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Welcome

Dear residents and friends,

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Josh

Latest Videos

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

Councillor Josh Matlow spoke regarding development charges, October 9, 2013.

My request of Toronto council to eliminate the 2014 Tax & Debt Increases for a Bloor-Danforth subway extension

January 28, 2014


Re: EX 37.1 Recommendation 160 and EX 37.3 Recommendation 1b – Allocation for Scarborough subway extension and associated property tax increase in 2014 Budget


Dear Colleagues,


I am writing to request that you consider the accompanying recommendations requesting that the proposed .5% tax increase for the Bloor-Danforth subway line be eliminated from the 2014 property tax rate. As well, I am requesting that the $14.5 million allocation for the extension be removed from the 2014 budget and referred to the 2015 budget process.


Council was provided with imperfect and incomplete information in the lead up to the October vote on Scarborough rapid transit options. Staff estimated that the City will be responsible for an estimated $85 million in sunk costs for rejecting the fully-funded, traffic-separated LRT. These costs are still under review by City and Metrolinx staff.


How much will the City have to pay Bombardier for the cancelled LRT vehicle contracts?

In addition, while it is unacceptable to see tax dollars spent for absolutely no return, perhaps even more troubling are potentially more expensive unknowns and/or unfunded items associated with the subway extension. The cost impact of an interest rate increase on the required infrastructure loan during a period of historically low interest rates has not been projected. The future capital maintenance cost of the three stop extension is estimated to be between $30-40 million a year - equal to a 1.25 – 1.6% ongoing property tax increase. How will this increase affect residents' ability and willingness to fund future priority transit projects?


To date, neither detailed planning studies nor geotechnical work has begun on the extension. The City has not hired new in-house staff or outside consultants to work on the project. In short, we haven't spent any money toward the subway extension.


Let's make the prudent and fiscally responsible choice to work with staff over the next year to receive a full and accurate accounting of the sunk costs associated with the LRT cancellation and all the costs required for the subway extension. Together, we can revisit this issue during the 2015 budget process with a clear understanding of the long term impacts this decision will have on Torontonians.


The 2014 budget process presents Council with our last opportunity to press pause on this process without incurring further costs. There are many other governments that wish they would have had a similar chance.


Cost Concerns

  • In addition to $2.65 billion in provincial and federal funding along with $165 million in development charges, the extension will cost $745 million in property tax-supported debt capital costs requiring a 1.6% tax increase

This capital cost does not factor in:

  • $30 - 40 million per year in future capital maintenance costs which would be borne by Metrolinx if Council opts for the LRT. That alone is equal to a 1.25 – 1.6% property tax increase

  • Acceleration of implementing Automatic Train Control on the remainder of the Bloor-Danforth line, valued at $450 million, which has previously been included in the TTC's 10 year capital program, post 2023

  • Cancellation of Bombardier contract - cost unknown

  • Annual operating costs – cost unknown

  • Assumed risk of construction cost overruns

  • Assumed risk of increased cost of borrowing if interest rates rise

Recommendations:


  1. Eliminate the .5% residential and .2% non-residential property tax increase for the extension (Scarborough subway extension) contained in 1a of EX 37.3

  2. Delete recommendation 160 from EX 37.1 from the TTC Capital budget including $14.5 million allocation for "change in scope sub-project" in 'a'' and all Council direction to proceed with activities related to the extension contained in 'b', 'c' and 'd'

  3. Request that the City not issue any debentures or otherwise incur any costs for activities associated with the extension in 2014, with the exception of costs associated with the analysis and audit of sunk costs

  4. Request staff provide the full sunk costs associated with the cancellation of the Metrolinx LRT plan and a funding plan for all capital and operating costs associated with the extension including cost projections for all reasonable interest rate increase and cost overrun scenarios for consideration as part of the 2015 budget process


Sincerely,



Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

 

Community Update for January 17, 2014

Dear Residents,

 

It has been a very busy start to 2014. I have been working on several local priorities in every Ward 22 neighbourhood and bringing initiatives forward to council to improve our city on issues ranging from seniors, youth equity, transit, infrastructure, gridlock, planning, and much more.

