Dear residents and friends,
I deeply appreciate your support and confidence and I look forward to an ongoing dialogue with you on the many issues, challenges and opportunities we'll face together as a community here in Ward 22, St. Paul's and as a city.
I'm advocating for a more thoughtful, creative and responsible new approach for city council. I want council to engage our city's residents with an inspiring plan and make informed decisions that are based on evidence, community consultation and the merits of arguments - rather than ideology or left or right-wing partisanship.
My staff and I are here to assist you with any concerns or questions you may have. We're also working every day to improve our local neighbourhoods- along with supporting the many valued services Torontonians rely on every day. You are always welcome to contact me at 416-392-7906 or by email at email@example.com.
Councillor Josh Matlow spoke regarding future options for Casa Loma and a City of Toronto Museum at Toronto City Council, October 3, 2012.
Councillor Josh Matlow spoke regarding Metrolinx's The Big Move transit plan at Toronto City Council, July 12, 2012.
NOTICE OF MOTION
Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS): Protecting and increasing access to publicly secured open spaces
|Moved by||Councillor Josh Matlow||
|Seconded by||Councillor Adam Vaughan||
Toronto is becoming an increasingly dense city with an additional 134,000 new residents added between 2001 and 2011. The majority of those new inhabitants are living in condominiums. In the past 10 years, 121,210 new condo or apartment units have been created. Since 2006, over 90% of all residential applications have been for multi-unit dwellings. It is anticipated that this trend will continue as Toronto's population is expected to grow by 160,000 over the next 10 years with just as many new condo or apartment units added.
These vertical homeowners are joining apartment residents and office tower workers that use public spaces as their backyards, living rooms and lunch counters. It is well established that public spaces provide a social meeting place and there is increasing evidence demonstrating that open spaces can have a positive impact on physical health, mental well-being and even longevity. As the City of Toronto plans to continue building vertically, it must ensure that its urban parks, plazas and squares are accessible.
The City's Planning Division has been very successful at securing new open spaces through Section 37 agreements. These spaces are publically accessible but privately owned and maintained at the cost of the landowner. Since 2000, at least 1 million square feet have been added in over 27 of these new privately owned public spaces. Other publicly accessible open spaces include plazas in front of office buildings and green spaces surrounding "tower" apartments through density bonuses negotiated primarily in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
While the City has been successful at adding new publicly accessible space, many of these places are not well used. Experience from other North American cities demonstrates that the largest barrier to these spaces is a lack of awareness that they are open to the public. New York, San Francisco and other cities require signage at privately accessible open spaces that indicate they are available for public use.
This motion seeks to increase the use of privately owned public spaces through designated signage.
- Council requests the City Manager to develop a report that identifies all privately owned public spaces in the City of Toronto
- Council requests the City Manager to report on a strategy to ensure that all privately owned public spaces have visible signage indicating the space is open to the public; this includes, but is not limited to, parks, plazas, open spaces, squares and walkways
- City Council requests that the reports identified in Recommendations 1 & 2 be delivered to Planning and Growth Committee by June of 2013
The Future of Casa Loma and a Museum of Toronto Public Meeting
In August 2011, City Council created the Casa Loma Corporation (CLC) for the purpose of managing the continuing operations of Casa Loma on an interim basis until its future ownership and management direction could be determined. The City of Toronto is now moving forward with a plan to ensure the long-term viability of Casa Loma and the potential for a Museum of Toronto as part of the site’s future. For more information about our progress, click here. I invite you to attend a public meeting to learn about these opportunities and give us your feedback, vision and guidance.
Date: Monday, November 26th
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Location: Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace)
Attendees may arrive at 5:30 p.m. for a site visit of the property prior to the meeting starting at 7:00 p.m.
We will be seeking feedback from the public in two key areas at this meeting:
1. The future of the main building (south side of Austin Terrace)
The City is seeking qualified proponents with whom to enter into a long term lease to operate Casa Loma as an historic attraction and special event venue. As the Request for Proposal (RFP) is developed and the associated evaluation criteria the Board is interested in hearing from the public about your priorities for the building and opportunities to expand on its role in presenting Toronto’s history. A two stage Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued in mid-December 2012.
