City Council meeting of June 19, 20 and 22, 2007
Getting to 70% solid waste diversion by 2010
Council endorsed a new plan to achieve 70% solid waste diversion from landfill by 2010. The plan includes a new funding model to pay for the additional programs and initiatives necessary to reach the diversion goal, and provides residents with an incentive to reduce or divert solid waste from landfill. Key features of the plan include new garbage and recycling carts, improved and additional collection for multi-unit buildings and townhouses, and expanding the Blue Box Program to accept new materials. Under the new funding model, the costs of solid waste collection services and programs will be removed from the property tax base. Instead, residents will receive a combined Toronto Water/Solid Waste bill that includes a cost breakdown based on the amount of garbage generated, as determined by the size of garbage cart selected. To offset or lower the cost of servicing the new carts, residents will receive an annual rebate. All residential houses will also receive new recycling carts at no charge. The new system is expected to start by summer/fall 2008.
New water rate structure
Council approved in principle to use water pricing as an economic development tool to help retain, attract and support the growth of existing businesses that use water for processing purposes. Toronto's residential water rates are generally lower, in comparison to neighbouring municipalities and other major cities; however, the same is not true for large-volume users. The current seven-block volume-based rate structure results in similar consumers paying different rates. The new water rate structure provides a single rate for all users, with a second available block for industrial/manufacturing industries that consume water at volumes above 6,000 m3 annually. To be eligible for the lower process-use rate, industries must submit detailed water efficiency plans and be in compliance with the City's sewer use bylaw. The new rate structure will be phased in beginning January 1, 2008.
Nathan Phillips Square redesign
Council endorsed the Nathan Phillips Square (NPS) Design Competition Jury's decision to select the design proposal from Plant Architect Inc. and Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners for the revitalization of the Square. In addition to relocating the Peace Garden, sundial, eternal flame and sacred water, Council approved a motion to also move the Peace Garden's pavilion to the new location. Representatives of the interfaith and peace communities will be consulted as the relocation and design for the Peace Garden is further developed. Council reaffirmed its commitment to preserve and enhance the unique heritage qualities of NPS and also approved a motion prohibiting naming any section of it after a corporate donor. Funding for the project is expected to come from the City, private sector and other orders of government.
Heritage designation to protect Sam the Record Man sign
Council directed staff to protect the Sam the Record Man sign in recognition of its cultural heritage value. The downtown Yonge St. landmark was protected from the threat posed by the closure of the store and the subsequent auction that could have seen the signs removed and relocated. The iconic neon spinning discs, SAM lettering and light box on 347 and 349 Yonge St. are protected by the designation.
Breastfeeding in public places
Council approved a new policy that encourages mothers to breastfeed anytime and anywhere in public places operated by the City of Toronto, including all Agencies, Boards and Commissions. Breastfeeding is the best way to provide food and immunologic protection for the health, growth and development of infants and children, and is supported by the World Health Organization and Health Canada. There is wide variation in public attitudes related to breastfeeding in public. This City's breastfeeding in public policy is consistent with current policies adopted by the Ontario Human Rights Commission and supports breastfeeding mothers who decide to breastfeed in public places operated by the Toronto Government. Staff report (PDF).
2008 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative annual meeting and conference
Council approved a motion to host the 2008 Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative annual meeting and conference. The Cities Initiative was founded in 2003 to give cities a voice in decisions about the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, and provide a forum to work together and with other governments and organizations to restore and protect the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The event is an opportunity to showcase Toronto's innovations and progress in water efficiency, beach management, storm water management and waterfront development. It is also an opportunity for the City to demonstrate leadership on water and environmental issues. At present 42 cities, 24 in Canada and 38 in the United States are members.
Residential fire sprinklers in new housing projects
Council approved a motion supporting that residential fire sprinklers be installed in all new residential housing projects, or projects with major renovations, that are funded through the City's Affordable Housing Program or its Agencies, Boards and Commissions. Council also requested the provincial government to require fire sprinkler systems to be incorporated into the construction of all new residential buildings.
Expansion of Winterlicious and Summerlicious
Council directed staff to amend the current Winterlicious and Summerlicious program criteria to include fine dining chains if the restaurants meet the program criteria. Council also approved a motion to expand the existing programs to include additional city-wide culinary programs that will encourage participation of more dining establishments. Developed in 2003, the Winterlicious and Summerlicious culinary programs focus on showcasing Toronto's diverse and unique fine dining experiences.
Previous Council Highlights
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