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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.

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.

   

Take Action: Support Toronto's Youth Equity Strategy

Dear residents,

 

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. You can click here to read a briefing note from City staff outlining these strategies including pilot partnerships with Toronto Community Housing, Toronto Public Library, and Toronto Police Services.

 

I will be clear: there is an up-front cost to these initiatives of about $600,000. You and I know that investing in our youth is a cost-effective way to build a stronger economy and healthier society, but I need your help convincing my colleagues on City Council of this fact.

 

Please come to City Hall on Wednesday, December 4, to make a deputation to the Community Development and Recreation Committee in support of Toronto’s most marginalized youth. If you are not able to make it to City Hall, please write to your local Councillor and the committee members to let them know that making the investments necessary to address the roots of youth violence is an important priority for you.

 

The committee will very likely consider these initiatives later in the day, sometime after the lunch break that ends at 1:30 pm. Please contact my office at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 416 392 7906 for assistance with speaking or writing to the committee, or contacting your local councillor.

 

Thank you for your support.

 

Sincerely,

Josh Matlow

   

Councillor Matlow's Community Update for November 28, 2013

Dear Residents,

 

It has been such a pleasure seeing so many of you throughout our community. I always appreciate your feedback on both local community and city-wide issues. Along with my update below, I've been meeting with residents on an array of priorities every day (and most evenings), working on ways to improve our public spaces and main streets, improving traffic safety on our neighbourhood streets and bringing forward initiatives to city council to improve our community and our city as a whole.

 

To our Jewish community, I wish you and your families a very Happy Hanukkah. I also wish Ward 22 residents who are U.S. citizens a Happy Thanksgiving this evening.

 

On a personal note, I can't express well enough how much I appreciated the many birthday wishes I received yesterday. I really love our community and it was special to celebrate my birthday (my first as a dad) with my wife Melissa and Molly who's now almost 11-months old already.

 

And as always, feel welcome to contact me if I can be of assistance to you. To read past community updates, click here.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

 


 

Ward 22 Parks Improvements Update

This fall, I brought forward a motion to name the playground at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park the “Sharon, Lois & Bram” playground. My proposal was successfully referred to City staff to undertake a study and this important next step includes consulting with local residents. Staff will bring their report back to a Community Council meeting for a vote in early 2014.

 

Last week, I hosted public meetings regarding improvements to Charlotte Maher Park and the parkettes on Belsize Drive. Input from local residents is very important to me so that I can help determine what changes our community would like to see in our parks. If there is a park in your neighbourhood that needs improvement, please do contact me!

 

I welcome you to join me on Thursday, December 5 at 7 pm to discuss playground improvements for Forest Hill Road Park. The meeting will take place at Grace Church on-the-hill, in the Parish Hall, at 300 Lonsdale Road. I hope to see you there!

 

Snow Update: The City of Toronto can do better


 

As you may recall, following the large volume of snowfall experienced last February, I wrote a letter to Transportation Services proposing several improvements to snow removal in Toronto. I was promised by city staff that the levels of service provided were going to be reviewed, and reported back to city council this fall.

 

At the October City Council meeting I brought forward a motion to request the General Manager of Transportation services report directly to the November 19th Community Council meeting with an update of the winter services review and proposed changes to service standards to provide fair and effective winter service across the city. I felt that it was important that this matter be discussed at Community Council, as our district of Toronto and East York with more narrow streets, lack of boulevards and dependency on on-street parking has more unique challenges when it comes to handling snow removal.

 

Unfortunately this request was not supported by my colleagues, and the request was referred to the Public Works Committee.

 

I am extremely concerned that the current level of service does not provide enough snow removal, particularly on streets where residents rely on on-street parking. When we get hit with volumes of snow like we did last winter, residents are left with little options to park on the street, and windrows also create unique challenges for getting and out of their driveways. I met with City Staff earlier this week on site at some of our more challenging streets in the ward. They have insisted that they will do be monitoring some of our more challenging streets and will remove snow to enable their standard 5m clearance.

 

They have also indicated that they have been developing ways to enhance communication with residents, 311 staff, other city departments and contractors to improve the cooperation and awareness during severe weather. GPS technology is further being utilized to aid with the management of contractors.

 

The majority of winter roadway maintenance services are delivered through outside contractors. The contractors are to fulfill the level of services approved by council. The current level of service was approved in 2009, and we are bound by this contract until 2015. The General Manager of Transportation Services has reviewed the current service levels and submitted his recommendations on the proposed level of services to be fulfilled for the 2015-2022 year terms to the Public Works Committee last week and these recommendations are going to City Council in December for approval. The report can be found here. http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-63459.pdf

 

While there is a recommendation to enhance level of service for sidewalk clearing in high volume pedestrian levels (along arterial roads, in school zones, transit and accessibility areas), this report more or less reconfirms that the service levels of the current contract. While snow removal can be more challenging and costly on narrower streets with more obstructions such as on-street parking, I am extremely concerned about the impact on local residents when these streets are not adequately cleared.

