Council Meeting Highlights - February 26, 2024

Council receives and endorses Town of Whitby’s request for Province to temporarily remove tolls on Highway 407 in Durham Region

The Town of Whitby has asked the Province to temporarily remove tolls on Highway 407 (in Durham Region) for the duration of the planned Winchester Road construction work, in an effort to improve overall travel times and alleviate the traffic impacts on surrounding Regional and local municipal roads.

Council endorses Digital Readiness Assessment and Strategy

The City has developed its first Digital Strategy, which establishes an organization-wide commitment and clear accountability and actions to pave the way for a modern and connected City where everyone feels valued and supported.

The Strategy demonstrates the City’s commitment to providing accessible, trustworthy, and convenient digital services that support Pickering’s diverse population and growth, and sets the proposed foundation for future enhanced digital service delivery.

Recommendations from the Digital Readiness Assessment and Strategy will be considered, along with other municipal priorities, through future annual municipal planning and budget processes.

Read Report CAO 01-24.

Council approves all-way stop for intersection of William Jackson Drive and Rex Heath Drive

Area residents have expressed safety concerns with the intersection of William Jackson Drive and Rex Heath Drive with respect to sightlines, pedestrian safety, vehicle volume, and vehicle speed.

In response to these concerns, Engineering Services staff completed a review of the intersection to reduce vehicle conflicts and create a point where pedestrians can cross the road safely.

The installation of an all-way stop will be accommodated through the 2024 Roads Current Budget.

Read Report ENG 02-24.

City reports updated financial assessment related to Bill 23

The Province of Ontario introduced Bill 23 in an effort to get more homes built faster.

Bill 23 amends the Development Charges Act by freezing, reducing, and exempting fees typically levied by municipalities and other authorities to help pay for the cost of growth.

Through this process, the Province has shifted some of the cost of growth from developers to municipalities. In 2023, the City lost $3,738,095 of DC revenues, and at this time, the preliminary estimate for the 2024 DC loss is approximately $2.5 million.

This shortfall can result in slower development of growth-related infrastructure, reduction in service levels, an increase in property taxes for taxpayers, or a combination of all three for many municipalities.

The City is proposing to use casino revenues to make up the 2023 development charge shortfall from Bill 23.

The City is currently in a high-growth phase, and will continue to be in this phase over the next 10 to 15 years. The City is expected to hit a population target of 138,000 by 2032, and with high population growth, comes higher demand for City “Growth Related” infrastructure.

Read Report FIN 02-24

City of Pickering advocates for the reinstatement of transit services in Pickering

On January 2, 2024, Durham Region Transit made changes to bus routes and services in Pickering, and across the Region. This change (in order to maximize transit ridership and improve on-time performance) has resulted in some bus stops being removed from Pickering service. 

This means transit users need to walk further to reach an active bus stop. Updates to some bus routes have significantly increased transit times for Pickering transit users.

The City of Pickering’s Accessibility Advisory Committee has requested the City send a letter to the Region of Durham asking that it reverse the service changes immediately and consult with Pickering residents and key stakeholders, including those with accessibility needs, on any future service changes.

Read Report CS 02-24

Council endorses Summary of Recommendations as outlined in the Independent 4th Review of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

The AODA sets out accessibility standards for organizations with an aim to make the province fully accessible by 2025. In 2022, the Government of Ontario appointed Rich Donovan, an expert in accessibility issues, to conduct the mandatory 4th Independent Review of the implementation and enforcement of the AODA.

The report indicated that the Province will not achieve a fully accessible province by 2025, and makes 23 recommendations under three categories: crisis, strategic and tactical. The majority of recommendations are designed to be completed in the next three years.

The Ministry continues to work with partners and across government to address the remaining recommendations that could help meet, achieve or exceed AODA standards by 2025.

Read Report CS 03-24.

Council approves Fire Pumper Rescue Replacement

The Fire Services Department requires one aerial ladder apparatus to replace the 2011 Smeal pumper rescue apparatus currently in service.

The total gross project cost is estimated to be $2,564,456.00 (HST included).

This equipment will be primarily utilized to respond to emergency incidents throughout the City, including structure fires, automobile accidents, medical emergencies, industrial alarms, and specialized rescues. It is designed to be highly maneuverable and carry specialized equipment, 1,500 liters of water, and has a pump capacity rating of 6,000 liters per minute.

Read Report FIR 01-24.

Past highlights are shown below.

Council Meeting Highlights - January 22, 2024

Pickering Rotary Club to bring Pickering Ribfest to Esplanade Park in 2024

Council received a delegation from Pickering Rotary Club, a local community organization that has been around for 82 years. Over the years, the organization has spearheaded numerous community initiatives, such as special events, youth programs, and food banks.

The Pickering Rotary Club will host its Pickering Ribfest once again in Esplanade Park from June 14 to 16, 2024.

Council approves new modernized Tree Protection By-law

In 2020, Council directed City staff to investigate and report back on the implementation of a by-law for the protection of trees on all private properties.

In early 2023, Council reaffirmed its position by passing a motion that directed City staff to prepare a new Draft Tree Protection By-law for all lands in Pickering.

Council approved the new modernized Tree Protection By-law, which includes updated terminology, definitions, and fines. The new by-law protects trees of a size, equal to, or greater than 2.5 centimetres in diameter at breast height, on lands generally referred to as environmentally sensitive areas, including significant woodlands. 

Council directed staff to report back with measurements of success at the end of Q4 this year.

Read Report PLN 02-24 to learn more.

Council awards $60,000 contract for Urban Design Review Services to successful bidder

Council approves staff recommendation for John G. Williams Limited to undertake the City’s Urban Design Review Services for three years, commencing February 1, 2024.

Pickering is experiencing significant growth, which will bring new opportunities, as well as challenges, for the growth and development of the community. As part of the Urban Design Review, the Consultant will:

  • Establish a positive visual image for built form and urban design within the City of Pickering
  • Promote harmonious and attractive developments through attention to site planning, placemaking, and the exterior architectural quality and appearance of new development
  • Encourage built form, which results in safe, active, and pedestrian-friendly communities
  • Encourage a variety of innovative and environmentally sustainable building designs
  • Ensure new buildings enhance existing communities and neighbourhoods, and further the development of a distinctive, urban identity for the City

Read Report PLN 03-24 to learn more.

Council endorses City’s new Facilities Renewal Study

Council endorsed Report OPS 02-24, regarding the City of Pickering’s Facilities Renewal Study prepared by PSD Citywide Inc., a consultant the City retained in 2023 to recommend a fact-based methodology by which future investment in existing facilities should be prioritized.

The recommendations of Report OPS 02-24 and the Facilities Renewal Study were developed as the City has faced many challenges funding for new growth and maintaining aging infrastructure. Many of the City’s buildings were built prior to the turn of the century, with the oldest reaching back to the 1860s. As such – many of these facilities are nearing the end of their serviceable life, and this will provide guidance for future capital investments in facilities, and identify whether renewal, replacement, or disposal may be appropriate.

