For all but a select few Torontonians, the minutiae of municipal politics appears to be a slow-going and often inefficient affair at council meetings. It can take hours before councillors vote on a single item after countless points of order and questions to staff.
But contrary to popular gripings, Toronto city council has gotten stuff done at its meeting that began on Monday.
Here are seven notable items it has approved in the final meeting before the Oct. 27 election.
1. Banned e-cigarettes in City of Toronto workplaces
City council endorsed the Board of Health’s recommendations to request the province expand its no-smoking legislation to include e-cigarettes. In the meantime, the city will look into how to ban the use of e-cigarettes in City of Toronto workplaces.
2. Removed barriers to getting a liquor licence
In April city council imposed new hurdles for businesses hoping to obtain a liquor licence, tacking on a requirement for applicants obtain a letter of support from the local MPP and take a CAMH course for bar owners. The city was hoping to appease neighbourhood complaints over noise, but the added paperwork slowed down the process and left businesses in the lurch at that time.
3. No right turns on a red light at Millwood Road and McRae Drive
Coun. John Parker proposed the ban after after Georgia Walsh, the daughter of John Walsh, the head of the Conservative Party of Canada, died after being hit by a minivan that was trying to make a right-hand turn onto Millwood Road from McRae Drive. The signs will go up next week, Parker said.
4. Dedicating a Scarborough street in honour of a soldier killed on duty in Afghanistan
Canlish Road will be ceremoniously dedicated to Cpl. Joshua Caleb Baker who was killed on duty in Afghanistan in February 2010. The 24-year-old soldier, his mother and his grandmother all grew up on Canlish Road. A neighbourhood petition supported the dedication.
5. Naming a new street after Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende Court will run through a new development under construction at Ossington Avenue and Dupont Street. The Chilean Canadian Cultural Society pushed for the street to be named after the former Chilean president and socialist hero. The decision to rename was minted by a letter of support from Allende’s descendant, Isabel Allende Bussi, current president of the Chilean senate.
6. Listing 55 Sudbury Street as a heritage property
The two-and-a-half story brick and stone Diamond Glass Company office building will be added to the city’s list of heritage properties. The designation means any changes to the 114-year-old building have to go through city council.
7. Preventing the removal of a black walnut tree in North York
Neighbours of 251 McKee Ave. can continue to enjoy the shade and majesty of a black walnut tree after the city rejected the owner’s application to remove the tree.
Click here to see a rundown of more items on the city council meeting agenda.