Infrastructure and Environment Committee – September 9, 2019

Good morning, everybody.
Councillors. Councillor, members of the public, welcome
to meeting 7 of the infrastructure environment committee.
Guys, guys, guys you had all summer to talk about that stuff.
Councillors, committee members we’re down to business.
Although summer’s technically not over here it is.
Welcome to members of the committee, other members of the council in attendance if they
come and of course members of the public. For those in the room with us the screen in
the back of the room provides real time updates concerning where we are in the agenda and
what’s coming up next. One follow on your smart phone.
We gratefully acknowledge that the land we are meeting on is the traditional territory
of many nations including the Mississauga of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa,
the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations,
Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with
the Mississauga of the Credit are there any declaration of interest? None. Confirmation
of the minutes from the June 27th, 2019, meeting,
move by Councillor McKelvie, all those in favour? Opposed. That is carried.
So let’s run through the agenda. Item 7.1 amendment to blanket contract to
Upper Canada road services provision durable pavement markings. Just to bring to your attention
some of these procurement issues are existing contracts in which we’re adding money which
always gets attention on why we’re renegotiating these for extra money if you want to hold
any of them to find out why we’re — we have to top them up, that’s fine.
7.1. That’s — I’m just saying when we — 7.1 actually does add an amount of 350000 you
want to hold it that’s fine, if you want to move it it’s a small amount. Moved by Councillor
Colle. All those in favour? Do you want to hold it?
Opposed — it was a lot of money when I was your age, Councillor Layton. 7.2 contract
award for tender liquid train upgrades at the highland creek treatment — [Off Mic].
Yeah, we did move it and it carried. It’s been adopted.
7.2 contract award for tender call for liquid train upgrades at highland creek treatment
plant, an amendment to purchase order. Amendment to — moved by Councillor McKelvie.
All those in favour? Opposed. That is carried.
Item number 3, amendment of contract for supply and delivery of sodium hypochlorite for Toronto
water, wastewater treatment plants. Adding an additional $552,000 to the contract.
What would you like to do? [Off Mic].
Moved by Councillor Colle, all those if favour? Opposed.
That is carried. Item 4, amendment to expired contract supco construction for backhoe services
with operators. One again an additional amount.
Councillor Colle is holding number 4. Amendment to blanket contract for — this
is item 7.5, amendment to blanket contract hydraulic flushing cleaning and closed circuit
telling inspection of both service lateral drains and main-line sewers with pipetek infrastructure
services inc. Once again an additional amount adding to
the existing contract. Councillor McKelvie is moving it. All those
in favour? Opposed? It’s carried.
Item 7.6 amendment to contract for the installation of new residential water and sewer connections
for the associated works within Scarborough districts and ojcr construction limited.
An additional amount of $432,000. Moved by Councillor McKelvie. All those in favour?
Opposed? That is carried. Item 7.7, non-competitive contract with lands
and forests for consulting for prescribed burn services, 2020-2024.
I’ll move the staff recommendation. Councillor Layton is moving 7.7, all those
in favour? Opposed? That is carried.
So 7.8 is being held for presentation and speakers. So I will hold that.
And 7.9 it’s a report for information number of tickets issued and charges laid against
builders for failure to protect city trees. Do you want to hold it for discussion or just
move it. Yes, I’ve got some questions.
Okay, Councillor Layton is holding 7.9. 7.10 is held for speakers.
And 2020 Ontario Canada agreement great lakes water quality and ecosystem health. .
Maybe if we could just get staff to when the item comes up mention some of the top line
items. — here any way — we’ll hold 7.11 in Councillor Layton’s name.
Thank you. We have a new item. It’s been distributed.
[Off Mic] . You have another one?
[Off Mic]. Okay.
Councillor Minnan-Wong has a motion. Has everyone taken a look at it?
I’ll read it out and there’s — so Councillor Minnan-Wong is moving a new item onto the
agenda. That the infrastructure and planning committee, we’re the Infrastructure and Environment
Committee. Request — okay. And environment committee.
I’ll make that amendment here. Request the general manager transportation
services provide an update on the management plan in the next meeting of the committee.
I would move to add that to the agenda. I will move that to add that to agenda, all
those in favour? Opposed? That is carried. And I’m taking care
of — you have a motion because it’s rather urgent item because of some time lines with
the province to move a motion for discussion here on e scooter oversight and management
meet some deadlines with the province and looking for some direction from committee.
And it builds on an earlier motion that is been adopted by this committee from April
25th, 2019. I believe that was Councillor Layton’s motion.
This just introduced. The reason this is coming, and I’m just almost moving on behalf of staff
is September 12th deadline to get feedback from municipalities on provincial changes
to — in the regulatory framework on e-scooters. So just to add it to the agenda, all those
in favour? Opposed? That is carried.
So we’re already on item 7.8, I believe staff have a presentation. So we can hear the presentation
then we’ll go to deputants and then we’ll go to committee.
Thank you very much for your report. Normally we allocate 10 minutes for presentations
I hope that will suffice. Good morning, everybody. My name is Jane welsh.
I’m here with my colleague. And I’m here also with colleagues from city planning, tf and
r and also the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
An indigenous member of the advisory group she talks about the fact that Toronto is named
for the Mohawk — where there are trees and water. And that really describes a deep rooted
an meaningful relationship in natural steward ship between the people and this place.
Loss is an issue that’s global-wide and it’s unprecedented the amount that we’re losing
on a daily basis throughout the world. So the biodiversity strategy aligns and consistent
with national policies such as United Nations and also Canada and Ontario biodiversity strategies.
The protection strategy and the — strategy. And importantly it aligns with and addresses
3 issues that cross over both biodiversity and ravines and that is management of invasive
species, ecological integrity and the protecting of native plants.
So basically biodiversity refers simply put to the variety of species and among species.
In Toronto we’re very fortunate we have a very biodiverse region, bordered by 2 major
forest zones, we’re on the flyway for birds. And surprisingly almost 14% of the city actually
provides habitat. And interestingly enough there was a study
that the conservation authority and the city did last year and determined that ravines
provide $822 million of ecosystem services every year on an annual basis. And ecosystem
services protection from erosion, storm water management, you know, relief from heat recreation
opportunities and mental health. So it’s quite amazing.
We’ve been thinking about biodiversity for a long time in the city. We produced a series
of biodiversity booklets we’ve just preprinted birds of Toronto.
Copy. And Councillor Layton had suggested some time ago that we the city should prepare
a biodiversity strategy and we did that and that draft was before committee a year ago.
Since then we’ve undertaken substantive consult takes with the public. We’ve had 4 public
meetings. The conservation authority, Toronto field nationalists protect nature, the Ontario
invasive plant council and representatives from the University of Toronto, York and — so
it’s quite substantive. We had 4 public open houses, we also had 2
workshops with the study group. So we had great feedback and it made a lot
of changes in the draft strategy to the product you have before you today.
Strong support for the biodiversity strategy, we need to consider ecological integrity,
we need more opportunities for citizen stewardship we need more awareness of biodiversity and
also to promote native species to do better management of invasive species and we have
authentic meaningful engagement with inner looped communities.
The biodiversity strategy an is a coordinated effort providing a long-term road map that
identifies and aligns interdivisional and interagency policies, operations and actions
into one document. The purpose of the biodiversity strategy is to first and foremost protect
the health of our existing natural areas and secondly to restore and enhance the quality
and quality tee of habitat across the city. It aims to increase public awareness of the
enormous value nature and biodiversity in the city, and finally it acknowledges the
work that has been going on for decades related to protecting and enhancing our natural areas
and identifies new opportunities and the gaps that we need to fill to improve our coordinated
efforts. We recognize that there are significant threats
to Toronto’s biodiversity. These include habitat loss through growth and development, invasive
species that compromise the growth of native species, climate change which is causing extreme
weather events and longer growing seasons and allowing non-native species to become
more prolific. And human activities which of course happen
on public as well as on private land. The city and partners like the Toronto and
Region Conservation Authority have been leading work to improve conditions for decades.
Toronto’s official plan leads all work through strong parks and open space, and natural heritage
policies which allows city bylaws to regulate activities related to trees, ravines, natural
features and green rooms. The forest tee branch — natural areas and in 2018 alone hosted
over 260 vents engaging over 3,700 volunteers. We planted close to 20,000 native trees, shrubs
and while flowers. The city actively manages invasive plant species in 72 sites and an
additional 46 of Toronto’s environmentally significant areas. A request for proposals
to develop a framework for best management practices for all of Toronto’s ESAs is anticipated
to be awarded early next year. Finally Toronto supports biodiversity across
the built form in the public realm through initiatives such as the green standard and
Toronto’s green streets. I just want to take a minute to note that through the TRCAs water
shed report card system in the past Toronto has received a collective grade of d. I just
wanted to highlight that this is an estimated average of all the water sheds and applies
to 4 major themes of ground water quality, surface water quality, forest conditions and
land cover but to be clear this is not a measurement of biodiversity.
The biodiversity strategy is recommending that the city TRCA and partners develop an
integrity monitoring framework as there is an opportunity to better monitor and evaluate
Toronto’s biodiversity which can come law meant the science monitoring and reporting
efforts which we currently support with environmental and academic institutions.
The biodiversity strategy consists of a vision, 10 principles and 23 action. The principles
include fundamental to health, key to resilience, and to guide the management and we need to
measure and report on results. The 23 action include developing an integrity
monitoring framework, reviewing policies and bylaws for more opportunities to support biodiversity,
to identify priority sites forest store ration to advance plans and programs for the management
of invasives to expand the urban biodiversity booklet series and develop a guide on backyard
biodiversity. Most of the 23 actions can be accommodated
within our existing work plans. The point of this document is really that it’s an umbrella
document, is a coordinated across city divisions and between agency partners so that all — around
biodiversity are in one place. And of course many of the actions tied directly
with the ravine strategy implementation. The report has 4 recommendation, one is adopting
the strategy, 2 is to develop an ecological integrity monitoring and reporting framework
through the ecosystems working group, 3, to continue to work on implementing the management
of invasives and to undertake a review of gaps and opportunities to improve that. Again,
through the ecosystem services working group. And then finally 4, to adopt a resolution
for the City of Toronto to join the cities network. Thank you. And that concludes our
presentation. Great. Thank you very much.
Now, what we can do is move right to deputations and then ask questions of staff later or if
you have specific questions related to the presentation we can ask them now.
[Off Mic]. We’ll do deputations, okay, thank you very
much for your presentation and report and we’ll come to questions for staff a little
later. Laura — hi, we’re presenting together.
Okay, great. Thank you very much. I’m waiting for the presentation. Sorry, we’re
just having a technical difficulty. There we go.
We have lots of others but we will listen to this one.
All right. They’re ready to go.
All set. Okay, we’re ready now.
Okay k great, thank you very much. This is Lauren south and we’re both University
of Toronto students studying forest story in our under grads. So we’re here today talk
to you by Japanese knot weed which highly affect biodiversity as a whoa.
So we’re here today speaking with you because we spent all summer studying it and — lower
park ravine and park drive reservation lands. It is a species that is regulated by the Ontario
invasive species act where it’s designated as restricted. It can grow up to 3 metres
tall in one growing season and spreads very easily which makes it a big problem.
The area was composed of 2 ESAs or environmentally significant areas. Of the 86 ESAs credit by
City Council many are within ravine land. From our experience this summer, we do not
think that current management is sufficient particularly when it comes to Japanese knot
weed. Japanese knotweed devastates infrastructure
and native ecology. It is also previous plant in city alley ways and even in people’s yard.
It causes structural damage to building foundations and other great infrastructure.
This is because it can grow through up to 7 centimetres thick of concrete. In the U.K.
it has even become such a problem that it decreases home values and makes it difficult
to obtain mortgages when knotweed is present. It also pose as risk for local ecology. It
reduces native biodiversity, shades out other species effectively creating monocultures
and increases the risk of erosion. So now that you understand how we have a — how
big of a problem Japanese knotweed can pose these are our studies.
4,073 — this is the map that we produced here which shows Japanese knotweed — [inaudible] .
If we do not improve management in our city this will only increase. In order to see improvements
we must all work together to protect our city’s biodiversity, let’s do better Toronto. Thank
you. If you have any questions — thank you, thank
you very much. Councillor Layton and then Councillor McKelvie.
Thank you very much. Could you put the slide up of the recommended change? I ran out of
time copying it down and I want to write a motion for us to do that and Councillor McKelvie
can ask a question, that might give me enough time. But thank you very much for your work.
This one. Correct.
Okay. Thank you.
Do you have what you need, Councillor Layton. Yep.
Great. First I want to thank you for coming in and
I am supposed to ask questions so would you be able to go back to the program of forest
story and tell other students about your experience here at city hall and encourage them to also
give deputations on important issues that — for sure, yes.
An then my second question is: I am not familiar with Japanese knotweed. I don’t know if — I
live in Scarborough if it’s not as pervasive out there.