Read Report OPS 02-24 to learn more.

Council supports motion to install a Remembrance Day Poppy Sidewalk Marker

Council introduced a motion to install a Remembrance Day Poppy Sidewalk Marker in Esplanade Park, and to request that the Mayor include up to $35,000 in the 2024 Budget for this project, to be funded from the Public Art Reserve (8038).

Council directed staff to consult with the Royal Canadian Legion - Branch 606, on the suitability, design, and material to be used for the marker, and directed staff to report back to Council no later than the end of Q2, 2024, on the most suitable location and design, to facilitate installation in time for Remembrance Day of 2024.

Council Meeting Highlights - December 11, 2023

Council endorses City’s first Corporate Strategic Plan

Council endorsed the City of Pickering’s first Corporate Strategic Plan (2024 – 2028).

The Plan consists of a Land Acknowledgement; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Commitment; Vision for the City; Corporate Values, Principles, and Beliefs; six Strategic Priorities; 23 areas of Strategic Focus; and 88 Actions.

The six Strategic Priorities are:

Priority 1: Champion Economic Leadership and Innovation

Priority 2: Advocate for an Inclusive, Welcoming, Safe & Healthy Community

Priority 3: Advance Innovation & Responsible Planning to Support a Connected, Well-Serviced Community

Priority 4: Lead & Advocate for Environmental Stewardship, Innovation & Resiliency

Priority 5: Strengthen Existing & Build New Partnerships

Priority 6: Foster an Engaged & Informed Community

Strategic planning is a vital tool used by municipalities to define common goals, a shared vision, and a collective plan of action. The Corporate Strategic Plan provides a blueprint and roadmap for Council and staff, who will work together to deliver on the strategic priorities identified in the Plan over this term of Council, and beyond.

Council directed staff to prepare an operational plan that defines measurements of progress and benchmarks of success.

Progress on the Corporate Strategic Plan will be reported to Council and the community annually.

Read Report LEG 06-23 to learn more.

Council receives AMO’s correspondence regarding Social and Economic Prosperity Review

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) delivered correspondence to the City of Pickering regarding a Social and Economic Prosperity Review.

As per Council Resolution, the City will forward a copy of the resolution to the Honourable Premier Doug Ford; the Honourable Paul Calandra, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; and the Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, Member of Provincial Parliament, Pickering-Uxbridge.

This review would help to create a sustainable, accountable provincial-municipal relationship, where both orders of government can meet their responsibilities, grounded in:

  • Affordability and fiscal sustainability

  • Fairness for taxpayers and affordability for residents

  • Coordinated and timely infrastructure investment resilient to climate realities

  • Increased housing supply and affordability

  • Robust health and social services supporting increased economic participation

  • Long-term economic development and prosperity for Ontario and its communities

  • Modern, effective, and streamlined service delivery

Council to introduce motion requesting amendments to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act

The City’s Community Safety and Well-Being Advisory Committee provided recommendations to Council, requesting support for amendments to the Highway Traffic Act.

The Committee recommended that Council be requested to send a letter to the Province of Ontario to amend s.205.1 of the Highway Traffic Act, to permit municipalities to locate an Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) system temporarily on any roadway under the jurisdiction of municipalities, and as determined by municipalities, and not only be restricted to community safety/school safety zones.

Currently, Pickering has three ASE cameras that rotate through 15 community safety zones.

Council will forward the letter to the Ontario Minister of Transportation, the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing; local Member of Provincial Parliament; the Association of Municipalities in Ontario; and all Durham Region area municipalities.

Read Report CS 36-23 to learn more.

Council approves 2024 User Fees, effective January 1, 2024

Council approves the recommended 2024 User Fees, which will be effective January 1, 2024.

The revised User Fees will be incorporated into departmental budgets through the 2024 Budget development process. A general increase of 3 per cent is expected to reduce the taxpayer-funded cost of service delivery by $575,000, and lower the City’s required 2024 tax levy increase by approximately 0.7 percent.

User Fees are an important revenue source for the City of Pickering, and help to cover some or all of the cost of delivering customer-specific services like recreational programs, licenses, and processing of development applications. These fees benefit the community by reducing the tax rate, while ensuring the City is able to continue to provide the highest quality of services to its customers.

Read Report FIN 23-23 to learn more.

Council approves $8,753.52 grant for St. Paul’s On-The-Hill Food Bank

Council approved a grant in the amount of $8,763.52 to St. Paul’s On-The-Hill Food Bank, to help fund rent and food for the month of December 2023.

St. Paul’s On-The-Hill is a volunteer-based community food bank that serves Ajax and Pickering residents. The organization has experienced an increase in demand for its services of approximately 41.63 per cent, when compared to the same time last year.

St. Paul’s On-The-Hill has served 9,298 children from January 1, 2023 to November 30, 2023. This funding will help support the basic needs of residents, and is consistent with the principles of the City’s Community Safety & Well-Being Plan.

View the December 11, 2023 Meeting Video

Council Meeting Highlights - November 27, 2023

Council unanimously passes motion calling for Peace and Humanitarian Aid in Gaza

Council unanimously passed a motion calling for peace and humanitarian aid in Gaza.

This motion asks Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Federal Government to take the necessary steps to call for an extension of the ceasefire in order to facilitate discussions on ending the war, release of all hostages, augment the flow of humanitarian aid, and bring permanent, lasting peace to the region.

The motion also condemns all acts of antisemitism, anti-Palestinian racism, and Islamophobia in the community, which have escalated since the onset of this crisis.

The City of Pickering commits to ensuring Pickering is just, safe, and welcoming for all.

Council endorses OPG's request to support the refurbishment of Pickering Nuclear Generating Station units 5 to 8

Pickering Council endorses Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) request to support the refurbishment of Pickering Nuclear Generating Station Units 5 to 8 to the end of 2026, to ensure a stable supply of clean and reliable electricity.

Mayor Ashe will send a letter of support on behalf of the City of Pickering to Jon Franke, Senior Vice President, Pickering Nuclear, Ontario Power Generation

City strengthens fire protection services with Automatic Aid Agreement

Council approved the Ajax-Pickering Automatic Aid Agreement, between Pickering Fire Services and Ajax Fire Services, subject to minor revisions as may be required by the Fire Chief and the Director, Corporate Services & City Solicitor.

The Automatic Aid Agreement will enable each municipality’s Fire Service to promptly respond to incidents that may arise in areas of another municipality where the local Fire Service may not be able to respond as swiftly.

These areas encompass portions of the 401 and 407 highways, as well as select areas in the north section of Ajax, and the south area of Pickering.

Assistance may be in the form of fire suppression, rescue or emergency services, or any combination of them, and includes assistance with hazardous materials incidents.

