Item - 2020.EC18.13

Tracking Status

EC18.13 - Extending the UrbanHensTO Backyard Hens Pilot Program for One Additional Year

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
2 - Etobicoke Centre, 3 - Etobicoke - Lakeshore, 4 - Parkdale - High Park, 8 - Eglinton - Lawrence, 12 - Toronto - St. Paul's, 14 - Toronto - Danforth, 19 - Beaches - East York

City Council Decision

City Council on December 16, 17 and 18, 2020, adopted the following:

 

1.  City Council amend Section 349-4.1A of the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349, Animals, to extend the UrbanHensTO pilot program until March 31, 2022.

 

2.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to report to the Economic and Community Development Committee no later than January 31, 2022 on final recommendations related to the UrbanHensTO pilot program.

 

3.  City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards to consult with relevant City divisions, including Social Development, Finance and Administration and Toronto Public Health, as well as the Toronto Food Policy Council, FoodShare Toronto, the public, and community organizations on the UrbanHensTO pilot program and to include a summary of these consultation efforts in the final report to the Economic and Community Development Committee in Part 2 above.

Background Information (Committee)

(November 23, 2020) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards on Extending the UrbanHensTO Backyard Hens Pilot Program for One Additional Year
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ec/bgrd/backgroundfile-158775.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(December 3, 2020) E-mail from Rachel Gray (EC.New.EC18.13.1)
(December 3, 2020) E-mail from Patrick DeRochie (EC.New.EC18.13.2)
(December 3, 2020) E-mail from Ray Ataergin (EC.New.EC18.13.3)
(December 3, 2020) E-mail from Robert A. Wiseman (EC.New.EC18.13.4)
(December 4, 2020) E-mail from Rachel Yanchyshyn (EC.New.EC18.13.5)
(December 4, 2020) E-mail from Virginie Gysel, SPOTT gardens landscape design (EC.New.EC18.13.6)
(December 4, 2020) E-mail from Christine Ardagh (EC.New.EC18.13.7)
(December 4, 2020) E-mail from Andrea Sissons (EC.New.EC18.13.8)
(December 4, 2020) E-mail from Katie German (EC.New.EC18.13.9)
(December 4, 2020) Submission from Sarah Doucette (EC.New.EC18.13.10)
(December 4, 2020) Letter from Stephanie Demetriou, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto and Food, Equity and Activism Study Team (FEAST), University of Toronto (EC.New.EC18.13.11)
(December 5, 2020) Letter from Rhonda Teitel-Payne, Toronto Urban Growers (EC.New.EC18.13.12)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ec/comm/communicationfile-124736.pdf
(December 7, 2020) Submission from Lorraine Johnson (EC.New.EC18.13.13)
(December 7, 2020) Submission from Jamie Lackey (EC.New.EC18.13.14)
(December 6, 2020) Submission from Adam Dirks, including petitions signed by 1,262 people (EC.New.EC18.13.15)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ec/comm/communicationfile-124763.pdf
(December 7, 2020) E-mail from Lauren Facto (EC.New.EC18.13.16)

Communications (City Council)

(December 15, 2020) E-mail from Nicole Corrado (CC.Supp.EC18.13.17)
(December 15, 2020) E-mail from Cheryl Benson (CC.New.EC18.13.18)
(December 15, 2020) E-mail from Barbara Harrison (CC.New.EC18.13.19)
(December 15, 2020) E-mail from Barbi Lazarus (CC.New.EC18.13.20)
(December 15, 2020) E-mail from Karen Davis (CC.New.EC18.13.21)
(December 15, 2020) E-mail from Deborah Chalmers (CC.New.EC18.13.22)

Motions (City Council)

Motion to Adopt Item (Carried)

Vote (Adopt Item) Dec-16-2020 10:07 AM

Result: Carried Majority Required - EC18.13 - Adopt the Item
Total members that voted Yes: 22 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, Mark Grimes, Cynthia Lai, Mike Layton, Jennifer McKelvie, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Frances Nunziata (Chair), James Pasternak, Gord Perks, Jaye Robinson, Michael Thompson, John Tory, Kristyn Wong-Tam
Total members that voted No: 3 Members that voted No are Stephen Holyday, Josh Matlow, Anthony Perruzza
Total members that were Absent: 0 Members that were absent are

EC18.13 - Extending the UrbanHensTO Backyard Hens Pilot Program for One Additional Year

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
2 - Etobicoke Centre, 3 - Etobicoke - Lakeshore, 4 - Parkdale - High Park, 8 - Eglinton - Lawrence, 12 - Toronto - St. Paul's, 14 - Toronto - Danforth, 19 - Beaches - East York

Committee Recommendations

The Economic and Community Development Committee recommends that:

 

1.  City Council amend Section 349-4.1A of the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349, Animals, to extend the UrbanHensTO pilot program until March 31, 2022.

 

2.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to report to the Economic and Community Development Committee no later than January 31, 2022 on final recommendations related to the UrbanHensTO pilot program.

 

3.  City Council request the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to consult with relevant City divisions, including Social Development, Finance and Administration and Toronto Public Health, as well as the Toronto Food Policy Council, FoodShare Toronto, the public, and community organizations on the UrbanHensTO pilot program and to include a summary of these consultation efforts in the final report to the Economic and Community Development Committee in Recommendation 2 above.

Origin

(November 23, 2020) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards

Summary

This report recommends extending the UrbanHensTO: Backyard Hens pilot program for one additional year, within the same boundaries that City Council adopted in fall 2017. Unless extended, the UrbanHensTO pilot program will currently end on March 2, 2021.

