City Council meeting of May 23, 24, 25 and June 11, 2007
First Waterfront Place will be an economic generator on the City's waterfront
Council approved the investment, which will serve as a catalyst for future economic activity on the City's waterfront. The Toronto Economic Development Corporation will construct a commercial building at the foot of Jarvis St. at an approximate cost of $159 million. Construction will be supported largely by a $132 million loan from the City, with revenues generated through companies renting space to bring a return on the investment starting in late 2009. Establishing an anchor employer will make the waterfront a more attractive destination for other employers, creating opportunities for Torontonians to work and live near the City's waterfront. The building will be seeking LEED Gold accreditation as an eco-friendly development.
New affordable housing projects approved
Ten new affordable housing projects will be constructed, creating 800 homes in a plan approved by Council. The plan features 600 new homes, with an additional 200 made available through Toronto Community Housing Corporation properties. All 10 projects are assisted financially through a joint program between the City, provincial and federal governments. In addition to approving the plan, which will receive financing from the Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program - Rental and Supportive Component, Council called upon the provincial minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to release the remaining $56 million in the provincial/federal Affordable Housing Program and make additional funding available to Toronto to support the creation of much-needed housing.
Spadina Subway extension moves ahead
The creation of a single pass for York University students to use the new subway line between York Region and Toronto, which will include a stop at the university, was just one of the motions adopted by Council as this new project moves forward. Council also passed motions that would see the City provide no more than one third of the true cost of the project funding, with the provincial and federal governments responsible for the remaining funding, and for the City to partner with the TTC and York Region to seek funding from the province to help cover start up costs until the extension reaches a mature level of ridership.
Fair Wage policy decision against OJCR Construction Limited
Council voted in favour of action against OJCR Construction Limited for violating the City's Fair Wage Policy. The company was ordered to make restitution to workers who were not paid the appropriate wage. It was placed on probation for one year and the Manager, Fair Wage Office was directed by Council to report on new and improved disqualification provisions under the policy at the July 6, 2007 meeting of the Government Management Committee.
City purchases Village Securities site for park land in Scarborough
Two parcels of land that sit beside the Rouge River Valley in Morningside Heights, totaling almost seven acres were purchased from a developer, Village Securities, so they could be preserved as park land. The land is a significant wildlife corridor for the City, and has historical significance as it contains aboriginal artifacts hundreds of years old from the Iroquois and Mohawk nations. The land was purchased for $17,253,575 and will remain naturalized park land.
City to acquire 129 Peter St. site for referral centre and shelter beds
The City is acquiring a new building at 129 Peter Street to house its Assessment and Referral Centre and Shelter to replace the facility at 110 Edward St. that is being redeveloped into 300 units of affordable housing. The new Peter Street site will support the Streets to Homes strategy and will service the needs of downtown clients who will not use the traditional shelter system. The cost of the acquisition is $4.7 million which will be funded by the federal government's Supporting Communities Partnership Initiative. Council also directed staff to report back on the project's success in relocating clients from the project into housing, and their status six months after moving into housing.
Astral Media will deliver coordinated street furniture program
Astral Media was approved as the winner of the street furniture request for proposals, and will provide a coordinated street furniture program for the City which will receive $428.8 million over the 20 year term of the contract. Astral will rent out advertising space on transit shelters and information pillars. Newly designed street furniture will improve the look of public spaces, and increase access to transit shelters, public washrooms, waste bins, as well as wayfinding maps and information and for tourists.
Aquatics programs will continue to use school-based swimming pools
A recommendation to continue to operate City aquatics programs out of pools in Toronto District School Board (TDSB) pools was approved. The City will pay $5.3 million for the one-year agreement to cover the 2007 calendar year. The City is currently developing a long term Aquatics Strategy (with involvement from the TDSB) which, if approved by Council, could take effect in 2008. The state of good repair of school pools is a source of concern to the City, with the board possessing many older pools that require significant capital investment beyond $125,000 each, and that sometimes require closure for repairs, which disrupts aquatics programming. Council agreed to work with the TDSB to encourage involvement of the provincial government to help fund major repairs necessary to school pools.
City creates environment award in honour of Bob Hunter
Council unanimously supported the creation of the Bob Hunter Environmental Award, in honour of the late Greenpeace co-founder and television news reporter. The award will be presented annually at the City's Green Toronto Awards for outstanding environmental achievements and initiatives.
Work moves ahead on Long-Term Employment Land Strategy
Council adopted a series of motions to support the ongoing development of a strategy that will protect employment lands and stimulate new investment to create additional jobs in the City. Among the motions, Council directed the creation of a strategy to support Arts and Cultural Districts, that surplus City land be considered for use as employment lands, that a new financial incentive plan be developed for Employment Districts, and for a strategy be developed that will better direct capital programs to support the needs of Employment Districts to make them a more attractive investment.
Previous Council Highlights
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