The Automatic Aid Agreement is an excellent example of municipal cooperation, and a win-win situation for both municipalities. 

Council approves 2024 Schedule of Community Festivals and Events in Esplanade Park

Council approved the following staff recommendations as it pertains to the 2024 schedule of community festivals and events in Esplanade Park:

  1. That Council authorize staff to issue a park permit for the use of Esplanade Park by Rotary Club of Pickering Rotary from June 12 – 24, 2024 for Pickering Ribfest.
  2. That Council authorize staff to issue a park permit for the use of Esplanade Park by Carea Community Health Centre on June 21, 2024 for National Indigenous Peoples Day.
  3. That Council authorize staff to use a park permit for the use of Esplanade Park by Canadian Food Truck Festivals from August 8 – 12, 2024.
  4. That Council authorize staff to issue a park permit for the use of Esplanade Park by Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Pickering on August 13 & 20 (rain date) for a Sing-A-Long.
  5. That Council authorize staff to issue a park permit for the use of Esplanade Park by Affiliation for Inspiring Youth Upliftment Enterprise on August 17 & 25 (rain date) for a Movie Night.
  6. That Council authorize staff to issue a park permit for the use of Esplanade Park by Indo-Canadian Cultural Association of Durham Inc. on August 18 for a Festival of India’s Independence.
  7. That Council authorize staff to issue a park permit for the use of Esplanade Park by Ontario Conservative Electoral District Association on August 24 for MPP Bethlenfalvy’s Community BBQ.

Council approves consulting services for creation of Highway Access Management Plan for Highway 7

Council approved the hiring of BA Consulting Group Ltd. to complete a Highway Access Management Plan for Highway 7 (Pickering Innovation Corridor).

The Pickering Innovation Corridor (located between York Durham Line, Brock Road, and Highway 7) is projected to be home to approximately 18,800 jobs in the coming years.

With Highway 7 being a high-speed two-lane major arterial provincial highway with limited access points/planned intersections for vehicular and truck movements, it is expected to generate significant constraints for existing and future users of the employment lands.

The Highway Access Management Plan will set out the proposed intersection configurations and private access points along Highway 7, addressing the immediate needs of developments in the innovation corridor while considering future growth.

Read Report ECD 07-23 for details.

Provincial grant helps City transition to paperless development applications

In 2022, the City of Pickering was successful in receiving funding from the Province of Ontario through the Streamline Development Approval Fund.

The following initiatives were undertaken in several key areas of focus to implement an online public portal for City Development permit applications, and to streamline the process:

  1. Implemented customized ‘MyCity’ Public Permit Application Portal Software, including online document and drawing submission, and online payment integration
  2. Accelerated AMANDA (Records Management Software) folder modernization
  3. Installed supporting Information Technology servers, hardware, and software
  4. Obtained custom Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software widget, enabling spatially integrated public development application notifications
  5. Designed and deployed ‘MyPickering’ public portal mobile application
  6. Expanded licensing and use of Digital Permit Markup and Collaboration Software
  7. Deployed Mobile Staff ‘Inspection App’ which enables electronic reporting and City records management software setup and integration
  8. Created and published online application support guides and videos
  9. Secured project management, tracking, and technical support consultants, and temporary planning support staff (including diversity internship positions)

Moving the City’s records intake into a digital process allows for faster and more comprehensive responses to inquiries from the public.

Read Report BLD 02-23 for details.

View the November 27, 2023 Meeting Video

Council Meeting Highlights - October 23, 2023

City prepares to launch its Toys for Tickets and Food for Fines Holiday program 

The City’s annual holiday program is back and will run from November 27, 2023 through December 20, 2023.

The program accepts toys or groceries in lieu of payment for parking tickets. Toy or food donations must be dropped off to City Hall, and a receipt must be presented to confirm that the value of the donation equals or exceeds the fine.

Tickets for parking in an accessible parking space are not eligible for the program.

Read Report BYL 07-23 for details.

The Pickering Anti-Black Racism Taskforce (PABRT) to host Black Joy Holiday Market this Winter Season

From November 24 to 26, 2023, the PABRT will host its second annual Black Joy Holiday Market, featuring local Black-owned businesses.

The event will be hosted in partnership with Durham Family and Cultural Centre (DFCC) and the City of Pickering. It will be integrated into the existing “Winter Nights, City Lights” community initiative hosted by the City on November 24-25, 2023 (5:30 pm to 8:30 pm) and extended for one additional day on November 26, 2023 (12:00 pm to 5:00 pm).

Read Report CAO 10-23 for details.

City Renews DARS program partnership

The City will extend its agreement with DARS Inc. (Dedicated Advocacy Resource Support) for another one-year term, to continue the delivery of shower and hygiene services to support the basic needs of the most vulnerable in our community.

This is consistent with the principles of the Durham Region Community Safety and Well-Being Plan and the City’s efforts to support those objectives locally.

DARS provides community outreach and supports to vulnerable individuals in Pickering.

City staff have identified shower facilities to be available at Chestnut Hills Development Recreation Complex (CHDRC) in the Arena Dressing Rooms of the O’Brien Rink on Wednesday afternoons between 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. DARS Inc. will provide onsite supervision and towel and hygiene packages, and will oversee the use of the facilities.

Read Report CS 27-23 for details.

Council approves Municipal Support Resolution for proposed Battery Energy Storage System site in Pickering

Plus Power, LLC has proposed a Battery Energy Storage System, Trillium Energy Storage, in response to the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) procurement process.

The project site, 2310 Fairport Road, located North of CP Rail and West of Fairport Road, will be used to store a maximum capacity of 300 megawatts of energy in over 200 Lithium-Ion battery packs.

Plus Power, LLC will be participating in the procurement process that requires proposals be submitted in December 2023, along with a Municipal Support Resolution.

The proposal additionally requires a mandatory public open house meeting, which Plus Power, LLC held on September 21, 2023. The Municipal Support Resolution only provides support in principle for a company to submit a proposal to IESO. In the event Plus Power, LLC is awarded the contract from IESO, the company must apply for any permits or approvals under applicable laws and regulations that may be required for the project. The Municipal Support Resolution does not allow the project to bypass any planning and/or development processes.

Read Report ECD 06-23 for details.

Council awards Fire Services Master Plan and Community Risk Assessment project to successful bidder

Council has approved Behr Integrated Solutions Inc. Fire Services Consultants, the top-ranked Proponent, to be awarded this project in the amount of $102,765.00 (excluding hst).

The Fire Services Master Plan and Community Risk Assessment will provide the City with a strategic seven to ten year roadmap to guide future needs with respect to community fire risk, staffing, deployment, station location, and overall ability to respond to community emergencies. The Master Plan will be designed to adapt to changes in the City’s demographics, future growth, and varied building stock profile.

Read Report FIR 04-23 for details.

Council approves recommendations for Noise By-law Updates

Staff recently reviewed and updated the City’s Noise Control By-law following consultation with municipalities in and beyond the Region of Durham, members of the public, and a review of common issues and best practices.

