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Welcome

Dear residents and friends,

 

I deeply appreciate your support and confidence and I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with you on the many issues, challenges and opportunities we'll face together as a community here in Ward 22, St. Paul's and as a city.

 

I'm advocating for a more thoughtful, creative and responsible new approach for city council. I want council to engage our city's residents with an inspiring plan and make informed decisions that are based on evidence, community consultation and the merits of arguments - rather than ideology or left or right-wing partisanship.

 

My staff and I are here to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have. We're also working every day to improve our local neighbourhoods- along with supporting the many valued services Torontonians rely on every day. You are always welcome to contact me at 416-392-7906 or by email at councillor_matlow@toronto.ca.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Josh

Latest Videos

Councillor Matlow spoke on options for the Scarborough Subway, March 31, 2016.

Councillor Matlow spoke on tenant issues related to the Residential Tenancies Act, December 18 2013.

City Hall and Community Update for November 6, 2015

City of Toronto Museum at Old City Hall - One Step Closer

 

I am pleased to report that my colleagues supported our requests to reject recommendations to create a retail mall and move forward with a feasibility study for a City of Toronto Museum in Old City Hall, along with a public consultation process for the future of this iconic and historic buidling, at this week's Council meeting.

 

Old City Hall is one of the few sites in Toronto recognized by the Federal government as having historical value. Indeed, it was our city's seat of government from 1899 to 1966.

 

I believe Toronto has a shameful track record when it comes to preserving its heritage. Moreover, even when Toronto has been successful at protecting important buildings, the efforts have largely resulted in a literally hollow conservation practice known as façadism. Heritage preservation should extend deeper than a building's exterior. One need only look at the increasing number of churches being converted from places of congregation to private residences to see that Toronto is still losing its past, even if the physical shell of that building remains intact.

 

Since 2012, I have been actively working to establish a City of Toronto museum at Casa Loma's under-utilized North Campus. While I still think this location is feasible, there is no question that Old City Hall is a more desirable place for this purpose from a geographic, historical, and functional perspective.With the Province opting not to renew its lease for provincial courts, we have a rare opportunity to finally move forward with a City Museum in a building that merits showcasing Toronto's dynamic history.

 

We have an opportunity to do much more than perform "heritage taxidermy" at our Old City Hall.


Council Rejects Inappropriate Development at 1417, 1421-1425, 1427 & 1429 Yonge St.

 

Also at Council this week, my colleagues supported my efforts to refuse an inappropriate development application at Yonge & St. Clair.

 

Earlier this year, an application was submitted for a 42-storey mixed-use building at 1417-1429 Yonge St. just south of St. Clair. At a well-attended community meeting this past June, we heard from City Planning Staff that this proposed development is too tall and dense for the site, leaving very little room on the sidewalk and no additional public space, which is typical for a building of this size. As well, this condo would put added stress on the already overcrowded rear laneway. There is even concern that delivery vehicles, taxis, cars, and other vehicles accessing the proposed site could interfere with the St. Clair streetcar where it turns into the station.

 

As a result of these - and other - concerns, I was pleased that my colleagues supported my motion to move City Planning’s refusal report at Community Council and full Council.

 

Unfortunately, the applicant now has the option to appeal the decision at the Ontario Municipal Board.

 

While I strongly agree that the Yonge & St. Clair area is in need of revitalization, this specific development proposal is inappropriate from functional and aesthetic perspectives. We are hopeful that the applicant opts to revise their plans and submit a more appropriate proposal instead of fighting the City and our community at the OMB.


Province Provides Full Funding for New Davisville Public School

 

Last week, our local St. Paul’s MPP Dr. Eric Hoskins announced $14,742,268 in provincial funding for a new Davisville Junior Public School. The provincially-funded project will accommodate 728 elementary students and a new Full-Day Kindergarten class.

 

I want to thank Dr. Hoskins and Trustee Shelley Laskin for their hard work to support our community. This initiative means that the TDSB will no longer be required to sell land on the Davisville site to fund a new school. I look forward to joining both local representatives and Education Minister Liz Sandals to officially announce the project this coming Monday.

 

I will continue to work with Dr. Hoskins, Trustee Laskin, Davisville parents, and local residents on a plan to provide enhanced recreation and other facilities as part of a Midtown Community Hub on this site.


City Launches 2016 Budget Process

 

The Budget Committee met today to launch the 2016 budget process by considering the City's Solid Waste, Water, and Parking Divisions. It will then consider Toronto's operating and capital budgets.

 

This is the beginning of a months long process culminating in full Council considering the budget next year. As always, I will host a Ward 22 Community Town Hall on the subject to help ensure that I am reflecting your priorities. I will announce the details of this meeting in the coming weeks in an update to you.

 

For more information, please visit the City of Toronto's 2016 BUDGET PAGE


Update on Midtown Power Outages

 

I've heard from many of you that recurring power outages over the past several months have been disrupting your daily lives, from resetting alarm clocks to damaging electronic devices. My family and I have also been affected by these outages and share your frustrations, not only about the inconveniences they can cause but also the dramatic increase in the frequency at which they are occurring compared to past years.

 

I do understand, and even appreciate the fact, that upgrading their infrastructure is important and necessary. However, have made repeated requests to Toronto Hydro, asking them to share all information available with the public about the cause of these outages and what is being done to reduce their frequency. I have met with several of their staff over the past few months, including speaking with their president this week. I am disappointed that they don't automatically provide residents with basic and relevant information about projects that might affect their lives (remember when their new poles arrived, often placed right in the middle of our sidewalks or what it was like during the ice storm 2 years ago?) - I am advocating to change the way they communicate so that we all recieve timely and relevant information.

 

My office was initially told that their work on upgrading hydro infrastructure in our midtown area would be completed by the end of September. Obviously Toronto Hydro has not met these timelines.

