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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.

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.

   
   

Councillor Matlow's Community Update for December 19, 2013

Dear Residents,

 

It was a pleasure to see so many of you at Davisville subway station today as we discussed the need to move forward with the Relief Subway Line, Toronto's evidence-based transit priority. I look forward to visiting many other stations to ask TTC riders to help see this vital project finally get built. We've waited far too long already.

 

This week at city council, despite unacceptable bickering by a few, divisive politics and strange dance party (yes, this really happened), I continued to work respectfully with my colleagues, focus on our priorities and am pleased to report that some very substantive work was accomplished on several important issues including snow clearing standards and traffic congestion. In 2014, I really want Council to have less drama. Council should be completely dedicated to professional, thoughtful, innovative, fiscally-responsible and city-building initiatives that serve Toronto's residents.

 

This past year has been challenging. But it has also been remarkably fulfilling. I feel so fortunate to be able to offer ideas to council that I believe reflect our community's priorities and improve our city as a whole. I also deeply enjoy working with local residents to create farmers markets, build playgrounds, improve our neighbourhoods' safety (I'm also advocating for safer school zones), revitalize our parks and main streets, advocate for more appropriate and well designed development and support our schools. I love our Ward 22 community and am deeply grateful to serve you. I am also grateful that my wife Melissa and I are raising our daughter Molly, who will be a year-old on January 4th, in such a remarkable part of Toronto. In other words, I want to thank you.

 

I wish you and your families a very, Merry Christmas and to all, a Happy New Year.

 

Warm regards,

 

Josh

 


Traffic Congestion Management Plan


Since the day I was elected to represent our community I have been advocating that City Hall make tackling traffic congestion and grid lock a top priority as it's a significant problem for Toronto's motorists, public transit users and cyclists alike. 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. This congestion costs the region's economy an estimated $3.3 billion per year while negatively impacting on the quality of life of our residents. I believe, like most residents I hear from, that this is unacceptable.

 

This week City Council endorsed in principle a five-year Congestion Management Plan to manage traffic congestion in the City of Toronto. This is a comprehensive plan which incorporates some initiatives that I have already brought forward to City Council such as increasing fines for vehicles that block traffic lanes on arterial routes during rush hour and improved traffic signal coordination (synchronization). I am very pleased that council supported the requests that I made on behalf of residents on these two initiatives.

 

Among the key elements of the congestion management plan are:

 

  • upgrading the City's traffic signal management software to a new system by the end of 2014
  • the re-evaluation and co-ordination of approximately 1,000 traffic signals
  • the installation of 100 traffic cameras on arterial roads to better detect problems on these key transportation routes
  • the addition of 13 variable message signs along the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway
  • better management and use of curb lanes.

You can read more about this plan by following this link.

 

Winter Services - Driveway Windrow and Sidewalk Clearing Update


I have been actively advocating for improved standards when it comes to winter maintenance of public roads and sidewalks. The current standard, where many of our streets in Ward 22 do not receive driveway windrow clearing or sidewalk clearing by the City were put in place in 2008. I recognize that there are some barriers that make it more difficult for the City to provide the same level of service in many downtown wards as efficiently as they can in other areas of city. I strongly believe however, that the City needs to explore every opportunity to deliver these services to a more equitable level.

 

This week City Council considered a report from the General Manager of Transportation Services that would have maintained the status quo with regards to driveway windrow and sidewalk clearing for many of our residential streets. With thanks to my colleagues for their support, we have directed City staff to report back to Council on how driveway windrow and sidewalk clearing can be expanded to include the many streets in our ward that currently do not get this level of service for the 2015 winter season. I will continue to advocate for this more equitable service standard across the city, and keep you updated as we progress.

 

During and after heavy storms (like the one we're expecting soon), please call 311 if the City of Toronto can be of assistance. Let me know if I can do anything to support you.

 

Protecting Ward 22 at the OMB


The applicants for new developments at the Art Shoppe site and 95 & 99 Broadway, near Redpath, have taken the City to the OMB. I have ensured that our community's interests will be well represented by City Planning and Legal staff. I am also fighting to protect the South Eglinton community from major developments that are encroaching on single family homes on Soudan Ave. For more information on developments in Ward 22 please see this webpage and for more information on also please also learn more about you can help free Toronto from the OMB.

 

Supporting Tenants


City Council voted to support tenants as a result of a motion I co-sponsored earlier this year. The motion seeks to make changes to the provincial Residential Tenancies act by:

 

·         Eliminating the exemption for rent increases for rental residential units built or occupied after November1, 1991 in order to provide the same rent control protection for tenants renting these units that are afforded to other tenants in Toronto, many of them in new condo buildings

 

·         Implementing an automatic rent freeze on all rent increases where there is non-compliance with outstanding work orders and asking the province to collaborate with the City in setting up an automated system for direct access for work orders to eliminate the need for tenants to provide proof of the work orders

 

To learn more about my campaign to support tenants and stop unfair above the guideline rent increases, please visit this webpage

 

Addressing Problem Hoarding


As many of you know, I have been working with Manor Rd. E. residents and City staff for several years to address problem hoarding. We took major steps with the support of Toronto Fire last month but there is significant work still needed to find a long-term solution in this specific case, and others across Toronto. That's why I'm pleased my colleagues supported the staff report, which was initiated by my 2011 motion, to help address hoarding from a municipal perspective and my amendment to ask the province for increased mental health resources and changes to the Mental Health Act that will address the roots of the problem. I also met with the local community about this a couple of weeks ago to ensure they were informed.

