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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.

Administrative Inquiries -my letter to Council in response to City Manager

February 10, 2015

 

 

Dear Mayor and Council,

 

 

Re IA 3.1- IA3.5 Administrative Inquiries on Scarborough Subway Extension


 

I submitted five Administrative Inquiries (IA 3.1 – IA 3.5) under Municipal Code S27-61 to obtain information not yet presented to Council on the Scarborough Subway Extension.

 

 

I appreciate the City Manager and Staff taking the time to respond to my questions.

 

 

Please see the accompanying recommendations that request some of the Administrative Inquiries to be received, as the answers were satisfactory, while I have made the request for others to be referred to Executive Committee for additional input and clarification from staff.

 

 

I very much hope that you agree that thoughtfully reviewing facts, and considering impacts on the City’s budget, should be a basic part of how Council considers public policy, including transit expansion. I respectfully request that you support an opportunity for councillors to collect relevant and important information at Executive Committee.

 

 

Please review my recommendations below:

 

 

To be received:

 

 

IA 3.1: Metrolinx Sunk Costs Associated with Scarborough LRT


 

Council directed the City Manager to report back on negotiations with Metrolinx on the sunk costs re: Scarborough LRT cancellation. The City Manager has informed Council that an audit on the Metrolinx sunk costs has been completed by Price Waterhouse Coopers and the City is in the final stages of negotiating the agreement with Metrolinx. I look forward to seeing the City Manager's report to the Budget Committee on these costs as part of the 2015 budget process.

 

 

IA 3.3: Scarborough Subway Extension Study Area

The City Manager has clarified that the boundaries of the study area were determined by possible routes for the subway as opposed to a full assessment of transit options in the corridor. My primary concern is that SmartTrack, given the GO line’s proximity to the potential subway extension corridors, is considered when assessing the ridership of the Scarborough Subway Extension. The City Manager has assured Council that will occur.

 

To be referred:


IA 3.2: Operating and Capital Maintenance Costs for the Scarborough Subway Extension

The City Manager has clarified that $30-40 million was for annual capital maintenance costs only. Operating costs have yet to be determined and he was unable to provide an estimate. Given the potential annual effect on the TTC's operating budget and the associated tax increase, I believe that it is important to receive more information on this issue. Given that the TTC operates several other subway lines it does not seem unreasonable for staff to at least provide an estimation based on per kilometre operating costs elsewhere in Toronto's network. This information will be critical as we prepare for subsequent City budgets.

 

IA 3.4: Discrepancy between number of trains and projected ridership

As reported in the Globe and Mail in July of 2014, there was a discrepancy in the July 2013 staff report between the number of trains budgeted for and the service level (and associated ridership) stated to be provided. The City Manager has addressed the reasoning behind offering a reduced number of trains through the Scarborough Subway Extension, but has not answered how 120 second headways would be achieved with the lower vehicle compliment.

 

IA 3.5 Ridership Projections for the Bloor-Danforth Subway Extension in CC 7.17- Scarborough Rapid Transit Options

Between January of 2013 and July of the same year, City staff inflated the ridership projection for the Scarborough Subway Extension from 9,500 passengers per direction in the peak hour (well below the level needed to justify a subway) to 14,000 using the same metric – which brought ridership to the cusp of justifying a subway. Staff admitted that this was a "preliminary" assessment, yet this higher figure was cited by staff at both the July and October 2013 council meetings as reason to opt for the higher capacity transit option.

I appreciate that the City Manager provided the names of the models and that he informed Council that Staff were unable to use the more robust projection model due to time constraints. However, there are still some basic and outstanding questions related to what assumptions planners made, and how they made them, about the rest of Toronto's transit network and train frequency cited in AI 3.4 that merit explanation.

 

Recommendations:

  1. City Council request to receive IA 3.1, IA 3.3
  2. City Council request that IA 3.2, IA 3.4, IA 3.5 be referred to Executive Committee

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22- St. Paul's

 

 

City Hall and Community Update for February 5, 2015

City-School Boards Working Group

I believe that as the City and School Boards serve the same constituents, the residents of Toronto, they must work more closely togther to make long-term and more comprehensive decisions.


As I'm sure many of you have seen in the news, the Minister of Education has asked the TDSB to develop a list of schools to review. The Minister's rationale for potential closures is that a large number of TDSB schools have low enrolment, with many at less than 65% capacity. While there are no schools in Ward 22 are at risk of closure, I am concerned about the possible city-wide effects associated with losing schools without a long term plan to retain community purpose of the facilies and green spaces.


