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.
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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!
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.
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.
The Probus Club Wants You!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
· 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.
October 4, 2015
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.
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.)."
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22- St. Paul’s
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.
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22- St. Paul’s
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
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.
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22- St. Paul’s
City Hall, 12th Floor E
100 Queen Street West
September 18, 2015
Dear Ms. Keesmaat,
Re: Request for Information to Properly Assess Future Transit Ridership Figures
According to your memo addressed to the Mayor and Council dated September 15, 2015, the Planning department will be leading a second round of public consultations in November regarding the Scarborough Subway Extension (SSE), SmartTrack, and the Relief Subway Line. I am writing you in advance of these meetings to request that Toronto residents and Council are provided with accurate, reliable information with which to assess these transit projects.
My concern stems from the SSE ridership numbers provided by Staff in 2013. A January 21, 2013 TTC report stated that ridership on the SSE would be "upwards" of 9,500 passengers per hour per direction (pphpd) during peak hour. Just six months later, however, Staff produced a range of 9,500 – 14,000 pphpd during peak periods.
Toronto residents and Council were not provided with any of the data or inputs used to derive this new figure, just a fairly vague justification that didn’t even fill a page in the report. I wrote a public letter asking for the data and inputs used by Staff, prior to Council debating the SSE again in October 2013; I have yet to receive this basic information that Council should have been provided with before making a multi-billion dollar decision that will affect the future of transit in Toronto.
You have since referred to the analysis that produced the 14,000 figure as “problematic”. While a regrettable decision has already been made based on this "problematic" information, it is a positive step forward that Staff are once again using the 9,500 figure developed by the TTC in the Terms of Reference for the SSE environmental assessment.
To ensure that Toronto residents and Council are able to make informed decisions, please make the following information publically available to accompany any ridership figures presented for the SSE, SmartTrack, and the Relief Subway Line:
- All inputs, data and assumptions used to determine ridership figures
- eg. Does the model say that 100 people are going to connect to a transit line via a specific bus? 50 people are going to walk to a station at a certain time? Please include all inputs of this type in your reports.
- Ridership figures expressed in passengers per hour per direction (pphpd) in the peak hour
- It has been suggested that the new ridership modelling system the City is using will assess ridership on a 24-hour basis. While a 24-hour assessment of ridership will be helpful to evaluate the utility of a line, peak hour figures are also needed to assess ridership in relation to capacity.
Councillor Josh Matlow
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22 – St. Paul's
Taxis, Uber, etc. An evolving ground transportation industry
At city hall's Licencing and Standards Committee, of which I'm a member, there was a debate and vote this week regarding the approach the City of Toronto should take to regulating taxis, limos, Uber and their competitors. This is a subject that jurisdictions around the world are currently grappling with.
While councillors such as Giorgio Mammoliti and Jim Karygiannis may disagree with me, as is their right to do so, I support comprehensive Staff recommendations that would allow taxis to be less expensive and more competitive while allowing innovative companies like Uber and their competitors to become safe, licensed, and insured transportation options for Torontonians. I believe simply banning Uber, like some would like to do, is not a realistic or preferable option for Toronto.
Netflix, and other streaming services, saw the end of formally ubiquitous video stores like Blockbuster. However, the music industry wisely made changes to respond to Napster, and today we have Apple's iTunes and their competitors along with a thriving music industry.
I want Toronto's important taxi industry to successfully adapt to the reality of the inarguable changes that are happening in technology that have seen the arrival of companies like Uber, Lyft, and others, so that our city's taxi drivers can make a living and hopefully even eventually see their incomes grow. I also want the City of Toronto to, while regulating responsibly to protect the health and safety of its residents, allow for innovation, creativity and competition to thrive in order to provide the public with a variety of options in our transportation mix.
As I did at committee this week, I will be supporting Staff recommendations on this matter at city council.
REMINDER: 'Movie Night in the Park' Returns to June Rowlands (Davisville) Park with The Princess Bride!
After the success of last year's free movie night in the park, I'm pleased to announce that I will be co-hosting another family-friendly outdoor movie screening of "The Princess Bride" this year with AppleTree Markets.
Refreshments will be available; we also encourage families to either bring their own food from home or stop by one of the great restaurants on Mount Pleasant and bring a picnic.