 

Now, and over the next 6-8 weeks, there is a massive cleanup effort across the city taking place to clear our roads and parks of debris caused by the recent ice storm. Today, the mayor and deputy mayor are meeting with GTA mayors regarding the clean up and enormous costs related to it. With respect to the storm recovery and necessary preparation for the next one, I believe it is vitally important that politics be put aside and that our leaders work together, in a mature and productive way, for our city and region's residents.

 

The power outages over the holidays were a truly awful experience for so many people here in Ward 22 and around the GTA. I have been actively sharing feedback I've received from residents (and my own observations) with senior staff at the City of Toronto and Toronto Hydro about how storm and disaster preparation, and response, can be improved. This has focused largely on issues such as communication, infrastructure and governance.

 

I do want to express my gratitude again to the hydro crews from Toronto and across North America for their tireless work to restore our community's power. Along with the many City staff who responded to our requests for support, I believe Toronto Hydro's Joyce McLean and Abby Bogart deserve our recognition. Over the course of ten days, I exchanged literally several hundred emails and calls with them on behalf of residents. They responded to each one and did everything they could to provide assistance. I will forever appreciate the work they did and who they are as people.

 

And thank you to the many Ward 22 residents who offered everything from firewood and generators to food and even a warm place to stay at their homes to neighbours who were in need. Our community truly came together when it mattered.

 

Please see my latest update to you below on city and local issues, and some public meeting notices. Click here to read my previous community updates.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh


REMINDER: 2014 City of Toronto Budget Community Town Hall


Next week, I am hosting my 2014 Budget Town Hall for Ward 22 residents. Please join me on Thursday, January 23 at 7 pm at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre - Multi-Purpose Room (200 Eglinton Avenue West).

 

If you would like any information on the proposed 2014 City of Toronto budget in advance of my Town Hall meeting, please visit my website and the City of Toronto website.

 

Update on Addressing the Roots of Youth Violence


I am pleased to announce that, after nearly a year since I first moved a motion at Council to create this strategy, the final report to address the roots of youth violence, titled the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy, is coming to Community Development and Recreation Committee on January 21. This comprehensive report contains 110 recommended actions to support our most vulnerable youth.

 

It is time for the City of Toronto to take thoughtful and proactive measures to deal with youth violence no matter what neighbourhood it is found in. We cannot wait for another tragedy to spur more calls for blue ribbon panels and simplistic reactions. There have been many good reports that have already provided us with recommendations on how to move forward including The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence by Dr. Alvin Curling and The Honourable Roy McMurtry. Genuine, evidence-based action is needed now and without delay.

 

My colleagues at Community Development and Recreation Committee supported my motion to move forward with staff-recommended initiatives to provide mental health, employment training and crime diversion supports in targeted areas across Toronto. I will be working with my colleagues to help ensure these measures are approved by Council through the 2014 budget process.

 

Please see this article in the Toronto Star for more information.

 

June Rowlands (Davisville) Park playground now officially named the "Sharon, Lois and Bram" Playground!

 

Also at Toronto and East York Community Council, my motion to have the playground at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park named after celebrated, Toronto-based children’s music and entertainment trio, Sharon, Lois & Bram, was approved. The official playground sign will appropriately be in the shape of an elephant.

 

Sharon Hampson, Bram Morrison and Lois Lilienstein are all local residents of midtown Toronto and have been performing quality children's music and entertainment for over three decades and continue to be cherished and loved by many generations of children around the world. Their contributions are not only cultural; Sharon, Lois & Bram have been members of UNICEF since 1988 and were appointed National Ambassadors by UNICEF Canada in 1989. They used their television appearances to support the annual trick-or-treat penny drive campaign and received the Order of Canada in 2002 for their commitment to improving the lives of children around the globe.

 

Update on the new Natural Rink at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park


I have some exciting news! I’ve been working closely with parents in our community to get a natural rink open at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park while Hodgson Rink is temporarily closed this season for necessary repairs. While I was very upset about the timing of this work, members of the community and I decided to create a natural rink to ensure there will still be a local rink for our kids to skate in the interim. The natural rink will be open soon. I’d like to thank our remarkable local parents/residents who worked incredibly hard to make this happen!

