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Parks and Environment

Our letter requesting a Master Plan for the restoration of Yellow Creek and the Vale of Avoca

August 25, 2016

Parks and Environment Committee


Re: Yellow Creek / Vale of Avoca Master Plan


Dear Chair and Committee Members,

The Yellow Creek and Vale of Avoca areas are beloved parts of Ward 27 and 22.  In an urban environment, such green spaces represent a precious resource; offering recreation for residents, a natural habitat for wildlife and an abundance of plant diversity.  The area also houses vital infrastructure including sewer lines, stairs, bridges and other public facilities.


In past years this vale and watercourse has been a source of pride for the local community, hosting picnics and hikes, and boasting a beautiful rose garden.  Unfortunately, the park is now challenged in many ways.  Flooding and overflow has contributed to bank degradation, erosion, washed out bridges and impassable trails.  The public's access has been restricted due to broken stairs, closed access points and many areas made dangerous due to tree fall.  Yellow Creek itself has been polluted by spills, causing further degradation to the Vale; an area designated as Environmentally Significant by Parks, Forestry and Recreation


With the recognition that a geomorphic study of Yellow Creek, is to be conducted by Toronto Water for 2017, the local community has stepped forward to ask that City divisions come together to address the multiple pressing needs of this Environmentally Significant Area.  While the pending Ravine Strategy is a positive step towards increasing collaboration on such projects - and we are willing to work with the City to advance its goals - the need in the Vale of Avoca is pressing and immediate.


In order to protect and restore the Vale of Avoca, we believe it is necessary to create a Master Plan that integrates the budgets, construction schedules, and communication plans of the various invested divisions and their overlapping responsibilities. Such a plan will serve to create a model that will be useful in application to similarly distressed natural areas, and will be supportive of the Ravine Strategy's larger goals. We therefore recommend the following:





Request the Deputy City Manager of Cluster A to report to the February 2017 meeting of the Parks and Environment Committee on the feasibility and process to develop a Master Plan for the Yellow Creek and Vale of Avoca area that:

a.  includes an inventory and state of good repair of existing facilities;

b.  considers past and current plans, assessments and studies

c.  coordinates the planning for future work of Toronto Water, Transportation, Parks, Forestry, Natural Environments, and the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority and other divisions and agencies;

d.  ensures that the Master Plan identifies relationships and responsibilities for the implementations and maintenance of planned improvements; and

e.  establishes a working group comprised of relevant community stakeholders to identify areas of priority community concern.



Respectfully submitted,



Josh Matlow                             Kristyn Wong-Tam

Toronto City Councillor              Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's                 Ward 27 – Toronto Centre-Rosedale


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.


Oriole Park Community Garden Update

For the past year and a half, I have been working with the Oriole Park Community Garden Committee, along with the Friends of Oriole Park and City staff, to create Ward 22's first community garden in Oriole Park.


Last week, we had a successful meeting where City staff presented and displayed what the proposed garden may look like and where it will be located within the park. We received positive feedback from residents, and there was dialogue with all parties to make sure the Community Garden is a success.


The next step will be an application and proposal by the Oriole Park Community Garden Committee to the City of Toronto. We continue to welcome your participation and feedback in shaping the Community Garden!


Bayview Buckets Adopt-A-Tree Program

Dear Residents,


Local residents and small businesses, along with LEAF, are working together to beautify Bayview Avenue with an inspiring tree adoption program called Bayview Buckets.


Urban life is hard on trees, and many of our street trees are replaced too often because they don't get enough water. LEAF is encouraging small businesses to "adopt" a local street tree by ensuring it gets regularly watered throughout the hot summer.


Healthier trees live longer which improves the look and feel of our communities while saving money on tree replacements.


Please let the following Bayview Avenue businesses know that you appreciate their contribution to the health of our street trees:


  • Alex Farm Products
  • Bagel House
  • Baskin Robbins
  • Bestway Cleaners
  • The Big Stretch Yoga Centre
  • BMO Bank of Montreal
  • Bonnie Byford Real Estate
  • California Roll
  • Cumbrae's
  • Epi Breads
  • Horticultural Design
  • Karmasutra Indian Restaurant & Wine Bar
  • L'Avenue Bistro
  • Lemongrass
  • LCBO
  • McSorleys's Wonderful Saloon & Grill
  • Originals
  • Rahier Patisserie
  • Dr. Stephen Simpson Dentistry
  • Teaopia
  • Tokyo Sushi
  • Tribute Communities
  • Valu-Mart
  • Verdi Restaurant
  • Vizio Eyewear & Sunglasses






Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22 - St. Paul's


Greening Your Condo or Apartment


On March 26, 2013, I co-hosted an event with the Green Team of First Unitarian Congregation on how to make your apartment or condo greener and more energy efficient, including strategies and resources that are available to you.


Please click on the image above to download a slide deck from the event, presented by Aderonke Akande from the City of Toronto's Tower Renewal Office.


Notice of Motion (April 2013 Council Meeting) - Butt Out: Taking Responsibility for Waste from Cigarettes

The City of Toronto has made great strides to help reduce the incidence of smoking. Successive bans on tobacco smoke in workplaces, restaurants, bars and other public spaces have succeeded in reducing second-hand smoke and the social acceptance of smoking.


However, there are still a significant number of smokers in our city and these positive policies have created some unintentional negative consequences. The current by-laws do not address the reality that many smokers are now littering on our public sidewalks.

While some bar and restaurant owners provide cigarette butt receptacles for their patrons, this is done on an ad hoc basis. This motion requests that the City Manager work with representatives from the restaurant and bar industry to develop an appropriate solution to the unsightly problem of cigarette butts littered on Toronto's sidewalks and streets.




1.City Council request the City Manager to consult with representatives from the restaurant and bar industry to develop an appropriate solution to the unsightly problem of cigarette butts littered on Toronto's sidewalks and streets; including receptacles.


2.The findings from the consultation requested in recommendation (1) be delivered in a report to Municipal Licensing and Standards Committee by July 2013


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