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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Dear Ward 22 tenant,
I've heard from many of you that being a renter in Toronto is becoming increasingly difficult and it feels like every month, your budget is being squeezed tighter. High provincial guideline rent increases, coupled with Above the Guideline Increases allowed by the Ontario government for basic upkeep and repairs have pushed rents that were already steep into the unaffordable range. In addition, the low vacancy rate has made it near impossible to find lower-cost alternatives elsewhere.
It's time for real action to protect tenants. Please see the reverse for my letter to the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, advocating for reforms that will support your right to accessible, affordable rental housing.
This past May was unseasonably hot. I heard from many of you in apartments that your units were uncomfortable and that sleeping, in particular, was difficult. Toronto's tenants have the right to a comfortable and healthy home. That's why I put forward a motion that seeks to establish appropriate room temperatures for tenants.
My motion looks to change the Municipal Code to reflect the reality that before June 2nd, it may not be necessary to keep the heat on due to warm or hot spring temperatures. Further, it may be necessary to set an acceptable maximum temperature at which rooms can be heated.
Knowing your rights as a tenant and how to protect them can be a challenging process. Various aspects of being a tenant and your relationship with your landlord are governed by different levels of government. Please visit the tenants page at www.joshmatlow.ca for a list of community resources. I'm here to advocate for you – if you have any questions please feel free to give my office a call for assistance.
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22 – St. Paul's
July 17, 2012
The Honourable Kathleen Wynne, M.P.P.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay St., 17th floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5
Dear Minister Wynne,
I would like to thank you for your recent initiative to cap Guideline Rent Increases. Over 60% of the residents in my ward rely on renting for their housing needs, the most out of any ward in Toronto; as such, my constituency was hit particularly hard by the 3.1% Guideline Rent Increase last year.
With low vacancy rates across the city, many renters have little choice but to accept high rents. By capping the Guideline Rent Increase at 2.5%, Bill 19 will help many residents in my ward make ends meet as they pay their bills each month; this is a good first step towards maintaining the affordability of rental housing here in Toronto and across the province.
I hope that this bill will pave the way for similar action in regards to Above the Guideline Increases (AGIs). My constituents have told me that AGIs should only be allowed where landlords are providing new amenities for their tenants, and provided that units have been kept in a state of good repair. The prospect of reintroducing vacancy controls along with a cap on rent increases for new units should also be explored, as the current conditions of low supply and high demand in the rental market give the landlord a tremendous amount of leverage in negotiating rent for a new tenancy.
On behalf of the tenants in Ward 22, St. Paul's, and across the city, let's work together on making Toronto a more affordable place to live for all its residents.
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22, St. Paul's
I hope that you've been enjoying your summer and are taking good care of yourself in this hot weather. Please also consider checking in on neighbours who are seniors and those with mobility challenges. Please note that during extreme heat alerts, civic centres are open to provide an air conditioned environment while public pools and splash pads will be operating under extended hours. Please call 311 for more information.
I would like to provide you with an update on a very successful week at Council and on several priorities. Council strongly supported my motions to move Toronto closer to a successful rapid transit expansion plan, support tenants during periods of extreme heat and increase the number of solar projects in our City. In Community news, I would like to share information regarding park improvements, Republic of Rathnelly street signs, tree protection, seniors' strategy consultation and more.
Toronto City Councillor
Moving Forward on a Regional Transit Strategy Approved at Council
Council was united this week in declaring that a regional approach is the best chance we have to build and fund the transit that Torontonians need and deserve. My motion, Moving Forward: Improving Public Transit and Relieving Traffic Congestion through a Regional Funding Strategy, was passed unanimously by my colleagues.
To fund public transportation and relieve traffic congestion for Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), it is imperative to move forward with a regional funding strategy. Implementing a sales tax, tolls or other tools across the GGH would create new, and dependable, revenue streams paid into by everyone in our region rather than have Toronto cover capital expenses through our property tax base.
We need these tools to move forward with a Downtown Relief Line to ease overcrowding on the Yonge Line, to finally build a rapid transit link to Pearson airport and to connect our city and region.
This fall, Metrolinx will begin a public discussion on transit funding while Toronto Council will discuss local funding and route requests. My hope is that these two initiatives find a common path to see a connective and fully funded plan through to fruition.
The "OneCity" transit proposal announced by Councillor Stintz and Councillor De Baeremaeker was not put forward by the proponents for Council's consideration.
