Earlier this July, my dear friend and City Council colleague Councillor Pam McConnell passed away. Pam served her community as a tireless and passionate advocate for social justice and as strong voice for her community. Pam also led the creation of Toronto's Poverty Reduction Strategy. I am humbled to have known Pam as a dear friend and to have had the pleasure of working along side her. My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Pam's family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. An online book of condolences has been set up by the City of Toronto, which can be accessed by clicking here.
At City Council this month, I am happy to share that the joint recommendations I moved with Councillor McMahon to advance laneway suites in Toronto were approved. Council directed the Chief Planner to: review the Laneway Suites Report, undertake further community consultation and report back in the first quarter of 2018 with respect to any recommended changes required to implement a laneway suites initiative in the Toronto and East York District. City Council also voted to unanimously approve the TransformTO climate climate action plan, laying the path forward to a low carbon future for Toronto.
At City Council, we further voted to approve the implementation of Phase 1 of the Tenants First initiative to transform Toronto Community Housing (TCH) and bring the organization closer to the needs of tenants. This work importantly will better connect residents with long-term care needs with our Local Health Integration Networks and healthcare services at more than 80 seniors-designated TCH buildings. The plan will further will seek out partnerships with the non-profit, co-op and land trust sectors to partner with the City in the operation of nearly 700 scattered social housing properties.
This month we also made important progress to commemorate and protect the diverse neighbourhood heritage of Ward 18. Importantly, the City will be moving forward to create a Heritage Conservation District Plan in the West Queen West and Parkdale neighbourhoods. Along the West Toronto Railpath, many of you joined me and our community for a heritage walking tour and the unveiling of two new plaques highlighting the rich industrial and railway heritage in the Junction Triangle neighbourhood. On Bloor St West, we also unveiled a new commemorative sign to the former Doric Theatre in celebration of the rich history of cinema along Bloor.
Throughout July, our city has also been transformed with ceremonies and celebrations marking Canada 150. It has been great to see so many Torontonians out and enjoying the festivities and activities. As the City Councillor for Ward 18, it is a privilege to represent and serve a community of engaged and passionate residents working to make Toronto and Canada a better place each and every day.
It was great to see so many of you out this month in our parks and at the numerous community events including my Ward 18 Talks on Artist Spaces, our annual Community Environment Day and the unveiling of the upgraded splashpad at Perth Square Park. There are a number of upcoming community events this month including the BIG ON BLOOR Festival of Arts & Culture this weekend on July 22 & 23, 2017, the Opal Dental Mural Unveiling this Saturday June 22, 2017 at 11am, and my annual Ward 18 Movie Night in McCormick Park next Wednesday July 26, 2017 at 8:30pm (66 Sheridan Ave), to name a few. You can find more community updates and a complete list of of upcoming events included in this edition of my e-newsletter and I hope to see you at some of the events throughout the month!
Ward 18, Davenport
Commemorating our Heritage with New Plaques along the West Toronto Railpath
As our community evolves and changes, it is important that we commemorate the rich industrial and railway heritage that defines many of the neighbourhood across Ward 18. Earlier in July, many of you joined me for a heritage walking tour along the West Toronto Railpath where we unveiled two new heritage plaques highlighting this history in the Junction Triangle neighbourhood.
The first plaque, located at the northernmost West Toronto Railpath entrance on Cariboo Ave, commemorates the significance of the former West Toronto Diamond and how this important confluence of railways helped spur a budding neighbourhood of industries, shops and families. A piece of the Diamond has been embedded within the concrete at the entrance to the Railpath solidifying its place and history in our community for generations to come.
The second plaque will be located in the under-construction Wallace Plaza at the base of the Wallace Avenue Pedestrian Bridge, helping to create a new gateway entrance to the Railpath. The plaque commemorates the importance of the bridge in linking communities bounded by rail lines, its continued prominence as a local landmark loved by residents, and its recognition as a rare example of local railway heritage architecture.
Thank you to the Friends of the West Toronto Railpath, Scott Dobson, and Heritage Toronto staff for working with me and our community to commemorate the unique heritage of Ward 18!
Davenport Diamond Update
At the latest Davenport Diamond Community Advisory Committee Meeting, Metrolinx presented their Public Realm Plan, Lighting Concept and Integrated Art Strategy as part of their work on advancing detailed design of the project. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share your feedback with Metrolinx on the Public Realm Plan.
