I hope this finds you well and that you're enjoying what's left of the summer.
We have a very busy September coming up and as always, it's a priority for me to keep you informed about, and engaged in, our community. Please see my update below.
Have a great Labour Day weekend.
Toronto City Councillor
Let's create a great public space at Yonge and Eglinton's TTC bus barns
For far too long, the southwest corner of Yonge & Eglinton has been left by the TTC as a derelict eyesore. Since being elected as your City Councillor, I have been working hard with the TTC and City planning staff to beautify the site of the old bus barns.
While I recognize that it can't immediately be redeveloped because it will serve as a staging ground for the Eglinton Crosstown construction, its current state is simply unacceptable.
That's why I'm pleased that, with the support of TTC CEO Andy Byford, we are moving forward with an improvement plan for the perimeter of the site. The new public space will feature a seating area, greenery and informational panels on the new Eglinton line that will run underground through midtown.
The second phase of this plan concerns the future of the site- after the transit project is completed. I am advocating that Build Toronto (the City agency charged with future development on the bus barns site) begin the complicated planning process as soon as possible to ensure that the location can be transformed quickly after construction is finished. This process must be public, inclusive, and honour agreements made between the City and community.
Most importantly, I strongly feel that the City and the Province cannot continue to mandate increased density in the area without providing open, people-friendly public space. The need is even more apparent with the unfortunate loss of the square on the northwest corner in favour of an expanded mall.
That's why I'm calling for the inclusion of a permanent, significant, grand and beautifully-designed public space on this site. Great cities such as London, Paris and New York have great squares at major intersections and transportation hubs - let's start building the Toronto we all want to live, work and play in at Yonge & Eglinton.
It's time for Toronto to take a visionary approach to buiding design and public realm. As midtown grows, its infrastructure and public amenities must be able to provide for its residents.
Please see this article on my bus barns beautification efforts for more information.
Please read the amazing and inspiring Ward 22 resident, Helen Godfrey's blog about our ward's new initiative to take care of trees on Bayview Avenue she has spearheaded. Thank you to Helen, LEAF, Bayview Avenue businesses and local residents for your amazing work!
Community Environment Day
On Thursday, September 6th from 4 pm to 8 pm I will be hosting my annual Community Environment Day. The location is the North Toronto Memorial Arena at 174 Orchard View Blvd. Please bring any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste. You can also replace your damaged green bin.
Come visit Ward 22's Davisville Village Farmers Market!
Every Tuesday, between 3-7PM until October at June Rowlands (Davisville) Park at the corner of Davisville and Acadia (just west of Mount Pleasant), you'll find Ward 22's new and weekly town square. At the Davisville Village Farmers Market, you can find fresh produce, fish and meats, chocolate and so much more. Moreover, come meet your neighbours and enjoy a new sense of community in Ward 22! I hope to see you next Tuesday!
Beltline Trail Public Meeting
On Monday, September 10th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm the City of Toronto will be hosting a public meeting to discuss possible improvements to the Beltline Trail. The meeting will include a presentation from the project team about existing conditions of the Beltline Trail, followed by an interactive workshop session. City staff will be seeking ideas on a stewardship program for the trail, along with existing challenges and opportunities for improvements to the trail and the associated natural environment. As your local councillor, I want to hear what your priorities are to improve our remarkable midtown trail. The location is the Northern District Library at 40 Orchard View Blvd.
For more information, please visit www.toronto.ca/beltline.
Meeting to discuss the TDSB's proposed redevelopment plan for Davisville PS
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is in the process of considering redevelopment the Davisville Public School property. As your City Councillor, I have been closely following the TDSB's work towards a development proposal that would ultimately come to City Hall -as it will have an enormous impact on both our community and the stablity of our neighbourhoods.
I have been made aware that the TDSB is exploring proposals that could see several condominiums on the Davisville site, with one of the buildings at 20 storeys.
The Davisville PS is located in a Neighbourhood designated zone under Toronto's Official Plan. This designation allows for a maximum of 4 storeys. The south side of Davisville is located in an Apartment Neighbourhood, with an allowance for higher structures.
Having served our community as a two-term school trustee, I fully understand the financial pressures the TDSB is facing to provide excellent programming in quality facilities our children, parents and teachers deserve. I have been working with Trustee Laskin, TDSB and City Planners to find a solution. However, I have significant concerns with how the TDSB has gone about their process and want to ensure that parents and residents are fully informed about what the school board can, and cannot, do on the site.
On Wednesday, September 12th from 7 pm to 9 pm I will be hosting a public meeting regarding the proposed Davisville PS redevelopment. The meeting location is Christ Church Deer Park, Elliot Hall, at 1570 Yonge Street. Please join me and City Planning Staff to discuss this important issue further. You will have an opportunity to ask questions and voice your concerns. I look forward to seeing you.
Vision for the Village Town Hall Meeting for Forest Hill Residents
On Thursday, September 13th from 7 pm to 9 pm, I will be hosting a Forest Hill Town Hall meeting where you can discuss your priorities for your neighbourhood and city. The meeting location is the Grace Church on-the-Hill at 300 Lonsdale Road in the Parish Hall and Reception Room.
Ward 22 Toronto Community Housing Town Halls
During the months of September and October, I'm planning to meet with residents of every TCHC building in our community to actively listen to their needs and priorities. Please see the calndar at www.joshmatlow.ca for upcoming dates and locations.
For ongoing council and community information, along with a calendar of events, please visit www.joshmatlow.ca.