As many of you know, this June is Portugal Heritage Month when we celebrate the rich culture of Toronto's Portuguese community. On June 8th, joined by the Portuguese Consul General Dr. Luis Silva Barros and Mayor Tory, I raised the Portuguese Flag at City Hall as part of a month long series of festivities for Portugal Month. Thank you those who came out to join in the celebration at the Portugal Day Parade last Sunday and Dundas West Fest on Saturday. Thousands of residents and visitors were treated to a great exhibit of the dedication of Ward 18 residents to our local histories, cultures and creativity.
June also marks Canada's first ever Pride Month when we celebrate the achievements and history the LGBTQ2S community in their fight for equality of rights and opportunity. Toronto has long been a place of inclusion for all groups facing discrimination and the message of Pride to embrace diversity and to love each other is a strong and important one for all of us to embrace.
At City Council earlier this month, I voted to adopt some key measures to improve the quality of life for residents in our city, including the adoption of Toronto's Ten Year Cycling Network Plan, which will double our investment and coverage of cycling infrastructure over the next decade. I voted to explore licensing multi-residential property owners and to adopt a rating system for apartment buildings which seeks to promote the safe and adequate provision of rental housing for Torontonians, nearly half of whom are renters.
The City Manager and Chief Financial Officer have also outlined the financial challenges our city faces in the coming years. Council has directed them to explore potential solutions to these challenges in a comprehensive and sustainable manner. It is important that moving forward we avoid service cuts, while considering the ways we can better pay fopr the services and infrastructure many of you have been looking for. I look forward to discussing these challenges and potential solutions with you in the coming months.
There are also many items coming up for the next City Council meeting in July and the next few weeks will definitely be a flurry of activity at City Hall.
Ward 18, Davenport
Bloor Dufferin Lands Community Hub Post-Meeting Update
You might recall that a week and a half ago, I sent you an update on the Bloor-Dufferin TDSB Lands and an invitation to attend a community meeting that took place on Monday. The meeting was co-hosted by the City of Toronto, Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Toronto Lands Corporation (TLC), and the Province. The purpose of the meeting was to update residents on the progress of an inter-governmental working group and to seek your feedback to shape the future of this important site.
At the start of the meeting I spoke about how this site is a strategically important city-building site and that I believe all of us have an interest in doing something great for our community here. I outlined some of the past history and City involvement that you can read by clicking here to see my previous updates on this topic. I also reiterated that any future development of this TDSB owned site must include but not be limited to:
- The preservation of as much green space as possible;
- The preservation and expansion of child care spaces;
- The need for affordable housing to be included as part of any development on the site;
- That any proposed development fits with the character of the neighbourhood;
- The preservation of the heritage aspects of the site; and
- The need for community services, uses, and a community hub to be created on the site itself.
The TLC (the TDSB's real estate arm) will be issuing a request for proposals at some point in the future to maximize revenues from the sale of the site. In my opinion it is important that the RFP reflects the discussions that the community has had over the years. Once the site is purchased and if a development application is submitted, the formal City planning process would then take over with additional opportunities for public consultation and input.
It was great to hear the feedback, ideas, and concerns that many residents proposed to the independent meeting facilitators yesterday. Your engagement can shape the future of this important site and I encourage you to provide your thoughts and feedback to the working group. Please click here to download a set of questions that can help you develop your thoughts and feedback. Please send any feedback directly to Nicole Swerhun, Swerhun Facilitation (the Independent Meeting Facilitators) at email@example.com. The deadline to submit comments is Monday June 27, 2016 at the end of the day. All comments will be included in the meeting summary that they are preparing and I will be sending out to everyone.
I look forward to continuing to update you on this process and welcome any additional comments, questions, and feedback that you would like to make me aware of. I am including below the materials produced by the Working Group for the meeting. Please click on each title to download them in PDF format. To see my previous updates and efforts on this important community issue please visit: http://www.anabailao.com/bloor_dufferin_school_lands
Materials Produced by the Working Group for the Meeting
- Meeting Agenda and Set of Questions
- Bloor Dufferin Community Update
- Slides from Overview Presentations
Improving Road Safety on Dovercourt Road
On June 1, 2016 I hosted a joint community consultation with neighbouring City Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19, Trinity- Spadina) to discuss a proposal to turn Dovercourt Road between Dundas Street West and Queen Street West into a one way road. This proposal came forward as a result of safety concerns on this narrow but busy section of Dovercourt and a petition to turn it into a one-way road.