Updates include better clarity around regulation as it relates to construction noise and noise caused by vehicle alarm systems, and revised provisions regarding noise caused by places of worship, work carried out by a municipality or utility company, railroad noise and common household noises.

Read Report BYL 06-23 for details.

Council awards Seniors & Persons with Disabilities Snow Clearing contract to successful bidder

Council has approved Gray’s Landscaping & Snow Removal Inc., the top-ranked proponent, to be awarded a three-year contract for the City’s Seniors & Persons with Disabilities Snow Clearing Program in the amount of $168,017.40 (excluding hst).  

Read Report OPS 25-23 for details.

Council awards Retail Market Study Contract to successful bidder

Council has approved Parcel Economics Inc., the top ranked Proponent, to be awarded this project in the amount of $72,750.00 (excluding hst).

A Retail Market Study will provide an analysis of the present and future state of the retail market in Pickering. This background will assist staff in their review of high priority development applications, as well as long-term land use planning as a component of the City’s forthcoming Official Plan Review exercise.

Read Report PLN 33-23 for details.

View the October 23, 2023 Meeting Video

View the October 23, 2023 Meeting Minutes

Council Meeting Highlights - September 25, 2023

Council approves staff to explore interim Pickleball solution

Staff will be exploring opportunities to lease warehouse space that can be retrofitted to accommodate indoor pickleball courts. Staff will consult with the 1st Pickering Pickleball in this review and report back to Council for budget consideration, no later than Q1 2024.

While the City has plans to create additional outdoor Pickleball Courts in Pickering, it remains a challenge to meet the needs of this growing sport in a suitable indoor space.

The construction of a multipurpose double gymnasium, which will include lines painted for indoor Pickleball, is planned as part of the future construction of the Seaton Community Centre, anticipated to begin in 2026.

Council directs staff to consult on a public art piece for Council Chamber

Pickering City Hall Council Chamber is anticipated to undergo a renovation in 2026, and Council has directed staff to consult with Pickering resident and internationally renowned sculptor, Dorsey James, to commission or purchase one of his pieces to be included as part of the renovation. The work will not exceed $30,000.

The Council Chamber is located within the Civic Complex, is a place of decision-making based on the foundation of democracy, and should represent Pickering as a culturally-diverse City with a history dating back over 200 years.

Celebration of Gordon Lightfoot – Steeple Hill

Council has directed staff to undertake a commission of public artwork to be installed in Ernie L. Stroud Park to celebrate the life of Gordon Lightfoot.

The late Gordon Lightfoot was an icon for Canadian music, and the Steeple Hill Community (built in the late 1980s) includes streets named after Gordon Lightfoot songs in recognition of his talent.

The community will be consulted for the three top-ranked Public Art Jury selections prior to finalizing the artist selection.

Council approves changes to the policies and regulations for Additional Dwelling Units

Council approved Official Plan Amendment Application OPA 23-002/P, initiated by the City of Pickering, to amend existing policies, and introduce new policies, related to additional dwelling units.

As part of Bill 23, the City of Pickering is mandated to enable additional dwelling units.

These policies and regulations will support City staff as they work their way through the approvals process.

Staff provided the approved recommendations to Council on September 5, 2023. Read Report PLN 29-23

Council approves the 2024 Committee and Council Meeting Schedule

In accordance with Section 238(2) of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O 2001, c.25, every municipality shall pass a procedure by-law for governing the calling, place and proceedings of meetings and the procedure by-law shall provide for public notice of meetings.

To comply with the provisions of the Municipal Act and Procedure By-law 8019/23, the 2024 Committee and Council Meeting Schedule was presented to Council for review and approval.

Read Report CLK 08-23

Council receives 2022 Year End Audit and Financial Statements

Lilian Cheung, Partner, Deloitte, joined the electronic meeting to speak to Report FIN 15-23, which included the auditor’s report on the results of the 2022 Audit and the draft Audited Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2022.

Ms. Cheung stated that the 2022 Year End Audit and Financial Statements were complete and added that the City had a clean audit report for 2022.

Based on the report, staff noted that the City’s financial position is healthy and strong and the City is able to meet its current and future financial commitments.

Read Report FIN 15-23

View the September 25, 2023 Meeting Video

View the September 25, 2023 Meeting Minutes

Council Meeting Highlights - June 26, 2023

A Special Meeting of Council was held from 5 pm to 6 pm for ‘Education and Training’ to allow for the City's Integrity Commissioner to educate Council, staff, and the public on the City's new Lobbyist Registry.

Regular Meeting of Council

Council decides not to implement urban farming pilot project at this time

In an effort to support sustainability and access to food, the City reviewed the potential of a pilot project that would permit backyard egg production (chicken farming) and vertical farming.

Staff carried out an extensive stakeholder consultation involving all levels of government. Staff and stakeholders have identified serious public safety risks due to the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAI). This is the primary reason for the recommendation not to proceed. As well, the introduction of an urban farming pilot project would require additional staff resources and shelter space to process, monitor, and ensure animal welfare.

Staff reported on their recommendations to the Executive Committee on June 5, 2023. Read Report AS 01-23.

Council endorses commission of new public art piece for West Shore Community Centre Skate Spot

The newly installed Skate Spot in the West Shore Neighborhood provides a public site for a community mural, which has been awarded to fatspatrol (Fathima Mohiuddin) & Mural Routes in the amount of $31,979.00 (HST included).

This public art piece will be created with the help of the community (West Shore Neighborhood Association, local youth, and the City’s programming team), and be reflective of the neighborhood and the recreational activities that take place in this location. The art is expected to be completed and unveiled by October 2023. Read Report CS 18-23 for details.

Council endorses commission of new public art piece for Rotary Frenchman’s Bay West Park

The Rotary Frenchman’s Bay West Park (RFBWP) Master Plan includes eight interpretative nodes that include public art and interpretative elements as part of the planned park design. This artwork will be located in one of the eight designated interpretative nodes.

This portion has been awarded to SpruceLab Inc. in the amount of $80,000.00 (HST included).

The submission by SpruceLab Inc. is in collaboration with the Indigenous-led artist collective Dbaajmowin.

SpruceLab Inc. made the following statement:

“The art installation is inspired by the principle of ‘respect’, and the Haudenosaunee Teaching to think and act in ways that consider seven generations back and seven generations into the future. Dkibi (‘a spring’, in Anishinaabemowin, Eastern dialect, ‘kih-bih’) is a story about Water, which has always played a critical role in the natural and cultural histories of the Pickering area. Water is a creative force through time, from carving the nearby slopes of the ancient Lake Iroquois, to the ever-flowing groundwater that replenishes wells. When water rises to the surface, a spring is formed, showing it as a life force.”

The art installation will take place in fall 2023. Read Report : CS 20-23 for details.