 

I will continue to advocate for a more equitable level of service across the city,that will have a positive impact on the flow of services in our area. As I did last year, when severe snow events occur I will work closely with city staff to help address any immediate issues and concerns during major snow events this season.

 

 

Taking Action on Problem Hoarding at 313 Manor Rd.


Yesterday morning, representatives from Toronto Fire, Toronto Police, Animal services, Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS) and Public Health will began cleaning the inside of 313 Manor Rd. This is another step in the long process to address the unfortunate problem hoarding at this address. Through a lengthy and unprecedented process, Toronto Fire and City Legal have received a court order allowing the removal of personal property from 313 Manor Rd. Toronto Public Health's Vulnerable Adults Unit have been on hand to provide counseling to the individual at this address. Please read my letter to local residents for more information regarding this issue.

 

Update on Porter Airlines' Proposed Billy Bishop Expansion


Over the past several months, I have heard from many Toronto residents expressing their voice about Porter Airlines and the proposed expansion of Billy Bishop Airport (BBTCA). I have, and continue to believe, that it is important to understand the facts, both benefits and concerns, to ensure that Council's decision is fully informed. The City of Toronto is currently undertaking a review of the request to amend the 1983 Tripartite Agreement between the City, the Government of Canada and the Toronto Port Authority (TPA), which would permit the landing of commercial jets at BBTCA. Council requested City Staff to report back with evidence and recommendations regarding Porter's request. This study was paid for by the Toronto Port Authority. Please click here to read City Staff's recommendations to the City of Toronto's Executive Committee that it would be premature to support Porter's expansion request before all relevant facts are made available.

 

2014 Budget Launched


The 2014 staff supported budget was introduced at Budget Committee this week. Staff recommended a 2.5% property tax increase that includes funding for the ill-advised Scarborough subway. I will spend the next few weeks and the holiday season reviewing the documents in detail in preparation for the City Council meeting on the budget in the New Year. As always, I will advocate for services that are important to our community including transit, parks, tenant supports, recreation programs for young people and   childcare in a fiscally responsible manner. Please review the budget documents here.

 

Addressing the Roots of Youth Violence


City Staff are bringing specific recommendations to address the roots of youth violence to Community Development and Recreation Committee in response to my motion from earlier this year. Proposed actions to support at-risk youth will include: employment training/counselling, mental health supports and a program in cooperation with the Toronto police that explores alternatives to criminal charges for minor crimes.

 

Build the Relief Subway Line Now!


What subway expansion project does Metrolinx CEO Bruce McCuaig, TTC CEO Andy Byford, Toronto's Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat and City Manager Joe Pennachetti all agree is Toronto's top transit priority? The Relief Subway Line. The line would provide an alternative to our existing subway system that’s already overcrowded during rush hours, curb gridlock on our city’s streets and increase access to jobs and attractions. Please visit my webpage to take action

 

Stop Inappropriate Development! Free Toronto from the OMB

The OMB is a quasi-judicial, un-elected and un-accountable provincial body that has the final say on all planning decisions in the province of Ontario. Please visit my webpage to help bring control of our neighbourhoods back to your democratically elected City Council.

 

Is your Rent Out of Control? Stop Unfair Rent Increases


An AGI is a rent increase above the "Guideline" increase that a landlord can apply for through the Landlord and Tenant Board to cover the cost of capital repairs such as replacing elevators or balconies. As a result of this provincial law, tenants are being unfairly burdened for the landlord’s cost of doing business. Tell the provincial government to end this unfair practice here.

   

It's time to move forward for the good of Toronto

Dear residents,

 

It's now time to entirely focus on Toronto's many priorities. We have challenges other than the mayor that must be met including transit, curbing gridlock, housing, childcare, neighbourhood improvements and so much more.

 

Today, Council took substantive action, within its authority, to respond to residents' justifiable concerns about Mr. Ford's dishonest & reckless behaviour that has had an unprecedented adverse impact on the functions of the City of Toronto and on our city's global reputation.

 

This seemingly endless saga must finally come to an end.

 

I believe the time has come to now turn him off and not provide the attention that he and his brother desire. As a Council, we must work together on an honest, thoughtful, positive and fiscally responsible agenda. As a city, let us focus on the things that really count- like improving our city, our communities, fixing our problems and spending quality time with our friends and families.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

   

Councillor Matlow's Community Update for November 15, 2013

Dear Residents,

 

The last few days have seen more shocking revelations, along with the video of him appearing to smoke crack cocaine and make homophobic and racist remarks, about Mr. Ford including serious allegations by his own staff about drinking at city hall, illegal drugs, prostitutes and harassment, to name just a few. Mr. Ford has also recently made very offensive comments about women including a former staff member of his and his own wife. This ongoing circus must come to an end.

