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 options for the Scarborough Subway, March 31, 2016.
Councillor Matlow spoke on tenant issues related to the Residential Tenancies Act, December 18 2013.
Developing Toronto's Transit Network Plan
City Planning staff have prepared a report that will be considered at Executive Committee tomorrow, and then at City Council, on proposed steps to move forward with a transit expansion network for our city.
I strongly support this more comprehensive approach than we've seen before.
However, I continue to expect that decisions that Council makes, expecially major public policy issues which would cost billions of dollars, be informed, evidence-based and fiscally-responsible. Please see this recent article that describes my concerns about how this latest incarnation of transit planning is being considered.
For your review, here is the staff report. But beware, it's hundreds of pages long and includes seemingly non-sensical charts evaluating a network that is no longer actively being considered. Meanwhile, the full network that planning staff will ask Council to consider is not included in this report.
I know. I'm frustrated too.
This, sadly, has been the state of transit planning in Toronto for far too long. Residents in Midtown, and across the city, wait everyday as crowded subway trains, streetcars or buses go by due to overcrowding on our current transit system. It often takes more than two hours for many Scarborough residents to get work or school and back. Our waterfront is underserved, Jane Street has been forgotten and very few of the projects already designated as priorities, such at the Relief Subway Line, are funded by any order of government. I believe this is unnacceptable.
I will continue to demand that both the process, and most importantly the outcomes, are more honest, realistic and have the same sense of urgency most people in Toronto have had for a long time. We've been waiting for too long.
Ultimately, I want us all to be served by a remarkable public transit system.
Metrolinx Lowers Fares for Union-Pearson Express Train
I am very pleased that Metrolinx has listened to Toronto residents and reason with their recent announcement that the transit agency will be lowering fares on the Union Pearson Express (UPX) train by March 9 of this year. The airport link will now cost $12 for cash fare ($9 with a Presto card) from Union to Pearson, in addition to lower fares between Bloor and Weston. Please see this chart for a full breakdown of the new fare structure.
Since the rumours of high fares for the Union-Pearson Express (UPX) train surfaced in the summer of 2014, I have been advocating for a lower cost for riders. I successfully moved a motion at Council two years ago, requesting that this service be made more affordable and accessible to residents. Further, because I felt this service would have difficulty drawing riders, I was concerned about additional subsidization from taxpayers.
Even with increased tourism from the PanAm games last summer, the UPX had very low ridership figures upon opening, and the number of passengers continued to drop through last fall. Even on the busiest days, the airport line was attracting fewer riders than most TTC bus routes. Transit-starved Torontonians were understandably frustrated, watching empty trains pass by with critical projects such as the Relief Line and the Waterfront LRT are still in the planning stages.
I appreciate that Metrolinx and the Provincial Government changed the fare structure to make UPX more accessible. Once electrified, I encourage them to make this line a more integral part of our transit network by adding more stops and expanding capacity on the line.
Toronto Attains Global Age-Friendly City Status!
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.
Since its inception two years ago, 86 of the 91 recommendations have been either partially or fully implemented, including the provision of seniors’-centred social services at appropriate TCHC buildings, and an increase in home visits by City paramedics.
Having since been appointed the City of Toronto’s Seniors Advocate, I am working on the next phase of the Seniors Strategy. I am proud of the major steps we have taken, but there is still more work to be done.
In recognition of the recent successful implementation of Toronto’s inaugural Seniors Strategy, I am delighted to announce that on February 22 the World Health Organization (WHO) pronounced Toronto the latest global city to be awarded the status of a WHO designated Age-Friendly City!
Toronto's inclusion in the WHO's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities speaks to the city's commitment to serving seniors in an equitable, respectful and inclusionary way to improve their quality of life and support their full participation in civic life. I look forward to working alongside the WHO and all of our partners to continue to develop, enhance and implement our Toronto Seniors Strategy.
City Staff have heard loud and clear from councillors, Residents’ Associations, and our neighbours that the proposed changes to the noise by-law were wrong and unhelpful. The new, and very high, decibel level limit threatened our right to peacefully enjoy our homes.