 

P.S. Given that we’ve already named the playground at June Rowlands Park after Sharon, Lois & Bram, many of us are unofficially calling our new rink the “Skinnamarink”! :)

 

Improving Urban Design in Forest Hill Village


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 moved a motion to Toronto and East York Community Council this week that directed 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.

 

You're Invited to Meet with the Midtown Planning Group


While our Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhoods face enormous development pressure, they are divided by three wards and two different planning areas. That's why I, along with my neighbouring councillors, created a process to finally bring forward a comprehensive and holistic planning vision for the Yonge and Eglinton area. The next Midtown Planning Group meeting will be on Tuesday, January 21 and last met in November 2013 (the minutes can be found here).

 

This next meeting will be held from 6 to 9 pm at the Anne Johnston Health Station, located three blocks north of Yonge and Eglinton, at 2398 Yonge St.

 

Midtown in Focus – Public Meeting #2


On Tuesday, February 4, the Midtown in Focus Study Team will present and discuss its Draft Concepts and Implementation Strategies for Yonge-Eglinton's parks, open spaces, and streetscape. This information is the result of community input collected over the fall and winter of 2013.

 

The meeting will be held from 6 to 9 pm at the Salvation Army, located at 7 Eglinton Avenue East.

 

Beautifying the Bus Barns at Yonge and Eglinton


After working hard with the TTC, Metrolinx and City Planning, we are moving forward with an improvement plan to beautify the perimeter of the site. Construction crews are currently working to place informative panels about the new Eglinton Crosstown line that will cover the derelict site in behind that has been left an eyesore for over a decade.

 

While the space is needed in the short-term as a staging ground for Crosstown construction equipment, protecting traffic lanes in the process, I am advocating that there be new public space on this site as part of any new redevelopment.

 

I will continue to advocate that all parties respect the wishes of the community as set out in the Yonge-Eglinton Centre plan that allows for well-designed and reasonable development, while ensuring public space that major cities all over the world have at major transit hubs.

 

New Mural for the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail


This week, I met with Greenwood College School students to talk about a mural they are designing for the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail at Mount Pleasant Road. I'm excited to be working with a very talented group of art students and with City staff on this project. I will also be consulting with local residents about the design and will share details of upcoming community consultation meetings once they are finalized.

 

Cleanup of the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail


As I’ve reported to you before, City staff have told me that it will take at least up to 6 to 8 weeks to clean up debris throughout the city from the recent ice storm. While I know it would be nice to see it all cleaned up overnight, I am encouraged that City crews are working hard to clear up our streets and parks as soon as they can. Specifically, to those who have sent me questions about when we can expect the Beltline Trail to be cleared, I can confirm that Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff have made this a top priority and believe that work can begin within the next couple of weeks. I will send out another update if this timeline changes. While debris on the ground is a focus for the cleanup, certainly safety should always be our priority, including broken branches that are overhanging the trail. For more information on cleanup efforts, including a map that is updated daily, please visit this City website.

 

Public Meeting on the proposed Billy Bishop Airport Expansion


On Monday, January 27, City staff will provide an update on the status of their review of the request to permit jet airplanes at Billy Bishop Airport. Representatives of City Planning (including transportation planners), Economic Development, and Public Health divisions will be present to answer questions.

 

The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers at 100 Queen St. West.

 

Free the Food Trucks!


The regulations restricting the operation of food trucks are far too restrictive. As this portion of a Torontoist article demonstrates, there are a number of by-laws in place that make it near impossible for a mobile food operation to be successful:

 

"Operating a food truck in Toronto can be a complicated business: you’re not allowed to set up shop in the majority of Toronto streets; you can’t work for longer than 10 minutes in a privately owned parking lot; you can’t settle yourself in a side street; and you’re forbidden from selling your wares within 25 metres of a restaurant that deals in a similar kind of food."

 

While there may be good reasons for some of these regulations, the City needs to look at reasonable ways to allow these businesses to be competitive and for consumers to have more choice. Please visit this City website to learn more about the public consultation process and have your say on the future of food trucks in Toronto.

 

Build the Relief Subway Line Now!