2. The future of other buildings (north side of Austin Terrace)
In early 2013 the Board will issue a Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) for a vision and uses for the complex north of Austin Terrace, including the Hunting Lodge, Potting Shed, and Stables. At this public meeting input will be sought on the REOI, where Respondents will be asked to consider the feasibility of including a Museum of Toronto in their proposals.
Official Plan Open House
City staff have developed a draft of new Official Plan Section 37 policies for affordable housing and are looking for feedback from you on the draft policies. If interested, you can attend their Open House or view the proposed draft online at http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2012/pg/bgrd/backgroundfile-49671.pdf.
Date: Wednesday, November 21st
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: Metro Hall, Room 310 (55 John Street)
Toronto Cycle Workshop
Date: Saturday, November 24th
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Location: CyclePath Norco (2106 Yonge Street)
As part of the City of Toronto's ongoing efforts to support civic engagement, the City has developed an online Civic Engagement Portal at www.toronto.ca/civic-engagement. On the Portal, you can learn more about City government and how you can get involved. You can review a series of Learning Guides on the following topics: Accountability, Affordable Housing, City Agencies and Corporations, City Council and its Committees, City Planning, Decision-Making, Elections, Roles of the Mayor and City Council, and the Toronto Public Service. These online guides can be translated into numerous languages using the website's built-in translation tool.
Meetings with neighbourhood associations, tenant associations, condo boards, TCHC tenants and other local groups of residents
Most weekday evenings, I meet with groups of Ward 22 residents to discuss important issues, update them on city hall and local matters and learn about priorities they'd like me to advocate for in the community and at city council.
If your group would like to meet with me, please feel welcome to contact my office and speak with Chloe to arrange a date, location and time.
For your information, please click here to review the City of Toronto's Submission to the Government of Canada on the Federal Long-Term Infrastructure Plan.
Last week's storm caused some localized power outages, tree damage and basement flooding in Ward 22 and across Toronto. I would like to commend our city's first responders, Toronto Hydro workers and City Forestry staff for working around the clock to deal with emergency situations, restore power and remove fallen trees and branches. Of course, all of our thoughts are with our neighbours in the northeastern United States, and further south, who bore the brunt of Hurricane Sandy. A week later, there are still many people without shelter, power, fuel or food. If you would like to help, please support the Red Cross' efforts to support those affected by this tragedy.
Please see my community update, along with upcoming public meeting dates, below.
Preservation of historic Postal Station K in North Toronto
As some of you are surely aware, Postal Station K is an building and still-functioning post office that sits on Yonge just north of Eglinton. Its long-standing service to the community, sitting on the site of the Upper Canada Rebellion's Montgomery Tavern, along with its Art Deco architecture and the rare Royal Cipher of Edward VIII make this a very valuable and historic building. I have therefore put my support behind the Eglinton Park Residents' Association's formal application to have the City grant Postal Station K heritage status. I invite anyone who wishes to find out more about the issue and get involved to take a look at their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/YongeEglintonPostOfficeStationK.
Mount Pleasant Village BIA Annual General Meeting
I'll be speaking at the Mount Pleasant Village BIA Annual General Meeting, tonight, Monday, November 5 at 6:30 PM at The Briton House (720 Mount Pleasant Road). Please visit their website for more information about events and activities in the community. In addition, congratulations to their Coordinator, Julie Federman, and the BIA Board, for hosting a very successful Harvest Fair and for winning a TABIA award for their original street tapis event, "Restaurauntacular".
US Election Night with Democrats Abroad
On Tuesday night I'll be watching the US election results with Democrats Abroad at the Sheraton Centre Hotel (123 Queen Street West). I hope to see you there! Election returns begin at 8 PM. Tickets are $25 at the door.