Council endorses commission of temporary public art for Millennium Square, as part of the Winter Wonderland event

The commission for temporary public art for Millennium Square has been awarded to Studio Jordan Shaw in the amount of $25,000.00 (HST included).

Winter Wonderland will take place on Saturday, December 2nd and Saturday, December 9th, 2023 and will include a vendor’s market, ice carving and sculptures, fire pits with s’mores, wagon rides, and roaming characters. The art will remain on site until January 31st, 2023. It will then be stored and utilized at future winter events and activations.

The artist has proposed ‘Same Material/Different Time’ - an analog interactive light installation that invites participants to explore the physicality of their surroundings and experience the transformation of a tree to a sail using a technique called anamorphic projection.

The installation will take place in November 2023.

Read Report CS 21-23 for details

Council approves moving forward with Recreation & Parks Master Plan and Arena Strategy

The City has selected Monteith Brown Planning Consultants, the top-ranked Proponent, to be awarded this project in the amount of $224,820.00 plus HST.

The plan will provide a strategy and direction for future recreation and parks facilities. It will be designed to adapt to changes in the City’s demographics and growth areas, as well as the social, educational, cultural, and sport and recreational needs of the community, with a focus on accessibility, diversity and inclusion.

Council approves phase two of asphalt resurfacing on various City streets

This includes the following streets as part of the 2023 Roads Projects Capital Budget:

  • Gwendolyn Street – from Rouge Valley Drive to Fawndale Road
  • Fuschia Lane – from Grenoble Boulevard to Modlin Road
  • Petunia Place – from Gwendolyn Street to North Terminus
  • Falconcrest Drive – from Dunbarton Road to Rambleberry Avenue

Read Report ENG 10-23 for details.

Notice of Motion – Pickering recognizes the Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Epidemic

The City has declared an IPV epidemic and calls on the Ontario Government to do the same, as per recommendation #1 of the Renfrew County Inquest. The City will also integrate this into its Community Safety and Well-Being Plan.

Council approves exploring a dedicated outdoor pickleball court in Pickering (the first of its kind)

Staff will work with Pickering Pickleball Club to investigate the following three locations as possible options for the construction of eight Pickleball courts (equivalent to the space required for two tennis courts):

  • Alex Robertson Park
  • Diana Princess of Wales Park
  • Petticoat Creek Conservation Park

Staff will report back to Council in late 2023 on the recommended option, including a work plan for community/stakeholder engagement, that will enable engagement, design and construction to be considered during the 2024 Capital Budget process.

View the June 26, 2023 Meeting Video

View the June 26 Meeting Minutes

Council Meeting Highlights - May 23, 2023

Council endorses request to establish a Provincial Short Term Rental System

Pickering Council endorses Ajax’s request to establish a Provincial Short Term Rental System and will circulate the motion to The Honourable Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

On April 17, 2023, Ajax Town Council passed a resolution to help ensure that new and existing housing units serve their intended use, which is to provide stable and affordable housing options to the people of Ontario.

The resolution highlights short term rental issues, including being prone to nuisances and impacting others’ enjoyment of their properties (notably due to noise, waste, parking needs, and violence) and locals being priced out of the housing market due to landlords finding it more profitable to list as a short term rental.

As part of this resolution, Ajax Council is requesting that the Province of Ontario establish a short term rental licensing and enforcement system.

Council endorses request for Provincial support of community-driven home care services

Pickering Council endorses Stratford’s request for provincial government support of community-driven home care services  and will forward a copy of the resolution to The Honourable Premier Doug Ford; The Honourable Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care; Matthew Rae, Member of Provincial Parliament; Perth-Wellington, The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, Member of Provincial Parliament, Pickering-Uxbridge; the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO); and all Ontario municipalities.

On April 11, 2023, Stratford City Council adopted a resolution that requested the Provincial government support community-driven home care services through the redirect of ministry beds in abeyance funding.

Council approves amendments to Nuisance By-law

Council has approved amendments of the City’s Nuisance Bylaw 7773/20, which will help better equip the City to stop nuisance activities. The amendments (which can be viewed on page 12 of Report BYL 05-23) will also prohibit disruptive parties, obnoxious behavior, littering, loitering, causing a disturbance, public intoxication, fighting, remaining in a public place after being asked to leave, destruction of property, carrying open liquor in public, and causing a disturbing by yelling and/or swearing.

With these amendments, a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer or a DRPS Officer will be able to order nuisance activity to stop.

Staff will now seek the approval of the Ministry of the Attorney General to set fine amounts for tickets.

Council receives 2022 Year End Reports & 2023 Work Plans from Advisory Committees

Council received 2022 Year End Reports and 2023 Work Plans from the Accessibility Advisory Committee, Cultural Advisory Committee, and Heritage Pickering Advisory Committee.

These reports and work plans provide Council with an in-depth look at the meaningful efforts being undertaken by these committees.

The Year End Reports and 2023 Work Plans can be viewed in the May 23, 2023 Council Agenda (pages 65 to 80).

Council passes motion in support of Pride events & Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives

Council passed a motion in support of Pride events and all Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiatives across the City of Pickering and Durham Region, in honour of Pride Month.

The City recognizes June as Pride Month, and will continue to promote inclusion for all LGBTQIAS2+ citizens.

Council Meeting Highlights - April 24, 2023

City of Pickering passes 2023 Current & Capital Budgets

Council approved the City’s 2023 Capital & Operating budgets, prioritizing key investments in service, program, and infrastructure needs of our growing community.

  • The approved Current Budget is $82,162,832
  • The approved Capital Budget is $58,899,668

The City’s portion of the residential property tax bill will increase by 2.44%. This increase, when combined with the Region of Durham and School Board increases, results in an average increase of 5.31 percent on the total property tax bill.

Budget Highlights

  • Expansion of the senior’s snow removal program from 500 to 750 registrants
  • Increase in seniors property tax grant from $525 to $535
  • Expanded Automated Speed Enforcement program
  • New events at Millennium Square
  • Staff to support a new Office of Affordability
  • Funding for the implementation of the digital strategy to include website redevelopment and customized client portals
  • Major 2023 Capital Projects: construction of the Pickering Heritage & Community Centre ($40 million total budget), new pickleball and futsal courts at the Pickering Soccer Centre ($902,000), Walnut Lane extension ($2.0 million) and various asphalt resurfacing, reconstruction and culvert replacement projects ($4.6 million)
  • Funding for the development of a new Corporate Strategic Plan as well as updates to the Parks & Recreation, Fire and Library Master Plans
  • An increase of five positions for front line firefighting staff (Seaton)

Chart: Impact of Budget Levy Increases on Residential Property Taxes

Read Report FIN 09-23 for details.

Council receives the 2022 Sustainable Pickering Year-in-Review

Through a Report and Year-in-Review, staff provided a high level, reader-friendly summary that highlights the City’s achievements, events, programs and projects, as they relate to sustainability. The document promotes the efforts of the City of Pickering and its community partners, and serves to inspire others to connect and get involved.

