Council Highlights – City Council Meeting: August 25, 26 and 27, 2010

City Council meeting of August 25, 26 and 27, 2010

Adoption of city-wide zoning bylaw
Council enacted a city-wide zoning bylaw to regulate the use of land and the height, size and location of buildings. Previously, the City of Toronto had 43 different zoning bylaws inherited from the six pre-amalgamation municipalities. The new zoning bylaw now in effect is the result of an eight-year harmonization exercise that established common terminology and a set of zoning terms that apply across the city.

Preferred design for waterfront sports centre
Council endorsed, in principle, building a Port Lands sports centre with four stacked ice rinks as the preferred design option. Council directed staff to consider the project in the City's 2011 capital budget process. Research and the City's experience show that there is an unmet and growing demand for ice in Toronto, particularly in the city's central core. The proposed design includes four large ice pads/rinks, spectator seating, a restaurant-concession area, meeting rooms, an indoor running track and parking.

City's ski and snowboard facilities this winter
Council endorsed a plan for the Parks, Forestry and Recreation division to operate the Centennial Park Ski and Snowboard Centre and the North York Ski and Snowboard Centre for the 2010-11 winter season. Earlier this year, the City tried to find an outside operator to take over management and maintenance of the two ski facilities but there were no qualified bids. Council's support for continued municipal funding means that as in past seasons, the facilities will open this December to start the winter season.

Waterfront revitalization – Bayside
Council endorsed a conceptual plan for development of the four-hectare Bayside lands in the Queen's Quay-Sherbourne Street area of the waterfront. The development concept for the City-owned property includes housing (market residential and affordable rental housing), commercial and retail space, child care, community facilities and cultural/civic uses.

Legal expenses issue
Council instructed its legal staff to continue pursuing a City appeal of a recent divisional court ruling against the City-funded reimbursement of legal expenses for election compliance audits and defamation-related lawsuits involving members of Council in certain circumstances. In addition, Council decided to request the Province of Ontario to amend relevant legislation.

Flagpole project
Council approved, in principle, the creation of a public square as a community, tourist and business focal point in northwest Toronto's Emery Village. The project is to include a flagpole that is intended to be the tallest in North America. Council's support is conditional, subject to the negotiation of agreements, and all funding is to be secured before construction begins. Council requested the Emery Village BIA consider partnering with the Canadian National Exhibition Association to create an amusement park at the site to help finance the project.

Affordable housing initiative
Council authorized staff to offer to purchase a building at 450 Pape Ave. for possible conversion to affordable housing. The building, now vacant, is a heritage site owned by the Salvation Army. Council directed that upon acquiring the site, the City will ask the Toronto Community Housing Corporation to partner with the Toronto Arts Council (or another arts organization) and the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto to renovate and operate the site as non-profit, co-operative housing for artists.

Reimbursement for use of personal vehicles
Council approved a reduction in the reimbursement rate for the City's non-union employees who use their personal vehicles for City business. At the end of 2011, the rate will be reduced to 46 cents a kilometre after 5,000 kilometres in a calendar year instead of the current uniform rate of 52 cents a kilometre. Council also directed the City administration to encourage employees to make greater use of public transit, walking, cycling and car sharing for their business travel in Toronto.

Endorsement of Vienna Declaration
Council endorsed the Vienna Declaration that says a punitive approach to illegal drugs is ineffective, has negative consequences for public health, and fosters crime. The declaration advocates a shift from a war-on-drugs type of approach to regulation and harm reduction. Council endorsed the declaration to show its support for improving community health and to make the point that drug policy reform is needed in Canada.

Support for Canada's long-gun registry
Council reaffirmed its support of the federal Long Gun Registry and thanked Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair for his leadership on the issue as president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. Council declared September 15, 2010 a date of municipal significance — the National Day in Support of the Long Gun Registry — in conjunction with cities and police boards across Canada.

For inquiries about the official documentation of Council decisions, contact the City Clerk by e-mail,

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