London-Middlesex is in the Red/Control category of the Provincial Keeping Ontario Safe and Open framework. A number of City facilities have reopened to the public for in-person programs and services.
You can get a quick overview of Council discussions and decisions in the briefs prepared by the City's Communications Division. Please note that the information you can access from the links below does not constitute the official record or minutes of the Council meeting and does not cover all items considered by Council.
Council recognizedImmploy, Guru Nanak Mission Society, and Melanated View (Open Tabs), as the 2020 recipients of the Diversity, Race Relations, and Inclusivity Award (DRRIA), acknowledging each group’s unique contribution in promoting public awareness of diversity, anti-racism, inclusivity and human rights in London.
In Other Council News
Council received the Homeless Prevention Head Lease Program report and awarded a Single Source Procurement to 186 King Street Holdings Incorporated for the provision of up to 20 units for use in the Head Lease program for a one year term. Council heard that securing 20 units for the Head Lease program at this location will increase the current number of units available to the Head Lease program to 23 units. The City of London Homeless Prevention team intends to lease these units in the private market to be used as transitional housing for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness with a range of support needs.
Council received the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Recommendations Update on City of London Efforts report, with an overview of actions taken by Civic Administration in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action that were directed to municipalities, as well as an overview of opportunities to further reconciliation efforts in response to additional Calls to Action.
Council approved an Application for Issuance of Proclamation - London Black History Month 2021, that the month of February be proclaimed Black History Month 2021.
Council approved an Application for Issuance of Proclamation – International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, that February 6, 2021 be proclaimed International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
Council received the 2019 State of the Downtown Report, with an overview of the economic health and vibrancy of the downtown, and the individual and collective impacts of activity and investments from 2018 and 2019. Staff noted that this iteration of the report does not reflect the impacts of COVID-19 on the current state of the downtown.
Council approved a Zoning By-law Amendment for the property at 690, 696, 698, 700 King Street, 400 Lyle Street, 701, 725, 729, 735, 737 Dundas Street, and 389, 391, 393 Hewitt Street to allow for a mixed-use development with one apartment building of 24 storeys and a six storey podium containing ground floor commercial space. A total of 243 residential units are proposed with two levels of parking underground and structured parking located above the ground floor in the podium. Council approved on the condition that a site plan be presented at a Public Participation Meeting, at a future date, with an opportunity for Londoners to provide comments on the plan before construction begins.
Mayor Holder acknowledged the 2021 honourees of the annual Mayor’s New Year’s Honour List, celebrating members of the London community in ten categories of achievement to recognize the diversity of philanthropic work taking place in our city.
The 2021 honourees are:
In Other Council News
London City Council approved the 2021 Annual Update to the 2020-2023 Multi-Year Budget, including a reduction in the 2021 tax levy increase from 4.4% to 3.4%. As a result of the changes approved through the 2021 Annual Update, residents will see the average four-year tax levy reduced slightly from 3.9% to 3.8%, resulting in an average annual tax increase of $114, a decrease from $117 (based on an average residential property with an assessed property value of $241,000 in 2019).
Council received the London Community Recovery Network – Immediate Ideas for Action to Support London’s COVID-19 Community Recovery report, including recommended short term ideas for action to support London’s COVID-19 community recovery. Council directed staff to determine implementation plans for ideas and return to the appropriate standing committee for approval in early 2021.
Council received the Argyle Regeneration Study Recommendations report and directed staff to undertake the development of a Community Improvement Plan for the Argyle area.
Council received the Governance Functional Review of the Housing Development Corporation, London (HDC), and directed staff to dissolve Housing Development Corporation, London (HDC) and to integrate the affordable housing portfolio into the Corporate Structure.
Council received an Update on Urgent Transitional and Modular Supported Housing Development Report and directed staff to continue advancing opportunities to develop additional properties to create up to 150 units. Council also approved the Source of Financing for the modular housing development at 122 Baseline Road and directed staff to develop communication strategies to engage communities including required communications from City of London, Development & Compliance Services as well as a ‘Get Involved’ survey for Londoners to provide feedback about affordable housing.
Council approved the Winter Response Program for Unsheltered Individuals report, directing staff to implement an emergency response plan to support Londoner facing homelessness during the winter months. The plan includes overnight shelter spaces and day rest spaces, providing access to basic needs and support.
Council approved a report Implementing Additional Residential Units Requirements of the Planning Act, endorsing a change to the London Plan. allowing Londoners to have up to three residential units on a property, aligning with Provincial changes.