Maurice Cody Public School FSA
The next meeting of Maurice Cody PS Family and School Association this Tuesday, November 6, at 7 PM in the school library. I'll be stopping by to speak with parents about my support for school initiatives including improving their school field.
17-25 Lascelles Boulevard Planning Meeting
I invite you to attend a community consultation meeting with City Planning staff and myself on Wednesday, November 7, at 7 PM, at Christ Church Deer Park about a proposed development at the Brentwood Towers on Lascelles Boulevard. A rezoning application has been submitted to City Planning to permit the construction of 12 townhomes, each three storeys high.
Oriole Park Association Public Meeting
The Oriole Park Association is hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, November 7, about developments at Yonge and Eglinton. Toronto's Chief Planner, Jennifer Keesmaat, will be the guest speaker. Everyone is welcome. The event begins at 7 PM at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre in the Multi-Purpose Room on the ground floor.
Councillor Matlow at Remembrance Day Ceremonies
As Remembrance Day will be falling on a Sunday this year, on Friday, November 9th, I will be attending Remembrance Day ceremonies at Northern Secondary School and Maurice Cody Public School to commemorate the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives as members of the Canadian armed forces. I am very pleased to be addressing this generation of students, and to be honouring all Canadians who have served to protect our country and take part in important international peacekeeping missions.
Midtown Planning Group Meeting
The Yonge-Eglinton area is considered a Centre within the Official Plan, and thus is designated for intensification of employment and residential uses. There is a great deal of development currently underway in, or being proposed for, the Centre and the construction of the light-rapid transit along Eglinton will likely increase development pressures.
Currently the Yonge-Eglinton area is divided between two planning departments, two Community Councils and three municipal ward boundaries (Wards 22, 16 and 25). The North York Community Council adjudicates planning applications for the north-west and north-east part of the Centre north of Roehampton, and the Toronto and East York Community Council adjudicates planning applications for the southern portion of the Centre. Although there are Urban Design Guidelines, an Area Study and work underway on a planning study related to the Eglinton Crosstown, a strategy is required to ensure this work is comprehensive and consistent across Community Council boundaries.
For decades, successive Councils and prominent residents have done important work toward the creation of a strong neighbourhood. I deeply appreciate the significant contributions you have made towards developing our community. This is why I am delighted to invite you to the first meeting of the Midtown Planning Group.
Ecumenical Food Drive
Churches in Rosedale, Moore Park and Leaside are again sponsoring a Christmas Drive (the 41st consecutive) to help local food banks and agencies that are in urgent need at this time of the year. Flyers will be delivered to households on Saturday, November 17 and pick-up of donations is Saturday, November 24.
There are two locations for this year's drive: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (OLPH), one block west of Mount Pleasant Road on St. Clair Avenue East and Leaside Presbyterian Church on Eglinton Avenue, just east of Bayview Avenue. Times on both days are from 9:30 am until 12 pm.
Donations are sorted and packed at OLPH with same-day delivery to recipient food banks and agencies. Last year about 20,000 items were collected. Upwards of 300 volunteers are required and community hours are available for high school students and members of youth groups.
Two area Sobeys stores (Yonge/St. Clair and Wicksteed Avenue near Laird Drive) are again supporting the event by holding in-store drives throughout the Christmas season. They have specially prepared bags for purchase containing nutritious foodstuffs and these sources usually add another 10,000 to the overall total.
For ongoing council and community information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.ca.
If you're available, please join me and Friends of The Beltline tomorrow morning for our Third Beltline clean up and tree planting.
When: 9:45am-noon, Sunday, October 14th, 2012 Where: Meet at Robert Bateman Parkette (Chaplin Cres. between Russell Hill and Warren Road). Come early and enjoy a hot drink compliments of Second Cup.
The City of Toronto will provide the tools, gloves and trees.
It should be a beautiful, autumn morning. I hope to see you tomorrow!
Update: The Toronto Sun covered the cleanup in their paper the next day. Click here to read the article and watch the video!
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