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

Past highlights are shown below.

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.