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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







Latest Videos

Councillor Matlow spoke on options for the Scarborough Subway, March 31, 2016.

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

My Position on the Gardiner Expressway East

Dear residents,


I’ve always appreciated many aspects of the Gardiner Expressway. It offers one of the most breathtaking views of Toronto’s skyline. The experience of travelling through the city’s core suspended amidst a canyon of shimmering glass towers never fails to excite me. It is a truly awe-inspiring vantage point from which to view our remarkable progress. And, of course, there’s the undeniable convenience of being able to drive down the DVP and have a continuous connection to the Gardiner, QEW and beyond. As a car driver, I like it.


When the Gardiner East debate began again this term, I was leaning toward the “hybrid” option. I agree with hybrid proponents that this is not the same fight as the Spadina Expressway battle led by my friend and mentor, former Mayor Crombie. No existing neighbourhoods will be bulldozed. No stable communities will be severed. The options being presented to Council are either keeping the status quo with some ramps moved (the hybrid option), or removing an existing piece of infrastructure. Choosing the latter felt wrong.


But then I began to read the City Staff reports and the facts got in the way of how I felt. I have always believed, and have strongly advocated, that politicians must make evidence-based decisions- even if those choices conflict with what the politician “feels or wants”. I chose to hold myself to the same standard and challenged my own initial assumptions.


Number of Users/Trip Times


Over the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of seeing many of you at school fairs, local shops or in our community’s neighbourhoods. I have spoken with as many people as I possibly could to seek feedback as representing and reflecting our community well is deeply important to me. I asked for your feedback in my previous e-newsletter. Some even told me they thought that Council will be debating taking down the entirety of the Gardiner. To be clear, the issue before us is only whether to remove the section east of Jarvis. And based on the facts, that section is not particularly well used.


During the morning rush (or, AM Peak) hour, only 5,200 drivers use this section of the Gardiner. As a point of comparison, this usage rate is similar to peak hour ridership on a busy TTC bus route such as the Eglinton West 32, Don Mills 25, or Dufferin 29.


The City is not proposing to tear down the eastern Gardiner and replacing it with a park, as some other cities have done. The “Boulevard” option entails replacing the section east of Jarvis by connecting the DVP to the Gardiner with an eight-lane boulevard with the same traffic capacity as the existing Gardiner East section. There will, however, be a few traffic lights and lower speed limits.


The other option before Council has been termed the “Hybrid” option, so-called because months ago there was originally a compromise between the current Gardiner and removal, also called the “Hybrid”, that would have shifted the expressway north from the waterfront. However, City engineers did not approve that option as the turning radius of the ramps were too sharp. The current option, called the “Hybrid”, moves some ramps to allow for development of the Unilever Lands owned by First Gulf, but leaves the rest of the expressway pretty much as it currently is.


The big question to me then became; how much of a delay will the Boulevard option cause over the Hybrid?


The Staff report featured a large map (see below) that projected delays by 2031 for a number of hypothetical trips caused by the Boulevard option as compared to the Hybrid. The Boulevard showed delays of 2-3 minutes over the Hybrid from the various trips exhibited.



For the most part, these have been the numbers that the media has used. But buried within the text was the figure that really stood out to me: the Boulevard will cause an average delay of only 52 seconds per trip over the Hybrid for downtown commuters.



Cost Considerations


*Previously this section used an average trip time of 52 seconds to calculate a publicly-funded subsidy for delay times. As noted above, this number is the average delay expected for drivers in the downtown area as a result of choosing the Boulevard option over Hybrid. Upon further review, I believe this to be a bit of an apples to oranges figure for the purposes of making this calculation. There is no average given in the staff report for delays on the Gardiner itself, so, to be fair to Hybrid proponents, I have now used the highest staff proposed number of 3 minutes (for the difference in delay times between the two options), and specifically for the Gardiner itself rather than including the surrounding corridor, reflecting the trips in the map above for this calculation.


To provide the 5,200 AM Peak Hour Gardiner drivers with a time savings of 2-3 minutes Toronto residents are being asked to pay $458 million in 2013 dollars- that is the difference between the Hybrid ($919 million) and the Remove ($461 million) options. These figures include the capital costs as well as operations and maintenance for the next 100 years.