So given that this seems pretty unique in persistent, like what is the — what is the
way to control this? Like is it just brought force you have to go and dig it out, how do
we deal with this. Okay. So this document here that’s on screen,
the best management practices in Ontario has a bunch of guidelines on that. So there’s
3 main — there’s digging so you have to get to a certain depth that’s outlined in the
best practices document. It’s several metres deep, I believe. Tarping as well. So if you
put a tarp over the species and block out the sunlight that can get rid of it.
But it also depends on the size of the patch of the species and whether or not it’s a satellite
patch or a central large patch. And that’s all outlined in this document.
And we used this document to organize our study as well. So there’s good information
in there. And also it’s still being discovered. So the
best management practices are guidelines for now but there needs to be more study to ensure
that these practices are actually the best method. So it’s a problem that is going to
need continued research. An then for this, what is it like — what
ultimately are its impacts? You mentioned the infrastructure ones but
who is it out competing or what function is it replacing in these ravines that we are
missing out by having it there? Well, because it creates these monocultures
of just its own species basically underneath you just have bare soil with a few different
stocks of just this one species and it doesn’t actually hold the soil very well even though
it has a vast root system. So it can lead to more erosions in the ravines. So if you
could replace this knot wheat with native species that hold soil better and have other
benefits such as habitat. We all know biodiversity is a very good thing
to monocultures are generally very bad. Thank you for coming in today.
Thank you. Thank you, Councillor McKelvie. Any other
questions Councillor Minnan-Wong. Japanese knotweed, this is the thing that
— from your soil or garden it just breaks off and then there are little nubs at the
bottom, right. Um-hum.
You said you can dig down and the ways that you could dig down and take it out but you
have to go down really deep, right? Yep. The root system is very, very deep.
Yeah, I know, it’s all over my garden. Oh.
[Off Mic]. No, it’s turning Japanese.
It’s not a gardening show. No, no. I just want to ask you because I mean,
if you want to do something about this, I mean, I’m just — it’s like this is a fairly
invasive — [Off Mic] you said you could put a tarp over it.
Yeah. What are the 2 other things.
I put up a slide where we have — it’s kind of pale there but of those 3 images on the
right, that’s what the Japanese knotweed rooting system looks like. So you can see that there
suspect very many roots near the surface. It’s a lot deeper down. Digging is good but
once you have the roots as soon as like if you put them in the compost for example.
They’ll grow again? Yeah.
So us herbicides work too. Herbicides do work, yes it’s just not as you
the best option. No, so you say you want to do something about
this but it seems like the herb siteds are the most — you can’t put a tarp over all
of them for example that’s not going to work, right, well they won’t like it, but — yeah
one of — you can’t dig down deep enough to pull everything out and you just need a little
bit of — so herbicides is option number 3? You said there were 4, what’s the 4th one?
Maybe just 3. 3 yeah.
So because this knotweed is taking over, so would you advocate for the use of herbicides
to clear this up. I think I’d advocate first for more study
to figure out what the most effective way but also for a combination of different — of
different removal methods. So if you have another method is also actually biological
control which they’re studying right now. Which means what.
Releasing these bugs called knotweed. So it’s a good potential but still also in the process
of figuring out how best to — or how effective they are.
So it’s good sometimes you can also cut the root or the stems and it doesn’t affect the
root system. So and if you do that in combination with other management methods that can also
help. Knotweed is going it take over the whole city.
Eventually if we adopt — thanks. Councillor Peruzza and Councillor Colle.
It like to say grow in — as well as in open
areas and in shade it like to say grow everywhere essentially. So we found it in the ravine
near the water we’ve found it near the top on people’s private property and along the
slopes. It seems to be able to grow everywhere which is a big problem.
I guess the — because it’s called Japanese it came from japan, right?
Yes. Okay so is all of japan knotweed.
No so an invasive species can be non-invasive in its native country. So in japan for example,
where there’s other species that are good at competing with Japanese knotweed it wouldn’t
be an invasive problem but when it comes there’s no species to compete with it it doesn’t have
any competitors so it can take over. Competitors in what sense?
Other plants that can grow in those open areas better than it can if that makes sense.
Yeah, generally the nature of an invasive species is it’s invasive in its non-native
habitat. They could be maybe those — like the insects
that are in the native habitat as well. Does that answer your question?
Well, in part. So for example, in japan they have — they don’t have soil erosion? I mean,
you have knotweed so they have erosion, right, do they have more erosion than we do?
I’m not sure to be honest, but I don’t think it’s as — it may just not create these big
monocultures as much in japan. I’m just honestly not sure.
Thank you. Thank you, Councillor Peruzza. I think Councillor
Colle. [Off Mic] most people adopt even know what
a Japanese knotweed looks like. Um-hum, yeah, I would say so. Like for everyone
here we showed some pictures and it also looks kind of like bamboo when it’s died off. So,
yeah it would really help if people know what it looks like because I’ve seen it in people’s
gardens. And they think it looks very pretty so they
don’t know that it’s invasive and actually can be spreading.
Just like the maples people are still buying and planting.
Councillor Peruzza has the may peps in his backyard and doesn’t know they’re an invasive
species. How can we really deal with it if nobody recognizes them or know that is these
are dangerous invasive species. I think that highlights a big issue that we
need more awareness of invasive species. So you would think it would be helpful for
us to support a motion which asks for City of Toronto to undertake a robust campaign
of making the citizens of Toronto aware of these major invasive species, you know, through
or blue box calendar, all these things so we have pictures of these species so we know
they’re not good to have in your backyard, Councillor Peruzza, so that’s what I’m going
to be moving. Oh, thank you.
That sounds good. [Off Mic].
Are you sure? I’m going to check. No, it’s not a gardening college show, but
thank you for all your observations. Any other questions for the deputants.
Bring the proof. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Ellen — Toronto field naturalists. Thank
you for coming. You have 5 minutes. Thank you. Thanks so much for having me and
yes, I’m representing the Toronto field naturalists this morning. We’ve got a long record of experience
and expertise with Toronto’s ravines. We’ve been essentially the eyes on Toronto’s ravines
for close to a hundred years. And this September we want to both applaud
and urge action on the city’s new strategies for biodiversity and for the ravines and those
2 strategies of course are interlinked but urgently need to get rolling. Toronto is lucky
in many ways. We have still a lot of natural heritage, the city’s experts have said about
4% of the city’s area is still environmentally significant so that’s really important. But
those areas face intense an growing pressures. We know that development, pollution, erosion,
severe weather, high visitors numbers and of course invasive species all are putting
pressure on those ravines. And the degraded habitat and the problems have been — they’ve
been enumerated in multiple studies. The TRCA has been studies and now the whole world has
been told by the magazine article that came out in the end of August. So the biodiversity
strategy is a foundation document no more, no less. And our members hope an request that
over the next 1 to 5 years that strategy is going to host — is going to trigger a host
of measures on the ground. Ultimately the people in Toronto want to see
our city’s most vulnerable natural habitats, the High Park, the Don Valley, along the Lake
Shore they want to see those prioritized, momented and restored. We know the strategies
had a longest takings. The city planners had a round table in 2017, there was a lot of
public consultation. So this strategy has been in the works for
over 2 and a half years. So please let’s get the strategy finalized, let’s start the action
and let’s get the results happening. And the action steps that we emphasize are needed.
We need funding and an action plan to support stewardship.
Do you know that dedicated volunteer groups such as the Toronto field natural listens
and many others have already spent years weeding and planting and mulching in our parks and
ravines, often with city coordination. But the work needs stronger city coordination
to triage the stop priorities, to scale up projects and above all, when you’ve newly
restored a natural area you need to keep it healthy in the long-term.
So budget and staffing have got to be strengthened. And most particularly for the community stewardship
program we also need as we just heard a stronger focus on fighting invasives because frankly
the aggressiveness means our natural areas are being eaten alive. We aren’t by any stretch
keeping pace with the dead re gags. And third we need to see priority protection for the
best bits of nature. They’re not all the same. The city has got to identify which environmentally
significant areas most urgently need management plans and give teeth to those management plans.
Vision statements on paper respect going to cut it. We were pleased to hear earlier this
year that staff have been working to identify the most sensitive zones within the environmentally
significant areas. Those valuations have to be fast tracked and we would like progress
to be shared publically. For example, the city led workshop on status of environmentally
significant areas and their management plans would bring the community up to speed and
would be a great project to do for winter months.
To manage something effectively you also need to monitor. So we were delighted to learn
that the city this year has established about 200 ecological monitoring sites in ravines
and natural areas in partnership with the U of T. And we understand that the cities
following the lead of several other municipalities by using a tool called vegetation sampling
protocol. Again our communities would love to learn more about that initiative through
a public meeting or workshop to bring us all up into the loop and exchange expertise.
So the city does not need to go it alone on this, you can lean on your communities of
volunteers. For ourselves we know that we can contribute experience and with restoration
projects the sites like the Glenn stewart ravine where the city that did complete that
in 2012, cottonwood flats where we continued to lead a multi year monitoring project and
todd mills wildlife preserve have taught us a lot about setting priorities, and building
capacities. So we have dedicated volunteers ready to be
deployed. And we have active and well-connect members who are working to spread the word.
So thanks for this offer — this opportunity to offer our input and we hope that November
7th we can be present to applaud the roll out of the ravine strategy implementation
plan. So thanks for your time and happy to take some questions.
Great. Thank you very much. Any questions for the deputant?
Okay. Thank you very much. Thanks.
Joan york deer park residents group. All right. Thank you very much for coming.
You have 5 minutes. Just let me check the mic.
Can you hear me? Yes.
Okay. Councillor James Pasternak and members of the infrastructure environment committee
my name is Joan york and I’m a member of the deer park residents group. Over many years
our family and friends walked and cross country skied in many of Toronto’s ravines.
In 2013, I became aware of sad state of the surrounding ravine.
When I met a group of people who shared my concern, and had been involved in documenting
and photographing them for many years. Looking over past correspondence we have been here
many times before. My involvement started in 2015.
In 2016, the presidents of the five repeats group — drawing his attention to the state
of the ravines and the urgent need to take action.
We made deputations to the Parks and Environment Committee in 2016 and several meetings with
our local Councillors, a walk through the ravine with city staff and Councillor Wong-Tam.
On September 25th, 2017, the presidents of the five residents group again — [inaudible]
and in September, 2016, made deputations to the executive.
On October the 2ndnd, 2017, the City Council about the ravine strategy and November 17th
deputations to Parks and Environment Committee. Now, on September the 9thth we are here again
deputing on half in support of the biodiversity strategy to be considered at City Council
on October the 2ndnd. Must be drowning in paperwork.
The biodiversity report is an important document recognizing its importance to a healthy city.
It highlights the challenges to protect habitat that supports biodiversity from further loss.
To restore and enhance degraded natural areas including water and soils that are the foundation
of healthy echo systems and to raise awareness about biodiversity and why it’s important.
These are also the aims of the mid-town ravine group. A master plan for these ravines was
approved by City Council in 2017. It recognizes a long-term project and a coordinated
effort will be beneficial. However, as a designated environmentally sensitive
area, many parts of the ravine continue to deteriorate and we would urge the city to
take a more aggressive approach to eradicating the species being Japanese knotweed and dog
strangling vine. The groups are working hard to raise awareness through news letters. By
providing an opportunity to engage young people we initiated a pilot project called — with
four schools. Funded in part by the faculty of forest story, five residents association,
the foundation and private donors. The excuse are now embarking on a 2-year or
3-year project in which seeds from all growth trees are planted and seed boxes and nurtured
to be transplanted into gardens, parks and ravines when ready. This program has been
received by both students and staff who are incorporating the signs, stewardship and advocacy
into their curricular. The program has expanded to four more schools
participating and approaches are being made to expand further. The young people are the
environmental lists of the future. I believe that the biodiversity strategy is also a good
fit for the principles of the ravine strategy that protect, invest, connect, partner and
celebrate. I’d just like to add one more thing to my
submission here, and that is to say until I moved and joined the local ravine group,
and had walked in the ravines for many years, I was totally unaware of Japanese knotweed.
I’ve been on a steep learning curve. If you could wrap up, that would be great.
Pardon? You’re at your time limit if you could wrap
up, that would be great. I’m sorry. I didn’t hear that. Okay.
Great, thank you very much. Questions for the deputants?
Councillor Colle. [Off Mic].
Since my children were young nearly 60 years. So for 60 years then it wasn’t until recently
that you were made aware of because of your work, volunteer work.
Absolutely. With the ravine protection — many people
I think I recognize this is something huge and brewing but I didn’t know what it was.
Yeah. So I guess you’re probably typical of so many people in Toronto that they walk by
these dangerous invasive species every day. And they can’t identify them because they’ve
never had that aware necessaries. Right.
From our department we look over the ravine and most people say doesn’t it look wonderful
doesn’t it look great. [inaudible].
Thank you for your work. Thank you.
Thank you, Councillor Colle. Any other questions for the deputant? No.
Okay. Thank you very much. Julie michalski.