 

Please see below the information sent to my office today from Toronto Hydro. They have provided some rationale for these ongoing outages and have noted that they will not be able to provide updated timelines for the completion of this work until they receive further approval from the Ontario Energy Board.

 

I will be sure to provide this information to you, once it is relayed to me by Toronto Hydro.

 

If you continue to experience outages in the meantime, or have any other issues you'd like to share regarding their service, please contact Toronto Hydro directly at 416-542-8000.

 

Here is, verbatim, what they shared with me today:

 

Toronto Hydro Improving Power Reliability in our Community

 

Like other infrastructure in our city, Toronto Hydro is facing challenges with aging equipment. Since 2007, they have invested $2.9 billion in asset renewal representing their largest investment in over 50 years. Reliability has steadily improved and their investments are working, but more is needed. Since 2013, Toronto Hydro has invested approximately $20 million in Ward 22 and continues to invest in projects to provide safe and reliable power in our community.

 

One of the major capital projects currently in progress involves replacing 1950s overhead box construction in the Davisville Village. The benefits of this multi-phase, $19 million project will be:

·         New equipment. Many of the parts and tools for the older equipment are no longer manufactured.

·         Increased capacity. Although the system currently has enough energy to supply our homes, Toronto Hydro is planning for the future needs of our rapidly growing city.

·         Robust design for major weather events.

·         Improved overhead design to prevent nuisance outages from tree and animal contacts.

 

Toronto Hydro has completed 3 of 6 phases. Once the Ontario Energy Board approves their 2015-2019 rates application, a timeline for the final phases of this project will be announced. Visit the Toronto Hydro PowerUp website for more information on capital projects in Ward 22. http://www.poweruptoronto.ca/projects/map

 

Why is my power going out?

 

Power interruptions have many causes. Approximately 60% of outages that residents have experienced are related to foreign interference and weather related issues which are difficult to control. These outages may be caused by animal contacts (such as squirrels and racoons) or tree contacts (especially during storms or periods of heavy winds). To mitigate these interferences Toronto Hydro is:

·         Installing animal guards as part of the overhead projects

·         Providing regular tree trimming, with plans to expand the maintenance program pending regulatory approval

 

The remaining 40% of the outages in the area are due to aging and defective equipment. Capital projects to help mitigate these outages include:

·         Overhead rebuilds and underground cable replacements

·         System designs to reduce the number of homes affected when an outage does occur

 

Toronto Hydro differentiates between two types of outages:

 

Sustained outage: last more than a minute and can be very disruptive. Fortunately they do not happen often, but Toronto Hydro dispatches a crew to manually restore power for you.

 

Momentary Outage: last less than a minute. These outages are annoying, but part of the system protecting itself and automatically restoring power. Most often these are caused by foreign interference.

 

Please note: Toronto Hydro endeavours to keep your power on during construction by switching between power sources. As part of this process, you may experience higher than normal momentary outages. Those residents who may be affected by planned sustained outages will be notified directly.


It's Official - Ward 22 Has a New Public Park at Manor Road and Forman Avenue!

 

I am absolutely delighted to announce that Ward 22 has officially acquired a new park space through a report that was approved at City Council back in May.

 

The sale/purchase agreement between the City and Manor Road United Church was finalized on Wednesday, Novemer 4.


Like many churches across our community, the Manor Road United Church at Forman Avenue and Manor Road has had to face the challenging reality of matching the size of their property with their current needs. After reviewing their options, the Church decided that it only needs half of the current property.


To avoid seeing this portion of the property sold for townhouses, I have worked with the Church to acquire the site, using development fees, for a new park. This new green space will occupy the eastern portion of the site, now occupied by the community hall. The church plans to use their funds to renovate their remaining structure to accommodate a variety of community services. I appreciate how civic-minded the church has been throughout this process.

 

In the new year, I plan to hold community meetings to gather feedback about how you would like to see our new park take shape.


St. Clair Reservoir Construction Schedule Update

 

City staff have provided the following update with regards to the St. Clair Reservoir rehabilitation project.  Here is a link to the City's Webpage with regards to this project – which is being updated throughout the construction process.

 

As a reminder regarding this project, The City of Toronto will be carrying out waterproofing and structure rehabilitation work to the St. Clair Reservoir at Sir Winston Churchill Park.  These necessary upgrades will help to ensure the structural integrity of the reservoir, extend its service life and bring the infrastructure to a state of good repair.

 

Work on the St. Clair Reservoir will begin in late Spring 2016 as follows:

 

Phase 1:  Spring 2016 to Spring 2017

·         West basin closed for construction

·         Dog park, 6 tennis courts and playground remain open

 

Phase 2:  Spring 2017 to Summer 2018

·         Entire park closed for construction

 

This schedule will allow for maximized public use of the park or portions thereof.  Pre-Construction and Construction Notices will be issued to the community well ahead of work starting to provide more detailed information about this planned work.


Age-Friendly Town Hall Meeting

 

During my first year as our city councillor, I initiated the City of Toronto’s Seniors’ Strategy: a proactive, holistic and inclusive initiative that seeks to create a truly accessible, respectful and age-friendly Toronto.

 

Now, I'm delighted to host an upcoming Age Friendly Town Hall along with the Toronto Council on Aging (TCA) to develop this important initiative further.

 

This town hall meeting will be a rallying point for seniors and issues of aging in Midtown Toronto, an information sharing event and a point of departure for TCA to talk about the Age Friendly Project and get community champions and volunteers on board to help with this important initiative.

 

I plan to hold this event at 7pm on Tuesday, November 24 in the sanctuary of Christ Church Deer Park (1570 Yonge Street). **Please note this location change since my previous e-newsletter**

 

I hope to see you there!


