|City Council Today Endorsed the Most Aambitious Parks and Recreation Facility Development Program Implementation Strategy in Toronto's Hstory
|October 29, 2019
Ambitious strategy for Toronto parks and recreation facilities endorsed by
City Council today endorsed the most ambitious parks and recreation facility
development program implementation strategy in Toronto's history, representing
a $2.223 billion investment in recreation facilities across the city over
the next 20 years.
The Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan 2019-2038 (FMP) reinforces
the City's commitment to providing high quality parks and recreation facilities for
all residents. The plan is informed by Toronto’s growing and changing population,
and by the ongoing high demand for parks and recreation programs and services.
Toronto City Council approved the FMP in 2017 and directed staff to report back
on a detailed implementation strategy.
The strategy provides an evidence-based investment roadmap for when,
how and where to enhance and revitalize the City's current assets and where to
build new and improved facilities. The strategy is a living document that can
respond to opportunities and reflect changing local conditions such
as unanticipated growth or land becoming available.
Increasing demand for parks and recreation services across the city is fueled by
Toronto’s unprecedented and concentrated population growth. The FMP
implementation strategy gives the City the tools to prioritize and build the right
facilities, in the right places at the right time. If current funding levels are
maintained, it's estimated that there is sufficient funding based on the 2019-2028
Capital Budget and Plan for new and enhanced facilities.
Public engagement played an essential role in developing this plan
and implementation strategy. Almost 6,000 individuals, groups and organizations
participated in the process.
This plan responds to the high demand and changing demographics by
recommending 45 new soccer/multi-use fields, 30 basketball courts
and five cricket pitches. It also recommends adding new, state-of-the-art
multi-pad arenas to replace existing older, single-pad arena facilities.
This plan is committed to increasing the City's ice pad supply by making
the most of existing facilities and ensuring there is no net loss to Toronto's ice
pads. The plan invests in existing infrastructure by revitalizing community
recreation centres and upgrading sport fields, rinks, pools and courts.
This strategy addresses long-standing service gaps by improving equity in
recreation service in underserved communities, with nearly 90 per cent of
recommended revitalizations and 75 per cent of planned new centres serving
Neighbourhood Improvement Areas.
Staff will report back to Council on implementation progress every five years.
More information about the master plan is available
"This is the most ambitious recreation facility development program in the City's
history, representing a $2.223 billion investment in parks and recreation facilities
to serve our growing and changing population over the next 20 years.
We're taking action to ensure Toronto's current and future residents have access
to recreation services they need and want."
- Mayor John Tory
Media contact: Shane Gerard, Strategic Communications,
|More..||Posted: Nov 01, 2019
|A Request for Proposals (RFP)
|October 31, 2019
Tenants First plan moves forward with release of RFP to start transfer of Toronto
Community Housing Corporation's scattered houses
A Request for Proposals (RFP) will be issued today to initiate the transfer of
Toronto Community Housing Corporation's (TCHC) scattered portfolio of houses
(single unit or multiple apartments within a house, scattered across the city) to
non-profit housing providers, co-ops and community land trusts that are qualified
to engage with tenants, improve the condition of the properties and retain
the properties as affordable housing in perpetuity. The RFP covers
623 TCHC-owned houses, representing 730 units. Tenants living in the scattered
housing portfolio will not lose their housing or their subsidy.
Toronto City Council in 2017 approved the Tenants First: Phase 1 Implementation
Plan to restructure the operation, governance and funding of TCHC. Since then,
the City and TCHC have been building a new relationship with the aim of
improving services for tenants and protecting the value of the $10-billion social
On January 31, 2018, City Council adopted Implementing Tenants First – TCHC
Scattered Portfolio Plan and an interim selection process for tenant directors on
the TCHC Board, which continues the Council-approved plan and includes
the transfer of an identified group of TCHC properties. In addition to this RFP for
the scattered portfolio, a process is already underway to transfer ownership
and operation of TCHC's agency houses and rooming houses to qualified
non-profit housing operators.
The capital backlog associated with the scattered portfolio properties,
as of the end of 2016, was $33.9 million. TCHC spends approximately $6 million
annually in building repair capital on this portfolio. By removing these scattered
houses from TCHC's portfolio, there will be a reduction in the overall capital repair
backlog and future capital requirements, as those costs will be transferred with
the properties to the new housing providers.
As part of the terms of the transfer, the City will continue to fund the new housing
providers to deliver social housing. The funding cost and financial impact to
the City will be dependent on the operating agreements negotiated as part of
the RFP process which will be considered by Toronto City Council in 2020
as part of a comprehensive transfer plan.
The RFP will be issued to non-profit housing organizations, including housing
co-operatives and community land trusts. Proponents will need to present a viable
business case and demonstrate a willingness to work within a changing social
housing sector, build capacity over time and work closely with other organizations.
