Toronto City Council met on October 5, 6 and 7, 2016. Council Highlights is an informal summary of a selection of decisions made by Toronto City Council. The City Clerk's formal documentation is available at http://www.toronto.ca/council.
Work plan for rail deck park
Council approved funding to study the feasibility of a "rail deck" park involving a major park space above the rail corridor between Bathurst Street and Blue Jays Way in Toronto. Staff were asked to report back next year on an implementation strategy that addresses matters such as options for securing air rights above the rail corridor and for project funding with an emphasis on growth-related revenue sources.
Emergency shelter on Runnymede Road
Council approved locating a new emergency men’s shelter at 731 Runnymede Rd. in Ward 11, subject to the City securing a lease on reasonable terms for the location. The City-operated shelter will start with 50 beds. More beds could be added in response to extreme weather conditions and over time as needed. Council also supported undertaking a campaign to increase public awareness of homelessness and of the need for shelters across the city.
Fleet Services review
A detailed implementation plan for Fleet Services' operating strategy received Council's approval. The plan includes contracting out preventive maintenance and repairs of non-specialized Class 1 and 2 vehicles (cars and light-duty trucks) to enhance fleet reliability and availability. The Fleet Services division manages the maintenance and repair of thousands of vehicles and pieces of motorized equipment at garages across Toronto.
Sublease for Beaches restaurant
Council provided direction concerning restaurant and concession operations run by Tuggs Inc. at Woodbine Beach Park and vicinity. As a result, Tuggs can sublease a restaurant (previously operated as Paralia Restaurant) in the building at 1681 Lake Shore Blvd. E. Council authorized staff to start discussions on the City acquiring the remaining term of the agreement between the City and Tuggs, which currently has an end date of 2028.
Club's lease at Exhibition Place
Council approved changes to Muzik nightclub's lease with Exhibition Place, including an amendment that will allow Muzik to host banquets and occasional trade shows. Another amendment will enable Exhibition Place management to move the statues of the Garden of the Greek Gods into public view from within the club's fenced premises.
Support for survivors of domestic violence
Council gave the Shelter, Support and Housing Administration division permission to use funding provided by the Ontario housing ministry to run a pilot program that provides a housing benefit to survivors of domestic violence. Staff estimate that the pilot program will assist about 350 people to secure housing during the next few months.
Bike lanes on Woodbine Avenue
Council approved the installation of northbound and southbound cycle tracks and bicycle lanes on Woodbine Avenue between O'Connor Drive and Queen Street East, as well as an eastbound contra-flow bike lane on Corley Avenue to connect with Woodbine. Sections of several other Toronto streets, including on Sheppard Avenue East and Kingston Road, received Council's approval for bike lane designation or for the conversion of existing bike lanes to cycle tracks.
Cultural Corridor designation
Council supported providing official City of Toronto recognition of Bloor Street between Bay Street and Bathurst Streets as a Cultural Corridor. More than three million people a year attend exhibitions, performances and events along that section of Bloor Street, with its museums, film screenings, art exhibitions, concerts, culture talks, theatre and architecture. A related Bloor Street Cultural Partnership is made up of, and funded by, member arts organizations.
City's relationship with non-profit sector
Council directed staff to take steps to establish a "whole of government" policy direction and actions to guide and modernize the City’s relationship with the community-based, non-profit/voluntary sector service providers in Toronto. A whole-of-government approach refers to working across portfolio and divisional boundaries for an integrated response. The City relies on non-profit organizations to fulfill many civic objectives involving arts and culture, social services and the environment.
Updating tall building setbacks downtown
Council adopted amendments to Toronto's Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw to update the policies and performance standards for tall downtown buildings' setbacks from lot lines. The changes, which result from the TOcore planning study, provide standards for the planning and design of tall buildings, including appropriate separation distances between buildings.
Council asked City staff to consider developing online resources and leveraging current consultation initiatives as ways of providing information about City services and resources available to condominium dwellers.