Safe and Accessible Crossing for the Beltline Park Trail

Many trail users have expressed their concerns regarding the lack of safe pedestrian-cyclist crossings where the Beltline meets Oriole Parkway and Avenue Road. Currently there is no safe crossing point that allows the trail to be truly contiguous for residents. Last year, I requested City Staff to report to Community Council with viable options to install signalized crossings at these locations that are synchronized with the existing signalized intersections. Staff recommendations to install a signalized crossing on Avenue Road south of Chaplin Crescent and replace the existing traffic median on Oriole Parkway with a pedestrian-cyclist refuge island have been approved by both Community Council and City Council. I am pleased to announce that both of these projects are now being completed.


Remembrance Day Ceremony at Mount Pleasant Cemetery

 

Members of the public are invited to attend a Remembrance Day Ceremony at Mount Pleasant Cemetery on November 11, to honour and remember those who have given their lives in all branches of the military while in the service of their country in times of war, conflict and peace. Members of the Royal Canadian Air Force from 16 Wing Borden will parade and lay poppy wreaths at the steps of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery Mausoleum near the monument dedicated to the most decorated war hero in the history of Canada,  the British Empire and the Commonwealth of Nations, Lieutenant-Colonel/Wing Commander William Barker, VC, DSO, MC.

 

Please gather with residents and the students of Hodgson Senior PS at the front steps of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery Mausoleum (bewteen the Yonge Street and Mount Pleasant Road entrances) at 10am. A moment of Silence will be observed at 11am.


Reminder: Annual Ecumenical Christmas Food Drive

 

Churches in Rosedale, Moore Park and Leaside are again sponsoring a Christmas Drive (the 44th consecutive) to assist local food banks and agencies that are in urgent need of help at this time of year.

 

Flyers are delivered to area households on Saturday, November 21 and donations are then picked up on the following Saturday, November 28. There are two locations. The first is Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church  (OLPH) on St. Clair Avenue East, one block west of Mount Pleasant Road. The other is St. Cuthbert’s  Church  on Bayview Avenue, south of Millwood Road near Humphreys Funeral Home  -  please note that this is a changed location from Leaside Presbyterian because of the LRT construction on Eglinton Avenue.

 

Times on both days are from 9:30am until around 1pm. Donations are sorted and packed at OLPH with same-day delivery to recipient food banks and agencies. Last year, around 15,000 items were collected and we hope to do even better this year as, unfortunately, the demand is still great. Upwards of 300 volunteers are required and community hours are available for high school students who require them for graduation or other reasons.

 

Also, two area Sobeys stores (St. Clair Avenue just east of Yonge Street and Wicksteed Avenue near Laird Drive) are again supporting this effort by holding in-store drives throughout the Christmas season. These sources typically add another 10/15,000 to the overall total

 

It is a fun event for both families and young persons and supports a worthwhile cause to benefit the less fortunate members of our community.

 

If further information is required, please contact the Campaign Chair, Brian Kearney, at 416-972-0585 or by e-mail at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


1920's Evening Costume Workshop at Spadina Museum

 

Looking for a creative and crafty evening out? Spadina Museum will be hosting a special evening tour followed by a hand on workshop to create a fascinator or cocktail hat for your upcoming holiday parties. This workshop will take place Friday, November 20, 7 to 10 p.m. To pre-register call 416-392-6910 or find more details here.


The Austins During the Great War at Spadina Museum

 

There will be a special program this weekend in honour of Remembrance Day to view The Great War from the lens of the Austin Family. Their story typifies Toronto's Great War experience by enduring the terrors, demands and sacrifices of modern war-fare. This unique Toronto History event will take place Saturday, November 7 & Sunday, November 8 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m


Toronto Ward Boundary Review Public Survey Ending Soon. Share your thoughts

 

In conjunction with the public consultation meetings over the past month, The Toronto Ward Boundary Review has a survey available to share your opinion about the 5 ward boundary options.  The survey will be wrapping up on November 15th so please click here to have your say!


City of Toronto working on a Tree Planting Strategy

 

The City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation division, in consultation with Toronto Water, Transportation Services, City Planning and Economic Development and Culture, will develop a Tree Planting Strategy to inspire action to reach the City's target of 40 per cent tree canopy cover over the next 30 to 40 years. The development of the strategy will also involve consultation with residents, the public, internal and external stakeholders and community partners.

 

Toronto currently has 26.6 per to 28 per cent tree canopy cover, representing 10.2 million trees. About 40 per cent of these trees are on City lands, with the remaining 60 per cent on private lands. The City will work with community stakeholders to develop a planting strategy that focuses on increasing tree planting and stewardship on private lands.

 

The public is invited to provide input through an online survey here or by attending one of the upcoming public meetings:

  • Monday, November 16, Scarborough Civic Centre, Council Chamber, 150 Borough Dr., 6:30 to 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 17, Etobicoke Civic Centre, Council Chamber, 399 The West Mall, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
  • Monday, November 30, Toronto City Hall, Committee Room 2, 100 Queen St. W., 6:30 to 9 p.m.

 

More information about the Tree Planting Strategy is available here.


Proposed Developments in Ward 22

 

To ensure that you are informed and engaged about development proposals that are being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage with locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).


For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.caClick here to read my previous city hall and community updates.


 

Upcoming Community Meetings and Events!

Manor Road Co-op Nursery School Fundraiser


Manor Road Co-op Nursery School is pleased to announce their first fundraiser of the 2015/2016 school year! Renowned children’s entertainer Kayla (www.kaylamusic.ca) will be playing a show and the school’s community will be making a pancake breakfast.


They will also have a 50/50 Draw and a fun photographer in attendance, so feel free to have the little ones dress in costume!


Please join me for some of these fun activities supporting a great community service at 9:30am on Saturday, October 24.


TO BE RESCHEDULED: Glen Edyth Park Improvements Meeting

Please note that the public meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, October 21 in the Toronto Archives to discuss playground improvements at Glen Edyth Park (mentioned in my previous communiy update) will need to be post-poned at this time.

I'll be sure to share the new date for this community consultation with you, once confirmed, and hope to see you there!