Enrolment numbers alone do not present a full picture of a school's utilization rate. Field areas provide community green space while activities inside can include ESL and Adult Education classes, recreational sports programs, child care, Girl Guides and many others.


I am pleased that Mayor Tory has declared that the City has an interest in this issue and has supported the motion I originally moved in 2012 to create a City-School Boards Working Group to address closures, as well as other points of mutual interest such as supporting vulnerable youth and shared recreational opportunities, including pools and development requests. Unfortunately, the previous administration did not see the value of strengthening the City's relationship with the school boards, but Mr. Tory has signalled that he will be reviving the Committee.


For more information, please read this article.

Tenant Issues Committee


Tenants make up over 50% of Toronto's residents and have specific rights and responsibilities that are governed by City of Toronto by-laws and provincial legislation. Tenants have the right to live in a clean, well-maintained home and deserve fair representation when being faced with unfair rent increases or eviction.


Far too often, unfortunately, my office hears from renters that are living in apartments where these basic needs are not being met. That's why I brought a motion forward at Executive Committee to establish a Tenants Issues Committee for this term of Council. I was pleased that Mayor Tory recognized the importance of these issues and moved the motion.


Manor Road United Church Sustainability Includes New Green Space for Ward 22 (not another townhouse development)!

Like many churches across our community and city, the Manor Road United Church (MRUC) has had to face the challenging reality of what to do with their property to secure their long-term sustainability. After reviewing several options, they decided that half of the church's current property at Manor Road and Forman Avenue would more efficiently serve their needs. The MRUC site is comprised of four city lots fronting on Manor Road; the church will continue to own/occupy the two westernmost lots (containing the church proper) and is selling off the two eastern lots.


I am delighted that MRUC reached out to me last year, rather than a developer, about the possibility of the City purchasing this eastern half of the church property. Since then, I have worked with Park Acquisitions staff and MRUC to have the City acquire this portion of the site using Section 42 funds, to maintain as a much-needed green space in the community. Both parties are currently in serious discussion about a finalized purchase agreement and we are all in agreement that protecting public space for our community is far better than another townhouse development.


Since the church is the property owner, it's important to note that it is their decision alone as to who they sell their property to, or who rents space in their sanctuary. As a parent myself, I am concerned for the organizations that would like to continue use of the church's facilities; however, that is ultimately a conversation between the church and each organization alone. The MRUC recognizes that each potential new or continued tenant situation is unique; interested parties are welcome to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . And, of course, I am here to support any community group in the midst of relocating their activities if I can be of assistance in any way.


Demanding Accountability on Decisions Regarding Scarborough Transit

Despite recent announcements about political support for a 3-stop subway, the Scarborough LRT is still part of the Master Agreement with Metrolinx. Council will soon be faced with a very important decision. It can either reaffirm its support for the fully-funded, planned and ready-to-go, traffic-separated (in its own corridor), 7-stop rapid transit LRT line for Scarborough or spend more than $1 Billion on a shorter subway extension- serving fewer residents for more money, increasing the City's debt and Torontonian's property taxes.

 

Before this choice is made, it is vital that Councillors are provided with full information and put facts before politics.

 

 

Please read this article about some the questions I'll be asking at next week's city council meeting.

 

Catching Up with the Past: Protecting Toronto's Heritage

The recent demolition of Stollery’s at 1 Bloor Street West is only the latest example of the City’s inability to stay ahead of development applications and preserve historic or architecturally significant examples of Toronto’s built landscape: those physical links to our City’s past that also contribute to the unique character and vibrancy of our streetscapes. That's why it's important that municipal preservation efforts are as comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Please see my motion that will be considered at next week's city council meeting.

Upcoming Events at Deer Park Library

This Saturday, February 7th at 2 pm, Deer Park Library (40 St. Clair Avenue East) will celebrate Black History Month with a free concert by the Arsenals, an authentic Jamaican ska, rocksteady rhythms and pop act.


Other events to look forward to this month include a talk by a CARP representative about opportunities for retirees to get back into the working world on Thursday, February 12th at 2 pm, and a presentation by consumer advocate Ellen Roseman on Thursday, February 19th at 6:30 pm.


For more information, please visit the Toronto Public Library website.

