City Council meeting of July 12, 13 and 14, 2011
Council Highlights summarizes a selection of decisions made by Toronto City Council. The City Clerk's Office provides the full, authoritative documentation of all Council business matters and decisions.
Council adopted a plan to begin creating a network of separated bike lanes and voted to remove the existing bike lanes that are painted on Jarvis Street, Pharmacy Avenue and Birchmount Road. The first project for bike lanes that are physically separated from vehicle lanes will take place on the Bloor viaduct, and design work will begin for separated lanes on Sherbourne, Wellesley, Harbord and Beverley Streets. The Jarvis Street bike lanes will remain in place for about a year until bike lanes are established on a resurfaced Sherbourne Street as an alternative north-south route for bicycle traffic in the east downtown area. Council also adopted changes affecting the planned installation of bike lanes on certain sections of Bloor Street West.
Council adopted a graffiti management plan that aims to eliminate graffiti vandalism while supporting graffiti art and other street art that adds vibrancy to Toronto's streets. The plan includes efforts to work with stakeholders including youth, agencies and corporations such as Canada Post on ways to reduce graffiti vandalism. Council also requested a report on a strategy for removing, and recovering cleanup costs for, corporate graffiti/advertising marked on sidewalks.
Pedestrian tunnel to the island airport
Council authorized the City of Toronto to enter into an agreement with the Toronto Port Authority for the construction of a pedestrian tunnel between the Toronto mainland and the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. A watermain and sanitary sewer lines serving Toronto Islands residents and businesses are expected to be incorporated into the tunnel project at a much lower cost than installing the water and sewer lines on their own apart from the tunnel.
Management of Lakeshore Lions Arena
Council decided to take over the operation of Lakeshore Lions Arena by setting up a new Lakeshore Arena Corporation to run the four-pad arena at 400 Kipling Ave. The Lakeshore Lions Club, which opened the arena in 2009 to replace a single-pad arena, faced difficulties paying off a loan that the City had guaranteed. Council's plan calls for the arena's financial affairs to be put in order, then the City will seek a private operator to take over.
City services benefit card
Council gave its support in principle to a project to introduce a City services benefit card for public business transactions with the City. The first phase of the project will focus on the Employment and Social Services division's issuance of Ontario Works payments to residents.
Taxi fare payment by debit/credit card
Council agreed to amend the code governing taxi cab owners and drivers by adding the requirement that cabs equipped for payment by debit or credit card must display a sign on the passenger doors informing riders of any service charge applied to payment by debit or credit card.
Redevelopment of Lawrence Heights
Council adopted a plan for the redevelopment of the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood. The plan, which originally proposed 4,800 new market rent/condominium units, has been trimmed to 4,100 units in addition to about 1,200 replacement social-housing units. Council wants construction to proceed at a manageable pace, ensuring that financing is in place for the infrastructure needed to support the growing community.
Toronto Prosperity Initiative
Council expressed its support in principle for the recommendations contained in the Toronto Prosperity Initiative: Establishing the Path the Growth (PDF) report. The report was produced by an advisory committee of City officials, business leaders and labour leaders, with additional recommendations from the Economic Development Committee. Council gave several directives for follow-up, including a report on the financial implications of implementation.
Consultation for parks plan
Council approved a consultation plan to help in the preparation of a five-year Parks Plan to guide decision-making about parkland in Toronto. The consultations this fall will seek public input with the intention of producing a final report early in the new year.
Local food procurement
Council adopted a policy supporting the purchase of locally-grown food. Under the policy, staff will try to increase the proportion of locally-grown food in purchases of food for City of Toronto operations when cost, quality and availability make it feasible. The City will take steps to support local economic activity in the food sector.
Financing the TTC
Council adopted a member's motion for the City to urge Ontario's political parties to make public commitments to reinstate the "fair share" funding arrangement for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). From the 1970s until the late 1990s, Ontario funded 50 per cent of the TTC's operating costs and 75 per cent of its capital expenditures – known as the "fair share" formula. At present, the TTC faces capital and operating budget shortfalls as well as unpredictable future funding.
Appointment of two senior managers
Council appointed Brenda Patterson and John Livey deputy city managers to fill vacancies in the Toronto Public Service's senior management. Brenda Patterson is currently Toronto's general manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation. John Livey will join the City of Toronto from the Town of Markham, where he is chief administrative officer. There are three deputy city manager positions in the Toronto Public Service. Each oversees a cluster of municipal services.
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Council Highlights, produced for your convenience, is a summary of Council's recent decisions. Council Highlights is not intended to serve as an official record of the meeting. If you have questions about this summary, please e-mail Strategic Communications firstname.lastname@example.org.