Councillor Josh Matlow

Councillor Matlow’s Community and City Hall Update: Summer I

Councillor Matlow’s Community and City Hall Update: Summer I

2019-06-24T17:57:47+00:00

UPDATE: Save Our Subway! 

In a report to Council this week, the City Manager provided an update on the negotiations with the province over the subway upload. I have previously expressed my concerns to you and Council about the efficacy of sitting at the table with a government that has already, and unilaterally, announced the outcome. Unfortunately, the Mayor and a majority of Council have voted to continue to negotiate with a proven bad faith actor.

Along with uploading the subway, the province has already indicated that they are also uploading the TTC’s associated assets including land and air-rights. This will directly jeopardize our approved plans to better utilize those assets for City priorities including parks, public squares, affordable housing, and built forms that respect our Official Plan.

In the Council meeting, Staff confirmed that the new provincial plans will likely result in further delays in starting construction on transit projects. The province’s Ontario Line, which is purportedly to run between the Science Centre and Ontario Place, is only at 2% design while the City’s Relief line is at 15%. Further, the province has yet to even share what the new technology is that they are proposing.

In Scarborough, the province’s plan to revert back to a 3-stop plan, already deemed to be “not a worthwhile use of money”  by Metrolinx, will likely result in the subway extension not being opened until 2030. The current Scarborough RT is expected to reach the end of its useful life by 2026, leaving local residents on the bus. If we moved forward now with a 24-stop LRT network for Scarborough, it could still be completed faster and serve more residents at a lower cost.

Of further concern, City Staff appear to be advancing ideas that have not been approved by Council. As this article in the Toronto Star notes, City negotiators have floated the idea of a 4-stop subway in Scarborough. The article further reveals that City officials have been working on this plan for a number of years in secret. I intend to find out how this disregard for Council process occurred.

For further information on delays to transit projects caused by provincial meddling, please see this article.


Midtown Storm Sewer Upgrade Project Receives Federal InvestmentThe Government of Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2.0 billion national competitive capital contribution funding program aimed at supporting large-scale infrastructure projects to help communities better manage the risks of disasters triggered by natural hazards. In July 2018, the City of Toronto submitted six projects for approval through the first intake process of the federal program.

I am pleased to report that the City has received approval in principle for the Midtown Toronto Relief Storm Sewer project. This project is an important part of the City’s Wet Weather Flow Master Plan and Basement Flooding Protection Program. It will greatly increase the resilience of the project area to basement flooding, reduce disruption to transportation networks caused by surface flooding and reduce combined sewer overflows to the environment. This report provides an update on the DMAF program and seeks City Council approval for the Mayor to execute contribution agreements for projects that are successful in receiving DMAF funding, including the Midtown Toronto Relief Storm Sewer project.

For more information, please see this City report


Successful EmpowerTO Event Kickstarts Conversation on City CharterI had the pleasure of seeing many of you at a town hall meeting I hosted this past Tuesday on more autonomy from the provincial government for Toronto. Over 1,200 residents were in attendance at Empower Toronto in the Timothy Eaton Church, which featured a panel discussion on creating a City Charter, moderated by Steve Paikin, featuring:

  • Cherise Burda, Executive Director, Ryerson City Building Institute
  • Natalie De Rosiers, MPP for Ottawa-Vanier, Constitutional Law Expert
  • John Parker, former MPP and City Councillor
  • John Sewell, former Mayor of Toronto (1978-1980), founder of Defend Toronto

Currently, the City of Toronto is a creature of the province. As has been demonstrated time and again, the Ontario government is able to unilaterally make decisions that have impacted Toronto’s election, transit system, finances and neighbourhood plans.

The outcome of the discussion was clear: The 19th century rules governing Toronto no longer meet the needs of our 21st century city. Due to popular demand, I will be hosting another EmpowerTO event in the fall with my colleague, Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam.

For more information, please see this article and this column

To watch a video of the event, please click here. We’d like to note that some web browsers do not support Periscope and sincerely apologize for this.


New Crossing Guard program keeps guards in their community In November 2017, City Council approved the transfer of the School Crossing Guard Program from Toronto Police Service to the City’s Transportation Services, starting August 1, 2019. The transition from Toronto Police Service to Transportation Services represents an opportunity for more oversight of the School Crossing Guard Program, its reliability and its positioning within the realm of Vision Zero activities focused on the safety of children.

As a parent myself, I know that crossing guards are essential to keeping our children safe when they cross busy streets on their way to school. Many of us have been fortunate to get to know them personally and have them know our families and children by name. That’s why I was very pleased to support Councillor Fletcher’s motion that ensured that existing school crossing guards would be assigned to their current locations.

For more information, please read this report.


Proposed Oakwood Neighbourhood Cycling ConnectionsThe City’s Cycling Infrastructure Unit is looking at improving the cycling network in the Oakwood-Vaughan area and are looking for resident feedback. After two public consultation meetings in the ward, there is an opportunity for residents to provide additional feedback until July 5th at 416-397-4675 or by emailing cycling@toronto.ca.

