Priority to Improve the Business Climate
City Council's Accomplishments
Dateline July 2004 - Development Charges By-Law - In order to encourage local employment City Council adopted a Development Charges By-law that exempts industrial and non-retail commercial development. The new by-law provided a balanced approach to the City’s other urban planning and long-term economic development objectives and is intended to contribute to the City’s long-term growth, quality of life and prosperity.
Dateline December 2004 - Film Board Established - City Council established a film board, chaired by Mayor David Miller, as one of several steps intended to help keep Toronto's film and television industry competitive. The City will also establish an interdepartmental working group to make it simpler for production companies to shoot in Toronto. The Toronto film, television and commercial production industry contributes about a billion dollars to the local economy annually and employs thousands of people but has faced a decline in production numbers since 2000.
Dateline December 2004 - Keeping Toronto Competitive - City Council adopted recommendations to support Toronto’s Film, Television and Commercial Production Industry by ensuring that all fees and charges assessed to the industry, by departments, agencies, boards and commissions are at a rate coincident with a 78 cent dollar.
Dateline July 2005 - Employment Revitalization Program – In an effort to encourage quality, small businesses on Toronto’s mainstreets and neighbourhoods, City Council endorsed modifications to the Employment Revitalization (ER) Program to focus future capital resources on Employment Districts as set out in the City’s Official Plan. In addition modifications to the Commercial Façade Improvement Program redirecting future funding to Business Improvement Areas for mainstreet revitalization have been endorsed. This program will also advance City Council’s priority to strengthen Toronto’s neighbourhoods.
Dateline October 2005 - Enhancing Toronto’s Business Plan - City Council adopted a 14-point Action Plan, “Enhancing Toronto’s Business Climate – It’s Everybody’s Business”, to implement incentives and initiatives to maintain and expand the City’s property assessment base and stimulate job creation including recommendations to correct the imbalance in tax rates between the City and the surrounding region. Public consultations were held during 2004 and 2005 to gather input from businesses and residents to identify ways all stakeholders could work together to address these long-standing issues and improve Toronto’s long-term sustainability and competitiveness.
Dateline October 2005 - New Film Studio - City Council approved plans for a new Film Studio complex in the Port and successfully defended its decisions on the minor variance at the Ontario Municipal Board.
West Toronto Junction Streetscape Grand
Opening Mayor Miller, Councillors Sylvia Watson
Bill Saundercook visit the West Toronto Junction
community in September 2004 with local
owners, residents and West Toronto Junction
team members to unveil the area’s re-vitalized
Dateline November 2005 - Economic Competitiveness - City Council established the Mayor’s Economic Competitiveness Advisory Committee to report to Council on issues effecting the local and regional economy, how to enhance economic competitiveness and involve Toronto’s business community. Committee members would act as City ambassadors for international marketing, inward investment, and intergovernmental initiatives.
Dateline December 2005 - Advancing Toronto’s Key Industries - City Council adopted strategies to advance key industries including aerospace, financial services, information and communication technology, food processing and the design industry in partnership with industry and educators.
Dateline: 2004 & 2005 Business Improvement Areas - City Council established 8 new Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), 2 existing BIAs are expanded, and 5 other commercial areas express interest in forming BIAs in 2004/2005. BIAs are self-managed and self-funded and work in partnership with the City as catalysts for change and civic improvement.