Toronto City Council met on June 7, 8, and 9, 2016. 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.