The Relief Subway Line would provide an alternative within our existing subway system, which is already overcrowded during rush hours. It would also curb gridlock on our city’s streets and increase access to jobs and attractions. It is the evidence-based subway expansion project that would most improve Toronto’s economy and residents’ quality of life.

 

To take action and learn more about the proposal, please visit my page on the Relief Subway Line.

 

Starting a Midtown-Yonge BIA


Successful local small businesses, on vibrant main streets, are important for our merchants but also for the quality of life of community residents. Another exciting meeting I had this week was with Steering Committee members of the proposed Midtown-Yonge BIA. I have been working with a dedicated group of business owners who are interested in starting a BIA for Yonge Street from Soudan Avenue in the north to Merton Street in the south. As the Steering Committee proceeds through the official process of starting a BIA, I will continue to send updates through my e-newsletter. To learn more about BIAs, click here.

 

Ward 22 Developments


As you know, Midtown has a large number of new development applications. I continue to work closely with our community to protect the fabric and character of our neighbourhoods and advocate for structures that respect the City's Official Plan and consider quality design. I also recognize that the current planning system gives an unfair advantage to developers and I am working to free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (see below). To view development proposals in Ward 22, please visit the development page on my website. I created this to ensure residents would have direct access to staff reports and be informed about proposed developments in their neighbourhoods.

 

Free Toronto from the OMB! Stop Inappropriate Development


The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) is an unelected and unaccountable provincial body which has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario that often gives the development industry an unfair advantage at "appeals" hearings over the interests of our communities and the City of Toronto's Official Plan.

 

The OMB has a history of contributing to inappropriate development in our city. Toronto's midtown neighbourhoods are facing an unprecedented amount of new developments, many of which are condos, and it's putting an unjustifiable strain on our community without the adequate infrastructure, including transit and public realm, to keep up with the growth in population.

 

For more information on how to get involved and take action, please visit my page on the OMB.

 

Stop Unfair Rent Increases


Above the Guideline Increases (AGIs) for basic upkeep and repairs have pushed rents, that are already steep, into the unaffordable range in recent years. Landlords can apply for AGIs through the Landlord and Tenant Board. While there are certainly some very good landlords, too many others are abusing the system. Many repairs should be included as part of a landlord's overall expenses and paid for from the rent they already receive. It is clear that tenants, often seniors who have fixed pensions, are being unfairly burdened for the landlord’s basic cost of doing business.

 

For more information and to learn how you can take action against spiralling rent increases and unexpected fees, please visit my page on AGIs.

 


For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.ca.

   
   

Happy New Year! Community Update on Ice Storm Recovery for December 31st, 2013

Dear Residents,

 

It's been a very long and difficult 10 days for so many people in our city affected by the ice storm. Today, I am happy to report that almost all of the 300,000 households that lost power to their homes are now reconnected. However, we cannot rest until every last one is.

 

I want to express my sincerest gratitude to the remarkable Toronto Hydro workers and City of Toronto staff, along with their colleagues from other jurisdictions, who sacrificed their holidays to work around the clock, in often very challenging conditions, to serve people in need.

 

I also want to thank the many Ward 22 residents who offered their neighbours firewood, generators, food, blankets and even a place to stay. I will always remember the kindness and generosity our community shared with one another. I love being your city councillor.

 

While I believe there will have to be some serious work done soon on improving the way Toronto Hydro and the City of Toronto prepares for events like these, and communicates to residents, today I want to express our community's appreciation to everyone who did their jobs with such tireless dedication to public service.

 

2013 has been a very interesting year at city hall (to say the least). Far too often, the focus has sadly been on scandal, circus, folly and the sensational. But there has been some very substantive work done that is rarely reported. What I enjoyed most this year was working with so many of you on improving our local parks, creating playgrounds and farmers markets, supporting our local small businesses, working together to improve safety on our local streets, protecting the fabric and character of our neighbourhoods, and offering innovative, evidence-based and fiscally responsible ideas to city council to improve transit, the planning process, gridlock and so many more of our priorities. I also deeply appreciate the many friendships we've created and the sense of community we continue to build together.