Accountability tools are outlined in the RFP and City staff will conduct a detailed
financial and risk assessment of the transfer of this portfolio, including assessment
of individual properties. The proponents' plans must ensure that adequate capital
and operating funds are available from federal, provincial, City or private sources
to provide for a state of good repair and ongoing, long-term financial viability.
The City will continue to have a strong oversight role in the operations of
the social housing assets through operating agreements with the housing
A joint review panel made up of TCHC and City staff will make
the recommendations about successful transferee agencies. Council will consider
the recommendations in 2020 as part of the comprehensive proposed transfer
plan, before approving the award of the RFP. If approved, it is expected that
the houses will be transferred starting in 2020 through to 2022.
The RFP closes at noon on January 29, 2020. More information about the RFP
and process can be found at https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/
"The RFP is the next step in the process of modernizing our housing portfolio to
achieve better quality of life for tenants and establish a more sustainable funding
model. The transfer of a public asset of this magnitude to the non-profit sector is
significant, however this process is grounded in best practices, thorough planning
and a strong accountability framework."
- Mayor John Tory
"The beginning of the transfer process is an important milestone. The transfer of
the scattered housing portfolio will free up resources for TCHC to focus on its core
portfolio, while improving the condition of these properties and retaining them
as affordable housing."
- Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Ward 9 Davenport), Chair of the Planning
and Housing Committee
Media contact: Ellen Leesti, Strategic Communications,
|More..||Posted: Nov 01, 2019
Toronto City Council meeting of October 29 and 30, 2019
Council Highlights is an informal summary of selected actions taken by Toronto
City Council at its business meetings. The complete, formal documentation for this
latest meeting is available at http://www.toronto.ca/council.
Public transit projects
After extensive discussion, Council voted in favour of the City negotiating
agreements with the Ontario government on four public transit projects for
Toronto. City and TTC staff will work with their provincial counterparts to advance
plans for the Ontario Line, the Line 2 East Extension, the Yonge Subway Extension
and the Eglinton West LRT. Council supported numerous motions
and recommendations as part of this agenda item. Under the City/Ontario
partnership, the City retains ownership of Toronto's existing subway network
and the TTC retains its responsibilities for transit network operations.
Planning for automated vehicles
Council approved a plan designed to prepare Toronto for the anticipated use of
automated (driverless) vehicles in the near future. A trial project in Scarborough
involving an automated shuttle service connecting the West Rouge neighbourhood
with nearby Rouge Hill GO Transit station is scheduled to start in late 2020.
Toronto's comprehensive plan for automated vehicles is said to be the first of its
kind by a North American city.
Road safety measures
Recommendations involving speed limits and other measures to enhance
pedestrian safety were approved by Council. Steps to be taken include asking
the Ontario Ministry of Transportation to consult with the City before considering
increasing the speed limits on the portions of the 400 series highways that are in
Toronto. A separate motion that was supported will result in a pilot project using
new technology available to assist pedestrians in safely crossing streets at busy
Managing the City's real estate assets
Council adopted a report called ModernTO that sets out a strategy for the City's
real estate portfolio. The strategy aims to optimize City real estate assets in ways
that modernize municipal office space and create efficiencies. A related agenda
item that Council adopted calls on CreateTO, the Toronto Community Housing
Corporation, the Toronto Parking Authority and the Toronto Transit Commission,
to adopt similar policies for their office portfolios.
Investment in parks and recreation facilities
Council endorsed a strategy for providing parks and recreation facilities across
the city over the next 20 years. The strategy, which is based on a commitment to
high-quality parks and recreation facilities serving all Toronto residents, provides
details for implementing an earlier adopted Parks and Recreation Facilities Master
Plan. Implementing the plan entails investing in community recreation centres,
aquatic and ice facilities, sports fields and courts, splash pads and other facilities.
Use of community spaces in City facilities
Council supported a motion calling on City officials to consult with
LGBTQ2S+ stakeholders and to review the City's policies governing third party
use of community spaces in City facilities. Staff are to report to Council early in
the new year. A focus involves ensuring that the identification of groups
contravening the City’s human rights and anti-harassment/discrimination policy,
and the denial or revoking of permits to such groups, are done in a timely manner.
Part of the motion addresses the Toronto Public Library Board and its policies on
the use of community spaces.
Council adopted recommendations intended to strengthen security controls in
information technology at the City and at City of Toronto agencies
nd corporations. The related audit report notes that cyberattacks – unauthorized
attempts to gain access to a system and confidential data, modify it in some way
or delete or render information in the system unusable – are one of the biggest
threats facing organizations today.
Process for selecting shelter locations
A motion concerning shelters, respites and drop-in programs in the east
downtown area received Council's approval. Staff are to provide recommendations
to improve public engagement and consultation around locating new shelters,
respites and drop-in programs in that area.
