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 email@example.com.
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.
Late last week it came to my attention that a Building Permit notice was posted at the Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club site (196 Manor Road East). Further investigation revealed that the permit was for an eight-foot sign to be erected on the property. I am not aware of what the owner intended to put on the sign.
However, I am happy to report that the permit has now been revoked and the owners have been ordered to remove the public notice of the permit. This is indeed good news but we must keep moving forward to acquire the property as a City Park.
As many of you are now aware, a developer is in the process of purchasing the Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club property (196 Manor Road East) from the Club’s Board with the intent to build townhouses on the site.
This green space is very important to our community. That's why I've been proactively working closely with local residents to acquire this property as a public park since this issue came to my attention several months ago.
Earlier this year, I successfully moved a motion at Council directing Real Estate Services staff to evaluate the fair market value of the property at 196 Manor Road East, and directing Parkland Acquisitions staff to begin negotiations with the current owner(s) for the purpose of purchase by the City and report back to Council's Executive Committee in August. I'm happy to report that both the Executive Committee and Council supported recommendations for the City to purchase the site if there is a willing seller. I also saw many of you at a public information meeting I held at Hodgson Sr PS on June 18.
The City has still not received any indication from the owner that they are willing to sell the property with a purpose to preserve the green space. In fact, they seem intent to move forward with a townhouse development, which I am strongly opposed to. While Council supported my initiative to make the funds available to purchase the lawn bowling club, Staff have not had a willing seller to negotiate with.
I have been working with a group of the lawn bowling club shareholders, who are mounting an opposition to the current Board's decision to sell the property to a developer. They need your support and assistance. For more information on their efforts to keep this space green, and how you can help, please click here.
The community and I are dedicated to taking every legal means to preserve this green space in perpetuity. I will continue to update you every step of the way.
NOTICE OF MOTION: Making the Union-Pearson Express Fare More Affordable, Competitive and Fair for Toronto Residents
Deputy Mayor Kelly
Metrolinx's Union-Pearson Express line is a welcome addition to Toronto's transit network. For too long, our city has been one of the few world centres without rapid transit to its International Airport.
While residents are pleased that this critical infrastructure appears to be on budget and will be ready to open for the Pan-Am games next year, they have some major concerns with emerging cost details that limit the accessibility of this line. These troubling details include potentially high fares and a fee in lieu of parking paid to the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.
While the passenger fare has yet to be confirmed, media reports have estimated that the new line could cost riders upwards of $30 per trip. This cost may, or may not, have an effect on business or international travelers but it would barely be competitive with taxis or limousines for residents. Common sense would dictate that if a resident living anywhere other than downtown (within close proximity to Union Station) can get picked up from their house and taken to the airport for about $50-60, they may opt to spend the extra money to avoid the additional time as the cost differential is not that substantial. Further, a couple or a family might find it actually more expensive to take the Union-Pearson Express. The passenger fare must be made accessibile for Toronto residents.
Another troubling consumer cost detail associated with the Union-Pearson Express is the $1.85 fee passengers are being charged for not parking at the airport. The City of Toronto and other municipal governments in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area are actively encouraging residents to use public transit. This fee would penalize air travelers for making a choice that helps fight congestion. This potential fee runs counter to our public policy goals and should not be implemented.
- City Council directs the City Manager to request that Metrolinx the passenger fare for the Union-Pearson Express at a rate that is affordable for most Torontonians and competitive with other forms of transportation to Pearson Airport
- City Council directs the City Manager to request the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to not require Metrolinx to implement a $1.85 parking fee to the passenger fare for the Union-Pearson Express
You can download a printable PDF of my letter by clicking here.
NOTICE OF MOTION: Taking Back Our Streets - Getting Toronto Moving Again
Traffic congestion is a significant problem for Toronto's motorists, public transit users and cyclists. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently noted that the Greater Toronto Area suffers from the longest work commute times in North America. Estimates have put the cost of congestion to our city's economy at $6 billion a year while negatively impacting on the quality of life of our residents.
Of course, the long-term solutions to this problem include building a more accessible, affordable, extensive and efficient public transportation system in addition to encouraging car-pooling and other modes of travel. But, in the meantime, we must take every opportunity to ease congestion.
The practice of allowing developers to block lanes of traffic for construction negatively impacts motorists, surface transit users, pedestrians. This usage of our streets causes bottlenecks, backing up traffic several blocks on major arterial roads, and can lead to inconvenient and, in some cases, unsafe conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.