You can find the slides from these presentations and other project details on their project website at: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/regionalplanning/rer/davenport.aspx
I am continuing to work with community members and other elected officials to advocate for the community requirements that we established together to ensure that our community benefits from this project. In addition to the new station at Bloor and Lansdowne, we have been making steady progress on many of the other community requirements. I look forward to sharing more information on this as it becomes available.
Metrolinx has indicated that they will be holding another public community consultation meeting this fall. Once I have more details on this meeting, I will be sure to share this with you as well.
Metrolinx is also undertaking the Transit Project Assessment Process (Environmental Assessments) for both the entire Barrie Corridor (click here) and the electrification of the GO Train network (click here) and you can click on the links under each item for more information.
As always, you can view my previous updates on the Davenport Diamond project by clicking here.
Bloorcourt Hurly Burly reveals our local cinema history
Bloor Street West is a street rich with architectural and community history. Earlier this Summer, I was happy to join neighbours from across our community and Clay and Paper Theatre for a theatrical story telling of the cinematic history of Bloor St W. We also unveiled a unique commemorative sign for former Doric Theatre (now the Tim Hortons at 1094 Bloor St W), presented by art collective DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC MEMORY. Thank you to the artists and organizers for your dedication to shining a spotlight on an important piece of Bloor Street West's history!
Upgraded Splash Pad at Perth Square Park now open!
I am happy to share that the upgraded splash pad in Perth Square Park is now open, providing a safer, more comfortable and family friendly place to cool off and have some fun with the kids! The new rubberized surface has a softer "bouncy" feel and helps to prevent scrapes and bruises for children in the case of slips and falls. Thank you to all the parents and community members who have worked together with me and shared your feedback on the upgrades made at Perth Square Park.
West Queen West Heirtage Conservation District Plan Moving Forward
As you may know, the City of Toronto has been undertaking a West Queen West Heritage Conservation District Study and Planning Study on Queen St W between Bathurst St and Roncesvalles Ave. This work will importantly help us to conserve the cultural value and heritage attributes of the street and understand what future change is possible.
As part of this work, the Toronto Preservation Board at its June 2017 meeting endorsed the creation of two Heritage Conservation District Plans along Queen St W with the West Queen West HCD encompassing Queen St W between Bathurst St to Dufferin St and the Parkdale Main Street HCD encompassing Queen St W between Dufferin St to McDonnell Ave. A Community Advisory Panel is also to be established to provide a wide variety of perspective in the creation of these plans. You can click here for a larger view of the proposed West Queen West HCD boundaries.
You can view the presentation materials from the June 2017 community meeting where staff presented their work by clicking here and find the complete report brought forward to the Toronto Preservation Board meeting by clicking here.
Symington Park Upgrades Underway
I'm happy to share that upgrades to Symington Park are underway! City crews recently installed an accessible pathway for the community gardens and a new pergola in the park. These are part of a complete set of enhancements which will also include additional seating, shaded gathering areas, an improved baseball diamond, new plantings and a dog friendly water fountain. Thank you to everyone who shared your feedback with me on these new upgrades to Symington Park.
Ward18 Talks Artist and Cultural Spaces Survey is Open
Earlier this month, I hosted a Ward18 Talks panel discussion focusing on the challenges in creating artist and cultural spaces in our city. Together with panelists including artists, cultural organizations, and the City's Community Planning and Economic Development and Culture Divisions, a wide variety of perspectives, challenges and ideas for solutions were shared.
In addition to the opportunities to share feedback at the event, I have also set up an online feedback survey at www.anabailao.com/artspaces_feedback in order to hear from community members who may not have joined us at the event. I encourage you to take a moment to review the survey and share it with your networks to help inform this important conversation.
In Ward 18 and in neighbourhoods throughout Toronto, these conversations need to continue and are important to making progress in our city. Thank you to everyone for continuing your interest, advocacy and involvement in Toronto's artistic and cultural landscape.
Toronto School of Art "150+ Stories, 1 Canada" Art Project Participant Call
Come participate in a collaborative community art project with the Toronto School of Art!
This summer, Toronto School of Art (TSA) is creating a mosaic to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary, and it needs you! Each participant will be asked to write a short sentence about what Canada means to them on a small tile, which will be part of the larger mosaic.
Everyone is welcome! To participate, you can email [email protected], or drop by the TSA office at 980 Dufferin Street (2nd floor) during open hours.