Because of the long time line for the costs, the report also expresses the dollar amounts in Net Present Value (NPV), taking into account the future value of a dollar. The “discounted” value for the capital and operating costs associated with the Hybrid is $336 million, while the Boulevard option is estimated at $240 million. There is some question as to whether NPV with a uniform discount rate is appropriate when assessing a project that could reasonably be expected to have significant costs in later years, such as an elevated expressway. I have further questions as to whether NPV is a relevant tool if the operating and maintenance costs are not included in the initial capital allocation. Specifically, if the City is going to pay operating and maintenance out of budgets in future years will we benefit from the discounted dollars the report suggests?


However, despite these questions, I assumed the discounted cost differential between the Hybrid and the Boulevard of $116 million for the purpose of my analysis.


Another major cost consideration is the lost development opportunity associated with the Hybrid option. An additional 12 acres of land will be opened up for office, retail and residential construction with the Boulevard option. This would bring in $137 million dollars to the City plus ongoing property tax revenue.


In total, using the most conservative “discounted” figures, the Hybrid option will cost an additional $252 Million over the boulevard option to save 5,200 rush hour drivers 3 minutes (high end estimate). Residents will be paying each of these drivers $2.14 for each minute they are delayed for the next 30 years ($252,000,000/5,200 drivers/251 commuting days/30 years, the Treasury Board of Canada’s recommended average amortization period for an infrastructure asset/ 3 years). If multiplied by 60 minutes, we are paying these drivers a wage rate of $128.40/hr for their time. This rate is 6 times the recommended wage rate of $20/hr used by City staff to calculate productivity losses due to time.


Urban Planning Considerations


The debate over the how the future Boulevard will function has been filled with unhelpful rhetoric on both sides (as I find most city hall debates end up having), developed to spin their message and convince the public of their respective positions. Those favouring removing the east Gardiner are putting forth a utopian vision of the Champs D’Elysse, while the Hybrid proponents are painting a picture of a brutalist, at-grade speedway that will be inhospitable to pedestrians. There are certainly some constraints inherent with an 8-lane street with a relatively high speed limit. However, there are relatively simple urban planning solutions, including setting the buildings back from the road and planting a wall of street trees at the edge of the sidewalk, the City could implement to improve the pedestrian realm. The truth is, we can make this Boulevard a relatively walkable street or a wasteland. It depends what we choose to do. But the option for the former is available to us.


Hybrid Option

I won’t waste too much time delving into the aesthetic considerations because I think they are obvious. If we remove an elevated expressway adjacent to the waterfront, that portion of the waterfront will be greatly improved. While it will remain a conduit, with speed limits higher than most major arterials, we also have an opportunity to create a place, as opposed to simply a place to go through.

Boulevard Option




Toronto is already scraping the top of its debt ceiling and has very limited room to invest in much-needed capital infrastructure. It recently replaced a planned 7-stop LRT that was fully funded by the provincial government by approving a 3-stop subway extension (while unnecessarily increasing our debt load and property taxes) that will require massive subsidies due to low ridership while our affordable housing stock literally crumbles under the weight of a $2 billion dollar capital backlog. No other successful world city is making these kind of decisions.

In addition to our Community Housing crisis, we need to build the Relief Subway line to ease critical overcrowding on the existing Yonge line and get moving on SmartTrack while providing new childcare spaces and community hubs, among other priorities.


Spending a minimum of $252 million to save a relatively small number of people one minute on their morning commute is not something I can reasonably support when there are so many pressing, real and underfunded (or unfunded) priorities waiting for investment.


I have heard from many of you already that you support the Boulevard option. I’ve read all of your emails. I’ve also appreciated former Mayor David Crombie’s advice along with many others. For those of you who don't, I hope that I’ve at least explained my thought process to you about how I arrived at this decision and can assure you it was a difficult, honest and thoughtful choice.


As your representative, I will be supporting the Boulevard option for the Gardiner East at Council next week. While it’s admittedly imperfect, I believe this option is by far the most fiscally responsible choice, it supports our city’s infrastructure priorities and will greatly benefit our Toronto’s waterfront in the long run.






Lawton Parkette Public Meeting Update

On Thursday, May 28 at 7 pm, I hosted a public meeting regarding improvements to the Lawton Parkette at Yonge and Heath Streets. The community came to a clear consensus on the direction for the final design.

If you were unable to attend the meeting but would like more information, please review the documents below.

