Loading articles...

Council approves Raptors practice facility at Exhibition Place

Council voted 38-2 on Monday to lease land at Exhibition Place to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment for a Toronto Raptors’ practice facility.

Mayor Rob Ford and Coun. Doug Ford voted against it.

The facility will serve as a practice space for the Toronto Raptors, but MLSE stressed it will be a community centre as well.

The NBA team will occupy about a third of the facility, with the rest of the space and time open to community basketball teams and leagues.

There are 404 items on the meeting agenda, including including recommendations on gridlock and traffic congestion, and ways to prevent children and underage youth from buying energy drinks. Click here to read it.

Councillors also voted 36-2 to ban e-cigarettes from city work spaces. Mayor Ford and Coun. Josh Matlow voted against the motion.

Toronto Public Health raised concerns about e-cigarettes because they contain nicotine and could encourage young people to take up the habit.

The agency is also calling on the province to ban e-cigarettes in all public places in February. If that doesn’t happen, the city will explore ways to banning e-cigarettes in the same places tobacco use is banned in the city.

Council also discussed a recommendation by the licensing and standards committee to develop a policy to deal with election sign violations.

The recommendations brought forth to council included decreasing fees for removing improperly displayed signs from $250 to $125, during the election sign period.

After a debate, council voted to 36-3 to refer the issue back to the licensing committee and to put off changes to the bylaw until 2015.

Click here to watch a live stream of the council meeting.

Reporters Pam Seatle and Kevin Misener are covering the city council meeting. See their updates below.


It’s the last council session before the municipal election on Oct. 27. The next meeting will be held on Dec. 2-3.

At the start of the meeting, Speaker Frances Nunziata said she’s never seen so many binders for a council meeting.

She also promised to lay down the law to keep the meeting running smoothly and was given a special gavel — an over-sized Hammer of Thor, which sat at the edge of her desk.

“Everyone here today has an interest in completing this meeting long before the start of the Labour Day weekend,” Nunziata said.

Nunziata said her intention is to make sure there are no unnecessary disruptions by the public or councillors. She also asked security to help enforce the rules.

“If you are asked by a member of the security staff to come to order … I expect to comply with his of her request.”

Meanwhile, a silent demonstration was held with several members of council wearing pink in protest of Mayor Ford’s term in office.