The City of Pickering’s sustainability efforts address a variety of initiatives, including community engagement, pollinators, waste diversion, local food, sustainable development, climate change, natural environment, and more.

Read Report Number: SUS 04-23 for details. 

Council endorses staff comments on the Region’s Municipal Comprehensive Review of the Durham Regional Official Plan

The Region of Durham asked for comments on its new draft Regional Official Plan.  

The Durham Regional Official Plan guides decisions on long-term growth and development–providing policies to ensure an improved quality of life–and securing the health, safety, convenience and well-being of present and future residents of the region.

A copy of the draft plan can be found on their website, under Envision Durham. It will repeal and replace the existing Durham Regional Official Plan, and includes a new planning horizon to 2051.

In 2019, the Region launched Envision Durham – the Municipal Comprehensive Review of our Official Plan. This review looks at:

  • How and where our cities and towns may grow
  • How to use and protect our land and resources
  • What housing types and job opportunities are needed for our residents
  • How people and goods will move across our region and beyond

Read Report Number PLN 08-23 for details and staff comments.

Council approves asphalt resurfacing for various streets

Council approved a net project cost of $3,467,059 to improve 13 streets as identified in the 2016 Road Needs Study.

Streets slated for road resurfacing improvements include:

  1. Alder Court
  2. Eyer Drive
  3. Chapleau Drive
  4. Heathside Crescent
  5. Vistula Drive
  6. Victoria Street
  7. Chiron Crescent
  8. Listowell Crescent
  9. Dellbrook Avenue
  10. Jomar Avenue
  11. St. Martins Drive
  12. Linwood Street
  13. Stonehurst Road

Read Report Number ENG 04-23 for details.

Council approves running track replacement at Beverley Morgan Park and St. Mary Park

The existing running tracks at Beverly Morgan Park and St. Mary Park are both showing signs of wear and delamination as they approach end of life. The existing inner curb will also need to be replaced at the Beverly Morgan Park track to help prevent premature deterioration of the new track.

The total net project cost is estimated at $945,045.00 (net of HST rebate).

Council takes official position on an airport in Pickering

(This Notice of Motion was deferred at the February 27, 2023 Council Meeting)

(Resolutions #172/23, #174/23, #175/23, #176/23)

The motion considered that based on KPMG’s conclusion that a sound supply-and-demand business case could not be made for a Pickering airport up to 2036, and based on the City’s declared intention to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, the Council for The Corporation of the City of Pickering

  1. Does not support an airport on the Pickering Lands;
  2. That no further resources and/or funds be utilized to promote an airport on the Pickering Lands; and
  3. That the City of Pickering continue to endorse support for a High Frequency Rail option with a station located in Green River as the preferred transportation network.

A copy of this resolution will be forwarded to the Minister of Transport Canada, Omar Alghabra, and to Pickering-Uxbridge MP O’Connell, as well as to MPs Anandasangaree, Carrie, Holland, Jaczek, Turnbull, and O’Toole; to Durham and York regional councils, and to Scarborough East councillors; and to the municipal councils of Ajax, Markham, Oshawa, Scugog, Stouffville, Uxbridge, Vaughan, and Whitby.

View the April 24, 2023 Meeting Video
View the April 24 Meeting Minutes 

March 27, 2023 – Special Meeting of Council

At the Special In-Camera Council meeting of March 11, 2022, Pickering Council received a significant update related to the long-term fiscal and economic impacts of the City Centre project and decided to defer all work on the project pending further review.

The City retained KPMG and Hariri Pontarini Architects to complete this review and present options for the next phase of the City Centre Project, based on cost estimates and financial implications.

At the March 27, 2023 Special Meeting of Council, Council were presented with four City Centre options and endorsed Option D.

Option A – (Recap) Legacy Concept

Option B – Legacy Revisited Concept: The City and PTC would swap the City owned lands with PTC owned lands and the City receive the lands (west of Glenanna Road) as parkland dedication from PTC. This option is subject to negotiation and agreement between PTC ownership and the City.

Option C – Multiplex Concept: The City receives parkland dedication lands (west of Glenanna Road) as part of PTC development and City would sell South Block (south of Esplanade South) to subsidize project costs.

Option D – Facilities on the Park Concept: The City connects Esplanade Park, an important component to establishing a City Centre, by relocating Esplanade South to the south and introducing the Library and Seniors & Youth Centre adjacent to the park, creating a view from Glenanna Road.

City Centre Concept Image - Option D
City Centre Concept Image - Option D

The options presented were generally consistent with the City’s original City Centre vision, which included a new Central Library, new Seniors & Youth Centre, new Performing Arts Centre, new Public Square, new Administration Space Expansion, and residential development. View details and concepts of each option in Report CAO 05-23.

March 27, 2023 – Regular Meeting of Council

Council authorizes donations of $10,000 to support Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and $10,000 to support earthquake recovery efforts in Turkey and Syria

The City of Pickering joins municipalities throughout the Region to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people through a $10,000 donation to support the provision of generators to ease the pressure on Ukraine’s electric grid.

Council also approved a $10,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross to support recovery efforts in areas impacted by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

Council received memo and end of term recommendations from the Pickering Anti-Black Racism Taskforce

The Taskforce members identified several areas to address in order to continue to build upon the work of the first term of Taskforce. It noted that as the City prepares to welcome new members to the new term of the PABRT, the challenges encountered during the existing term must be seriously evaluated alongside these recommendations. In this way, Council and City staff can continue improve the capacity of the Taskforce, and foster a more rewarding experience for its members, in order to meaningfully achieve its mandate around anti-Black racism and the City’s broader commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 

The new Citizen Appointments to the Pickering Anti-Black Taskforce were made during the March 27, 2023 Meeting of Council.

Council approves recommended changes to the City’s Waterfront Permit Parking Program

In 2021, the City introduced paid waterfront permit parking for May 1st to October 1st annually. Following the end of the program’s first season, staff completed a review and prepared a number of recommendations, with the community’s input, to improve the program for 2023.  These recommendations were outlined in Report BYL 02-23 and included actions such as (but not limited to) the following:

  • Reduce the hourly rate from $5.00 to $2.50 per hour, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at all program locations.
  • Provide two hours of free parking Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm within the waterfront permit parking area, except for Beachpoint Promenade, Front Street and the municipally-operated waterfront parking lots (in addition to the two hour free parking already allowed in the Liverpool Road lay-by spaces).
  • Provide non-resident seniors, age 65 years and older to park at no cost at the waterfront (amendment made to the Staff Report at the Executive Committee Meeting and then ratified at the Council Meeting).
  • Provide residents the ability to obtain a no-charge daily permit for visitors parking on their street.

Please refer to Report BYL 02-23 for more details, including a full list of recommendations.

