Toronto’s New Apartment Bylaw Aims to Protect Tenants and Crack Down On Bad Landlords

Originally published at Torontoist. Photo by Seekdes (Mike in TO). Via the Torontoist Flickr pool.

The new apartment bylaw passed by Council yesterday isn’t exactly what tenant advocates imagined, but for apartment renters, it’s a promising step forward.

Owners of “problem properties” like 500 Dawes or 105 West Lodge are a perennial problem for residents, their councillors, and City staff. Detractors have argued that it would be enough to beef up the City’s MRAB program, which audits apartment buildings for compliance with property standards. However, advocates for tenants and low-income residents want the City to have more teeth to deal with squalid apartments and unresponsive landlords.

Continue reading Toronto’s New Apartment Bylaw Aims to Protect Tenants and Crack Down On Bad Landlords

The Cheat Sheet: September 30 City Council

City Council returns after its summer break, and there’s a lot to cover on the agenda. Read about Toronto’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis; taxi clusterfuck; Gardiner clusterfuck; new shelter standards; and more. Did I miss something? Let me know. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: September 30 City Council

Back to School: Sept. 8 Toronto & East York Community Council

Well, we’ve had a lovely summer full of lakeside rambles and spider photography, but it’s time to head back to City Hall as regular committee meetings start up again. Here’s a quick1 skim over Tuesday’s TEYCC agenda: Continue reading Back to School: Sept. 8 Toronto & East York Community Council

The Cheat Sheet: July 7 City Council

Because we’ve apparently got to re-hash every major debate we had last term, this month’s big item will be expanded gaming at Woodbine. However, there’s many other important things on City Council’s agenda for this meeting before the August break, including the Poverty Reduction Strategy, childcare funding, flood management, new bike lanes, and more.

Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: July 7 City Council

The Cheat Sheet: June 10 City Council

I am going through a bit of a Thing and almost considered skipping this month. I’m not, obviously, but please forgive me if this month’s preview is a bit lackluster. Anyway, without further ado, my picks from this month’s agenda. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: June 10 City Council

The Cheat Sheet: May 5 City Council

Just in time for my 30th birthday, I’m getting the best present ever: a City Council meeting! This month’s agenda is jam-packed with important items, so fix yourself a drink while you read this. Up for discussion: funding the Scarborough subway, diversity on the TTC board, a new City Manager, the social housing waitlist, (not) fixing basement flooding, and more. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: May 5 City Council

The Cheat Sheet: Committee Meetings, Mar. 23-27

Here’s a quick overview of this week’s committee meetings at City Hall! Issues to watch for: shelter beds and affordable housing, election accessibility, ferry terminal designs, the Spadina subway extension, and more. Continue reading The Cheat Sheet: Committee Meetings, Mar. 23-27

Financial Facelift: Debt doubts cast shadow for world-class city with major expenses

Toronto chose to put low taxes ahead of infrastructure and services, but it has put her in a bit of a bind. She is 181 years old and has diverse thriving industries, a vibrant cultural scene, and well-loved municipal services like parks and libraries.

She has several major expenses, ranging from large-scale capital projects to everyday service improvements, all of which she wants to pay for without raising taxes or going into debt. As the nation’s economic hub, Toronto has substantial earning power — but she chooses to take in less revenue than she could. Continue reading Financial Facelift: Debt doubts cast shadow for world-class city with major expenses