I am pleased that Staff have recognized their report was flawed. The report that was intended for the next meeting of the Licensing and Standards Committee has been pulled and we have not been told if, or even when, a new set of recommendations will be coming forward. I will be sure to update you if there is any further news on this issue.
- Electrification of the GO Rail Network: Electrification of Metrolinx-owned rail corridors will enable more frequent and faster train service.
- New Stations on the GO Rail Network: Today 64 GO train stations serve thousands of customers and six more are under way. We would like to add even more stations so more people can access transit.
- Integrated Transit Fares: We want to make crossing municipal boundaries and switching between transit systems simple and hassle-free.
- Regional Transportation Plan Review: Metrolinx is launching the formal review process for the Regional Transportation Plan, which guides the work being done to transform the transportation network in the GTHA.
- Burlington: March 8th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Robert Bateman High School (5151 New St., Burlington)
- Mimico: March 9th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Lakeshore Collegiate Institute (350 Kipling Ave., Etobicoke)
- Durham Junction: March 10th, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Glengrove Public School (1934 Glengrove Rd., Pickering)
- Don Yard/Toronto: March 22nd, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Nelson Mandela Park Public School (440 Shuter St., Toronto)
City of Toronto Launches Online Tool for Viewing Water Use
The City of Toronto has launched MyWaterToronto, an online tool that enables customers to view their water use information from their computer or mobile device. Customers can access the tool at http://www.toronto.ca/mywatertoronto.
To log on, customers can visit http://toronto.ca/mywatertoronto and enter their utility account information. Customers can then view their total and average water use by day, week, month or year in graph or chart format. The tool also provides the opportunity to enter additional details such as temperature and precipitation to help customers better understand why they may have used more or less water during a particular time period. Automated water meters send water consumption data directly to the City several times a day.
MyWaterToronto has been loaded with more than one billion water meter readings, which enables customers to view their water use data from January 1, 2015, up to the day before they log on.
Free Income Tax Clinic
Central Eglinton Community Centre (160 Eglinton Ave. East) offers a FREE Income Tax Clinic from March 1 to April 22.
CECC's trained volunteers would like to help you with your income tax return. They are booking appointments at this time. Please phone 416-392-0511 Ext 0 to book your appointment. Appointments are available days, evenings and Saturdays. To access the clinic, you must have an appointment (no walk-ins).
Tax returns will be e-filed or prepared on paper. Certain income guidelines and other restrictions apply (only 2015 tax returns will be processed; no business or self-employed returns, no bankruptcy/post-bankruptcy returns, no death returns, no returns involving capital gains or rental property).
Imagine Eglinton Art Challenge
To promote the Eglinton Crosstown LRT Project and engage different walks of life along Eglinton Avenue, Metrolinx is holding a drawing competition for children between the ages of 6 to 12 years. Children are encouraged to envision and draw how Eglinton will look, once the Crosstown Light Rail Train is up and running.
Entries can be dropped off at the Crosstown Community Offices or at the following TPL branches: Mount Dennis Library, Evelyn Gregory Library, Maria Shchuka Library, Forest Hill Library, Northern District Library, and Leaside Library.
The submission deadline is March 31. The winning entries will feature on the construction fences at various Crosstown LRT construction sites along Eglinton.
Please visit www.thecrosstown.ca\drawing for full details of the competition.
City of Toronto Offers Many Free and Affordable Activities During March Break
Registration for City of Toronto Spring/Summer Recreation Programs Opens this Weekend
The City of Toronto offers a variety of recreation programs for all ages, skill levels and interests. Registration for spring and some summer recreation programs, including summer camps, begins this weekend.
Registration starts in Toronto and East York: Wednesday, March 9 at 7am
I've heard from many of you that registering for these programs can be a very frustrating experince, with the website often down and no one available to recieve your call if you phone. I personally have brought this to the attentuion of City Staff and have asked for immediate improvements. I know that Mayor Tory has too. I am hopeful that we will see changes to this process soon.