Manor Road United Church Town Hall Meeting


At 6:30pm-8:30pm on Wednesday, October 28, Manor Road United Church wants to share would like to share their Church renovation plans, which require site specific amendments to City of Toronto By-laws, with you.


I am delighted to attend this meeting to provide an update on our new public park that we're going to establish on land formerly owned by the Church. I hope to see you there!


Halloween Haunted House at Deer Park Library

The Deer Park Library would like you to join them for a Halloween fright with a walk through their room of spooky things!


This all-ages children's event will take place on Saturday October 31 from 2pm-4pm at Deer Park library (40 St. Clair Ave East), Room 204.


For more information on all upcoming class and program offerings at Deer Park Library, please click here.


Ward 22's Pumpkin Parade!


Please join me, my family, Apple Tree Markets, friends and neighbors, for a community gathering at Glebe Manor Square East (between Harwood and Forman on Belsize Drive) 6:30-8:30pm on November 1st.


This is a fun community event where kids come in costumes, parents often bring drinks and everyone brings their pumpkins for an encore performance from Halloween the night before. I've arranged for your pumpkins to be picked up by the City if you'd like to leave yours at the park!


Annual Ecumenical Christmas Food Drive


Churches in Rosedale, Moore Park and Leaside are again sponsoring a Christmas Drive (the 44th consecutive) to assist local food banks and agencies that are in urgent need of help at this time of year.


Flyers are delivered to area households on Saturday, November 21 and donations are then picked up on the following Saturday, November 28. There are two locations. The first is Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church  (OLPH) on St. Clair Avenue East, one block west of Mount Pleasant Road. The other is St. Cuthbert’s  Church  on Bayview Avenue, south of Millwood Road near Humphreys Funeral Home  -  please note that this is a changed location from Leaside Presbyterian because of the LRT construction on Eglinton Avenue.


Times on both days are from 9:30am until around 1pm. Donations are sorted and packed at OLPH with same-day delivery to recipient food banks and agencies. Last year, around 15,000 items were collected and we hope to do even better this year as, unfortunately, the demand is still great. Upwards of 300 volunteers are required and community hours are available for high school students who require them for graduation or other reasons.


Also, two area Sobeys stores (St. Clair Avenue just east of Yonge Street and Wicksteed Avenue near Laird Drive) are again supporting this effort by holding in-store drives throughout the Christmas season. These sources typically add another 10/15,000 to the overall total


It is a fun event for both families and young persons and supports a worthwhile cause to benefit the less fortunate members of our community.


If further information is required, please contact the Campaign Chair, Brian Kearney, at 416-972-0585 or by e-mail at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


SAVE THE DATE: Age-Friendly Town Hall


During my first year as our city councillor, I initiated the City of Toronto’s Seniors’ Strategy: a
proactive, holistic and inclusive initiative that seeks to create a truly accessible, respectful and age-friendly Toronto.


Now,
I'm delighted to host an upcoming Age Friendly Town Hall along with the Toronto Council on Aging (TCA) to develop this important initiative further.


This town hall meeting will be a rallying point for seniors and issues of aging in Midtown Toronto, an information sharing event and a point of departure for TCA to talk about the Age Friendly Project and get community champions and volunteers on board to help with this important initiative.


I plan to hold this event at 7pm on Tuesday, November 24 in the Multipurpose Room at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West).


I hope to see you there!


SAVE THE DATE: Councillor Matlow's Free Toronto from the OMB Town Hall


The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is a quasi-judicial, un-elected and un-accountable provincial body that has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario. The tribunal's powers to overrule decisions made by our elected municipal representatives are anti-democratic and often lead to planning decisions that support the interests of the development industry over those of our communities and our city's official plan.


As you are aware, our midtown neighbourhoods are facing an unprecedented number of development applications. While our community understands that a reasonable amount of intensification is appropriate, developers are proposing new condominiums that are too high and dense for the neighbourhood and, in many cases, appealing to the OMB at the first opportunity. The provincial government is mandating higher densities in areas such as Yonge & Eglinton but they are not taking into consideration the added stress on fully-enrolled schools, narrow streets and sidewalks and an already over-crowded subway system.


Please save the date – Tuesday, January 26 at 7pm - for a town hall meeting I plan to host, to further discuss, and take action, this important issue facing our community and city. I will share more details with you as soon as they become available.


In the meantime, you can learn more about my efforts to free Toronto from the OMB, and how you can help, here.


For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.caClick here to read my previous city hall and community updates.


   

Fall 2015 Community Update Newsletter

To open a zoomable version of page 1 in a separate window, please click here.

To open a zoomable version of page 2 in a separate window, please click here.

To open a zoomable version of page 3 in a separate window, please click here.

To open a zoomable version of page 4 in a separate window, please click here.

   

City Hall and Community Update for October 9, 2015

Dear Resident,


With our kids going back to school and workplaces back at full speed (perhaps except for when the Blue Jays are playing), the month after Labour Day can be a very busy time. The last few weeks at City Hall have been no different, where Council has debated important issues, including voting reform, support for Syrian Refugees, combatting traffic and gridlock, transit and the future of Old City Hall.


In our community, I have had the opportunity to work with many of you to help mitigate the impacts development pressure, moving forward on creating a Midtown Community Hub, improve the safety of our local streets, build new playgrounds and improve our parks, along with working on solutions to challenges faced by local neighbourhoods, streets and individual residents every day. I'm always happy to support you if you need me.


Please also feel welcome to follow me on Twitter.


I hope that you are able to enjoy a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving with your friends and family this long weekend.


And meanwhile, Go Jays Go!


Sincerely,


Josh


Advance Polling Locations for Federal Election Open this Weekend


As most of you are aware, the federal election date is October 19th. However, you can also vote in advance polls starting today, October 9th, through to October 12th. For more information, including poll locations please visit the Elections Canada website.


Whatever party you support, please make sure that you express to the candidates that a fairer deal for cities is crucial. Let them know that the federal government needs to contribute significant, long-term funding to support affordable housing, transit, childcare and priorities that are important to Midtown residents.


