City Council meeting of October 1 and 2, 1998
Clarification of property-tax calculations
Council decided on measures to help taxpayers understand the 1998 property tax bills and to appeal disputed bills. The City will send notices to Toronto's 650,000 households explaining the calculations. In addition, the City will offer public information sessions and provide a list of firms that will conduct property-tax appeals for clients. Council voted against an alternative approach that would have involved setting up an arms-length City agency to help people appeal their tax bills.
Suicide-prevention barriers for Bloor Viaduct
Council approved a design for barriers to prevent suicidal people from jumping off the Prince Edward (Bloor Street) Viaduct to their death. Several people each year commit suicide by leaping from the bridge, which spans the Don Valley. The barriers, consisting of a veil of vertical cables, will be built this winter and installed along both sides of the bridge next spring.
Transit link to Pearson International Airport
Council endorsed the concept of a rapid-transit connection between Pearson International Airport and downtown Toronto. The project will require the support of all levels of government, several agencies and the private sector. Council proposes levying a $1 fee on airport users, and will ask the Province of Ontario for authority to establish other sources of funding. Staff have reported that connecting the airport's internal transit system with the Weston rail corridor is considered the most cost-effective option in the short term.
Bylaw to reduce vehicle-engine idling
The City has adopted a bylaw that limits engine idling in Toronto to three minutes during a stop in most circumstances. Council supported a committee recommendation to adopt and enforce the bylaw as a way of encouraging people to reduce unnecessary, harmful exhaust emissions. The bylaw is identical to one already in effect in the central city. Among the exemptions allowed, all vehicles are exempt during very cold or hot weather and in situations such as traffic jams.
Park to be named after William Hancox
Council endorsed a Scarborough Community Council recommendation to name a City park in honour of the late William Hancox, the Toronto detective who was murdered this summer. The park selected will be one that is located in the Hancox family's community in Scarborough.
Assessment of playground equipment
Parks and Recreation inspectors are undertaking an assessment of playground equipment in the City's 800 park playgrounds and 38 water-play areas. Council approved the inspection program, which is intended to make sure equipment and play areas meet current safety and design standards.
International AIDS conference
Council affirmed its support for the City making a commitment to host the International AIDS Conference scheduled for the year 2004. Hosting the event would promote Toronto's recognition as a leading centre of international medical research.
Creation of Toronto Pedestrian Committee
The City will establish a Toronto Pedestrian Committee to represent the interests of walkers in decisions about urban design and transit-related issues. The committee will work with the six Community Councils on neighbourhood issues.
Constance E. Hamilton Award
Council approved a program to mark the 20th anniversary of the Constance E. Hamilton Award in 1999. The award, named after the first woman elected to a municipal council in Toronto (1920), recognizes contributions toward improving the status of women in the city.
Bicycle and pedestrian path
The City will begin developing a bicycle-and-pedestrian path in west Toronto, extending from the waterfront to Eglinton Avenue West. Council endorsed a plan that calls for a co-operative effort by Toronto and Mississauga to complete the portion of the trail system along Etobicoke Creek.
Ontario Municipal Board hearing
Council adopted a report from Scarborough Community Council that sets out the City's position for an Ontario Municipal Board hearing on use of an environmentally-sensitive corridor of land north of Highway 401. A developer is planning to build houses along the edge of the former Ontario Hydro corridor.
Long-term plan for waste disposal
Council decided that the City should proceed immediately with efforts to determine and secure an environmentally-responsible arrangement for long-term disposal of waste. The City needs an alternative to the Keele Valley landfill site by mid-2002.
Previous Council Highlights
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