I would like to extend a big thank-you to our local community sponsors, Patrick Rocca and The Dunfield Retirement Residence for their incredibly generous support to help make this event happen.
I look forward to sharing an amazing evening of cinema with family and friends on Friday, September 25 at 8pm. Hope to see you there!
REMINDER: Celebrating Lois: A Tribute to Lois Lilienstein
A special public celebration, hosted by Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison of Sharon, Lois & Bram, will take place on Saturday, September 26 to honour and pay tribute to the wonderful life of their partner and friend, Lois Lilienstein. Proceeds will benefit Mariposa in the Schools, who provide programmes benefitting school children across Ontario with a repertoire of world music, dance, storytelling, spoken word and puppetry that celebrate cross-cultural understanding.
Please join me at 7pm on Saturday, September 26 at the Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (27 Front Street East), to celebrate the remarkable life and legacy of Lois Lilienstein.
For more information on this event, including ticket purchase, please click here.
Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground Improvements
I'm excited to announce that I am currently working with Sharon & Bram to install new and improved playground equipment in June Rowlands (Davisville) Park, as well as introduce a brand new musical garden.
A portion of the existing playground equipment – the hill and dale – no longer meets safety requirements and will be the first portion of the play equipment addressed. There have been to many kids who've suffered accidents there already.
Along with the new music garden (which will feature low-noise instruments and a small childrens' stage), we are adding more features to the playground to make it animated and fun, including a large elephant to climb on and various way finding signs. I also intend to work with our community soon on a master plan for the replacement equipment and further park improvements.
As many of you are already aware, construction work to remove the hill and dale is already underway. The new playground is anticpated to be completed by the end of November; the music garden should be implemented by spring.
Roycroft Park Trail Improvements Update
I'm pleased to announce that City staff will begin installation and repair of segments of the fence lines along the trail at Roycroft Park on September 24. The trail will be open during this portion of the work. By mid-October, though, please note that drainage and trail surface improvements to the park will require a temporary enclosure of the entire trail.
I Iook forward to the improved conditions at this community park. In the meantime, you can read more about the nature of the improvements here.
Forest Hill Road Park - New Playground Opening Celebration
Please join me on Saturday, September 19 at 11am in Forest Hill Road Park for a celebration of our new & improved playground! It was a great pleasure to work with local parents and residents to build a beautiful new playground for our community. I look forward to celebrating together with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by treats and refreshements!
Glenn Gould Park Playground Improvements Public Meeting
On Tuesday, September 22 at 7pm I will be hosting a community consultation about replacing the play equipment at Glenn Gould Park. The meeting will take place at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (1585 Yonge Street, Room 508) and will give you a chance to review several new playground design options with myself and Parks, Forestry & Recreation staff. I hope to see you there!
Kay Gardner Beltline Park Celebration
Please join me, my colleague Councillor Joe Mihevc, and Kay Gardner to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Beltline trail and the remarkable vision of Kay Gardner. Kay's tireless efforts helped transform this old rail corridor into a linear park that has become one of Midtown Toronto's best assets.
This event is presented in partnership with Toronto Public Health, the Parks and Recreation Department and Toronto Trails Festival. It will take place on Sunday, September 27 at 11am on the Beltline trail, just north of Eglinton Avenue west (enter at Shallmar Road and Mayfair Drive).
Mount Pleasant Harvest Fair
My family and I hope to see you at the Harvest Fair hosted by the Mount Pleasant Village BIA on Saturday, September 26. Festivities and attractions include sidewalk sales, live music, a pumpkin carving contest, a butter tart throwdown, and a petting zoo. All activities will take place on Mount Pleasant Road between Eglinton and Davisville from 10am to 4pm. More details are available on the Mount Pleasant Village BIA website.
Manor Road United Fall Fair
Save the date for the Manor Road United Church Fall Fair! On Saturday, October 3 from 10am and 2pm, the always-delicious bake table will be joined by books, toys, crafts, a silent auction, crafts for kids, face painting and pony rides. For more information, please click here.
Unicorn Daycare Grand Opening!
Please join me at 6:30pm on Tuesday, September 29 for the grand opening of Unicorn Daycare at their new location in the Church of the Messiah (240 Avenue Road).
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