 

Melissa, Molly and I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you in 2014!

 

Please see my update to you below.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

 

PS- Molly will already be turning one year old on January 4th! Like those of you are parents understand well, I can't believe how quickly this time has gone by.

 

Details on Ice Storm Food Replacement Gift Cards


Gift cards will be available starting Tuesday, December 31st at the following Ontario Works Toronto offices for people in need who have experienced hardship and have lost food due to the prolonged power outages during the ice storm.

 

All locations are open from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm.Locations will be closed New Year's Day and open from 8:30 am until 7:00 pm on Thursday, January 2, 2014.Locations closest to Ward 22:

 

Metro Hall Employment & Social Services

214 Wellington Street West Toronto, ON  M5V 3C6

Telephone: 416-392-2600

Yonge Eglinton Employment & Social Services

150 Eglinton Avenue East Suite 900 Toronto ON  M4P 3E2

Telephone: 416-397-1800

 

Tree Debris Removal begins January 3


Work to clear all tree debris will begin on Friday, January 3 and it will continue for approximately eight weeks, weather permitting.



Residents are asked to place their tree debris on the curb or the boulevard by Thursday, January 2. Please remember to provide at least one metre of clearance to ensure those with mobility issues can pass safely.



Large limb or stem (body) wood from private trees that have fallen on private property should not be taken to the curb. Property owners should contact a private contractor to remove this material.



Homeowners do not require a City permit to remove damaged or downed trees that are hazardous. Tree removal may not be needed. Some trees can be saved with proper care and maintenance. Trees may be pruned to remove damaged branches. Please use a professional arborist to ensure safety.



Please note that City crews cannot go onto private property to clear private trees that have fallen on private property.



Chainsaw Safety


Only use a chainsaw that you have been trained to use properly and safely. Always wear protective equipment and clothing. Be aware of your surroundings such as weather conditions, terrain, wildlife, buildings, power lines, vehicles, and other people.



Toronto Roads and Traffic


Power has been restored to all signals and all signals are operating normally.



However, the power supply is not quite stable at all signalized intersections and there may be fluctuations in the Hydro supply voltage which can result in a few signals being temporarily "all-out" or on flash. Motorists are reminded to treat any intersection without functioning signal lights as an all-way stop. In such cases, the public should call 311 and the City will send a crew to investigate and fix the problem.



Having trouble parking on your street due to ice or debris?


Parking consideration will be provided for residents who park on the street beyond posted times due to limited access to icy or blocked driveways. If the homeowner receives a parking ticket, there is an application that can be filled out to describe the circumstances and request ticket cancellation here. Completed application forms and documentation can be faxed to 416-696-3652 or sent via e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Toronto Public Library


All Toronto Public Library branches are open regular hours on Monday, December 30. Libraries offer wifi and internet workstations as well as great books, magazines and more.



Call your local branch or check www.torontopubliclibrary.ca. All branches are open holiday hours, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31.



Holiday Waste Pickup


Residents are reminded that this week, curbside collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will move forward one day. This means that Wednesday collection moves to Thursday, Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday. Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar. Please note that there may be collection delays. Residents should leave their materials out until they are picked up.



Food Waste


If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.



Food Safety


Residents who have been without power, or recently had their power restored, are advised to reduce the risk of a food borne illness:
• If you have been without power for 24 hours or longer, all food in the fridge should be thrown out.
• During a power outage of 48 hours or longer, all food in the freezer should be thrown out.
• Any leftover cooked food that cannot be reheated or stored in a working refrigerator or freezer should be thrown out.
Never eat food that looks or smells strange – when in doubt, throw it out.

 

2014 City of Toronto Budget


In January, I'll be hosting a Budget Town Hall to inform you about what is being proposed and to listen to your feedback about both services and tax rates. I'll be sending you a notice after the holidays. Meanwhile, please click here to learn more about the staff recommendations.

 

Three years of regular updates to residents


Keeping you engaged and informed has always been a priority for me since I was elected as our city councillor in 2010. Please click here if you would like to read any archives of past e=newsletters I've sent you on literally thousands of issues important to Ward 22.

