Dear residents and friends,
I deeply appreciate your support and confidence and I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with you on the many issues, challenges and opportunities we'll face together as a community here in Ward 22, St. Paul's and as a city.
I'm advocating for a more thoughtful, creative and responsible new approach for city council. I want council to engage our city's residents with an inspiring plan and make informed decisions that are based on evidence, community consultation and the merits of arguments - rather than ideology or left or right-wing partisanship.
My staff and I are here to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have. We're also working every day to improve our local neighbourhoods- along with supporting the many valued services Torontonians rely on every day. You are always welcome to contact me at 416-392-7906 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Matlow spoke on tenant issues related to the Residential Tenancies Act, December 18 2013.
Councillor Josh Matlow spoke regarding development charges, October 9, 2013.
Yonge Eglinton Bus Barns
The TTC's bus barns site at the south west corner of Yonge and Eglinton has been left as a derelict eyesore for too long. While the area will now be used as a staging ground for the Eglinton Crosstown construction, there is no excuse for the condition in which the TTC has left it for the past decade.
I'm happy to report that I have been successful in working with Metrolinx and the TTC to erect new hoarding with well-designed panels informing the community about the coming Crosstown line. This is a temporary solution during the construction phase. I will continue working to ensure that eventual development on this site is kept within the height and density parameters designated by the community and the City's Official Plan, and that a beautiful public space, preferably on the corner, is part of any plan going forward.
Clean Toronto Together - Community Clean-Ups
This weekend, I will be attending our annual Clean Toronto Together community clean-ups, including:
- Rathnelly Area Residents Association on Saturday, April 26 at 9:30 am. The meeting location will be the corner of Rathnelly and McMaster.
- Cottingham Square Community Association on Saturday, April 26 at 10 am. Please note: there is no specific meeting location for this clean-up.
- Beltline East clean-up on Saturday, April 26 at 3 pm. The meeting location will be the Beltline gate for 119/139 Merton Street.
St. Cuthbert's Anglican Church Spring Fair & Sale
On Saturday, April 26 from 11 am to 2 pm, St. Cuthbert's Anglican Church (located at 1399 Bayview Avenue) is having their annual spring fair featuring an art gallery, baking, books and soups, crafts, electrical, jewellery, kitchenware, knitting, odds & ends, quilting, sewing, stamps, toys, and other treasures! The event will also include a barbecue and free activities for children.
Gardiner Expressway Closed This Weekend for Spring Maintenance
The Gardiner Expressway will be closed in both directions from Carlaw Ave to Highway 427 from 10 pm. on Friday, April 25 to noon on Sunday, April 27. Full closure of the Gardiner is needed to ensure safety for the public and for crews working at the site. Crews will be performing maintenance activities and setting up for future construction work.
Motorists can use Lake Shore Blvd, the Queensway, Richmond Street, Adelaide Street, King Street, and Queen Street as alternative routes during the closure. Please allow for extra time to get to and from their destination. Whenever possible, people are encouraged to consider other modes of travel as a convenient alternative.
Community Consultation Meeting: 33 Holly Street
City Planning is holding a Community Consultation meeting where you can learn more about the proposed development for 33 Holly Street, ask questions and share your comments. The development application includes new 24 and 32 storey residential towers alongside the two existing 14 storey rental buildings, together with an additional 5 residential storeys on top of each of the existing buildings, and a new 6 storey purpose built rental apartment.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 29 at 7 pm at the Salvation Army North Toronto Community Church (7 Eglinton Avenue East).
Community Playground Naming Ceremony for the Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground at June Rowlands Park- May 10th at 1pm!
Last year, my motion was approved to have the playground at June Rowlands Park named after the celebrated Toronto-based children’s music and entertainment trio, Sharon, Lois & Bram. On Saturday, May 10 at 1 pm, I’ll be hosting a community playground naming ceremony at the Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground to celebrate these beloved members of our midtown community. I hope to see you and your family there for a few songs performed live by Sharon, Lois & Bram!
53 Division's 10th Annual Open House
Also on Saturday, May 10, from 11 am to 4 pm, will be 53 Division's 10th Annual Open House at 75 Eglinton Avenue West. The day will include a barbecue, vintage police car and Court Services car displays, mounted officers on horses, the Emergency Task Force and Police Dog Services, children’s games and a bicycle rally with Community Response Unit officers.
Weather Emergencies Public Consultation
Next month, the City Manager's Office will be hosting public consultation meetings regarding weather emergencies. The City is looking for public input on responses to the July 2013 flood and December 2013 ice storm, and how residents can be supported in future weather emergencies. On Tuesday, May 14 at 6 pm a meeting will be held in the City Hall Rotunda (100 Queen Street West).