How to register:
Step 1: Get family and client numbers
To sign up for recreation programs, Toronto residents need a family number and client number for each member of the family. Before registration day, call 416-338-4386 or speak with staff at a City community centre to get these numbers. Alternatively, download a New Family Account application form here and email it to the City at
Step 2: Choose programs
To find out about and choose programs, visit http:www.toronto.ca/torontofun or look for the Spring/Summer FUN Guide available at City Hall, civic centres, community centres and libraries. Residents are encouraged to have a few program choices for each person in case the preferred program is full.
Step 3: Register
Registration starts at 7 a.m. Many programs fill up quickly. Registering online is the quickest and easiest way to sign up for programs. Be sure to have all information and payment options ready.
There are four ways to register:
Online: Register online at http://efun.toronto.ca. By phone: Touch Tone Registration (TTR) is available at 416-338-0000. Operator assisted phone call: Call 416-338-4386 to register through a customer service representative. In person: Register in person at select locations. For a list of these locations, visit http://www.toronto.ca/parks/registration, call 311 or speak to staff at a City community centre.
Parks, Forestry and Recreation programs are popular and many have waiting lists. If it turns out that you are unable to attend the program you registered for, contact your local community centre or call 416-338-4386 so the spot can be offered to someone else.
The City of Toronto offers a yearly credit called the Welcome Policy for residents with low incomes that can be used to register for City recreation programs. Anyone receivingsocial assistance (Ontario Works) and living in Toronto is pre-approved to receive this credit – talk to your caseworker. More information about the yearly credit is available at http://www.toronto.ca/wp.
Many community centres offer free recreation programs, including leisure swimming, skating, drop-in programs and more for children, youth and older adults. Older adults (60 years and older) who register for adult programs will receive a 50 per cent discount. More information about free and low-cost program options is available here.
Clean Toronto Together 2016 - Registration Opens Today
Online registration for the City of Toronto's Annual Spring Clean Up opens today (Tuesday, March 8). Visit the Clean Toronto Together campaign website to register your Community, Corporate, or School clean-up events.
This is an opportunity to get together with friends, family, coworkers and classmates to clean a park, laneway or any other space that needs your help. Corporate & School 20-Minute Makeover will take place at 2pm on Friday, April 22. Community Clean-up Days can be planned for Saturday, April 23 or Sunday, April 24. Please visit livegreentoronto.ca or call 311 for more information on how to get involved.
Toronto Seniors Forum is Recruiting New Members - Get Involved!
The Toronto Seniors Forum is a diverse group of Toronto residents aged 60 and above. The group is sponsored by the City of Toronto's Social Development Finance and Administration Division. The Forum is comprised of 22 members who meet monthly to examine, advocate, and advise on seniors' issues that matter to older Torontonians.
Experience opportunities to advocate for change on issues that matter, develop an age-friendly Toronto and network with other seniors organizations.
To complete the online application, please click here.
City of Toronto Public Focus Group Session for Seniors
The City of Toronto is developing a 20-year master plan on Parks and Recreation facilities, and will be holding a seniors-specific focus group to gather feedback on Thursday, March 24 from 10am to 12pm at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West). I hope to see you there!
Volunteer Toronto Hosts Upcoming Seniors Volunteer Fair
Volunteer Toronto is our city's #1 place for volunteers and those who need them. As Canada’s largest volunteer centre, Volunteer Toronto aims to build a caring and committed community of people who give their time toward building a healthy Toronto.
One way this can be done is by better supporting seniors who are looking for volunteer opportunities. Therefore, Volunteer Toronto is organizing a Seniors Volunteer Fair where that seniors can meet face-to-face with organizations that need them! The particular focus of this event will be connecting seniors and organizations that exist in North York. They will have 25 non-profits present and are aiming for 300 attendees.
The Seniors Volunteer Fair will be held on Wednesday, March 23 from 1pm to 4pm at North York Memorial Community Hall, Burgundy Room (5110 Yonge Street).
For more information on this event, please click here.
