Toronto City Council Meeting Highlights from October 2, 3 and 4, 2017

Posted in Updates



Council Highlights is an informal summary of a selection of the decisions that Toronto City Council made at its recent business meeting. This is a list from Oct 2, 3 and 4, 2017:

  • Financial support for cultural facilities     
  • Energy storage strategy       
  • Street-name signs       
  • Denouncing racism     
  • Symbols/flags promoting hate  
  • Backyard chickens pilot project  
  • Municipal election advertising  
  • Internship program for Muslim youth  
  • School food campaign    
  • Neighbourhood lending libraries    
  • Glenn Gould Day  


Council Highlights – Toronto City Council Meeting of October 2, 3 and 4, 2017

Posted in Updates



Council Highlights is an informal summary of a selection of the decisions that Toronto City Council made at its recent business meeting. The City Clerk’s formal documentation is available at


Creating new affordable rental housing   

Council authorized financial incentives for the construction of 600 new affordable rental homes on provincial lands at 27 Grosvenor/26 Grenville Streets and in the West Don Lands. The City incentives include exemptions from development-related charges as well as from municipal taxation. In a separate action, Council authorized capital funding and City incentives to support another 298 new affordable rental homes at sites across the city through Toronto’s Open Door Program.

Home for Good      

Council voted to authorize staff to take appropriate steps for the use of funding that the Ontario government is providing to the City under the program called Home for Good. The program will support the City’s provision of supportive housing and services for people who are chronically homeless and/or homeless with mental-health treatment needs.

Ravine strategy for Toronto  

Council adopted a new Ravine Strategy for managing Toronto’s 10,500-hectare ravine system, directing that an implementation plan be developed and a Ravine Leaders Table convened. Staff were asked to consider incorporating the concept of ecological integrity into the final strategy. Related motions that were adopted address, for example, funding needed to support a ravine maintenance and litter strategy and to pay for a biological inventory and report.

Review of tow truck industry  

Council approved a series of amendments to the Toronto Municipal Code as it pertains to tow truck operations in Toronto. The changes follow the City’s comprehensive review of the tow truck industry and responds to complaints made by the public and issues raised by the industry. The amendments aim to improve Toronto’s towing industry by balancing the public interest and the industry’s business needs.

Toronto for All initiative    

Council adopted recommendations for making the “Toronto for All” public education initiative an annual City program that will help give Toronto residents and City staff the knowledge and skills to identify, question and challenge systemic discrimination and racism. The Toronto for All campaign for the period 2018 to 2021 is conceived as a municipal tool supporting Torontonians’ civic resiliency.

Filling Ward 28 vacancy on Council      

Council declared a vacancy in the office of Councillor, Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale and plans to fill the vacancy by appointing a person qualified to hold office in the City of Toronto. The selection will be made at a special meeting in the City Hall council chamber on November 2. The vacancy resulted from the recent passing of Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell. Application details are available on the City’s website,

Process for recognitions     

Council voted in support of an approach presented by the Mayor to identify appropriate recognitions for the late Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell and Councillor Ron Moeser.

Heat in apartment buildings  

Council called on staff to hold consultations to identify and report to the Tenant Issues Committee on ways to effectively deal with heat in apartment buildings, including maximum heat in apartment units. In September, many tenants suffered during a late September heatwave, in some cases as a result of their landlords turning on the heat and/or not turning on the central air conditioning that provides ventilation in tower-block apartment buildings.

Acceleration of Vision Zero planning  

Council advised Transportation Services to include options that will accelerate Vision Zero planning, including the acceleration of the School Safety Program, as part of a progress report being prepared for the November meeting of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee.

Changes to City’s management structure  

The structural re-alignment of the Deputy City Manager & Chief Financial Officer position in the Toronto Public Service received Council’s approval. The change establishes the separate positions of Chief Financial Officer and Deputy City Manager of Internal Corporate Services, and eliminates the existing position of Chief Corporate Officer. Council approved the appointment of an interim Chief Financial Officer and the permanent appointment of the Deputy City Manager, Internal Corporate Services.

Drug overdoses in Toronto   

Council decided to designate the Medical Officer of Health as co-ordinator of the City’s response to the drug overdose crisis, with the authority to direct and co-ordinate the City’s response across divisions and agencies. Council also agreed to make requests of the federal and Ontario governments to help with the response to, and reduction of, drug overdoses.