Council received the Extension of Delegated Authority in Bylaws Related to Business Reopenings and Support Actions report and extended delegation of authority to Civic Administration until April 14, 2021 in the following By-laws: Business Licence By-law, Streets By-law, Traffic and Parking By-law, Sign By-law, Parks and Recreation By-law, Sound By-law, Building Bylaw and Council Policy By-law, based on continued evolving business needs during the ongoing pandemic.
Council recognized outgoing Deputy Mayor Jesse Helmer thanking him for his contribution and work over the past two years. Council welcomed incoming Deputy Mayor Josh Morgan, his term beginning December 1.
Council recognized City of London employees who have achieved 25 years of service during 2020, congratulating and thanking employees for their many years of service.
In other Council news
Council approved a motion to extend the submission deadline of nominations for the 2020 Diversity, Race Relations and Inclusivity Awards. Londoners, groups and organizations are invited to submit a nomination recognizing ongoing initiatives towards diversity, race relations, inclusivity and human rights and programs that advance London as a diverse and welcoming city.
Council approved a new Proposed City of London Tree Protection By-law. Council voted against directing staff to report back with cost associated with expanding the scope of the city's tree preservation bylaw.
Council endorsed an emergent motion from Councillor Hopkins that the Province of Ontario be requested to work with conservation authorities to address concerns by amending the proposed changes to the Conservation Authorities Act, 1990 and the Planning Act, 1990, and that the Province of Ontario be requested to delay enactment of proposed amendments affecting municipalities’ concerns.
Council received the Strategic Plan: Semi-Annual Progress Report, outlining progress and implementation of Council’s Strategic Plan including actions for every strategy to reflect the work planned over the lifetime of the Strategic Plan.
Council observed a moment of silence, on the eve of Remembrance Day, to recognize the veterans and those who returned home. Lest we forget.
In other Council news:
Council approved a motion directing staff to investigate options to address community concerns around graphic unsolicited flyer deliveries to residential properties. Council directed staff to review steps taken by other municipalities and report back with potential amendments to existing City by-laws or an introduction of a new by-law for Council consideration.
Council received the Update on Free Menstrual Products Available at City Facilities report. Since the free menstrual products pilot program launched in September 2019, 40 City of London facilities have provided free menstrual products (pads and tampons) in washrooms that are accessible to the public. Council directed staff to expand the program, making free menstrual products available at all remaining City of London facilities starting in January 2021, these additional locations include three more buildings open to the public along with 33 staff-only washrooms.
Council received the Nasal Naloxone Kits Available for Public Use in Some City of London Facilities Update Report, directing staff to continue to supply two nasal Naloxone kits for public use at City facilities that operate year-round. Since June 2019, following Council direction, two nasal Naloxone kits have been made available to the public with each publicly accessible Automated External Defibrillator (AED) at 26 City facilities.
Council awarded a Single Source Procurement for a Standard Lease Agreement with Wastell Homes as part of the Homeless Prevention Head Lease Program report. Wastell Homes will provide units for the Head Lease program, beginning with two homes in 2020. The report notes that it is anticipated that as additional homes become available for lease, there may be opportunity to increase the number of lease agreements in 2021.
Council approved the appointment of Councillor Josh Morgan as Deputy Mayor for a two-year term commencing on December 1, 2020. Council recognized Councillor Jesse Helmer for his role serving as Deputy Mayor over the past two years.
In other Council news:
Council moved an emergent motion in response to the Province of Ontario’s proposed Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act, 2020, that would require the City of London switch back to the first-past-the-post system from ranked-choice voting. Council directed staff to report back with an estimate of the costs associated with switching to first-past-the-post for the 2022 municipal election and to communicate with the Province of Ontario in response to this proposed change. Council also requested that Mayor Holder communicate with the Province of Ontario to exempt London from the proposed legislation and allow London to continue with the ranked-choice ballot system.
Council directed staff to report back with a subsequent recommendation for Council’s consideration on the proposed corporate restructuring of London Hydro, allowing the utility to market Green Button technology through a new business corporation to serve as a holding company.
Council approved the demolition request for the heritage-listed property at 954 Gainsborough Rd and that the property be removed from the Register of Cultural Heritage Resources.
