Council Highlights – City Council Meeting: November 29 and 30, 2011

City Council meeting of November 29 and 30, 2011

2012 Solid Waste and Water budgets
Council approved the 2012 operating and capital budgets for Solid Waste Management Services, covering the delivery of waste collection and disposal, and for Toronto Water, covering water and wastewater treatment and delivery. The budgets provide for continued investment in infrastructure renewal and solid waste management diversion while supporting fiscal responsibility and customer service. These budgets are funded by rates that correspond with usage. The 2012 Solid Waste budget consists of an operating budget of $345.8 million and a capital budget of $103 million. The 2012 Toronto Water Budget includes an operating budget of $381 million and a capital budget of $607 million.

Sponsorships and naming rights
Council approved policies for the sponsorship of City of Toronto programs and events, and for naming rights involving City-owned properties. The intention of the policies is to enhance revenue the City receives from sponsorships and naming rights, and to establish a fair, transparent and consistent review process for proposals. Council also adopted an honourific and street naming policy. Proposals for naming rights are subject to Council's approval. Certain properties and assets such as City Hall and community council locations are not available for naming rights.

Toronto's child-care system
Council discussed the impact of Ontario's full-day early learning kindergarten program on Toronto's child care system when fully implemented in 2014, and decided to communicate to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education about the urgent need for a child-care stabilization and transition plan that ensures the availability of a sustainable child-care system. Analysis by the City's Children's Services shows that without the necessary provincial resources, the supply of licensed child-care spaces in Toronto will decrease.

Traffic control at construction sites
Council approved a new memorandum of understanding with guidelines for traffic control at City of Toronto construction sites and street events, replacing the previous memorandum. The new memorandum eliminates the earlier requirement for hiring paid duty police officers, though police may still be hired in certain circumstances. It is estimated that removing paid duty officer requirements for traffic control could save the City about $1.3 million in 2012.

Sale of City assets
Council voted in favour of directing the board of Enwave Energy Corporation to take steps to solicit proposals for the sale of Enwave through a competitive auction on behalf of the City and the other owner, BPC Penco. The City owns a considerable number of marketable assets, including real estate and government business enterprises. Sale/monetization of assets has the potential to offset some of the spending and debt pressures in the City's capital budget.

Side guards on trucks
Council requested the preparation of a report on the feasibility of the City of Toronto installing safety side guards on the City of Toronto's fleet of large trucks to help protect cyclists and pedestrians. The report will also address whether or not it is feasible to establish a policy that favours the City doing business with companies whose large trucks are equipped with side guards.

Voluntary financial contributions
Council supported establishing a voluntary contribution option to be offered on property tax bills. Toronto residents will be able to make donations to a specific City of Toronto service or direct a donation to general revenues. The voluntary contribution option on property tax bills will augment donation opportunities already available to residents. Last year, the City received 10,400 donations with a total value of $1.2 million benefitting about 40 programs.

Motorcycle parking
Council directed staff to prepare a report on options for the implementation and enforcement of parking charges and fees for motorcycles and motor scooters – which currently have free municipal parking. The report will include the financial impact of the changes that are recommended.

Backyard hens
A councillor's motion on the viability of allowing Toronto residents to keep a limited number of hens in their backyards to produce eggs for personal consumption was not discussed by Council. Instead, the motion was referred to the Licensing and Standards Committee for its consideration.

Vapour lounges
Council directed staff to review the legality of Toronto businesses operating as "vapour lounges" that permit clients to use water pipes and vapourizers to smoke/inhale substances such as marijuana and herbal mixtures.

Outdoor ovens in parks
Council approved a policy that will guide the City's handling of requests to install or use outdoor ovens in City of Toronto parks. The policy, which includes safety requirements, was developed by the Parks, Forestry and Recreation division in consultation with community operators of bake and tandoor ovens that are already established in several parks.

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