Council endorses a 5-year Corporate Geographic Information System Strategic Plan

The City developed a Geographic Information System (GIS) Strategy to guide further implementation of GIS technology and ensure that the continued investment in GIS service delivery is effectively managed.

GIS is a technology that uses location as a common frame of reference, allowing individuals and departments to share information about places. A GIS allows a local government to visualize, search, analyze, and interpret data to understand relationships, patterns, and trends contained within location-based information.

Council approves staff to implement Lobbyist Registry

Council approved By-law No. 8003/23, being a by-law to establish and maintain a Lobbyist Registry for The Corporation of the City of Pickering. The Lobbyist Registry will provide transparency about people who lobby the City of Pickering’s Public Office Holders. "Lobby" or “Lobbying” means any communication with a Public Office Holder by an individual who is paid or who represents a business or financial interest with the goal of trying to influence any legislative action including development, introduction, passage, defeat, amendment or repeal of a by-law, motion, resolution or the outcome of a decision on any matter before Council, a Committee of Council, or a staff member acting under delegated authority.

Out of the 444 municipalities in Ontario, 9 currently have a lobbyist registry framework in place.

City Council provides pre-budget approval for the installation of a Hopes Cradle in a Pickering Fire Hall

Hopes Cradle is a non-profit organization that is managed and operated under the larger charitable organization – Gems for Gems based in Calgary, Alberta. The mission of Hope’s Cradle is to provide collaborative support to new mothers in need and to save new born infants from unsafe abandonment. Hopes Cradle provides the safe surrender process for infants through specialized drop-off installations of which the majority are situated in municipal fire halls across North America.

Given its proximity to the Pickering/Toronto border, the access to bus routes, and the adaptive and suitable design of the building, Fire Station 2 located at 553 Kingston Road in Pickering was identified as the best suited location for an installation of a Hopes Cradle.

Council approves enhancement to the City’s Seniors and Persons with Disabilities Snow Clearing Program

The enhancements include an increase to the registration capacity from 500 to 750 annually, changes to registration fees according to net income, and enhanced promotions, targeted to seniors and persons with disabilities and their families.

Youth/community program locations

Seaton is a growing community within central Pickering. As a new Recreation Complex and Library is not expected to be constructed/open for a number of years, staff will explore opportunities with the commercial/retail plazas and developers/owners for the interim use of space to deliver City recreation and leisure programming to better serve residents of this area. Staff will report back to Council with opportunities and recommendations by the end of second quarter 2023.

Enhanced Blue Box and Green Bin Availability motions

The closest blue and green bin exchange/purchase location is the Durham Region Depot in Whitby. As such, staff have been directed to work with Region of Durham Waste Management to explore opportunities for more local and convenient locations for Pickering residents to have access to the blue and green bin replacements. Staff will report back to Council by end of second quarter 2023.

View the March 27, 2023 Meeting Video
View the March 27 Meeting Minutes 

Council Meeting Highlights from February 27, 2023 and March 8, 2023

Please note that in accordance with the City’s Procedure By-law, Council passed a resolution to recess the February 27, 2023 Council Meeting at 12:52 am on February 28, 2023. The Meeting reconvened on March 8, 2023 at 7:00 pm to consider the remaining items of business on the Agenda.

The City of Pickering approves sharing casino revenues with the Region of Durham

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) opened Pickering Casino Resort on July 26, 2021. OLG makes payments to host communities under the Municipality Contribution Agreements. OLG has issued non-tax gaming revenue payments totaling $20,253,780 (up to December 31, 2022) to the City of Pickering for hosting the Pickering Casino Resort.

The City of Pickering has publicly proposed that a percentage of gaming revenues at full build-out of the gaming facility be directed to the Region, and further, that a portion of the revenues shared be directed to Social Housing and or other social programs.

Based on an annual estimated Pickering Casino revenues, in the amount of $16 million, the following allocations will be made:

  • City of Pickering will retain $13 million per year and the Region will receive $3 million per year.
  • Over the term of the agreement ending 2026, the City of Pickering will retain $52 million and the Region will receive $12 million.

Subject to Council’s approval of the annual budget, the annual allocation of Pickering casino revenues by the City of Pickering will be substantially dedicated to capital projects and a portion to community grants.

Council Members presented with a Long Standing Service Certificate

The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, M.P.P. Pickering-Uxbridge presented the Long Standing Service certificate to Councillor Brenner & Councillor Pickles. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing provides a signed certificate to recognize municipal elected officials who have served for at least 25 years.

The Pickering Anti-Black Racism Taskforce (PABRT) 2022 Year End Report and Proposed 2023 Work Plan was received for information

Staff reported on PABRT’s 2022 work plan which included activities like:

  • Powerfully Informed Series to support awareness, education and engagement around the 2022 Municipal Election, and promote civic engagement among Black residents.
  • Youth Academic Engagement Strategy to support Black youth in their pursuit of postsecondary education
  • And more – read details on page 114 of the Council Meeting Agenda.

The current Taskforce members are nearing the end of their term and the City is preparing to launch the next term of the PABRT.

As such, a number of 2023 work plan initiatives were presented, with the understanding that those appointed to serve on the next term of the PABRT will decide on how to proceed with initiatives for the remainder of the year and allocate the remaining budget accordingly.

Council approves Green and Inclusive Community Building Fund Application

Council permitted staff to submit an application under the Government of Canada’s Green and Inclusive Community Building (GICB) program for the retrofit of George Ashe Library & Community Centre.

The George Ashe Library & Community Centre currently has planned retrofits and repairs over the next five years totaling $3,684,000 in capital costs. The Green and Inclusive Community Building Fund is currently accepting applications for retrofit projects, funding up to 80% of costs up to $10,000,000, where retrofits will result in a minimum of 25% energy improvements.

Overview provided of financial impacts to the City of Pickering regarding Bill 23 More Homes, Built Faster Act

In collaboration with the Region of Durham, and Durham lower-tier municipalities, a financial exercise was undertaken to apply to some degree, a consistent approach as it relates to the costs associated with Bill 23. The estimated revenue losses to the City of Pickering associated with Bill 23 is expected to be at least $22.8 million over four years.

Council approves new Electric-Kick Scooter By-law

On January 1, 2020, the Ministry of Transportation introduced a five year pilot program to permit Electric Kick Scooters (e-scooters) on Ontario’s roads. Under the five year pilot project, the MTO has provided municipalities the ability to regulate the use of devices on roads, paths and other property under their jurisdiction.

The Region of Durham has already enacted a by-law regulating the use of e-scooters on Regional roads. Council Resolution #982/22 directed staff to undertake a public consultation and report back to Council in February, 2023.

Staff considered feedback received during the public consultation period and the Region of Durham’s by-law when recommending the City’s draft By-law for approval. The Durham Regional Police Service will enforce provisions of this By-law related to sidewalk and roadway use. Municipal Law Enforcement Services will enforce the use of e-scooters in parks under the authority provided in the City’s Parks By-law.

