It is my heartfelt privilege to serve you as our city councillor for the new Ward 12, Toronto- St. Paul’s. Our community now stretches from Dufferin to Mt. Pleasant, Broadway/Eglinton to the CP rail tracks north of Dupont, and has well over 100,000 residents. To help support the increased population, and to ensure we are able to be responsive to residents needs, Council decided this week to expand the staff budget for constituency assistants.
Now that our office has approval for a more sufficient complement of staff, we will be going through a significant transformation during the month of December. Despite the challenges, and the uncertainty of the organizational restructuring, my job now is to make this new reality work as effectively as possible and organize an office that can manage the much higher volume and to serve you well.
I look forward to having my new team in place before the end of the month and then be able to have our community office operating in the new year.
Meanwhile, I’ve been spending a lot of time getting to know every street, park and the many priorities in our larger community while working on several policy initiatives on our behalf at city hall. My family and I have been attending events across Toronto-St Paul’s both to renew our friendships in the neighbourhoods I’ve already served and to build new relationships while supporting local initiatives.
I’ll continue to update you on important issues and community meetings in my monthly update to keep you engaged and informed. I’m also planning some town hall meetings for next year, details of which I’ll share with you in upcoming updates. Please also feel welcome to follow my Twitter account https://twitter.com/JoshMatlow.
For those of you celebrating this week, I wish you a very Happy Chanukah. And to everyone, I hope to see you out in our community soon!
Premier Doug Ford’s Exemptions for Industry Lobbyists Threatens Greenbelt, Clean Water
Please see the letter below I wrote with my colleagues to Premier Doug Ford in regards to the concerning Bill 66 announced late yesterday.
Premier of Ontario
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Re: Bill 66, An Act to restore Ontario’s competitiveness by amending or repealing certain Acts.
Dear Premier Ford,
As Toronto City Councillors, and environmental advocates, we have significant concerns about the harmful impact your government’s Bill 66, An Act to restore Ontario’s competitiveness by amending or repealing certain Acts will have on our city and our province.
Companies that create good jobs invest in jurisdictions that have educated workers, strong health care, excellent schools, and a high quality of life supported by clean air, water and green spaces. Ontarians rely on their government to ensure that their health and natural environment is protected.
We strongly urge you to reconsider the exemptions in Bill 66 allowing companies to override important environmental protections, without consultation or public notice, including the:
- Clean Water Act
- Great Lakes Protection Act
- Greenbelt Act
- Lake Simcoe Protection Act
- Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act
- Places to Grow Act
Our residents have long advocated for many of the measures contained in the above legislation. The source water protection required in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act defends the headwaters of the Rouge, Don, and Humber Rivers. The Greenbelt preserves vital aquifers, wildlife corridors, agricultural lands and provides a natural buffer to inefficient urban sprawl and provides green space for all residents in our city and region. Both Acts ensure that there is more greenspace to absorb stormwater runoff, which has been the main culprit of an increase in flooded basements in recent years.
Eroding environmental protections like the Clean Water Act, legislated in the wake of the Walkerton tragedy, will put the health of the people you serve at risk and make our province less attractive to prospective companies looking to create new jobs- Businesses from around the world are lining up to invest in places like Toronto and Ottawa, not Flint, Michigan.
We urge you to create an Ontario with a clean, healthy environment that is truly “open for business”, not just industry lobbyists.
City Councillor, Toronto-St. Paul’s
(Former Campaign Director – Earthroots)
City Councillor, Parkdale-High Park
(Former Campaigner – Greenpeace, Pollution Probe, TEA)
City Councillor, University-Rosedale
(Deputy Director – Environmental Defence)
City Councillor, Eglinton-Lawrence
(Initiated Oak Ridges Moraine Act as MPP)
Click here to access a shareable link
The Provincial Upload of Toronto’s Subway System
As many of you have heard by now, Premier Doug Ford has signalled that his government intends to upload Toronto’s subway network. His stated reason for the takeover that transit is not being built because of political gridlock does not add up.
It was Doug Ford himself who helped scuttle the approved LRT plan in 2010 that cancelled four transit lines that were fully-funded by the previous provincial government. Also, there is nothing stopping the province from building transit in Toronto. Uploading the existing lines does not affect his government’s ability to construct and own new lines or extensions given that Ford has already indicated that the TTC would still operate.
So why is the province pursuing the upload so aggressively? I can only speculate at this point but the air rights over the existing stations are a significant asset. Further, does an upload include the many large, development-ready park ‘n’ ride lots next to subway stations? What about the portions of land above subway tunnels still owned by the TTC such as the covered trench east of Yonge and South of St. Clair? Or the former bus barns site at Yonge and Eglinton?
Subways are the spine of our transit network. Stations serve as hubs that connect hundreds of streetcar and bus routes to rapid transit. Who will own the bus bays at subway stations? What incentive will remain to keep the surface routes properly integrated with the subway network? Will this do anything about the existing overcrowding or distract from addressing it as a priority? There are far too many unanswered questions.
I will be strongly advocating that Toronto’s existing subway network remain under the control of the residents of Toronto who own and paid for them.