BIG ON BLOOR Festival of Arts & Culture 2017 - Bloor St W between Lansdowne Ave and Dufferin St - Saturday July 22 & Sunday July 23, 2017
Bloordale's street festival is all ages, family friendly, and free. Learn more at http://www.bigonbloorfestival.com/
Opal Dental Mural Unveiling - Opal Dental Centre (1115 Dufferin St) - Saturday July 22, 2017 starting at 11am
Lisgar Park Market - Lisgar Park (60 Lisgar St) Saturday July 22, 2017 from 11am to 3pm
Running every Saturday until October 28, 2017, the Lisgar Park Market transform the park into a vibrant neighbourhood market with artisans and vendors animating this central community space!
Ward18 Movie Night in McCormick Park - McCormick Park (66 Sheridan Ave) - Wednesday July 26, 2017 starting at 8:30pm
FIGMENT in Dufferin Grove Park - Dufferin Grove Park (875 Dufferin St) - Saturday August 19, 2017 from 10am to 8pm
FIGMENT Toronto is a free, inclusive, participatory arts event held in Dufferin Grove Park. FIGMENT's mission is to offer free, family-friendly and participatory art to entire communities. Find all the details at http://toronto.figmentproject.org/event_details.
Are you and artist? FIGMENT is looking for artists to submit their proposals for the event! learn how you can submit and get involved by clicking here or on the photo below.
Movie Night In Dovercourt Park - SAVE THE DATE: Friday August 25, 2017 - Dovercourt Park (155 Bartlett Ave)
Bloorcourt Festival - Bloor St W between Dufferin St and Montrose Ave - Saturday August 26, 2017 from 12pm to 10pm
The Bloorcourt Festival will take place on Saturday August 26, 2017 from 12:00pm - 10:00pm in the vibrant Bloorcourt BIA on Bloor Street West.
This festival boasts one of Toronto's largest gatherings of artists, musicians, artisans, and masters of all crafts. A true modern Renaissance. There will be arts and crafts vendors displaying an exciting array of wares. It is a hub for emerging artists and veterans alike. There will be plenty of family fun complete with inflatables, crafts, and interactive entertainment for the children to enjoy.
All the way across the event from Dufferin to Montrose the local businesses will be coming outside for sidewalk sales. Restaurants, bars, and pubs will all have patio extensions for patrons to enjoy food and beverages outdoors on the street. Last but not least the event features exceptional talent with live music playing at street corners from end to end.
MacGregor Playground Teaching Gardens - MacGregor Playground (346 Lansdowne Ave) - every Saturday through October!
MacGregor Playground Teaching Gardens – Community Garden Club is happening every Saturday from 10am-1pm, and continues until October this year!
Free and open to everyone! Children must be accompanied by a Parent or Caregiver. Click here for more information.
Laneway Suites Moves Forward at City Council
I am happy to share that at the July 4,5,6,7 meeting of City Council, Council voted to affirm and move forward with the recommendations of the joint motion I moved with Councillor MacMahon to advance Laneway Suites at the Toronto East York Community Council. Council directed Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat to: review the Laneway Suites Report - developed in partnership with Lanescape and Evergreen with my and Councillor MacMahon's support; undertake further community consultation; and report back in the first quarter of 2018 with respect to any recommended changes required to implement a laneway suites initiative in the Toronto and East York District.
Laneway suites can help address the need for more "missing middle" housing by adding gentle density to our neighbourhoods, in addition to establishing more rental stock and creating multi-generational living opportunities for families. The Laneway Suites Report recommends actions including the establishment of an as-of-right planning framework for laneway suites alongside a set of recommended performance standards that will provide a strong foundation for the future of laneway suites in Toronto. The report was based on an extensive consultation process that engaged with over 3,000 Torontonians through an online survey, written feedback, and in-person consultations in Wards 18, 32 and at the Evergreen Brick Works.
As staff undertake this important work I will continue to keep you updated on progress we are making to bring laneway suites in Toronto. You can find all my previous updates on laneway suites by visiting www.anabailao.com/tags/laneway_suites.
Investing In the Potential of Toronto's Waterfront
The ongoing revitalization of our waterfront presents new opportunities to re-imagine how our city can grow to support Toronto's livability and long-term prosperity. The potential to create modern, sustainable, inclusive and enjoyable communities is no more apparent than in the Port Lands.
In June, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, and Mayor of the City of Toronto, John Tory, joined Waterfront Toronto CEO Will Fleissig to announce joint funding of $1.185 billion for Waterfront Toronto which will unlock the potential of a large portion of our waterfront through the Port Lands Flood Protection project. The Government of Canada will contribute up to $384 million to this project, and the Government of Ontario and the City of Toronto will each contribute over $400 million.