 

Clean Toronto Together 2015


The City of Toronto's annual community clean-up campaign, Clean Toronto Together (CTT), returns this April. This year's events will consist of Corporate & School 20-Minute Makeover on Friday, April 17th at 2 pm and Community Clean-Up Days on Saturday, April 18th and Sunday, April 19th. The Community Clean-Up Days are a great opportunity for individuals, groups, associations and organizations to clean up a park, laneway or other public space in their neighbourhood. This initiative coincides with the City's annual spring clean-up efforts and helps keep our city clean and green. Further information about how to register your event and receive support from City Divisions is forthcoming.


Please let me know if you are planning a community clean-up this year, as I would love to attend!

 

REMINDER: Toronto-St. Paul’s Annual Skating Party


Our local MP, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, will be co-hosting a community skating party with me at the new Hodgson Rink. Please join us from 12 pm to 2 pm on Saturday, February 7th for a fun, family-friendly afternoon with free coffee and hot chocolate. I look forward to seeing you there!


REMINDER: Casa Loma Community Open House for Wards 22 and 21


Nick Di Donato, Councillor Mihevc and I will be co-hosting a community open house at the gardens at Casa Loma. Please join us from 5 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, February 12th for a spectacular Winter Wonderland light display, live ice carving and wood carving presentations. Hot chocolate and s'mores will be available for purchase.


 

Admission is free for Wards 22 and 21 residents. Kindly RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by Febraury 9th. To view the full event invitation, please click here.


Seniors Community Grant Program


The Province of Ontario has introduced the first grant program in the province dedicated solely to seniors. The program is focused on encouraging initiatives and projects in the non-profit sector that encourage greater social inclusion, volunteerism, education and community engagement for seniors across Ontario. Grants range from $500-$8,000. For more information, please visit the program website.


Edward Snowden at World Affairs Conference


Earlier this week, on February 2nd, privacy activist Edward Snowden participated as keynote speaker in the World Affairs Conference. Congrats to the students from Upper Canada College and Branksome Hall who organized this important conversation, and to both schools for their support!

 

The Future of Casa Loma: North Precinct Public Meeting


On Thursday, February 26 at 7 pm, please join me at Grace Church on-the-Hill (300 Lonsdale Road) to discuss future uses including the possibility of a City of Toronto museum for the 2.5-acre North Campus of Casa Loma. The property consists of the hunting lodge, potting shed, garage and stables.


REMINDER: 2015 City of Toronto Budget Community Town Hall Meeting


On Tuesday, March 3rd at 7pm, I will be hosting my 2015 Budget Town Hall for Ward 22 residents. The meeting will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West).


If you would like more information on the proposed 2015 City of Toronto Budget in advance of my Town Hall meeting, please visit the City of Toronto website.


Build the Relief Subway Line Now!


Toronto City Council has a responsibility to use honest, evidence-based and fiscally responsible transit planning rather than rhetorical political posturing. We can't keep waiting to improve transit and fight gridlock. Toronto needs the Relief Subway Line now. Please click here for more information.

 

Proposed Developments in Ward 22

To keep you informed about development applications in our community that might affect you or your neighbourhood, I've created an interactive map on my website. I hope you will find this to be a useful reference.


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

   

Let's Move Forward with Building Scarborough Rapid Transit: 2015 Fact Sheet


Let's Move Forward with Building Scarborough Rapid Transit: 2015 Fact Sheet




The Metrolinx Master Agreement for transit with Toronto still supports the 7-stop, high-speed LRT project in Scarborough.


While Council, when Rob Ford was mayor, first voted to support the fully funded, LRT. It then voted to support a 3-stop subway extension. Council will soon be faced with a very important decision. It can either reaffirm its commitment to the original plan- a 7-stop LRT line or the shorter Bloor-Danforth subway extension in Scarborough.


The Scarborough LRT could be constructed and open before a subway extension.


Before this choice is made, it is vital that the public, mayor and councillors are provided with full and accurate information. Please see below the facts that are known to date. There are also still some important questions that have yet to be answered:

 


The LRT would provide more high-speed service, for less cost and could be completed much sooner for Scarborough residents

 

  • The new LRT would be in a completely grade-separated corridor. No car lanes removed. No traffic lights. No cross streets. Widely spaced stations.