At the meeting there were some concerns regarding turning Dovercourt into a one-way road, such as traffic spilling onto other neighbourhood streets and increased vehicle speeds as a result of wider lanes. Therefore, City staff will examine a variety of options including speed humps, bollards, textured paving surfaces and other measures to address the safety concerns on this street. We will report back to the community for your input and feedback once a new proposal is developed and I hope to provide an update on the next steps soon.
New GO Barrie Line Station Announced for Bloor and Lansdowne, Davenport Diamond Petition Gains 2,000 Signatures, New City Staff Report Released
As many of you are now aware, I have been working alongside a coalition of 9 different community groups and other elected representatives in advocating for the best possible community outcome from Metrolinx's proposed Davenport Diamond project. On Tuesday it was announced by the Province that a GO Train station at Bloor and Lansdowne on the Barrie GO Line is a part of their new station plans.
This is a strong victory for our community and it wouldn't have been possible if not for the work of many community members who came together and helped to advocate for our community. Thank you to everyone who has engaged on this issue and to the Province for making this announcement. While a station has finally been committed, there is a lot more work to do in order to ensure that our community fully benefits as part of this project.
Through our collective efforts over three weeks in May and June, my office alongside these 9 community groups managed to collect over 2,000 signatures in support of a petition that calls on the Government of Ontario and Metrolinx to:
- develop a comprehensive vision that includes a design competition;
- address noise, vibration, and safety issues and concerns;
- create a multi-modal station at Bloor;
- establish cycling and walking connections throughout including connections to the West Toronto Railpath, the Green Line, and an elevated connection to Earlscourt Park;
- devise a long-term maintenance plan and endowment fund for community programming;
- resolve concerns relating to Dupont St;
- provide the community with a date commitment to electrify the corridor; and
- guarantee that no more than the proposed 36 trains per day will be in use until electric trains are operational on the corridor.
MPP Cristina Martins has read the petition in the Ontario Legislature and added her name to it as well. You can read the petition in full by clicking here.
A new City staff report on the Davenport Diamond has also been released and it contains the following staff recommendation that City Council will be debating and voting on:
That the City continue negotiations with Metrolinx to secure a new multi-modal GO Station at Bloor Street, a Community Improvement Plan for the study mitigation area, a multi-use path and connection south to the West Toronto Railpath, a design solution and mitigation strategy for the rail corridor intersection at Dupont Street, and to participate in the project Community Advisory Committee.
The report can be viewed in full detail here: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-94293.pdf
Finally, the 30-day review period as part of the Transit Project Assessment Process is ongoing and is scheduled to be completed on June 27, 2016. As part of this process Metrolinx has released their Environmental Project Report (EPR). The EPR and more information on the 30-day review period can be found on the Metrolinx project website here: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/rer/davenport.aspx
Once again, thank you to all of the community groups for working with me and so many others in presenting a real and achievable community vision for this project. I truly believe that when our community comes together, we can accomplish so much. I look forward to updating you on our work in the near future.
Ward18 Talks: Pavilion Project
Our cities are places where experimentation, risk and inspiration run through the streets. Our buildings and spaces embody the stories of those who came before us and leave a lasting impression of the results of their creativity. But what is the story of temporary architecture and how can it make a lasting impact?
Join me and the Pavilion Project at the second installment of my Ward18 Talks series to hear about their exciting plans in our community. Help us shape the future of this important initiative as we test the limits of design and architecture to activate our communities and inspire our city. Please RSVP below for in order for us to accommodate all attendees in this event.
