Councillor Josh Matlow

Councillor Josh Matlow’s Community and City Hall Update for March, 2019

Councillor Josh Matlow’s Community and City Hall Update for March, 2019

2019-04-12T14:34:12+00:00

Take Action to Support Youth Hubs- Safe and supportive communities

City Council can choose to provide Toronto’s youth and their families with safe, supervised, and enriching after-school spaces accessible to every one of our city’s neighbourhoods in the 2019 budget. Toronto currently has 21 existing youth spaces that provide a supportive environment for activities, homework help, and access to trained youth outreach workers. But there are many gaps across our city, creating unequal access to these opportunities. By adding an additional 20 spaces in existing community centres and library branches, almost every child will be within a 2 kilometre (roughly 24 minute) walk to a publicly-run youth program.

Please share this webpage through social media and to your networks. The link provides information on the nearest proposed Youth Hub and information on how to contact the local representative. Let residents in other wards know that their advocacy can have a direct impact on their local Councillor’s support of this crucial program to support young people and build safe communities.

For more information please see this Toronto Star article.


City Must Improve Snow Clearing Services

I believe the City’s standards for clearing the snow is unacceptable. That’s why, on our community’s behalf, I’ve been requesting the mayor and council to support improving snow clearing. This includes higher standards for roads, and for sidewalk clearing to be introduced in every neighborhood to improve the safety and accessibility of our city.

I’m concerned that there have been reports of residential streets not having even been plowed once after two or three snowfalls. And when the streets are cleared, plows leave large walls of snow and ice (windrows), which has affected permit parking, blocked driveways and covered drop off/pick up zones in front of schools.

In far too many areas of Toronto, shoveling sidewalks is the responsibility of the property owner fronting the walk. If even one property owner doesn’t clear the snow, the entire block can be unsafe and inaccessible for many seniors, parents with strollers, and others with mobility challenges.

Improved snow clearing is a priority for Torontonians and I don’t accept this shouldn’t be a basic service that a Canadian city provides.

Mayor Tory has announced that he supports a review, to be undertaken by city staff, regarding snow clearing standards across our city. I’m actively encouraging residents to let the mayor know that this is a priority to them.

For more information, please see this Toronto Star article and this CP24 piece.


Sign the Petition to Save Our Subway

Premier Doug Ford says he’s taking Toronto’s subway so that he can get new transit built. However, nothing is stopping the province from building transit in Toronto right now. The real reason he wants to steal our subway is to gain control of the lucrative land and air rights associated with the stations.

Please sign our petition to learn more and tell Doug Ford to keep his hands off our subway, and remember to share it with your family and friends.

For more information, please see the following news items:

Metro Morning: Councillor Josh Matlow has concerns about the province’s subway upload                                                                                                                            
Toronto Star: Ontario, Toronto release framework for deal to upload city’s subway to Queen’s Park                                                                                                                    
CTV News: Province and city nail down terms for TTC subway upload talks


TAKE ACTION: Support the Tenants’ Defence Fund

As many residents of our community know all too well, Toronto’s rental market is spiraling out of control. Higher rents have created incentives for bad landlords to get rid of good tenants so they can charge more for the same apartment.

City Council will have the choice to support renters in the 2019 budget through increasing the Tenants’ Defence Fund. The Fund helps renters fight back against landlords through:

  • Providing information to tenants facing illegal evictions
  • Organizing tenants to fight back against unfair rent increases
  • Informing renters how to exercise their right to a safe, clean, and healthy home
Please share this webpage through social media and to your networks to let residents in other wards know that their voice is needed to support Toronto’s tenants.

Province Eliminates Supports for Residents Fighting Inappropriate Development

After years of advocating alongside my colleague, Kristyn-Wong Tam, and local residents’ associations, the previous provincial government implemented major changes to the planning appeals system in Toronto. Bill 139, the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 replaced the OMB with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

Last week, Premier Doug Ford’s government announced that the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre, one of the most important reforms contained in the legislation, would be eliminated. The Centre was established to provide supports for community members to level the playing field against deep-pocketed developers. Supports included guidance on Tribunal process, as well as providing planning and/or legal representation.

