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.
As you already know, I have been working on several important issues coming to City Council along with local priorities here in our community. Please read my latest update to learn more about the proposed casino, an upcoming meeting regarding the proposed development at 1331 Yonge Street, and many more events including our Community Clean-up Days tomorrow and Saturday.
In particular, I am very happy to report to you that the Toronto Seniors Strategy is finally ready after two years of hard work, research, and city-wide consultation. The Community Development and Recreation Committee unanimously supported the Seniors Strategy and its pathway to a truly age-friendly Toronto. It will be coming to City Council for a final vote on May 7 and 8.
Community Clean-up Days
This weekend, I will be joining registered groups for Community Clean-up Days on April 19th, 20th and 22nd. Groups that are participating in this year's clean-ups include local schools, community groups and BIAs throughout Ward 22. For more information on the City of Toronto's Community Clean-up Days please visit http://www.toronto.ca/litter/clean-up/20minute.htm.
You will be able to find me at the following Clean-up Days events. I hope to see you there!
- 11:30 am Greenwood College School
- 1:15 pm Forest Hill Junior and Senior Public School
- 2:15 pm The Mabin School
- 3:00 pm Forest Hill Village BIA
- 10:00 am Republic of Rathnelly
- 1:30 pm Foxbar Neighbourhood Association
Network Breakfasts for Seniors' Care Givers
Please join me at the ElderConnection Networking Breakfast on April 24th from 7:30 am to 9 am where I will be there speaking about the Toronto Seniors Strategy. You can join this networking group to make new contacts, catch up on news and developments, and get new business. The location of the meeting is the Dunfield Retirement Residence at 77 Dunfield Avenue.
- Members $25.00
- Non Members $30.00
- 65 + or fulltime student members $20.00
- 65 + or fulltime student non-members $25.00
- 7:30 - 8:00 am: Registration and networking:
- 8:00 - 8:30 am: My talk on the Seniors Strategy
- 8:30 - 9:00 am: More networking
This spring, the Friends of the Beltline Clean-up will be on Saturday, April 27th from 10 am to 12 pm, beginning at Forest Hill Road Park. Please join me and the Beltline community in cleaning up our unique trail! For more information on the clean-up, please click here to view the event poster.
Yonge-Eglinton Helicopter Disturbance Update
Last night, I was contacted by many residents disturbed by the persistent drone of a helicopter flying low over the Yonge and Eglinton area. I have learned that it was a private flight, not a film crew, and well within the rules set by Transport Canada, the federal agency that regulates aviation in Canada. This is clearly unacceptable. There is absolutely no excuse for a private, non-emergency flight to interrupt the peace and quiet enjoyment of thousands of midtown residents.
I intend to approach Transport Canada and our local federal representatives to have this regulatory loophole closed so that no private helicopters are permitted to fly low over our neighbourhoods on any weekday evening, unless it's an issue of health and safety. During other times, we should have plenty of advance notice to prepare for the disturbance.
1331 Yonge Street Public Meeting
In response to resident concerns about traffic and safety related to a potential development at 1331 Yonge Street (the former CHUM site) I am holding a community information meeting on Tuesday, April 30th at 7 pm. The meeting location will be The York School Gymnasium at 1639 Yonge Street. Representatives from City Fire, Ambulance and Transportation Services, along with our local planner, will be available to provide information and answer questions.
Please see the meeting notice for more information.
City Council to Vote on Casino: May 7, 8
After several months of debate, delay, and distraction, the question of a Toronto casino will finally be decided by City Council at its meeting on May 7 and 8. I have heard from hundreds of members of our community on this issue, and I appreciate the deep passion for our City and our neighbourhoods that it has inspired in many of you. On both sides of the debate, I believe we all genuinely want to achieve a liveable, vibrant, prosperous home.
I have made my own position on this issue public for some time now. While I recognize the need to find sources of revenue to pay for our city's priorities, I do not believe that the long-term impact on Toronto, its neighbourhoods, its economy and its people are worth the gamble. I will not be supporting any proposal to place a casino in our city, nor any other proposals that contribute to the adverse social and economic impacts that gambling has.