  • At an average of 36km per hour It would run faster than the Yonge and Bloor-Danforth lines which average 32km per hour

  • The LRT would have the same top speed as a subway – 80km per hour

  • The line would have a capacity to carry 16,000 passengers per hour.

  • It is anticipated that by 2031, the LRT would carry 8,000 passengers per hour leaving it enough capacity to serve the area for many decades to come- the extra capacity offered by a subway won't come close to being needed

  • The LRT would be over two kilometres longer than the subway, have four more stations and is within walking distance to over 20,000 more people- with the possibility to extend the line into Malvern (Centennial College students would not have a stop if the SRT is converted to a subway rather than an LRT)

     

Cost Concerns for all Toronto residents/taxpayers:

 

  • The subway will cost the City $900 million more in capital costs than the fully funded LRT requiring a 1.6% tax increase, that will remain for 30 years

  • The subway will also require Toronto's allocation ($660 million) of the federal Building Canada Plan which could have been used, for example, to build new affordable housing to help address the City's long waiting list or other prioritized transit projects

  • The capital cost does not factor in:

  • Sunk costs for the original LRT plan, estimated between $75 and $85 million -Metrolinx has already told the City that is is responsible for these wasted tax dollars

  • $30 - 40 million per year in capital maintenance costs which would be borne by Metrolinx. That alone is equal to a 1.25 – 1.6% property tax increase – it is unclear whether this figure includes the operating costs

  • Cancellation of LRT Bombardier contract - cost unknown

  • Toronto assumes risk of construction cost overruns which would be borne by Metrolinx if Council opts for the LRT

  • Toronto assumes risk of increased cost of borrowing if interest rates rise that would be borne by Metrolinx if Council opts for the LRT

  • Property acquisition

  • Wasted planning/engineering/design work that was already underway

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you find this information helpful to make your own, informed position.

 


Sincerely,



Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22- St. Paul's


   
   
   

City Hall and Community Update for January 23, 2015

A Lack of Accountability and Transparency on the Costs of the Scarborough Subway Extension

In today's Toronto Star, Jennifer Pagliaro wrote an important story revealing how many tax dollars will be wasted on sunk costs if the Scarborough LRT is cancelled (there may be more). The article also quotes City Manager, Joe Pennachetti, suggesting that the full amount is hidden within this year's City budget. Moveover, the City Manager has not reported back to City Council on Metrolinx sunk costs, as directed by Council. To read the full 2013 agenda item, please click here.

 

 

Along with the unacceptable waste of tens of millions of tax dollars, this lack of accountability and transparency is deeply concerning.

 

 

In addition, I have yet to receive an adequate reply to my letter to Staff regarding the unexplained and sudden increase in the ridership projection used to justify the Scarborough subway extension.

 

 


Working to Expand Community Access to our New and Improved Hodgson Skating Rink

 

I am very happy we were able to ensure Ward 22's Hodgson Ice Rink was open and fully staffed today (Friday, January 23rd) between 9am-10pm to allow community access for families during a PD Day.

 

Today's success was a small step toward expanding community hours on a daily basis. At present, the school has exclusive access until 4:30 pm every weekday, even though it is not fully utilized. I am working very closely with Trustee Laskin, the TDSB and City Staff on expanding community access to hours currently reserved by the TDSB. This is our community rink and I believe it should be accessible to both students and community as much as possible.

 

I will keep you updated on our progress.

 


Another Season of the Skinnamarink at June Rowlands Park

 

I am very proud to be supporting a remarkable team of local parents and volunteers who have created a natural ice rink, the Skinnamarink (near Sharon, Lois & Bram Playground), for a second skating season at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park. On behalf of our Ward 22 community, I'd like to thank the volunteers for all of their hard work, spending evenings flooding the rink so that our kids can enjoy more ice time!

 


Councillor Josh Matlow's Community Town Hall on the 2015 City of Toronto Budget

 

On Tuesday, March 3rd at 7pm, I will be hosting my 2015 Budget Town Hall for Ward 22 residents. The meeting will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room at the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre (200 Eglinton Avenue West).

 

If you would like more information on the proposed 2015 City of Toronto budget in advance of my Town Hall meeting, please visit the City of Toronto website.

 


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

 

On Thursday, June 4 from 4 pm 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.

 


Glebe Manor Parks East and West Public Meeting

 

On Wednesday, February 4 at 7 pm, I will be hosting a public meeting to provide an update and discuss the next steps for improvements to the Glebe Manor Parks (located just east and west of Mount Pleasant Road, along Belsize Drive). Please join me at Greenwood College School in Room 103 to make your voice heard!