Bike Month: Ward 18 Tune Up #2 - West Toronto Railpath Entrance (Sterling Rd & Dundas St W) - Wednesday June 22, 2016 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Paradise Theatre Revitalization Update Community Meeting - Working Women Community Centre (533A Gladstone Ave) - Wednesday June 22, 2016 starting at 6:30pm
West Queen West Heritage Conservation District Study Consultation - Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West) - Thursday June 23, 2016 starting at 6:30pm
Armstrong Avenue Street Party - Armstrong Ave - Saturday June 25, 2016 from 2pm to 8pm
Bloordale Parkette Markette - Susan Tibaldi Parkette (357 Margueretta St) - Sunday June 26, 2016 from 10am to 3pm
Bike Month: Secrets of Ward 18 - West Toronto Railpath Entrance (Sterling Rd & Dundas St W) - Thursday June 30, 2016 from 6pm to 8pm
Canada Day Festival - MacGregor Park (346 Lansdowne Ave) - July 1, 2016 from 4pm to 6:30pm
Property Assessment MPAC Info Session - New Horizons Tower (1140 Bloor St W) - Wednesday July 6, 2016 starting at 7pm
Ward18 Talks: Pavilion Project - 213 Sterling Rd - Thursday July 7, 2016 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Gilfillan Lane Unveiling - Mackenzie Cr & Lisgar St - Saturday July 9, 2016 from 11am to 1pm
The Street Store - Dufferin Grove Park (875 Dufferin St) - Saturday July 9, 2016 from 10am to 6pm
Movie Nights @ McCormick Park - McCormick Park (346 Lansdowne Ave) - Friday July 22, 2016 from 7:30pm to 10 pm
BIG on Bloor - Bloor Street West between Lansdowne and Dufferin - Saturday July 23 and Sunday July 24 running all day
Movie Nights @ Dovercourt Park - Dovercourt Park (155 Bartlett Ave) - Thursday July 28, 2016 from 7:30pm to 10pm
New Federal and Provincial Investments Increase Affordable Housing Opportunities
As Toronto's Housing Advocate I am pleased to let you know that the Federal and Provincial Governments have announced the allocation of over $640 million in new funding over the next 2 years as part of the Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) program. This important investment doubles the amount of current funding in the IAH program.
This funding will help address social housing repair and maintenance backlogs and support the creation of affordable housing for both seniors and adults. This investment will also support the construction and renovation of new shelters and transitional housing for victims of domestic violence, helping some of the most vulnerable receive shelter and the basic dignities which form the basis of a healthy life.
The Federal Government also recently announced $150 million over four years to give eligible co-operative and non-profit housing providers the ability to pre-pay their mortgages without penalty in order for them to be able to access financing at considerably lower interest rates than the current mortgages which were negotiated decades ago.
I look forward to working with our federal and provincial partners as we move forward on these important initiatives and other opportunities to increase and repair our affordable housing stock, while also creating housing affordability for more Torontonians.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities Annual Conference
Earlier, This month I attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Annual Conference, representing the City of Toronto and our residents. This gathering of Canada's urban leaders was a great opportunity to share ideas, experiences, and innovations that work best in our cities. This annual gathering also further cemented the relationship of municipalities with the federal government as equal partners in how resources and funding are directed to meet the needs of our cities.
As Toronto's Housing Advocate, these conversations are important as the federal government embarks on the creation of a National Housing Strategy. I believe that it is critical that Canada's municipal leaders speak with one voice in working with our federal and provincial partners to create investments in new affordable housing and to address the repair and maintenance backlog that many provides are currently facing.
Provincial Funding For Social Housing Retrofits
The Province of Ontario has announced that they will be investing $500 million in energy retrofits for our existing social housing. This investment is critical to addressing the repair and maintenance backlog our social housing providers face and further builds on our initiative to combat climate change and reduce energy usage, therefore also reducing the operating costs of housing providers. For my full statement on this investment please see below:
May 25, 2016
Toronto's Housing Advocate, Councillor Ana Bailão Applauds
Ontario's Investment of $500 Million to Retrofit Social Housing Buildings
"As Toronto's Housing Advocate, I applaud the Province of Ontario's investment of $500 million over four years in energy retrofits for social housing buildings.
This substantial investment through Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan addresses two key City priorities: affordable housing and climate change. It also builds on Ontario's recent investment of $92 million to retrofit social housing through the Green Investment Fund, of which Toronto has received approximately $43 million.
