The Week at Toronto City Hall #5

Note: forgot to post this when it came out >_<

Community Council week at City Hall brings lots of new developments, plus local traffic by-laws and falling walnuts. Also, the Planning & Housing Committee discusses laneway suites, the Yellowbelt, and the end of parking minimums (maybe).

Read the whole thing at City Hall Watcher.

The Week at Toronto City Hall #4

Toronto City Council meets next week! On the agenda: Inclusionary Zoning, keeping industrial lands industrial, the winter shelter plan, and your Tree Removal Permit Application of the Month, which sent me down a wild medical and botanical rabbit hole. Plus, meet an ubiquitous but little-known household insect in my Bug Report.

Read the whole thing at City Hall Watcher.

The Week at Toronto City Hall #3

The big event this week at City Hall: the launch of the rate-supported budget (water, waste, and parking). But there’s also audits galore, electric car charging stations, new appointments to the Zoo and Exhibition Place Boards, and more. Also, spiders make their debut in the weekly Bug Report!

Read the whole thing at City Hall Watcher.

The Week at Toronto City Hall #2

On the agenda next this week at Toronto City Hall: a long-awaited but underwhelming affordable housing policy, park winterization, the future of CaféTO, SIU investigations, fixing up the Gardiner, and a couple of Committee of Adjustment items. I break it all down for you! Plus, your weekly Bug Report.

Read the whole thing at City Hall Watcher.

The Week at Toronto City Hall #1

So, uh, yeah, this is a thing that’s happening: I’m doing some City Hall previews for Matt Elliott’s newsletter City Hall Watcher. I didn’t get less disenchanted with politics or anything, but I’ve been getting tired of not knowing things, and also this is basically the one gig on the planet I am perfectly qualified for so I kind of had to apply.

Next week, Toronto City Council’s various committees discuss the 2022 shelter plan, Open Data, zoning by-laws, arts grants, Indigenous entrepreneurship, and more. I’ve pored over the agendas to summarize the key items for you. Yep, I’m back. As Lil Nas X might say, “The break is over.”

Read the whole thing at City Hall Watcher.

Independent City Hall Media To Support

So local politics is picking back up after the winter break. We face a challenging budget and provincially-introduced chaos over the fate of the TTC and Ontario Place. As I’m not covering it, I encourage readers to support local independent media instead.

Arianne Robinson’s Signal Toronto is an all-purpose City Hall news site that also puts out a weekly newsletter, with a mix of public and paywalled content. Subscriptions are $5/month.

Matt Elliott has recently launched a newsletter of his own, City Hall Watcher. It’s free until February. Thereafter, subscriptions will be $5/month or $50/year, or free for “journalism school students, other people just getting started covering Toronto City Hall and municipal issue advocates who are not able to afford a subscription.”

I’ve also thrown together a small Twitter list of folks who cover City Hall. (And also a few Queen’s Park reporters, just because.) I may add to it over time.

Okay, now back to hibernation…

Pivoting to Spiders

Note to readers: I am taking a hiatus from the whole City Hall thing. I’ll soon be cancelling all your recurring Paypal donations and putting the Patreon on hold.

It’s not about money or the work or anything. It’s just an existential despair thing, you know?

Thank you for your support over the years. I could not have done it without you.

If you want the long version, here you go. Continue reading Pivoting to Spiders

The Cheat Sheet: December 13, 2018 City Council


Once more unto the breach, dear friends. (Well, more like twice more, because my first draft was eaten by an unruly text editor.) This is more of a recap than a preview, as I only just recovered from an awful cold. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: December 13, 2018 City Council

The Cheat Sheet: December 4, 2018 City Council

This is the first meeting of the 2018-2022 term. After the chaotic municipal election that halved the size of Council, we return to a very different City Hall. Over the next several days, we must drastically reshape how Council runs and what councillors do in order to accommodate double the workload. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: December 4, 2018 City Council