Item - 2021.PH26.3

Tracking Status

PH26.3 - Effective Public Participation in City Planning Processes and Community Engagement - Update

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Adopted
Wards:
All

Committee Decision

The Planning and Housing Committee:  

 

1. Directed the Chief Planner and Executive Director to collaborate with the City Clerk and City Manager's Office on improvements to engagement and equity-focused engagement.

 

2. Directed the Chief Planner and Executive Director to conduct public consultations on its virtual and equity-focused engagement methods by gathering participant feedback in upcoming planning studies, development applications, and Committee of Adjustment hearings.

Origin

(September 7, 2021) Report from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning

Summary

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the City of Toronto, including the City Planning division, has turned to virtual engagement to continue advancing its work across the city. Since June 2020, the Committee of Adjustment has held over 230 virtual public hearings and the panels have made decisions on over 4800 applications, livestreamed to YouTube. Over 250 community meetings on development applications and studies were also hosted virtually through the pandemic. In addition to the virtual meetings, City Planning has also used surveys, phone calls, feedback forms, and "do-it-yourself" toolkits to engage community members.

 

Given this volume of virtual meetings and events and their cumulative impact on those who live and work in Toronto, it is important to assess the effectiveness, accessibility and inclusivity of City Planning's community engagement. The division will be reviewing current standards for virtual engagement, learning from best practices elsewhere, and exploring ways to integrate virtual consultation when we return to in-person meetings. The division is also building an "Equity Toolkit", which will give staff action-oriented resources to engage effectively with equity-deserving communities.

 

This report provides an overview of in-person engagement practices carried out prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, current practices for virtual engagement, and where improvements can be made to both. The report also discusses where City Planning's resources and work can contribute to the City Manager's overall review of engagement, and future updates that can align with broader actions brought forward through this review.

Background Information

(September 7, 2021) Report from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning on Effective Public Participation in City Planning Processes and Community Engagement - Update
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ph/bgrd/backgroundfile-170490.pdf

Communications

(September 19, 2021) E-mail from Peter Clarke (PH.New)
(September 20, 2021) Letter from Geoff Kettel and Cathie Macdonald, The Federation of North Toronto Resident's Associations (FoNTRA) (PH.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/ph/comm/communicationfile-136489.pdf

Speakers

Geoff Kettel, Co-Chair , Federation of North Toronto Residents Assn (FoNTRA)
Mark Richardson, HousingNowTO.com

Motions

1 - Motion to Adopt Item moved by Councillor Ana Bail„o (Carried)
Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council