Councillor Josh Matlow

Councillor Josh Matlow’s Community & City Hall Updates: Fall II

Councillor Josh Matlow’s Community & City Hall Updates: Fall II

2019-11-04T20:11:46+00:00

Tonight’s Pumpkin Parades

I welcome you to join me and my family at two pumpkin parades this evening. To check out the parade happening at Wychwood Barns Park (south of the splash pad), I welcome you to arrive with your pumpkin and its candle at 6:00pm. If you’re available to swing-by Davisville’s pumpkin parade happening at June Rowlands Park, please arrive by 6:30pm. Let’s celebrate Halloween for one more night together!


Mayor Puts Improved Sidewalk Snow Removal Plan on IceLast winter, the Mayor and Councillors, including myself, called for improved standards for sidewalk snow maintenance due to valid concerns raised by residents that Toronto’s current standards are completely insufficient in the downtown and centre of the city. In particular, a significant number of seniors and others with mobility issues reported slip and fall incidents. While sidewalks are the responsibility of individual property owners, there are far too many that are not fulfilling their duty.

While the City could look at increasing fines and/or enforcement, it is unlikely that there will be enough by-law officers to effectively ensure that all sidewalks are cleared. This is unacceptable given the risk to residents’ safety and the effect on mobility which negatively impacts physical and mental well-being.

It is inequitable that residents in the former cities of North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, and York receive sidewalk snow clearing while the majority of the legacy cities of Toronto and East York do not. This is especially concerning that given that the levels of pedestrian traffic are much higher in these areas. Residents of our city’s inner suburban areas also frequently walk through downtown and midtown, and rightfully expect safe and accessible sidewalks too.

Seven months ago, City Council requested that an in-depth review of snow removal be conducted. The Winter Maintenance Report provided to the Infrastructure Environment Committee a couple weeks ago prescribed very little practical change and does not adequately prepare Toronto for the coming winter season.

Transportation Services’ recommendations do not go far enough to meet the equity, accessibility and safety goals requested by Council, and recommended by consultants in the review. Specifically, the lack of a robust and detailed mechanical sidewalk clearing program has left me extremely concerned about the well-being of our residents this upcoming winter.

Despite the protests of some Councillors, the Committee buried the report. My colleague, Councillor Layton, tried to bring the item back at full Council this week for debate but was voted down by Mayor Tory and much of his team.

The City of Toronto can and must do a better job at clearing snow. Unfortunately, because of the action of Mayor Tory and others on Council that will not happen this year. I will continue advocate with my colleagues who understand why this is a priority to ensure that snow removal is improved in our community, and in every community, during the coming winters. In the meantime, please be safe on the streets this winter and do all that you are able to support neighbours that cannot clear their sidewalks.

For more information, please see this Toronto Star Editorial.


Doug Ford’s Transit Plan Buries Common SenseCouncillors voted on whether to provide the City’s share of federal funding to Doug Ford’s transit plan this week. While the Ontario Line replacement for the Relief Line is intriguing as it would run all the way to Eglinton (I’d love to see it built if it makes sense), instead of stopping at Bloor, there are some significant unanswered questions. The province has still not provided basic information including the number of stops or even the type of technology used on the line. The average reasonable person would do more due diligence when buying a microwave at Best Buy than city council did on Doug Ford’s transit plan.

Moreover, while the proposed new transit deal with the Province of Ontario reduces the City’s capital burden for new transit, the plan itself does not provide good value for the available funds.

To demonstrate the absurdity of the plan, for the same cost that the province is paying to bury the Eglinton West Crosstown Extension and the Scarborough subway, against the advice of transit experts, the province could buy a small condo and a car for every new rider the lines would generate.

City of Toronto Staff revealed this week that the new provincial Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, which has unnecessarily been put underground, and the 3-Stop Scarborough Subway would provide relatively little benefit for the money invested:

  • Eglinton Crosstown West Extension: Cost – $4.7B for 5,500 new daily TTC riders
  • 3 Stop Scarborough Subway: Cost- $5.5B for 11,000 new daily TTC riders

Cost per new rider: Total project cost ($10.2B) / New riders (16,500) = $618,181 per new rider

This is especially concerning given that there are better transit options to serve Toronto residents that will provide significant savings. While the provincial Eglinton West LRT Extension costs $4.7 billion, the City approved Eglinton West line only costs $1.5 billion, running largely above ground without requiring the removal of any traffic lanes because of the wide streets through the route. Moving to the City-approved plan would result in $3.2 billion in savings.