Establishing Appropriate Room Temperatures for Tenants
This past May was unseasonably hot. I heard from many of you in apartments that your units were uncomfortable and that sleeping, in particular, was difficult. Toronto's tenants have the right to a comfortable and healthy home. That's why I put forward a motion that seeks to establish appropriate room temperatures for renters.
Currently, the Municipal Code requires that landlords turn on the heat in rental housing units from September 15th through to June 1st. This is to ensure that the room temperature be maintained to at least 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). However, this enforcement by date rather than by temperature ensures that during hot days before June 1st, a tenant's unit may be not only uncomfortable but could present a public health issue to the elderly and/or tenants with certain medical conditions.
The Motion looks to change the Municipal Code to reflect the reality that before June 2nd, it may not be necessary to keep the heat on due to warm or hot spring temperatures. Further, it may be necessary to set an acceptable maximum temperature at which rooms can be heated.
My intent is not to necessarily make air conditioners mandatory. There are many environmentally-friendly ways to cool an apartment including improved ventilation, green roofs, deep lake cooling and shading. This issue will be studied by City Staff and a report will come to committee for public input. To read the National Post article on this subject, click here.
New Solar Energy Projects Coming to Toronto
Solar energy has the potential to benefit Toronto's environment and economy. As your School Trustee I worked to have solar panels installed on school roofs and am proud to be helping expand green power across the city.
My motion, supported by Council, endorses potential solar projects for consideration by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). The OPA has new rules establishing a points system to determine the priority for offering of contracts for rooftop solar projects. Points will be awarded to applications that are supported by the municipality in which the project is located. Projects with more points will be more likely to receive contracts from the OPA.
In particular, I worked with Bright Roof, a Ward 22 firm with projects in our community and across the city. The projects that BrightRoof and others are developing will deliver significant benefits to the City of Toronto, including:
Solar systems will provide 20 years of clean energy. On average, the systems produce 400kW of power. A 400kW rooftop system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 104 metric tons per year. These solar systems produce clean energy locally, reducing the need for new transmission lines and/or large power generation facilities within the City of Toronto. Each project represents a significant capital investment into the property and the community. For instance, BrightRoof is investing approximately $1.5 million into each rooftop solar project that it is building in Toronto, creating jobs for local tradespeople The landlord of the property on which the rooftop solar project is built will receive rent for 20 years. The income stream derived from the rooftop solar project (both rental income and investment returns) will increase the value of the property.
The Republic of Rathnelly to get "national" street signs
Ward 22's Rathnelly is a picturesque enclave of homes, situated at the bottom of the Avenue Road Hill. It is home to a large number of artists, academics, writers, and media.
The Rathnelly neighbourhood made headlines in 1967, while celebrating Canada's 100thbirthday. During the celebrations Rathnelly residents playfully declared themselves as anindependent republic of Canada. To mark their independence, the "Republic of Rathnelly" elected a queen, organized a parade, formed an "air farce" of 1,000 helium balloons, and issued Republic of Rathnelly passports to everyone in the neighbourhood.
The Republic of Rathnelly celebrations continue to this day with a bi-annual street party. To recognize this distinctive neighbourhood, I've allocated funds with Council support toward "Republic of Rathnelly" street signs designed by the community.
To read more about this, click here.
To see the street sign design, click here.
Dogs now allowed in Mount Pleasant Cemetery
As of July 1st, dog owners are now allowed to walk their dogs on paths and roads in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Please note that dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
Oriole Park North Pathway Replacement
The north-east pathway at Oriole Park has been replaced and new lights will be installed in the fall of 2012.
Seniors Strategy Consultation Workbook
The Seniors Strategy Consultation Workbook can now be completed and submitted online at:
To learn more about Toronto's Seniors Strategy, please click here.
Get your green on at the Live Green Toronto Festival!
What do you get when you mix hundreds of green products and services with live music and great local foods - and invite everyone in Toronto? The Live Green Toronto Festival!
The 7th annual celebration of all things green - the Live Green Toronto Festival - will take place on Saturday, July 21 (11 a.m. to 9 p.m.) at Yonge-Dundas Square. Everyone is welcome and admission is free.
Toronto's largest outdoor green festival brings hundreds of green products and services, live music, local foods, and more to the streets of Toronto every year! Stroll through the exhibits, sample locally grown foods, check out the TD Kids' Zone, and catch some of Canada's hottest musical acts on the 104.5 CHUM FM Main Stage.
Enjoy a dazzling musical line-up including performances by Faber Drive, Fefe Dobson, Platinum Blonde, and many more.
Help defend our urban forest against the emerald ash borer!