Eglinton Avenue is the only street in Toronto that traverses all six pre-amalgamation cities. It exhibits every type of built form and streetscape to be found in our City. While that diversity could be considered an asset when evaluating the entirety of Eglinton, this lack of continuity creates an unattractive local streetscape in Ward 22. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT, running underground through Ward 22, is scheduled to open in 2020. This investment of more than $5 billion has created an impetus to study Eglinton Avenue and develop a long-range plan for its intensification and beautification called Eglinton Connects.
The Eglinton Connects Planning Study is the comprehensive planning review of Eglinton Avenue which responds to the opportunity presented by the LRT. It proposes a Plan for Eglinton Avenue that is based on a long-term vision of a green, beautiful linear space that supports residential living, employment, retail and public uses in a setting of community vibrancy. Widened sidewalks, more trees in improved planters, separated bike lanes and additional seating are just some of the improvements coming to Eglinton Ave.
Please click here to view an invitation for a public information session on the Eglinton Connects plan to be held next month.
53 Division is Participating in the Toronto Police Service's Stationary Bike Race in support of the United Way
Our local police division has entered a team in Toronto Police Service's stationary bike race in support of United Way Toronto. On Thursday, May 22, teams will compete to amass the most team kilometres, as well as for the title of Best Costume and Best Team Name, among others.
To support our local team, D53, please visit the sponsorship website and choose a member that you would like to sponsor. Supporting D53 also supports United Way Toronto, a leading organization that empowers individuals and promotes well-being through a variety of community services, ensuring that people have access to support, regardless of where they live.
Heritage Walk - Mount Pleasant Cemetery: Where Soldiers Rest in Peace
Walk through Toronto’s largest cemetery and see the tombs of soldiers buried here - veterans of conflicts ranging from the American Civil War to World Wars One and Two. Hear about some military burial and commemoration traditions, explore why the Imperial Munitions Board was located in Toronto, and learn how wars shaped Toronto’s home front.
This walk, sponsored by the University of Toronto, occurs as part of Doors Open Toronto with walks scheduled for 2pm on Saturday, May 24 and 2pm on Sunday, May 25. Please visit the City's website to register and for more information!
Toronto Takes Step Forward Toward Freeing Food Trucks
Council took a significant step forward toward offering a greater diversity of street food in Toronto by easing restrictions on food trucks. While there certainly will be more mobile vendors on the streets in new locations this summer, I believe Council could have gone even further to free the food trucks. The following are just some of the restrictions my colleagues imposed on food trucks during the April 1st meeting:
- Limit of 2 Mobile Food Vending Permit holders on any one block
- No Mobile Food Vending Permit holders shall vend within 50 linear metres of an eating establishment licensed pursuant to Chapter 545, Licensing, of the City of Toronto Municipal Code during those hours when the establishment is operating and open to the public
- No Mobile Food Vending Permit holders shall operate within 25 linear metres of a designated vending area on the sidewalk
- No Mobile Food Vending Permit holders shall operate for more than 3 hours on the same block within a 24 hour period
Concerns from some councillors were not based on evidence from other cities around the world. In fact, the experience in cities such as Los Angeles show that businesses, and residents' quality of life, benefit from the animated streetscape that food trucks can provide. I will continue pushing for fewer restrictions on street food in the coming years with my colleagues Mary-Margaret McMahon and Josh Colle (both have been very strong and leading advocates), along with promoting more opportunities for public performers and patios. While responsible health and safety regulations are always important, Toronto has a history of being timid and bureaucratic when it comes to many creative and entrepreneurial ideas. Policies become unnecessary red tape. I believe an animated public realm, and a fun and diverse variety of street food options, enhances our quality of life while increasing foot traffic for local businesses.
A Reminder – Appropriate Disposal of Pet Waste
I have recently received a number of complaints regarding inappropriate disposal of dog waste. Please ensure that instead of dropping your pet’s waste on neighbourhood yard waste bags or leaving it in our community’s green space, to dispose of excrement in your green bin. This helps keep our neighbourhoods and parks clean for all to enjoy! For more information, please visit the City’s Solid Waste Website.
There have been massive power outages reported across Toronto this evening. In Midtown, I know that it has already affected the Yonge/St. Clair area.
However, I've already heard back from some residents that their phone line is often busy and their website has been down. Therefore, if you reside here in Ward 22, please feel welcome to reply to this email with your address and I will ensure that your power outage is reported directly and immediately to Toronto Hydro tonight.