 

Please note there is no parking available at Greenwood for the meeting.

 


Toronto Police Service Adult Crossing Guard Placement Policy


I have been working closely with parents and schools, such as at Davisville PS, to try and improve the process in which Crossing Guards are assigned by the Toronto Police Service.


The existing policy did not provide an opportunity for parents, schools or the City to provide input into the decision-making process when locations were reviewed. Instead, the Police Service made these decisions based on pure traffic counts, and the number of unaccompanied children the police counted when surveying the location. They gave no consideration for the unique circumstances that may be present with each request. If the objective measures were not met, the request would be denied.

Last February, I attended the Toronto Police Services Board meeting and, with the support of Councillor Michael Thompson (who was on the board at that time), brought forward a motion for the Chief of Police to review and amend the relevant policy, with the aim of allowing greater flexibility to address the specific needs of each community.


As a result of this review, the Chief of Police announced at the past Police Services Board meeting that they have amended their policy. Now, when the objective criteria are not met, a School Crossing Guard Advisory Committee will be formed that will include representatives from the school, students and the City of Toronto to review the extenuating circumstances with the ability to overturn the decision of the survey team.


This review would also include having a public meeting to allow full community input. I look forward to working with concerned parents to advocate for our kids' safety on streets that merit more adult supervision.


Toronto-St. Paul’s Annual Skating Party

 

Our local MP, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, will be co-hosting a community skating party with me at the new Hodgson Rink. Please join us from 12 pm to 2 pm on Saturday, February 7 for a fun, family-friendly afternoon with free coffee and hot chocolate. I look forward to seeing you there!


Casa Loma Community Open House for Wards 22 and 21

 

Nick Di Donato, Councillor Mihevc and I will be co-hosting a community open house at the gardens at Casa Loma. Please join us from 5 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, February 12 for a spectacular Winter Wonderland light display, live ice carving and wood carving presentations. Hot chocolate and s'mores will be available for purchase.

 

Admission is free for Wards 22 and 21 residents. Kindly RSVP to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by Febraury 9th. To view the full event invitation, please click here.

 


Laneway Naming in Forest Hill Village

 

A local resident has approached me about a proposal to name laneways in the Forest Hill Village, including two laneways each in Wards 22 and 21.

 

The first is located just East of Spadina Road, running south from Lonsdale Road. The new name proposed is Lallie Haye Lane after Lallie Haye, a beloved fixture in the Village for over four decades. Lallie came from Jamaica in 1966 and began working at Bilton's Fine Foods in 1968. After Bilton's closed, Lallie worked at Kitchen Table, serving her community until her retirement in 2012. Lallie’s strong personality, infectious good humour, ready welcome for every customer, and obvious courage in the face of physical difficulties during the last years of her employment, endeared her to Village residents for more than 40 years.

 

The second laneway is located east of Spadina Road and runs north from Lonsdale Road to Thelma Avenue.  It is proposed to be named after Andrew Hazlet who, among many contributions to Forest Hill Village, was a popular Councillor, Reeve, and the man who put the ‘forest’ back in Forest Hill. At a time when the land in Forest Hill was cleared of trees for farming, Hazlett decided to have a tree planted in front of every house — at Village expense. The wisdom of this decision is now abundantly clear and deserves to be widely acknowledged and honoured.

 

 

If you have any feedback on either of these proposed names, please do let me know by calling 416-392-7906 or by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 


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

   

A lack of accountability and transparency on the costs of the Scarborough subway extension

January 23, 2015

 

Dear residents,

 

In today's Toronto Star, Jennifer Pagliaro wrote an important story revealing how many tax dollars will be wasted on sunk costs if the Scarborough LRT is cancelled (there may be more). The article also quotes City Manager, Joe Pennachetti, suggesting that the full amount is hidden within this year's City budget. Moveover, the City Manager has not reported back to City Council on Metrolinx sunk costs, as directed by Council. To read the full 2013 agenda item, please click here.

 

Along with the unacceptable waste of tens of millions of tax dollars, this lack of accountability and transparency is deeply concerning.

 

In addition, I have yet to receive an adequate reply to my letter to Staff regarding the unexplained and sudden increase in the ridership projection used to justify the Scarborough subway extension.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

   

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