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Community Update for June 11, 2014

 

The Provincial Election


Dear residents,


No matter who, or what party, you choose to vote for, I very much hope that you exercise your democratic right in Ontario's 41st Provincial General Election on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Your vote is important! For more information on tomorrow's election, including locationg your polling station, please click here. This election could very well set the direction for vital issues such as transit, planning, education, and many more priorities, for decades to come.


Sincerely,


Josh



Save the Glebe Manor Lawn Bowling Club Green Space!


I have been told that 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. However, I know how important this green space is to our community. That's why I've been proactively working very hard to acquire this property as a public park since this issue came to my attention several months ago. Please see the Toronto Star article for more information on this issue.


Today at Council I successfully moved a motion 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 will certainly update you on the progress of this work.


On Wednesday, June 18 at 7pm, I will be hosting a community meeting on this important issue. The meeting will take place in the gymnasium at Hodgson Senior Public School (282 Davisville Avenue). Please join me, City Staff and your neighbours, to discuss next steps together. A copy of the full public meeting notice can be found here.



Pottery Playground Park Improvements


I'm happy to report that Council approved my motion today, to install a new, accessible swing set at Pottery Playground Park on Merton Street. Several local parents have approached me about this recently, as Pottery Playground Park currently doesn't have a swing set for neighbourhood children.



Paid-Duty Police Officers


As a member of the Council's Audit Committee, I set a process in motion to reduce the number of paid-duty police officers the City needs to hire at construction and work sites. I, along with many residents, find it frustrating and wrong to see uniformed police officers standing by work sites while other budgets to important City services are being cut. At the May Audit Committee meeting, my colleagues adopted my motion, which requests the province to follow Vancouver's lead by ensuring that lower-paid enforcement officials are monitoring construction sites. If permitted, this initiative will save the City of Toronto, businesses and community organizations millions of dollars while ensuring that the police are focused on what they're best at - serving and protecting us.



Made-for-Toronto Local Appeal Body


The Province of Ontario granted the City of Toronto the power to establish a Local Appeal Body (LAB) to hear appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions on both minor variances and consent applications. The Local Appeal Body would be composed of such persons as the City considers advisable (subject to certain by-laws regarding such things as eligibility criteria and other restrictions). At its December 4th, 2013 meeting, City Council's Planning and Growth Management Committee requested the Chief Planner and Executive Director of City Planning to initiate a public consultation process on the establishment and implementation of this Local Appeal Body. Today, Council considered a staff report, including the results of the public consultation and recommended principles to guide implementation of LAB. I expect that a motion to establish this will be adopted by Council this week. I'm deeply grateful to the City's Planning and Growth Management Committee for completing this necessary first step in mitigating insensitive and unsustainable developments in our community and across our city. We now need to continue advocating to completely free Toronto from the OMB's purview with regard to other impactful planning decisions, such as large-scale development in our communities.



POPS- Securing Privately Owned Publicly-Accessible Spaces


As Toronto's population grows, we must ensure that our urban parks, plazas and squares are publicly accessible and protected from future infill development. That's why I'm pleased that City Planning is moving forward with my initiative to help protect and promote Toronto's privately owned publicly-accessible spaces (POPS) that have been secured by the City of Toronto for your use. There are dozens of POPS throughout the Midtown and Downtown areas that are poorly used. Clear signage at the entrance to open spaces, along with an interactive, online map let people know they have the same right to relax, eat their lunch or read in that space as they would at any City park. Thanks to this initiative, you'll most likely see a new POPS sign at a creative open space in your neighbourhood soon. Please click here to read an article on this initiative in The Torontoist.



Belsize Parkettes Public Meeting


On Tuesday, June 17 at 7pm I will be hosting a public consultation meeting about the median parkettes on Belsize Drive. The meeting will take place at Greenwood College School (443 Mount Pleasant Road, in The Lodge) and will give you a chance to discuss improvements to the parkettes with myself and with Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff. I hope to see you there!



The Future of the Dupont Employment Lands: Panel Discussion


Next Tuesday, June 17 the Centre for City Ecology is hosting The Future of the Dupont Employment Lands: Panel Discussion. Panelists include Sarah Phipps (Seniors Planner with the City of Toronto), Helena Grdadolnik (Associate Director of Workshop Architecture) and Mike Stern (Founder of MakeWorks). The event begins at 6pm; for more information and to reserve tickets, please visits the Eventbrite page.


St. Clair Avenue West Policy Review Public Meeting


City Planning staff will be holding a public consultation meeting on Thursday, June 19 at 7pm to discuss the review of Area Specific Policy 221. The meeting will be held at the First Unitarian Church (175 St. Clair Avenue West) and will give you a chance to learn more about the review, ask questions and share your comments regarding new developments along St. Clair Avenue West. For more information please visit the City Planning website.



Summer Events at Spadina Museum


This summer, Spadina Museum will be hosting a number of exciting weekend events. These events include: Gatsby Garden Party (June 22), Music in the Orchard (June 8 and 15th), Themed Tours such as "It's a Kid's Life" and "Toronto's Downton Abbey" (May through August).


More information on all of these events, including timing and costs, can be found on the Spadina Museum website.



Elimination of Swimming Fees

I'm happy to announce that due to the actions of Council in approving the 2014 Capital Budget, fees for the following leisure swim programs will be eliminated as of July 1, 2014:

  • Leisure Swim
  • Family Swim
  • Female Leisure Swim
  • Preschool Swim
  • Older Adult Leisure Swim
Fees will continue to be charged for lane swimming. Please note that the elimination of these fees is not reflected in the FUN Guide, as the fee elimination was not approved at the time of printing. Credits/refunds will be available for leisure swim pass holders and punch cards for any remaining term beyond June 30, 2014. For more information please visit the City of Toronto website or call 416-338-4386.


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.

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