Item - 2019.IE7.8

Tracking Status

IE7.8 - Toronto Biodiversity Strategy

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

City Council Decision

City Council on October 2 and 3, 2019, adopted the following: 

 

1.  City Council adopt the Toronto Biodiversity Strategy as presented in Attachment 1 to the report (August 12, 2019) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

 

2.  City Council direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, the Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and external experts, to develop an ecological integrity monitoring and reporting framework, including an implementation and budgetary framework, for Toronto's natural areas ravines through the Ecosystem Services Working Group and report back by the fourth quarter of 2020; this work will build on metrics from existing City and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority programs and data for monitoring change in the condition of natural areas and ravines.


3.  City Council direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and external experts, to:

 

a.  continue to work on implementation of the City and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority invasive species management programs and strategies; and

 

b.  undertake a review of gaps and opportunities for improvement in implementation of the invasive species management programs through the Ecosystem Services Working Group.

 
4.  City Council request the appropriate staff to consider prioritizing, as part of the Invasive Management Plan, the four Provincially regulated terrestrial invasive species, including Japanese knotweed.

 

5.  City request the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to undertake a public awareness campaign through its existing public outreach to include information about invasive species threatening our ravines and private and public open spaces.  

 

6.  City Council adopt the Resolution for the City of Toronto to join the Biophilic Cities Network, as contained in Attachment 3 to the report (August 12, 2019) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, given Toronto's leadership in recognizing the importance of the natural environment to a liveable city.

 

7.  City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to submit the Resolution for the City of Toronto to join the Biophilic Cities Network and the completed Biophilic City application to the Biophilic Cities Network to become an official partner in the Biophilic Cities network.

 

8.  City Council request the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, and the General Manager, Toronto Water, to report back to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee through the Ravine Strategy Implementation Report in November 2019, regarding the review of opportunities and priority sites for restoration in ravines and any associated budget requests.

 

9.  City Council request the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to report back to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee with a strategy to align the Biodiversity Strategy, the Ravine Strategy and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Trail Strategy in the second quarter of 2020.

 

10.  City Council request the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to consider aligning the reporting timelines for the Biodiversity Strategy with the Ravine Strategy. 

 

11.  City Council request the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, in consultation with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and relevant City divisions, to identify opportunities for restoration outside of ravine areas and in the public realm through the 2021 Budget process.

 

12.  City Council request the General Manager, Toronto Water and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in collaboration with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, to report on the vital role Toronto ravines play in stormwater management and in dealing with the impacts of severe weather events caused by climate change.

 

13.  City Council direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, to report back annually on Ward-specific and divisionally-specific updates and successes on the implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy.

Background Information (Committee)

(August 12, 2019) Report from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation on Toronto Biodiversity Strategy
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-136774.pdf
Attachment 1 - Wild, Connected and Diverse: A Biodiversity Strategy for Toronto
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-136906.pdf
(June 3, 2019) Attachment 2 - Summary of Public Consultation
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-136775.pdf
Attachment 3 - Resolution for the City of Toronto to join the Biophilic Cities Network
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-136776.pdf
Presentation from the Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Policy and Analysis (SIPA), Infrastructure and Development Services, City Planning and the Acting Manager, Forestry Policy and Planning, Parks Forestry and Recreation
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-137365.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(September 2, 2019) E-mail from Sharon Lovett (IE.New.IE7.8.1)
(September 3, 2019) E-mail from David Barr (IE.New.IE7.8.2)
(September 3, 2019) E-mail from Ellen Schwartzel, Toronto Field Naturalists (IE.New.IE7.8.3)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/comm/communicationfile-96626.pdf
(September 5, 2019) E-mail from Barbi Lazarus (IE.New.IE7.8.4)
(September 6, 2019) E-mail from Nicole Corrado (IE.New.IE7.8.5)
(September 6, 2019) Letter from Paul Scrivener, Toronto Ravine Revitalization (IE.New.IE7.8.6)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/comm/communicationfile-96711.pdf
(September 6, 2019) E-mail from Clyde Robinson (IE.New.IE7.8.7)
(September 6, 2019) Letter from Andrew Thomson, Chief of Government Relations, University of Toronto (IE.New.IE7.8.8)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/comm/communicationfile-96714.pdf
(September 6, 2019) E-mail from Patricia Merrilees (IE.New.IE7.8.9)
(September 9, 2019) Letter from Leslie Gooding and Karen Yukich, ProtectNature TO (IE.New.IE7.8.10)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/comm/communicationfile-96726.pdf
(September 8, 2019) Letter from John Bossons, Convenor, Midtown Ravines Group (IE.New.IE7.8.11)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/comm/communicationfile-96727.pdf
(September 8, 2019) Letter from Susan Aaron (IE.New.IE7.8.12)
(September 8, 2019) Letter from Lenka Holubec (IE.New.IE7.8.13)