 

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.

   
   

Facts Before Financing: The Bloor-Danforth Subway Extension - A Motion for the 2014 City of Toronto Budget

Dear residents,

 

Please see the attached motion regarding financing the Bloor-Danforth subway extension in Scarborough that will be submitted to tomorrow's Budget Committee meeting for consideration. The intent of this motion is to ensure that all relevant and factual information is provided to Council before increases to our city's debt and property taxes are approved.

 

Regardless of whether or not this motion is supported at tomorrow's Budget Committee meeting, it is my intention to move this at the Special Council meeting regarding the 2014 budget in January.

 

I believe that we must move forward with Toronto's transit priorities. Before we ask residents to fund these projects, we must have complete financial information, cost certainly and all relevant planning information.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

   

Councillor Matlow's Community Update for December 6, 2013

Dear residents,

 

Yesterday, we lost a truly inspirational leader in Nelson Mandela.

 

President Mandela's impact on his country of South Africa, and the world, was no less than transformational. He was a strong, kind and forgiving man and has left us all with a legacy of greater equality, peace and reconciliation.

 

In the face of Apartheid, a cruel and violent policy of racial discrimination, and after decades of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela chose to heal a nation rather than seek vengeance.

 

I look forward to telling my young daughter about him one day and how we all can learn from his example.

 

Sincerely,


Josh



Maurice Cody Dirt-to-Turf Update


I am delighted to announce that the Maurice Cody field will be open starting this Monday, December 9. After two years of hard work by the school, parents, students, teachers, the TDSB and my office, I am thrilled to see this exciting new play space now open for our community to enjoy! I was very happy to contribute to the success of this project.
Here are some basic guidelines for using the field, shared by Principal Andrew Howard:
  • Please do not let dogs onto the field
  • Holes in the lining can be caused by picking at the grass
  • Please do not light fireworks from the field on Victoria/Canada Day as it will burn the turf
  • Please keep the field clean
New garbage bins have been ordered for both sides of the playing field and the playground, and we are hopeful that they will arrive soon. The lines and any final repairs will be completed in the spring.
To celebrate the opening, a ribbon cutting ceremony will be taking place this Saturday morning at 10:30 am, followed by a demonstration and an opportunity to play rugby on the field. The Maurice Cody winter fair begins afterwards. I hope to see you there!
New Mural on the Beltline

I am proud to announce that on November 10, I joined local residents to unveil the second half of the new Beltline Trail Mural. Painted by artists Viviana Astudillo and Logan Miller, this exciting project was conceived by the community group Friends of the Beltline and founder Donna Koegl. The first half of the mural was unveiled this August. The mural is a wonderful example of a community coming together to improve their local green space and I would suggest you visit this beautiful mural when you have the chance! It is located underneath the Eglinton Avenue overpass. For more information, please read this article in the Town Crier.

 

Update on the Proposed Billy Bishop Airport Expansion

 

Yesterday at City Hall, the Executive Committee voted to defer Porter's expansion plans to February, 2014. Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly, an island airport expansion proponent, supported the deferral stating that staff needs additional studies and information for Council to make an informed decision. I will provide an update on this situation when the item comes back to Council.


For your information, and thoughtful review, I'm providing you with Porter Airline's case for expansion, the case made by NoJetTO, the leading advocacy group opposed to the proposed expansion and the City of Toronto's Staff recommendations to Council.

 

Correction: In my last e-newsletter, I wrote that Porter Airlines had paid for the study. In fact, they had offered to. It was the Toronto Port Authority who has paid for the report. There are still many unknowns about who exactly will pick up the entire costs of this initiative going forward.

 

Update on Addressing the Roots of Youth Violence


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.

 

In February, 2013, with City Council's unanimous support, I asked City staff to develop a plan to take immediate action. I am very happy to share with you a letter from Dr. Curling commending Toronto City Council for tackling this urgent priority.

 

Since then, I have been working closely with City staff on a Youth Equity Strategy to support the most marginalized youth in Toronto – those who are at the highest risk to be involved in or victimized by violence. As the Youth Equity Strategy won’t be finished until this winter, which is too late for the 2014 City of Toronto budget, I pushed for a list of “quick wins” from City staff to move the Strategy forward in 2014 and also to test some promising pilot projects. The Toronto Star wrote about these initiatives earlier this week.

 

On Wednesday, the Community Development and Recreation Committee unanimously supported my request to include these important investments 2014 budget. This is a very important milestone but we still need to seek approval from the Budget Committee and, in mid-January, the full City Council. If you would like to support taking action to address the roots of youth violence in Toronto by writing or speaking to the Budget Committee, please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and I will send you a reminder one week before the committee meets.