Council approves Community Safety and Well-Being Initiatives

Council approved two agreements that would support residents experiencing homelessness in the community.

These included:

  1. A revised agreement with Christian Faith Outreach Centre to operate the overnight Warming Centre at Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex (1867 Valley Farm Rd.) for the period of March 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024. The overnight Warming Centre is currently operating at the East Shore Community Centre, however the new proposed location would be more appropriate, considering it already operate as a Warming Centre during regular business hours.
  2. An agreement with DARS Inc. (Dedicated Advocacy Resource Support - volunteer nonprofit organization in Pickering) to operate the outreach shower facilities initiative at Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex Arena Dressing Rooms for the period of March 1, 2023 to September 30, 2023.

The facilities had previously been operated by the Christian Faith Outreach Centre but they are no longer able to support the continuation of this program. DARS Inc. has offered to continue the program and will provide onsite staff supervision, and towel and hygiene packages. The dedicated useable space will be accessible every Wednesday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. 

FGF Brands

Council approved a draft plan of subdivision application and a Zoning By-law amendment application submitted by Caplink Limited (FGF Brands) to permit a food manufacturing facility consisting of 3 manufacturing plants and a distribution centre on the southwest corner of Highway 7 and Whites Road, north of Highway 407 in Pickering's Seaton area. Caplink Limited (FGF Brands) is a food manufacturing business.

FGF Brands is a technology company that bakes. They have become a global leader by replacing low-tech equipment with robotics, integrated AI systems, machine learning, and supply chain innovations.

FGF Food Manufacturing Campus, also known as the Wonderbrands Innovation Business Park, is a proposed industrial and office development on the southwest corner of Highway 7 and Whites Road, north of Highway 407 in Pickering's Seaton area.

Construction has started and the first facility is expected to be operational next year. FGF expects to bring 2,000 jobs in Phase 1 and 3,000 jobs in Phase 2.

City to explore the implementation of an Urban Farming Pilot Project

In an effort to support sustainability and access to food, the City will be exploring a new pilot project that will permit backyard egg production (chicken farming) and vertical farming. Currently, the City’s Exotic Animal By-law prohibits chicken raising. Staff will report back on the matter with details identifying the pilot locations, engagement opportunities, health, safety, and inspections.

City to create an Office of Affordability

Staff will create an Office of Affordability (OA) within the City Development Department.

The role of the OA will include researching and recommending a definition for housing affordability in the City of Pickering, acting as the subject expert/resource for all available programs/funding opportunities from all levels of government that can assist developers/builders to achieve affordability, and reviewing and commenting on all applications to the City Development Department under the affordability lens.

The Notice of Motion regarding an Opposition to a Pickering Airport and Utilization of Resources was deferred to the April 24, 2023 Council Meeting.

The notice of motion under consideration is:

Based on KPMG’s conclusion that a sound supply-and-demand business case could not be made for a Pickering airport up to 2036, and based on the City’s declared intention to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, the Council for The Corporation of the City of Pickering does not support an airport on the Pickering Lands; and that no further resources and/or funds be utilized to promote an airport on the Pickering Lands; and that the City of Pickering continue to endorse support for a High Frequency Rail option with a station located in Green River as the preferred transportation network.

North East Pickering Carruthers Creek Watershed – Seeking an Agreement from the Town of Ajax

Council passed a motion to engage with the Town of Ajax to ensure its concerns pertaining to the Watershed on Carruthers Creek, related to North East Pickering development (Veraine), have been satisfied.

Durham Meadoway Enhancements and Amendments

The Durham Meadoway is a proposed pedestrian and cycling route and linear park that will connect people to destinations across more than 27 kilometres of Durham Region. The route will connect Rouge National Urban Park in the City of Pickering to Simcoe Street in the City of Oshawa.

The Region of Durham engaged the City of Pickering, and Council proposed a number of enhancements to be considered, including lighting, rest stations, and an artificial ice surface skating trail.

Council Meeting Highlights from January 23, 2023 

Council approves $100,000 investment in The Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre

Council heard from Lorrie Hagen, Executive Director, and Serge Babin, Board Chair, The Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre, who requested the City consider an investment of $100,000 (to be paid over a four-year period) that would support the expansion of the organization’s current site.

The Charles H. Best Diabetes Centre services patients and their families from all of Durham Region. By expanding the site, the Centre will be able to provide additional patient counselling space and increase its expertise care.

Council unanimously approved including the $100,000 investment in the 2023 Budget process.

Council against issuing a Minister’s Zoning Order at 3060 Highway 7 at current time

Council received correspondence from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing, regarding a request they received to issue a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) under s.47 of the Planning Act at 3060 Highway 7 in Pickering.

The purpose of the MZO is to facilitate a 128-bed long-term care home along with ancillary institutional, commercial, and residential uses. The correspondence requested the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing be advised that the City does not object to the issuance.

Council recognizes the need for more government-funded long-term care facilities, but could not support the granting of an MZO at this time for the following reasons:

  • there has not been any consultation with the First Nations People, Mississaugas of Scugog Islands
  • there are potential environmental impacts on abutting rivers and/or tablelands
  • there is insufficient infrastructure such as roads, water, sanitary sewers and other such infrastructure

Council supports staff recommendation to not comment on Envision Durham

The Region of Durham has requested further input on its Draft Settlement Area Boundary Expansions and Area Municipal Growth Allocations, as part of its Envision Durham project.

City staff feel that it is premature to comment further on the Envision Durham reports at this time. Council supports staff recommendations to refrain from providing further comments.

Council approves budget to purchase new equipment for Pickering Fire Services

Council provided pre-budget approval for the 2023 Capital Budget for the purchase of new portable radios for Pickering Fire Services staff. This $500,000 investment will be funded from a five-year internal loan.

2023 Interim Tax Levy approved

Council approved the City’s 2023 Interim Property Tax Levy Instalment due dates, which will be February 27, 2023 and April 27, 2023.

Council orders review of existing Boards & Advisory Committees

Council directed staff to conduct a review of all Boards & Advisory Committees, and that the review include the creation of three new Advisory Committees:

  1. Waterfront Visionary Advisory Committee (to advise on best practices to preserve the Nautical Village marine theme and restore a waterfront that is environmentally sustainable and accessible).
  2. Community Safety and Wellbeing Advisory Committee (to be responsible for the creation of a Homelessness Task Force that will work in partnership with Regional staff to look at how to best address the needs of the homeless population).
  3. Local & Small Business Advisory Committee (to advise on impacts of City policy implications and the measures that will assist businesses impacted by the intensification along Kingston Road).

If you enjoyed this month's Council Highlights, feel free to check out the video recordings of full-length Council Meetings on the City's YouTube channel

Please note, this is not an official record of the Council Meeting.  Meeting minutes and agendas are posted under each meeting date through the calendar, and are also available through Corporate Records.