Guidelines for bedroom design
Council directed staff to work with the Ontario government and other appropriate bodies to obtain greater local authority for interior building design so the City can require that bedrooms have a view to the outdoors. The action comes in response to recent experience with some residential units being built with bedrooms that do not have a window offering an outside view. The City considers an outside view important for quality of life.
Power outages at CityPlace
Council supported a motion to ask Toronto Hydro to review recent power outages in the CityPlace neighbourhood and report back on the matter, including on how to prevent future electrical outages. Residents in the tower community experienced four major power interruptions lasting between three and 18 hours during a three-week period in August and September.
Councillor vacancy in Scarborough ward
Council deferred making a decision until the November meeting of City Council on how to fill the councillor vacancy in Ward 42 Scarborough-Rouge River. The vacancy resulted from the recent election of former councillor Raymond Cho to the Ontario legislative assembly. Council can choose to fill the vacancy either by appointment or by conducting a byelection.
Public tennis courts
Council authorized a pilot project for Parks, Forestry and Recreation to issue permits to individuals or organizations at four designated tennis courts across the city that do not have a community tennis club in place. The four sites selected for the pilot are Jonathan Ashbridge Park, Birchmount Park, Park Lawn Park and Champlain Parkette. Torontonians have expressed interest in the City issuing permits for the use of designated public tennis courts for special events, public play and commercial use.
Managing smokers' litter
Council approved amendments to the Toronto Municipal Code to require restaurants, bars and nightclubs to keep public sidewalks as well as curbs and gutters around their businesses free from littered cigarette butts and related litter from their patrons. In addition, bars and other entertainment businesses in Toronto will be required to provide disposal containers in outside areas where patrons dispose of cigarette butts. This action is tied to the City's broader efforts to reduce litter in public places.
Public food markets
Council supported the City taking steps to establish a Public Food Markets Working Group with broad membership to advise the City on the further development of public markets in Toronto and on the creation of a City strategy for public food markets. Examples of public food markets in Toronto include farmers markets, markets operated by FoodShare, and the Toronto Transit Commission's pop-up markets.
Toronto City Council meeting of July 7, 8 and 9, 2015
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.
Confronting poverty in Toronto
Council adopted an interim report on a strategy to address poverty in Toronto. In addition to adopting the vision and objectives for TO
Prosperity: Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy, Council directed staff to undertake further discussions with residents and to provide Council with a final poverty reduction strategy and detailed implementation plan. Council also supported taking action on subjects such as eye examinations for schoolchildren in specific neighbourhoods and pursuing partnerships with the private sector to support the City's poverty-reduction efforts.
Council authorized Transportation Services' expansion of the City's traffic-monitoring-camera program as part of the implementation of the earlier-approved Congestion Management Plan and for monitoring work zones. The Congestion Management Plan focuses on strategies for managing traffic in Toronto, using methods/initiatives such as intelligent transportation systems, congestion and engineering studies, enhanced incident/event response, improved construction co-ordination and the provision of better information for travellers.
Construction projects and traffic
Council authorized the City's introduction, on a pilot-project basis, of contractual measures to help address anticipated traffic disruptions associated with a delayed/prolonged construction project. Construction contract provisions that take into account the monetary worth of early or late completion projects are a proven way to support the reduction of traffic congestion related to construction projects. The City plans to test contract measures such as addressing "acceleration and delay" costs for pertinent contracts to be tendered this fall and in early 2016.
Social housing in Toronto
Council adopted a series of recommendations pertaining to the report Transforming Social Housing: Renewing the Partnership with the City's Social Housing Providers. The goal is to make the social housing system more sustainable, effective and better integrated with the range of affordable housing options available to low- and moderate-income households in Toronto. The City administers and funds social housing that provides about 95,000 units, including about 70,000 rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units. The system includes City-owned Toronto Community Housing Corporation and more than 240 community-based, non-profit and co-operative housing providers.
Council adopted recommendations and provided direction to staff aimed at ensuring continued work on, and effective management of, Toronto's waterfront revitalization. Council expressed support for a second phase of waterfront revitalization supported by tri-government funding and governance, and for Waterfront Toronto to continue as the primary delivery entity for the revitalization. Council supported the City's initiation of an intergovernmental negotiation process on funding commitments.