Council received the City of London’s Credit Rating report, noting that Moody’s Investors Service has maintained the City of London’s Aaa credit rating, the highest rating possible. The City’s adherence to financial policies and practices has helped the City maintain positive operating results, stable debt levels, and strong liquidity, reflected in the credit rating assigned by Moody’s. The City of London has held the Aaa rating since 1977, making 2020 the 44th consecutive year of the Aaa rating and reaffirming that the City’s debt has the highest rating possible.
City Council awarded Patrick Hutchinson with the 2020 Tim Hickman Memorial Health and Safety Scholarship. This annual $3,000 scholarship for students in an occupational and/or public health and safety related program was established in 2006 by the City of London and CUPE Locals 101 and 107, as a tribute to employee Tim Hickman, who died in service to the community at age 21.
In other Council news:
City Council passed a motion directing staff to implement the provision of internal parking enforcement services and cancelled the Request for Proposal process seeking an external source of the service.
City Council endorsed Councillors Arielle Kayabaga and Shawn Lewis in their applications to represent London on Committees of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which lobbies the federal government on behalf of cities.
Council approved a demolition permit for a Heritage Designated Property at 120 York Street. Council noted that while the property is located in the Downtown Heritage Conservation District, but that the building on the property has no historical or architectural significance. The demolition allows for expanded surface level parking.
Council voted against reconsidering an earlier Council decision on July 21 to keep a planned sidewalk in the Silverleaf Subdivision.
Council approved a heritage alteration permit for 556 Wellington Street. The heritage alteration permit will allow for the construction of two high-rise buildings on the property, within the West Woodfield Heritage Conservation District.
Council endorsed a motion from Councillor Peloza directing staff to undertake a review of the Street Renaming By-law, Policies and Guidelines. Council directed staff to review the policy for changing street names, including Plantation Road, and to establish a list of potential street names that include suggestions from the community and reflect contributions of London's Historic Black families, Indigenous communities and people of colour.
Council received the Steps Toward Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression at the City of London report and directed staff to proceed with the recommended next steps identified in the report with respect to the Equity and Inclusion Lens, Workforce Metrics, and Black Liaison Officer position.
Council received for information the City of London Website Redesign Development and Implementation– Update report. Londoners are invited to visit the beta site at new.london.ca to provide input and feedback that will shape the final site, launching on October 7.
Council recognized Councillor Anna Hopkins for being unanimously elected as Chair of the Large Urban Caucus of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. This marks Councillor Hopkins second term representing London as part of this Caucus.
Council thanked and recognized community members and staff who organized a baseball game in Labatt Memorial Park last week. The main purpose of the game was to preserve the park’s record as the world's longest continuously operating baseball grounds, a 144-year streak which is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Council also recognized Canada United, an initiative encouraging Canadians to shop local and support local businesses and restaurants August 28 – 30.
In other Council News:
Councillors deferred a motion to establish a London Film Office, instead asking staff to explore this and develop a business case that will come back to Council in late 2020 or early 2021.
Council received an update on the Climate Emergency Action Plan, noting that a number of the initiatives have been delayed as a result of COVID-19.
Council directed staff to review safety concerns expressed by the community, related to the sidewalk installation in the Silver Leaf Community and to grant a representative of the residents of Silver Leaf to appear as a delegation at a future meeting of the Planning and Environment Committee.
Council approved a motion directing staff to develop a plan for the creation of an Active Transportation Manager.
Council received the COVID-19 City of London Services Report, an overview of the impacts that COVID-19 has had on the City of London including a summary of service level changes that have been required as a result of restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of this virus.
Council approved measures to mitigate financial impacts on the City of London caused by COVID-19. Measures approved include deferral of capital projects, operating service adjustments including closing River Road Golf Course for the season, and deferral of additional investments for 2020 approved during the 2020- 2023 Multi-Year Budget.
Council directed staff to waive the applicable fees associated with permits and encroachments to assist businesses with opening temporary restaurant patios, curbside pick-ups, vending stands and other business practices.
Council approved deferring all Community Improvement Plan (CIP) loan repayments on an interest-free basis for an additional 90 days.
Council approved extending the waiver of late payment charges for unpaid water and wastewater billings through July 2020.
Council approved the expropriation of lands required for the Adelaide Street CP Rail Grade Separation Project.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Council approved an emergent motion to delegate authority to the Civic Administration to amend regulations to assist businesses to reopen.
