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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.

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

Dear residents,



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



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

Sincerely,

Josh

 
   

Upcoming Fun, Exciting & Important Ward 22 Community Events!

Dear residents,

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

My family and I hope to run into you soon!

Best regards,

Josh



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

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



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

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

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



Sarah and Claire's 10th Annual Food Drive

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

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

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



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

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



Park and Bark Dog Show

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



Church of Transfiguration Annual Fall BBQ

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



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

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



REMINDER: Independent Toronto Airspace Final Review

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



2nd Annual Bayview-Leaside Apple Fest

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



Seed & Kernel Festival

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

   

Announcing an Unprecedented Action Toward Preserving Midtown Toronto's Heritage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

City Hall and Community Update for July 7, 2017

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

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

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

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

I will miss her dearly.

Yonge-Eglinton Planning Review Moving Forward

Building on the success of Midtown in Focus, the new public space Master Plan for Midtown, I've  supported our City Planning Division to lead an inter-divisional review of growth, built form and infrastructure issues in the Yonge-Eglinton area. This study will inform the development of up-to-date policy that will guide growth in the area and, in combination with necessary capital upgrades identified through the review, support the vitality and quality of Midtown Toronto. Our midtown area, as the population grows, needs improved hard infrastructure such as transit, pipes and wires capacity, and social services such as school space, affordable childcare and recreation, to support building a community for people, rather than just condo developers.

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

I would also like to recognize the outstanding work of our local Residents' Associations, Business Improvement Associations, not-for-profit organizations, tenants associations, condo boards, recreation groups, and others, throughout this process. Dedicated volunteers have attended meetings, consultations, and workshops to advocate on our community’s behalf. I am proud to work closely with them. I expect updates to the study this fall.

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, please see this article.

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

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

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

Branded Neighbourhood Street Signs Approved for Deer Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, please see this article.

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

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

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

Climate Change Plan Requires Adequate Funding To Succeed

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

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

For more information, please see this article.

Federal Government Contributes $4.8 billion for Toronto Transit Projects

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

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

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

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

For more information, please see this article.

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

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

Update on Seniors Issues

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Summer Officially Kicks Off with the Opening of Outdoor Pools

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

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

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

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

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

Have your say! Protecting Toronto's pollinators

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

Volunteer Toronto: Becoming a Board Member Workshops

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

For upcoming workshop dates and locations, please click here.

Development Proposals in Ward 22

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

My webpage listing all the proposed developments in Ward 22 has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans. 

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

City Hall and Community Update for May 31, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

REMINDER: Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Environment Day

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

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

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

Provincial Legislation Establishing New Tribunal Replacing OMB Introduced Yesterday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, please see this Toronto Star article.

Relief Subway Line Planning Moves Forward, Project Still Unfunded

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

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

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

For more information, please see this article.

SERRA's Say NO to 18 Brownlow! Town Hall

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

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

Midtown in Focus Open House

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

That's why I've been actively working with the City and the Midtown Working Group to develop a plan for the Yonge and Eglinton area, Midtown in Focus, that ensures the ingredients of a livable community are in place, including parks and public spaces, great old and new buildings, community services and facilities, transportation and servicing infrastructure.

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

REMINDER: Deer Park Residents Group Annual General Meeting

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

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

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

Brentwood Towers Tenants' Association AGM

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

Sherwood Park Residents’ Association AGM

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

For information on the SPRA, please click here.

REMINDER: Chaplin Estates Garage Sale

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

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

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

For full event details, please click here.

New Green Bins Roll Out Across Ward 22

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

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

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

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

Health & Beauty Day At Central Eglinton Community Centre

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

Full event details are available here.

Green and Cool Roof Grants

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

Bike Month 2017

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

145 - 149 Chaplin Crescent Public Meeting

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

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

Development Proposals in Ward 22

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

My webpage listing all the proposed developments in Ward 22 has recently been updated to reflect current development applications and, as always, contains locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Additionally, the map now shows the boundaries of the Urban Growth Centre surrounding Yonge and Eglinton, as well as the designated Avenues (portions of Eglinton Avenue West, St. Clair Avenue West, Yonge Street, Mt. Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue). These are all areas where the Province is directing growth. Clicking on any of them will provide links to more information about the ward's Avenues/Urban Growth Centre, as well as links to the City's Official Plan and local secondary plans. 

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

Sarah & Claire's 10th Annual Food Drive

 

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

 

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

 

Sarah Jordan (14) started a food drive when she was in Grade 1, after hearing a story about Daily Bread Food Bank and their Thanksgiving Food Drive, on CBC Radio.  Now entering its 10th year, the food drive, run by Sarah and her sister Claire (11) has raised over 290,000 pounds of food and has involved thousands of students in Toronto (last year alone, over 7,000 students participated).  Sarah’s Food Drive is also the largest community-based food drive in support of Daily Bread Food Bank. Sarah & Claire’s goal this year is to raise 100,000 pounds of food.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sarah & Claire’s Food Drive

 

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

 

Web: sarahsfooddrive.com

   

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