Highlights from the April 6-7 Toronto Council meeting

Toronto Council's meeting April 6 and 7 was an emotional one.

Councillors and the Mayor heard first-hand from the Mayor of Kyiv and his deputy, of the atrocities inflicted on his city by Russian invading forces.

Council approved a Reconciliation Action Plan, taking a step toward advancing truth and justice for Indigenous People in the City of Toronto.

And they said goodbye to a respected colleague, Spadina-Fort York Councillor and Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy, who had announced his departure from Toronto Council earlier in the week.

Here's are some highlights of the meeting:

The Mayor of Kyiv Addresses Toronto Council

Kyiv's Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko addressed Toronto Council virtually – and described the Russian invasion as a tragedy, a genocide, and an assault on a peaceful nation. Toronto, which has had a friendship agreement with Kyiv for 31 years, has updated its purchasing bylaw to eliminate business with companies and individuals subject to Canadian sanctions.

The City is also working to help resettle refugees displaced by the Russian War on the Ukraine, and is showing support in other ways. The Ukrainian flag has been flying at Toronto City Hall since Feb. 24, and Toronto has renamed the area in front of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation on St. Clair Avenue East as "Free Ukraine Square." Street signs around the consulate read "Free Ukraine."


Cycling Network Plan: 2022 Means New Cycle Tracks on Sheppard and Willowdale Avenues

As a part of the Cycling Network Plan: 2022, Toronto Council has given the go-ahead for new cycle tracks on Willowdale Avenue and Sheppard Avenue East. On Sheppard, the cycle tracks will be installed between Bonnington Place and Clairtrell Road, and on Willowdale Avenue, they'll be extended to connect the Sheppard lanes tot the cycle tracks already in place between Empress Avenue and Finch Avenue East.

Reconciliation Action Plan Approved

After two years of consultation, study and debate, Toronto at last has a Reconciliation Action Plan to empower Indigenous people in the city and across the country. The plan was approved by Toronto Council includes 28 specific actions based on five themes: Actions to restore truth, actions to right relations and share power, actions for justice, actions to make financial reparations and actions for the Indigenous Affairs Office.

The plan was developed over three years with broad input from Indigenous peoples: First nations, Inuit and Metis people, organizations, Elders, Knowledge Carriers, youth and Indigenous employees and allies in the Toronto Public Service.

On beautiful Friday evenings in July, there's nowhere I'd rather be than with you in Mel Lastman Square. For more than 10 years, it's been my joy to be there on those nights, satisfying my creative ur