Alzeimer's Society of Toronto
If you have dementia, or care for someone with dementia, the Alzeimer's Society of Toronto is here to support you. The Alzheimer's Society of Toronto offers free counselling, workshops, and engaging programs to promote living well with dementia. Find them online or call 416-640-6317.
The Alzeimer's Society of Toronto would like to invite you to their upcoming event, Research Night with Dr. Barry Greenberg, about Current Alzheimer’s Disease Research on March 21. For full event details, please click here.
TED ROGERS SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT AT RYERSON UNIVERSITY LAUNCHES NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING
Institute to focus on practical, actionable insight and innovation related to both the financial and health aspects of successful aging
TORONTO, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 --- Canada is aging faster than ever before and in the next two decades the number of older Canadians will double but how prepared are they to lead healthy, financially independent lives in their later years? With a focus on practitioner-oriented research, innovation and education, Ryerson University in partnership with the City of Toronto, Sinai Health System, Ontario Gerontology Association and the International Federation on Aging is launching a new National Institute on Ageing (NIA).
"Ryerson University is known for making a difference in areas that touch real people. The Ted Rogers School of Management is proud to launch the NIA at a time where Canadian demographics will call upon us to be innovative in how we rethink aging,” said Dean Steven Murphy, Ted Rogers School of Management. “To keep pace, Canada will need to tap into the skills of its aging population and grapple with major lifestyle issues including pensions and health. The next decade will see unprecedented change in how we view aging, and we are well suited to lead this conversation."
The NIA, housed within the Ted Rogers School of Management, is Canada’s first academic based institute to contemplate both the financial and health aspects of successful aging at a national level, reflecting Ryerson’s commitment to provide academic leadership on one of the greatest issues facing Canada.
“We saw an opportunity and need to consider successful aging from both the financial and health sides of the aging equation, and it is that need that led to the creation of this institute,” said Mitch Frazer, founder and co-chair of the NIA. He is also partner and chair of the Pensions and Employment Practice at Torys LLP.
The goals of the new institute include:
- creating programs that enhance research on aging such as retirement compensation, pensions, financial literacy, health management, age-friendly cities and communities;
- exploring innovation and technology to support home-based and community care;
- contributing to public dialogue on age-related topics through conferences and workshops; and
- delivering executive education for the pension and health sectors
“We look forward to contributing practical, comprehensive, and action-oriented insight to these topics that are of utmost importance as the wave of baby boomers approach their later years,” said Stephanie Woodward, executive director of the NIA.
The framework for the NIA will be guided by the National Senior Strategy, an initiative released by a team of health-care specialists last October. Dr. Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Mount Sinai and University
Health Network hospitals, spearheaded this initiative. He will serve as the NIA's co-chair. Former Premier Bill Davis will serve as honorary chair.
Dr. Alana Officer, senior health adviser of the Department of Aging and Life Course, from the World Health
Organization will celebrate the launch of the NIA with a simultaneous Canadian launch of the WHO’s World Report on Aging and Health. The WHO will also be announcing that the City of Toronto will be the latest global city to be awarded the status of a WHO designated Age-Friendly City in recognition of its recent successful implementation of its inaugural Toronto Seniors Strategy.
“It is an honour to be included in the WHO's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "This confirms Toronto is a great and diverse city for people from all walks of life, at any age. We will leverage our membership in this global network to learn and share with partner cities in order to advance our goal of being a truly age-friendly and accessible city."
"Toronto's inclusion in the WHO's Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities speaks to the city's commitment to serving seniors in an equitable, respectful and inclusionary way to improve their quality of life and support their full participation in civic life," said Councillor Josh Matlow, Toronto's seniors advocate. "We look forward to working alongside the WHO, Ryerson’s NIA and all of our partners to continue to develop, enhance and implement our Toronto Seniors Strategy."
The International Federation on Aging (IFA) is also excited to make its global headquarters in Toronto in collaboration with Ryerson’s NIA as its new key academic partner. “We are indeed proud to be able to bring a global perspective to the work of the new National Institute on Ageing that will help to inform more local and national efforts in a city and country prepared to lead the field of aging in such a comprehensive and holistic way,” said Dr. Jane Barratt, secretary general of the IFA.