Bright Hope Concert by Basakoli Choir of Toronto
Join the Basakoli Choir of Toronto for its Bright Hope Concert, a night of vibrant African music and fundraising. Proceeds are going to the refugee work of The Salvation Army in the Congo. The fundraiser is on Sunday, May 26 at 6 pm at the Global Kingdom Ministries, 1250 Markham Road. For more information and tickets, please visit http://basakolichoir.eventbrite.ca/.
Heritage Toronto Awards Call for Nominations
The deadline for nominations is Monday, June 3rd. The awards will be announced and presented on Tuesday, October 15th in conjunction with the William Kilbourn Memorial Lecture. For more information, please visit www.heritagetoronto.org.
My Visit to the Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter
I recently had the pleasure of visiting with the Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter. The Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter is unique in many ways but in particular one very unique feature is that it allows for individuals who are homeless to bring their pets when accessing Bethlehem Shelter's beds. It was immediately apparent to me what an incredible impact that having pets in the shelter has on wellbeing.
At this time, the Bethlehem Shelter is greatly in need of the following items to continue to provide these incredibly special services:
- Gently used clothing
- Towels and facecloths
- Toiletries (shampoo, soaps, shavers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, laundry soap, etc)
- Pet supplies (dog food, leashes, treats, flea powder, grooming supplies, litter/boxes, etc)
Fred Victor Bethlehem United Shelter
1161 Caledonia Road
Toronto, Ontario M6A 2W9
Music and Memory: iPod Project
Would you like to have green bins in your apartment building?
The (Organic) Green Bin Program is now available to all multi-residential buildings across the City that participate in the City's collection services. The Green Bin Program allows participants to put organics (fruit and vegetables scraps, paper towels, coffee grinds, etc) out for separate collection along with garbage and recycling. By separating organics, such as food waste and soiled paper food packaging, your building will reduce the volume of garbage it sets out, reduce its fees, and ultimately help divert more waste from landfill.
If your building is on the program, or is about to start on the organics program, City staff are offering "in building" presentations for both residents and building staff/owners to learn about the program and to answer any questions. The City will also provide free kitchen containers for each unit.
To find out if a presentation has been scheduled for your building, simply contact your property management team or superintendent and they can call the Multi-Residential Inquiry Line at 416-396-5200. Additional information can be found by visiting http://www.toronto.ca/garbage/multi/green_bin_program.htm.
I'd like to share a piece of our community's history with you.
Here in Ward 22, there exists an "independent state" known since 1967, when it seceded from Canada, as the Republic of Rathnelly (and often spelled Rathnally).
I recently had an opportunity to sit down with one of the great republic's founders to learn more about its history, listen to remarkable stories (many of which have become legendary) and receive, on behalf of our community, some precious archived documents he had held onto for many years.
To assist you in your education about this epic battle for independence, and a chance to squeeze money out of Ottawa for a local playground, I know you will enjoy these historic letters of correspondence between the Republic and the office of former Canadian Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
Also, please read here to learn more about Rathnelly's history and the new street signs we very recently created to celebrate its unique identity.
Love live the Republic!
City Councillor for Ward 22 and Guardian of the Republic
I am very pleased to share the proposed Toronto Seniors Strategy with you. As chair of the Toronto Seniors Strategy subcommittee, I am so grateful to our communities, experts and staff whom have contributed so much to this important and substantive work over the past two years.
Our City's new Seniors Strategy is a proactive, holistic and inclusive initiative that seeks to create a truly age-friendly Toronto.
The Seniors Strategy will be presented to the Community Development and Recreation Committee which will be held on Wednesday, April 17 at 9:30am at City Hall, Committee Room 1. Please click here to view the agenda item. Through that link, you will also find buttons at the very top of the page to submit comments on the public record or to request to speak in front of the committee on April 17 by making a deputation.
I encourage you to share your feedback and insights!