This provincial cut is part of a troubling trend that has seen the new provincial government doing favors for developers, including the sale of the Hearn for only $16 million and the announcement that Ontario Place could be sold to the private sector.

I will continue to advocate for our neighborhoods against inappropriate development that doesn’t support community planning.

For more information, please see this article.


Beltline ‘Lost Stations’ Project

The Beltline is a natural sanctuary and fascinating historic corridor within the heart of our Midtown Neighborhoods. I initiated the Beltline ‘Lost Stations’ Project as a way to highlight the trail’s railway history and the communities it runs through, and to enhance and bring a sense of place to the trail for future generations. Using three ‘lost stations’ between Eglinton and Mount Pleasant as focal point, we are creating a design concept to celebrate the historical, cultural and botanical features of the Beltline.

I was excited to host a preliminary design consultation meeting alongside Parks and Recreation Staff and Victor Ford Consultants on February 25. Community members were invited to review three proposed design concepts for the ‘stations’ and provide their feedback. I invite you to take a look at the preliminary plans on my website, and provide feedback to Parks and Recreation staff before March 11.

A second round of designs will be available for review by late spring of this year, and construction will take place this fall or next spring.


You’re Invited to My Community Office’s Grand Opening!

On Wednesday March 6th, from 5:00pm-7:00pm at 745 St. Clair Ave W.,I invite you to join my team, local residents and I for a celebration of our Toronto-St.Paul’s neighborhoods! Light refreshments and snacks will be provided.

For more information, I welcome you to check-out my flyer here. We hope you can make it!


HAVE YOUR SAY: Public Consultation for 145-155 Balmoral Avenue 

The City has received an application to amend the zoning by-law and Official Plan to permit a new 15-storey seniors care facility containing 147 rental units. The new facility would replace the existing Amica Balmoral Club. You can review the proposal in greater detail, including the architectural plans and technical studies, through the City’s development portal here

Please join me and the City’s Community Planning staff at a public consultation to share your feedback on the proposal

When: Wednesday, March 20th 6:30pm-8:30pm
Where: First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto (175 St Clair Ave W)

If you have any questions or are unable to attend the public meeting, please contact the Community Planner to share your comments:

Kevin Friedrich
(416) 338-5740
Kevin.Friedrich@toronto.ca


My Visit to Fairbank Memorial Community Centre

I really enjoyed my time visiting with the York-Fairbank Centre for Seniors. They have a remarkable community, offer all sorts of programs, we had an informative conversation about the city’s budget, I danced in a Zumba class and they even make their own jam!


Oakwood Village Community Organization’s Annual General Meeting

Oakwood Village Community Organization (OVCO), a not-for-profit resident led-group, invites you to join them for a dinner, annual general meeting and public meeting on March 26th, at 529 Vaughan Rd (Davisville Jr. P.S./Spectrum Alternative Sr. School). They welcome you to:
6:00 community dinner
6:20 OVCO AGM
7:00 a dynamic, interactive discussion.

They recognize that the community needs youth services, housing, employment, child care and much more. OVCO looks forward to taking action for real results. Dinner will be provided by Cornerstone Shelter and please note that donations are welcome. For more information please email: info.ovco@gmail.com . I look forward to seeing you then!


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!


Community Safety Forum

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Community Safety Forum I hosted on Thursday evening. It was a really informative, thoughtful and important conversation ranging from road safety, car break ins and shootings to proactive youth programs, enforcement and building community.


Hosting the Leacock Foundation at City Hall

It was a pleasure hosting some inspiring kids from the Leacock Foundation today to discuss how to fight for social justice at city hall. As they’re all St. Jamestown residents, I also told them about about what a wonderful local Councillor they have!


