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 email@example.com.
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.
On Tuesday morning, Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency, will announce revenue tools that will be considered to build The Big Move, our regional transit plan. These options have been short-listed from several that were discussed during their region-wide public consultation process. Metrolinx's report on funding mechanisms to support The Big Move is expected to go to Queen's Park in June of this year.
As I reported to you a few weeks ago, Metrolinx has already announced that construction on the Downtown Relief Line (DRL) will be accelerated by 10 years. The DRL is desperately needed to take the pressure off the already over-crowded Yonge line. This is great news for the entire Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) and Ward 22 residents who routinely wait 2 or 3 trains in the morning before getting on at Eglinton, Davisville, St. Clair or Summerhill.
For a long time I have been advocating for a regional plan for transit improvement and expansion, including working in collaboration with advocacy groups such as the Greater Toronto Civic Action Alliance and Toronto Region Board of Trade and others. I also successfully affirmed the City of Toronto's support of prioritizing a Downtown Relief Subway Line and an extension of the Eglinton Crosstown to Toronto Pearson International Airport (along with the premium Union-Pearson Express Rail) in the motion Council passed in February, 2012 by ensuring these items' inclusion.
I believe this regional transit approach will better reflect how people truly move across municipal boundaries everyday and, if the entire region is to benefit from better transit, then residents from Toronto and the GTHA should share in the responsibility for paying for it.
After decades of false starts and political gridlock, I believe its finally time our governments take action and build a transit system that will meet the needs of this, and future generations living and working in our growing region.
To read more about the work I've been doing to see this vision through to fruition, please click here.
NOTICE OF MOTION
A Picture Tells Too Many Storeys: Honest Advertising for Proposed Developments
Moved by: Councillor Matlow
Seconded by: Councillor Wong-Tam
Toronto is becoming an increasingly dense city with an additional 134,000 new residents added between 2001 and 2011. The majority of those new inhabitants are living in condominiums. It is anticipated that this trend will continue as Toronto's population is expected to grow by 160,000 over the next 10 years with just as many new condo or apartment units added.
Residents in high-growth areas are being asked to live with an increasing amount of density, construction and traffic. It is only fair that they are provided every opportunity to voice their concerns and offer their feedback. While Toronto's planning process provides forums for resident participation, many community members are under the impression that a development has already been approved due to misleading advertising.
At the beginning of the application review process, local residents are generally confronted with on-site, billboard, print and other advertising depicting a building that will be "coming soon" with no mention of a municipal approval process, opportunity for citizen input or that the rendering can be altered. In addition to the confusion created in the community, this misleading advertising suppresses local engagement by giving the impression that the application is a "done deal".
Misleading condominium advertising can also negatively affects purchasers. Individuals have purchased units that have later been removed from the project through the City's planning process, leaving buyers scrambling to find alternative living arrangements.
This motion requests that the City Manager request the provincial government to require developers to clearly state that applications are subject to approval by the City of Toronto on all advertising for development applications.
- City Council request the City Manager to formally submit a recommendation to the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services that would require developers to clearly state that applications are subject to approval by the City of Toronto on all advertising for development applications until a Building Permit has been issued
- The required language, "application is subject to approval by the City of Toronto", must occupy no less than 25% of the advertisement
- "Advertising" referred to in recommendation (1) includes, but is not limited to: on-site, billboard, print, radio and television
April 3, 2013
Notice of Motion
Authorization to Release Section 37 Funds to the Toronto District School Board towards Capital Improvements to the Playground at Maurice Cody Junior Public School
Moved by: Councillor Matlow
Seconded by: Councillor Parker
Section 37 funds have been secured and received in the development at 35, 137, 147 Merton Street for the purpose of community services and facilities, in the amount of $300,000 plus accrued interest. Some funds have been spent, leaving a balance of $270.052.75. Section 37 funds have also been secured in the development at 150 Roehampton Avenue in the amount of $287,000 plus accrued interest for the purpose of improving community services and facilities in the neighbourhood. The unspent balance is $174,117.35.
This motion seeks to support a community organization, comprised of local parents and neighbourhood residents, in raising funds for a "Dirt to Turf" project at Maurice Cody Junior Public School. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is not providing any capital funds, but is providing technical support. As the project name implies, the objective is to cover the playing field (2,130 m2) with synthetic turf at a cost ranging from $444,700 to $507,950, with possible additional optional items at additional cost. This Motion proposes to provide a total of $300,000 to the TDSB towards the cost of the synthetic turf. All of the available funds from the Merton Street development will be used, with the balance from the 150 Roehampton development.