Please see the important updates I've prepared for you regarding some upcoming meeting meetings on proposed local developments, Forest Hill Road Park improvements, condo dwellers, Davisville Avenue tenants and much more! You'll also see my reports on some exciting Council decisions on the Arts, Homeless Shelters, Proposed Changes to Condo Advertising and A New Field for Maurice Cody PS!
Have a great weekend.
Notice of Meeting Change: 1331 Yonge Street (CHUM site)
To respond to residents’ questions regarding traffic and emergency services access on Jackes Avenue, and their request that time is found to resolve the concerns they’ve raised, I will be moving to adjourn the statutory meeting for this item at Toronto & East York Community Council until the May 14th meeting of the same committee.
I understand that some people may have taken time off work or otherwise rearranged their schedule in order to make a deputation. That's why it is important to note that if you would still like to make a deputation on April 9th, I have arranged that it will be considered by the committee with the same weight as those making deputations on the new date. An individual, according to the rules, may not make a deputation on both dates.
In the interim, I will host a meeting with the community, City staff from Planning, Fire Services and Transportation Services. Once the date, time and location are finalized I will post the information through this e-newsletter and on my website.
Notice of Meeting Change: 87-107 Davisville Avenue and 108-128 Balliol Street
Due to a miscommunication between City staff and the applicants regarding the tree report for this site, I will be adjourning the statutory meeting for this item at Toronto & East York Community Council until the May 14th meeting of the same committee.
I understand that some people may have taken time off work or otherwise rearranged their schedule in order to make a deputation. That's why it is important to note that if you would still like to make a deputation on April 9th I have arranged that it will be considered by the committee with the same weight as those making deputations on the new date. Like I wrote in the previous post, an individual may not make a deputation on both dates according to City rules.
A New Field at Maurice Cody
It is my great pleasure to announce, on behalf of our community, I moved a motion at Toronto City Council that was successfully approved yesterday dedicating $300,000 towards Maurice Cody PS' Dirt-to-Turf project.
These funds, which I identified from developer fees (Section 37) will now bring our field revitalization project very close to completion. On behalf of our community, I want express my deepest appreciation to Maurice Cody's Family & School Association, the Dirt-to-Turf Committee, every parent who has contributed to the ongoing fundraising efforts, and local businesses, such as Cobs Bread and Tremblett's Valu-Mart, that donated so much to our initiative.
A special thank you to Trustee Shelley Laskin, Principal Andrew Howard and TDSB Staff. The TDSB will be responsible for planning, building and maintaining this community asset and I look forward to working with them to see this project through to fruition as quickly as possible.
In the coming days, we'll start work on a community-use agreement to ensure access to the new field for our neighbourhood's families. I look forward to attending the next Family & School Association meeting on April 9th to discuss this contribution and answer any questions you may have.
I have also dedicated developer fees toward Eglinton, Hodgson, Northern and North Toronto. I am also working with parents from Davisville on a new project.
Please always feel welcome to contact me if there is a capital project at your Ward 22 school that could benefit the school and local residential community. I’ll do whatever I can to be of support.
Honest Advertising for Condo Developments
At the beginning of the application review process for a new condo, 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. This misleading advertising suppresses local engagement by giving the impression that the application is a "done deal".
To help address this problem I moved a motion at City Council, entitled A Picture Tells Too Many Stories: Honest Advertising for Proposed Developments, which requests that the province require developers to state that applications are subject to the approval of the City of Toronto in their advertising.
Increased Support for the Arts Approved at Council
For years various Toronto City Councils have periodically affirmed and re-affirmed our commitment to increase the per capita arts and culture funding to $25, with unfortunately little action to date. As a result, the City of Toronto has now fallen drastically behind other major North American cities in its funding for the arts, with an investment of only $18 per resident. Our major and direct competitors, including Chicago ($26), Montreal ($32), New York ($74) and San Francisco ($87) all invest significantly more in their cultural activities.