Our social housing providers face significant capital repair backlogs that have social, economic, and also environmental impacts. The reality is that the majority of Toronto's social housing stock is over 50 years old, built at a time and with materials that do not reflect today's energy efficiency standards. For instance, Toronto Community Housing has seen its utility costs increase by 37 per cent in just the last 5 years, creating an enormous pressure on its operating budget.
This investment from the Province will help to address these issues and builds on the work that the City has been doing to improve the quality of life of our social housing residents and in accelerating energy retrofits. It will improve Toronto's affordable housing stock, reduce carbon emissions for the City, lower utility costs for social housing providers, and create good jobs in the process.
I look forward to the details of this investment, including the amount that Toronto social housing providers will be able to receive. I am eager to continue to work with the Province to tackle these challenges and to ensure that we have a healthier and more vibrant Toronto and Ontario."
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Media Contact: Robert Cerjanec, Executive Assistant to Councillor Ana Bailão
Leading the City's Response to Inclusionary Zoning
As I mentioned last month, the province has introduced new Inclusionary Zoning legislation, which will provide the city with new tools to leverage affordable housing units from the city's ongoing private construction activity. City Council has appointed me to lead the City's response to this important legislation in coordination with the Chair of the Planning and Growth Management Committee and the Chair of the Community Development and Recreation Committee.
This work will be coordinated with City staff and my council colleagues to ensure these tools meet the need to improve affordable housing in Toronto. I look forward to providing you with further updates as this important work moves forward.
Property Value and Tax Assessment Update
Many of you have recently received your Property Assessment Notices from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) which describe the changes in the value of your residential property. MPAC is a not-for-profit agency, which is provincially legislated and mandated to conduct property assessments across Ontario and is accountable to taxpayers, municipalities and the province through its 15-member Board of Directors. These notices reflect the assessed value of your property as of January 1, 2016 and will cover the taxation years 2017 through 2020. Assessments are conducted every four years on properties across Ontario and the previous assessment was conducted on January 1, 2012.
The average annual increase in property values across the city of Toronto was 7.5% and the average value of a residential home is now $770,000. Property value increases in Ward 18 were among the highest across the city at 12% annually. If your home was assessed at a rate higher than 7.5%, you may face a higher property tax bill, with an increases being phased in over the four year term. If your property was assessed at a rate lower than 7.5%, you may face a lower property tax bill and any decreases will take effect immediately.
While the city uses these assessments to determine the annual property tax paid by owners, it is important to note that changes in assessments are revenue neutral for the city and cannot be used to generate additional taxes. For seniors and low income persons with a disability, the City offers a property tax relief program that you can learn more about here.
The upside to our current situation is that those who own properties benefit by being able to sell them for more money or to utilize more equity in their homes, but the downside means that we face a higher than average property tax increase right now.
If you have concerns about your current assessment you may submit a Request for Reconsideration, free of charge, within 120 days of your notice issue date. If you have further questions or want to know more about how you assessment was conducted, you can visit aboutmyproperty.ca
I will also be hosting a public information session with MPAC on July 6, 2016 at 7pm at New Horizons Tower (1140 Bloor St W) for residents who have further questions and I encourage you to attend if you would like more information.
Toronto's New 10 Year Cycling Network Plan
Earlier this month at City Council, I voted to adopt the City's Ten Year Cycling Network Plan. The plan will effectively double Toronto's cycling infrastructure over the next decade by filling in gaps, improving our current system, and expanding the network to new parts of the city. This network expansion is supported by an annual $16 million cycling infrastructure investment, a doubling of our current investment levels. Of note to Ward 18 residents, the plan supports our existing efforts to expand the West Toronto Railpath south and also proposes to extend the Railpath north.
Expanding cycling infrastructure in Toronto is a step forward to achieving two critical goals. Firstly, it adds new choices for travelers to move through out our city, increasing access to jobs, residences and businesses. Secondly, and most importantly, it is about safety. By creating dedicated cycling infrastructure in our increasingly growing city, we can ensure all users of the road can coexist with one another. We need to have a Vision Zero approach to our cycling, pedestrian and road networks to eliminate the injuries and deaths we are seeing on our roads.