Thank you for coming. You have five minutes. I am an environmental science student and
I’m here to talk to you about the Norway maples in our Toronto ravines. An extremely damaging
invasive tree species is spreading rapidly across our Toronto ravines. If it is not effectively
managed it will make it impossible for our other native species to survive and could
turn our ravines into what is known as a green desert with little to no biodiversity composed
of only the same invasive species. So how did we get here. The maple was introduced
to Canada in the 1700s as a plants but since then it has spread rapidly. In 1977, non-native
tree cover was just 10%. By 2016, this number had jump today 40% and if no action is taken
this number is predicted today jump to 60% within the next 2 decades.
Here’s what makes the Norway maple so destructive. It produce as large crop of seeds that can
spread rapidly across our ravines. It has an extensive shallow root system that outcompetes
native plants for water and night pre yachts. An they produce a dense cover that blocks
light from ground level making it I am possibly for most of our native species to grow under
or near Norway maples. The result is an aggressive invader that creates an environment that only
supports more life of other Norway maples. We must treat it as a top priority. And to
this end a few key steps should be taken. Proposed solution number 1, develop a management
strategy that focuses directly on the Norway maple. All of our current strategies do address
invasive species, however, none of them have a management strategy specifically for the
Norway maple. This current Toronto biodiversity strategy
presented today does have a small blurb on Norway maple, however it ends here. Ideally
in our upcoming implementation plan we can have a separate section dedicated to just
Norway maple Miami. It is not enough to have general action plans towards all invasive
species because there are different levels of priority and the Norway maple is one species
that requires its own action plan immediately. Proposed sloougs number 2 allow small Norway
maple on our ravine land to be easily removed without a permit.
And here’s why: The strategy states that the technique to say manage invasive species are
resource intensive but here’s where I disagree this is a huge resource right under our noses
that we’re not taking advantage of and those are Toronto citizens eager to help. There
are 30,000 private addresses on ravine land which poses a huge opportunity to get homeowners
involved at no cost not to mention all the other Toronto citizens that are constantly
using ravines on public property. However the treason ravine land are protect
under chapter 6582 action which states that to remove a street of any size on ravine land
is illegal unless you have a permit. The probably is the process to apply for and obtain a permit
is costly, it’s complicated, it’s time-consuming and it’s discouraging. You can see here that
just to apply to remove one tree requires extensive paperwork and costs a minimum of
$117. These are all barriers that discourage environmental stewardship from our Toronto
citizens. However, if we could revise this bylaw, we
would actually encourage community involvement. For example, let’s say I’m a private homeowner
or a high school student that’s looking to get more community hours. I would be able
to go into the ravines, identify a small Norway maple and remove it easily and quickly without
any consequences. That way we get them at a small size before
they do too much harm. So the take home messages are that we need to make the Norway maple
a priority by developing its own management strategy in our upcoming ravine implementation
plan that actually encourages environmental stewardship by our Toronto citizens. And in
order to do this we can revise chapter 658, 2a of the municipal code and allow small Norway
maple to be easily removed on ravine land without a permit. Thank you.
Well, thank you. Questions for the deputant?
Councillor McKelvie, then Councillor Colle. Thank you for coming in and giving this presentation
today. Similar to the questions I asked earlier,
what specifically are they outcompeting or what ecological function is being hampered
by having them present in our ravine systems? So they have lots of damaging impacts p.m.
Some of them are highlight on this slide. But one of their main problems is that they
create an environment much like Japanese knotweed that’s all monoculture.
So we’re starting to see more and more Norway maple to take over and not allowing our native
species to grow near or under them. If you see a place with lots of Norway maple sometimes
you’ll find around the base of the tree there are no other species that are baseball to
grow, it’s bare soil and much like Japanese knotweed with their root system it can contribute
to soil erosion and just create an unhealthy ravine system overall.
And do we have or do you have any information about like how pervasive they are? Like what
numbers are we looking in this city right now or is that data still being gathered.
From the Toronto ravine study here we see just these stats. This was the non-native
tree cover throughout the years. So they’re predicting in the years to come
we’re going to have 60% non-native tree cover. So they are spreading rapidly and becoming
an increasing problem. And the city has an ambitious plan I think
and staff can correct me later if I’m wrong I think it’s 40% canopy cover by 2040. What
do you think we should be planting? What has the most likelihood of outcompeting Norway
maple and holding its ground? We have lots of beneficial native species
here in Toronto. I am no forest expert but I know that our
sugar maple tree does great if our ravines. We’re hoping to have more of that.
People can sometimes confuse it for the Norway maple. Part of the problem we were talking
about they look into the ravines and think we have lush beautiful ravines when really
they’re Norway maple. Thank you.
Councillor Colle. Thank you. Do you know whether you can still
purchase Norway maple seedlings that guard — at garden stores in Toronto.
I believe you cannot. I’m not entirely sure, but last I knew there’s a ban on selling and
planting Norway maples. I think one of the main problems is that because of their seeds
that can spread so rapidly, even if they’re not being purchased and planted, the wind
is bringing seeds all across the city. And they’re germinating in the soil and growing
everywhere, whether people realize it or not. So I guess the real could nun drum and sort
of making us aware of it is is that on other hand we’ve got these goals of canopy cover
that we have to meet on the other hand we’ve got a lot of our canopy cover now being provided
by the Norway maple. So what do we do to try and manage this very, very challenging, you
know, issue? Yeah, that’s exactly right.
And we have this goal of canopy cover, however, it would be in our best interest to make sure
that that canopy are the right species that are beneficial to our ravines.
Okay. Thank you very much. Thank you, thank you, Councillor Colle. Councillor
Peruzza. You mentioned that you have to get a permit
to remove one of these trees. Why do you think that’s so.
I think that there’s been concern in the past of wanting to make sure our citizens do the
right thing, and that they are removing the right tree. So perhaps a permit process was
used to ensure that the people are taking the time to make sure that they’re pulling
the right species. However, because it’s extremely complicated most people either can’t afford
to apply for one and they’re just discouraged altogether.
There are actually my PowerPoint’s gone now but there are tons of online resources that
are available to help you identify species online. And so I think without a permit process,
it’s actually quite easy for our citizens to be able to identify them properly and do
the right thing without having a permit process. So if — you’ve thought about it. So how do
you make sure that if you — if you allowed a non-permit tip system to remove — I don’t
know even know if that’s possible but to remove one of these trees how would you ensure that
a sugar maple suspect cut down instead of a Norway maple?
Well, I think it’s also mentioned in our most recent biodiversity strategy. The city prides
itself on all of our monitoring systems that we have out there. So there are environmental
stewards that are going out monitoring our ravines ensuring that the right species are
there. And if we did not have a permit process, it poses huge opportunity to actually get
this involved in so many different areas. So for example, if this was allowed, we could
have school groups that are going out to remove Norway maples that could be accompanied by
a very experienced forest ecologist or environmental steward could be there to monitor the students
to do the right thing for example, and then also could be continuous monitoring from the
city going through our ravines and making sure that — so you’re suggestion is — your
suggestion is instead of a formal application just kind of like informal oversight.
Yeah. Informal approval.
Yes. And I would also make the argument that the people that are eager to go out and practice
environmental stewardship and who want to go into our ravines for the purpose of pulling
the invasive Norway maple will take the time and effort to make sure that they’re pulling
the right species. So I think people will be able to do the right thing.
Thank you, thank you, Councillor Peruzza. Councillor Minnan-Wong.
In the ravines right now I actually was recounting a story while staff members here planted 20
years ago I think some butter nut trees and about 10 years later when there was a path
going down the ravine, the trch chopped down all the trees and used it as a staging area
for their heavy equipment. And then so I asked: How is it that they can
chop down all these trees? And I was told that the TRCA is not required
to get permits to tear down trees in the ravine. Is that — are you familiar with the bylaws?
Are you — I’m not sure what the TRCA. Toronto regional conservation authority.
I’m not sure what they’re allowed to do with the permit or not, or the city, but what we
know is that Toronto citizens on high private or public land for ravine property aren’t
allowed to remove anything unless they have a permit.
So like second question is you say just on the ravine lands, why not allow people just
you know, not a tree that we like, why wouldn’t you just sort of at large allow people to
take down Norway maples if we don’t like those trees?
Yeah, that’s the goal. That’s the ultimate goal just because of the
time constraints of this presentation, I was just highlighting the ravine land.
Which is protected as a significant area but ideally across the whole city we could have
Norway maples allowed to be pulled without a permit so that it’s easy for everybody everywhere.
Okay. Thanks. Thank you, Deputy Mayor Minnan-Wong. Just
very quickly on page 30 there was a reference to the Norway maple story and talks about
many of the themes that you’ve highlighted. In the action plan there’s action number 2
which is develop action plans for regional species of concern an action item 8 review
policies and 3w5u8s for opportunities to support biodiversity. Do you think those 2 action
plans and staff will have to report back to committee cover what you’re recommending.
Yes, I think we further though for the upcoming ravine implementation plan which I believe
is coming out in November, if we could have a Norway maple strategy in that document because
that will make action happen quicker. It’s a great starting point what we have in the
Toronto biodiversity strategy. However, we want to stray away from making it too general.
And we need a specific Norway maple plan. Okay. Thank you very much.
Paul, Toronto ravine revitalization study. Thanks for coming Paul. You have 5 minutes.
Good morning, Councillors. I’m here today with Terry lang who is the
coordinator for the Toronto ravines revitalization study. I should just tell you before I start
the body of my presentation that back in 1977, this was a slide out previous presenter dale
tailor and I commissioned a study of Rosedale ravines to do exactly what we’re talking about
today, to inventory lots, what the forest cover is, the health of the forest and so
on. We did this in corporation with the help of UT. And then we found that 10% of the forest
cover was invasive species. 40 years later we decided that the study needed
to be refreshed. So we commissioned UT forestry which is a very good partner and we did the
exact same plots, 3 ravines an we found that the basis species cover was 40%. So as we
talk now the invasives are marching along. The Norway maple trees are full of seeds which
will be released in another week or so. And that’s the new generation, another generation
of trees. The Toronto ravine revitalization study employs
students every year and we’ve been doing this since 2015. We want to support students. They
do good field work and refreshed our study published in 2018. I think many of you have
seen this. The report before you is excellent and staff
be commended for its production. And I would say to you Councillor, that believe it or
not in talking about this biodiversity strategy, and then in November both ravine strategy
you’re making history. 15, 20 years ago you wouldn’t have thought
about talking about this. And you have the opportunity here to really change the history
of Toronto’s ravines. And to save them from turning to ecological desert to say very few
species and all the issues that go with that. You have a letter that we sent to you for
you. And in that letter we asked that recommendation 2 be tweaked. So it would read and include
ecological integrity monitoring, reporting and implementation and budgetary framework.
And that it report back [inaudible] this working group.
And the reason for that is that these are convenes, if they were on fire our approach
be quite different. Talked briefly, get on with it and save them well, the ravines are
on fire but it’s a different kind of fire. And every year as I said, they advance their
range, they advance their grip. So if we talk about this for another 3 or 4 years the situation
will just be worse and worse and harder and harder to deal with.
And also we want to start seeing some budgetary rigger put into this.
What’s it’s going to cost to do the job? And I think that everybody today has basically
been giving you the same message. And so the other thing is that we find that
the recommendations and so on and the discussion you have a biodiversity strategy on one hand
you have the ravine strategy on other hand and there’s quite a bit of overlap there.
And we would encourage you and staff to figure out ways to try and simplify that and make
it a little less confusing. And the other thing is Japanese knotweed there’s
a — some discussion about that earlier. And I just wanted to say that it’s my understanding
that there is an English study called the studied Japanese knotweed for five years and
ways to eradicate it and recommend a multi-pronged approach, digging, cutting and use of herbicides.
And thank you very much for your attention. We’re happy to answer any questions.
Thank you, Paul. Questions for the deputant? No. Okay.
Thank you very much. Terry holme Toronto — we’re together here.
Oh, sorry. Right. You’re together. Karen 5 minutes.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the biodiversity
strategy for Toronto. We’re commenting on behalf of protect nature to a coalition of
over 20 nature and stewardship based organizations advocating for the protection of wildlife
and natural areas across the City of Toronto. Leslie and I are both members of this group
and also co-chairs of the High Park natural environment community where we have gained
practical experience with many of the topics addressed by the this strategy and also a
lot to do with invasive species and restoration. There is much to applaud in the Toronto biodiversity
strategy. This document is the result of extensive consultation an many elements reflect the
feedback that was received. Which is a tribute to the collaboration among staff, expert advisers
and the public. This recognizes our city’s strengths and opportunities
as well as the challenges that threaten or natural places and the life they support.
If — it underscores the value nature as well as the many ways in which we benefit from
biodiversity. Strategy provides a vision of how much more can be done. And needs to be
done to protect restore and enhance biodiversity in our city. It translates global concerns
such as climate change into practical local actions.
One of the many important findings of the consultation process is the gaping divide
between those who are tuned into the natural world and those who have minimal contact with
nature or our aware of it only as a back drop. And I would say that the discussion earlier
about Japanese knotweed shows some of this divide that — where education is needed.