That's why Councillor Wong-Tam and I moved a motion to increase funding to the arts with new revenue from a fee on commercial billboards. I am very pleased to announce that the increased funding proposed in that motion was approved at City Council yesterday. I am excited to see the positive effects this support will have on our arts & culture communities.
Update on Emergency Shelter Services
No one should have to spend a night on the street. I know that while the official reports may say there are open beds. However, that does not reflect the realities of individual need based on gender, physical ability, addiction, and mental health issues. Geography is also an issue, as a bed in north Scarborough is of little use to a person downtown. In particular, our shelter system appears to be failing women who are victims of domestic abuse.
I am pleased that Council supported the emergency measures, including the immediate addition of 172 new beds, put forward to address this serious problem at City Council yesterday.
Reducing the Cost of Paid Off-Duty Police Officers
As a member of the Council's Audit Committee, I set a process in motion to reduce the number of paid-duty police officers the City needs to hire at construction and work sites.
I, along with many residents, find it frustrating to see police officers standing by works sites while other budgets to important City services are being cut.
At Council yesterday, the City adopted a motion that could see Toronto follow Vancouver's lead by ensuring that lower paid enforcement officials are monitoring construction sites. If permitted, this initiative will save our city millions of dollars while ensuring that the police are focused on serving and protecting us, as they do well.
In 2011, these paid-duty officers cost the city almost $3 million. By applying a little common sense to where these officers are actually useful, I was able to have the guidelines changed. This initiative will save the city $1.8 million every year, about 60% of the former expense.
Cultural Services Public Consultations
In May 2011, City Council unanimously endorsed the Creative Capital Gains Report. That report provides the framework for the City's arts and cultural investment. Cultural Services is working together with the Toronto Arts Council to seek input on setting the principles and priorities for new spending, targeted results, and methods of assessment. Please see below for more information on public consultation dates:
St. Lawrence Hall
157 King Street East
Saturday, April 6th
1 to 4 pm
Lakeshore Assembly Hall
1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive
Monday, April 8th
6 to 9 pm
Cedarbrae Library Auditorium
545 Markham Road
Tuesday, April 9th
6:30 to 9:30 pm
Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge Street
Thursday, April 18th
6 to 9 pm
A survey is available for your feedback at http://fluidsurveys.com/s/city-of-toronto-cultural-services-creative-capital-investment/.
Irish Tea Fundraiser
St. Vincent de Paul will be hosting an Irish Tea fundraiser this Sunday, April 7th 2013. St. Vincent De Paul is a non-profit organization that provides valuable charity work in the community with single-parent families, children and vulnerable adults. The event will commence at 2:30 pm with harpist Eithne Heffernan, followed by a music recital with entertainer Hugo Straney. At 3:30 pm there will be an afternoon tea, Irish dancers, a raffle and live auction, and a bake sale.
Date: Sunday, April 7th from 2:30 pm to 5 pm
Location: Holy Rosary Church, 354 St. Clair Avenue West
Admission: $20 ($15 for seniors)
Culinarium, a Ward 22 gourmet food store, is presenting hands-on, engaging workshops all about eco-friendly gardening and vegetable growing techniques:
Wednesday, April 10th at 7:30 pm: Container Gardening 101
Tuesday, May 7th at 7:30 pm: Worms of Endearment: All About Indoor and Outdoor Vermicomposting
Forest Hill Art Show
The Forest Hill Art Club invites you to its annual show and sale of members' work from April 19th to 21st. The art show will feature artists' work in a variety of media.
Date: Friday, April 19th from 6 to 8 pm; Saturday, April 20th from 1 to 5 pm; Sunday, April 21st from 1 tp 5 pm
Location: Forest Hill Art Club, 666 Eglinton Avenue West
For more information, please call Marion Wilson at 416-654-5069.
Forest Hill Road Park Public Meeting
I would like to invite you and your neighbours to provide feedback and suggestions regarding potential improvements to the Forest Hill Road Park. This is a great opportunity to work together and enhance our local park. City staff will be in attendance to discuss potential options and answer any questions you may have.
