On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, Walk Toronto submitted comments and deputed in person at the Economic and Community Development Committee regarding the Harmonized By-law and Fees for Sidewalk Cafés, Parklets and Marketing Displays.
The comments were written by Daniella Levy-Pinto with input from Vivien Leong and Michael Black, and the deputation was presented in person by Michael Black.
Walk Toronto’s deputation supported the harmonized by-law but proposed some amendments to improve accessibility and accountability, proposals that were also made by other accessibility advocates who deputed. The harmonized by-law was passed, along with amendments that addressed some of the concerns and proposals raised by Walk Toronto and other groups.
Walk Toronto supports City staff recommendations for the proposed Harmonized By-law and Fees for Sidewalk Cafés, Parklets and Marketing Displays. Although these changes are not perfect, we commend City staff for their efforts in striking a balance between maintaining the street vibrancy provided by sidewalk cafés, and improving accessibility for pedestrians. We believe that the harmonized by-law adheres to Complete Streets principles, treating sidewalk users, businesses and their patrons equitably.