 

Read more

   

Merry Christmas and tonight's Ice Storm Recovery update

Dear residents,

 

Like many of you, our family has been without power at our home for the past three days. In fact, hundreds of thousands of Torontonians have had either difficult experiences, or even seen their holidays ruined, due to the aftermath of the ice storm. In some cases, circumstances were even more dire.

 

While I've been working day and night to respond to, and assist, members of our community here in Ward 22, I've heard heartbreaking stories and have witnessed great acts of kindness by neighbours who care about each other. It's that very spirit of community that makes us appreciate living in midtown and North Toronto. This is why Melissa and I are raising our daughter Molly here.

 

To those of you who are still waiting for power to be restored to your home, Toronto Hydro has not been able to provide us a schedule of when they will be able to repair specific streets. I know this is the most important piece of information you want. However, I am pleased to report to you that I am learning of several streets regaining power in our community on nearly an hourly basis. To everyone who has their electricity restored, I am so happy for you! And to those still waiting, I am now cautiously optimistic that our wait may indeed be over soon.

 

I wish everyone of you who are celebrating this evening, whether at your warm home or while taking refuge with family and friends, a very Merry Christmas.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

 

Here's some more useful information from the City of Toronto, Toronto Hydro, and Enbridge. I recognize that I'm providing you with a lot of information. However, I'd rather send you too much tonight than not offer it to you at all.


Please stay safe and warm!


Power outages
Toronto Hydro crews have been and will continue to  be working around the clock to respond to streets with power outages. They say they cannot provide updates on specific neighbourhoods or streets. The utility hopes to have power restored by Wednesday. Call Toronto Hydro's Lights Out number, 416-542-8000, for serious situations only.

 

Emergencies
The City's emergency services (Fire, Emergency Medical Services and Police) are operating and managing increased call volumes. Residents are reminded to only call 911 in the event of an emergency. The non-emergency number for Toronto Police Service is 416-808-2222. Residents who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 416-310-2222 for assistance.



TTC
The TTC has made progress restoring system service, with streetcar service resuming on all routes. Please check www.ttc.ca for updates and service alerts.

 

Downed wires
If you spot a downed wire, please stay back (at least 10 feet) and
report it to Toronto Hydro's operations centre at 416-542-8000. Please
be cautious of falling tree limbs as well. For more information about
household items to have on hand during a lengthy outage, please visit
torontohydro.com/poweroutage

 

Tree Debris
We anticipate that the clearing of fallen trees and tree debris will begin on December 27 on City roadways. Staff are currently pushing tree debris to the side of the roads to make them safe and passable. The priority is to ensure public safety. Where debris is not obstructing the road, cleanup will take place at a later date. Clearing of all tree debris will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks.



If debris is from trees on private property, homeowners should contact a private contractor to clear away.

 

Parks, Forestry and Recreation
The public is reminded that trees remain covered in ice, which means that parks (anywhere near trees) are very dangerous, particularly in wooded valleys, near slopes and under trees. Park pathways have not been cleared and should not be used. Playgrounds near trees should also be avoided due to falling branches. Public should use extreme caution around parks to prevent slips and falls and should avoid walking under or near trees.
Parks staff who have appropriate chainsaw training and equipment are being deployed to assist in clearing tree debris from roads and paths.



Parks crews will continue to salt and clear debris, focusing on Reception Centres, Community Recreation Centres, parking lots and well-used locations such as rinks.



Holiday Waste Pickup
Residents are reminded that there is no collection on Christmas Day or New Year's Day.  This week and next week, curbside collection on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will move forward one day. This means that Wednesday collection moves to Thursday, Thursday collection moves to Friday, and Friday collection moves to Saturday. Changes are reflected in the residential collection calendar.  Due to downed trees and hydro wires, collection vehicles are not able to reach some areas. There may also be delays.  Residents should leave out their materials until they are collected. If required, additional collection crews will work on Monday (not a regularly scheduled collection day).



Food Waste
If you have organic material (food waste) that cannot fit in the Green Bin, please set it out in a clear plastic bag. Food waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled collection day.



Preventing Frozen Pipes
If you don't have heat for your home and the temperature drops to well below freezing, consider leaving a tap open enough for a trickle of water so there is some movement of water in pipes that might be vulnerable to freezing.