The Section 37 Implementation Guidelines approved by Council in 2007 state the following (section 5.7):
"Cash contributions toward the capital improvement of school board playgrounds are eligible S.37 community benefits where the playground serves as a local park, where the public will continue to have reasonable access for the foreseeable future, and where there is no local City-owned parkland performing a similar function in the same community that could otherwise benefit from the cash contribution."
The playground does and will continue to serve the local community as a local park. The Undertaking to be signed by the TDSB will contain provisions governing the purpose of the funds as well as the financial reporting requirements. A separate Community Access Agreement will be executed between the City and the TDSB, drawn up in consultation with the local Councillor and the community.
1. That the approved 2013 Operating Budget for Non-Program be increased by $300,000 gross, $0 net, fully funded by Section 37 community benefits obtained in the developments as follows:
a. $270,052.75 from 35, 137 & 147 Merton Street, (source account XR3026- 3700236); and
b. $29,947.25 from 150 Roehampton Avenue, (source account XR3026-3700023);
for the purpose of forwarding funds to the Toronto District School Board for capital improvements to the school playgrounds at Maurice Cody Junior Public School, and more specifically a new synthetic turf playing field of approximately 2,130 m2 in size.
2. That the funds be forwarded to the Toronto District School Board once the Toronto District School Board has signed:
a. an Undertaking governing the purpose of the funds and the financial reporting requirements; and
b. a Community Access Agreement with the City, addressing community access to the improved playing field, drawn up in consultation with the Ward Councillor and the local community.
3. That the Director of Community Planning, Toronto East York District, be requested to participate in the community consultation for, and preparation of, the Community Access Agreement, and the City Solicitor be requested to draw up the Agreement, in consultation with the Ward Councillor and Community Planning staff.
April 3, 2013
Federal Budget 2013 and Toronto's Infrastructure Priorities
How does this year's federal budget, announced yesterday, affect our City? In short, there's some good news, but also a lot of room for improvement.
You may have seen the headlines about new infrastructure funding. The federal government is dedicating $47 billion to infrastructure spending across the country over the next decade, and they're also going to make gas tax transfers more predictable by raising the amount by 2% each year. Stable, predictable funding is an important step towards rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and catching up with our rapid growth.
I've heard clearly from Ward 22 residents that our first priorities for new infrastructure spending should be a new Downtown Relief Subway line, taking pressure off the critically overcrowded Yonge line, and emergency repairs to keep the Gardiner Expressway safe.
Unfortunately, the federal commitment to infrastructure spending won't come close to paying for even these two priorities for Toronto. I am urging the federal government to take more responsibility for solving the serious problem of congestion in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, which is a major economic challenge and should be a national concern. But I'm also a realist and recognize this is such an urgent problem that we can't wait for the federal government to act – we have to invest in our own infrastructure if we want anything built.
That's why I will continue to be a vocal supporter of Metrolinx's Investment Strategy to pay for improved and expanded transit across Toronto and our region.
Due to our advocacy, Metrolinx, the City of Toronto & the TTC have all formally designated the Downtown Relief Subway Line as a priority for the next phase of transit projects. If we don't clearly focus on how we'll fund transit projects, rather than continuously reopening old transit debates, nothing will get done.
And while this federal budget has some positive news for cities, it still neglects many urban priorities. We desperately need the federal government to develop national plans for daycare, housing, and transit. Remember, 80% of Canadians live in urban areas, and the federal budget should address our needs and reflect our priorities. I will continue advocating that, as density grows in our city, our infrastructure, including schools, roads, public realm, utilities and transit, finally keep up with the growing demand.
Community Clean-Up Day
Spring has finally arrived (at least on the calendar) and it's time to give Toronto a good spring cleaning together! April 19 and 20 are this year's Community Clean-Up Days for schools, businesses, and neighbourhood organizations. You're invited to visit the Community Clean-Up Day website to register your local clean-up or to join an existing clean-up. Please register by April 15 to ensure that the City of Toronto can pick up all the trash and recyclables you collect, at no cost to you.
