June City Council Recap

We considered motions on renovictions, affordable housing in the Port Lands, the Portlands gas plant, building more rental housing and more.

This week was the June meeting of City Council, where we considered several important items.

This included motions on renovictions, which is a victory after five years of working with advocates, experts and affected residents.

Seven people smiling for photo.

Thank you to ACORN, ACTO, Don Valley Legal, FMTA Right to HousingTO and all the people who spoke out about this important issue.

We also discussed affordable housing in the Port Lands, which I worked hard to advance, along with items related to the Portlands gas plant, building more rental housing and more.


An issue I have been working on since 2019 took a major step forward this week at Council.

Woman standing up and speaking holding poster with TV news-style graphic with text across the bottom of the image.

Spurred on by the fights to help our neighbours at 28-30 Langley, 245 Logan and other buildings stay in their homes in the face of profit driven renovictions we set up the Subcommittee on the Protection of Affordable Rental Housing between 2019 and 2022.

In 2022 we approved the first steps towards a renovictions by-law.

We heard from hundreds of residents, advocates and experts urging the city to approve a by-law to help protect tenants from bad faith evictions, where a landlord issues an eviction notice claiming that the tenant needs to leave for major renovations and then completes only minor repairs, or sometimes none at all, before re-listing the unit at a significantly higher rent.

Earlier this year, three other Councillors joined me in urging Toronto to adopt a by-law along the lines of Hamilton, which passed an innovative Renoviction By-law earlier this year.

Staff reported to the June meeting of Planning and Housing, where I worked with advocates and Councillors on the committee to pass a motion directing staff to be bolder. The updated recommendations now get put us firmly on the path to a Hamilton style renoviction by-law.

I was proud to move those updated recommendations at Council and I look forward to sharing more information with you later this year.

Thank you to everyone who spoke out about the need to make changes. Working together we put the city on a path to a by-law that protects tenants and preserves affordable housing.

New Affordable Housing in the Port Lands

The Port Lands Flood Protection project, a $1.2 Billion investment in flood protection and environmental sustainability funded jointly by all three levels of government is transforming the Port Lands. Re-naturalizing the Don River and the creation of wetlands is a key part of preventing flooding in Riverside and Leslieville and ensuring that we can mitigate major weather events.

The creation of a new island, to be formally named through an Indigenous-led process later this year, is one of the best opportunities to ensure that we create a waterfront for all, not just the wealthy.

That's why I've been fighting to increase the amount of affordable housing in the plan and this approval will allow us to achieve our goal of 30 percent affordable housing in the Port Lands.

This means 2,700 affordable units and 9.000 overall units of housing.

All of this has been achieved while maintaining this new island's ecological and environmental requirements, which are extensive and its status as a destination park for people from all across the city to enjoy.

A new pedestrian and cycling bridge will also be built, which will be another stunning feature.

Thank you to my council colleagues who supported this plan.

Creation of New Rental Housing

We also approved the Rental Housing Supply Program, which proposes a framework to support a range of rental homes from construction through to completion. This new program replaces the city’s Open Door Affordable Rental Housing Program to support the Mayor's goal of creating 65,000 rent-controlled homes including 6,500 rent-geared-to-income (RGI) homes.

Key actions of the report include:

  • Allocating approximately $351 million in capital funding to 18 affordable rental housing projects, enabling construction to start in 2024 and 2025. This investment will help almost 6,000 new rental homes including 2,600 affordable rental and 3,380 rent-controlled homes stuck in pre-development phases move forward with construction.
  • Piloting a Community Housing Pre-development Fund to support non-profit, co-op and Indigenous housing providers to advance new projects.
  • Implementing the City of Toronto’s income-based definition of affordable rental housing which shifts the definition of affordable from a market-based approach to an income-based one.
  • Supporting the creation of rent-controlled homes delivered by community housing providers with rents of no more than 150 per cent of the city’s Average Market Rent, and limits on annual rent increases.

Ontario Science Centre

I know many of us were shocked when the province announced the abrupt closure of the Science Centre last week.

At Council this week we approved recommendations for the city to do an urgent review of whether it could operate the venue and what the lease terms for the current building allow us to do. I know many of you were very troubled by this decision by the province. I'll update you when we know more.

Congratulations to the young man, a student at RH Mc Gregor who my staff met at the East York Farmer's Market, for starting a petition to Save the Science Centre. The science centre is such a beloved place for the kids of today, adults who visited when they were young, and those it could still be a treasure for in the future.

Sankofa Square

I know there has been a lot of discussion about Sankofa Square. Meaning ‘going back in order to go forward together’ it’s been the subject of controversy in recent days. I would encourage you all to watch Deputy Mayor Amber Morley's speech at Council yesterday.

I want to reiterate that no tax dollars are going towards the renaming, instead money that was set aside by developers for the square will be used.

While this issue has become a flashpoint I want to encourage everyone to take the spirit of Sankofa, moving forward together with the knowledge of the past.

Toronto for All

The past months have left a lot of Torontonians feeling like they don't belong or aren't welcome in our city. A motion, seconded by all four Deputy Mayors, called for the relaunch the Toronto For All campaign and create a unifying message against hate.

It, in part, reads: "To continue to be a caring city, where all are welcome, and to reverse the erosion of connection in our city, we must be unwavering in our message that hate has no place in Toronto. By investing in building welcoming community spaces and promoting a message against hate and in support of inclusion, we can build the connections that stop hate from taking hold."

Toronto Parking Authority Income Share

At Council we approved a new income sharing agreement with the Toronto Parking Authority that secures the future of BikeShare and the EV Charging program through direct capital investment, ensuring they are no longer in danger if TPA revenue fluctuates.

As the Mayor's designate on the TPA Board I'm committed to ensuring that we have strong, prudent governance and alignment with city goals like TransformTO, building housing, financial sustainability, and supporting local businesses.

Cycling Network

We approved the next stage of cycling projects, including here in Ward 14.

Council approved the extension of cycling infrastructure from the Millwood Bridge along short sections of O'Connor and Broadview to Cosburn.

Staff will review Logan and include an additional review of Carlaw to ensure that we're protecting cyclists during Ontario Line Construction. More information will be shared later in the year.

A Clean Energy Future for Toronto

Council approved a motion from Councillor Saxe, which I seconded, asking Toronto Hydro and the Independent Energy System Operator, the agency responsible for guiding energy production in Ontario, to include the phasing out of the Portlands Energy Centre by 2035 in their upcoming review. 

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