For Toronto’s biodiversity to be protected and appreciated in the long-term, this divide
will need to be bridged through concerted effort raising awareness within the city’s
own staff and relate agencies including awareness of existing legal protections and regulations
is a key step. Fostering more public programs including papers
in stewardship and in guided nature walks. These and many other important steps are included
in the proposed action plan. Specific departments are identified as being
responsible for a lead role in implementing these actions, while others are identified
as partners. This is a sound approach, a great deal westbound accomplished through cooperative
efforts, but ultimately these actions will only be effective if they are properly resourced
both with staff and with funding. Another essential component is accountability. This
infrastructure committee here can play a key role in requiring regular updates for each
of the proposed actions. We urge the relevant departments to include
the necessary resources in their operating budget requests starting with 2020, and we
urge council to support these requests even in the face of difficult fiscal conditions
and competing priorities. When it comes to allocating resources and
other decisions such as finding space for different types of recreation or space for
development, the conservation of our protected areas needs to be seen as essential as a legal
and social ly responsible commitment, not just one more nice to have kind of thing to
be traded off under pressure. In fact, as recognized by the strategy, our natural areas
need to be not only protected, but expanded through connecting corridors and buffer zones.
This action is particularly welcome and it’s consistent with the provincial policy statement
2014, which speaks to connectivity of natural features which should be maintained, restored
or improved. This biodiversity sets — strategy sets out
a road map for Toronto to strengthen it’s position as a world leader, please do your
part to ensure that this strategy is adopted and implemented. Thank you.
Great. Thank you very much. Questions for the deputant.
Deputy Mayor Minnan-Wong. So I was curious you said we need to spend
the necessary money to get all these things done. So I’m curious, I was wondering if you
had a comment, it says that this won’t cost anything in the report it says there are no
financial implications resulting from this report. So do you think all these things can
be done without spending any money? No.
I think one of the simple answers is that this is not a — this is a report that is
built on a lot of other reports that have gone before sorry, you said the simple answer
is. This report is built on a lot of other work
that has gone before yeah. Official plan, the ravine strategy.
Yeah. A lot of the things that we ravine strategy.
And a lot of the things that we would have asked for particularly to implement the biodiversity
strategy are already in the ravine strategy. And you may remember there was a motion in
March on March 9th — early March this year requesting that comes forward, the cost to
implement the factors of the ravine strategy be considered at that time.
So this — so a lot of the things that we’ll be looking to get done are coming to you in
the ravine strategy. Is that — so is it fair to say then, you know, that this can’t be
done within existing resource this has been a — significant financial requirements?
No, not significant financial requirements. I think a lot of it can be done within existing
and in fact, the strategy go out of its way to identify things that staff can do within
existing — within existing resources. Big one is that we would — that I looked that
seemed to me needed to be identified is sufficient resources to remove invasive species. Invasive
species removal is labour intensive, it is — it is relatively specialized and you have
that expertise in urban forest story. Sorry, I just have five minutes.
Sorry. I have one question for you, but removal of
that invasive species, let’s just take that as an example, that seems that’s going to
take a significant financial commitment that I don’t see the existing resource within parks
and forest tee staff. I am an High Park steward one of the things
we do is remove those invasive species which can be down without — without mechanic — sorry,
machinery or chemicals. Things like mustard is something that we as stewards, but High
Park is a very, very sensitive area and we need to do that under the supervision of forestry
staff. You can leverage a lot of your volunteers
who are sort of raring to go by providing sufficient supervision for them for us to
pull a lot of invasive species within our parks. But you really — in my opinion, you
really do not want to send the public in to just go and pull things because there — you
need supervision to make sure that we pull the right plants.
Okay. So I just wanted to ask this — yeah. Your friend.
[Multiple Speakers]. What I wanted to ask you, ma’am, was when
I said this is going to be a — cost a lot of money, you know, you kind of nodded your
head yes. So I wanted you to — I wanted to know what your thoughts were.
So I agree this is a lot of multiplying effect. If you can have more staff to plan and organize
and supervise the work, there’s all that multiplying effect of getting the community involved as
stewards, but our involvement in High Park is limited by the availability staff which
is finite and the park is a somewhat special case.
A lot of the environmentally significant areas do not even have the degree of management
plan that we have. Right.
They don’t have the resource working at it, they don’t have a local stewardship group
that we have. So there’s much more to be done. Okay. Thank you.
Thank you. Any other questions for the deputant? Yeah.
Councillor Peruzza. Yeah, just to pick up on this, you agree though
that we have a qualified staff that can figure all of that stuff out for us, what it would
cost and what our priorities might be and they could set down some firm numbers an then
we pick and we say yay or nay to those numbers. I think as Councillors then you receive reports
from staff and you — and you’ve passed them in council or you don’t that’s — yeah, so
you come in here and point something out to us and then we with them sort of figure out
whether or not we’re going to raise taxes to do it or not, right?
Well, or shift priorities, I mean there’s always difficult decisions to be made, we
understand that. As Paul said earlier if it was on fire and you could see it burning you
would react. This is a different kind of destruction but
you know and also with the awareness that people have like you can go through our ravines
and say oh they’re all green you drive up the Don Valley it looks all green, you don’t
know that’s all dog strangling vine which is choking it and ruining it for habitat.
So if we all — it will cost resources and I think it’s important for staff to know that
they can ask for — perfect. Thank you. Thank you, Councillor, Peruzza. Any other
questions for the deputant? Thank you very much.
Leslie gooding. That’s me.
Thank you. Mid-town ravines group.
Thank you, Councillor Pasternak. Thank you for coming.
I’d like to — we’ve submitted a letter which is basically very much along the lines of
what Councillor Minnan-Wong was just saying. The — this is a great strategy.
We applaud what’s written in the report. It sets out slept goals, but they’re not going
to be met if the city doesn’t commit funds to support an action plan that will actually
deliver. Let me just give you an example of Japanese knotweed in the ravine that was on
the slide that you saw earlier. City sponsored a couple of community days
which Councillor Colle striked me as one of the best ways in which to raise awareness
and knowledge because the city staff that were there educated the 25 or 30 people that
came out to each day as to what the knotweed was, how to cut it, how to deal with it.
And then followed up after that education program which had the affect of weakening
the plants with then herbicide that killed account weakened plants.
Successful, successful increasing awareness, successful in actually dealing with the large
stand of Japanese knotweed, but the only one that could be done in that year and this year.
The result is that we have approximately 45 other patches in that — in the part of the
ravine that extends from st. Clair don’t to Mount Pleasant road just off
Yonge. And to say that one patch eliminated is enough
is nowhere near realistic. Biodiversity is a really important concept.
The — when we have our ravines taken over largely by one species like Norway maples,
what a that opens us up to is a ravine that gets deforested at some point when nature
evolves the predators that will take that species out. That’s what happened to our ash
trees in the ravines. Almost all the ash trees died. And the only thing that saves the ravine
from looking devastated is the fact that the ash trees were only a small number of the
trees in the ravine. Have made all the trees in the ravine or a
large chunk of them 60% of the trees Norway maple and then when nature does evolve that
predator you’re going to have ravines without trees.
Biodiversity really is important. And the only way the city is going to be able to implement
the plan to effect a realistic strategy is by putting money on the able to actually do
that. So I applaud your question, Councillor Minnan-Wong. The problem with the city’s we
see it, is that we have a lot of strategies being produced, but very little council support
for actually implementing plants. And it’s you.
[inaudible] providing good advice. But they’re not getting the funds that are required to
deliver an effective action plan. That’s it.
Well, okay. Thank you very much. Questions for the deputant.
Councillor Colle. [Off Mic] .
Absolutely. [Off Mic] .
It’s in the ravines and that’s going to take trained personnel from the city staff and
then deploying other people to actually do the pulling and the replanting. So it’s really
going to cost quite a bit of money to have these boots in the ravines that’s right. The
city staff members of the public to help in this.
It’s a lot of free labour that we would all like to provide to help. But we need city
staff to be able to direct it, let’s face it, I mean, I agree that knowledge people
can go in and pull out Norway maples but most of my neighbours don’t know the difference
between a Norway maple and a sugar maple a. And if they’re taking out trees that are maple
trees they’re going to be taking out a lot of native species as well as invasive species.
We do need the involvement of city staff that are knowledgeable and we do need programs
between city staff and UT forestry and other people that are knowledgeable help lever this.
But that takes funds. The staff has to be increased or we’re not going to get anywhere
on this. Thank you, John.
Any other questions for the deputant? Okay. Thank you very much.
Thank you. Sue an Aaron.
[Off Mic] thank you very much. I’m here to support the biodiversity strategy which — put
to as a volunteer and I think it’s related to other items you have on the agenda which
is the ecological integrity monitoring and the network. I have 20 years experience in
the community stewardship program. Improbable the second and the only — the
longest of the sites. So we have made that an environmentally significant area.
And the other background that I have I’ve done recently graduate work in the department
— the faculty of forestry at U of T. I look at how they failed the ravines.
And I’ve looked at the ravine revitalization study in relationship to I want greating community.
And what I’ve found through all those is that if the biodiversity strategy is passed as
it stands it will allow us to consider the overall most important placement of biodiversity
as the basis of life in the city. I think it has the potential to do that which we need
in light of climate change and just all the health and et cetera that’s mentioned in the
biodiversity strategy. But what I wanted to look at today also was that having seen first
hand and consider these, I see some of the failings of our policies, that they are not
and do need the monitoring very clearly. We know, the stewards know, the scientists
know and the city does know and what little efforts it can do, what efforts it can do
that the invasive plants including the knotweed and scientifically through the processes that
are allowed for, will destroy the ravines. I’m going to stick to what I’m reading here.
Is that the policies that we have need to be integrated fully.
So the biodiversity strategy needs to be done — you need money for it. You have to use
the staff and the strategies that are in existence but as we’ve seen these strategies are slow
to come into practice. What has to happen is that all the departments a variety of departments
have to be in discussion with each other using the relevant monitoring knowing what goes
on on the ground. So you can’t just integrate existent urban
cultures, even, you know the existing bylaws all of this has to be integrated so that the
biodiversity strategy has the ability to protect and engage across the ravines and into the
city’s green infrastructure. So what I’m asking you to look at today is that the biodiversity
strategy be acknowledged, be funded and be integrated more closely with yet an understanding
of staff and community of what goes on, the very example of the stewarding program but
also the example of what currently is being allowed for in the ESAs.
If it’s an understanding that if undertaken by the strategy and then funded in — I am
not in a position at this point to speak to the funding, but just that our positives built
upon the biodiversity strategy are going to give us the infrastructure that we need to
respond to climate change and to create an underlying focus of biodiversity in this city
for all our health. I could speak to a lot more detail if that’s
— all right. Are you finished?
Yeah. Okay. Great thank you very much. Questions
for the deputant? No, okay. Thank you very much for your comments.
Okay. Questions of staff. Councillor McKelvie.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I have five questions so I’ll try and talk fast. The first is TRCA
is listed as a partner in more than ten of the actions but the government has been saying
that TRCA and our authorities should only be acting within their legal mandates. So
could you just maybe elaborate do invasive species fall under that or limit to flood
protection? Through the chair, we’re still seeking clarification
on what the provincial government has management by our mandate letters.
Right now though you receive very little funding from the provincial government and work that
you do in the City of Toronto is funded almost entirely by the city of — sorry the work
you do in Toronto is almost entirely funded by the City of Toronto.
That is correct. So should they say that this is not within
their mandate, even though we are footing the bill for that, does that allow us to proceed
in partnership with the TRCA. It does. If a program has been indicate as
non-core then we’re permit to enter into a service level agreement to undertake those
services. Okay. Thank you. My second line of questioning
revolves around the ravine strategy which I’m extremely excited is coming back to us
in November. I’m just wondering I know through that you’ve done very extensive prioritization
of our ravine systems and where we need to act first as they are the most pressing. Can
you just speak to how invasive species was included in the development that have prioritization?
The — with the framework that is in the ravine strategy it is detailed in the strategy but
basically we look at high quality areas, areas that needed to be protected, that had species
of concern as well as our ESAs. So the invasive species wasn’t in particular included in that
framework but the things that are of threat or by invasive species was included in that
framework. Okay and then for that report back then, will
that also include funding requirements, some of that that would be designated to invasive
species work? Through the chair, the report will be looking
at a number of funding considerations right across the board. Invasive species being part
of a larger sort of funding. An then specifically to the biodiversity strategy
that is in front of us and people spoke to it earlier that it doesn’t necessarily have
new money attributed today it but these actions is the thought we would have a score card
where we could be reporting back on a regular basis on the status of these actions?
Certainly would be monitoring and we would update the website an keep people informed
through that. And also through the ecological integrity framework we had setup a protocol
for monitoring. So the ecological framework, would that have
for example, like a schedule that will break down some of these actions and things into
you know, time lines that we could maybe have some accountability around.
Yes, through the chair, potentially we could do that.
An then my last questions are a little bit more specific.
So the first is about tree permits building on the deputation that we received by ms.
Michalski. What is the process for updating our tree permit system and when could we feed
a request for study like that into the process? Through the chair, you can ask forest tee
staff. Keeping in mind their 2 bylaws [inaudible] each of which have difference specifications
around how and the criteria around tree removal. So I think given the deputant can certainly
look at that within the bylaws for the next time we bring the bylaws back for review which
wouldn’t be immediately but something we can consider and Daniel can take you through the
specifications in that right now. So the fees that were quoted on — in one
of the presentations relate back to the city’s private tree bylaws and city tree protection
bylaws. The ravine and natural feature protection
bylaw does not currently have any fee associated with it. It’s necessary that the public go
through a process for some of the reasons also mentioned during the presentation namely
being the identification and proper removal of the correct species as opposed to more
desirable native species. Thank you. And then my final question is about
green roofs and similarly, what is the process for updating that? And I ask in the context
of how does it overlay with what proposed in this biodiversity strategy on one hand,
and secondly, I just did a tower of a rooftop garden and they were saying that there’s requirements
for over wintering that doesn’t necessarily fit for agriculture.
It looks like it needs mull pep u dates — updates. Yes, through the chair, we are on a [inaudible]
with the review of the greater bylaw in 2020. And we would address issues like making sure
that urban ago a culture is permitted as part of the process and also that we look for more
additional ways to encourage biodiversity. Okay. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Councillor McKelvie. Questions for staff, Councillor Colle.
[Off Mic] on your private property is — what’s the fee to remove — tree removal on private
property. Through the chair, the fee is $117 and change.
For a privately owned tree that’s greater than 30 September metres in diameter.
So whether it’s a silver maple or whether it’s an swidler maple or spruce tree, the
same invasive species as the native species.
Yes, that’s correct. The only addition would be for trees locate within ravine and natural
feature protection areas. It’s a defined limit. That does not have a fee associated with it.
So would it be feasible to consider perhaps a discount or some encouragement and not — or
some way of not treating the invasive species the same way you treat the native species?
Is that too complicated in terms of — it’s a complicate revision to the bylaw that would
require some extensive research and thought about how that could be presented just because
the types of, you know, such as a Norway maple there are many, many maples in the city that
even are quite big and the deputants did illustrate and credibility to the tree canopy and provide
some substantial coverage. So it’s certainly something we could look at if directed, but
again, it would be very complicated [inaudible] to undertake it in that way.
Yes. Just in terms of people talked about the need for resources. I know recently we
received quite a substantial amount of money from the federal government along their own
money to invest in our sewer infrastructure, you know, doing the mid-town sewer infrastructure
program I think it’s $150 million, 140 million and then wet the one in Black Creek, how many
million is that? So $220 million invested in a very needed
upgrade of our sewer system. It’s relieve contamination of our lake water and to relieve
basement needing. So that’s been, you know, almost $400 million
invested in that just repeatedly and it’s very needed. And as you know, our ravines
are also natural sewers. That if it wasn’t for the ravines you could imagine the needing
problems we would have in this city because I think they cover 20% of our land mass.
Has there ever been any infrastructure money invested in maintaining the integrity of our
natural sewer system, that is our ravines, has there ever been an allocation of capital
dollars into the parks budget to enhance, protect and continue the working of our natural
sewers or ravines? Through the chair, through Toronto water for
already more than a decade we have received several million dollars annually toward planting
in areas that are — that have a lot of pavement and asphalt and roof coverage such as industrial
areas and slopes where there’s a lot of runoff. And so forestry for years has been planting
on slopes and in industrial areas particularly high pavement and rooftop areas with runs
from water. Through the chair, I’ll just add a few more
things. Yes, there’s a contribution annually of $2 million for tree planting in ravines
and sites that help deal with storm water management and help restore the ravines.
In addition to that, there are some programs, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
has been running that deal with erosion control that did receive also some disaster mitigation
assistance funding relief from the federal government. So those programs were announced
as well. So that will be happening in the river shed in particular.
In addition, Toronto water has money that it puts in every year to protect ravines,
to protect the infrastructure that it operates but we have a lot of our infrastructure within
the ravines. So we always whenever we’re doing work we go in fix our infrastructure but it
also improve the habitat and the area that we’re dealing with.
So, again, just mentioned these 2 investments this year of almost $400 million. How many
millions have we received for natural sewer infrastructure that our ravines are undertaking?
How many my I don’t know, 5, 10 million what kind of investment.
Last question we’re at 5 and a half minutes. Through the chair, if you’re asking, Councillor,
around external funding. Yes.
There hasn’t been any ex term funding directly but there has been funding to Toronto water.
Water to — [Multiple Speakers]. That is certainly assisted in the — in what
you’re speaking. Okay. Thank you.
Thank you, Councillor Colle. Other questions from staff.
Deputy Mayor Minnan-Wong. Yeah, so kind of alluded to this in the questions.
So I was surprised that this is all these things, this whole report isn’t going to cost
— there are no financial implications, can you confirm that? Somebody.
Through the chair, financial I am 34r5 indications is note we’ll be coming back with the ravine
strategy in November which will have some costs associated with some of those recommendations.
What we have done our best to do is incorporate the existing work we have an let this strategy
guide and help us prioritize the work that we do within the existing budgets that we
have. So I’m going to translate that. So there are
financial implications? Through the chair, we’re not a — we’re not
requesting any additional funding through the adoption of this report.
All right. There are some very specific things we’re
looking at that connect specifically to the ravine strategy that will be incorporate into
the ravine strategy implementation report. So there are no financial implications to
adopting this report. I’m going to work this answer, Mr. Chairman, because I think it’s
important because I’m — I don’t think anybody can read through this report, Mr.
Chairman, and not believe that there aren’t going to be substantial costs to the city,
and it comes for free. So there are downstream — sorry — I apologize for the pond, but
downstream if we were to actually implement these strategies there will be significant
costs or are you saying this can all be done within existing budgets? I don’t think it’s
an unfair question. Because when you adopt the strategy, you adopt the whole — I mean,
you are by implication, Mr. Chairman, adopting a whole bunch of consequences afterward if
you want to follow everything threw. There’s a follow-up from the staff.
Through the chair, from city planning’s perspective I would say that the initial adoption of the
strategy will have no impacts because most of the work is being captured within our existing
work program and work that’s being undertaken. As more detail work perhaps evolves, we will
report out on that, and if there is any individual impacts from a financial perspective, we would
be reporting that to council. Sorry, Mr. Chairman, I’m sorry I have to take
— out but I do. You know, I understood both answers and they said there’s no initial costs
like I hundred percent get that, but I’m talking downstream. And maybe this — because you
know the staff behind me maybe aren’t understanding my question.
Maybe I’ll ask this question of the deputy city manager.
Downstream if we were to adopt the strategy because when you adopt the strategy unless
you’re just adopting you’re not going to follow through with it, why do you do it at all.
If we adopt and execute the strategy to get you a these down, to get rid of the trees
to improve our ravines, there’s going to be a significant price tag to that, is there
not. Yes, there will be. In the follow-up implementation
plans there will be costs associated with being able to undertake some of the strategic
actions identified in the strategy so just adopting the strategy.
Subsequent to that the plan will have costing associated with it.
Okay. So my next question to the deputy city manager, Mr.
Chairman, do you think that for the purposes of this report, and I know one deputant an
older gentleman said this is, you know, you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is.
I’m kind of paraphrasing what I thought one of his main these was, do you think that we
should be saying in this — in this report there’s no financial implications, do you
think that’s responsible? Do you think that’s reasonable? Do you think we should be saying
you know while we adopt the strategy that there are going to be significant — do you
think that is actually a more let’s say truthful transparent accountable thing to say rather
than saying you know what this is a freebie, it’s not — you know what, it’s not going
to cost anything? Through you, Mr. Chair, I think what our financial
implication section of our report does is talk about the specific report that’s in front
of you. So by adopting the specific recommendations that are in front and very specific, that’s
just endorse the strategy. And say you then don’t implement any future
plans or actions, then there are no costs. So that’s unfortunately the way we typically
write a report. This one in front of you has no specific financial implications or extra
moneys asked for by council. Not seeking additional authorities or moneys, that could happen later
as we report back, but we need some direction from committee and council that they accept
the strategy, they like the direction that we’re heading.
And then we can go back and cost those specific programs or any amendments that are made by
council. The costing of implementing like these strategies
could actually run in the tens of millions of dollars easily.
That’s correct. Okay. Can I — yeah, no — [Multiple Speakers].
I’m going to move onto something he is. So most of these strategies, you know, I reviewed
most of them. So I — so I put them in buckets. So most of the recommend days I can look at
the policy changes their training initiatives and their legislative changes. But within
the capture of the strategy there aren’t actually really any hard decisions that actually, you
know, in terms of the city going in and let’s say digging up the weeds or pulling out the
trees or going into the ravines and actually doing something that’s going to make it better.
There’s nothing in here in this report is that unreasonable to say? And maybe if will
is maybe you can kind of .1 thing out for me.
Through the chair, I mean there are a number of recommendation in this report.
Keeping in mind that this report is a city-wide report. It’s not just around parts, forestry
and recreation. There’s been a lot of discussion around the ravines and health of ravines.
There are there are larger recommendation that have to do with the official plan for
example and others that will be implement as report goes forward. I’m not sure if that’s
answer your question. We’re well over five minutes.
Policy training and legislative — [Multiple Speakers].
Recommendations outside of those. You want to ask for a second round.
Okay, fair enough. No, you’re good.
I’ll save it for council. Okay. Great. Any other questions for staff.
I have a few. Just following up on Deputy Mayor Minnan-Wong’s
comments about funding. I’m going through sort of divisions or forestry or TRCA and
some federal money that we’ve gotten in repeat times. And then look at the ravine strategy
and this strategy. And could an argument be made that a fair amount of this is already
funded? Through the chair, I’m speaking just specifically
to the parks forestry and recreation items on this as the report illustrates it coincides
with a lot of the work that we’re already doing on ravine management, on a number of
other areas. But as the acting deputy city manager has indicate, to implement this report,
it would require us to as an example in the ravine strategy advance some of those investments
beyond the point that we — where we are currently. We can continue on the work that we’re already
doing. And can continue in the successes of the investment of that work, but to fully
implement the strategy over time it will likely will cost some additional funding. And as
I’ve indicated in the ravine strategy implementation coming forward in November specific to pf
and r and the report will be illustrating what those funding impact are.
Yes, partially funded now through other line items.
That’s correct. Okay.
Approximately $10 million around operating funds in the ravines annually and the strategies
in this report will also connect with all of that work that’s being done.
Through the chair, from city planning’s perspective the actions outlined in the strategy are incorporated
into our existing work program. Okay. Thank you.
On more technical aspects of the report, I didn’t see and correct me if I’m wrong, any
kind of recommendations or references to the feeding of wildlife, animal wildlife which
is an increasing problem in our city. And any kind of response to that, or bylaw response.
We certainly did — through the chair, we certainly did consult with the wide life centre.
And we do have under our communication action around addressing the issue of human and wildlife
conflicts. So it’s an educational piece it’s not an enforcement
piece and that’s a segue into my next question. There is a reference to bylaws, I will say
that but not a lot of enforce am of any kind of the recommend days deputations bringing
consequences if some of these are not — if they’re violated in some way like draining
a swimming pool into a sensitive biodiverse area.
Through the chair, you know in many of the recommendations they’re not — the actions
are not so much in enforcement actions. Many of them are communication actions, education
actions, voluntarism, advancing volunteerism in a number of areas and many recommendation
are already included in some existing bylaws that are enforceable. On our end that’s where
many of the enforcement items would come into the existing bylaws.
Okay. Thank you. Finally, there’s a reference I guess on page 18, I see this report is co-signed
by planning. I represent the downs view park area and right
now on my desk is a planning proposal for 6,500 residential units, 1.6 million square
feet of commercial space, and 200,000 square feet of retail and that’s both in the William
and baker and Allen district areas. Yet I see here reference [inaudible] being an opportunity
— [inaudible] what planning is doing and the philosophy of this report and I see that
I’m — well to put it mildly on 2 different planets.
It’s something we’ve been doing– through the chair, in our repeat secondary mans we’ve
included policy specific to biodiversity to encouraging them. And the same for downs view.
All right. We’ll leave the rest of it for council.
[Off Mic]. Sorry.
Okay. Councillor Peruzza. I just want to — Councillor Colle touched
on this, I just want to go back to this whole motion of permits and better understanding
how someone is able to remove a tree in the ravine. So you into he had a permit for even
removing like a little tree? Through the chair, there’s no size limits
in the re convene and natural feature protection bylaw that differs from the private tree bylaw
where there’s a 30 September metre size. Queue explain that in a way that I could understand?
So any — under the current ravine and natural feature protection bylaw all wooden species
are protected. I got a 4-year old who says to me, dad don’t
say maybe just say yes or no. All right. So can you pull out a little twig of a tree in
a ravine without a permit? Technically a permit is required to remove
any vegetation from the ravine and natural feature protection system.
So if I’m going to pull out a twig of a tree I need to go and get a permit, correct?
Yes. Okay. Thank you. And that’s in all cases without
exception. No, there are exceptions associated with permitting.
A tree that is dead for example, or a tree that’s hazardous or a tree that is deceased
in some way they did not require a permit. So makes that determination?
The determination is made by urban forestry when the request is made through our section.
Okay. So in that case you go out, inspect and if you determine the tree can be removed
you can just simply say I’ll take down? Well, no, this is a form that’s given that
officially exempts the tree from the bylaw. So if I have a school group let’s say hypothetically
wanting to go into the ravine and do some sort of — removing some of these what we
would call — what we have determined to be invasive species that are damaging our ravine
system, they wouldn’t — would they be able to what wink from you or a nod from forestry
remove those trees without a permit. Urban forestry currently has a very active
volunteer program where we take volunteers into the ravines to do a variety of restoration
work. We also have a community stewardship program and some of the volunteers are here
today that come on a regular basis. Those — this type of activity invasive species
management needs to be under done under supervision and direction of staff because of the other
implications it could have such as making sure that they’re pulling the right species
and not trampling native sensitive habitat in that area.
So we adopt currently allow groups to go in on their own but are done through our programs
under supervision of staff. So with your staff a group can go into the
ravine and with staff approval remove trees that are determined to be invasive to remove.
That’s correct with staff approval and supervision. Staff approval and supervision, okay. I guess
because I don’t understand this very well. Would staff be okay with bringing forward
a report that explains this to us for to us take a look at how we might be able to make
it easier for people who want to help us do this work, do it without you know, without,
you know, the hindrances of experience sieve experiments and time delays and all those
other — would you be okay with that. So through the chair, I mean bylaws are very
specific around allowances and who can do what.
So you’re really talking about review of the bylaws case which staff wouldn’t be supportive
of review of the bylaw specific to volunteerism and deputy stewardship groups. I think as
we’ve indicated, this is a lot of activities that current happen with stewardship groups
and we are very supportive of that group and thankful for help that we get from community
in implementing some of those programs. If you want to report back on what those programs
are and how we manage them I think we’d be happy to do that. If that’s the — [inaudible].
That was your last question. Yeah, essentially that would be my request,
yeah. Speakers. Councillor McKelvie.
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I wanted to start by thanking staff for this work. I was speaking
with them last week and really want to highlight everybody that — I don’t think they’re doing
this just for work but truly are committed to the principles that are involved in the
biodiversity strategy so I thank them for that as well as the very useful explanations
about what ecological integrity means in an urban versus a rural or northern setting.
So that was very helpful. Something I just want to point out very clearly to everybody
is that hidden within this document there is a valuation of what our ecosystem functions
are for our ravines. So the ecosystem service that is they provide
is 822 million annually. And that is a huge number and it basically represents you know
what is the amount of money we would have to spend for these functions if these ravines
weren’t there. So while I am mindful that these strategies and actions do require money,
the money that we invest will have a huge return on investment if it means that can
maintain those ecosystem services to the best of their ability.
And finally I just want to say that there is huge public interest around invasive species
right now. And it’s certainly something that I’ve received the most engagement with on
social media as the topic as we put out information to the community.
They’re always interested to hear about actions that are being taken in the neighbourhood
about any of the other species and receiving huge uptick. So I think the communities are
interested. They want this sort of activity to happen. They want to fight invasive species
and as many of the deputants pointed out they’d also like to be part of the solution. And
they are looking for ways that they can engage and they can participate in removal of invasive
species from their communities. I really look forward to the ravine strategy
in November and in particular how it will address not just, you know, flood protection
and all those other services that are provided, but also as we go into our ravines to upgrade
and invest in them that we are also at the same time strategically targeting invasive
species so I really look forward to that report. And I hope those of you especially the young
students that came out to give deputations today will come back in November to give us
important feedback on those subjects then as well. Thank you.
Thank you, Councillor McKelvie. Councillor Layton.
Yes, thank you very much. I have several motions, motion 1 the infrastructure and environment
commit request the general manager recreation chief planner, city planning and general manager
Toronto water report back to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee three the report
November 2019. [Reading] number 2, what’s up with
number 2, that the Infrastructure and Environment Committee requests the appropriate staff to
consider prior or advertising as part of the invasive management plan the 4 regulated species
including Japanese knotweed and finally that recommendation 2 be amend as follows: City
Council direct the general manager — just this adds the highlighted portion including
implementation and budgetary framework. I’d like to thank staff for the report. And
high light there are — they are 3 things that I really love about this — about this
policy in front of us. One and I’ll get to it is a neat story, a neat personal story,
two, that it involves something that all of us care about and that is the health of our
city, the physical health the ecosystem health and the infrastructure health of our city.
And finally it gives us an opportunity as Councillors to show our commitment for something.
And I’ll get to that in a second. So first I want to tell you a story. So this — the
biodiversity strategy came from a letter that I wrote in 2015, and put on the agenda and
it was only on this agenda for 2 reasons. I had a meeting with an old friend Leslie
adams from it’s like people for our water and environmental resources.
They’ve been doing fights in the prove victims for years. And she told me that 2011 and 2020
was the un decade of biodiversity. Big un declaration the previous provincial government
did some works on it. But cities hadn’t done anything. And yet we have a lot of ecological
resource in our city. We have a lot of biodiversity. But cities in the province and across country
weren’t developing plans and I thought that was a little silly.
Later on that week actually aid conversation with my partner and she is an avid birder
and she towed me about a chimney coming down actually across town but that was new to an
endangered species and she asked me what would the city do, I said this is no division that
checks for this thing so we would issue a demolition permit but we have no one that
actually checks that box that says no you’re not destroying endangered species habitat.
And it struck me that someone along the way at the city could actually serve that purpose
to check that box that says this is on a hundred year old chimney very likely endangered species
habitat. So you have to provide documentation. We do that for a lot of other things. At the
same point in time the — were reestablishing on Toronto islands. And then more recently
I had — I got to learn from some of the speakers here about some of the invasives in our ravine
system. So this is a really he can siting strategy
because it does touch on something that I think a lot of us — and we heard from Councillor
Minnan-Wong it’s something that he has just in his own backyard. That this is about the
health of our city, our physical health because of species can have on our physical health,
our ecosystem health because that habitat — the species biodiversity adds to the complexity
of and therefore health of the environment around us.
And finally our infrastructure health. I got the privilege of a tour with folks from the
ravine group just to see the devastation that is happening within our ravine system as a
result of some of these invasives and it is going to cost us money.
Councillor Minnan-Wong is quite right to say that implementation of this report if we do
it is going to cost money. It’s you feel not presented here because those money asks would
be under the ravine strategy would be under a strategies for invasive species specifically.
So how do we address the knotweed in a coordinated fashion, how do we address the invasive Norway
maple in an appropriate fashion. It is going to cost money. It’s just the money
the dollar values aren’t here in front of us yet.
That’s why most of my items don’t say spend more money on it, it is as the process of
the ravine strategy and budgets come in proposals. Like I completely agree with Councillor Minnan-Wong
in that there are costs associated with this. Where we might disagree is I actually think
we should fund programs that really do address the recommendations in this report so that
we see advancement in protection of our biodiversity. We need to put resource into this.
Unfortunately the only example we have of the last time City Council had an opportunity
to demonstrate our commitment to this was for a tiny half million dollars ask to clean
up garbage and litter in our ravines as part of a pilot program in advance of the ravine
strategy. This came forward in our 2019 budget process
and it went unfunded. We had a motion in count of council that said fund it with a .022 increase
on taxes. 022% and unfortunately that would cost roughly speaking under a dollar person,
well under a dollar a person. So we will get a number. We will have an opportunity to hold
to account the elected officials at City Council to say if you’re serious about protecting
biodiversity and saving our ravines you’ve got to vote for increased resources. Thank
you very much. Well, that’s a warm up for budget season.
Sorry Peruzza. Councillor Colle.
Yeah, I have 3 motions I’d like to move. The first one is that the Infrastructure and Environment
Committee request that the general manager [Reading] second motion that [Reading] and
my third motion is recommend that direct the general manager of parks] reading] the one about the sewers
I just think that we take for granted the fact that our ravines which cover 20% of Toronto’s
land mass are playing a critical role in absorbing and managing our water outfalls, our extreme
weather events. So without the natural sewers you could imagine
what would happen to our existing sewers and our roads, et cetera.
So our ravines are taken for granted. That’s why by doing this report we might be
able to get some resources significant resources invested in our ravines to ensure they continue
to play the critical role in storm water management and perhaps expand their role these extreme
weather events will continue to come one after another as we’ve seen in repeat years.
Secondly, in terms of the public awareness campaign, I think we’ve got a lot of vehicles
within City of Toronto whereby we’d use communications to identify these invasive species so that
Torontonians will become more familiar with what they look like and identify them and
be able to ask questions and be able to move to eventually replacing the invasive species.
And also this is going to cost a great develop resources to do it right. And so I think it’s
very, very truthful that we’re talking about the reality of the cost of these motions and
the cost of this biodiversity report. That it is going to mean a commitment of dollars
to do this going forward. I do want to say that we’re asking the parks recreation and
forestry to do so much they’re already doing a great deal.
They’re not going to be able to undertake everything we’re asking of them in terms of
dealing with biodiversity. So I think we’re going to have to commit to smaller capital
dollars for sure in going forward in operating dollars.
Just I do want to mention that I am a jogger and I go through many ravines and I go through
and so forth. I have never seen or parks looking so clean and so green as I have this year.
And I don’t know been improved Miami or whatever it is, but I know they are green, this could
be some invasive species in there, but again, I just want to commend our parks, recreation
forestry people, I have really, you know, been amazed by the absence of place stick,
the absence of garbage elements that come in and the control of our natural grass areas,
our mowed lawns so I just want to commend staff. Because I know I’m — my staff like
I’m sure all my Councillors — if you could. Wrap up. We have to say something good for
a change sometimes. No, I like positive stuff, but within five
minutes we like positive — anyways I just want to put that on the record. Again, I think
staff is to be commended by the incredible commitment they’ve made to keeping our parks
clean and green and safe. And I want to put that on the record.
Great, thank you, Councillor Colle. Now, clarity, Councillor Peruzza, are you moving this item
or are you withdrawing it? Mr. Chairman, I’ve — as you know I was going
move a motion on this all permitting, ravines, can you pull out a twig without, you know,
without a permit, one person says no, you can’t because you’ve got bylaw that is don’t
do that, I mean, bylaw that is prohibit you from doing that. Another person says well,
you know, actually we can organize school groups and go down and remove them providing
they have supervision. So I wanted to get some clarity on all of that but I have been
somewhat moved by our very knowledgeable staff that it is a very complex issue that would
other things. Require some bylaw reviews and so I will take
that off line with them and if at the end of the day I’m not convinced then I would
move my motion at a later date. But while I do have the microphone I’ll just take another
15 seconds to say that this is a very good report and it’s very good direction for us
to be moving in and I’m very, very supportive. .
Thank you, Councillor Peruzza. Are there any other speakers? No. We’re good. So we can
start voting on these motions. Do you want to take them as a package or — package.
A package. Okay. So we’re going to — so a motions a, b and c from Councillor Layton,
all those in favour? Opposed? That is carried. And motions a, b and c from
Councillor Colle, all those in favour? Opposed? That is carried. And the item as amended,
you a those in favour? Opposed. That is carried. Thank you very much.
Next item on the agenda is item 9 it’s held by Councillor Layton.
Councillor Layton, questions for staff. No, thank you very much.
Any item 9, number of tickets issued and charges laid against builders for failure to protect
city trees, any questions for staff? Do you have questions?
Deputy Mayor Minnan-Wong. When someone’s building an in fill out house
and has a tree that’s getting in the way do we usually let them chop down the tree?
Yes, we do. Through the chair, the requirement for a permit
remains for removing a tree that’s in the footprint of bylaw zoning depends on where
the tree is located in context of the site and what variances might be required.
All right. So maybe I’ll be a little bit more specific. If an inn fill — if there is an
existing tree and the plan for the in fill house comes directly conflicts like it is
exactly where, for example, on footprint where the new property is, the new house is do we
allow that tree to be removed? Yes.
And that’s all the time, right? All the time. It depends upon variances on
the site, but — no, no. [Multiple Speakers].
If variance is not approved that’s clear, or if it’s not in the existing footprint of
the house, I think, you know, there could be a discussion, but it actually con dmrikts,
the I can’t remember advances are approved and you can’t build the house because this
is a tree there doesn’t matter how old the tree is or what the tree is, we have a policy
of letting them — allowing the permit, correct. It’s not a policy. It’s built into the bylaw.
Oh it’s built into the bylaw. [Multiple Speakers].
Okay. And if — and usually — I mean I should probably ask you this off line and if it’s
outside that footprint then this is a little bit more discretion involved, correct.
Correct. Thanks.
Thank you Deputy Mayor Minnan-Wong. Councillor Layton.
Thank you very much and j oft a couple very quick questions on the chart on page 3 this
had to do with the con a preventions and the orders to comply and the part 3, can you tell
me what the response time is for — these are all done based on complaint, correct.
Most calls received come in through 311, that’s correct.
I think I’m a good percentage of those calls for these ones in particular.
The — how long is the period that it takes for to you inspect?
The time period for response can fluctuate throughout the year.
[inaudible] currently in 2019, we’re at about five days and our service standard is 7 days.
Service standard is 7 days. You get a call that a tree is being on a construction
site is being injured potentially, and it takes 5 to 7 days to respond.
It’s averaging right now 5 days, however certain cause are prioritized above others.
Okay. And then orders to comply are when you see something that is in contravention of
the bylaw. Work that can be accomplished to correct [inaudible]
that was observed on site. So when there’s not work that can be done
for instance they injure the tree as a result of something what happens in that case?
In a case of injury this is some work that can be done, corrected measures, [inaudible]
. We wouldn’t issue a fine right off the bat.
A fine, no, there would be an inspection fee associated but not fine even if damage was
done to the tree. Even if damage was done. So institute a fine,
requires further legal action. So then you — then the orders to comply are
when you issue orders to do some kind of remedy. Now, the number of orders to comply and the
part 3 summons, is rather dramatic, the reduction, I’m wondering if can we ensure that all of
those issues, or orders to comply were investigated today ensure that they were in fact, complied
to? So we prioritize which infraction sites lead
to prosecution and we do that in consultation [inaudible] the significance of the impact
on site. [inaudible].
Okay. I might — [inaudible] .
Thank you, Councillor Layton. Councillor Peruzza. I just, I want to know, when do you — so
the adds of right construction when do you issue the permit to remove the tree?
I’ll tell you why I ask this question. You know, rezoning application was applied for
in my area some years ago. Went through the process all the way to the Ontario Municipal
Board. They got this zoning and proceeded to remove
a whole bunch of trees like 250 trees or something. And they haven’t built a single thing yet,
right. They may one day build but you could have
had a whole bunch of trees you know continue on until they were actually ready to construct,
right. So at what point does someone because of as of right construction permitted to remove
a tree? The allowance is based upon building [inaudible]
permit can be applied for at any point in time, but the actually permit would not be
— [inaudible] . So technically you could have a situation
where somebody removes trees because they’re in the way of construction and never actually
build anything. It’s too expensive.
Yeah, this is the potential for that sort of behaviour, yes.
Thank you. You’re done? Thank you, Councillor Peruzza.
Any other questions for staff, any speakers on this item.
Councillor Layton. Yes, just very quickly.
Thank you to staff for reporting back. I just find that the discrepancy in the number of
— first, I think this problem is so frustrating you and you can walk by a site these are contractors
that work in our city that know what the bylaws are, and then they’re starting — they’re
piling stuff from a right up next to a city tree.
Like that’s destroying our property. Those trees are ours.
Not to — not to too much ownership over nature, but they belong to the city. We paid for them.
We’re responsible for pruning them. They die we’ve got to replace them and these trees
can be this for 20, 30, 40, 50, a hundred years plus and yet these contractors that
work in our city are just — some of them, not all of them, some of them are just disregarding
our bylaw. And the fact that it takes some a, someone
to report it to have the with with all to say that might be hurting the tree in the
City of Toronto bylaw. And for us to not actually immediately some
significant fine or say you know what next time you go for a building permit you’re not
going to go fast track you’re going to go slow track, it just seems to me there are
honest mistakes made, but when these are contractors that do a lot of work in our city they damn
well know better and I’m tired of making these calls in and seeing these trees get destroyed
by — it’s hard to find a good contractor actually applies to those that will protect
our trees as well. I just think we need to figure out a better
way of pushing back and getting come compliance because clearly with almost over 2,000 contraventions
that were inspected last year that’s too many. So I think there’s something better we can
do I just haven’t thought of it yet. Thank you.
There is no slow track. Extra slow track.
Thank you. Wait for tree to get — to revive itself or
to regrow. Thank you, Councillor Layton. Any other speakers
on this item? [Off Mic].
Moving receipt. Okay receipt is being moved. All those in favour? All those in favour?
Opposed? That’s carried. Item 10 proposed wastewater energy transfer
pilot projects. Dennis — [Off Mic] .
I have a motion from staff. Okay. Questions for staff.
We’re not on speakers. Questions for staff. Yeah, Deputy Mayor Minnan-Wong.
I read the pilot project goes through the — we have an agreement with this vendor because
they have some sort of proprietary thing, and I’m just wondering like [inaudible] shouldn’t
go out for a proposal call and. It’s not necessarily proprietary as opposed
to the vendor approached us and that he had a couple of viable locations with some interested
parties to explore. So we do recognize that there are other competitors that may be interested
in doing something similar today or in future. We do know of another company that has come
forward for a different part of the city. And so we wanted to do the pilot so we could
— a framework document which will allow other entities. To do an RFP would be use identifying
the various locations and putting together the other [inaudible] .
Mr. Chair, as I read in the report the pilot’s successful when you
enter into an agreement for a longer period of time, is that correct?
On these 2 specific locations, yes. We’re sourcing on these 2 specific locations.
Again, through you, Mr. Chair, we did not put out a call. Toronto
— did not have an RFP out, so we’re not following a procurement type process. We are following
the council approved plan to look at different ways to use energy and taking waste heat from
sewage was identified in one of our transform TO’s policy strategies. That was open-ended
to allow entities to approach us the proposals as opposed to us making the respective calls.
And so we’re responding to the company coming forward and saying we have interested parties
that want to explore. You use the term soul source, yes.
You used that I’m saying we did not have a tender call. So we are not — [Multiple Speakers].
What do you call it when you don’t have a tender call and give a contract out.
An unsolicited proposal. Oh.
So essentially it’s an unsolicited proposal, however, we do have a framework to consider
it that council asked us to look at in general, to look at heat recovery and other energy
measures. Are there any — so 2 sites, what are the
2 sites. The 2 sites that were specifically identified
in the recommendations one is sunny brook hospital side, second one is.
[Off Mic]. College and associated nearby is the general
hospital site. So those 2 are really close to one another.
You’re comfortable with doing the soul source. Again, this unsolicited proposal, I have no
proposal call out this. There’s another arrangement when someone calls
with an idea — [inaudible] policy framework, the city of Vancouver did develop one and
we’ve looked at that. However, we do need to look at how we would do it in Toronto.
So you and the procurement officer satisfied with this arrangement?
Through you, we’re working with the energy office and legal, not procurement, because
again, wet not have a tender call out this. We would make money on this in fact. So there’s
the potential for Toronto water to earn revenue off of — off of this proposal.
I’m just — so this hasn’t been reviewed by [indiscernible] office.
No, again because we’re not procuring anything. It’s not like Toronto water put out a vendor
call. We’re not buying the equipment, we’re not purchasing anything, there is no investment
on our part. All of the investment will be handled by the third parties.
They’re giving access to city site, yes? Through you, yes, they would get access in
return there would be some revenue that we would expect for using the waste heat and
the lease agreement. So that is the basis of the agreement that we’re going to look
at putting in place with the pilot. First we need to make sure that implementing something
like this does not cause us operational problems with our sewers. So that is really the key
operational concern that Toronto water has. And we need to go a bit further to explore
those issues. Would you send this to the procurement office
to have them have a look at it. Could we?
Yeah. We could send it to them but again we’re not
procuring any. You’re giving them access to a site that others
don’t have access to. Again, we did so under City Council policy.
[Multiple Speakers]. Sorry, through you, Mr.
Chair, again, the council’s already established and approve the policy of the green market
acceleration program whereby these types of projects can be undertaken if this is no cost
to the city. So and it’s exactly that where you are giving access to city resources so
that the city can try out new technologies as well as having a look at new and innovative
technologies — you said the city not making — you said the city’s not what?
When I — so they are a lot of circumstances where we’re not paying for the infrastructure
for example, I don’t know I let a food truck go on square I’m not making any money, but
this is a process for that. Yes, that’s what we’re saying. This is a process
for this as well that council’s approved and we’re following that — all right.
[Multiple Speakers]. I’ll take it up with — [Multiple Speakers]
. Do you have to.
Yeah. Okay. Councillor Peruzza. .
I guess, I guess I’ll ask the question for Councillor Minnan-Wong. And how do we figure
out at the end of the day whether we’re getting best value? So we’re going make some money.
How do we — how are we able to determine that this particular outfit is giving us the
best value or the access we are giving them. Through you, Mr. Chair, that is the reason
why we’re asking to do the pilot. We’re going to develop some of the criteria that would
inform a broader policy, but we have to start somewhere and we’ve been approached by this
particular company to look at doing recovery work. We do know that you need external party
arrangements with people that will buy that waste heat. And they’ve got letters from sunny
brook initially. So that is part of the work that we would
do is figuring out what is the value of the waste heat, try to develop on market valuation
number for that. Compare it to other things that have been done in other jurisdictions
as well as what we’ve done on opposite side, deep lake water cooling is form of energy
transfer. So we would look at that agreement that we have in place.
So these 2 particular sites at the end of the day may not give us best value but bench
marks by which to achieve best value going forward.
That’s correct. You have to start new programs and the council policy was trying to give
us the ability to do some innovative work. That’s the first time we’re trying it in the
city. So we need to take it a bit further and need council’s authority to do that work
to try to figure out some of these details. Thank you.
Thank you, Councillor Peruzza. Any other questions for staff on this item?
Just in terms of I think there was need to include the reference to the hospital next
door through the college, that is the hospital site.
That’s correct. I believe Councillor Layton has a motion.
Oh, okay, okay. To make that specific amendment.
All right. Thank you, Councillor Colle. Deputations are over.
Speakers Councillor Layton. I have motion that have given to me by staff
that we add to recommendation 1 and/or William — general hospital. To the list of proposed
pilot sites. So we’ve got a program at the city called
green market accelerator program. Someone came to us and said we know you’re not looking,
sure. That’s no problem. You could ask questions
of the mover. I’m not going to know the answer but I’ll
try. I don’t know why these are on the list and
not others but that would be my question. The other question is: I just want to better
understand our sewer system because what this suggests — and I don’t know what the sewer
network is at the college for example, or where it comes out onto the city and how big
that sewer is and how much heat that would generate.
But I’m now adding this other place that might be going into the same sewer but not you’re
sort of, you know, saying what Councillor Minnan-Wong was alluding to is maybe we should
allow the pilot to go forward on the 2 sites, see what the values are, establish those and
we might be in a botched negotiate negotiating position on the third site. So instead of
slipping it in there. Just so we have clarity that was an error
on staff’s part in that we did not include that name in the recommendation.
When the discussions that we’ve been having with the proponent because it is in the same
sewer, and it was always intended to be there, this is to clarify the discussions that we’ve
had with the company. So it was our error not including it in the original recommendation
otherwise we would have had it in the staff — so the site that you’re talking about that
you’re picking both sewers, both the sewer — main sewer I’m assuming and the sewer from
the hospital, they’re both going into the same pipe — it would be coming off the same
sewer segment. You wouldn’t be able to — you wouldn’t be
able to separate it any way they would need an agreement in any case.
Through you, Mr. Chair, yes, this only works if you have someone that wants to buy the
waste heat off of the company that’s going to make the investment. So you need an interested
third party. If that deal falls through there will be no heat recovery project because this
is — this is no third party transaction that will occur.
Okay. Thank you, Councillor Peruzza. Just some clerical item lunch is in 9 minutes.
Do you want to move — [Multiple Speakers]. Or continue to finish I’ll move to complete
the agenda. Move to complete the agenda is on the table.
All those in favour? Opposed? That is carried.
Someone came to us and said you’re lose ago bunch of heat on your sewage line as you take
it back to get treated. I’d like to pay to install something that will take some that
have heat off. And heat a local — a building with it. Thereby reducing the in all likelihood
requirement for natural gas heating. It’s a technology used elsewhere but not in
Toronto. So we need to develop a framework — someone came to you and said I want to
buy a little heat from your sewage pipe that you’re not using I’m going to pay you for
it. I’m going to pay you for everything that goes into it and pay you for it. There might
be a lot of complicated things that we’re not factoring in.
Shouldn’t open to everyone, things like agreements around the right-of-way, the impact that how
much heat is being taken off this system or unanticipated things that happen in Toronto
sewer system that they might not have experienced elsewhere. So we want some time to beta test
this. It just so happens that someone came to us saying we have these agreements with
these other institutions, we had like to set setup a pilot in this way.
If we want to see movement and innovation come out of the city this is the kind thing
we should look at. It passes the smell test. Because if it’s demonstrated it’s being used
on sewers elsewhere, there is money changing hands and it brings in revenue to the city
and it’s an established policy goal that we have from our transform to. So I think that
this is a good step forward. I’m — this was one other site that I would
have loved to see on that list that’s actually in my ward unfortunately it’s not, it’s okay,
but we’ll — I’m glad to see that this is taking the next step forward and I hope that
it works out and if it doesn’t, well, we tried. We have the motion. The item as amended all
those in favour? Opposed. That is carried. Item number 11 held
by Councillor Layton, 2020 Canada-Ontario agreement respecting great lakes water quality
and ecosystem health. Mr. Chair, in the interest of time unless
there’s questions of staff I’m happy to move receipt of the program thank staff and apologize
if they stayed longer than they had to just in interest of finishing the agenda and the
rough time frame that we had expected. Okay. All those in favour?
Motion to adopt all those in favour? Opposed that is carried.
Item number 12 congestion management plan status report.
It was a walk on item from Councillor Minnan-Wong, all those in favour? Opposed. That is carried.
Final item also a walk on item e-scooter oversight and management. E-scooters
questions for staff. Questions for staff? .
Just very quickly. Councillor Layton.
Staff are working on a regulatory framework for the City of Toronto that is consistent
with the provincial it’s just they hasn’t developed it yet, correct?
That’s correct. This was a previous motion that came through this committee that staff
should work on a regulatory framework for e-scooter as well as similar types of mobility
so we’ve been working on that. The province has now announced that they’ll be doing a
pilot project so we’ll be feeding into that pilot project and need some regulations in
the meantime. So currently is it legal to ride an e-scooter
on the road? No, it is not.
It is not. And therefore, it wouldn’t be legal to ride an e-scooter on the sidewalk would
it? The sidewalk definition is a little bit more
vague so that’s why this is a motion within your package today that explicitly makes it
illegal to ride an e-scooter on the sidewalk. And for parking the vehicles on the sidewalk,
what would our current — what would our current regulations say about locking it up or just
leaving it on the sidewalk? There are currently stipulations in our bylaws
that if they — e-scooter — or devices or items are left in the right-of-way that obstruct
sidewalk travel then they could be confiscated and removed.
Language in the motions that you have in front of you makes that explicitly clear for e-scooters
that they can’t be left on the sidewalk as an obstruction.
And how long do we think it will take for staff to come — for the province to determine
the regulatory framework and for staff to come back with something.
Through the chair, the province seems to be moving quite quickly on this as they only
a couple weeks ago announced a pilot that will be 2-day comment period. They’ve since
revised that to a comment period until later this week.
So we will be commenting. They may move very quickly on that.
We want to make sure that our bylaws allow us some — a bit of a reprieve until we have
a framework in place that has permitting systems. Okay. Thank you.
. Deputy Mayor Minnan-Wong.
Thanks. Recommendation number 2 says you’re not allowed to put — you’re not allowed to
park e-scooters on a street, sidewalk or pedestrian way, where exactly are they supposed to park
them? The language in this recommendation would
allow an individual who wants to use an e-scooter to use it on the road once the prove victims
makes the changes to the highway traffic act, but when you would take it with you into your
destination your home, workplace, that kind of thing an e-scooter is quite a small device
it would not allow commercial proliferation of e-scooters on our sidewalks until we have
a permit system in police. So I mean I’m not — I ma not be opposed to
recommendation number 1 and number 3. My other concern is this — when we talk about e-scooters
and this type of sort of vehicles, it’s not what certainly level of controversy and a
number of people that wish to come here and make this views known and this was just dropped
on us. I just don’t want to run afoul of people saying,
you know, we didn’t have any notice of arrangement, you know, people usually the cyclists or scooter
community usually likes to know about these things an here we just dropped it, no one
really knows. And I’m just wondering whether you know, will be [inaudible] recommendation
number 2. If that’s the case they should be able to — voice this concerns.
Voice their concerns that’s my point. Through the chair, we are working through
the time lines that the province announced this pilot and want to make sure that our
bylaws are clear. So what we’re proposing here would allow people
to use e-scooters but protect us from having them being strewn about the sidewalks and
creating accessibility and pedestrian hazards. Some folks would have a problem with that
right, this recommendation. We would see some people may have some concerns
and this recommendation allows us — it says that we’re coming back before the end of the
year with the framework for the permitting system that would allow larger use of e-scooters
and where they would park. Okay. I’m finished.
Thank you, Deputy Mayor. Any other questions for staff?
I have a couple but — so when it comes to e-scooters parking illegally on the places
we’ve mentioned, e-scooters are used by individual residents and citizens in a private contract
with an e-scooter company. How would we ever be able to enforce any kind of violation of
leaving e-scooters in the public right-of-way? With the provisions of the bylaw as written
here we would be able to confiscate e-scooters that are improperly left on the right-of-way.
An individual that wants to use a scooter on their own could bring that into their property
or where they’re going because they are quite small when they fold up. This allows us to
protect the city against having mass commercial use of e scoot-ers on our sidewalks until
we have a permitting system that would allow them to park in particular places.
So the penalty is confiscation, this is no warning, there’s no fines, it’s confiscation
we take the product and impound it. In the manner that we’re trying to enact something
quickly to protect ourselves from this change we anticipate to happen from the province,
in practice what we have for bicycles that are left in the right-of-way, if there’s — as
long as they’re parked but not ridable we do put warnings but I expect we’ll work with
staff to create something similar. If it’s not obstructing travel. If it’s obstructing
travel confiscation needs to happen so that that can be out of the way.
What about private property? I understand the distillery district has provided
with a pilot. Do we have any authority or enforcement ability on private property.
No. We do not.
What about federal lands? I’m thinking under the secondary plan or Downsview
Park would they govern it themselves. If they are roads that are city-operated that
would be under the city’s authority. Okay. Councillor Peruzza.
And yes, I consider my questions important too. Before you ask the question. Okay.
As I think about this so we now allow people to willy-nilly park their pedal bicycles all
over the sidewalk everywhere. I mean, you know, both where you have designated bike,
whatever call them the rings or there’s like a little tree they lock it against tree or
the corner post. And nobody like [inaudible] obstructing pedestrians,
correct, more or less? As long as at bike is not obstructing pedestrians
than it is legally parked. They are some stipulations around not parking on trees because of damage
to trees. Okay, but in most cases you allow people providing
they haven’t parked this bike across the sidewalk, to basically lead leave their bicycles in
places where they’re not bugging anybody along the – along sidewalks and boulevards and
things hike that, correct. Correct.
Okay. So why are you — and — unless they’ve been left over the winter or
something and then you clean them up as part of a cleaning program but not because you’re
collecting the bikes, right? Correct.
Okay. So why wouldn’t you as part of a pilot allow e-scooters that look — a lot of them
look like bicycles to be able to do the same thing as a bicycle? Like on the — like why
do we need to kind of like regulate the hell out of those?
The regulation piece is around mass commercial supply of these for e-scooter sharing is what
we’ve seen in other cities so the city would be reporting on a permitting program for those
kind of e-scooter uses and that’s — [Multiple Speakers].
Let me ask the question another way. Let’s say we approve your recommendation today and
that goes to the province and the province adopts our recommendation. And basically makes
it illegal for anybody to leave their e–bikes along sidewalks park them like bicycles, right.
The province wouldn’t identify where e-scooters can park. That would be up to the city. The
province is allowing these to be legal for use on roads and some stipulations around
you have to be 16. Right.
You have to use a helmet if you’re under 18, that’s what the province is proposing right
now. Right.
They’re asking for feedback on that. Right. And we’re saying no on boulevards or
along sidewalks and places where there might be space for to you park your e-bike but we’re
going to say no because you would allow a pedal bicycle to park this but won’t allow
your e-bike that it’s the same size as the bike but you can’t park this.
This issue came up that it would be legalized last week or the week prior. And so as something
that council is decide now to ensure we don’t have hundreds, thousands proliferate the sidewalks
between now and the end of the year it allows some clarity that they cannot be parked on
the sidewalk obstructing. [Multiple Speakers].
Also before the end of the year with a permit program.
In relation to — in relation to bicycles and bicycle use, how many people out there
in percentage terms are using e-bikes? Is it hundreds of thousands?
Are you talking about e-scooters. Yeah, e-scooters, yeah.
I’ve seen handfuls people. What happens is a company cops in and leaves
these on the sidewalk in the cities and thousands in bulk. And they become a problem. So until
end of the year really literally like 2 months, 3 months from now at the most we would come
back with a report stipulating what a permit system for these programs would look like,
staff are already work on that. So why wouldn’t we take that approach. If
it becomes a problem and then companies are just dropping hundreds of thousands of e-bikes
all over our sidewalks that we would regulate them then?
We’re trying to be proactive because the province is changing the rules now. So we want to make
sure that our city can be somewhat prepared while we get the permit system in place.
So we’re basically moving to deal with a problem that hasn’t occurred but we are anticipating
that that problem for sure will happen? We know that this has been a problem in many
other cities and we are looking to support the prove aspirin’s recommendation in making
these e-scooters legal but the issue of parking them has been a problem leaving them on sidewalk.
This protects us from problems until we have a permit system.
So — all right. Yeah.
Councillor, Peruzza you’re well over 5 minutes but those were good questions.
I want to — please separate those recommendations I want to vote against.
Yeah, [Multiple Speakers] we can arrange that. [Multiple Speakers].
There’s the one issue of personal use but the one that’s actually a little bit more
of certain is when it’s like a company that’s representing them out and you have like a.
Yes, that’s the problem that we’re trying to address until we have a permit system to
regulate those companies and you’ve mentioned that other places have had this problem so
somebody had written to me a former colleague at western university saying that they’re
finding them all other campus, is that the sort of problem that you’re trying to avoid
here. That’s correct.
Thank you. . [Off Mic] .
Speakers. Councillor Layton. Yes, thank you very much. I have a motion.
Yes, you do. And this is to amend the — it looks a lot
longer than — and it is, but it does 2 things in recommendation 11 adds the Toronto Parking
Authority to be consulted and then it includes the language cloth possibility of adding electronic
scooters to the bike share fleet as a way of managing e-scooters in the right way. And
second amendment is to recommendation 2 to delete the word standing from the list so
that it lurks parking storing. That was just what I came up with quickly.
West opportunity of careful thought here in Toronto. It’s unfortunate
the province is giving us 28 hours to review a set of regulations on this. But this doesn’t
mean that it ends there. Because this is 2 distinct things the prove
victims who are talking about the personal use on the roads and then this is the share
that is really where the city will have most of its domain and where it should because
we’re regulating what happens in the public right-of-way. Because these vehicles they’re
not — they’re not — and then it’s the city’s problem and it’s
going to is going to be enormously expensive going up and picking these things up and administering
giving them back to the companies it’s going to be expensive.
So we need to do it right. My first motion is I think we have a way of doing it right
and that’s because our bike share system has docks and put in places where stuff fits.
They’re difficult to site these docks but managed to put a lot of them out. We might
have a great way of avoiding the problem that every other municipality is struggling with.
I’m adding that just for consideration I’m not saying do it, I’m saying talk to tpa.
Then the elimination of standing was if someone’s standing next to their e-scooter, that’s probably
okay on sidewalk. It’s when they leave it that the problem is initiated. But I want
to make sure we make right clear as a committee, we’re in a time crunch here. So we haven’t
had a lot time to think this through or consult with the public which problematic because
we might not be seeing what the final solution should be. So I would encourage everyone here
encourage the media and all other Councillors not to start sharpening their spikes on their
scooters quite yet. We have another opportunity to look at this
to see if we get it right going into council. That we could address this issue of not opening
up the sidewalks to all sharing technologies riot away depending on the regulations but
address this issue of personal use because they are individuals who have these electronic
scooters already it’s just not clear they could actually use them anywhere.
So I just think we’ve got some time between now and council if we all keep an open mind.
Listen to our constituents, listen to city staff. We may land on a different point than
we are at this second. But I thank the chair and staff for bringing it forward. The province
is being a little unfair in way they’re treating us.
Thank you, Councillor Layton. Any other speakers? I would just simply say
that I was in Denver in past summer which is an avid location for e-scooters.
And I saw many of the benefits of e-scooters of getting people around in an economical
and environmentally friendly way. And yet I also saw some of the downside where
people were leaving scooters tipped over, blocking the sidewalk, blocking the public
right-of-way. But I must admit as a city with lots of bike paths and trails and commitment
to that kind of mobility, it was actually very exciting. We were staying near university
campus, it was very exciting to see all these people on scooters, created a vibrancy in
the city. It was for many the last mile to either destination of work or home.
And I thought it was actually. But I have no doubt that the personal injuries that I’ve
read about on these I took one for a test drive. And they do go 23569. And you really
have to know how to control the breaking system — braking system as well as the gas.
And you also have to be aware of where you’re [inaudible] and that’s going to become a major
issue. If these motions are going to carry today everyone’s mind really just to carriage
of it from staff, I think if these motion pass we’re going to hyper regulate it right
out of the city. I don’t know how these companies could every function here. And you’ll see
it in small pockets. Maybe in private property like the distillery
district maybe on federal lands like Downsview park and maybe a few other locations but I
can’t see any other private sector operating or agreeing to these conditions or having
it feasible in any way. But these are the recommendations and maybe we can off line
and certainly can work on these as we go forward. So the one motion I have is Councillor Layton
and then the main item. So if we put that on the screen. All those in favour?
Hold on. We’re going to separate them out. Yes, we could. We could.
[Multiple Speakers]. So recommendation 1 we’ll take first. Councillor
Peruzza, are you ready to vote? Yeah, okay. So recommendation 1 is obviously
an amendment to what we had in the original motion. All those in favour?
Opposed? That is carried. Recommendation 2 is a slight amendment to
what was originally proposed, I deleted withstanding. All those in favour? Opposed? That is carried.
And the item as amended, all those in favour? Opposed? Can you do that vote again. All those
in favour? That is carried. Well thank you very much
everybody. Enjoy the rest of the day. And the rest of the summer.

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