Implementation of the proposed routes are supported by extensive study and analysis and I look forward to working together with you to ensure that this new infrastructure reflects the needs of our community.
Modernizing Our Police Force and Reducing the Toronto Police Budget
On June 16 the co-chairs of the Toronto Police Transformational Task Force, Andy Pringle and Police Chief Mark Saunders presented an interim report titled The Way Forward: Modernizing Community Safety in Toronto. The report is an important blueprint to guide the work to modernize the Toronto Police Service and enhance community safety in our city. An important outcome of the report's recommendations, if implemented, would be to mobilize more officers out of police stations and into our communities where they can more actively and effectively carry out their duties.
Reallocating police resources to where they will be the most effective and needed is a key component of ensuring the efficiency and efficacy of the Toronto Police Service. If adopted, the recommendations in the report will be an integral component of our efforts to control this ever increasing budget with the potential to save $100 million in annual policing costs in the over one billion dollar police budget. I look forward to updating you on their progress as they work to complete the final report with recommendations by the end of this year.
City of Toronto's Long-Term Financial Direction
A report on Toronto's Long Term Financial Direction by City Manager Peter Wallace that went to City Council earlier this month outlined the fiscal challenges our city is currently facing. City expenditures between between 2011 and 2016 grew at a rate of 2.3% annually, lower than the previous 6.0% annually from 2005 to 2010. These lower expenditures are the result of savings in our cost shared programs, one time efficiency savings through modernizing our service delivery and by deferring critical capital project investments. The changes in expenditure levels across our divisions are visible in the slide below.
On the capital side, the City has approximately $29 billion in capital projects that are currently unfunded and not included in our 10-year capital plan. This includes important capital projects such as the City's share of SmartTrack, the Downtown Relief Line, state of good repair backlogs, shelter system improvements, waterfront transit, and much more. I have included another good slide from the City Manager's presentation below to illustrate this point.
It is important that we make these investments in the critical infrastructure that Torontonians use everyday and which are important to the success of our city. Adding these onto our debt load without the accompanying funding required is not sustainable and will only add to the growing carrying costs of the City's issued debt.
The City's revenue structure is largely composed of four sources: Municipal Property Tax, User Fees - like TTC fares and recreation fees, Toronto water and solid-waste management rates, and transfers from the upper levels of government. Toronto's efforts to keep our property taxes affordable for residents has been supported by the significant revenue growth of the Municipal land Transfer Tax (MLTT) which brought in over $500 million in revenue last year. The importance of the MLTT to our revenue structure is illustrated in the chart above. For comparison, the City currently receives almost $4 billion in property taxes, though this revenue source has not fully kept up with inflation and will bring in 4.0% lower revenue when adjusted for inflation. If we eliminated the MLTT tomorrow, property taxes would need to be raised by approximately 13.5% to make up the difference in revenues, leading to increased strain on our families and seniors
These revenue streams however are not sufficient to both pay for our current services and for the needed investments in our overcrowded transit system, our critical poverty reduction measures, or in our affordable housing stock. Continuing the status quo is expected to grow the opening budget pressure - the yearly gap between revenues and expenses - to $1.02 billion dollars by 2021 as shown in the presentation slide below. Addressing this structural pressure now is critical to the long-term financial health of the City. I believe that we need to look comprehensively at a series of sustainable strategies and tools to improve our fiscal health.
To meet the financial realities of the City we need to have these kinds of conversations and make the decisions necessary to ensure that we continue to build effectively on our current services and make the critical investments which support the livability of our city. The City Manager will report back to council in the Fall of 2016 with a proposed series of strategies and I look forward to evaluating these with you as we move into the 2017 budget process.
TOcore Planning Expo on Downtown Livability
The City of Toronto is inviting members of the public to drop by the TOcore Expo, a three-day event on building a livable downtown. The expo, which begins today and runs until Wednesday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, takes place at Metro Hall, 55 John St. (at King Street) in the rotunda on the ground floor. The expo is part of the City's TOcore: Planning Downtown initiative.