The Project will provide critical flood protection through the creation of a naturalized mouth for the Don River, establishing new aquatic habitats and wetlands that support native species and removing numerous downtown neighbourhoods from the risk of severe flooding. This initiative will help lay the groundwork to transform the underused industrial area into a vibrant and resilient community with affordable housing, rapid transit, public amenities, new parks, and new jobs.
You can learn more about this important city-building project by clicking here.
Evaluating a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto
Housing affordability is a challenge for many in our city and creating solutions requires a multi-faceted approach across our housing spectrum. It is critically important though that the existing housing supply within our city is being used to meet the needs of Toronto's residents. This month, City Council voted to direct City Staff to conduct broad consultation and analysis of the impacts and benefits of implementing a Vacant Home Tax in Toronto.
Such a mechanism could encourage property owners and landlords to bring vacant and unused units into the market, easing rental supply pressures and adding new homes for Torontonians to live in. City staff have been directed to report back to Executive Committee later this fall and I look forward to reviewing their work. You can review the recommendations and actions advanced at City Council by clicking here.
TransformTO Climate Action Plan Approved
I am pleased to share that City Council unanimously approved recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto by 80 per cent by the year 2050 as part of TransformTO: Pathway to a Low Carbon Future. TransformTO identifies strategies and goals to transform Toronto's buildings and energy, transportation and waste systems by 2050.
Confronting the realities of climate change requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach and TransformTO lays the path forward for a low carbon future for Toronto. City staff will be undertaking further community engagement with this initiative and you can learn more about TransformTO by clicking here.
Moving Forward to Put Tenants first at Toronto Community Housing
As you may be aware, the City of Toronto is undertaking the Tenants First initiative to transform Toronto Community Housing (TCH) and bring it closer to the needs of tenants. The initiative has been informed and shaped by the input of tenants who have shared their lived experience, knowledge and advice as part of this plan. You can read the complete report here.
Toronto City Council this month voted to approve the implementation of Phase 1 of the Tenants First initiative to transform Toronto Community Housing (TCH) and bring the organisations closer to the needs of tenants. This work importantly will better connect residents with long-term care needs with our Local Health Integration Networks and healthcare services at more than 80 seniors-designated TCH buildings. The seniors-designated buildings will be managed by a new entity separate from TCH.
City Council also voted approve a Request for Expressions of Interest from non-profit, Co-op and land trust sectors to partner with the City to operate close to 700 scattered social housing properties across Toronto. These will include the TCH homes located in the Havelock St and Sylvan Ave area. City Council further voted to direct TCH to not permanently close any additional housing units in 2018 or 2019.
The work being undertaken to transform is not easy, but it has the potential to place TCH on the path to long-term sustainability and ensure the 110,000 tenants living in TCH buildings are better served for years to come. I look forward to continuing this important transformative work in consultation with tenants, staff, my colleagues and many community stakeholders.
City of Toronto Unveils New TORONTOMOJIs
As part of the celebrations of Canada 150, the City of Toronto unveiled TORONTOMOJI, a free electronic sticker pack of 50 customized graphics created to highlight some of Toronto's most iconic landmarks, attractions and symbols. The pack also includes 10 icons that reflect the urban Indigenous community in Toronto. TORONTOMOJI can be downloaded for free on iOS and Android.
The app was developed by TWG, with Toronto graphics created by Hayley Thomas and 10 Indigenous icons conceived and designed by Maaiingan Productions to reflect the urban Indigenous community in Toronto.
For complete details and download links for iOS and Android devices, please click here.
Perth/Dupont librarian retires after 40 years on the job - Bloor West Villager
Photo of the Day: Tower Automotive Building - Urban Toronto
Toronto students design zero-energy laneway home - Toronto Star
To protect social housing, sometimes you have to let go - Maytree Foundation
Toronto Community Housing needs more than money: Editorial - Toronto Star
Dundas West Art Celebrates Chilean and Indigenous Culture - Urban Toronto
Emptied Kensington apartments appear on Airbnb - Toronto Star
Laneway suites could help increase housing supply - BILD Blogs
Laneway housing represents 19% of all new low-rise housing in Vancouver - Brandon Donnelly
What role can laneways play in Toronto's Cycling Network?
The Laneway Project is partnering with the Canadian Urban Institute and the Community Bicycle Network to explore opportunities for using laneways to fill gaps in Toronto's cycling network. The project will identify challenges and possible solutions that can be implemented in the short and medium terms, while more significant infrastructure investment is being undertaken as part of the City's Cycling Network Ten Year Plan.