 

While the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349, Animals, prohibits animals in the order Galliformes (which includes hens) in Toronto, hens registered under the UrbanHensTO pilot program are exempted from this prohibition. The UrbanHensTO pilot program began on March 2, 2018 and allows registered households to have up to four hens for the purposes of enjoyment and egg production; roosters are prohibited and hens cannot be raised as livestock to eat. The pilot program applies to four former City of Toronto wards (Wards 5, 13, 21, and 32). Ward changes occurred in 2018 and, as a result, the program currently applies to some parts of Wards 2, 3, 4, 8, 12, 14, and 19.

 

The impacts of COVID-19 are still being assessed City-wide; during this time, MLS staff recommend limiting the number of non-essential new or enhanced programs. Extending the pilot by one year will allow staff to continue to assess the program, undertake additional research, and focus resources on urgent COVID-19-related matters. Extending the program by one year will also provide clarity to registered households currently participating in the program.

 

Staff completed a review of the UrbanHensTO pilot program in summer and fall 2020. The review included an analysis of program registration and complaints, staffing and resource impacts, a jurisdictional scan, a survey to registered households, and stakeholder consultations. Since the start of the program, a total of 234 hens in 80 households have been registered, and the number of chicken-related service requests (complaints) about registered properties has been low. Staff heard that common reasons for participating in the program include access to fresh eggs, an interest in urban agriculture, enjoying keeping hens as pets, access to organic food, and teaching others about food production.

 

Through the review, staff found that there have not been any significant issues with the UrbanHensTO pilot program and that requirements currently align with other North American jurisdictions. This finding supports the proposed recommendation to extend the pilot program for one additional year; however, staff also identified factors that require further consideration prior to making final recommendations about the sustainability of the program. These factors include: determining whether sufficient staff resources exist to support expanding the program; determining the extent to which UrbanHensTO supports food security and food sovereignty in Toronto; further assessing the likelihood of increased nuisance-related concerns, pests (particularly rodents) and predators; monitoring for potential risks of bacteria and disease outbreaks; and a lack of veterinarians in Toronto accredited to care for hens.

 

In late 2018, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario began requiring veterinarians caring for urban farm animals (including hens) to obtain accreditation as food animal mobile veterinarians. No veterinarians in Toronto have this accreditation, while a small number are accredited within the broader GTA. Staff will continue to monitor this over the next year as access to veterinary care is an important program consideration.

 

Staff also undertook a preliminary review of the program using an equity lens, including consultation with the City's Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit and Social Development, Finance and Administration (SDFA), broadly, and determined that further analysis is required to understand program inequities and inform next steps on the program.

 

Staff will continue analyzing the pilot program and will deliver a report with final recommendations on the UrbanHensTO program before March 2022, which will be the new end date of the pilot program, pending City Council's approval.

 

This report was developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health.

Background Information

(November 23, 2020) Report from the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards on Extending the UrbanHensTO Backyard Hens Pilot Program for One Additional Year
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ec/bgrd/backgroundfile-158775.pdf

Communications

(December 3, 2020) E-mail from Rachel Gray (EC.New.EC18.13.1)
(December 3, 2020) E-mail from Patrick DeRochie (EC.New.EC18.13.2)
(December 3, 2020) E-mail from Ray Ataergin (EC.New.EC18.13.3)
(December 3, 2020) E-mail from Robert A. Wiseman (EC.New.EC18.13.4)
(December 4, 2020) E-mail from Rachel Yanchyshyn (EC.New.EC18.13.5)
(December 4, 2020) E-mail from Virginie Gysel, SPOTT gardens landscape design (EC.New.EC18.13.6)
(December 4, 2020) E-mail from Christine Ardagh (EC.New.EC18.13.7)
(December 4, 2020) E-mail from Andrea Sissons (EC.New.EC18.13.8)
(December 4, 2020) E-mail from Katie German (EC.New.EC18.13.9)
(December 4, 2020) Submission from Sarah Doucette (EC.New.EC18.13.10)
(December 4, 2020) Letter from Stephanie Demetriou, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto and Food, Equity and Activism Study Team (FEAST), University of Toronto (EC.New.EC18.13.11)
(December 5, 2020) Letter from Rhonda Teitel-Payne, Toronto Urban Growers (EC.New.EC18.13.12)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ec/comm/communicationfile-124736.pdf
(December 7, 2020) Submission from Lorraine Johnson (EC.New.EC18.13.13)
(December 7, 2020) Submission from Jamie Lackey (EC.New.EC18.13.14)
(December 6, 2020) Submission from Adam Dirks, including petitions signed by 1,262 people (EC.New.EC18.13.15)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2020/ec/comm/communicationfile-124763.pdf
(December 7, 2020) E-mail from Lauren Facto (EC.New.EC18.13.16)

Speakers

Nathaniel Gold
Sarah Doucette
Councillor Josh Matlow

Motions

1 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Michael Ford (Lost)

That the Economic and Community Development Committee amend Recommendations 1 and 2 so that they now read as follows:

 

1.  City Council amend Section 349-4.1A of the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349, Animals, to extend the UrbanHensTO pilot program until March 31, 2022 2023.

 

2.  City Council direct the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards, to report to the Economic and Community Development Committee no later than January 31, 2022 2023 on final recommendations related to the UrbanHensTO pilot program.


2 - Motion to Adopt Item moved by Councillor Michael Thompson (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council