The TOcore Expo will showcase emerging directions of a comprehensive 25-year plan for the downtown core, providing the public an opportunity to comment on work underway. Please see below for dater and time information
Wednesday, June 22
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Rob Cressman, Acting General Manager, Shelter, Support & Housing Administration
6 to 7 p.m., Mike Williams, General Manager, Economic Development & Culture
Keep Track of Your Water Use This Summer
With the warm weather here, the City of Toronto is reminding residents that they can track their water use online with MyWaterToronto. Use MyWaterToronto to better understand your water use and look for ways to save water and money. To log-on and learn more, visit www.toronto.ca/mywatertoronto.
501 Queen Streetcar Diverting Until October
Streetcars on the 501/301 Queen route are diverting due to City of Toronto watermain work on Queen St. W. between Bathurst St. and Spadina Ave.
Streetcars will divert both ways via Spadina Ave., King St. W. and Shaw St. Shuttle buses will run on Queen St. W. between Dufferin St and University Ave. to assist customers and local businesses in the area.
Regular service will resume Sunday, Oct. 9.
Watermain Work on Lansdowne to Require Cycling and TTC 47 Bus Diversions
The City of Toronto will replace the watermain and the City-owned portion of substandard water services on Lansdowne Avenue from south of Dundas Street to Rideau Avenue, and on the Lansdowne Avenue East Branch up to Shirley Street. The road of Lansdowne Avenue from south of Dundas Street West to Rideau Avenue will also be reconstructed as part of the project. The Project will commence June 13, 2016 and run until September 15, 2016.For more project information, please click here.
In order to accommodate this work, Lansdowne Avenue will be closed in the southbound direction from Dundas Street West to Rideau Avenue for the duration of the project. During the project The TTC's Route 47 bus will be diverting southbound via Dundas, Dufferin & Queen. Northbound service will remain the same. See the map below for the cycling detour in effect during the project.
You can find a fact sheet with more information about replacing lead service pipes by clicking here.
506/306 College Streetcar Diversions for Track and Road Work
506 Carlton weekday service will be split into two portions (east and west) from June 19 to October 8. Streetcars will be converted to buses on the western portion of College Street between Keele Station and the downtown area. Streetcar service will be maintained on the eastern portion of the route between Main Street Station and the downtown area.
506 Carlton weekend and 306 overnight service will operate as buses along the entire route from Main Street to Keele stations to accommodate City watermain relining work on Gerrard Street East. During road closures for track work, 506/306 bus service will be diverted around the intersections. At other times, buses will operate along regular routing with lane restrictions in place. Streetcars return to the entire route on October 9 when the other City projects on College Street are complete.
I will keep you informed as the diversions change during this work and encourage you to consult the TTC via www.ttc.ca or @TTCHelps on Twitter for updates on this work.
City of Toronto Launches Extreme Weather Portal
Extreme weather can occur at any time, with little warning. As the City takes action to improve our overall resilience to climate change and extreme weather, it's important for Toronto residents and businesses to do the same.
The new Extreme Weather Portal brings together information from a variety of sources — including City divisions, agencies and external organizations — to help you:
- understand the risks and potential impacts of extreme weather
- take steps to weather-proof your home and protect your family
- access the programs, subsidies and resources available to help you.
To learn more and get started, please visit the website here.
Council Highlights is an informal summary of decisions made by Toronto City Council. The City Clerk provides the formal documentation at http://www.toronto.ca/council.
Ten-year plan for cycling network
Council adopted a plan for the City's investment in cycling infrastructure over the next 10 years. The plan involves doubling the size of Toronto's existing network of cycling routes by connecting gaps in the network, expanding it into new parts of the city and improving existing routes. Several related motions were adopted, including one requesting a study of cycling on Danforth Avenue next year to coincide with findings of the current Bloor Street bike-lanes pilot project.
Toronto's long-term financial direction
Council requested the City Manager and the Deputy City Manager/Chief Financial Officer to report this fall on the City of Toronto's finances and budgeting, including ways to strengthen strategic decision-making and financial oversight. Staff are to report on multi-year expenditure management, multi-year revenue strategy and opportunities to optimize City assets to help address the City's capital funding deficit. Several related motions were adopted, giving direction to staff on topics such as service delivery and service efficiencies.