Circulation Map

Existing Features

Concept One

Concept Two

As a final preferred concept design, the community chose a hybrid of the two concepts presented. The key features will be as follows:

  • General layout as shown in Preliminary Concept Two with revisions including:
  • Replacing the isolated seating area at the north end of the site with the new stairs c/w railing and path connection from Preliminary Concept One;
  • Relocating the existing armourstone blocks to continue to provide seating at the south end of the site;
  • Consider including a second picnic table; and
  • Ensure to maintain the existing trash and recycling receptacles on-site.

To view the final preferred concept design, please click here.

As always, please feel welcome to share your feedback with me by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by calling my office at (416) 392-7906.


Community Update for May 20, 2015

Dear residents,

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful long weekend.

Here's a list of upcoming community meetings and events for your information. I hope to see you soon at one of these events, or at an upcoming school fair, graduation, or even just by crossing paths in our local neighbourhoods, parks and main streets

Please know that you are always welcome to contact me or my staff if we can be of support to you.

Best Regards,


Annual General Meeting of the Deer Park Residents Group

On Tuesday, June 2 at 7 pm, I will be attending the Annual General Meeting of the DPRG to give a presentation on developments in Ward 22 and in the City of Toronto which have an impact on local residents. This year, the meeting will be held at a new location, Calvin Presbyterian Church at 26 Delisle Ave.

The annual meeting of the DPRG is an opportunity for local residents to learn about activities during the past year. The agenda will include a summary of actions taken by the DPRG, events in our district and an election of members of the Board for the coming year. The DPRG encourages anyone in attendance, who is not already a member, to become a lifetime member for a one-time fee of $25.00.

The DPRG welcomes members who are interested in participating in its activities and possibly serving on the Board. If you wish to be a candidate for one of the open positions on the Board for the coming year, please send an e-mail before May 19 to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For anyone without e-mail, please write to: DPRG P.O. Box 185, Station Q, Toronto, ON M4T 2M1.

Development Signs Could Become Less Boring, More Readable

Worthwhile Toronto initiative could see the City "sell democracy" through better design. Please see
this story about improving the way residents are notified, and meaningfully engaged, about development proposals in their communities.

A New and Accessible Community Playground at Deer Park P.S.

I am delighted to announce that City Council has adopted my motion to allocate funds for the construction of an accessible community playground at Deer Park Public School! The allocation of $350,000 of Section 45 funds received from recent midtown developments will help Deer Park P.S. meet their construction timelines and begin building a new, accessible playground for all of our kids.

North Toronto Memorial Community Centre Open House

Please stop by the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West between Yonge and Avenue Road) on Tuesday, May 26 from 6 to 8 pm for an open house. You can learn more about the centre's activities, including fitness classes, a weight room, pools, a dance studio and drop-in sports. No matter what your age, there's a recreation program for you!

Call for Volunteers: Oriole Park Community Garden

I was delighted to help create Ward 22's first community garden located at Oriole Park. Now, our remarkable local Oriole Park Community Garden Committee is looking for volunteers from Ward 22 to fill the following roles:

● Gardeners (assist in planting and maintenance of the garden)
● Community Outreach Coordinator (liaise with residents, businesses and community groups)
● Communications Coordinator (create newsletters, flyers, and maintain the website and social media accounts)
● Program and Events Coordinator (develop and coordinate garden and community events)

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact the Steering Committee by e-mail at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Make a Splash Contest

In celebration of World Water Day, the City of Toronto and RBC are launching the Make a Splash, Blue Water Contest for Toronto students.  The contest invites elementary and secondary students to share a story, memory or wish about Toronto's waterways and tell why it's important that we keep them clean and healthy.

Two winners, one elementary and one secondary, will each win $5,000 for a project to "green" their school, courtesy of RBC.

Entries to the contest may be made in any form including stories, videos, dance, photography, poems and dioramas.

Entries will be accepted up until May 22 at 5 pm.

For more information on this contest please visit

Exciting Mural Opportunity at Yonge and St. Clair

Murals and street art add vibrancy to our often grey streetscapes and can become community meeting points and tourist attractions.

Recently, I was presented with the opportunity to install a truly world class mural on the west façade of 1 St. Clair Avenue West. Please see the photo below for the exact location. I would appreciate feedback from the surrounding community on your this idea. Future opportunities for community feedback regarding theme will be available to those interested in contributing further.

StreetARToronto projects help create attractive, colourful, vibrant streetscapes, support local artists and can reduce graffiti vandalism.

