-Pearson Express at a rate that is affordable for most Torontonians and competitive with other forms of transportation to Pearson Airport
  2. City Council directs the City Manager to request the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to not require Metrolinx to implement a $1.85 parking fee to the passenger fare for the Union-Pearson Express

You can download a printable PDF of my letter by clicking here.

   

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