 

While there is no legislation that allows Council to remove a mayor from office, my colleagues and I have worked closely together to mitigate further damage Mr. Ford can do to our city and  do everything possible within Council's authority including allocating many of the mayoral functions and resources to the Deputy Mayor for the remainder of the Council term, including:

 

 

I still believe that the best and most honourable resolution to this awful situation is for Mr. Ford to resign, put the residents of Toronto first and seek the help he needs. His statements, unfortunately, indicate that isn't likely. As a result, Council is using all the tools at its disposal to ensure that the important business of Toronto continues and your tax dollars are spent wisely.

 

On a positive note, I have seen councillors from across the city and the political spectrum work together in this difficult time like never before to meet this unprecedented challenge. My colleagues and I have cooperated to form a consensus in response to this challenge and have voted in near unison on the items regarding Mr. Ford. It is my hope that this spirit of collaboration and respectful dialogue will carry forward to matters of public policy, such as transit and housing, for the good of Toronto.

 

Our city is greater than any one person. We are a vibrant community of 2.8 million people who make Toronto one of the best places to live in the world. Together, will continue to work to make it even better.

 

Please see some important meeting notices and updates below for your information.

 

Sincerely,

Josh


St. Paul's Summit: Livable Cities


Please join me and other St. Paul's elected representatives for a discussion on what makes our city livable and how the government can contribute to sustainable communities within it.

 

Livability is determined by a variety of factors which need to appeal to everyone in a city as diverse as Toronto. These factors include but are not limited to things like healthcare, education, culture, safety and the environment. This year, Toronto was ranked as the world's fourth most livable city!

 

The summit will feature several panelists, including myself:

 

  • Hon. Carolyn Bennett, M.P. for St. Paul’s
  • Dr. Eric Hoskins, M.P.P. for St. Paul’s
  • Joe Mihevc, City Councillor for St. Paul’s West, Ward 21
  • Shelley Laskin, TDSB School Trustee
  • Jo-Ann Davis, TCDSB School Trustee

 

I welcome you to come out and join us on Sunday, November 17, at 1:30 pm at Oakwood Public Library, 341 Oakwood Avenue (at Rogers Road).

 

REMINDER: Meeting to discuss improvements to the playground at Charlotte Maher Park

 

Please join me on Tuesday, November 19 at Northern Secondary School (851 Mount Pleasant Road) to discuss and provide your feedback on playground improvements at Charlotte Maher Park. The meeting will be held in the library and will begin at 7 pm. Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.

 

REMINDER: Meeting to discuss improvements to parkettes on Belsize Drive

 

I've heard from residents that the median parkettes on Belsize Drive are in need of design, beautification and structural improvements. Please join me to discuss options and to provide your feedback on Wednesday, November 20 at 7 pm at Greenwood College School (443 Mount Pleasant Road). The meeting will be held in room 103. Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.

 

REMINDER: 124 Belsize Drive Public Meeting


An application has been submitted to City Planning to permit the redevelopment of 124 Belsize Drive with six new 3-storey semi-detached dwellings with a common underground garage. Please join me at 7 pm on Tuesday, November 26 at the North Toronto Community Church, located at 7 Eglinton St. East, for a meeting to discuss the proposed development. City Planning staff will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.

 

REMINDER: Ecumenical Christmas Food Drive

 

This upcoming community event takes place on November 23 (to hand out flyers) and November 30 to collect donations which are then sorted, packed in boxes and immediately delivered to recipient food banks and agencies. The households canvassed are in Rosedale, Moore Park, Bennington Heights and Leaside. There are two locations - Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, St. Clair Avenue East, one block west of Mount Pleasant Road and Leaside Presbyterian Church, Eglinton Avenue, just east of Bayview Avenue.

 

Times on both days are from 9:30 am until about noon. Upwards of 300 volunteers are required and generous community hours are available for high school students. It is also a fun and rewarding family experience.

 

In addition, 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.

 

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 further details are required.

 

New Outdoor Learning Centre at Davisville School on its way!

 

I had the privilege this Council meeting to move a motion in support of Davisville Public School with $75,000 toward a new outdoor classroom entirely paid for through developer funds. The new outdoor area will feature a vibrant learning and social environment with extra seating, a recycled art installation and music wall, environmentally sensitive play areas and a community library. In addition, upgraded play structures and new fencing for safety. Further, the play areas will incorporate picnic tables and existing components such as the greenhouse and gardens will be accessible for wider community use during non-school hours. It was a pleasure to work with Trustee Laskin and the Davisville PS community!