Toronto's streets must be used more efficiently. This motion requests City Transportation staff to study the feasibility of eliminating the practice of allowing developers to occupy a lane of traffic for construction.
This motion also recognizes that the long-term goal of eliminating the practice of using lanes for construction may need some interim provisions to open traffic lanes for the public as quickly as possible. At present, there is little incentive for developers to keep their construction staging area on their own property rather than impose on public space- the applicant must pay a fee upfront and then a very minimal monthly fee thereafter.
That's why this motion further requests staff to look at the feasibility of increasing the initial upfront fee for blocking a lane to encourage developers to look for alternate solutions that do not negatively impact residents and the feasibility of escalating monthly fees for blocking a street lane to encourage developers to use a lane for the least amount of time possible.
In addition, staff are requested to follow up on MM 37.40 Delivering Solutions to Gridlock - Ending Congestion Caused By Rush Hour Deliveries on Busy Streets, which was adopted by City Council on July 16, 2013.
- City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, to report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, on:
a) The feasibility of eliminating the practice of allowing developers to occupy the public right-of-way
b) The feasibility of increasing the initial upfront fee to developers for occupying the public right-of-way
c) The feasibility of charging developers escalating monthly fees for occupying the public right-of-way
d) MM 37.40 Delivering Solutions to Gridlock - Ending Congestion Caused By Rush Hour Deliveries on Busy Streets, which was adopted by City Council on July 16, 2013.
e) The reports on the above recommendations be brought to Public Works and Infrastructure Committee by February 2015
You can download a printable PDF of my letter by clicking here.
UNICORN DAY CARE
454 AVENUE ROAD
Phone (416) 929 6841
Fax (416) 929 1238
Dear Ward 22 Community,
URGENT- SPACE NEEDED TO RELOCATE OUR PRESCHOOL PROGRAM
Unicorn Day Care is a Not for Profit school based child care program located in Brown Public School for the past 25 years. We have a licensed capacity of 198 children and we provide care for children 2.5 to 12 years of age. Our Preschool Program is a critical part of the Brown School community, providing care for Pre-Kindergarten children, many of them sibling of children attending the school.
Enrollment at Brown P.S. has increased to the point where the TDSB has been forced to reclaim both of our Preschool rooms, one was reclaimed on June 30th, 2014 and we will lose our one remaining Preschool room on June 30th, 2015.
Families in this Ward already have a difficult time finding quality child care, so with programs full to capacity and huge waiting lists, it is critical that Unicorn Day Care find an alternate location that will allow the community continued access to quality child care. Therefore, I am reaching out to everyone in the community to ask for assistance in finding an alternate location for our Preschool program. Please contact Councilor Matlow’s office if you have access to, or are aware of a location that may be suitable for a Child Care Program.
Thank you for all of your support.
Unicorn Day Care
I hope you find this update interesting and informative.
Following Toronto's municipal election rules (yes, I do that), I won't be permitted to send out e-newsletters after August 1st, 2014 and until the municipal election on October 27th. There are, however, two notable exceptions: I will be able to send you an update after the late August Council meeting, and in the case of an emergency.
I will, throughout the official election period, continue to work hard on the issues that matter most to our community.
I will still be updating my main website with news and the community calendar will continue to be updated. I will also be posting information to my twitter feed and facebook page, if you wish to follow me on social media.
And although I am unable to host community meetings during this period, you are always welcome to invite me to visit with you and your neighbours if there is an issue at your home, your building or on your street that is important to you.
Taking Action on Reducing Speed Limits on Local Streets to Protect our Families
Since being elected in 2010, I've worked continuously with fellow parents, and all residents, to make our neighbourhood streets as safe as possible by responding to community requests for traffic and speed mitigation measures where feasible. I frequently visit residents' homes and streets with City Transportation staff looking for possible solutions to residents' concerns about traffic. Most of these concerns justifiably are based on parents wanting to protect their children.
Unfortunately, there are some sudden and tragic accidents that no traffic calming measure will prevent. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't do everything we can to improve safety in our community.
Recently, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the City of Toronto recommended reducing the speed limit to 30 km/h on most of the city's local residential streets. His report noted that pedestrians have an over 20% chance of dying when hit by a car travelling at 40 km/h but fatality rates decrease to less than 5% when hit by a car that travels at 30 km/h. After 30 km/h zones were introduced in London, England, these zones experienced a 42% reduction in fatalities.
Given that the research demonstrates that reducing the speed limit from 40 km/h to 30 can be the difference between life and death, I will be requesting City staff to provide recommendations to Community Council on lowering the speed limit, where possible, to 30 km/h on local streets within areas designated "Neighbourhood" in Ward 22.