Council Recognition: Council paused to remember Holocaust survivor, downtown business owner and London icon Fanny Goose who passed away last week. Council also took a moment of silent to honour the people whose lives were lost in Nova Scotia over the weekend. In other Council News: Council approved a motion to endorse that Councillor Josh Morgan stand for re-election to the Board of Directors for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Council also approved a motion to endorse that Councillor Anna Hopkins stand for election to the Board of Directors for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Large Urban Caucus. Council approved the tax policy. Council approved the appointment of an interim board to govern this area’s public housing provider, London Middlesex Community Housing. Council approved a motion to provide additional economic relief by deferring the due date for final 2020 property tax installments by 60 days.
Council approved seven contracts for essential infrastructure work.
Council approved a three-month payment deferral on licenses required for cab and limousine drivers/owners as well as restaurant operators.
In response to COVID-19, Council unanimously approved measures to provide immediate economic relief to residents and businesses.
Council approved a decision to delay consideration of tender awards until the April 7, 2020 Council meeting in order to provide the Civic Administration an opportunity to confirm with construction companies their ability to do the work considering potential impacts of COVID-19.
Council approved sidewalk installation on Fox Mill Crescent.
Council voted to exempt Camden Crescent from the intended sidewalk installation and any planned tree removal associated with construction of the sidewalk.
Council approved the amendment of the overnight parking program to be in force from November 1 until April 30 annually.
Tommy Solo was on hand in Council Chambers to perform the national anthem. Tommy is a rock music veteran and a staple to London’s music scene, performing at a number of local festivals. Most recently, Tommy performed at ‘Rockin' for Kids,’ a benefit show for the Children's Health Foundation of Southwestern Ontario.
In other Council News:
Council approved plans for the second phase of the Old Victoria Hospital Lands. This will include the disposition of 124 Colborne Street (0.80 acres), as well as the lands bounded by Waterloo Street, South Street, Colborne Street and Hill Street (5.45 acres), which includes the Health Services Building (Building 50) and the War Memorial Children’s Hospital (Building 52), excluding lands reserved for the future construction of a public square.
Council approved an exemption from the intended sidewalk installation and any plans for the removal of trees on Runnymede Crescent.
Council approved the 2020-2023 Multi-Year Budget
Council approved the appointment of Lynne Livingstone as City Manager.
London based R&B Soul Singer Tiffany Chantelle sang the national Anthem. Tiffany has been singing and performing since the age of 6, and has been recording in a studio setting since she was 16 years old.
In Other Council News
Council received a report on the Tree Impacts for 2020 Infrastructure Renewal Program, a report that provided information about tree removals, mitigation and communications.
Council referred the Victoria Park Secondary Plan back to staff for further public consultation and consideration including permitted heights, housing affordability, sound mitigation, and other issues raised by the public during the formal Public Participation Meeting (PPM).
Council received the “City of London Service Review – Review of Golf Operations” and directed staff to explore all possible options for River Road Golf Course, but directed that no further action be taken on recommendations related to other municipal golf courses.
Council approved a motion directing staff to work with the London Transit Commission, the provincial government and the federal government to identify funding streams that could be used to purchase electric buses and the required charging infrastructure.
London singer Sam Peco performed the national anthem. Sam has been singing for most of her life and has most recently has been performing around London as part of a duo with Luke Smith. They have been recording together and are close to releasing their own music this summer.
Council recognized retiring City Manager Martin Hayward, acknowledging his close to 36 years of service with the City. The Mayor also shared letters of congratulations from the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
Council recognized the City of London employee contribution to the Business Cares Food Drive. This year’s campaign garnered more than $22,400 and hundreds of pounds of food for the London Food Bank.
In other Council News:
Council approved the expropriation of lands required to move forward with the Wharncliffe Road widening and improvements project.
Council denied a request for demolition of a heritage property on Halls Mill Road.
Council received and accepted a Memo of Understanding between the N’Amerind Friendship Centre and the City.
London singer songwriter Jason Mercer sang the national anthem. Jason is a solo artist whose music spans pop and rock, with a little bit of country mixed in. He has been a member of local bands that include Metro4 and Them Dang Wranglers, who have been featured at the Trackside Music Festival.
Council recognized London Knights players and staff for their role in bringing the gold medal home to Canada at the World Junior Championships this winter.
Council recognized and celebrated the work of outstanding Londoners who were named to the 2020 Mayor’s New Year’s Honour List.
In other Council News:
Council approved a Proclamation Policy.
Council received a report from the City Manager Search Committee.
Council approved an approach to review e-Scooters in London.
Council approved the appointment of AECOM Canada Ltd. as the consulting engineers for the Downtown Loop and Municipal Improvements Project.