Your feedback is very important to me. I'd appreciate your thoughts by Monday, June 8.

For more information on StreetARToronto, please visit

Lawton Parkette Public Meeting

On Thursday, May 28, I will be hosting a public meeting to discuss improvements to the Lawton Parkette at Yonge and Heath Streets. Please join me at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church (1585 Yonge St.) in Room 508 at 7 pm to ensure your voice is heard.

I'm also pleased to confirm that the "banana tree", recently featured in the parkette, is back this year for your enjoyment!

Get Emergency Ready for High-Rise Residents

The Office of Emergency Management had previously prepared a Get Emergency Ready guide on personal emergency preparedness. To supplement the original publication, an additional guide has been developed for high-rise residents.

Copies of both guides are available on the Office of Emergency Management website. For more information, please visit

Official Plan Open House on Draft Policy Changes

The Official Plan sets out the vision for where and how Toronto will grow to the year 2031 and the City does regular "check-ups" to ensure that the Official Plan is working to fulfill its vision. Based on feedback received during extensive public consultations held in late 2014, City Planning staff refined the draft Official Plan policy changes related to the Healthy Neighbourhoods, Neighbourhoods and Apartment Neighbourhoods sections of the Plan.

In order to present these revised proposed changes for public consultation, an Open House is scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
6:30 – 9:00 pm

Room 308 – 309, Metro Hall, 55 John Street

For more information on the Official Plan Review and the City's public consultations to date, please visit

Rail Safety First Town Hall Meeting

Train derailments involving dangerous goods have become extremely frequent in North America, making headlines on an almost monthly basis. Millions of Canadians live, work or attend school within the 1km radius “blast zone”. We need to act before the next derailment causes serious loss of life and devastating damage to our environment.

Rail Safety First
is hosting a very important Town Hall meeting to discuss rail safety and the need for increased government regulation to protect Canadians.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 27 at the U of T Auditorium - UTS/Sociology/OISE Building - St. George Campus (371 Bloor St West), 7 pm - 8:30 pm.

I look forward to speaking at this meeting about recent efforts at City Hall to improve rail safety across Toronto, and Cynthia Mulligan from CityTV News will moderate a panel of esteemed experts and lead an audience Q&A. I hope to see you there!

St. Clair Reservoir (Winston Churchill Park) Repairs and Public Meeting

In late October, the City of Toronto will begin repairs and maintenance of the St. Clair Reservoir. This major undertaking is required to ensure that the existing reservoir facility and related infrastructure is maintained in a state of good repair for continued clean and safe drinking water supply, storage for fire protection, reduced watermain breaks and service disruptions in the local distribution area. The structural repairs to the reservoir are also essential to maintain a sound base to support Sir Winston Churchill Park, which is enjoyed by local residents. The project is part of the City of Toronto's approved 2015 Capital Works Program and is scheduled to be completed by April 2018.

You are invited to attend a drop-in public meeting to learn more about this project, the construction schedule, what disruptions to expect and to speak directly with project staff. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 3, from 6 to 8 pm at First Unitarian Congregation (175 St. Clair Avenue West).

131 Farnham Avenue & 45 Oaklands Avenue Public Meeting


An application has been submitted to City Planning to permit the redevelopment of a portion of the property at 131 Farnham Avenue & 45 Oaklands Avenue (De La Salle College) with 28 4-5 storey townhouses.


Please join me at 7pm on Monday, May 25 at De La Salle College, MacDonald House, (Brother Dylan Room) for a meeting to discuss the proposed development. City Planning staff will be in attendance to answer any questions you may have.

SAVE THE DATE: Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Environment Day

On Thursday, June 4 from 4pm to 8pm, I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The event will take place in the parking lot of North Toronto Memorial Arena (174 Orchard View Blvd).

Please drop off any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste, or even replace your damaged green bin.

Proposed Developments in Ward 22

To ensure that you are informed and engaged about development proposals that are being proposed for sites near your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive webpage with locations, staff reports and public meeting notices. Please click here to learn more about what you can do to help free Toronto from the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

For ongoing council and community news, my contact information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.caClick here to read my previous city hall and community updates.


SAVE THE DATE: Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Environment Day


On Thursday, June 4 from 4pm to 8pm, I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The event will take place in the parking lot of North Toronto Memorial Arena (174 Orchard View Blvd).

Please drop off any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste, or even replace your damaged green bin.

SAVE THE DATE: Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Environment Day

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