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Issues & Policies

Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club Update

 

Dear Residents,

 

Late last week it came to my attention that a Building Permit notice was posted at the Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club site (196 Manor Road East). Further investigation revealed that the permit was for an eight-foot sign to be erected on the property. I am not aware of what the owner intended to put on the sign.

 

However, I am happy to report that the permit has now been revoked and the owners have been ordered to remove the public notice of the permit. This is indeed good news but we must keep moving forward to acquire the property as a City Park.

 

As many of you are now aware, a developer is in the process of purchasing the Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club property (196 Manor Road East) from the Club’s Board with the intent to build townhouses on the site.

 

This green space is very important to our community. That's why I've been proactively working closely with local residents to acquire this property as a public park since this issue came to my attention several months ago.

 

Earlier this year, I successfully moved a motion at Council directing Real Estate Services staff to evaluate the fair market value of the property at 196 Manor Road East, and directing Parkland Acquisitions staff to begin negotiations with the current owner(s) for the purpose of purchase by the City and report back to Council's Executive Committee in August. I'm happy to report that both the Executive Committee and Council supported recommendations for the City to purchase the site if there is a willing seller. I also saw many of you at a public information meeting I held at Hodgson Sr PS on June 18.

 

The City has still not received any indication from the owner that they are willing to sell the property with a purpose to preserve the green space. In fact, they seem intent to move forward with a townhouse development, which I am strongly opposed to. While Council supported my initiative to make the funds available to purchase the lawn bowling club, Staff have not had a willing seller to negotiate with.

 

I have been working with a group of the lawn bowling club shareholders, who are mounting an opposition to the current Board's decision to sell the property to a developer. They need your support and assistance. For more information on their efforts to keep this space green, and how you can help, please click here.

 

The community and I are dedicated to taking every legal means to preserve this green space in perpetuity. I will continue to update you every step of the way.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

 

NOTICE OF MOTION: Making the Union-Pearson Express Fare More Affordable, Competitive and Fair for Toronto Residents

NOTICE OF MOTION: Making the Union-Pearson Express Fare More Affordable, Competitive and Fair for Toronto Residents

 

Moved by:

 

Councillor Matlow

 

Seconded by:

 

Deputy Mayor Kelly

 

SUMMARY:

 

Metrolinx's Union-Pearson Express line is a welcome addition to Toronto's transit network. For too long, our city has been one of the few world centres without rapid transit to its International Airport.

 

While residents are pleased that this critical infrastructure appears to be on budget and will be ready to open for the Pan-Am games next year, they have some major concerns with emerging cost details that limit the accessibility of this line. These troubling details include potentially high fares and a fee in lieu of parking paid to the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.

 

While the passenger fare has yet to be confirmed, media reports have estimated that the new line could cost riders upwards of $30 per trip. This cost may, or may not, have an effect on business or international travelers but it would barely be competitive with taxis or limousines for residents. Common sense would dictate that if a resident living anywhere other than downtown (within close proximity to Union Station) can get picked up from their house and taken to the airport for about $50-60, they may opt to spend the extra money to avoid the additional time as the cost differential is not that substantial. Further, a couple or a family might find it actually more expensive to take the Union-Pearson Express. The passenger fare must be made accessibile for Toronto residents.

 

Another troubling consumer cost detail associated with the Union-Pearson Express is the $1.85 fee passengers are being charged for not parking at the airport. The City of Toronto and other municipal governments in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area are actively encouraging residents to use public transit. This fee would penalize air travelers for making a choice that helps fight congestion. This potential fee runs counter to our public policy goals and should not be implemented.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

  1. City Council directs the City Manager to request that Metrolinx the passenger fare for the Union-Pearson Express at a rate that is affordable for most Torontonians and competitive with other forms of transportation to Pearson Airport
  2. City Council directs the City Manager to request the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to not require Metrolinx to implement a $1.85 parking fee to the passenger fare for the Union-Pearson Express

You can download a printable PDF of my letter by clicking here.

   

NOTICE OF MOTION: Taking Back Our Streets - Getting Toronto Moving Again

NOTICE OF MOTION: Taking Back Our Streets - Getting Toronto Moving Again

 

 

Moved by:

 

 

Councillor Matlow

 

Seconded by:

 

Councillor Filion

 

SUMMARY:

 

Traffic congestion is a significant problem for Toronto's motorists, public transit users and cyclists. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently noted that the Greater Toronto Area suffers from the longest work commute times in North America. Estimates have put the cost of congestion to our city's economy at $6 billion a year while negatively impacting on the quality of life of our residents.