Hosting major international events
Council endorsed principles to use in evaluating opportunities for Toronto to host major events and approved a policy to guide the City when hosting international events. In adopting the agenda item, which was tied to an advisory panel's report called Bringing the World to Toronto, Council also accepted the offer of a privately funded feasibility report to determine costs and benefits if Toronto were to host Expo 2025. The report is expected in August.
Toronto's screen industry
Council adopted recommendations on Toronto's screen industry, including the establishment of a multi-division group that will work to maximize the City's support for film and television production. Council's action follows the Mayor's recent business mission to Los Angeles to promote Toronto's film and entertainment industries.
Licensing multi-residential rental properties
Council directed staff to consult with the public on a proposed multi-residential rental property licence and to report back this fall. The licence would serve as a regulatory tool contributing to the provision of safe and adequate rental housing in Toronto. About half of Toronto residents live in rental housing.
Apartment building standards
Council adopted recommendations addressing the City's audit and enforcement program for multi-residential apartment buildings. The Municipal Licensing and Standards division has run the building inspection program since 2008 with the goal of improving the quality of Toronto's multi-residential rental housing. One of the recommendations involves taking steps to create a rating system to identify building quality.
Developing TTC site at Yonge and Eglinton
Council approved a set of instructions to guide redevelopment of the Toronto Transit Commission's property at Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue (southwest quadrant) as a mixed-use, transit-oriented hub. Build Toronto will be asked to consult with several City divisions and negotiate with holders of long-term leases at the site for the purpose of creating a comprehensive plan.
Mimico-Judson Secondary Plan
Council adopted a plan and design guidelines for developing the Mimico-Judson area of Etobicoke. The secondary plan takes a comprehensive approach to pursuing opportunities and challenges presented in the Mimico-Judson Secondary Plan Area, with the goal of encouraging continued business investment while providing new opportunities for residential development.
Power plant for Eglinton Crosstown LRT
Council supported taking steps to address community concerns about Metrolinx's plans to build a natural gas power plant in the Weston/Mount Dennis area to provide backup electrical power for the Eglinton LRT (light rail transit) line.
Addressing gun violence
Three separate motions on the subject of gun violence were considered by Council. A motion was adopted calling for City staff to work with the police and Toronto Community Housing staff on a strategy for this summer addressing concerns about gun violence in Toronto. Council also voted in support of a motion to ask the Province of Ontario to legislate a suspension of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission liquor licence for establishments where the Toronto police have evidence of multiple gun-related offences occurring on the premises. A motion proposing a City gun amnesty/buyback program was referred to the Executive Committee for consideration.
Graffiti management – community murals
Council approved funding for 17 mural projects across Toronto to be delivered by community-based organizations under the 2016 StART Partnership Program. The program uses street and mural art projects to engage communities in counteracting graffiti vandalism and enhancing streetscapes.
City financial support for the arts
Council approved about $8 million in grants to 11 not-for-profit organizations that deliver programming with significant cultural, social and economic impact for Toronto. In addition, grants totalling about $1.7 million were approved for six local arts service organizations ("LASOs") across the city. The LASOs provide infrastructure for community arts, contributing to healthy communities. Council also approved an allocation for a program that assists the not-for-profit cultural sector with its capital repairs.
College Park ice rink
Council authorized the City's acceptance of a financial donation from the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area toward the cost of a new outdoor artificial ice rink/skating trail and rink house that will be part of the current College Park rejuvenation capital project. College Park is being rebuilt from scratch. A new skating trail and rink house are planned components of the new park.
World Police and Fire Games
Council supported going ahead with next steps in the process for Toronto to host the World Police and Fire Games next summer, subject to the City receiving funding commitments from the federal and Ontario governments. A report says Toronto can expect a positive economic impact if it hosts the games, based on the experience of past host cities.
Marking 150th anniversary of Confederation
Council authorized the City of Toronto's collaboration with other orders of government, the private sector and the not-for-profit sector to promote and produce "Canada 150" activities across Toronto in 2017 to mark Canadian Confederation's 150th anniversary. Council directed that the City's planning for Canada 150 include recognition of the history of Canada's colonization and Toronto's Aboriginal heritage.