Council Highlights – City Council meeting of October 2, 3 and 4, 2012

Council Highlights is an informal summary of decisions made by Toronto City Council. The City Clerk provides the formal documentation at www.toronto.ca/council.

City of Toronto's public appointments
Council adopted recommendations of the City of Toronto's Ombudsman to improve the administration of the City's public appointments policy. In addition, Council voted in support of a motion to consider staggering the timing of board appointments. Staggering the timing of appointments would mean that not all members of a board could be replaced at the same time. That would maintain some continuity of membership across Council terms.

Sale of Enwave Energy
Council approved the sale of the City's stake as a major shareholder in Enwave Energy Corporation. The purchaser is a partnership sponsored by Brookfield Asset Management. Individual councillors' motions proposing where to allocate the City's estimated net proceeds of about $168 million were referred to the Budget Committee for discussion.

Future of the Toronto Zoo
Council adopted a motion directing the City Manager to cancel a Request for Expressions of Interest concerning options for the Toronto Zoo that was issued on October 1. Council called for further consideration of the zoo's governance, and requested that the City Manager report to the Executive Committee in January 2013.

Separated bike lanes on Sherbourne Street
Council adopted rules/specifications for the separated bike lanes now being installed on Sherbourne Street – including setting driver fines of $150 for blocking a separated bike lane. Council also adopted a motion addressing the co-ordinated installation of the Sherbourne Street bike lanes and the removal of bike lanes from Jarvis Street. The motion specifies that removal of the Jarvis lanes is to be funded from the Transportation Services budget, not from the City's cycling budget.

Port Lands revitalization strategy
Council adopted guidelines provided by the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative for moving forward with the revitalization of Toronto's Port Lands. The acceleration initiative involved City staff, Waterfront Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority working together over the past year, and included public consultation. The work refined the approach to flood protection, and provided a financial plan for revitalization that is practical and implementable.

Amendments to Council's code of conduct
Council adopted recommendations from the City's Integrity Commissioner that will amend the Code of Conduct complaint protocol for members of Council to be consistent with recent changes to the Public Inquiries Act and the Constituency Services and Office Budget Policy. The amendments that are tied to the Public Inquiries Act also pertain to members of the City's local and adjudicative boards.

Single-use plastic shopping bags
Council adopted a deferral motion that includes providing consultation opportunities for the retail industry as well as deputation opportunities on a draft bylaw banning Toronto retailers' provision of single-use plastic carry-out bags. Council deferred its discussion of the matter to its next scheduled meeting, November 27/28. A separate motion to reopen Council's original decision on single-use bags failed to obtain the required number of votes to reopen the matter. The findings of the consultations and deputations will be provided to Council for its November meeting, when the draft bylaw is scheduled to be considered for enactment.

Future options for Casa Loma
Council authorized the Casa Loma Corporation Board to undertake a Request for Proposal process to find a new operator of Casa Loma. The operator, who would lease Casa Loma from the City, will be required to maintain public access, respect the heritage of the land and buildings, and invest in maintenance of the buildings. The City will also solicit expressions of interest concerning the portion of the property that includes a hunting lodge and stables.

Wayfinding system for Toronto
Council adopted the vision and principles presented in the "Toronto 360° Wayfinding Strategy" report and approved the next step – consisting of two pilot projects for multimodal wayfinding. A wayfinding system helps people to find their way by a variety of means including signs, maps and new media, as well as elements of the public realm such as lighting, street furniture and public art. The wayfinding system is expected to enhance tourism by making Toronto a more walkable city.

Bus lanes on Don Valley Parkway
Council approved plans to increase the availability of bus bypass lanes on portions of the Don Valley Parkway (DVP). The bus lanes are for exclusive use by GO Transit and TTC vehicles. City staff reported that bus bypass lanes established in portions of the north DVP in 2010 have proven effective. The bus bypass lanes are a response to heavy traffic on the DVP that adversely affects GO Transit and TTC bus service.

Sterling Road traffic control
Council authorized the replacement of a pedestrian crossover with traffic control signals at the intersection of Dundas Street West and Sterling Road. That location was the site of a fatality last November, when a cyclist was hit by a truck turning onto Dundas Street. In addition to installing traffic lights, a "no right turn on red light" prohibition will be established for traffic approaching Dundas Street on Sterling Road.