Please note that the boundaries for this election have been changed. Those of you living west of Mount Pleasant will still be in St. Paul’s, while those living east of Mount Pleasant will now be voting in Don Valley West.


The Future of Old City Hall


Old City Hall is one of the few sites in Toronto recognized by the Federal government as having historical value. Indeed, it was our city's seat of government from 1899 to 1966.


Toronto has a shameful track record in regards to preserving its heritage. Moreover, even when Toronto has been successful at protecting important buildings, the efforts have largely resulted in a literally hollow conservation practice known as façadism. Heritage preservation should extend deeper than a building's exterior. One need only look at the increasing number of churches being converted from places of congregation to private residences to see that Toronto is still losing its past, even if the physical shell of that building remains intact.


That’s why I was disappointed to see a report to Government Management Committee this past week recommending that Old City Hall be used as a mall with home décor and beauty stores.


Since 2012, I have been actively working to establish a City of Toronto museum at Casa Loma's under-utilized North Campus. While I still think this location is feasible, there is no question that Old City Hall is a more desirable place for this purpose from a geographic, historical, and functional perspective.With the Province opting not to renew its lease for provincial courts, we have a rare opportunity to finally move forward with a City Museum in a building that merits showcasing Toronto's dynamic history.


We have an opportunity to do much more than perform "heritage taxidermy" at our Old City Hall.


For more information please read my motion to Government Management Committee.


Ranked Ballots (Election Reform) Setback at City Council


In a surprise move, several Councillors reversed their previous support for Ranked Ballots by clearly asking the Province not to give the City of Toronto the power to implement voting reform. This was not simply a request for further consultation as some councillors have suggested.


Last June, the provincial government announced that it would provide the City of Toronto with the option of using ballots that allow voters to use ranked ballots, starting in 2018. Ranked ballots allow a voter to rank candidates in order of preference --first choice, second choice, third choice, etc. -- instead of just voting for one candidate. The Province has provided an example of a ranked ballot election here.


Under the new system, if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote after all the first place votes are counted, the 2nd place votes are considered, and so on until an individual on the ballot receives a majority of votes. If adopted by Council, this change could give voters more influence on who wins an election, which it is hoped will help increase voter turnout.


The provincial government has stated that the benefits of ranked ballots may also include:


Reduction in strategic voting, which may occur when a voter decides not to pick their first choice candidate in an election because they think their first choice candidate may not win the election. Reduction in negative campaigning — since voters can rank multiple candidates, is an incentive for candidates to appeal to voters not just as a first preference vote but also to gain a high ranking from supporters of other candidates, encouraging more candidates to remain in the race until voting day, since the threat of “splitting the vote” between like-minded candidates is reduced.


The Province’s announcement in favour of ranked ballots is in response to a request for changes to the Municipal Elections Act made by the City of Toronto in 2013. I also want to recognize the efforts of local activist and personal friend, Dave Meslin. Mr. Meslin has been a tireless advocate for citizen engagement and has spent many years pushing for this voting reform. I will continue working with him to advance this important reform.
You can read more about ranked ballots through his website.


Making Toronto a Tech-Friendly City and Bridging the Digital Divide


I am pleased to report that my motion to have Staff explore the feasibility of providing free Wi-Fi in our city’s parks, squares and Civic Centres, along with Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) buildings and privately-owned public spaces (POPS) was supported by the  Economic Development Committee.


Providing free public Wi-Fi in our parks and public spaces will signal to technology developers that Toronto is a tech-savvy jurisdiction and an excellent place to settle and do business. Also, free public Wi-Fi is an indispensable amenity for an increasing number of global tourists. International cellular data is expensive and inaccessible for most travellers who instead have to rely on infrequent and unreliable hotspots in some cafés or hotel lobbies. Finally, the internet has become the essence of global communications, an invaluable informational and educational tool that should be accessible to all Torontonians, irrespective of income. It is vital that we overcome the “digital divide” and break down the barriers to affordable internet service by providing free public Wi-Fi at all Toronto Community Housing Corporation locations.


For more information, please see this Toronto Star editorial


1417, 1421-1425, 1427 & 1429 Yonge St. Public Meeting


Earlier this year, an inappropriate application was submitted for a 42-storey mixed-use building at 1417-1429 Yonge St. just south of St. Clair. At a well-attended community meeting this past June, we heard from City Planning Staff that this proposed development is too tall and dense for the site, leaving very little room on the sidewalk and no additional public space, which is typical for a building of this size. As well, this condo would put added stress on the already overcrowded rear laneway. There is even concern that delivery vehicles, taxis, cars, and other vehicles accessing the proposed site could interfere with the St. Clair streetcar where it turns into the station.


As a result of these - and other - concerns, I was pleased that my colleagues supported my motion to move City Planning’s refusal report at Community Council earlier this week. Unfortunately, the applicant now has the option to appeal the decision at the Ontario Municipal Board.


While I strongly agree that the Yonge & St. Clair area is in need of revitalization, this specific development proposal is inappropriate from functional and aesthetic perspectives. We are hopeful that the applicant opts to revise their plans and submit a more appropriate proposal instead of fighting the City and our community at the OMB.


256 Chaplin Crescent


Many of you may be aware of the request for variances at 256 Chaplin Crescent.  I am pleased to share that the Committee of Adjustment supported my request to refuse the application for variances when it came before them on September 24th.


I heard from many residents who had some serious concerns about the impact this particular project would have on them, if the developer were to get their way and demolish the exisiting two storey home and replace it with a larger home and integral garage.  The property is on a ravine protected lot, and it would have meant that as many as 29 trees would have been significantly impacted on the property.  In addition, many trees on neighbouring properties would have been injured as a result of this proposal in its current form.


Along with Urban Forestry and local residents, I asked the Committee of Adjustment to reject this application. The developer now has the option to appeal the decision to the Ontario Municipal Board, and I will continue my opposition on behalf of our community if that happens.