The proposed network improvements would see a contra-flow bike lane on either Northcliffe Blvd or Glenholme Ave (from Vaughan Rd to Rosemount Ave) and shared lanes on Winona Dr (between Davenport Rd and St Clair Ave W) for motorists and cyclists.

You can see more information about the proposal here.


Casa Loma- Transportation Management Mitigation Plan Public Drop-In EventThe City of Toronto is undertaking a Transportation Management and Mitigation Plan (TMMP) to evaluate potential traffic management improvements in the Casa Loma neighbourhood, due to the growing popularity of special events at Casa Loma and the associated traffic and parking demands.

The second round of public consultation on the project will be on July 2, 2019 from 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Toronto Archives (255 Spadina Rd). Please join me and City staff to discuss the proposal and next steps that we can take to manage traffic situation in the neighbourhood.

You can see more information on the consultation process and the background of the project here.


Congratulations to Our Toronto Raptors!Last week, our very own Toronto Raptors made history by winning their very first NBA Championship. It was an honor to watch our city and cities across Canada come together to support our team. Well done!


Deer Park Residents’ Group AGMIt was a pleasure to address the Deer Park Residents’ Group AGM this past month to discuss local and city-wide priorities including the Ford Government’s Bill 108: a complete sell out of our communities’ quality of life in favour of the development industry.


SAVE THE DATE: Councillor Matlow’s Community Environment DaysOn Sunday, June 23rd, from 10:00-2:00pm, I will be hosting a Community Environment Day at Wychwood Barns. Please drop off any unwanted art supplies, books, toys, and used sports equipment. Facilities will be available to dispose of computers and other hazardous household waste, or even replace your damaged green bin.

For more information on Community Environment Days, please click here.


Carolyn Bennett’s Annual Canada Day PicnicOn Sunday, July 1st you are invited to join Toronto-St.Paul’s Member of Parliament, Carolyn Bennett, at her annual Canada Day Picnic! Festivities will be taking place at Wells Hill Park (470 St. Clair Ave W) from 12:00pm-2:30pm. There will be BBQ, live music, and fun activities for the whole family! Rain or shine, I hope to see you there! Please check-out this poster for more details.


Mystery Reader at Oriole Park Junior Public SchoolThis past month, I was delighted to be a “Mystery Reader” at Oriole Park Junior PS! We had a fun time together discussing the importance of playing outdoors, physical and mental health, telling the truth and taking responsibility for one’s actions, public service and our love of the Blue Jays & Raptors!


TD Salsa on St.Clair On July 6th-7th, the annual  TD Salsa on St. Clair  Street Festival takes over midtown Toronto transforming a stretch of St. Clair Avenue West (from Winona Dr. to Christie St.) into a salsa party featuring an international calibre of Latin music, non-stop dancing in the streets, Latin foods and fun for the entire family! Enjoy all the tastes, sights and sounds that the festival has to offer with free on-site dance lessons by the city’s top dance schools all day long and live music featuring the best local and international Latin talent. I look forward to seeing you there!


The Stop’s Farmers’ Market at Artscape Wychwood BarnsCome 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!


Oakwood Village Urban Market 2019The Oakwood Village BIA will be hosting the Oakwood Village Urban Market on 3 summer Saturdays at Charles Brereton Park. This is an awesome opportunity for neighbours to get together to enjoy some music, crafts, food and much more! The dates include Saturday July 13th, Saturday August 17th and Saturday September 14th.


Happy Philippine Independence Day!On Wednesday June 12th, I had the pleasure of celebrating the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence Day with a flag raising at City Hall. I was delighted to have joined my friends from our Filipino community on this special day.


Oriole Park Community Garden WalksThe Oriole Park Community Garden is hosting a Walking Meditation that starts at the garden on all Wednesdays from June 19th to September 4th from 10:00am-11:00am. They are also a hosting a Senior’s Focus Walk, which begins at the Kay Gardner Beltline on all Fridays from June 21st to September 6th from 3:00pm-4:00pm. For more information and to join their weekly walks, subscribe to their website here.


Eglinton Way BIA Farmers’ MarketNow through October 13th, join the Eglinton Way BIA every Sunday for their Farmer’s Market held at 125 Burnaby Blvd from 8:00am-1:00pm. I look forward to seeing you there!


Davisville Village Farmer’s MarketI’m delighted to support AppleTree Markets, a local Ward 12 non-profit organization, which will once again be transforming June Rowlands Park, every Tuesday between 3:00pm and 7:00pm, into a vibrant “town square”. The market is a place where you are sure to see friends and neighbours, while buying fresh produce, fish, meats, chocolate and so much more. See you then!


