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General Issues

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However, I am happy to report that the permit has now been revoked and the owners have been ordered to remove the public notice of the permit.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 visit: glebemanorlawnbowling.com

 

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

 

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

   
   
   

My letter to the Licensing and Standards Committee regarding nuisance lighting

Chair and Members

Licensing and Standards Committee

10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall

100 Queen St. West

Toronto ON M5H 2N2

 

 

June 10, 2013

 

Re: Enforcing Chapter 629-17 of the Municipal Code relating to nuisance lighting

 

 

Licensing and Standards staff have adopted a narrow interpretation of Chapter 629-17A of the Municipal Code relating to nuisance lighting, specifically the definition of "direct lighting." As a result, residents who are affected by nuisance lighting originating off their property have been dissatisfied by City enforcement of its own by-laws.

 

I am writing to request that staff clarify their interpretation of Chapter 629-17A and report on options to revise it and any other City by-laws or policies as necessary to take into account the actual, lived experience of residents affected by nuisance lighting.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1. The Licensing and Standards Committee request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to report back by December 2013 on the following:

 

a. how the City of Toronto currently enforces Chapter 629-17A of the Municipal Code, including how this practice was adopted;

 

b. options to revise Chapter 629-17A of the Municipal Code and any other City by-laws or policies as necessary to take into account the actual, lived experience of residents affected by nuisance lighting.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

www.joshmatlow.ca

   

City of Toronto and School Boards Task Force Approved

Council approved my motion to create a task force made up of city councillors and school trustees from all four boards in the Toronto area. We serve the same communities, and share many priorities, yet are different levels of government. Now there will finally be a formal table for us to work together on common priorities such as community hubs, school pools, childcare, recreation and learning opportunities for all ages.

   

Thank You for Supporting Taking Action on the Roots of Youth Violence at City Hall!

Dear friends,

 

I am pleased to share with you the news that the Toronto Youth Equity Framework was approved unanimously by Toronto's Community Development and Recreation Committee this afternoon. It will now go to City Council's July 16 meeting for final approval.

 

Thank you so much to each of you who invested time and effort to support this important initiative. Your contribution was invaluable whether you visited City Hall and spoke to the committee members today, wrote a letter to your local councillor, or spoke with your friends and colleagues about the importance of taking action to address the roots of youth violence. I also deeply appreciate all the thoughtful insights and advice I received from engaged community members like you.

 

But this is only the first step and it will take continued, collaborative work to make real progress on this important priority for our City. Please write to the Mayor and your local councillor and urge them to support the Toronto Youth Equity Framework at City Council.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh

   

NOTICE OF MOTION: Mitigating the negative impacts of urban wildlife

Councillor Cesar Palacio

Chair, Licensing and Standards Committee

10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall

100 Queen St. West

Toronto ON M5H 2N2

 

May 23, 2013

 

Re: Mitigating the negative impacts of urban wildlife

 

Every year, over one hundred Toronto residents each receive a painful, precautionary rabies shot following a bite from a racoon or other animal. Many hundreds of homeowners and tenants personally know the home and property damage that raccoons, skunks, and opossums can cause.

 

As a first step toward mitigating the negative impacts of urban wildlife, I believe it would be helpful to request the City Manager to report on the extent to which the City monitors its urban wildlife populations; to report on initiatives in other jurisdictions to reduce the adverse effects of urban wildlife, including property damage and risks to public health; and to request recommendations to adapt those initiatives to the City of Toronto.

 

Recommendation:

 

1. City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to report to the Licensing and Standards Committee by [date TBD] on the following:

 

a. how the City of Toronto currently monitors its urban wildlife, including but not limited to raccoons;

 

b. initiatives and best practices used in other jurisdictions to address the adverse effects of urban wildlife, including but not limited to property damage and risks to public health; and

 

c. recommended actions to reduce the effects of urban wildlife in the City of Toronto and improve public health, reduce property damage, and increase everyone's enjoyment of both private and public outdoor spaces.

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

www.joshmatlow.ca

   

NOTICE OF MOTION: Funding Transit and Infrastructure Priorities in Canada's Largest City

NOTICE OF MOTION

 

Funding Transit and Infrastructure Priorities in Canada's Largest City

 

Moved by: Councillor Josh Matlow

 

Seconded by: Councillor Peter Milczyn

 

SUMMARY:

 

This motion requests that City Council consider the accompanying recommendation to explore reforms to municipal bonds that would reduce the cost of servicing the City of Toronto's debt and increase our ability to build and maintain City infrastructure.

 

Governments in other jurisdictions, including the United States, have reduced interest rates and the cost of carrying municipal debt by implementing various tax breaks or rebates. These measures can alleviate the burden on municipalities and make municipal bonds more attractive to private investors.

 

The City of Toronto will spend $400 million to service its debt in 2013. Toronto also has a $2 billion backlog on infrastructure projects including the crumbling Gardiner Expressway, leaky subway stations, and broken refrigeration systems at municipal ice rinks. We also need to build more transit infrastructure, parks, libraries, affordable housing, and other projects to accommodate our rapid growth.

 

The City of Toronto should study the opportunities for provincial and federal reforms to municipal bonds that would reduce the cost of servicing municipal debt and increase our ability to build and maintain infrastructure, and make recommendations to those governments.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. City Council request the City Manager to report to the Executive Committee on the following:


a. initiatives and best practices used in other jurisdictions to reduce the cost of servicing municipal debt,  including but not limited to:

 

i. tax-free or exempt municipal bonds such as was used with "Ontario Opportunity Bonds"

 

ii. direct-pay municipal bonds such as "Build America Bonds" in the United States

 

b. recommended actions for City Council to request the federal and provincial governments can take to reduce the cost of servicing municipal debt and increase the City's capacity to invest in its infrastructure priorities.

May 29, 2013

   

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