Ward 22 Parks Update


I have been working closely with parents throughout Ward 22 on improvements to our local parks. This includes a
recently-installed accessible swing set at Pottery Park playground and upcoming improvements to the playground equipment at Glenn Gould Park.


Currently under construction is exciting new playground equipment and a music garden at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park, as well as improvements to the tree canopy, plantings and drainage at the Belsize parkettes. Both of these projects are anticipated to be completed before the winter.


Another Successful Season for our Davisville Farmers' Market!

 

I'm delighted by the success of Ward 22's fourth community farmers' market at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park. Once again, the market ran between 3 and 7 PM from May to October, transforming the park into a temporary town square where you were sure to see your friends and neighbours while buying fresh produce, fish, meats, chocolate, and so much more.

 

AppleTree Markets, a local Ward 22 non-profit organization (co-founded my friends and local residents, Lesley Stoyan and Chris Trussell) runs the market with an emphasis on local produce and promoting green living in an urban neighbourhood. In 2013, AppleTree also formed the CIA (Communites in Action) task force to tackle the design of a unique, one-of-a-kind park land for June Rowlands (Davisville) Park that truly reflected the rich history and artistic influence of Davisville Village. I am thrilled to be working together with this hard-working group, as well as Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison, to improve this wonderful park in our community.

 

I look forward to seeing many of you at the Davisville farmers' market again next spring!


Sarah's Food Drive


Please join me on Saturday, October 10 for a community BBQ at McDowell’s Valu-Mart (1500 Bayview Avenue). The event will run from 11am-3pm and feature a BBQ, cotton candy, ice cream, face painting and a visit from our local firefighters.

Also, please feel welcome to drop off any non-perishable goods in the specially marked bins in the store or buy a pre-bagged bag of groceries for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Beltline Clean-up

 

This fall, the Friends of the Beltline Clean-up will take place on Sunday, October 18 from 10am to 12pm, beginning at Forest Hill Road Park. Please join me and the Beltline community in cleaning up our unique trail!


Proposed Eglinton Crosstown LRT Station Name Changes


Yesterday I met with representatives from Metrolinx, who presented the designs for the new Eglinton Crosstown stations that will be traverse our ward.


They also advised me they have recently completed a study on wayfinding harmonization including station, stop and interchange naming.  In an effort to make transit easier to navigate and avoid customer confusion across their regional network, they have proposed changing the names of two of the Crosstown Stations in our ward.


Metrolinx is proposing to rename Avenue Road Station – "Oriole Park", and Bayview Station – "Leaside".   Metrolinx is looking for your input on these names.
For more information, please click here.


Please feel welcome to let me know if you have suggestions! I'd appreciate your feedback and ideas.


Toronto Archives Exhibition Explores Building and Transportation Visions that 'Might Have Been' for Toronto


Using archival maps, plans, photographs and models, the exhibit examines significant municipal projects – housing, road and transit proposals – that were either never realized or else were built to realize one design among competing design proposals.


The exhibit, which will be on display until next summer, illuminates how one can learn a lot about a city by what it builds and also what it chooses not to build. It tells a story of preferences, priorities, politics and economics in Toronto.


This free exhibit is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4:30pm and will also be open from 10am to 4:30pm each Saturday from October 17 until the end of April 2016.


More information about this exhibit is available at http://www.toronto.ca/archives.


Protect Your Pipes From Freezing this Winter


With the cold weather approaching, it is important to take steps now to protect your pipes from freezing, which can leave you with no water and cause your pipes to burst, leading to expensive property damage.

The most important step is to insulate the pipes most prone to freezing, especially near outside walls, and in crawl spaces, the attic and garage.
It is also important to seal air leaks around windows and doors, and to disconnect hoses and drain the outdoor water supply before the first frost.
For more helpful tips, please click here.

The Probus Club Wants You!


THE PROBUS CLUB of TORONTO welcomes PROfessional BUSiness men and women who have retired from their jobs or business and want to maintain a social network with others who have similar interests. The club meets from 10am to 12pm in the Holy Rosary Parish Hall, 356 St. Clair Ave. West.
For more information on joining the Probus Club of Toronto please e-mail  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


I look forward to addressing the Probus Central Toronto Group at their meeting on October 14 at 11am!


Halloween Haunted House at Deer Park Library


The Deer Park Library would like you to join them for a Halloween fright with a walk through their room of spooky things!

This all-ages children's event will take place on Saturday October 31 from 2pm-4pm at Deer Park library (40 St. Clair Ave East), Room 204.

For more information on all upcoming class and program offerings at Deer Park Library, please click here.

Townhouse and Low-Rise Apartment Guidelines


The City of Toronto is in the process of producing city-wide "Townhouse and Low-rise Apartment Guidelines". The purpose of the guidelines is to assist in achieving the appropriate design of low-rise, primarily residential buildings for a range of building types from townhouses, through to stacked and back-to-back townhouses and low-rise apartment buildings.  The guidelines will build upon and replace the "Infill Townhouse Guidelines" which have been in use by the City of Toronto for over 10 years. They will address infill townhouse developments as well as mid to larger sites and the more complex and intense types of low-rise, multi-unit development in terms of site context, site organization, building massing, detailed design and private and public realm.


As part of the consultation process for the new guidelines, the City is interested in finding out what your experience has been living in stacked and back-to-back townhouses, and how it can be improved.


Please take the survey by clicking here.


Thank you for your participation. If you have any questions about the survey, please call Mladen Kukic at 416-396-4203 or email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Metrolinx Accessibility Public Meetings


Metrolinx is inviting you to participate in their 2015 Accessibility Public Meetings that will take place across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. They want to hear from you about the accessibility of GO Transit, PRESTO, UP Express, and their upcoming Rapid Transit services and projects.


