City Council Highlights for July

Council Highlights
City Council meeting of July 6, 7 and 8, 2010


Lawrence Heights Revitalization    
Council approved proceeding with the revitalization of the Lawrence Heights housing complex. Created in 1957, the neighbourhood currently houses about 3,700 tenants in 1,208 units. The Toronto Community Housing Corporation will replace all 1,208 present-day rent-geared-to-income units, and 4,792 market units will be added to the 60.5-hectare property, for a total of 6,000 housing units. Revitalizing Lawrence Heights as outlined in the broad Lawrence Allen Revitalization Plan that Council endorsed will help bring positive social and economic changes to that area of the city. Council adopted many directives to City divisions and agencies concerning this major initiative.Tower renewal across the city  
Council endorsed a plan for implementing the Tower Renewal Program city-wide (as presented in the City's "Tower Renewal Implementation Book") and approved steps to establish a Tower Renewal Corporation. The corporation will administer financing and co-ordinate incentive programs for highrise apartment building renewal in Toronto. The City will encourage the participation of local businesses and manufacturers in supplying products and services for tower renewal projects.

City funding of Pride Toronto 
Council directed that any City funding of Pride Toronto be paid after the Pride parade and be conditional upon Pride Toronto requiring that all registered participants comply with the City of Toronto's anti-discrimination policy. Council asked the City Manager to advise Pride Toronto organizers on whether the participation of the group Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (with the signs and banners the group displays) contravenes the anti-discrimination policy.

Commendations for G20 Summit work   
Council adopted a motion commending Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair and the Toronto Police Service and other police/security personnel who participated in June's G20 Summit in Toronto "on a job well done."  The motion also thanked the police chief for his support of the Toronto Police Services Board's decision to launch an independent civilian review of the G20 Summit, and acknowledged the Toronto Police Services Board for exercising its oversight role. Council also adopted a motion commending all City staff who helped with the Summit.

Voters list for City election  
Council decided to ask the Ontario government to initiate electoral reform to establish a permanent municipal voters list that would be compiled and maintained by an organization such as Elections Ontario. Council also requested the City Clerk to support enfranchisement of tenants in Toronto by arranging for the distribution of the application form (and information) to assist with adding voters' names to the Voters List in advance of this fall's municipal election. The City Clerk was asked to report back to City Council on problems with the current enumeration system.

Aboriginal communities in Toronto   
Council adopted a "Statement of Commitment towards Aboriginal Communities in Toronto" and directed the City Manager to prepare a related action plan. Council also authorized the preparation of guidelines for considering urban Aboriginal issues in all the City's policy development and service delivery. Council expressed appreciation to Aboriginal Affairs Committee members for their work on the statement of commitment and extended thanks to members of the Aboriginal community for participating in the process of preparing the statement.

Evolution of Lower Don Lands   
Council voted to support plans by Waterfront Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to revitalize the Lower Don Lands, re-naturalize the lower Don River and flood protect the Port Lands. Council directed that the corridors of the Lower Don River and infrastructure in the Lower Don Lands must be protected from development. In addition, Council approved an affordable housing strategy for the Keating Channel lands.

Management of Casa Loma  
Council directed City officials to initiate a dispute resolution process to address concerns about the Kiwanis Club's management of Casa Loma. If not satisfied with progress on the operational and financial management of the City-owned tourist attraction, the City intends to terminate the management agreement with the Kiwanis Club and find another way of managing Casa Loma. Under the 2008 agreement, the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma was to implement a "Strategic Vision" for the facility and meet certain obligations, but the organization is behind in meeting expectations.

St. Lawrence Market building design  
Council endorsed the selection of a design proposed for a new St. Lawrence Market north building. The winning design was chosen in an international design competition. The design consists of a four-storey building with ground-floor market hall, courtrooms and offices on the second, third and fourth floors, and an underground parking garage. 

Next year's Canadian census   
Council supported a motion urging the federal government to reverse its recent decision to scrap the mandatory "long-form" census that for many years has provided detailed information to municipal governments. The federal government intends to use a new, voluntary household survey for the 2011 census. That change is expected to hamper the City of Toronto's access to the kind of detailed information needed in planning municipal policies and programs - ranging from immigrant settlement support to public transit design.

Toronto bid to host Ontario Summer Games 
Council agreed that the City of Toronto will support the Toronto Sports Council's bid to hold the 2012 Ontario Summer Games in Toronto. If chosen as host, the City of Toronto will make a financial contribution and serve as the financial guarantor of the event.

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