Council took a significant step forward toward offering a greater diversity of street food in Toronto by easing restrictions on food trucks. While there certainly will be more mobile vendors on the streets in new locations this summer, I believe Council could've gone even further to free the food trucks.
Concerns from some councillors were not based on evidence from other cities around the world. In fact, the experience in cities such as Los Angeles show that businesses, and residents' quality of life, benefit from the animated streetscape that food trucks can provide. I will continue pushing for fewer restrictions on street food in the coming years with my colleagues Mary-Margaret McMahon and Josh Colle (both have been very strong and leading advocates), along with promoting more opportunities for public performers and patios. While responsible health and safety regulations are always important, Toronto has a history of being timid and bureaucratic when it comes to many creative and entrepeneurial ideas. Policies become unneccessary red tape. I believe an animated public realm, and a fun and diverse variety of street food options, enhances our quality of life while increasing foot traffic for local businesses.
Funding Delivered for Ward 22's First Community Garden in Oriole Park
In 2012, I held a participatory budgeting meeting asking residents of the Brentwood Towers, Deer Park and Chaplin Estates how they would like to allocate developer funds to improve Oriole Park. The local community voted to direct these Section 37 funds toward a community garden. A volunteer committee was subsequently struck and worked with City staff to design the garden and enact procedures to ensure that the new planting beds will be properly maintained.
I am happy to report that my motion to deliver this funding was passed by Council. Construction should be completed this summer.
Council Supports My Motion to Address Rail Safety Concerns
I'm very pleased to report that Council has unanimously supported my motion that requests the federal government address local residents' concerns regarding the significant increase in hazardous materials travelling by rail through Midtown in recent years. In particular, trains carrying crude oil have increased from 500 carloads in 2009 to an estimated 140,000 in 2013.
A significant number of these tank cars are using the Canadian Pacific rail line that runs through Toronto from the Junction neighbourhood along Dupont Street, right in the heart of Midtown, through Scarborough in the east. My motion requests that the federal government:
- require rail operators to publicly release information on dangerous goods being transported by rail;
- enact more stringent safety standards for tanker cars carrying crude oil through Toronto's neighbourhoods; and
- require rail companies to engage in meaningful dialogue with local residents before shipping hazardous materials next to our homes, schools, hospitals and daycares
Council Takes Action to Fix More Potholes
As many of you have undoubtedly noticed, there are potholes on virtually every one of Toronto's roads this spring after one of the longest winters I can remember. That's why I was pleased to support a motion that was passed by my colleagues this week that will increase the City's ability to meet the demand and fill more potholes than usual.
Billy Bishop Airport
Thank you to everyone who emailed and called me on this issue. I have had no less than hundreds of conversations about this over the past several months and I really appreciate your feedback. I am very pleased to report that the staff recommendations were passed unanimously by Council this week that will consider expansion options in an evidence-based way, protects tax dollars, engages the Toronto Port Authority in negotiations about how the airport and City should interact and ensures our waterfront is protected.
Funding Secured to Support Public Mural at Kay Gardner Beltline Entrance
The wall near the entrance to the Kay Gardner Beltline at Mt. Pleasant Road and Merton Street has been a target for graffiti "taggers" in recent years. That's why I was happy to deliver funding to support Greenwood College School's efforts to create a mural to cover up existing graffiti and discourage future "taggers".
The project is a joint effort between Greenwood students and staff, local residents and a local visual artist. To ensure that the project is of a high quality my motion requires Greenwood to work in consultation with the City's StreetARToronto program.
Avenue Road Traffic Safety
Due to concerns raised by local parents including those of children at Brown PS, I have asked city staff to investigate and report back on all feasible options to help improve pedestrian and traffic safety along Avenue Road south of St. Clair Ave. W. where many motorists are known to speed.
Once staff have concluded their initial investigation, we will pull together a working group including area residents, the school community, Toronto Police and Transportation Services to discuss moving forward with meaningful, and evidence based solutions to help better protect our community.
If you are interested in participating in this process, please do not hesitate to contact my office directly.
Upcoming Relief Line Public Meetings
The City, TTC and Metrolinx are hosting joint Open Houses to consult the public on options for relieving crowding on the Yonge corridor and overall transit network, and the timing and priority for a potential Toronto Relief Line.
If you are interested in attending one of three jointly hosted Open Houses early next month to present your concerns and ideas, please find the details below.
- Saturday, April 5 from 9 am to 1 pm (presentation starts at 10 am). Sheraton Centre Toronto Dominion Ballroom, 123 Queen Street West.