Toronto-St. Paul’s & Don Valley West Annual Skating Party

Thanks to everyone in our Toronto-St. Paul’s & Don Valley West community who joined me, Carolyn_Bennett & Rob_Oliphant for our annual skating party! It was a fun event and great conversations. I hope to see you next year!


Registration for City of Toronto Spring & Summer Recreation Programs & Summer Camps Begins This Weekend

Registration for City of Toronto spring and summer recreation programs as well as summer camps starts this Saturday, March 2. The City is the largest provider of safe, fun and high-quality recreation programs for people of all ages, skill levels and interests in Toronto.To help residents prepare for registration, customer service hours have been extended. Residents can call 416-396-7378 from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on February 27 and 28, March 1 and 4.
Registration begins at 7 a.m. on:

  • Saturday, March 2 in the Etobicoke/York district
  • Sunday, March 3 in the Scarborough district
  • Tuesday, March 5 in the North York district
  • Wednesday, March 6 in the Toronto/East York and West Toronto/York districts
How to register
Step 1: Get account numbers
Residents need a family number and client number to sign up for recreation programs. Those looking to register are encouraged to get their numbers before registration day by calling 416-396-7378 or by speaking with staff at a City community centre.Step 2: Choose programs
Residents are advised to have a few backup choices prepared in case their preferred program is full. A listing of programs can be found online at http://www.toronto.ca/funguide or in the printed Spring/Summer FUN Guide available at community centres, libraries, civic centres, and City Hall. A program wish list can be created with the online FUN Guide.

Step 3: Register
Residents are encouraged to have all information and payment options ready before registration starts. There are three ways to register:

  • Online at https://efun.toronto.ca/ (online is the easiest and fastest way to register)
  • By telephone with help from staff at 416-396-7378
  • In person at select locations listed in the printed FUN Guide and available online at http://www.toronto.ca/rec.
Free recreation programs
Many community centres offer free recreation programs, including leisure swimming and drop-in programs for children, youth and older adults. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/lowcostrecreation.If registrants are unable to attend
Parks, Forestry and Recreation programs are popular and many have waiting lists. If registrants are unable to attend their registered program, they are asked to contact their local community centre or call the customer service line so the spot can be offered to someone else.

Welcome Policy yearly credit
The Welcome Policy credit can be used to register for City recreation programs. Those receiving social assistance (Ontario Works) and living in Toronto are pre-approved to receive this credit and should speak to their caseworker. Visit http://www.toronto.ca/wp for more details.

Older adult discounts
Participants 60 years and older receive a 50 per cent discount on the regular price of adult recreation programs, excluding private, semi-private and small group lessons.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of more than 2.9 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world’s most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TorontoComms, on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/cityofto or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/cityofto.


Cultural Hotspot Highlights York and North Etobicoke

From May through October, the Cultural Hotspot shines a spotlight on arts, culture and community in diverse neighbourhoods, inspiring new ideas about where culture thrives in Toronto. In 2019, the Cultural Hotspot celebrates York and north Etobicoke. This annual partner-produced initiative kicked off in Scarborough in 2014, and moves to a different location each year.
Share your community events, festivals or gatherings: Have an existing project or event? This city-wide marketing campaign drives people to the Hotspot’s event listings. Post your information to their online events calendar for free and far-reaching publicity. Events submitted by March 8 will be included in their printed program guide and promoted through social media channels.
Participation in Cultural Hotspot events is free or accessibly priced. Visit this link here for details.


Free Income Tax Clinic at Central Eglinton’s Community Centre

Do you need help filing your income tax return? The CECC’s trained volunteers can prepare your income tax return from March 1st, 2019- April 18th, 2019. Appointments will be taken starting February 19th, 2019. Please phone 416-392-0511 ext. 0 to book your appointment. For further details, please review this flyer.


March Break Fun: Programs Offered By Our Toronto Public Libraries

Looking for something to do during March Break? Our local libraries offer more than 100 free activities for kids, teens, and the whole family. Browse the programs or use their search tool to find out what’s happening during the break. I wish you all a safe and fun March Break!

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