Naloxone training for Council members  

Council agreed to ask Toronto Public Health staff to conduct a naloxone training session for members of Council as part of the effort to train more people on how to use the lifesaving medicine to reverse an opioid overdose. Public Health has significantly expanded delivery of the training, including to municipal service providers across the city who are in a position to potentially save a life.

TOcore downtown plan      

Council considered a planning document called TOcore: Proposed Downtown Plan that is in the works as a blueprint for growth and infrastructure in downtown Toronto over the next 25 years. This TOcore document will also provide an updated policy framework for downtown as the cultural, civic, retail and economic heart of Toronto and as a great place to live. Council directed staff to undertake consultation on the proposed plan, which is expected to lead to amendment of Toronto’s Official Plan in 2018.

Midtown heritage properties  

Council approved the inclusion of 258 properties – all located in the Midtown in Focus planning study area adjoining the Yonge-Eglinton intersection – on the City’s Heritage Register. This listing of numerous commercial Main Street properties in a growth centre is piloting an improved procedure for identifying potential heritage properties to include on the City’s Heritage Register. The aim is the timely listing of heritage properties when undertaking local area studies.

City of Toronto Sport Plan  

Council expressed its support for the implementation of a City of Toronto Sport Plan that will serve as a guide to the City and its partners in supporting the ideal of lifelong participation in sport for all Torontonians. Parks, Forestry and Recreation and its partners will work collaboratively over the next five years to implement the plan’s recommendations, measure progress and communicate outcomes.

Financial support for cultural facilities     

The City is taking steps to establish a flow of property tax revenue designated to support arts and cultural facilities in Toronto. Council called for work on a new property tax sub-class for that purpose and also on making a formal request to the Ontario government concerning the new classification. This initiative is an effort to ensure that Toronto’s arts sector continues to thrive, helping make Toronto a destination for tourists and employers while contributing to a great quality of life for all residents.

Energy Storage Strategy       

Council approved an energy storage strategy for the City of Toronto and asked staff to identify local opportunities for energy storage partnerships. Energy storage projects are seen as a low-carbon way to help achieve energy savings, provide local grid services, facilitate participation in provincial energy revenue programs and enhance the resilience of City facilities.

Street-name signs       

Council approved a proposal to add legacy logos to new and replacement street-name signs within the boundaries of the legacy municipalities that make up Toronto. The term legacy refers to the six former municipalities involved in amalgamation in 1998, establishing a single municipality and local government. Street-name signs now reflect the identity of the amalgamated City of Toronto.

Denouncing racism     

Council agreed to denounce racism in all its forms and re-affirm its commitment to recognize the dignity and worth of all people, along with several other statements and directives for action. On the latter, City divisions, agencies and corporations were advised to review their policies and procedures, and those of their grant recipients, to ensure consistency with City Council’s commitment to human rights.

Symbols/flags promoting hate  

Council asked for a review of City policies pertaining to displays on public property and for a report with recommendations to improve policies so as to hold event organizers/managers accountable and equip them to assess any symbol or flag, including the Confederate flag, used to promote hate and to remove them from events or from City property.

Backyard chickens pilot project  

Council authorized a three-year pilot project permitting hens in backyard pens in Ward 5 Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Ward 13 Parkdale-High Park, Ward 21 St. Paul’s and Ward 32 Beaches-East York for personal consumption of eggs produced. Only residential properties – not apartment or condominium buildings – with sufficient outdoor space qualify for the pilot and participants will need to register with the City. The decision was part of a broader item about animals in the city.

Municipal election advertising  

Council adopted several motions pertaining to enforcement mechanisms now available to the City for the 2018 municipal election as a result of the newly established framework in the Municipal Elections Act, 1996 to regulate registered third-party advertisers.

Internship program for Muslim youth  

Council authorized staff to work with organizers of the Muslim Youth Fellowship to organize an internship program of aide positions in Toronto councillors’ offices. The fellowship, a program hosted by the Urban Alliance on Race Relations in partnership with DawaNet, aims to increase in civic engagement among Muslim youth.

School food campaign    

Council endorsed the Coalition for Healthy School Food’s current campaign calling for a national school food program in Canada enabling all students to have access to healthy meals at school every day. The coalition is working at a national level to advocate for a program of that kind.

Neighbourhood lending libraries    

Council agreed to affirm its support for “little lending libraries” that are popular for sharing books in neighbourhoods, provided that the book displays do not pose a public safety concern or vision hazard. The General Manager of Transportation Services was asked to reiterate policies and protocols with staff to ensure support for these community initiatives.