Earth Hour 2013
8:30 pm tomorrow (Saturday, March 23rd) marks this year's Earth Hour. Please consider turning off your lights, going out to plant a tree or participating in Earthhour.org's Earth Challenges. However you choose to spend your Saturday, please take a moment to focus on your impact on the environment and how you can contribute to a healthier more sustainable planet.
This environmental initiative has gained huge momentum and is celebrated in 152 countries and 7,001 cities across the globe. It unites us all in the fight to preserve the planet for generations to come. Join millions of concerned people from around the world and become involved in Earth Hour. For more information on events in Toronto, please visit http://www.wwf.ca/events/earthhour/event/.
Reminder: Greening Your Condo or Apartment Building
I'm hosting an event with the Green Team of First Unitarian Congregation on how to make your apartment greener and more energy (and cost) efficient, including strategies and resources that are available to you. Let's make a green and healthful Toronto together! Please join me on Tuesday, March 26th at 7 pm at the First Unitarian Congregation, Workman Hall, 175 St. Clair Avenue West.
Downtown Transportation Operations Study
The City of Toronto will host a drop-in event next week to obtain public input as part of a study of transportation in the downtown core.
The Downtown Transportation Operations Study is looking at ways to get more out of the existing transportation infrastructure, in an attempt to make travel in the downtown less challenging and more efficient for all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit users, drivers and those involved in moving goods across the
The drop-in event will take place in the rotunda at Metro Hall, 55 John St., on Wednesday, March 27th from noon to 9:30 pm.
An online survey is available for the public to provide opinions on downtown transportation issues. The survey is available at http://www.toronto.ca/dtos.
The Trend Towards Historical Preservation in Toronto
Toronto General Hospital Fundraiser
On Thursday, April 25th Toronto General Hospital will be hosting their 4th Annual International Pub Night at St. Lawrence Hall, 157 King St E. This event begins at 7:30 pm and is a fundraiser for the hospital's transplant program. Tickets are $50 and include your first drink. There will be international beer and cider tastings, a raffle, an auction and a live band. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit www.internationalpubnight.com.
Improvements to Snow Removal Update
As I previously communicated to you, I had written to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee asking that they direct the General Manager of Transportation Services to review and report back to the Public Works Committee with recommendations on how to improve the level of service for snow removal. This was of course based on the experiences of many residents of Ward 22 this winter with the City's response to clearing and the general lack of snow removal from our city streets.
At the Public Works Committee meeting this week, the General Manager of Transportation Services was indeed directed to look into these concerns, and will be reporting back to the Committee in the fall on what steps they will be taking to address the concerns that we have raised.
Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about these concerns. I will continue to advocate for you on this critical service.
Safe Beltline Trail Crossings
At the January Community Council meeting, I moved a motion to direct Transportation Services staff to report back to this April's Community Council meeting with viable options to install signalized crossings where the Beltline trail intersects with Oriole Parkway, Avenue Road and Bathurst Street. This would include ensuring that these crossings are fully synchronized with the existing signalized intersections in the area.
This request was in response to concerns raised from trail users that there is no safe crossing that is truly contiguous for residents. While City staff had initially refused any request to consider adding signalized crossings along the Beltline, at our urging, they are now fully reviewing every viable option.
City staff recently reported back to me this week that they need a little more time to complete this report. I have asked them to ensure it is completed as soon as possible. I will keep you updated as I receive more information.
The City of Toronto has made great strides to help reduce the incidence of smoking. Successive bans on tobacco smoke in workplaces, restaurants, bars and other public spaces have succeeded in reducing second-hand smoke and the social acceptance of smoking.
However, there are still a significant number of smokers in our city and these positive policies have created some unintentional negative consequences. The current by-laws do not address the reality that many smokers are now littering on our public sidewalks.
While some bar and restaurant owners provide cigarette butt receptacles for their patrons, this is done on an ad hoc basis. This motion requests that the City Manager work with representatives from the restaurant and bar industry to develop an appropriate solution to the unsightly problem of cigarette butts littered on Toronto's sidewalks and streets.
1.City Council request the City Manager to consult with representatives from the restaurant and bar industry to develop an appropriate solution to the unsightly problem of cigarette butts littered on Toronto's sidewalks and streets; including receptacles.
2.The findings from the consultation requested in recommendation (1) be delivered in a report to Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee by July 2013
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