- Thursday, April 10, from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm (presentation starts at 6:30 pm). Riverdale Collegiate Institute, 1094 Gerrard Street East.
- Saturday, April 12, 9 am – 12 pm (presentation starts at 10 am). Holy Name Parish, 71 Gough Avenue.
Support Delisle Youth Services at the Lifford Grand Wine Tasting
On Tuesday, May 6 from 6:30 pm to 9 pm, all are welcome to attend the Lifford Grand Tasting at Roy Thompson Hall (60 Simcoe Street). Taste over 300 fine wines, spirits, and meet winemakers, winery and distillery representatives from more than 65 producers from around the world. Tickets are $100 with all proceeds going to Delisle Youth Services. Come out to taste wine, have fun and support a great cause!
Toronto Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards
Every year, the City's Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Division administers five awards to recognize the ongoing work of volunteers and communities working to eliminate violence, racism, sexism, homophobia, homelessness, hate crimes, hunger, poverty and illiteracy in Toronto. The awards are:
- Aboriginal Affairs Award
- Access Award for Disability Issues
- Constance E. Hamilton Award on the Status of Women
- Pride Award for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual and Two Spirited Issues
- William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations
Do you know someone you think deserves an award? The deadline for nominations is Monday, May 12. For more information as well as nomination forms, please click here.
Parks Permit Survey
Parks, Forestry and Recreation is currently conducting an online survey in response to the January 2014 Parks and Environment Committee request for a review of permitting procedures to identify opportunities to streamline the issuance of park permits. If you are interested in providing feedback, please click here to complete the survey.
Engage and Improve our Communities with 100 in 1 Day Toronto – June 7, 2014
Do you have ideas to make our city, neighbourhood, or community a better place? On Saturday, June 7, Evergreen and United Way are presenting 100 in 1 Day Toronto – a festival celebrating citizen-driven action that will empower individuals to make positive changes in their own communities. You are invited to develop an intervention, small or big, to showcase your ideas on how to make Toronto a better city.
Visit www.100in1day.ca/toronto to submit your intervention, or to register for a workshop where you can develop your intervention from idea to execution. 100 in 1 Day Toronto wants you to make a difference!
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 and here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
April 9, 2014
Toronto City Councillors to Speak at Queen's Park Committee on Bill 20: Freeing Toronto from the OMB
Media Availability at City Hall
Toronto City Councillors Wong-Tam, Matlow, Vaughan, and Layton will speak at a Queen's Park Committee regarding a private member's bill to remove Toronto from the jurisdiction of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Public hearings on Bill 20, a private member's bill, will be heard at Queen's Park on April 10th. Should the bill move forward, it would allow Toronto, North America's 4th largest city, to have stronger oversight of its urban development.
Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Outside of Committee Room 1, 2nd Floor, City Hall
100 Queen St. W., Toronto
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City Hall – The 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.
Tomorrow, April 10, the provincial Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs will hear deputations by Toronto City Councillors Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Adam Vaughan and Kristyn Wong-Tam in support of Bill 20 - Respect for Municipalities Act (City of Toronto), 2013. If passed, the bill would remove the City of Toronto from the purview of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
The provincial bill follows a February 2012 motion moved by Toronto City Councillors Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27 – Toronto Centre Rosedale) and Josh Matlow (Ward 22 - St. Paul's) asking for the removal of provincial oversight on planning matters. This motion was overwhelmingly supported by Toronto's City Council.
- A 2009 study found that developers come out on top 64% of the time when facing municipalities. That number is even more advantageous for developers when facing residents' groups without support from their city government
- Though commonly referred to as an "appeals" body, the OMB treats appeals of municipal planning decisions to the OMB as "de novo", or new, giving little deference to the rulings of democratically elected City Councils
- OMB decisions are used as precedent for future planning decisions, essentially giving the OMB the powers to create by-laws and override elected local Council's decision-making
- It takes a City Planner many days of preparation time for every one day of an OMB hearing. Further, they have to write long, overly technical planning reports in case they are called before the board to defend their professional opinions
- City lawyers must spend the equivalent of 1,400 days a year to prepare for, and attend, OMB hearings. In addition, City forestry, transportation, technical services staff and others are forced to waste valuable time as well.
City Planning staff have advised that the Community Consultation Meeting for 45-77 Dunfield Avenue will need to be rescheduled. The original date was Tuesday, April 15 at 7 pm.
City Planning staff are currently in the process of finding a new date for the Community Consultation Meeting and once it is confirmed, a new flyer will be sent out.
To review the original flyer, please click here.
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