A short survey has been prepared by the team to gather input from Torontonians living and working around the city's laneway network, both cyclists and non-cyclists, regarding the challenges and opportunities that exist. To learn more about this project, please visit www.thelanewayproject.ca/laneways-as-bikeways.
Short-term rental survey available online
Municipal Licensing and Standards and City Planning divisions are inviting residents to have their say about proposed rules and regulations for short-term rentals (such as Airbnb) via an online survey.
The survey can be found at www.toronto.ca/mlshaveyoursay and is available until August 18.
Additional stakeholder and public consultation meetings will be held in the fall. A final report is expected to be presented at Executive Committee in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Have your say! Protecting Toronto's pollinators
The City is inviting residents to share their views on a proposed strategy to protect Toronto's bees and other pollinators. The purpose of the strategy is to identify actions that can be taken by the City and the community to protect, enhance and create habitat for Toronto's pollinators. Toronto is home to more than 360 species of bees, and more than 100 species of butterflies and other pollinators. Some species are in decline. Learn more and share your views.
Paying and disputing your parking violations will become easier this summer
Frustrated with having to wait months for a court date to dispute a parking ticket? Good news! Starting August 28, 2017, the City of Toronto will introduce an easier, more convenient process for disputing parking violations. Disputes will be handled by the City instead of through the court, providing you with faster resolutions and a more efficient process.
You will be able to request an online review of your penalty, meaning the entire process can be completed without having to leave your home. If you'd like an in-person review, you will be able to book an appointment at a time that works for you. Not satisfied with the decision? You will be able to request a second independent review of your penalty that will be final.
More details about this new process are available at toronto.ca/aps. Keep checking back for all the latest info!
Toronto Hydro Electrical Upgrades on Bloor St W
Toronto Hydro is rebuilding the underground electrical system in our community to help improve service reliability. The rebuild includes the replacement of the existing electrical cables within the City of Toronto’s public property allowance in front of or adjacent to your property
The electrical portion of this project is expected to begin by late July 2017 with an approximate completion date of early January 2018. The project area includes a section of Bloor Street West between Gladstone Avenue (East) and Dufferin Street (West). Throughout this project, planned outages may be necessary to switch from the old to the new electrical system and Toronto Hydro intends to provide residents with advance notice.
Toronto Hydro crews and contractors will take extra care and precautions around properties. Any areas affected by this work will be restored by Toronto Hydro upon completion of the project as season, weather and schedules permit.
For more information please contact Toronto Hydro at 416-542-3366 or visit torontohydro.com
Nominations open for Toronto's annual Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards
Residents are encouraged to submit nominations for the City of Toronto's 2017 Access, Equity and Human Rights (AEHR) Awards – the City's highest honour to recognize people or programs that have made a difference in Toronto by working to eliminate discrimination and break down barriers to equality.
Nominees must be Toronto residents, groups or programs. It is easy to submit a nomination with both online and mail-in options. More information, including past recipients, is available at http://toronto.ca/civicawards. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 4 p.m.
The five AEHR Awards are: Indigenous Affairs Award; Access Award on Disability Issues; Constance E. Hamilton Award on the Status of Women; Pride Award for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Two-Spirit Issues; and the William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award.
Nominations are made by the public and recipients are selected by a panel of community members with expertise and knowledge of issues pertinent to the awards. Recipients will be announced in the fall and an awards ceremony will take place at City Hall in December.
Toronto City Council met on July 4, 5, 6 and 7, 2017. Council Highlights is an informal summary of selected decisions that Toronto City Council made at its recent business meeting. The City Clerk's formal documentation is available at http://www.toronto.ca/council.
Implementation of Tenants First strategy
Council approved the integration of City programs and services for seniors at more than 80 seniors-designated buildings in the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) portfolio, as recommended in the Tenants First report. The seniors-designated buildings will be managed by a new entity separate from TCHC. One of several motions that Council adopted with this agenda item directs TCHC not to permanently close any additional housing units in 2018 or 2019.
TransformTO climate action plan
Council unanimously approved recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Toronto by 80 per cent by the year 2050 as part of TransformTO: Pathway to a Low Carbon Future. TransformTO identifies strategies and goals to transform Toronto's buildings and energy, transportation and waste systems by 2050. Among related motions that were adopted is one providing direction for the City to undertake community engagement on TransformTO.