If you are leaving your home because of no heat, you can shut off the main service valve in your basement and open your lowest tap to drain the water out of your plumbing lines to prevent them from freezing.



Food Safety
For more information about when to keep and when to throw out refrigerated foods, visit http://www.toronto.ca/health/food_safety and click on the power outages link on the bottom of the page.



Emergency Preparedness
Information and advice about emergency preparedness are available at http://www.toronto.ca/oem.

 

Call Enbridge Gas Distribution only if you smell gas or to report an emergency such as a damaged pipe or meter

·         Due to a high volume of calls and poor road conditions in the GTA, the natural gas utility is currently only responding to natural gas emergency calls.

·         If a customer has an emergency such as the smell of gas or is reporting a pipeline or meter damage (including by falling trees or branches) they should call Enbridge Gas Distribution’s emergency line at 1-866-763-5427 from a neighbour’s phone.

·         Customers should not attempt to fix any problems related to the disruption of their supply of natural gas.

 

Call 911 if you or someone in your family is experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO)

·         If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, open windows and doors to let fresh air in. If anyone in your household has symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure, leave your house immediately, seek medical help and call 911.

·         Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, burning eyes, confusion, disorientation and unconsciousness. In severe cases, prolonged exposure to CO poisoning could result in death.

·         Customers should not attempt to fix any problems related to the disruption of their supply of natural gas.

 

Relighting natural gas equipment following power outage

·         Enbridge Gas Distribution’s natural gas system continues to operate normally during the winter storm however some natural gas appliances including furnaces require power to operate.

·         If a customer does not have heat due to a power outage or requires natural gas appliances to be relit after power is restored, they should contact a heating contractor. If a customer does not have one, they can find service providers online at www.enbridgegas.com/homes/customer-service/need-contractor.

 

Customers without heat due to power outage

·         Customers in Toronto can visit www.toronto.ca for more information or contact their local municipality or electricity utility.

·         Do not use equipment designed for outdoor use such as barbecues (including natural gas, propane or charcoal burning models) and gasoline powered generators indoors.

·         Do not use appliances such as stoves to heat your home.

·         Please ensure appliance vents and your meter/regulator are free of snow and ice.

 

Keep natural gas meter and appliance vents clear of snow, ice

·         Frequently check for any icy build-up from melting snow from your roof, drifting snow, freezing rain or water leaking from an eavestrough. This build-up could interrupt your gas service or cause an appliance to malfunction, which may create a hazardous condition.

·         Never pile snow against gas equipment or appliance vents.

·         If a meter, regulator or external vents are covered with snow or ice, remove the snow or ice carefully with either a car brush or broom. Do not use sharp objects or force, such as kicking or hitting, or hot water, salt or other melting methods to remove the snow or ice as this may cause damage. Be careful when using a shovel, plow or snow blower near gas equipment or appliance vents.

·         If snow or ice build-up on natural gas meters or regulators cannot be gently removed with a broom or car brush, call Enbridge Gas Distribution for assistance at 1-877-ENBRIDGE (362-7434).

·         If you need assistance to clear a blocked appliance vent, please contact a heating contractor.

 

 

My letter to residents on December 23th:


The recent ice storm has had a horrible affect on midtown Toronto along with neighbourhoods across the city. On many of our local streets, there are wires dangling, trees down or hanging on power lines, and icy conditions. There are entire neighbourhoods without power. My home, like many of yours, is still affected by the blackout. I've been out to streets across Ward 22 and have seen the damage the storm caused. I've also seen several examples of how people in our community can be so kind and helpful when their neighbours are in need.

 

The City of Toronto is continuing to provide updated information this morning on ongoing impacts and the City's response to the ice storm. City staff scheduled to work today are asked to report for their regular shifts to continue to deliver as many services as possible to residents, businesses and visitors.

