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November 27, 1998

To:The Emergency and Protective Services Committee

From:Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services

Subject:Restricting Horse-Drawn Carriages in the Downtown

Core of The City of Toronto

Purpose:

To respond to a recommendation by City Council that the Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services be requested to report to the Emergency and Protective Services Committee on the means, including the process, to prohibit all horse-drawn vehicles in the downtown core of the City.

Funding Sources:

There are no funding requirements associated with this report.

Recommendations:

It is recommended that this report be received for information.

Background:

At its meeting held on May 22, 1998, the Emergency and Protective Services Committee recommended the adoption, as amended, of a report dated May 20, 1998 from the General Manager, Toronto Licensing, which contained a proposal that Licensing By-law No. 20-85 be amended to permit the operation of horse-drawn trolleys with a passenger capacity of 25 persons on City roads.

City Council on July 29, 30 and 31, 1998 struck out the recommendations of the Emergency and Protective Services Committee and recommended that the report be received and no action taken. As well, Council recommended that the Commissioner of Works and Emergency Services be requested to report to the Emergency and Protective Services Committee on the means, including the process, to prohibit all horse-drawn vehicles in the downtown core of the City.

Discussion:

The issue of the licensing and regulation of horse-drawn vehicles used for sightseeing tours on Toronto streets was discussed several times between 1975 and 1980 at the Metropolitan Toronto Legislation and Licensing Committee and at Metropolitan Council. During that time, The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act was amended to exempt horse-drawn sightseeing carriages from the Toronto Transit Commission's monopoly for local passenger transportation service within the Metropolitan area, and the former Metropolitan Licensing By-law was amended to include regulations governing the horse-drawn carriage trade/business.

The current Licensing By-law (Metropolitan By-law No. 20-85, respecting the licensing, regulating and governing of trades, businesses and occupations in the Metropolitan area) includes a Schedule 35 which relates to owners and drivers of horse-drawn vehicles used or kept for hire for the purpose of providing sightseeing tours. This schedule to the By-law contains regulations governing the operation of the horse-drawn carriage trade and the treatment of the horses used in the trade.

Staff of the City Legal Department have given consideration to whether the City of Toronto may prohibit horse-drawn vehicles used for sightseeing tours from all public highways in the City of Toronto or, in the alternative, only in the downtown core area. It is their opinion that prohibiting horse-drawn vehicles from all City roads would in essence be prohibiting a trade or business from being carried on and would be outside Council's jurisdiction. However, the City can exercise its authority to license, regulate and govern trades, callings, businesses and occupations in the Metropolitan area by amending Schedule 35 of the Licensing By-law to restrict horse-drawn sightseeing carriages from operating in the downtown core area of the City.

If the intent is to significantly limit the options for the operation of horse-drawn vehicles on City roads, then strong arguments could be made, on the grounds of public safety and impacts to traffic flow, that horse-drawn vehicles should be prohibited on all major arterial roads within Toronto. In order to accomplish this, all of these major roads would have to be listed in the amended Schedule 35.

We suggest that to be consistent with other traffic-related by-laws the "downtown core area" be considered as the area bounded by the west side of Spadina Avenue, the Canadian Pacific Railway line (north of Dupont Street), the east side of Jarvis Street and the south side of Front Street. The list of major arterial roads could be generated from the list of roads which used to fall under the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Toronto.

There are provisions in Schedule 35 to the Licensing By-law which provide the times within and months in which no owner shall operate a horse-drawn vehicle for hire used for sightseeing purposes. Further, there are sections in Schedule 35 to said By-law which regulate the location of operation of these horse-drawn sightseeing vehicles and a section which regulates the number of occupants of said horse-drawn sightseeing vehicles. These sections of the by-law would require amendment in order to restrict horse-drawn carriages from operating in the downtown core and on major arterial roadways in the City. Staff of Toronto Licensing have been consulted and have no objection to this report.

Conclusions:

City Council has the authority to limit the areas where horse-drawn vehicles for hire used for the purposes of sightseeing can be operated. The restriction could identify the downtown core of the City. Such a restriction could be effected through amendments to Schedule 35 to the existing By-law No. 20-85. If Council wish to proceed with such amendments, staff suggest that horse-drawn vehicles also be prohibited from major arterial roads in order to protect public safety and the integrity of the arterial road network.

Contact Name and Telephone Number:

Sandra Burk

Traffic Assistant

(416) 392-8750

David C. Kaufman

General Manager, Transportation Services

Barry H. Gutteridge

Commissioner, Works and Emergency Services

SB/jr

 

   
Please note that council and committee documents are provided electronically for information only and do not retain the exact structure of the original versions. For example, charts, images and tables may be difficult to read. As such, readers should verify information before acting on it. All council documents are available from the City Clerk's office. Please e-mail clerk@city.toronto.on.ca.

 

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