Protect our ash trees against infestation by becoming an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Ambassador. Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) is providing a free training session which will give you the tools you need to educate your neighbours and community about EAB and the options for treatment, removal, and planting.
The session will be held at Scarborough Civic Centre on Saturday, July 28th, 10:00am – 2:00pm, in Committee Room 1.
To register for this event, visit www.yourleaf.org.
Exec committee asks staff to work with Metrolinx and other GTA cities on transit funding
For months now, Josh Matlow (Ward 22, St. Paul's) has been pushing for a more intelligent conversation on transit funding. Matlow, to his credit, has been willing to raise road tolls as an idea to fund transit, and yesterday had a motion before Rob Ford's Executive Committee with a request:
City Council request the City Manager to engage and participate with Metrolinx in establishing a working group of appropriate officials representing the City of Toronto, Greater Golden Horseshoe municipalities, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario Ministry of Finance, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and any other relevant bodies to provide input into the preparation of a funding strategy for the Metrolinx regional transit plan.
Metrolinx's "funding strategy" is what we've all been waiting for, as the provincial transit planner figures out how to raise the billions of dollars it needs for future expansion. It also needs to raise that money without simply getting the province to pay for it, since Queen's Park has been trying to keep costs down lately.
Matlow's motion passed through Executive Committee yesterday and will presumably be approved by City Council in July. Somewhat surprisingly, the Mayor's team even shot down a motion by Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) that would have excluded any sales tax, as well as any road tolls that were not applied regionally, from staff consideration.
Since a sales tax is one of the most important tools to funding transit in other cities, it would have been silly to try to start a working group by ruling it out at the very beginning. At the very least it should at least be looked at.
Road tolls, however, don't have a lot of political backers, at least when we're talking about adding new ones to existing roads. Minnan-Wong's move may very well be redundant on that count.
image via Metrolinx.
Authorization to Release Section 37 Funds, 50 Rosehill Avenue, for the Fabrication and Installation of Branded Street Name Signs for the Rathnelly Neighbourhood - by Councillor Josh Matlow, seconded by Councillor Adam Vaughan
|City Council Decision|
City Council adopted the following:
The Rathnelly neighbourhood made headlines in 1967, while celebrating Canada's 100th
The Republic of Rathnelly celebrations continue to this day with a bi-annual street party.
The proposed use of the funds complies with the Section 37 agreement.
1. City Council approve a one time increase to the 2012 Approved Operating Budget for Transportation Services (Traffic and Safety Services, Sign Fabrication, TP0204) by $7,000.00 gross ($0 net), fully funded by Section 37 funds from the development at 50 Rosehill Avenue (source account: XR3026-3700072), for the purpose of fabricating and installing branded street name signs for the Rathnelly Neighbourhood.
|Background Information (City Council)|
|Member Motion MM23.6
(May 8, 2012) Fiscal Impact Statement from the Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer
|Motions (City Council)|
|Motion to Waive Referral (Carried)
Speaker Nunziata advised Council that the provisions of Chapter 27, Council Procedures, require that Motion MM23.6 be referred to the Executive Committee. A two-thirds vote of the Council Members present is required to waive referral.
Motion to Adopt Item (Carried)
|Request to Establish a Midtown Planning Group- adopted by committee, going to July 2012 City council meeting
The Planning and Growth Management Committee recommends that:
1. City Council establish the Midtown Planning Group to create a proactive, holistic, and comprehensive strategy for planning in the Yonge and Eglinton area of Midtown, which will bring consistency to planning across Community Council Boundaries. The composition of the Midtown Planning Group would include the three local councillors who represent the centre of Yonge and Eglinton and local resident association members invited to participate by the local councillors. The purpose of the strategy is to be proactive and to establish the planning framework in advance of planning applications.
|(May 28, 2012) Letter from Councillors Josh Matlow and Karen Stintz|
The Yonge-Eglinton area is considered a Centre within the Official Plan, which means the area is designated for intensification of employment and residential uses. There is a great deal of development currently underway in, or being proposed for, the Centre and the construction of the light-rapid transit along Eglinton will likely increase development activity.