Council provided direction for further work by City staff and Toronto Hydro in light of the latest in a series of reports on the City's response to the 2013 ice storm and on the City’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies in general. For example, Council is requesting that Toronto Hydro continue with efforts that will make Toronto's electricity supply more resilient and will reduce power disruptions – in part by converting overhead power lines to underground lines.
Expanded gaming at Woodbine Racetrack
Council debated expanded gaming at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack and passed a resolution in support of the proposal, subject to conditions.
The approval sets the stage for the development of an integrated entertainment complex including gaming and non-gaming development at the Woodbine site in the northwest part of the city. Council also agreed to explore the possibility of designating some of the revenues from expanded gaming to a community benefits fund, and supported certain employment-related requirements tied to the expansion of gaming.
Cycle tracks for east downtown area
Council approved extending the Richmond Street and Adelaide Street cycle tracks to Parliament Street in the east downtown area, with associated regulations for vehicles, on a pilot-project basis. The Richmond Street pilot will extend from Parliament Street to York Street for westbound cyclists. The Adelaide Street pilot will extend from Simcoe Street to Parliament Street for eastbound cyclists. Council also supported having staff look into the possibility of upgrading the bike lanes on Dundas Street East in the Don Valley area to become protected bike lanes.
Car-pooling app – UberPool
Council supported a motion to request a report on the anticipated effect of the public's use of Uber's new car-pooling app, known as UberPool, on Toronto Transit Commission/public transit ridership.
UberPool, which was recently made available in Toronto, tracks similar ride requests and links them, enabling passengers to share a ride and split the cost with another person who requested a ride along a similar route.
Canada Post's community mailbox program
Council agreed to ask Canada Post to provide detailed information in response to questions the City is asking about Canada Post's plans for implementing the community mailbox program in Toronto. It is anticipated that Canada Post will begin its transition from door-to-door mail delivery to a community mailbox system in Toronto starting in 2017. The City's questions address matters such the accessibility, financial and public realm implications for the City of Toronto.
Name changes for board and committee
Council approved new names for the City's film board and disabilities committee. As a result, the former Disability Issues Committee is now called the Disability, Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee. The former Film, Television and Commercial Production Industry Committee is now called the Toronto Film, Television and Digital Media Board.
New fireboat – the William Thornton
Council approved the name William Thornton to identify a fireboat recently acquired by Toronto Fire Services. Originally a Canadian Coast Guard vessel, the William Thornton will serve as a backup vessel to the City's William Lyon Mackenzie fireboat. The name William Thornton is historically significant for Toronto Fire Services and the City. The death of William Thornton in 1848 was recorded as the first fallen firefighter in Toronto, and the first in Ontario.
A motion to donate to Toronto's school boards 150 bicycle racks that the City bought and installed at Pan Am Games venues this summer received Council's approval. The bike racks, each of which provides parking for eight bikes, will be given to the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board after the Games as a legacy of the TO2015 Games. Council also supported authorizing the allocation of City funds to provide for more bicycle parking at parks and community centres across the city.
On Monday June 22 at 6pm, there will be a special meeting of the Toronto and East York Community Council where Councillors will consider a motion to reduce the speed limit from 40 km/h to 30 km/h on local roads in Ward 18 and across the rest of the Toronto and East York District. The meeting will be taking place in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
In order to view the full staff report on this please click here. In it you will find a wealth of data, information and statistics related to the matter.
If you would like to submit your comments to Community Council on this you can visit the Agenda Item page in order to request to speak or submit your comments to Community Council. Simply click the respective buttons at the top of the Agenda Item page to generate an e-mail that you can complete to do so. You can also register to speak in the meeting room before the meeting starts.
For more information on submitting comments or requesting to speak on this or any other item under consideration by a committee of Toronto City Council, you can visit this page as there is important information and specific steps that must be followed to do so.
You can also always attend these and any other meetings in person as they are public meetings open for everyone to observe. I encourage you to take part in the decision making process here at City Hall.