Parks and Environment Committee and Resilient City

Friday, December 6, 2013 - 9:30am

Parks and Environment Committee,  Committee Room 1, City Hall        

Resilient City: Preparing for Extreme Weather Events

The Chief Corporate Officer recommends that City Council direct:

  1. The Chief Corporate Officer, continue to coordinate the work of City Divisions, Agencies and Corporations, to refine the effort of the Resilient City Working Group and prepare by the second quarter of 2014, a strategy that sees the City define the key interdependencies between the City's infrastructure and services and can be used to set priorities and actions to be taken to enhance the resilience of the interdependent infrastructure and services to extreme weather.

Summary

The purpose of this report is to provide City Council with an update on the actions being taken to assess:

  1. the adequacy of the City's infrastructure and services to accommodate future extreme weather events as predicted in "Toronto's Future Weather and Climate Drivers Study" (PDF);
  2. planned activities to enhance the City's assets and services to withstand future weather conditions; and
  3. what more may need to be done to ensure the safety and security of assets and services under future extreme weather conditions.

This report also provides a status update about implementation of the City's 2008 Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and the development of the City's Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit.

In 2011, the City of Toronto completed a study to help predict future climate conditions.  Key predictions from the "Toronto's Future Weather and Climate Drivers Study" were that Toronto might experience increasing average annual and maximum temperatures, more heat waves, and less frequent but much more intense rain events. The storm of July 8, 2013, during which severe thunderstorms and heavy rains flooded many parts of the City caused damage to public and private property and infrastructure, stranded thousands of commuters, and left tens of thousands of residents and businesses without electricity, emphasized the reality of the study's prediction.

The Chief Corporate Officer has coordinated the development of this report with the engagement of 14 City Divisions, Agencies and Corporations and Metrolinx and with support from Legal Services, Corporate Finance and Accounting Services. Work completed to date, has identified that while City operations have in place numerous initiatives, policies and services that support extreme weather adaptation, there is a need for additional  work to evaluate a number of corporate wide issues and, in particular issues associated with the interdependencies of critical City infrastructure and services.

Background Information

(November 22, 2013) Report and Appendix A from the Chief Corporate Officer on the Resilient City: Peparing for Extreme Weather Events
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/pe/bgrd/backgroundfile-64016.pdf)

Exploring Health and Social Impacts of Climate Change in Toronto

Summary

The Toronto Board of Health on November 4, 2013, considered a report (October 21, 2013) from the Medical Officer on Exploring Health and Social Impacts of Climate Change in Toronto

Background Information

(November 8, 2013) Letter from the Toronto Board of Health on Exploring Health and Social Impacts of Climate Change in Toronto
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/pe/bgrd/backgroundfile-64017.pdf)
(October 21, 2013) Report from the Medical Officer of Health on Exploring Health and Social Impacts of Climate Change
(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/pe/bgrd/backgroundfile-64018.pdf)