Communications (City Council)

(September 26, 2019) E-mail from Greg Knittl (CC.Supp.IE7.8.14)
(October 1, 2019) Submission from Deborah Dale (CC.Supp.IE7.8.15)
(October 1, 2019) E-mail from Bev Yates (CC.Supp.IE7.8.16)
(October 1, 2019) E-mail from Bev Yates (CC.New.IE7.8.17)

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jaye Robinson (Carried)

City Council direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, and the Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), to report back annually on Ward-specific and divisionally-specific updates and successes on the implementation of the Biodiversity Strategy.

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Oct-03-2019 10:56 AM

Result: Carried Majority Required - IE7.8 - Robinson - motion 1
Total members that voted Yes: 23 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 0 Members that voted No are
Total members that were Absent: 3 Members that were absent are Mark Grimes, Denzil Minnan-Wong, John Tory

2 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Carried)

That City Council request the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to consider aligning the reporting timelines for the Biodiversity Strategy with the Ravine Strategy. 

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Oct-03-2019 10:58 AM

Result: Carried Majority Required - IE7.8 - McKelvie - motion 2
Total members that voted Yes: 23 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 0 Members that voted No are
Total members that were Absent: 3 Members that were absent are Mark Grimes, Denzil Minnan-Wong, John Tory

3 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor James Pasternak (Carried)

That City Council:

 

1. Direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to report back to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, with a strategy to align the Biodiversity Strategy, the Ravine Strategy and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Trail Strategy in the second quarter of 2020. 

Vote (Amend Item (Additional)) Oct-03-2019 10:58 AM

Result: Carried Majority Required - IE7.8 - Pasternak - motion 3
Total members that voted Yes: 23 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 0 Members that voted No are
Total members that were Absent: 3 Members that were absent are Mark Grimes, Denzil Minnan-Wong, John Tory

Motion to Adopt Item as Amended (Carried)

Vote (Adopt Item as Amended) Oct-03-2019 10:59 AM

Result: Carried Majority Required - IE7.8 - Adopt the item as amended
Total members that voted Yes: 23 Members that voted Yes are Paul Ainslie, Ana Bail„o, Brad Bradford, Shelley Carroll, Mike Colle, Gary Crawford, Joe Cressy, John Filion, Paula Fletcher, Michael Ford, Stephen Holyday, Jim Karygiannis, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Josh Matlow, Jennifer McKelvie, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Anthony Perruzza, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 0 Members that voted No are
Total members that were Absent: 3 Members that were absent are Mark Grimes, Denzil Minnan-Wong, John Tory

IE7.8 - Toronto Biodiversity Strategy

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Wards:
All

Committee Recommendations

The Infrastructure and Environment Committee recommends that: 

 

1.  City Council adopt the Toronto Biodiversity Strategy as presented in Attachment 1 to the report (August 12, 2019) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

 

2.  City Council direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), and external experts, to develop an ecological integrity monitoring and reporting framework, including an implementation and budgetary framework, for Toronto's natural areas ravines through the Ecosystem Services Working Group and reporting back by the fourth quarter of 2020. This work will build on metrics from existing City and TRCA programs and data for monitoring change in the condition of natural areas and ravines.


3.  City Council direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, and the Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), and external experts, to:

 

a.  continue to work on implementation of the City and TRCA invasive species management programs and strategies; and

 

b.  undertake a review of gaps and opportunities for improvement in implementation of the invasive species management programs through the Ecosystem Services Working Group.

 
4.  City Council request the appropriate staff to consider prioritizing, as part of the Invasive Management Plan, the four Provincially regulated terrestrial invasive species, including Japanese knotweed.

 

5.  City request the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to undertake a public awareness campaign through its existing public outreach to include information about invasive species threatening our ravines and private and public open spaces.  

