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Davenport Bridge up for debate as city council meets

Last Updated Dec 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm EDT

A controversial elevated rail bridge through the Junction Triangle is up for debate as Toronto’s city council meets for the final time this year.

Metrolinx’s proposal to build a 1.5 kilometre bridge has been met with opposition from residents, who call it the Gardiner Expressway for trains. Metrolinx says the Davenport Bridge is necessary for a regional express transit plan.

The city wants more time to look at the issue, and is considering a tunnel or a bypass option.

Also on the agenda is a possible rate hike for garbage bins. The city is considering charging single-family homes three per cent more for their garbage and recycling bins.

Syrian refugee resettlement

After an information session on private sponsorship on Tuesday, the city will be giving its guidelines on resettlement, including not only financial support but also programs to address xenophobia and racism.

Saving a 350-year-old red oak

Council will debate whether it is ‘feasible’ to raise the money necessary to save a 350-year-old red oak. It would require buying the property from the homeowner and turning the area into a parkette.

George Chuvalo Neighbourhood Centre

The city is considering naming a new community centre after Canadian boxing legend George Chuvalo. The facility will open next year at 362 Wallace Ave., near Edwin and Ruskin avenues in the Junction. Coun. Ana Bailao is hoping the 7,000-square-foot facility will be named after Chuvalo. Once it’s open, the centre will be operated by the Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre.

Travel expenses

Coun. Rob Ford has introduced a motion to review councillors’ travel expenses, including scrapping the per diem. Ford, seconded by Coun. Stephen Holyday, is recommending eliminating the $100 per diem councillors are allowed for conferences, seminars and business trips. Instead, they would be allowed to claim up to $100 based on actual receipts.

And if Ford has his way, councillors won’t be reimbursed for alcohol purchases.

Eliminating parking pads

In some neighbourhoods in Toronto, you can still park on the front lawn. Not for long, if councillors Shelley Carroll and Denzil Minnan-Wong have their way. The city argues it needs the green space to address water runoff, especially as basement flooding becomes an issue.