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Toronto could bid for World Cup, wants more info on Island airport expansion

Toronto councillors agreed to Coun. Mark Grimes’ request to consider a bid for the city to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup, as council resumed its monthly meeting on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, almost all councillors voted in favour of congratulating Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes on their accomplishments at the Winter Games and in favour of renaming a street after Nelson Mandela.

Ford — who was the only one to vote against the motions — later claimed he hit the wrong voting button in both cases and asked for a re-vote.

Councillors briefly debated Ford’s call but then moved on to other business.

They didn’t hold a re-vote before council wrapped up around 8 p.m.

Earlier, council voted unanimously in favour of the mayor’s motion to plant 100 red poppies to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

On Thursday, councillors will discuss whether to increase the number and kind of food trucks on city streets.

Other items up for debate include the fate of the Gardiner Expressway, BMO Field expansion, and winter storm funding, to name a few.

Click here to read the agenda.

On Tuesday, council voted 44-0 to further study a proposal that would see the runways at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport expanded to accommodate jets.

The city will conduct further studies on infrastructure, health and environmental impact, and then city staff will give Porter Airlines its decision.

A final decision on the expansion won’t be made until 2015, after a new council is elected.

Reporters Momin Qureshi and Cynthia Mulligan are be covering the meetings live. See their tweets in real-time below.

Food trucks

The city’s licensing committee gave the preliminary green light for food vendors to set up shop in more locations in Toronto on March 18.

The new rules give food trucks over 580 spots to do business and they’ll be allowed to stay in any one spot for up to five hours.

The food trucks will be permitted to operate out of any pay-and-display parking spot in the city.

If approved by city council, the rules will go into effect on May 15.

Click here to read the agenda item.


BMO Field expansion plan

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment wants $10 million in funding from each of the three levels of government and plans to spend $90 million itself to expand BMO Fields, a city-owned and MLSE-operated stadium.

The city’s executive committee has voted in favour of giving MLSE $10 million, with the only vote against coming from Mayor Rob Ford.

The company wants to add 10,000 seats to the stadium, improve amenities inside the stadium, add a partial roof and a longer field to allow it to host the Toronto Argonauts. It would be a potential site for a major event like hockey’s Winter Classic.

Construction is expected to begin in September 2015 and take a year to complete.

Click here to read the agenda item.

World Cup 2026 bid

Council voted 39-2 in favour of Coun. Mark Grimes’ motion to study the prospect of hosting the soccer tournament in conjunction with the United States.

This year’s World Cup takes place from June 12 to July 13 in Brazil.

Grimes also wants city staff to investigate the possibility of broadcasting the World Cup final at Nathan Phillips Square.

Click here to read the agenda item.

Gardiner Expressway

City staff members are recommending the 2.4-kilometre portion from Jarvis Street to Logan Avenue be replaced with an eight-lane stretch of Lake Shore Boulevard, but an official decision won’t come until early 2015.

The west deck of the Gardiner, from Exhibition Place to Grand Magazine Street, needs to be replaced. City council will open that process up to tender during the monthly meeting.

Click here to read the agenda item.

Toronto potholes

Coun. Mary Fragedakis will be asking council to approve an additional $4 million for roads and sidewalks in a motion dubbed “Potholepalooza.”

Toronto Transportation Services says crews have filled around 127,000 potholes since the beginning of the year.

The problem is expected to get worse now that our temperatures are finally warming up.

In a tweet, officials said crews filled 3,716 potholes on March 31.

Click here to read the agenda item.

Winter storm funding

City council will discuss planned funding from the province in the wake of last year’s ice storm. The Dec. 21, 2013, storm downed power lines and left 600,000 customers in Ontario without power. It cost the GTA an estimated $275 million, including $106 million for Toronto.

The Ontario government says it will provide up to $190 million to help municipalities, including Toronto, pay for the cost of cleanup and recovery from the storm.

Click here to read the agenda item.

Pay parking grace period

The city is considering a 10-minute grace period for street parking (pay-and-display) as well as an overnight grace period for residents with street parking permits, where the parking alternates from one side of the street to the other.

If the bylaw is changed, it would give permit holders until noon, instead of 9 a.m., to move their cars to the other side of the street.

On Monday, the city asked residents with on-street parking permits to delay switching sides until April 15.

The city said that because of the unusually cold and icy winter, “it may not be safe or practical to switch sides until the ice and snow has melted.”

The city said that police will honour the delay and ticketing for parking on the wrong side will not begin until April 16 at 9 a.m. However, police will still issue tickets if vehicles are parked unsafely, if they’re creating an obstruction, or hampering traffic.

Click here to read the agenda item.

With files from The Canadian Press and Toronto Staff

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