 

Fresh Gift Baskets for Silent Auctions

 

I am pleased to announce that Fresh is now open at Yonge and Eglinton (90 Eglinton Avenue East). Fresh is Toronto's original source for modern vegetarian food and made-to-order juice. The folks at Fresh are excited to connect with our community and would be happy to provide a Fresh gift basket for silent auctions, raffles or other uses for local organizations. If your organization is interested in receiving a basket, please contact Barry Alpers at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Progress on Toronto Museum at Casa Loma

 

Yesterday, Council took a significant step forward toward supporting a museum of the City of Toronto at Casa Loma by selecting a new operator for the main portion of Casa Loma and approving funding for a feasibility study for a city museum in the north campus. The City selected the Liberty Grand Group, which has a proven track record of restoring heritage properties for the purposes of an event space. The new operator has expressed great enthusiasm toward a museum and is even installing some exhibits within the main portion that will begin to tell Toronto's story. I will share further information when the feasibility study is completed.

 

Smoking in Public Places and Patios Restricted

 

To align the City with provincial laws announced recently, Council has banned smoking from many public spaces and publicly accessible establishments including:

  • public building entrances and exits
  • outdoor sports fields and parks amenities
  • swimming beaches
  • public squares
  • public parklets
  • bar and restaurant patios
  • hospital grounds

 

59 Heath Street West Update

 

This week at City Council I successfully moved that 59 Heath Street West be officially designated as a heritage property. This designation came at the result of some concerns by local residents in the Deer Park community that this 19th century home could potentially be lost to redevelopment after it went up for sale earlier this year. Working with residents and city staff, we were successful in not only having the property added to the inventory of heritage properties, but also designated as a heritage property this week.

 

The new owner had already proceeded with getting a building permit to build an addition to the home and work has already started. By and large, the design already respects the heritage value of the home. Now city staff can work with the new owner (who has been very cooperative to date) to further ensure that before any further work progresses, as much of the heritage elements as possible are preserved.

 

More Information on the Hodgson Ice Rink Repairs

 

At my meeting last week with local parents regarding a natural ice rink (as the Hodgson ice rink will be undergoing needed repairs this season), I committed to sharing information on why the repairs are needed and what next steps will be taken. Please click here for the answers to frequently asked questions I have received about the rink from the City of Toronto. Should you have any further questions, please feel welcome to email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or to call my office at 416-392-7906.

 

I look forward to working with so many parents and residents who have volunteered to work with me on ensuring our local kids have a place to skate this winter! Thank you so much.

 

   

My statement on Mayor Rob Ford's conduct

 

Dear residents,

 

Yesterday, in the face of new details of his conduct about to be revealed, Mayor Rob Ford finally acknowledged that he did indeed smoke crack cocaine in the past year.

 

Mayor Ford has been lying to Torontonians for months, if not longer. He and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, have also unfairly and maliciously attacked anyone who has dared to question his behaviour or honesty on almost a weekly basis.

 

While he apologized for smoking crack, he did not explain his actions (other than "being in a drunken stupor"), his association with criminals or allegations that he made racist and homophobic slurs in the infamous crack video.

 

He did, however, use his press conference yesterday to campaign for re-election. Councillor Ford wildly demanded Police Chief Bill Blair's resignation earlier in the day.

 

This whole issue really saddens me. Very few of us haven't made mistakes in life we regret. But most of us when asked about our lives are honest with our responses. Most importantly, we truly learn from our mistakes because we want to be better people and be responsible to those we love.

 

As for Mayor Rob Ford, his ongoing circus of deceit, shameful conduct, distraction and dishonesty must finally come to an end.

 

There is no legislation that allows Council to remove a mayor from office- I know many of you have asked me about that. The only ways I know of that an elected municipal politician in Toronto can be disqualified from office is if they are no longer a Canadian citizen or a resident of Toronto, miss three consecutive city council meetings or be convicted of an indictable offence.

 

However Rob Ford can remove himself from office.  I believe he must resign and put the people of Toronto before his own interests. That would be leadership. If he doesn't, I will support every effort within Council’s authority to hold him to account and prevent him from doing any further damage to our city.

 

I also believe that Toronto is a strong and vibrant city that I’m proud to call home- we’ve survived even greater challenges. We'll pull through this experience well if we make the right choices as a community of 2.8 million people. I hope the next mayor we elect will be thoughtful, fiscally responsible and one that celebrates the diversity of our city; a mayor who will focus on our priorities, be honest with residents and bring us together. That person is clearly not Rob Ford.

 

Meanwhile, as your city councillor, I will continue to focus on our community and work with my colleagues on Council to ensure that the business of our city is done efficiently, that services are delivered well, that tax dollars are spent wisely and we do not allow ourselves to be distracted from our city’s real priorities.

   

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