Waterfront and island flooding
Council considered a report on flooding experienced along the waterfront
and at Toronto Island Park in 2017 and 2019, and on funding for rehabilitation
and repair work to waterfront parks damaged by flooding. Related motions that
Council adopted address matters such as financial assistance that the City provides
for flooded properties.
Environment and health
Progress on a low-carbon fleet
Council adopted a new "green fleet" plan with the goal of moving toward
a sustainable, climate-resilient, low-carbon City vehicle fleet. Related objectives
include making 45 per cent of the City-owned fleet low-carbon vehicles by 2030.
This plan will build on the momentum of the green fleet plan
that covered 2014 to 2018 and established the City of Toronto as
a Canadian leader in testing and adopting green vehicle technologies and efficient
Mental health and addictions
Council adopted a motion that urges the federal government to invest $900,000
a year to help address Toronto's mental health and addiction crises. The motion
calls on the government to commit to funding parity by investing one dollar on
mental health for every dollar spent on physical health. According to the motion,
this urgently needed federal investment in Toronto should go toward mental
health services and new supportive housing.
Sale of vaping products
Council supported amending the Toronto Municipal Code to introduce a new
licence requirement for vapour ("vaping") product retailers effective April 1, 2020.
The fee structure is the same as for tobacco retailers. The report before Council
documented about 80 specialty retailers of vapour products operating in Toronto
and many non-specialty retailers such as convenience stores that carry
e-cigarette/vaping products. The report also elaborates on related health
Child-care in schools
Council authorized proceeding with the joint approval process for 49 school-based
child-care capital projects in co-operation with school boards, as well as up to 20
additional school-based capital projects, subject to provincial funding approval.
Council voted to call on the province to reverse its funding formula changes to
child care in Ontario and maintain previous levels of funding, and to implement
multi-year budgets for child care.
Police presence in Lawrence Heights
A motion calling on Council to ask the Toronto police to establish a community
police office in the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood received Council's approval.
The motion noted that the main police headquarters serving that part of the city is
8.4 kilometres away from Lawrence Heights, and said there is a need for a police
office within the community, given the problems of persistent gun violence
and other criminal activity in the area.
Priorities for cultural investment
A report identifying three strategic priorities to guide the City's cultural
investments over the next five years received Council's approval. The three
priorities involve increasing opportunities for all Torontonians to participate in local
cultural activities that reflect the city's diversity and creativity, maintaining
and creating new spaces for the creative sector, and strengthening and increasing
the diversity of the cultural workforce.
Changes to cultural grants
Council approved a proposal to realign the City's cultural grants program,
with the intention of providing more equitable access to funding.
Two long-established funding programs (Major Cultural Organizations and Grants
to Specialized Collections Museums) will be dismantled as the City introduces two
new funding programs in 2020 – called Cultural Festivals and Cultural Access
Appointment of Integrity Commissioner
Council appointed Jonathan Batty as the City's new Integrity Commissioner,
effective November 30. The Integrity Commissioner provides advice, complaint
resolution and education to members of City Council and local boards
on the application of the City’s codes of conduct, the Municipal Conflict of Interest
Act and other bylaws, policies and legislation governing ethical behaviour.
Valerie Jepson, the previous Integrity Commissioner, completed her five-year
appointment this year.
Rules for temporary signs
Changes to the City's rules for A-frame and portable signs were approved by
Council. A key consideration for the changes is improving the pedestrian clearway
on sidewalks. The report's recommendations also address the City's expectations
for signs at construction sites, specifically on minimizing the impacts of residential
construction activity on neighbourhoods.
Enhancement of University Avenue
Council supported a proposal for implementing the first phase of an initiative that
involves illuminating and animating University Avenue with art installations.
A group called the Friends of University Avenue plans for a temporary, illuminated
art installation to be located at the intersection of University Avenue and Gerrard
Street as the first project. University Avenue, known as the most ceremonial street
in downtown Toronto, links the Ontario Legislature at Queen's Park to Union
Station at Front Street.
Volume 22 Issue 8
Council Highlights, a summary of selected decisions made by Toronto City Council,
is produced by Strategic Communications.
Formal documentation of City Council decisions: http://www.toronto.ca/council
Questions about Council meetings and decisions: email@example.com
Information about distribution of this summary: firstname.lastname@example.org
Previous editions: https://www.toronto.ca/home/media-room/council-highlights/
|More..||Posted: Nov 01, 2019
|City of Toronto to Hold Property Sale to Recover Unpaid Taxes
|November 1, 2019
City of Toronto to hold property sale to recover unpaid taxes
The City of Toronto is holding a Sale of Land by Public Tender, known as
a property tax sale, as a final step in the collection of overdue, unpaid property
taxes. Six properties with a combined total of more than $2.2 million in unpaid
property taxes are up for sale. The bidding period to purchase these properties is
until November 28.