 

I have also requested, along with many of my colleagues, that the mayor declare a state of emergency. While this might sound dramatic, it really is simply a procedure to formally request the Province and other municipalities for additional resources to help the City of Toronto ensure our streets are safe and accessible, and as soon as possible. It also sets forward an Emergency Management Team with the Deputy-Mayor as its Chair. However, I have been assured by the City Manager that the Province has indicated that all available resources will be provided regardless of whether the mayor declares a state of emergency. If the job gets done for residents without a formal declaration, great. But the job is clearly far from being done.There are still hundreds of thousands of Torontonians who are without power and Toronto Hydro is unable yet to provide us with information on exactly when power will be restored for specific streets.


Toronto Hydro is currently reporting that approximately 225,000 customers are without power. Hydro crews have been and will continue working around the clock to respond. The utility hopes to have power restored by Wednesday. Call Toronto Hydro's Lights Out number, 416-542-8000, for serious situations only.



The City's emergency services (Fire, Emergency Medical Services and Police) are operating and managing increased call volumes. Residents are reminded to only call 911 in the event of an emergency. The non-emergency number for Toronto Police Service is 416-808-2222. Residents who use home oxygen and have concerns can call 416-310-2222 for assistance.



The TTC has made progress restoring system service, with streetcar service resuming on all routes. Please check www.ttc.ca for updates and service alerts.



GO Transit is operating an Adjusted Winter Schedule today. Check schedule details at http://gotransit.com/public/en/schedules/winterstorm.aspx.



The City's Transportation Services Division reports that approximately 100 traffic signals are not working but the count may change as power is restored. Salting operations are continuing on collector roads, local roads and sidewalks. The following roads in Scarborough are closed to traffic as they are not safe due to fallen power lines and trees:


- Old Kingston Road from Military Trail to Manse Road
- Military Trail from Old Kingston Road to Bobmar Road
- St. Andrews Road from Meldazy Drive to Suraty Avenue
- Colonel Danforth Trail - Bonacres Avenue to dead end
- Highview Avenue at Lillington Avenue
- Pinegrove Road at South Edgely Avenue.

The City is operating nine Reception Centres where vulnerable residents and those who need assistance can access food, water, warmth and rest. Pets are welcome:

 

- Dennis R Timbrell Community Centre, 29 St. Denis Drive (Eglinton/DonMills)
- Malvern Community Centre, 30 Sewells Rd, (Neilson/Rd/Finch)
- Agincourt Community Centre, 31 Glen Walford Rd (Sheppard/Midland)
- Driftwood Community Centre, 4401 Jane Street (between Finch and Steeles)
- Mitchell Field Community Centre, 89 Church Avenue (Yonge/Finch)
- Joseph P Piccinini Community Centre, 1369 St Clair Avenue West (St Clair/Keele)
- Matty Eckler Community Centre, 953 Gerrard Street East (Pape/Gerrard)
- Franklin Horner Community Centre, 432 Horner Avenue (Kipling/Lakeshore)
- 2 Civic Centre Court – Adjacent to Etobicoke Community Centre (West Mall and 427)



Community centres with power are expected to operate as usual; those without power will be closed. There may be some program and operating impacts at community centres that are being used as Reception Centres.



Toronto public libraries with power are expected to operate as usual; those without power will be closed.



The Toronto District School Board has advised that all Early Learning and Child Care Centres operated by the City of Toronto and located in TDSB sites will be closed tomorrow. A list of the sites is available at toronto.ca.



All Toronto Catholic District School Board facilities and daycare centres will be closed today and tomorrow. Toronto Children's Services is planning to send children home at locations where the power is off. Parents should try to contact their child care centre or provider prior to drop off to determine whether service will be available.



For more information about when to keep and when to throw out refrigerated foods, visit www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/foodsafe/homefood.html.



For more information and advice about emergency preparedness visit http://www.toronto.ca/oem.



For updates during an emergency event and other City of Toronto information, follow @TorontoComms on Twitter. The City will be using #citystorm when providing updates on the storm. I am also posting updates on Twitter @joshmatlow

 

I do hope you stay safe and warm! We'll get through this together.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

   

Freezing Rain Warning for Southern Ontario

For your information. Please stay safe.

 

Major ice storm likely starting this afternoon or evening into Sunday morning. Please click here for more information.

 

For access to City of Toronto Services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, please call 311. In an emergency, call 911.

   
   

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