 

Of course, the long-term solutions to this problem include building a more accessible, affordable, extensive and efficient public transportation system in addition to encouraging car-pooling and other modes of travel. But, in the meantime, we must take every opportunity to ease congestion.

 

The practice of allowing developers to block lanes of traffic for construction negatively impacts motorists, surface transit users, pedestrians. This usage of our streets causes bottlenecks, backing up traffic several blocks on major arterial roads, and can lead to inconvenient and, in some cases, unsafe conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

 

Toronto's streets must be used more efficiently. This motion requests City Transportation staff to study the feasibility of eliminating the practice of allowing developers to occupy a lane of traffic for construction.

 

This motion also recognizes that the long-term goal of eliminating the practice of using lanes for construction may need some interim provisions to open traffic lanes for the public as quickly as possible. At present, there is little incentive for developers to keep their construction staging area on their own property rather than impose on public space- the applicant must pay a fee upfront and then a very minimal monthly fee thereafter.

 

That's why this motion further requests staff to look at the feasibility of increasing the initial upfront fee for blocking a lane to encourage developers to look for alternate solutions that do not negatively impact residents and the feasibility of escalating monthly fees for blocking a street lane to encourage developers to use a lane for the least amount of time possible.

 

In addition, staff are requested to follow up on MM 37.40 Delivering Solutions to Gridlock - Ending Congestion Caused By Rush Hour Deliveries on Busy Streets, which was adopted by City Council on July 16, 2013.


 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

 

  1. City Council request the General Manager, Transportation Services, to report to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, on:

 

a)    The feasibility of eliminating the practice of allowing developers to occupy the public right-of-way

b)    The feasibility of increasing the initial upfront fee to developers for occupying the public right-of-way

c)    The feasibility of charging developers escalating monthly fees for occupying the public right-of-way

d)    MM 37.40 Delivering Solutions to Gridlock - Ending Congestion Caused By Rush Hour Deliveries on Busy Streets, which was adopted by City Council on July 16, 2013.

e)    The reports on the above recommendations be brought to Public Works and Infrastructure Committee by February 2015

 

You can download a printable PDF of my letter by clicking here.

   

My letter regarding issues at 263 Russell Hill Road

June 9, 2014

 

 

Jennifer Hossain

Property Manager

263 Russell Hill Road

Toronto, ON

M4V 2T3

 

 

Dear Jennifer Hossain,

 

It has been brought to my attention by several tenants at 263 Russell Hill Road, an apartment building owned by Akelius Ltd., that repairs to lockers and balconies in this building remain unfinished.

 

It is my understanding that in October of 2013, repairs began on both lockers and balconies in the building, and that today, after eight months, remain unfinished. The tenants are concerned that they have been unable to access their lockers and their balconies during this time. Many are frustrated by the lack of communication between Akelius Ltd. and themselves regarding these repairs.

 

I have heard additional concerns from residents regarding notifications they have received about the elimination of superintendents in the building.

 

I would appreciate your prompt response regarding an expected completion date for the locker and balcony repairs.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul’s

www.joshmatlow.ca

   

Working together, progress achieved on Hodgson Rink

You can download a printable PDF of my letter by clicking here. I have also included an accessible plain-text version below:

 

March 12, 2014

 

 

Dear residents,

 

I am delighted to report to you that there has been very significant progress made by the City of Toronto and the TDSB toward an agreement regarding the future of the Hodgson Ice Rink. The City of Toronto is moving forward with tendering a $2 million contract to refurbish and upgrade the rink. Now that the TDSB is finally prepared to approve a lease agreement, the facility will continue to be located at Hodgson Senior Public School and, barring any unknown construction challenges such as inclement weather, the rink will most likely be ready for the 2014/2015 winter season.

 

I want to take this occasion to thank our School Trustee, Shelley Laskin, for her effective advocacy and partnership in these negotiations. I cannot express strongly enough how much I've appreciated working with Trustee Laskin on behalf of our community and how much I value her commitment to putting our neighbourhood's kids above all else. I also want to express my gratitude to the City of Toronto and TDSB staff who answered our call to focus on arriving at a resolution rather than the obstacles in their way.

 

To the parents and residents who have advocated for our local rink, I can tell you that not only were your voices heard, they were instrumental in what we've achieved.

 

I will share further details with you when an agreement is formally signed.

 

Each time our community has been presented a challenge, we've successfully faced it together.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Councillor Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

www.joshmatlow.ca

   

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