I have written extensively about the folly of overspending on the Scarborough subway while there is an already approved and shovel-ready LRT that would serve more people and run in its own corridor. The province has now decided to reverse course and go back to a 3-stop subway which will cost an estimated $5.5 billion. The 7-stop LRT is projected to cost only $2.19 billion resulting in $3.31 billion in savings.

The total savings from following expert advice in Scarborough and on Eglinton West would be $6.51 billion. These savings would provide enough funding to build the Eglinton East LRT, the Waterfront LRT, and other transit priorities in the City.


Davisville Hub Takes Important Step Forward I’m pleased to report that the Midtown Community Hub was officially added to the City’s Parks & Recreation Facilities Master Plan. This addition prioritizes the project for funding during the budget process.

Construction of the Hub is expected to begin after the Davisville PS rebuild, currently under construction, is completed. The facility will provide new and much-needed recreation opportunities for our community including:

  • A new double gymnasium within the school that will have community access some evenings and on Saturdays for City-run recreation programs
  • Aquatic facility, In a separate City building on the Davisville PS site, which will include one 25 metre, 6 lane pool and a warm water teaching pool with the appropriate ancillary spaces (i.e. change rooms, administrative and mechanical spaces)
  • Multi-purpose rooms, including a community space of approximately 5,000 square feet
  • Roof top park/garden that will include a green roof, elevator access, patio and walking path
  • 60 underground parking spaces to be shared by both facilities.
  • The aquatic facilities, community spaces, and rooftop park will be City-owned and programming will be for the community. The gymnasium and parking will be shared with the TDSB and will be open to the public during some non-school hours.

Follow my updates on Social Media!I’m grateful to provide you with regular updates through our e-newsletter. Make sure you don’t miss a beat by connecting on social media as well! Follow me on Facebook (Josh Matlow), Twitter (@JoshMatlow), and Instagram (@joshmatlow) to keep up with the latest news from our community and City Hall.


Congratulations to our Toronto-St.Paul’s MP Carolyn BennettI’m so thrilled that we’ve chosen to re-elect an MP who cares deeply about our Toronto-St. Paul’s community. Carolyn advocates passionately for our local priorities while working hard to improve our country every day in an honest and genuine way. Congratulations Carolyn and team! I look forward to continuing to work with you.


MEETING REMINDER: Oakwood-Vaughan Safety Round Table MeetingThe repeated acts of violence committed in our Oakwood-Vaughan neighbourhood is extremely upsetting. The fear and vulnerability residents in our community and across our city feel, as a result of gun violence is unacceptable. While we need to address problem drinking establishments and support the police to respond when gun violence occurs and ensure that those responsible are no longer a threat to our community, enforcement alone is a short-term and reactive response that doesn’t address the root causes of the violence we’re experiencing.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be hosting a round table community meeting with the Toronto Police Service, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and City Staff from the Community Crisis and Response Unit, Municipal, Licensing and Standards to determine how we can address the root causes of these acts of violence. Residents will have the opportunity to connect with their neighbours and representatives from all levels of government, in order to determine the steps that need to be taken to prevent these violent and traumatic incidents from further happening in our neighbourhoods. I’ll be certain to let you know the date, time and location, once the details have been confirmed.

To read more about how I’m advocating for a safe and vibrant Oakwood-Vaughan community, I welcome you to click here.

If you have any information regarding a criminal matter, please report it directly to the police. You can do so online at: www.torontopolice.on.ca/core or my telephone at 416-808-2222. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or online at: www.222tips.com


SAVE THE DATE: Yonge & Eglinton Town Hall on Improving Traffic Safety and LivabilityTraffic safety in Midtown, and across the city, has been of increasing concern. Local roads and sidewalks designed for small-scale residential homes are now serving areas of large condominium developments that bring large construction vehicles. As well, additional traffic is brought to neighbourhoods once new residents move in. Recent provincial initiatives to increase density in the City’s Midtown in Focus plan will only increase the potential for conflict between heavy construction vehicles and crowded streets which led to the recent tragedy at Yonge and Erskine.

The increased density and other provincial planning changes, including a potential reduction in community benefits, has affected the neighbourhood’s vision for a livable community. For instance, the Ford government has removed the City’s ability to require a parkland dedication from certain developments.

Please join us at a Town Hall I am co-hosting with my local Council colleagues to hear from City of Toronto experts on the problems and potential solutions to best protect residents on our roads, sidewalks and bike lanes. The meeting will also look at providing and improving community spaces and services in light of recent provincial planning changes.