The WHO will be supporting the launch of the NIA with a series of workshops at Ted Rogers School of Management, bringing together local and national thought leaders and practitioners to create a forum for innovative, solution-driven discussions, and to stimulate action required to position Canada as a leader in age-friendly environments.
‘About Ted Rogers School of Management
Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University is Canada’s leading entrepreneurial-focused business school shaping the country’s next generation of global leaders. Home to six schools of management, two Ryerson MBA programs, a Masters of Science in Management program and 15 cutting-edge research centres, institutes & labs, the faculty’s focus on academic rigor, combined with real-world experience, provides students with experiential learning and critical thinking skills needed to solve challenges facing today’s global economy. ryerson.ca/tedrogersschool
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Sunday, February, 21, 2016-
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79, which represents approximately 21,000 inside workers, has announced they will begin a work-to-rule campaign beginning at 12:01AM Monday.
What this means is that these city workers will complete their job obligations but refuse to do any extra duties, as are often requested.
If you rely on services provided by CUPE 79 workers, such as City of Toronto child care, they should not be affected.
Services would be affected if the union eventually decides to strike or the City decides to lock them out.
My understanding is that, thankfully, bargaining continues. I will be certain to keep you updated on the progress of these negotiations.
This is really all the information I have at this point, but I wanted to ensure you were aware of the basic details as you and your family begin your week.
My hope remains that both parties arrive at a fair and reasonable agreement and that there is no disruption to the services our community's residents rely on every day.
Friday, February 19, 2016- City of Toronto reaches tentative agreement with CUPE Local 416
The City of Toronto has reached a tentative agreement with the Toronto Civic Employees' Union Local 416 (CUPE), which represents the City's 4,200 outside workers.
Details of the agreement will be released once it is ratified by the Local 416 membership and subsequently approved by City Council.
City services and programs continue as usual.
Bargaining with Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 79, which represents approximately 21,000 inside workers, continues.
I will keep you updated on the outcome of these negotiations.
My hope is that both parties arrive at a fair and reasonable agreement and that there is no disruption to the services our community's residents rely on every day.
REMINDER: Community Skating Party with Josh Matlow, Rob Oliphant & Carolyn Bennett!
I'm excited to be co-hosting a community skating party with our local MPs, Rob Oliphant and Carolyn Bennett at Hodgson Ice Rink (East of Mt. Pleasant, on Davisville behind Hodgson school). Please join us from 1pm to 3pm on Sunday, February 7 for a fun, family-friendly afternoon with free coffee and hot chocolate.
I look forward to seeing you there!
REMINDER: Councillor Josh Matlow's 2016 City of Toronto Budget Town Hall Meeting
On Thursday, February 11 at 7pm, I will be hosting my 2016 Budget Town Hall for Ward 22 residents at Yorkminister Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge Street.
The City of Toronto's budget will affect virtually every City service and your feedback is very important to me. I hope you will be able to attend.
If you would like more information on the proposed 2016 City of Toronto Budget in advance of my Town Hall meeting, please click here.
Midtown Community Hub Public Meeting: The future of the Davisville PS site
I have been working with a group of dedicated local parents who have formed a Midtown Community Hub advocacy group. Many of them have been involved in advocating for a new, state-of-the-art school at Davisville PS for the past five years.
Together, we have also identified additional uses on this site that would benefit the wider community such a recreation (gym and pool) and community space.
Please join us to discuss the future of the Davisville PS site at 7pm on Tuesday, February 16th at Greenwood College School, Room 103, 443 Mt Pleasant Rd.
To read a news article that explains more about this issue, click here.
City of Toronto Labour Negotiations- Update
The City of Toronto received a No Board report from the Ontario Ministry of Labour yesterday. The City requested a No Board report from the Ministry with regard to collective bargaining with the Toronto Civic Employees' Union (TCEU) Local 416 (CUPE) on January 29.
The No Board report means that Local 416 will be in a legal strike position and the City in a legal lockout position as of 12:01 a.m., or one minute past midnight, on the morning of Friday, February 19.