In addition to improving safety, this measure could also decrease traffic incursion into our neighbourhoods by creating a disincentive for drivers to leave arterial roads in favour of shortcuts through local streets.
I recognize that this initiative may be controversial, but as your City Councillor and a father myself, I believe that we have a responsibility to act on evidence to protect our families.
Forest Hill Village Urban Design Study
Forest Hill Village is a unique retail area in Midtown Toronto. It is one of the few commercial shopping enclaves in the city that is wholly contained within a residential area.
Several recent developments and renovations within the Village have been undertaken with little deference to the prevailing streetscape (such as the new LCBO). To allow this inconsistent development to continue will further threaten the very character and aesthetic that makes the Village unique.
That's why I'm happy to report that I successfully moved a motion at City Council in February 2014 directing planning staff to develop urban design guidelines for Forest Hill Village, in consultation with the community, to protect the distinctive "village" character of Forest Hill.
Midtown in Focus: Public Space Improvement Plan for Yonge & Eglinton
After a year-long consultation with local Residents' Associations, tenants and businesses, I am excited to report that the Midtown in Focus final report is on the Planning and Growth Management Committee agenda for their August 7 meeting.
This report consists of a public realm master plan for the Yonge & Eglinton area focusing on parks, open space and an improved streetscape. For the first time, the plan establishes a comprehensive vision and presents a flexible, phased approach to improving public space in the Yonge-Eglinton study area. The plan is responsive not only to current community needs, but also to anticipated growth and change. The Midtown in Focus Plan is a guide for creating more liveable, walkable and memorable public spaces within Midtown at Yonge and Eglinton.
Art Shoppe Mediation Results to be Considered at Late August Council Meeting
Earlier this year, the applicants for the Art Shoppe development chose to bypass the democratic process and take their proposal directly to the OMB. At the pre-hearing, I ensured that our community's interests were well represented by City Planning and Legal staff. The OMB suggested mediation instead of a full hearing.
I worked very closely with the South Eglinton Residents' and Ratepayers' Association (SERRA) and the Quantum Owners and Residents Association (QuORA) representing the nearby condo owners. The results of the mediation will be presented as a confidential item to City Council in late August. While I am not legally allowed to share the results of the mediation at this time, I can say that I believe the community members and City staff were able to achieve the best result possible, given the situation. I, along with local residents, fought hard to mitigate the impact this development could have on the adjacent neighbourhood and condos next door. I also believe it is vital to protect Yonge Street, south of Hillsdale, from being developed with heights greater than Parisian-style midrise.
I will share the details of the resolution in my City Council update after the August Council meeting.
Decision on St. Clair West Zoning to be Made in early 2015
Earlier this year, I moved a motion directing planning staff to review the ambiguous policy framework on St. Clair Avenue West between Spadina Road and Avenue Road.
Unlike other stretches of St. Clair, the subject area does not contain retail establishments. The strip is comprised primarily of residential buildings mixed with long-standing religious and medical uses. As well, it is not considered an "Avenue" by the City of Toronto.
This ambiguity has left the community vulnerable to inappropriate development for many years. Recent Ontario Municipal Board decisions ruling in favour of increased intensification demonstrate that the current zoning regime -Area Specific Policy 221- has been an ineffective tool for keeping heights below six storeys, as envisioned by the Policy.
On June 19th, Planning staff and I hosted a meeting to discuss these issues. Given that it is now the middle of summer, I will be deferring decision on this matter until early 2015 to ensure that more residents have an opportunity to make a deputation or attend Community Council when the item is debated.
Decision on 95 & 99 Broadway Further Bolsters Case against OMB
In an outrageous decision, the Ontario Municipal Board gave the applicants for 95 & 99 Broadway everything they applied for. The proposal for two 38-storey towers on a relatively small site ran counter to the tenets of the provincial growth plan, which states that the greatest heights and densities should occur at the intersection of Yonge & Eglinton and then decrease the further away a development is located from that junction.
This project will have a density twice that of the Minto development. While there is nothing more that can reasonably be done to fight this development, the experience has furthered my resolve to free Toronto from the OMB.
Please visit my webpage on the OMB and learn how you can help stop inappropriate development in our community.
Ward 22 Parks Improvements Update
This year, I have been working closely with City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff to implement improvements to our parks in Ward 22. Due to a long winter and a slow thaw in the spring, some of the construction work has been delayed. I have heard from a number of you with regards to the construction timeline and I am pleased to be able to provide the following updates.