When: Monday November 25th
Where: North Toronto Collegiate Institute (17 Broadway Ave) in the Auditorium


SAVE THE DATE: Public Consultation Meeting for 1467 Bathurst Street (St. Mikes Development)Since becoming your new Councillor for the Bathurst & St. Clair area, I have heard from many of you who are wondering about the future of this vacant site at this intersection.

City Planning staff have advised me that Kingsett (the developer) is planning to submit revised plans to the City in response to the feedback heard from all of the community who have attended the public consultation and working group meetings over the past couple years.

This is a transformational project in the community and it’s important that your feedback and vision guides me and our City Planning staff before any decisions are made on this development. That is why I’m holding a public meeting on:

The evening of November 26th
(we’re still working to finalize a location so please check my event page here for details)

If you have any questions or comments in advance, please contact my office at councillor_matlow@toronto.ca (416) 392 7906

Or the City’s Senior Planner on this file

Sipo.Maphangoh@toronto.ca
(416) 338-2478


Happy Diwali!For those that celebrated Diwali this past week, I hope you and your family had a joyous Festival of Lights! I love that this beautiful holiday celebrates the victory of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.


Humewood School VisitI really enjoyed having wonderful conversations with Mme. Riehle’s Grade 5-Fl class about our community and City. The 5th graders had very thoughtful and impressive questions to ask me.


NEW: Community Council Page to Keep you Informed on Local Issues

Toronto and East York Community Council’s responsibilities include making recommendations and decisions on local planning and development, as well as neighbourhood matters including traffic plans and parking regulations

Please view my new page that highlights all the Ward 12 agenda items here

Albert Wiggan Laneway Naming CeremonyThis past weekend, I was honoured to celebrate the naming of Albert Wiggan Lane. Albert has had a positive influence as a role model and pillar of our community for over 30 years. From his well-loved restaurant- Albert’s Real Jamaican Foods, to his important community work and service on the Ontario Human Rights Commission, Albert has been an integral part of the neighbourhood for decades.

   


TTC Stopping the Sale of Tickets, Tokens and PassesNovember 30, 2019, will be the last day to buy TTC tickets, tokens and passes at collector booths. Please keep in mind that you can still use them to pay your fare. Refunds will not be provided. Once you no longer have tickets, tokens and passes, you can switch to a PRESTO card. November 25, 2019, will be the last day you can buy a GTA Weekly Pass. You’ll be able to pay your fare with the pass until December 1. PRESTO cards work on the TTC as well as other transit agencies across Ontario. You can purchase one today at all subway stations, all Shoppers Drug Mart locations, or online here. To learn more about tickets and passes being phased out, click here.


Yonge & St. Clair Planning Framework MeetingThanks so much for everyone who participated in our Yonge & St. Clair Planning Framework meeting! Together, with City Planning, we’re focusing on proactive community building in Midtown, rather than just reacting to the development industry.


Transform TO Public ConsultationsFollowing Toronto City Council’s declaration of a climate emergency, TransformTO will be hosting consultations across the city on Toronto’s climate action plan. One consultation will be held at Christie Gardens on November 4th from 1:30 to 3:30pm. Another will be held at Brown Public School on November 4th from 7 to 9pm. Come out to discuss ideas and help save the planet!


Oriole Park Association AGMThe 2019 Annual General Meeting of the Oriole Park Association will be taking place on Thursday, November 7th at 7:00pm. Join me at the Oriole Park Junior Public School to discuss important issues in the Chaplin Estates community. See you soon!


Boo! at the BarnsIt was a pleasure for Molly and I to attend another year at Boo! at the Barns. The spooky costumes, haunted house, arts and crafts and so much more, really got us into the Halloween Spirit! We look forward to attending next year.


Yonge and Eglinton Street and Pedestrian Safety EventOn Tuesday, November 12th, stop by the Vibrant Healthcare Alliance Anne Johnston Site (1298 Yonge Street) from 1-3pm for a community event on public safety. Community members and local stakeholders are invited to discuss street safety, pedestrian concerns and construction issues in the Yonge and Eglinton Neighbourhood.


Church of the Transfiguration’s Fall Leaf Clean-UpThe Church of the Transfiguration is a hub of community activity in the middle of the Davisville Village neighbourhood. On November 16th from 9am-12pm they’ll be holding their annual fall leaf cleanup. Many hands make light work, so please come by and help prepare their grounds for the winter! The Church is located at 111 Manor Road East.