In the event of a labour disruption with Local 416, which represents approximately 4,200 outside workers, the City of Toronto will implement its contingency plans to address the operation of key City services that will be affected. These plans will be broadly communicated.
The TTC, Police and Fire Services and the City's Long-Term Care Homes and Services, Toronto Public Library and Toronto Community Housing properties would not be affected. In addition, the City and its unions are required to have agreements in place that will maintain essential Toronto Paramedic Services (Ambulance).
I have been informed by the City Manager that the City remains committed to negotiating a new collective agreement. I am hopeful that a resolution will be found that avoids any service disruptions.
I will be certain to keep you informed as this very important issue progresses.
A Plan for Scarborough Transit- Time to move forward
Scarborough residents have for too long been without adequate access to Toronto's rapid transit system. As many of you are aware, Mayor Tory and Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat presented a report to the Mayor’s Executive Committee last week detailing a new transit plan for Scarborough. This plan replaces the 3 stop Scarborough subway extension with a proposal that includes:
· A one stop extension of the Bloor-Danforth Subway to Scarborough Town Centre on a McCowan Road alignment
· Crosstown East - an extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus
· A SmartTrack station at Lawrence Avenue East
The Mayor has stated that the one stop subway extension and seventeen stop LRT can be built within roughly the same funding envelope as the previous three stop subway.
I appreciate that Mayor Tory has recognized that the evidence simply did not support the previous subway plan for Scarborough.
This new plan will see over 4 times as many people living within 500m of a rapid transit station than the previous subway plan. The stark difference in riders served, despite the similar funding, illustrates the advantages of providing at-grade transit in areas where this is feasible. I also want to see the Scarborough Centre, a designated growth node, to reach its potential and intend to work with Council, especially my Scarborough colleagues, on this urban place-making project.
To be candid, I'm still convinced that the seven stop LRT, in a completely traffic-separated hydro corridor, would've provided better service for Scarborough and cost all of us less money.
However, now that the Mayor has brought a much more reasonable proposal to the table, I believe it is incumbent upon me to work contructively with him, and the rest of my colleagues, to deliver the best and most affordable transit plan for Torontonians within the quickest timeframe possible. It's time to move forward.
Moreover, this should be part of a network plan that includes vital additions to our transit system, such as the Relief Subway Line, to address overcrowding and the revised SmartTrack with an Eglinton Crosstown LRT connection to Pearson International Airport.
I am asking Staff to provide answers to a number of outstanding questions about the Scarborough proposal. In particular, I would like an explanation as to why a one stop subway extension needs to be tunneled when the corridor for the current RT may provide an alternate, and much less expensive, route to the Scarborough Town Centre.
Now that we have a plan, let's make it the best plan it can be.
For more information on whether the subway should travel at-grade, please read this article.
For more on analysis on the plan, click here.
Build the Relief Subway Line Now!
Toronto City Council has a responsibility to use honest, evidence-based and fiscally responsible transit planning rather than rhetorical political posturing. We can't keep waiting to improve transit and fight gridlock. Toronto needs the Relief Subway Line now. Please click here for more information.
Also, this week I had an inspiring meeting with the Toronto Relief Line Alliance, co-founded by two St. Paul’s residents. I look forward to working with them to advance our goal of building Toronto’s top transit priority! For more information on their remarkable work, please click here.
Make your voice heard for transit in the City
The City will be holding several public consultation meetings throughout the City on current transit initiatives. The meeting schedules and initiatives are highlighted below:
SmartTrack Western Corridor- Saturday, February 20 at Richview Collegiate in Etobicoke or Wednesday, March 9 at Lakeshore Collegiate in Toronto-East York
Relief Line -Thursday, February 25 at Riverdale Collegiate in Toronto or Wednesday, February 24 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre or Tuesday, March 22nd at Nelson Mandela Public School in Toronto.
Scarborough Transit Planning - Saturday, February 27 at Scarbrough Community Centre or Tuesday, February 16 at Jean Vanier School in Scarborough
Toronto Community Housing Task Force Report Released this week.