Currently the Yonge-Eglinton area is divided between two planning departments, two Community Councils and three municipal ward boundaries (Wards 22, 16 and 25). The North York Community Council adjudicates planning applications for the north-west and north-east part of the Centre north of Roehampton and the Toronto and East York Community Council adjudicates planning applications for the southern portion of the Centre. Although there are urban design guidelines, an area study and work underway for the urban planning to support the light-rapid transit line, a strategy is required to ensure this work is comprehensive and consistent across Community Council boundaries.
|(May 28, 2012) Joint Letter from Councillors Josh Matlow and Karen Stintz on Midtown Planning Group
On June 27, TTC Chair Karen Stintz and Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker released "OneCity" which is proposed to be a $30 billion, 30 year transit plan. The package includes many priorities that I agree with, and have been advocating for including a relief subway line and rapid transit connection to Pearson International Airport (these two lines have in fact already been approved by council as priorities and are part of the Big Move regional transit plan).
I applaud Councillors Stintz and De Baeremaeker for contributing to our important conversation about funding rapid transit expansion. Unlike unrealistic claims of that subways can be built without a capital funding plan, their proposal recognizes that we will have to pay to improve public transportation. However, I do have some significant concerns about the specific funding model my colleagues have suggested to support their forward-thinking plan.
Under their proposed funding mechanism, the Current Value Assessment (CVA) Uplift (a regulatory change that would need provincial approval) would eliminate the cap that ties assessment increases to the rate of inflation. The City would capture a portion of annual property-value increases for a dedicated transit fund which would amount to a gradual tax increase of $180 a year per average household by 2016. This increase would raise $272-million per year after the four-year phase-in. However, this plan would not be equitable throughout Toronto due to varying property assessments.
For example, in Ward 22, it is estimated that the average household would pay closer to $400 per year. Moreover, this tax increase does not take into account the regular, annual inflationary property tax increases council typically approves to fund its many other services and priorities such as childcare, housing, parks and libraries.
As you know, given the fact that almost as many people commute from Toronto, as they do going in to our city on a daily basis, I have been advocating for a regional approach to building a transit network. Implementing a regional sales tax, tolls or other tools across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) would create new, and dependable, revenue streams paid into by everyone in our region rather than have any one city cover capital expenses through their property tax base. The OneCity proposal does not take into account how to cover the large cost of ongoing operating needs.
Tolls or a regional sales tax would also offset the current burden on transit riders to pay for the preponderance of transit costs solely through the fare box. My motion for Toronto and GGH municipalities to enter into negotiations with Metrolinx (the provincially mandated transit planning body for Toronto and the GGH) was recently adopted at Executive Committee and will come to full Council in July. This motion requests the City Manager to work with Metrolinx to explore a variety of regional funding mechanisms with officials from across the GGH to move forward with a regional transit funding plan. Any funding initiative should be done on a regional basis to mitigate unintended consequences including job loss and consumer avoidance. Ultimately, we want the City of Toronto to have a leading seat at the table with its partners as Metrolinx's process moves closer to fruition.
Metrolinx has stated that it will deliver a $40 billion transit funding plan to support the Big Move Plan early next year that will include all the municipalities in the GGH. I believe it may be prudent to read this report, and consider a shared and regional system, before Toronto offers to assume a OneCity approach.
I will continue working with Council to create a transit funding model that delivers on the priorities that matter most to residents. Moreover, I submit that while we debate how best to expand our transit system, we must always keep in mind that addressing the current, unacceptable overcrowding on the Yonge subway line during rush hours, and state of good repair, must be our top priority while we introduce more riders to the system. The new transit lines already approved by Council, and supported by Metrolinx, are moving forward including Finch Avenue, Sheppard Avenue and the Eglinton Crosstown. These projects will be paid for by a "one-time" funding allocation from the provincial government.
Your feedback is very important to me and I will continue to keep you informed as this discussion progresses. I am committed to creating an efficient, reliable and accessible rapid transit system that helps reduce gridlock and connects our region, neighbourhoods and residents. The path we take must be both visionary and evidence-based, fully funded and fiscally responsible.
Ultimately, I am pleased that we are now debating how exactly we should fund transit expansion- rather than whether there's a need to have a plan at all.
Toronto City Councillor
As the City develops a strategy for seniors, this is your opportunity to celebrate seniors, and provide ideas to improve City services and programs.
As the City of Toronto develops a strategy for seniors, this is your opportunity to celebrate seniors, and provide ideas to improve City services and programs.
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street
The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, 2nd floor
Thursday June 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The event includes:
- Welcome by Councillor Josh Matlow
- Message from Joe Dickson, Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario Minister for Seniors Linda Jeffrey
- Keynote speaker Samik K. Sinha MD, DPhil, FRCPC Director of Geriatrics Mount Sinai and the University Health Network Hospitals
- Roundtable discussions on the development of a strategy for seniors
Refreshments and light lunch will be provided.
Come and lend your voice to the fun and discussion!
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