The meetings will take place at the following locations/dates:


Toronto Tuesday, October 20, 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Metro Hall

55 John Street

Rooms 308 & 309 (third floor)

Teleconference Wednesday, November 18, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Phone-in meeting; TTY will not be available

RSVP required; please submit questions and comments in advance of meeting

Teleconference details will be provided to registrants


To help them prepare for the meetings, Metrolinx is asking participants to register in advance either online at www.metrolinx.com/en/aboutus/accessibility/register.aspx, email at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or by calling 1-888-438-6646 or 1-800-387-3652 (TTY teletypewriters only). ​


Bayview Art Tour and Sale


The Bayview Art Tour and Sale has been shining a light on the works of local artists for the past 15 years. Now in its fifteenth year, they are expecting to repeat their fantastic numbers from 2014, in participants and visitors.


The Bayview Art Tour venues lie in the general area bounded by Mt. Pleasant Road, Laird Avenue, Broadway Avenue and East Moore Park. Each venue hosts 1+ artist(s) who display and promote their unique and original artwork. BAT venues are distinguished by bright yellow balloons marking each location and are promoted extensively throughout your local community and the GTA.


This year's tour dates are
Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18 from 11am to 5pm in various venues throughout your local neighbourhood.


For more information on the Bayview Art Tour 15th anniversary event, please click here.


Glen Edyth Park Playground Improvements Public Meeting

 

Please join me on Wednesday, October 21 at 7pm to discuss playground improvements for Glen Edyth Park.

 

The meeting will take place in the atrium at the Toronto Archives (255 Spadina Road). I hope to see you there!


390 Spadina Road Public Meeting

 

An application has been submitted to City Planning to construct a 9-storey mixed-use building at this location, consisting of 46 residential units (18 one-bedroom, 28 two-bedroom) with a total residential gfa of 6,587 square metres and 694 square metres of commercial retail space on the ground floor. A total of 71 parking spaces are proposed on three below grade levels.

 

While this development is actually located in Ward 21 (on the west side of Spadina Road), it will obviously impact many Ward 22 residents directly across Spadina Road and throughout the Ward 22 portiont of Forest Hill Village. I encourage you to attend this public meeting to learn more about this proposal and have your voice heard.

 

To speak to the planner directly, please contact David Driedger at 416-392-7613 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Also, you may mail your comments to the planner at Toronto and East York District, 100 Queen St W Floor 18 E Toronto On, M5H 2N2.

 

The public meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 20 at 7pm at Grace Church On-the-Hill (300 Lonsdale Road).


Toronto Public Library Strategic Plan 2016-2019 Requests Your Feedback


Toronto Public Library is creating a new Strategic Plan to guide service delivery over the next four years. All Toronto residents are invited to provide their input into the strategic planning process by completing a brief online survey at http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/telltpl.  A print version (PDF) of the survey is also available for downloading, and can be completed and returned to staff at any branch. Residents requiring assistance completing the survey can call TPL’s Answerline at 416-393-7131 / TTY: 416-393-7030.


Residents are also invited to attend one of ten community consultation events being held in branches across the city in September and October. If you are interested in participating in one of these remaining sessions, or for any further information about the library’s Strategic Plan, please send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call staff at the branch:


·         Wednesday, October 14 at Albion Branch, 6-8 p.m.  416-394-5170

·         Thursday, October 15 at Morningside Branch, 6-8 p.m.  416-396-8881

·         Tuesday, October 20 at Dawes Road Branch, 6-8 p.m.  416-396-3820

·         Thursday, October 22 at Jane/Sheppard Branch, 6-8 p.m.  416-395-5966

·         Wednesday, October 28 at Parkdale Branch, 6-8 p.m.  416-393-7686

·         Thursday, October 29 at Mount Dennis Branch, 6-8 p.m.  416-394-1008


Please join the conversation about what you need and want from your public library over the next four years.


For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.caClick here to read my previous city hall and community updates.

   

A City Museum at Old City Hall, Not Another Shopping Mall

October 4, 2015

 

Carol Kaustinen

10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall

100 Queen Street West

Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

 

Re: GM7.5 Old City Hall – Future Tenant Options

 

 

Dear Chair & Committee Members,

I am writing to ask you to consider the accompanying recommendations regarding Old City Hall.

 

Old City Hall is one of the few sites in Toronto recognized by the Federal government as having historical value. This is a National Historical Site and has been since 1984. Indeed, it was our city's seat of government from 1899 to 1966.

Toronto has a shameful track record with regard to preserving its heritage. Many of our city's most important landmarks have already been bulldozed.

Moreover, even when Toronto has been successful at protecting important buildings, the efforts have largely resulted in a literally hollow conservation practice known as façadism. Heritage preservation should extend deeper than a building's exterior. One need only look at the increasing number of churches being converted from places of congregation to private residences to see to that Toronto is still losing its past, even if the physical shell of that building remains intact. We have an opportunity to do much more than perform "heritage taxidermy" at our Old City Hall.

While this report is not recommending that Old City Hall be torn down, suggesting that this significant part of Toronto’s history become another shopping mall is selling our city short. Home decor and beauty stores are hardly appropriate future uses for this space, in light of the important civic functions performed here over more than a century. In addition, having predominantly private office and retail leases does not meet the City’s dated objective of retaining unfettered public access to this building.

Some would argue that the provincial courts currently occupying Old City Hall – while a public service – have not been a great use of this space. I would agree. Any tenant requiring the public to pass through a metal detector to appreciate the building runs counter to the foundations of open government that this structure represents.

Since 2012, I have been actively working to establish a City of Toronto museum at Casa Loma's under-utilized North Campus. While I still think this location is feasible, there is no question that Old City Hall is a more desirable place for this purpose from geographic, historical, and functional perspectives.


The initiative to establish a city museum began with former Mayor David Crombie forty years ago, yet Toronto remains one of the few cities of its size and prominence without a dedicated space to tell its stories. It is a shame that the majority of Toronto's historical collection (comprised of over 1.3 million cultural artifacts and archaeological specimens) remains out of public view in warehouses.