123 Eglinton Ave E. Town Hall DiscussionThank you to the residents of 123 Eglinton Ave E. for inviting me to host a town hall discussion about local city priorities.

If you and your neighbours ever wish to hold a town hall discussion about our community’s priorities, please feel welcome to invite me, as I’d love to attend and connect with you all on how we can improve our quality of life.


St. Cuthbert’s Church Annual Christmas Fair

With the return of the cooler weather, it is time to start getting excited about St. Cuthbert’s Annual Christmas Fair!

Please mark your calendars for this year’s Fair: Saturday, Nov. 9th from 11am to 2pm. You can expect to find all of the great things that make the Christmas Fair so wonderful including treasures, jewelry, kitchenware, odds & ends, an art gallery, books, delicious baking & preserves, a Christmas boutique, crafts, cheese, electronics, face painting by Deyanne, and a beautiful handmade quilt which will be raffled off. All that browsing and shopping will make you hungry for the delicious served lunch! St. Cuthbert’s silent auction this year will be completely online; it will open on Fair day and all the details will be provided at the Fair.

St. Cuthbert’s are now gratefully accepting your donations of gently used household items. Although they cannot accept furniture or clothing, all other items can be placed on the bench in their lobby.


Oakwood-Vaughan Neighbourhood Walk- About with City PlanningThis past week, I was joined by City Planning on a walk-about through our Oakwood-Vaughan neighbourhood. My focus for this community is to ensure everything is done in a proactive, creative and comprehensive way, to make this a safe and vibrant place to live. More to come, so please stay tuned!

 


Steps Initiative: Community-Led Public Arts Projects The STEPS Activate: Community program is back for a second year, and is looking to support community groups, non-arts based organizations, and social service agencies in developing community-engaged, public art initiatives. The deadline to apply is November 4th by 5pm. Learn more about the program and how to apply by clicking here.


Toronto’s HomeShare ProgramAre you, or someone you know, a senior homeowner who would like help around the home, companionship, and rental income? Does your agency provide support services for seniors? Are you a student looking for affordable housing?

You are invited to attend an Information Session to learn more about Toronto HomeShare and how it might be right for you or someone you know. Toronto HomeShare is a City of Toronto program matching older adults aged 55+ with a spare room in their home with a post-secondary student seeking affordable housing. In exchange for reduced rent ($400-600 per month), the student provides up to seven hours per week of companionship and light help with household tasks.

The National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE), in collaboration with the City of Toronto, will be hosting a series of Information Sessions over the coming weeks. Each Information Session will feature a presentation by the HomeShare program team, followed by a question and answer period. Attendees can speak with Toronto HomeShare program staff directly and fill out an application or take home an information package. Light refreshments will be served.

The Information Sessions will be held as follows:

Monday, November 4
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
246 Bloor St W, Rm 114

Thursday, November 21
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
246 Bloor St W, Rm 114

Tuesday, December 3
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto
246 Bloor St W, Rm 100

Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please check out this flyer.

Please register for the session by emailing Laura Martinez, Program Manager, at l.martinez@mail.utoronto.ca.
For more information regarding the location or accessibility inquiries, please contact Laura Martinez at l.martinez@mail.utoronto.ca or 416-978-4706.


Bringing the Deer to Deer ParkStop by Yonge and St. Clair to see Toronto-St. Paul’s newest piece of public art! The en-deering mural is located on the side of 1 St. Clair Avenue West and was painted by artist BirdO (aka Jerry Rugg).


Toronto Strong Neighbourhood Strategy SummitJoin neighbourhood leaders and celebrate Toronto’s emerging neighbourhoods at the Neighbourhood Summit. Stop by Metro Hall on Saturday November 9th from 11am to 3pm for fun and interactive activities, guest speakers, food, and more! For more information, please click here.


Wychwood Barns Farmers MarketRemember to join me all year long at The Stop Farmer’s Market at Wychwood Barns. The market takes places every Saturday from 8:00am to 12:30pm at 601 Christie Street. Join me to see friends, neighbours and buy fresh produce and other food. See you there!


“Not Down The Drain” CampaignDo you know what can and can’t go down your drain? Putting the wrong things in your pipes can cause basement flooding; pollute streams, rivers and the Lake; and clog city pipes that require expensive repairs.

Please remember not to put grease, wipes and dental floss down the drain. Click here to find out more.

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