Once a property has accumulated property tax arrears of two years or more,
a Tax Arrears Certificate is registered against the title of the property, allowing
the property to be put up for sale unless it is paid off. Typically, the properties
that are chosen for sale have more than three years of arrears and are residential
homes or land that is not occupied, where owners may be deceased or relocated,
and next of kin cannot be found.
The six properties to be sold are:
• three unoccupied residential properties (46 Carling Ave., 58 Laws St.,
and 56 Netherly Dr.)
• one vacant commercial land property (1339 Danforth Rd.)
• two occupied commercial properties (97 and 127 Rivalda Rd.)
The City makes every reasonable attempt to contact the property owner by mail,
phone, site visits and speaking with neighbours to locate and inform the property
owner before listing a property for sale.
The properties can be purchased by anyone, with the highest offer accepted by
the City. Full payment must be made to the City within 14 days, and a tax deed for
the property is prepared. The City keeps the money owed in back taxes
and any other charges against the land or costs incurred related to the tax sale,
and the balance is paid to the Ontario Court.
Tenders must be submitted in the prescribed form and be accompanied by
a deposit of at least 20 per cent of the tender amount. For more information
or to obtain a copy of the tender form, contact Nick Naddeo, Manager,
Revenue Accounting and Collections, at 416-395-0014.
Media contact: Ashley Hammill, Strategic Communications,
|More..||Posted: Nov 01, 2019
|Time Change Means Drivers Must Slow Down and be Alert for Pedestrians and Cyclists
|Friday, November 1
Time change means drivers must slow down and be alert for pedestrians
The City of Toronto is urging all road users – drivers, cyclists, transit riders
and pedestrians – to stay alert as daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday,
The return to standard time means fewer daylight hours and reduced visibility for
all road users in the city. In Toronto, pedestrian collisions increase by more
than 30 per cent during the evening commute hours from November to March.
To draw attention to the increased risks facing pedestrians and cyclists,
the City of Toronto is launching a city-wide public education campaign
that promotes road safety as we enter a season with reduced daylight hours.
It features a series of painted faces with the eyes focused on either a pedestrian,
a cyclist or a vehicle. Using the slogan "Take another look," the campaign intends
to remind Torontonians, especially drivers, to be aware of each other as they
share the city's roads.
The campaign will appear on bus backs, transit shelters and elevator screens,
in addition to radio, print and social media ads.
Similar advertising efforts around the daylight saving time change in New York City
led to an overall reduction in fatalities.
On Monday, the Toronto Police Service will also begin a one-week safety blitz
across the city to encourage residents to drive alert and stay safe. The Police will
focus their enforcement resources on the most dangerous violations – speeding
and impaired, aggressive and distracted driving – and increase their on-street
When visibility is reduced, people and objects on the road are harder to see.
The City of Toronto is asking drivers to follow the following safety tips after
daylight saving time ends this Sunday:
• When driving, please slow down, turn slowly and stay alert at all times.
• Make sure vehicle headlights and signal lights are functioning properly.
• Obey speed limits and approach all crosswalks, intersections and transit stops
• Give yourself plenty of time wherever you're going and plan your route in
advance. Use public transit when possible.
City staff are also reducing speed limits on approximately 250 kilometres of roads
in the city in an effort to curb speeding and minimize traffic-related fatalities
on Toronto's roads. Close to 50 roadways will see their limits dropped by 10 km/h
by year's end.
More information about the "Take another look" campaign is available
More information about the speed limit reductions campaign is available
The Vision Zero Road Safety Plan is a comprehensive action plan that aims to
reduce traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries on Toronto’s streets.
With more than 50 safety measures across six emphasis areas, the plan prioritizes
the safety of Toronto's most vulnerable road users: pedestrians, schoolchildren,
seniors and cyclists. More information is available
"I'm urging all people in the city, especially drivers, to slow down
and pay increased attention on the road. It is imperative that we raise awareness
about the dangers associated with reduced visibility at this time of year,
and this is what we hope the 'Take another look' campaign will achieve.
This week, I have also met with Transportation Services to identify ways we can
accelerate our efforts to install new road safety measures, including crosswalks
and signals, and speed up the City's road redesign work to make our streets
- Mayor John Tory
"We have seen an increase in the past in traffic collisions after the clocks turned
back, especially for our most vulnerable road users – pedestrians and cyclists.
It's time we stop this. It is vital that everyone who uses our roads be aware of
their surroundings, stay alert and drive safe. Vision Zero is everyone's
- Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure
and Environment Committee
Media contact: Hakeem Muhammad, Strategic Communications,
|More..||Posted: Nov 01, 2019