King Street pilot project
Council authorized a King Street transit pilot project between Bathurst and Jarvis Streets starting this fall. A motion that Council adopted will give taxis greater freedom of movement than general traffic on King Street from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and the City will consult with the taxi industry on the matter of taxi-stand spaces. This pilot project is primarily about improving the speed and reliability of public transit on King Street, Toronto's busiest route for surface transit.
Toronto Parking Authority Board
Council voted to place the Toronto Parking Authority's board of directors on a leave of absence and to set up an interim governance arrangement while the City Manager assesses the Auditor General's findings concerning a land acquisition by the parking authority. Council also adopted several related motions, including one by Mayor John Tory that will result in the City reviewing all its major agencies, boards and corporations "on a rolling basis so that agencies are reviewed once per term of office" to ensure consistency with City objectives and practices.
Campaign for infrastructure funding
Council supported a motion for the City to undertake a campaign calling for the Ontario government "to be a committed partner in meeting the unaddressed infrastructure needs of the City of Toronto by committing to increased, long-term and predictable funding to support Toronto's housing and transit priorities." Details on implementing the campaign, which will include the participation of City agencies and corporations that choose to be part of it, will be finalized this fall.
Vacant residential units in Toronto
Council decided that the City will undertake consultations and a study on the potential implementation and public policy benefits of a tax on vacant residential units in Toronto. Staff have been directed to report to the Executive Committee in September on the results of that work and provide recommendations on whether (and potentially how) to proceed.
Impacts of spring flooding
A temporary suspension of rent and licence fee collection from Toronto Islands tenants/licensees was authorized by Council as a response to this spring's flooding of Toronto Island Park and waterfront areas. Staff will prepare a report detailing budget impacts of the spring flooding. On the islands, about 800 residents, 30 businesses and two schools had to adapt to rising waters. Many of Toronto's waterfront parks and beaches have suffered shoreline erosion, damage and debris accumulation over the past few months.
Planning for children in vertical communities
Council approved the City's use of the draft Growing Up guidelines in its evaluation of proposals for multi-unit residential developments. The intention is to foster the design of new vertical communities suitable for households with children. Another recommendation that Council adopted as part of the same agenda item calls for prioritizing space for non-profit, licensed child-care facilities in new developments.
Action plan for transgender youth
Council adopted recommendations for establishing an interdivisional working group to consult with the City's transgender youth advisory group (Trans Youth Advisory) on a trans-inclusive services action plan. Council also decided to expand the age range for members of Trans Youth Advisory to ages 14 to 29. The term transgender refers to people with gender identities and expressions that differ from stereotypical gender norms.
New community advisory committee
Council adopted a motion to establish a Community Advisory Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirited Issues. Staff were asked to recommend terms of reference and committee composition this fall. An earlier, similar City of Toronto advisory committee was disassembled in 2006.
Change to lobbying bylaw
Council amended the City's Lobbying Bylaw, extending the time period for starting a proceeding with the City's Lobbyist Registrar. As a result, the previous limitation period of no more than six months after an incident has been changed to within two years of an incident.
Winter respite services
Council authorized the Shelter, Support and Housing Administration division to expand winter respite services, particularly for people experiencing homelessness who do not traditionally access shelter beds. Services for the coming fall and winter will be offered from October 15 to April 30. Winter respite services build on year-round homeless-support services, providing safe spaces for people who are otherwise vulnerable to extreme cold and winter-related events.
Nuclear emergency preparedness
Council adopted a motion to ask the Ontario government to extend its current July deadline for comments on its discussion paper about preparedness for a nuclear emergency. Council is asking that the deadline be extended to September 30 "to allow municipalities and citizens to provide meaningful input."
Support for fashion industry
Council agreed to establish an advisory panel on Toronto's fashion industry to advise the City on how it can help the local industry deal with challenges. A report says the fashion industry is growing but companies need assistance from the City as support is not provided by the federal or provincial governments. It is expected that the panel will consider matters such as providing additional support for entrepreneurship, labour force development and increased exports by the local fashion industry.
Promotion of major running events
Council voted to ask staff to establish a working group with suitable representation to develop a strategy to strengthen "running tourism" in Toronto. Council was told that Toronto can leverage its growing international reputation for excellent marathons and attract more runners from across North America and globally, contributing to Toronto's tourism and economic vitality.
'Spotlight on Toronto' action plan
Council adopted a strategic action plan called Spotlight on Toronto in support of the Toronto film, television and digital media industry and asked staff to work on an implementation plan. The Toronto industry faces increasing competition from other jurisdictions in North America that have invested heavily in new studio spaces and tax-incentive programs to attract and retain new business.