Glenn Gould Day  

Council agreed to proclaim September 25 as Glenn Gould Day in Toronto. Gould (1932-82), a Toronto resident whose birthday was September 25, acquired worldwide fame for his classical piano performances and recordings. His 1955 “Goldberg Variations” is the best-selling classical piano record of all time. The release of numerous albums of his music and the publication of many books about him have contributed to Gould’s continuing international renown.

Fire Prevention in High-Rise Buildings – Tenant Issues Committee Consideration on October 13, 2017

Posted in Updates



Fire Prevention in High-Rise Buildings
Committee Decision
The Tenant Issues Committee recommends to Executive Committee that:

1.  City Council direct that funds for Toronto Fire Services Open Data projects be included in the 2018 Operating Budget of Fire Services.

Decision Advice and Other Information
The Fire Chief and General Manager, and the Deputy Fire Chief, Fire Prevention, Fire Services, gave a presentation on Fire Prevention in High-Rise Buildings. 
The Fire Chief and General Manager, Fire Services and the Deputy Fire Chief and Director, Fire Prevention and Public Education, Fire Services will give a presentation on Fire Prevention in High-Rise Buildings.
Background Information
(October 13, 2017) Presentation from the Fire Chief and General Manager, Fire Services on Fire Prevention in High-Rise Buildings
(October 13, 2017) E-mail from Mark J. Richardson (TD.Supp.TD6.1.1)


1 – Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Josh Matlow (Carried)

That City Council direct that funds for Toronto Fire Services Open Data projects be included in the 2018 Operating Budget of Fire Services.

Bike Lane Pilot Project Update

Posted in City Wide, Updates, Ward 5



This item is on the Agenda of Public Works and Infrastructure October 18th, 2017. The Staff Report recommends retaining the Bike Lanes on a permanent basis.

[Public Works and Infrastructure Committee Agenda]

[Data Report]


In total there were 371 more cyclists per day for all three streets: Bloor, Harbord and Dupont [See report]

Traffic did divert both to Dupont ( + 1,467 per day ) and Harbord ( + 584 per day ). Vehicle count was down on Bloor as a result of this diversion by -3,888 per day.


This will be debated at City Council November 7, 2017. 


Big thank you to everyone who contacted our office with their position on this issue!

Given that the downtown context is somewhat different from Etobicoke – will Etobicoke residents supports removing a lane of traffic each way on Bloor Street W?  Please do let us know.


GTAA October Update re: Mitigating Impacts of Aircraft Noise on Local Residents

Posted in City Wide, Updates


An announcement from GTAA – October 12, 2017:



This fall and winter, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) will continue to reach a number milestones toward mitigating the impacts of aircraft noise on local residents. As part of our commitment to keep elected officials informed about key activities, we would like to inform you of another milestone: our Residents’ Reference Panel’s final report:


The Residents’ Reference Panel was comprised of 36 residents who met throughout the spring and fall. The members were selected at random, but in such a way that they broadly represent the demographics of the Greater Toronto Area – in terms of gender, age, home ownership, and other criteria. The panel make-up was also more heavily weighted towards residents from neighbourhoods that are impacted aircraft noise.


During their four meetings together, the panelists  learned from a range of experts and community stakeholders. They used information collected from meetings with stakeholders, public workshops, an extensive noise-fairness survey of GTA residents, and information sessions to inform their report. 


Among their recommendations, the panel suggests that the airport:

  • Become a leader in the adoption of noise mitigation measures, including incentives for airlines to retrofit or use quieter aircraft, new night flight restrictions, and a noise insulation program for affected households;
  • Explore other options to mitigate noise on the ground before implementing a noise sharing program, which should only be pursued if respite afforded to communities is meaningful and predictable;
  • Adopt new annual reporting measures that quantify the health, environmental, and noise impacts of the airport’s operations;
  • Communicate proactively with neighbouring communities concerning future growth and the impact of its operations; and
  • Collaborate with municipal partners to review and adopt more stringent zoning requirements to ensure that no new residences are built in areas impacted by airport operations.


Details of the report will be reviewed in the coming weeks to determine how best to reflect the proposed principles, values and recommendations in a number of important projects, including: consultation on the Toronto Noise Mitigation Initiatives, the 2017-2037 Master Plan, and our updated 2017-2022 Noise Management Action Plan. This report will complement – not replace – public consultation on any major decisions that Toronto Pearson makes in the future.


Look for the full Residents’ Reference Panel Report here: