Toronto city council has voted to allow bars to open early this weekend so hockey fans can cheer on the men’s Olympic team in a group — with alcohol.
Councillors voted 37-4 to allow bars, cafes and restaurants to serve alcohol starting at 7 a.m. this weekend, except in York Centre, York South and Willowdale. The councillors in those wards didn’t want to be included.
The regular monthly meeting was convened to debate a host of other items as well, including the elimination of door-to-door mail service and the 2025 World Expo.
Council voted unanimously on Thursday to accept the ombudsman’s annual report, which looked at customer service and the rise in poor communications between public servants and residents, particularly in public housing.
It also voted unanimously to adopt with amendments the integrity commissioner’s report on a social media policy for councillors during the upcoming municipal election.
On Wednesday, council voted 23-21 to appoint Coun. Maria Augimeri as the new chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, narrowly beating Coun. Josh Colle for the position.
In December, Stintz announced she would be resigning as chair to prepare to run for mayor. Her resignation is effective Feb. 22.
Council spent most of Wednesday debating several reforms pertaining to the taxicab industry including accessibility, licences and cleaning.
It voted 31-12 in favour of implementing the Toronto Taxicab Licence (TTL), which would replace the existing standard and Ambassador licences.
The city also approved 290 new wheelchair-accessible cab licences, voted in favour of transitioning all taxis to alternative fuel or hybrid vehicles and made snow tires mandatory for all vehicles.
However, council voted against a so-called “throw-up charge” which would give drivers the ability to charge a fee to people who soil the vehicle to compensate drivers for time lost due to cleaning.
2025 World Expo
City council reviewed a report from the city manager and the general manager of Economic Development and Culture on the feasibility of Toronto hosting the 2025 World Expo. Mayor Rob Ford has said in the past that he would support the city hosting the event, which could cost the city anywhere from $1-3 billion. Click here to read the agenda item.
Council voted in favour of Coun. Paul Ainslie’s motion to declare March 6 City of Toronto Day, to celebrate the city’s accomplishments and its place in history. Click here to read the agenda item.
E-bike policies and by-laws
A proposal from the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee recommends the city change the definition of a bicycle in the city’s municipal code to be more specific when referring to what constitutes an e-bike and prepare bills to make bylaws accordingly. The committee is also recommending the Ministry of Transportation review the types of vehicles being sold as power-assisted bicycles. Click here to read the agenda item.