 

Ward 22 Development


As you know, Midtown has a number of new development applications. I continue to work with our community to protect the fabric and character of our neighbourhoods. I also recognize that the current 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 our community 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 were already steep into the unaffordable range in recent years.

 

Landlords can apply for AGIs through the Landlord and Tenant Board. 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.

 

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.

 

City of Toronto's Winter Preparation Update


With winter just around the corner, the City of Toronto is once again getting ready to tackle snow and ice when it hits the streets.



Winter is also high season for watermain breaks. Cold weather plus rapid swings between periods of thaw and freezing put pipes under stress. Crews are ready to respond to minor and severe breaks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



As soon as the snow begins, Transportation Services sends out its fleet of salt trucks to the expressways and main roads, while local roads and laneways are salted soon after. Once 2.5 centimetres of snow has accumulated, then plowing will begin on the expressways and when five centimetres has accumulated, plowing will begin on the main roads. Plowing on the expressways and main roads will continue until the operation is complete.



Once the snow stops and if the snow accumulation reaches eight centimetres, local road plowing will begin. During this time, snow service requests will not be taken by 311. Residents are asked to only call 311 during the storm if they would like to report an urgent winter-related concern. Residents are asked to not call 311 during the storm to ask when their street will be cleared.



The City will also open driveway windrows wherever it is mechanically possible to do so. Typically, driveway windrows are opened between one and two hours of the road being plowed. This service is meant to open up an area about the size of a single car width in order to make it more convenient to enter or exit the driveway.



The City will clear snow from sidewalks on local roads where it is mechanically possible to do so after eight centimetres of snow has fallen (five centimetres in January and February). In the central core of the city, property owners are required to clear their sidewalks of snow 12 hours after a storm has taken place.



To learn more about sidewalk snow clearing in Toronto and to view a map of the areas where the service is provided, please click here.



Besides snow and cold weather, there are numerous causes of watermain breaks and the City is taking steps to address the ongoing problem, currently spending $110 million to improve the watermain distribution system. Toronto Water is dealing with aging infrastructure and through the capital infrastructure renewal program, approximately 40 to 60 kilometres of watermain pipes are being replaced annually. In addition, three rehabilitation programs continue: cathodic protection of watermain pipes, cleaning and cement mortar lining, and structural lining.



Response crews are available 24/7 to locate, assess and repair watermain breaks in order to restore service as quickly as possible.



More information about watermain breaks is available here.

 

Please click here for more information about the City of Toronto’s winter operations.

 

Please read my update from a recent enewsletter I sent to our community in November about the work I've been doing to encourage the City to improve its snow and winter operations.


A message from TANG on air noise pollution due to Pearson flight paths


In early 2012, NAV Canada changed the flight patterns of aircraft approaching and leaving Toronto Pearson International Airport. Many residents have contacted me and reported disturbances from increased air traffic noise including during overnight hours. Some have described the noise as living under an "air super-highway" and find the volume and frequency of flights intolerable.

 

I brought a motion to City Council to have City of Toronto officials meet with representatives from NAV Canada, the federal Ministry of Transportation, and other relevant bodies to find a less intrusive flight path that respects the needs of Toronto residents to live without excessive noise pollution. I am following up with the City Manager on the status of actions Council requested him to take.

 

Recently, I met with the Toronto Aviation Noise Group (T.A.N.G.). They have asked me to share the following with you:

 

T.A.N.G is working in Ward 22 to stop the excessive aviation noise stemming from the new concentrated flight path that takes planes right over our communities and neighbourhoods. A  T.A.N.G. representative may knock on your door requesting all adults in the home to please sign the petition.


To bring peace and quiet back to areas affected by this noise, you can sign an online petition. You can also contact the GTAA by calling 416-247-7682 or register a complaint. Lastly, you can write to our local MP Dr. Carolyn Bennett and show your objection. Together, we can work to make our voice heard over the roar of jet planes!


Problem Hoarding Update


Yesterday, my colleagues at Executive Committee supported my initiative to ensure that the City of Toronto takes a more effective and coordinated approach to problem hoarders. In 2011, I moved a motion to create an inter-divisional task force to address this issue. The task force's report to Executive Committee yesterday creates a formal structure and response protocol to deal with animal and content hoarders. This motion will come to full Council in two weeks.


Ecumenical Christmas Food Drive: Results and Outcome


The Drive concluded on November 30 and was considered a success with slightly over 16,000 items collected compared to 15,500 in 2012. In addition about $2,000 in cash and cheques were received for bulk purchases.  The donations were sorted, packed in boxes and then delivered within hours to recipient food banks and agencies. Next year’s event, the 43rd, will again take place on two Saturdays: November 22 (to deliver flyers to canvassed households) and November 29 (to pick up donations). Please mark these dates in your calendars. Look out for advance notices in September.

 

Two area Sobeys stores (St. Clair Avenue just east of Yonge Street and Wicksteed Avenue near Laird Drive) are again supporting this effort by holding in-store drives throughout the Christmas season. These sources typically add another 10,000 to the overall total and your participation is encouraged to help the needy within our community.

 

Please contact Brian Kearney, at 416-972-0585 or by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have questions and/or comments.

   

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