Charlotte Maher Park
I am happy to report that Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff have advised that construction at Charlotte Maher Park (550 Roehampton Avenue) is expected to be completed in the first half of September 2014. The park itself will remain open during construction; however, portions of the park where construction is taking place will be closed while work is being completed.
Forest Hill Road Park
I am pleased to confirm that Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff have had a pre-construction meeting with the contractor at Forest Hill Road Park (179 Forest Hill Road). I have been advised that construction will begin on Monday, August 18, 2014 and is expected to be completed in the first half of October 2014. During this time, portions of the park will be closed to allow for construction staging; however, the entire park will not be closed.
Glebe Manor Parks East and West
After the public meeting regarding the median parkettes on Belsize Drive, I am pleased to advise you that Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff have received positive community feedback and are proceeding with this project to make naturalized improvements to these parks. The consultant has received a topographical survey and has engaged with an arborist to identify and review the health of all the parkette trees. Staff expect to have plans ready for bidding in late August with the goal of undertaking construction later this year.
There are several other parks I've requested be improved in 2015. If there's a park in your neighbourhood that needs some attention, please let me know!
Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club Update
I deeply appreciate the continued support and advocacy of many of you on this issue and continue to work hard with City Staff to help retain this much-needed green space in our ward. We're still working hard on acquiring the propoerty if possible.
City of Toronto Real Estate Services will be bringing forward a report to the August Executive Committee meeting that will include a recommendation that the City purchase the land at fair market value from the owner, should they desire to do so.
I will continue to keep you updated with any new information on this issue via my website.
Making Space for Culture
The City of Toronto has a number of under-utilized public and private spaces including vacant storefronts, theatres, schools and libraries, which have the capacity to be better used by the community. In order to make better use of these spaces, the City of Toronto has undertaken a long-term planning project called "Making Space for Culture", which seeks to provide greater accessibility to these spaces for small and mid-sized cultural organizations, non-profit organizations and community groups.
The City of Toronto held public consultations in each ward to identify the specific needs of each community. For more information, please review this report to Economic Development Committee and the Community Consultation Summaries.
Reporting Unsafe Vegetation Growth obstructing traffic signals and stop signs
The City of Toronto has requested that residents report locations of vegetative growth that interferes with traffic signals and stop signs to 311, so that staff may be dispatched to remove the obstruction. While Transportation Services and Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff provide proactive maintenance, some areas have seen above-average growth. Residents are advised to provide precise locations such as 'eastbound on St. Clair Avenue approaching Mount Pleasant Road'.
Residents throughout the City of Toronto are also being reminded to prune shrubs and trees located on their property to reduce obstruction of roads and sidewalks and to ensure safe travel routes for residents with mobility issues.
TTC Track Replacement – Davisville Station
The TTC will be replacing six subway track turn-outs near Davisville Station this summer and fall. The repairs will take place in two phases, the first phase being the tracks south of Davisville Station and the second phase being the tracks north of Davisville Station. The preparation work for phase one began the week of July 20 and will continue for approximately five to six weeks. The TTC plans to do this work will be done nightly after the last subway train operates through the area at approximately 2:30 a.m. Work scheduled for the tracks north of Davisville Station will occur in a similar fashion and an update will be provided closer to the anticipated start date. For any questions or any concerns related to this track work, please see the contact information below.
Diego Sinagoga, Community Liaison (416) 393-2197
Customer Service: (416) 393-3030 (Daily 7 am to 10 pm, closed holidays)
TTY: (416) 481-2523 (Daily, 8 am to 5 pm, closed holidays)
Route/Schedule/Fare Information: (416) 393-4636 (INFO) or www.ttc.ca
TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit Services
The TTC is inviting residents and TTC customers to its seventh annual Public Forum on Accessible Transit Services, taking place Wednesday, September 17. The forum will inform about new accessibility initiatives as well as give customers with disabilities a chance to share their thoughts on possible improvements to the TTC's services. It will take place in the Queen Elizabeth Exhibit Hall at Exhibition Place, 180 Princes' Boulevard between 7 pm and 9 pm. There will be a brief presentation followed by questions and comments from the public.
- Community Update for July 11, 2014
- Letter from the Presidents of four Yonge & Eglinton Area Residents' Associations in support of Councillor Matlow's position on Eglinton Connects
- Community Update for June 28, 2014
- TO BE RESCHEDULED: 183 – 195 Roehampton Avenue & 139 – 145 Redpath Avenue Public Meeting
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