Make Your Voice Heard!- Planning and Development Public Consultation Meetings
The City has received a new development applications within the community. I encourage you to join me and Community Planning Staff at the public consultation meetings to hear more about what’s being proposed as well as have an opportunity to share your feedback directly. If you’re unable attend the meeting, you can still submit feedback to the planner assigned to the file which will be formally reviewed and recorded in consideration of the application.
155 Balliol Street
A rezoning application has been submitted to permit a 24-storey rental apartment building with a daycare facility on the ground floor. The proposed development would include 142 parking spaces and a 902 square metre public park on the west side of the site. The western portion of the site is currently occupied by a 19-unit, 2-storey townhouse complex that would be demolished to accommodate the proposed development. The existing 18-storey apartment building on the eastern portion of the site would be retained.
|Date: Thursday, December 20th, 2018
Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Place: Christ Church Deer Park
(1570 Yonge Street)
26-40 Birch Avenue
The City has received an application to permit a 4-storey residential building containing 27 condominium units and 27 and 27 rental units. The proposed development also provides 1 level of underground parking with 52 parking spaces for residents and 6 parking spaces for visitors.
|Date: Monday Dec 17, 2018
Place: City of Toronto Archives
255 Spadina Rd.
206 Russell Hill Road
The City has received a rezoning application to permit four 3-storey townhouse units with 8 vehicular parking spaces provided in a below-grade garage.
|Date: Monday Dec 17, 2018
Place: City of Toronto Archives
255 Spadina Rd.
As you know, the City is currently rehabilitating the St. Clair Reservoir to ensure that we continue to have safe and clean supply of drinking water. As part of the restoration of the park that sits above the reservoir, City Staff have proposed changes to the tennis courts and off-leash dog area.
Please join me at a public open house on Tuesday, December 11th between 6:30-8:30 at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, 230 St. Clair Avenue W., Flora McCrea Auditorium (Room 109) to review the proposed options and share your feedback. You can read the detailed rationale and options for the tennis court and off-leash dog area options in this notice. More information about the St. Clair Reservoir Project as a whole can also be found here
If you have you any questions or concerns leading up to the meeting, please contact the Senior Public Consultation Coordinator:
Andrew Plunkett. Tel: 416-397-1968 TTY: 416-338-0889
The City has undertaken a review of the Public Realm and Built Form policies in the Official Plan which has resulted in new draft plan policies. In response, the City is seeking feedback and input. A public meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 11th at between 6:30-9:00pm at Metro Hall (55 John Street, Room 308). You can read more about the review and consultationhere
Hillcrest Village BIA AGM
The success of our local businesses and main streets is important to our economy, quality of life and property values. On Monday December 10th at 7:00pm in the community room at 747 St.Clair Ave W., I welcome you to attend the Hillcrest Village BIA’s annual general meeting! Both the BIA’s program and budget for 2019 will be discussed.
The Stop’s Farmers’ Market at Artscape Wychwood Barns
Come out and visit the Stop’s Farmers’ Market at Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St.) every Saturday, year round, from 8:00am to 12:30pm to enjoy local, sustainable and organic products and great music! The Stop’s Market Café is also open during the same hours as the Farmers’ Market and serves delicious breakfasts, soups, sandwiches, and desserts prepared by Stop chefs using ingredients sourced from the market. Check it out in The Stop’s Green Barn (Barn 4) every Saturday. I look forward to seeing you then!
D’Arcy McGee CSPC Presents- Breakfast with Santa
On Saturday December 8th from 9:00am-12:00pm at D’Arcy McGee Catholic School (20 Bansley Ave.), I welcome you to come out and celebrate the Christmas season with your community and Santa. For further details, please check out this flyer here.
Northern Starr Hanukkah Kwanzaa Christmas Holiday Market
At Wychwood Barns (601 Christie St.) on Sunday December 9th from 12:00pm-7:00pm, I hope to see you at the Northern Starr Hanukkah Kwanzaa Christmas Holiday Market. This unique vendor market will bring the spirit of the holidays to life! For further details, please check out this flyer here!
Come join me at Winterfest 2018 on Saturday December 15th from 6:00pm-9:00pm on Holland Park Avenue (between Oakwood Avenue and the Library) to enjoy a special visit from Santa, hot chocolate, carolling, ornament hanging, tree lighting and dancing with Ontario School of Ballet students! Let’s celebrate this holiday season together! For further details, please check out this flyer here!
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle During the Holiday Season
As we prepare for holiday celebrations, the City encourages us to be mindful of the amount of waste we generate. Small changes to reduce waste, such as using reusable plates, cutlery and cloth napkins for a holiday event, can make a difference!
Tips to recycle right over the holidays:
• Empty and rinse recyclables such as aluminum roasting pans and tins, plastic plates and cups before placing them in the Blue Bin (recycling).
• Paper wrap, flattened cardboard and rinsed plastic plates and plastic cups (except black plastic) also go in the Blue Bin (recycling).
• Foil/metallic wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, bubble wrap, bubble envelopes, packing peanuts (foam pellets) and fruit crates go in the garbage.
• All food scraps as well as soiled paper napkins and paper plates go in the Green Bin (organics).
More tips on managing holiday waste are available at http://www.toronto.ca/reduce-reuse. Information about how to properly dispose of holiday items is available athttp://toronto.ca/wastewizard or on the new TOwaste App available athttp://ow.ly/1AJT30mHUB9.