We have an affordable housing crisis in this city. Far too many people are waiting to access homes, far too many of Toronto's existing units are in disrepair, and there aren't enough public funds available to improve them.
This week, Mayor Tory's appointed Task Force on Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC), released their final report that recommends transformative change to the agency. The Task Force was created in response to a number of operational challenges that have developed since community housing was downloaded onto the City from the Province. Some of these challenges include a backlog of capital repairs, inadequate funding and limited capacity to directly address the concerns of over 110 000 tenants.
Through extensive consultation with tenants and nearly 100 stakeholder groups, five key recommendations emerged from the report:
1. The creation of an independent non-profit housing corporation that will take over managing current community housing stock.
2. Creating a greater mix of market and subsidised housing within TCHC buildings.
3. Commitment from all three levels of government to find mechanisms that increase revenues to fund repairs and more housing.
4. Moving management to more operational, ground-level roles so tenants have more direct and accessible support.
5. Giving residents more choice in in choosing affordable housing by increasing housing allowances.
Click here to read the in-depth report.
I will continue to review this report in the upcoming weeks. I look forward to working with Mayor Tory and my colleagues to support affordable, clean and safe housing for our communities.
Along with the tireless work of many community advocates who I've come to know well, I want to make a point of expressing my gratitude to Councillor Ana Bailao. Ana has championed this cause since she was first elected in 2010 and has dedicated herself to find a solution. I'm proud to call her my colleague and friend.
Affordable housing, and a good quality of life for all Torontonians, is our shared priority.
Update on the Toronto Hydro Power Outage of January 16, 2016
Much of our community was affected by yet another Toronto Hydro power outage a few weeks ago, negatively impacting residents for several hours. I demanded an explanation from Toronto Hydro, as to the cause of this outage. Below is their response to me, in full:
On Saturday, January 16, Toronto Hydro experienced a power outage within the boundaries of Yonge, Bayview, St. Clair, and Eglinton. Approximately 9200 customers were affected when the power went out just before 2:30 p.m. Crews responded immediately, and were able to fully restore power by approximately 4:30 that afternoon.
2016 St. Paul's Summit
Please join me and the rest of our elected representatives from all levels of government in Toronto-St. Paul’s to discuss a priority topic for our communities: infrastructure.
- Hon. Carolyn Bennett, M.D. M.P
- Dr. Eric Hoskins, M.P.P.
- Josh Colle, City Councillor,Ward 15
- Josh Matlow, City Councillor, Ward 22
- Joe Mihevc, City Councillor, Ward 21
- Shelley Laskin, TDSB School Trustee
- Jo-Ann Davis, TCDSB School Trustee
Celebrate Family Day at Toronto's Historic Sites
Come and enjoy this unique experience at Spadina Museum! Many of the City's museums will be open and offering a wide variety of programs. Spadina Museum will offer family-friendly tours where you will have the opportunity to play games and have hands-on fun in the historic kitchen - all set in this beautifully restored 1920s environment. Tours will be held throughout the day between 15-5pm. This Family Day, don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in Toronto's history!
Yoga Classes at the Spadia Museum
This February, Diane Grundy, who has been practicing yoga and studying yoga philosophy for over 5 years, will be offering yoga classes at Spadina Museum. She is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor, who will be leading the class through a gentle/beginner level of hatha yoga. Although the class will be at the beginner level, everyone is welcome to participate! Classes will be held each Sunday at 3pm starting February 7th to 21st and limited to 12 participants. Pre-registration is required, by calling Spadina Museum, at 416-392-6910. Admission for the class is pay-what-you-wish, and monies will be donated to the museum.
The Toronto Seniors Forum is a diverse group of Toronto residents age 60 and above. The group is sponsored by the City of Toronto's Social Development Finance and Administration Division. The Forum is comprised of 22 members who meet monthly to examine, advocate, and advise on seniors' issues that matter to older Torontonians.
Experience opportunities to advocate for change on issues that matter, develop an age-friendly Toronto and network with other seniors organizations.
To complete the online application, please click here.