 

6.  City Council adopt the Resolution for the City of Toronto to join the Biophilic Cities Network, as contained in Attachment 3 to the report (August 12, 2019) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, given Toronto's leadership in recognizing the importance of the natural environment to a liveable city.

 

7.  City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, to submit the Resolution for the City of Toronto to join the Biophilic Cities Network and the completed Biophilic City application to the Biophilic Cities Network to become an official partner in the Biophilic Cities network.

 

8.  City Council request the General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, and the General Manager, Toronto Water, to report back to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee through the Ravine Strategy Implementation Report in November 2019, regarding the review of opportunities and priority sites for restoration in ravines and any associated budget requests.

 

9.  City Council request the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, in consultation with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and relevant City divisions, to identify opportunities for restoration outside of ravine areas and in the public realm through the 2021 Budget process.

 

10.  City Council request the General Manager, Toronto Water, and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation in collaboration with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to report on the vital role Toronto ravines play in stormwater management and in dealing with the impacts of severe weather events caused by climate change.

Decision Advice and Other Information

The following gave a presentation on Toronto Biodiversity Strategy:

 

- The Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Policy and Analysis (SIPA), Infrastructure
   and Development Services, City Planning

 

- The Acting Manager, Forestry Policy and Planning, Parks Forestry and Recreation

Origin

(August 12, 2019) Report from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation

Summary

This report presents Toronto’s first Biodiversity Strategy for adoption. The Strategy aims to support healthier, more robust biodiversity and increased awareness of nature in Toronto through a comprehensive vision, ten principles and 23 actions under the themes of Protect, Restore, Design and Engage. The Biodiversity Strategy and this report's recommendations are intended to further advance the City's role as a leader in protecting and restoring urban biodiversity through development of an ecological integrity framework, advancing the work on invasive species management and joining the Biophilic Cities Network.

 

Toronto, named after Tkaronto, the Mohawk word meaning 'where there are trees in the water', describes a deep rooted and meaningful relationship in natural stewardship between the people and the place. Now, well into the 21st century, biodiversity is under threat. According to a 2019 United Nations report, nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating. The report concludes that it is not too late to make a difference but we need to start now at every level from the local to the global.

 

Biodiversity is key to a healthy natural environment and is fundamental to supporting the livability and resilience of the city. Much of Toronto's native biodiversity has been lost as settlement and urbanization removed most of the original forest, filled in some ravines and damned waterways. Over many decades, the built environment, the increased use of our natural spaces, and climate change have impacted the health and function of the ecosystem, including a loss of habitat and a proliferation of invasive species. More recently Toronto has made significant strides to protect and manage natural habitats. Natural regeneration is occurring in some areas and Toronto is nurturing its natural parklands through managed restoration and stewardship. Municipal, provincial and federal policies and regulations now protect natural areas and biodiversity is being recognized as a significant element of the built environment. Unfortunately the current reality presents a significant challenge. Based on a comparison of fauna and flora data completed by TRCA in the City's ravines and natural areas, we know that approximately 75 percent of the City's ravines and natural areas surveyed contain invasive species and one-third of these are severely impacted.

 

The Biodiversity Strategy is an important document that addresses biodiversity loss in Toronto. The Strategy integrates existing and proposed work across City Divisions and the TRCA to maximize effectiveness in the protection and enhancement of biodiversity. In so doing, it makes a critical contribution to a more resilient, healthy, beautiful and liveable city.

 

The Strategy not only implements the natural environment policies of the Official Plan, but also supports and is complementary to the actions of the Resilience, Ravine and Pollinator Strategies and aligns with Toronto's Strategic Forest Management Plan. In particular, it is aligned with the actions of the Ravine Strategy to address shared issues including the management of invasive species, use of native plant material, and ecological integrity.

 

The Biodiversity Strategy was developed through extensive consultation with the public, external stakeholders and an expert Advisory Group, in partnership with the Parks Forestry and Recreation Division, the Environment and Energy Division, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.

