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 Josh Matlow spoke regarding future options for Casa Loma and a City of Toronto Museum at Toronto City Council, October 3, 2012.
Councillor Josh Matlow spoke regarding Metrolinx's The Big Move transit plan at Toronto City Council, July 12, 2012.
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.
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.
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