Third Meeting of the City-School Boards Advisory Committee
The third meeting of the City-School Boards Advisory Committee will take place on Thursday, February 11 at 12:30 PM in Committee Room 2 at City Hall.
As Chair of this Committee, I believe that the City and School Boards serve the same constituents, the residents of Toronto, and must work more closely together to make long-term and more comprehensive decisions. You can review the Agenda for this meeting here.
Second Meeting of Tenant Issues Committee
Last year, I was honoured to be named as Chair of the Tenant Issues Committee. Our first meeting was a great success and I look forward to discussing key topics for Toronto renters at our next meeting.
The second meeting of the Tenant Issues Committee will be on February 24 from 7-9pm, at City Hall in the Council Chamber. Tenants make up over 50% of Toronto's residents and have specific rights and responsibilities that are governed by City of Toronto by-laws and provincial legislation. Tenants have the right to live in a clean, well-maintained home and deserve fair representation when being faced with unfair rent increases or eviction.
De La Salle
As you may recall from earlier community updates, De La Salle College has applied to build townhouses on the Avenue Road and Oaklands Avenue frontages of their property and appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board before City Staff could deliver a Final Report to Council.
In preparation for the upcoming OMB hearing City Staff gave a “Directions Report” detailing their position on the application. While Staff have mostly endorsed a revised proposal that would reduce the number of townhouses (28 to 22) and retain the historic Gatekeepers’ cottage, I don’t believe this is a development I can support on your behalf. This proposal would still block one of last remaining views of the Lake Iroquois Shoreline.
The community and I have made repeated attempts to engage with the school to discuss alternative sites on their property for development that would meet their fundraising goals while maintaining views of the site’s natural heritage attributes. I am still hopeful that we can have those conversations and find a resolution that works for all parties. That’s why I’m pleased that my motion to enter into mediation with the support of a planning expert and City Legal Staff passed at Council this week.
I will continue to update the community as this issue progresses.
An Update on 45- 77 Soudan
At Council this week, an application was approved for two new rental buildings at 45 Dunfield. While I am concerned about additional density in the Yonge-Eglinton area, the community and I are pleased with the amenities we fought to have included as part of this project.
The new development will include a subsidized daycare that will accommodate at least 52 children, including infants, toddlers and preschoolers. We were also successful in removing an additional structure on Soudan and replacing it with a new 6,060 square metre green space which will connect to the existing park.
A big thank you to the South Eglinton Residents and Ratepayers Association and the 45 Dunfield Tenants Association for their hard work and support toward improving this development on behalf of our community.
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).
I am writing to provide you an update on the meeting held at City Hall last week with local Belsize residents, City Planning Staff, the applicants, and myself.
As many of you know, a new developer has purchased 1955 Yonge Street. This developer has proposed to change the vehicular access point from Yonge Street to Belsize Dr. I have heard from many residents that they are very concerned this change might cause increased traffic on Belsize. It is unfortunate that our provincial planning system allows for changes to hard-fought agreements many years after the fact.
For those of you who were unable to attend the meeting, the applicant informed us they have yet to submit their revised Site Plan to the City, which would contain changes to the vehicular access. Further, they have committed not to do so until there is a public meeting to consider the matter. In other words, this is not a done deal.
At the meeting, the developer's transportation consultant presented traffic impact scenarios for each access location. Of interest to the residents at the meeting was the possibility of traffic being funnelled into the neighbourhood with a Yonge Street access point from cars turning right onto Yonge, then right again onto Belsize, and taking Mt. Pleasant to get downtown. In addition, banning cars from turning right out of the development on Belsize, thereby forcing them onto Yonge Street, was considered. Residents at the meeting requested more study into these possibilities by the consultant, and subsequent verification by City Staff.
Once these studies have been completed, I will host a public meeting to present the new information and to ensure that all local residents have an opportunity to make their voices heard and will notify you once a date has been set.
Ultimately, as your representative, I will continue to advocate for the will of our community
Please feel welcome to forward this email to anyone you believe would like to be informed about this matter, and contact me if you have any questions.
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