 

Now that the incompatible court functions are no longer an impediment, we have a rare opportunity to finally move forward with housing a city museum in a building that truly merits showcasing Toronto's rich socio-cultural and architectural history.

 

Recommendations:

 

1. Amend Recommendation (4) so that it now reads: "City Council direct staff to release the exclusive reservation placed on the courtyard area of Old City Hall for the future use of the Toronto Museum Project and to create publicly accessible space within the courtyard and lobby areas as part of a new tenant solution which prioritizes space for the Toronto Museum Project or other appropriate public use, subsequent to the expiration of the existing lease with the Tenant."

 

2. Amend Recommendation (5) so that it now reads: "City Council direct staff to commence Stage Three of the Old City Hall tenant options study to seek and secure one or more capital partners for a long-term ground lease of Old City Hall, which prioritizes space for the Toronto Museum Project or other appropriate public use, once the current lease with the Tenant has expired. Any office or retail tenants will be complementary to the prevailing public purpose. (i.e. museum cafe, gift shop, etc.)."

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22- St. Paul’s

   

My Letter to the Toronto Lands Corporation Re: The Creation of a Midtown Community Hub

Toronto Lands Corporation

60 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 201
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1N5

 

September 22, 2015

 

Re: City of Toronto Interest in Davisville Public School Lands

 

Dear Chair and Board Members,

 

I am writing to express strong interest by the City of Toronto in the Davisville Public School lands at 43 Millwood Road in Toronto.

 

Since my time as a Trustee I have been keenly aware that, while Davisville Public School offers a great education, the facility is in need of replacement due to small classrooms, regularly failing boilers, an inaccessible second-floor gym, inadequate lunchrooms, and other issues.

 

While I strongly support a new, state-of-the-art school for our kids, it is not in the students’ or community’s interest to turn over this public land for private, solely market-driven, residential purposes. Unlike Yonge and Eglinton or the south side of Davisville Avenue, where condos can be allowed under the City's official plan, only low-rise buildings are permitted on the north side of Davisville Avenue where Davisville P.S. sits.

 

My office has been working with a group of dedicated local parents who have formed a Davisville Hub advocacy group. Many of them have been involved in this issue for over five years. Together, we have identified several uses on this site that would benefit the wider community.

 

It is in the best interest of the Toronto District School Board, as well as the Province and the City, if this land is used – along with a new, modern school – for recreation, child care, supports for seniors, and other potential community uses.

 

I am pleased to report that after extensive work with my office, the City’s Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Division (PF&R) is very interested in exploring opportunities with the Toronto District School Board to cost-share an expansion of the proposed gym to 6000 sq ft (a double gym), a dedicated PF&R storage room off the gym, a small office, and a 1500-2000 sq foot community room exclusively for PF&R use on days & evenings with a secured entrance area.

 

PF&R is also interested in acquiring land on the site approximately +/- 45m by 45m to be located in close proximity to the gym and the PF&R community room. The space will allow for a temporary park to be constructed with a vision for a future standalone indoor Aquatic Centre to be built and maintained by the City.

 

In addition, my office is looking at opportunities to direct Section 37 and 42 funds from locally-generated developers’ fees toward the capital cost of an Aquatic Centre and other community uses. I am also exploring opportunities with other community agencies including SPRINT, which serves local seniors.

 

I am committed to working with local parents, the TDSB, the Province of Ontario, and appropriate community agencies to explore every potential option to keep this public land serving the public interest. I look forward to collaborating with you to serve our common constituents.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22- St. Paul’s

 

CC:

 

Hon. Eric Hoskins, MPP for St. Paul’s

Shelley Laskin, Trustee for Ward 11- St. Paul’s

Chris Brillinger, Executive Director, Social Development, Finance & Administration

Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner & Executive Director, City Planning

Janie Romoff, General Manager, Parks, Forestry & Recreation

   

Letter of Refusal to Committee of Adjustment re: 256 Chaplin Crescent

September 24, 2015


TO:                 Chair & Members, Committee of Adjustment – Toronto & East York

FROM:           Councillor Josh Matlow

RE:                 256 Chaplin Crescent

File Number A0728/15TEY

To be heard on September 24


I am writing to respectfully request that your committee refuse the request for variances before you today for 256 Chaplin Crescent.  The applicant is seeking relief from provisions of the existing zoning bylaws to build a new two-storey detached dwelling with a below grade integral garage.

 

The variances requested for this application are with respect to: minimum required front yard setback, minimum required side yard setback for the portion of the dwelling that exceeds 17m and to permit a below grade garage.

 

The entire property is regulated under the Ravine and Natural Feature Protection Bylaw, and under this current proposal, the City of Toronto’s Urban Forestry staff has suggested that at least 14 trees will need to be removed to accommodate the construction of this dwelling, 6 trees could be significantly injured, and another 9 trees will need to be removed to construct the driveway.  29 trees in total will be significantly impacted on the applicant’s property, and the root systems on the neighbouring property will also be impacted. For this reason – our own Urban Forestry Department has written to your committee to ask that this application for variances be refused.

 

I have heard from several local residents that have provided a petition signed by 22 of their neighbours who are extremely concerned about the impact this proposal will have on the community should it be approved. They will be directly, and negatively impacted by this significant loss of the tree canopy.  Residents have suggested that the applicant has not made any effort to address the concerns raised in advance of today’s committee meeting.

 

As the local councillor, I share the concerns raised by our forestry department and the community. As this property is within an area regulated under the Ravine and Natural Feature Protection Bylaw, we need to ensure that we do whatever possible to minimize the impact any new development has on the existing tree canopy. This has not been demonstrated in this application.   If approved, this development will have serious consequences for those living in the immediate vicinity of 256 Chaplin Crescent, and also on the community at large.  For this reason I am respectfully request that your committee refuse the request for variances before you today.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22- St. Paul’s

 

   

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