Cy Townsend Park Playground Improvement MeetingPlease join me, Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff and your neighbours for a community meeting to discuss exciting improvements to CY Townsend Park Playground. Come learn more about what’s proposed and provide your feedback. Together, let’s make our neighbourhood fun, safe and vibrant. See you there!
Where: Toronto Public Library- Oakwood Village Library and Arts Centre, Auditorium (341 Oakwood Ave)
When: Monday, June 24th, 2019
7:00-7:30 pm -Open House
7:30-8:15 pm – Presentation and Discussion

Art Starts’ Street FestivalThe Art Starts’ Street Festival will creatively animate Eglinton Avenue at Glenholme Avenue through a full day of FREE performance, exhibits, and hands-on collaborative art making. Over 15 local professional artists will inject colour, music, and free creative art-making across different artistic disciplines on Saturday, July 20th, 2019 from 11:00am to 5:00pm. You can expect mural making, large ukulele sessions, puppet making, bell dancing interactive stand-up comedy, and much more! For more details, please click here.


Mount Pleasant Village BIA’s Shop, Wine and DineNow through June 23rd, come out to Mount Pleasant Village for a series of promotions, special menus and workshops! To check out the participating business, I welcome you to click here. I look forward to seeing you shop local.


Free Sunscreen Available Across City Parks this Summer #BeSunSafeThe City of Toronto has partnered with two melanoma charities to provide dispensers of free sunscreen across 75 parks. The purpose of the #BeSunSafe program is to prevent skin cancer by raising awareness of the importance of sun protection. To learn more, visit https://www.besunsafe.ca/


Rathnelly DayI had the pleasure of celebrating our great Republic of Rathnelly on Rathnelly Day with our remarkable community. We announced working together with RARA and with support from Toronto Water, to design and plan exciting improvements for Pump Park! Long live the Republic!


Cycle Toronto Midtown Welcomes You to a New Members Night, June 26Can safety be improved for people biking in Midtown Toronto?  On Wednesday June 26, join Cycle Toronto’s local Ward 12 advocacy group, over pub food and drinks, to learn how we can get bike lanes in our part of the city.  They will meet at 7PM at The Granite Brewery 245 Eglinton Ave E (Mt Pleasant just south of Eglinton).  For more information contact midtown@cycleto.ca.


Meals on Wheels Delivering Affordable Food Across the Midtown CommunityYorkminster Park Meals on Wheels is a not-for-profit charity that has served the North Toronto Community for 51 years.  We offer hot and frozen meals to seniors or adults who are chronically ill, have a disability, convalescing from surgery or illness, or undergoing medical treatment.  Frozen meals are delivered once a week and there is a wide selection of choices beginning at $35/package for 5 or 7 meals. Hot meals can be delivered on days of your choosing after 10:45am and consist of soup, protein with vegetable and starch and a dessert.  The cost is $6.75/meal.  If you feel you would like to try these frozen or hot meals, please call our office at 416-482-0549.


Electric Mobility Strategy: Have your say!The City is inviting Torontonians to share their thoughts about actions the City can take to support the adoption of electric vehicles in Toronto. Input from the public consultation and survey will help to inform the development of the City’s Electric Mobility Strategy.

The electrification of vehicles is one of the key strategies identified in the City’s TransformTO climate action strategy to meet Toronto’s target of an 80 per cent reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To achieve that target, 100 per cent of vehicles in Toronto must transition to low- or zero-carbon energy by 2050. Vehicles generate about one-third of the emissions in Toronto today.

You can provide feedback to the city by either completing this online survey from June 24-July 5th, or by attending a public information session. It will take place on Thursday, June 27th from 6-7:30pm at Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Room 310.


Keep Track of Your Water Use This Summer With summer here and the warmer weather (almost!) on the way, the City of Toronto reminds residents and businesses that they can track their water use online with MyWaterToronto, the City’s online water use tool. The tool offers a convenient way to track your water use by day, week, month or year. You can also better understand your water use habits and look for ways to save. MyWaterToronto can also be used to identify long-lasting and unexplained water use increases, which may mean you have a leak. You will need a copy of your utility bill to sign on. Learn more and get started at www.toronto.ca/mywatertoronto.


Know Where to Throw: Contamination and Blue Bin InspectionsApproximately one third of what is currently in the Blue Bin does not belong there. Contamination continues to be a major issue in Toronto, costing the City millions in processing fees every year.

After a hiatus in the winter, the Blue Bin inspections started back up this spring and will continue throughout 2019. When significant contamination is found, the Bin will be stickered, pushed back from the curb and not collected. A sorting Guide and Notice indicating why the Bin was not collected and instructing the resident to remove the contamination before the next recycling collection day will be left in the homeowner’s mailbox. Please find a sample of the Sticker, Notice and Guide attached for your reference. At no point throughout this process are single-family residents being charged for contamination.

Please visit the Waste Wizard to get tips on what goes in the blue bin.

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