Background Information

(August 12, 2019) Report from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation on Toronto Biodiversity Strategy
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-136774.pdf
Attachment 1 - Wild, Connected and Diverse: A Biodiversity Strategy for Toronto
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-136906.pdf
(June 3, 2019) Attachment 2 - Summary of Public Consultation
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-136775.pdf
Attachment 3 - Resolution for the City of Toronto to join the Biophilic Cities Network
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-136776.pdf
Presentation from the Project Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Policy and Analysis (SIPA), Infrastructure and Development Services, City Planning and the Acting Manager, Forestry Policy and Planning, Parks Forestry and Recreation
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-137365.pdf

Communications

(September 2, 2019) E-mail from Sharon Lovett (IE.New.IE7.8.1)
(September 3, 2019) E-mail from David Barr (IE.New.IE7.8.2)
(September 3, 2019) E-mail from Ellen Schwartzel, Toronto Field Naturalists (IE.New.IE7.8.3)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/comm/communicationfile-96626.pdf
(September 5, 2019) E-mail from Barbi Lazarus (IE.New.IE7.8.4)
(September 6, 2019) E-mail from Nicole Corrado (IE.New.IE7.8.5)
(September 6, 2019) Letter from Paul Scrivener, Toronto Ravine Revitalization (IE.New.IE7.8.6)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/comm/communicationfile-96711.pdf
(September 6, 2019) E-mail from Clyde Robinson (IE.New.IE7.8.7)
(September 6, 2019) Letter from Andrew Thomson, Chief of Government Relations, University of Toronto (IE.New.IE7.8.8)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/comm/communicationfile-96714.pdf
(September 6, 2019) E-mail from Patricia Merrilees (IE.New.IE7.8.9)
(September 9, 2019) Letter from Leslie Gooding and Karen Yukich, ProtectNature TO (IE.New.IE7.8.10)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/comm/communicationfile-96726.pdf
(September 8, 2019) Letter from John Bossons, Convenor, Midtown Ravines Group (IE.New.IE7.8.11)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2019/ie/comm/communicationfile-96727.pdf
(September 8, 2019) Letter from Susan Aaron (IE.New.IE7.8.12)
(September 8, 2019) Letter from Lenka Holubec (IE.New.IE7.8.13)

Speakers

Laura Curran, University of Toronto, Faculty of Forestry
Lauren South, University of Toronto, Faculty of Forestry
Ellen Schwartzel, Toronto Field Naturalists
Joan York, Deer Park Residents Group
Julia Michalski
Paul Scrivener, Toronto Ravine Revitalization Study (TRRS)
Karen Yukich, ProtectNatureTO
Leslie Gooding, ProtectNatureTO
John Bossons, Midtown Ravines Group
Susan Aaron

Motions

1 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Mike Layton (Carried)

That:

 

1. City Council request that the General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation, the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, and the General Manager, Toronto Water, report back to the Infrastructure and Environment Committee through the Ravine Strategy Implementation Report in November 2019, regarding the review of opportunities and priority sites for restoration in ravines and any associated budget requests.

 

2.  City Council request that the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, and the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, in consultation with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and relevant City divisions, identify opportunities for restoration outside of ravine areas and in the public realm through the 2021 Budget process.


2 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Mike Layton (Carried)

That:

 

1.  City Council request the appropriate staff to consider prioritizing, as part of the Invasive Management Plan, the four Provincially regulated terrestrial invasive species, including Japanese knotweed.


3 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Mike Layton (Carried)

That Recommendation 2 be amended to read as follows: 

 

"2. City Council direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and external experts, to develop an ecological integrity monitoring and reporting framework, including an implementation and budgetary framework, for Toronto's natural areas ravines through the Ecosystem Services Working Group and reporting back by the fourth quarter of 2020. This work will build on metrics from existing City and TRCA programs and data for monitoring change in the condition of natural areas and ravines."


4 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Mike Colle (Redundant)

That:

 

1.  City Council direct the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning and the Chief Executive Officer, Toronto And Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and external experts, to:

 

a. develop an ecological integrity monitoring and reporting framework for Toronto's natural areas and ravines through the Ecosystem Services Working Group: and

 

b. report back by September 2020 on their progress on the ecological integrity monitoring and reporting framework including implementation and budgetary requirements;  this work will build on metrics from existing City and TRCA programs and data for monitoring change in the condition of natural areas and ravines. 


5 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Mike Colle (Carried)

That:

 

1. City Council request the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to undertake a public awareness campaign through its existing public outreach to include information about invasive species threatening our ravines and private and public open spaces. 


6 - Motion to Amend Item (Additional) moved by Councillor Mike Colle (Carried)

That:

 

1.  City Council request the General Manager, Toronto Water, and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation in collaboration with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to report on the vital role Toronto ravines play in stormwater management and in dealing with the impacts of severe weather events caused by climate change.


7 - Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Councillor James Pasternak (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council