Date: Thursday, April 11th at 6:30 pm
Location: Forest Hill Road Public School's Library, 78 Dunloe Rd.
Davisville Tenants Public Meeting
Do you have concerns about your rental unit or building, or feedback to share about issues affecting Toronto? Have your voice heard! On April 18th I will be holding a meeting for tenants on Davisville Avenue at the Mount Pleasant Library, 599 Mount Pleasant Road, from 6:30 to 8 pm. I hope to see you there!
Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards
Do you know someone or a community group who is making a difference in Toronto by reducing barriers to civic participation? Celebrate their accomplishments – nominate them for an award!
The Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards recognize significant efforts of Toronto residents who are working to build a city in which all residents are full and equal participants in the social, cultural, economic, recreational and political life of the city. Each year, the City celebrates the contributions made by nominated citizens or groups at an awards ceremony.
Deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, May 6, 2013.
Nominees must be residents of the City of Toronto. To nominate and for more information, please visit www.toronto.ca/civicawards.
LEAF Tree Tenders Volunteer Training Program
LEAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest. Since 1996 LEAF has actively engaged residents in urban forest stewardship through planting, education and training. On May 22nd to 29th LEAF will be offering arboriculture instruction to members of the public at the Northern District Library (40 Orchard View Boulevard). For more information on the four training dates and times, please visit http://www.yourleaf.org/tree-tenders-volunteer-training. All are welcome.
Shop Small Show your Community Spirit!
To celebrate the launch of Shop Small, American Express has launched a campaign on Facebook to profile over 4,000 Toronto merchants who are part of the Shop Small Network. Torontonians are asked to show their love for their favourite Shop Small business by voting for them on an interactive map on the American Express Canada Facebook page. The business that receives the most votes will be named Toronto’s Neighbourhood Gem, will be featured in an American Express Toronto Life Advertorial, and also receive a consultation with Facebook Canada to better understand how to utilize social channels to drive their business. Let's vote for our favourite Ward 22 small businesses and showcase our Shop Small pride.
The City of Toronto is consulting with Toronto's condominium occupants and the first round of the Condo Consultation is in its final stages.
The purpose of this consultation is to engage with condo residents, condo boards, businesses located in condo buildings, property managers, City staff and others to identify possible changes to City policies as they relate to condo living in Toronto. Some examples of existing issues that the City has been made aware of to date include access to parks and dog parks, recreational and community amenities, parking and visitor parking and childcare options in the neighbourhood.
The health of Toronto's condo communities is critical to the future health of our city as a whole. With the number of new condos quickly changing the face of Toronto, there's a lively and high profile discussion underway regarding what impact these condos will have/are having on the people living in the condos as well as on the broader city.
Summary reports from the first round of public meetings are now posted on the project webpage at http://www.toronto.ca/planning/condo_consultation.htm. A final comprehensive report will be written and posted this month, including feedback from these meetings, written feedback and survey feedback. The round one survey is now online, and will be available until April 12th.
Opportunity for a 100km2 Rouge National Park
A third of Canada's population resides in Southern Ontario and has the opportunity to create a large national park by combining Rouge Park and the Greenbelt. The federal government's admirable effort to build Rouge National Park in May 2012 was unsuccessful. In response, Councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker and the City of Toronto suggested four recommendations for the federal government to improve the Rouge National Park plan:
1) Respect and strengthen the environmental vision and policies of approved Rouge Park and Provincial Greenbelt Plans.
2) Respect conservation science, long term park health, and visitor potential by including the 100+ km2 public land assembly within the park study area.
3) Ensure the restoration of a large mixed-wood and Carolinian forest habitat system linking Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine with public parkland and trails.
4) Follow a scientific and transparent public planning process, involving First Nations, local citizens and groups, to create the Park's boundaries, legislation and strategic plan.
- Let's build a transit system that can meet our needs now
- NOTICE OF MOTION: A Picture Tells Too Many Storeys: Honest Advertising for Proposed Developments
- 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
- Federal Budget 2013, Toronto's Infrastructure Priorities and More.
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