Council overview package for July 13, 2020

full bike rack

Downtown next to river

City Council endorsed the following items during its Finance Committee and General Committee meetings on Monday, July 13, 2020:

  • Tax adjustments in accordance with Sections 356 and Tax Appeals under Sections 357, 358 and 359 of the Municipal Act, 2001;
  • Direction on the creation of the Draft 2021 Budget including not supporting a recommended guideline of a 3% all-inclusive (municipal, education, and sanitary sewer surcharge) property tax increase for a typical property taxpayer in 2021;
  • Allowing 2159 Old Norwood Rd. to be used for a new home sales office and three model homes without municipal services for a period of up to three years;
  • Amending the zoning bylaw and draft plan of subdivision for the planned development with about 1,750 units at 663, 689 and 739 Lily Lake Rd., to make changes such as adding street names to the plan, widening certain single-detached house lots to allow two-car garages, and introducing a rear lane for a stretch of townhomes;
  • Amending the zoning for 850 Lansdowne St. W. to add "office" to the list of permitted uses;
  • An update on the City's COVID-19 response and financial impacts;
  • The March 31, 2020 unaudited quarterly financial update report, including a recommendation to reallocate federal gas tax revenue to certain projects;
  • Recommendations for appointments to the Peterborough Housing Corporation board of directors;
  • An information report on the City's arena needs plan and ice allocations for 2020-2021;
  • Submitting to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario that November 1, 2023 is the preferred date to transition the City of Peterborough's Blue Box program to extended producer responsibility system, with industry taking over funding all related costs for the Blue Box program;
  • An information report on the COVID-19-related changes to the Peterborough Transit bus routes;
  • Requesting reports from staff to Finance Committee on various items, including potential savings that could be achieved based on a KPMG review of Social Services; maintaining City funding to Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development Corporation, the Downtown Business Improvement Area, the Peterborough Humane Society, the Peterborough Family Health Team Network, and the Innovation Cluster at 2020 levels in 2021; directing that no new staff positions be added in 2021 unless they are self sustaining; options on potential actions to achieve savings and efficiencies in the transit operations budget; the impact of raising user fees by 5% to 10% in 2021; and information on zero based budgeting;
  • Allowing the Downtown Business Improvement Area to expand its Board of Directors to a maximum size of 13 members;
  • Setting up an ad-hoc advisory committee for the Peterborough Municipal Airport with three Council representatives on the committee and asking for a staff report on recommended terms of reference for an airport advisory committee by May 2021;
  • Asking for a staff report on the pros and cons of allowing the sale of bottled water in municipal facilities, which is currently prohibited, including information related to allowing bottled water in municipal facilities given the current pandemic; and
  • Banning from all City of Peterborough property all actions, speech and symbols of hate and racism including, but not limited to, the Confederate battle flag and swastikas and sending a letter to the Attorney General of Canada, the Prime Minister's Office and the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, seeking federal support for the ban.

General Committee agenda

Finance Committee agenda

Council will consider giving final approval to the items during its regular Council meeting on Monday, July 27, 2020.

Council is holding its meetings over video conference due to the COVID-19 emergency. While City Hall is closed to the public and Council members are attending their meetings remotely using their computers or phones, residents can watch or listen to the livestream of the meetings at

Watch Council

Tax adjustments under the Municipal Act

Council endorsed $113,082.55 in tax adjustments under processes through the Municipal Act, with $20,475.20 charged back to the local school boards and $92,607.35 from the municipal portion of property taxes.

Section 356 of the Municipal Act provides for the division of lands into parcels which can be legally conveyed under the Planning Act. Subsequently the property taxes are divided based on the revised assessment information received from MPAC. There is no assessment or taxation gain or loss throughout this process.

Section 357 of the Act provides a mechanism whereby taxpayers can apply for tax adjustments where certain circumstances have occurred after the return of the assessment roll. The more common criteria include building demolitions and fire, property tax class changes, taxable properties becoming exempt, and where clerical errors have been made when compiling the assessment roll.

Section 358 of the Act provides for the cancellation, reduction or refund of all or part of the taxes levied on a property in one or both of the two years preceding the application year for any overcharge caused by a gross or manifest error in the preparation of the assessment roll that is clerical or factual in nature.

Section 359 of the Act provides for the increase of taxes levied on land where there has been an undercharge caused by a gross or manifest error that is clerical and factual in nature, including the transposition of figures, typographical or similar type errors, but not an error in judgment in assessing the land.

Applicants initiate the appeal process by filling out and submitting an application form to the Tax Office providing full details. Municipal Property Assessment Corporation staff are then asked to confirm the information and provide revised assessment figures. The Tax Office staff subsequently issue notices to applicants that show the original and revised tax levies, and the resulting tax reduction including capping. There were five hearings held in 2019. Applicants had an opportunity to question any of the adjustments at their specific hearings held at City Hall on March 6, April 10, August 15, November 14 and December 19, 2019.

Guidelines for the Draft 2021 Budget

Council provided for the development of the City's Draft 2021 Budget, but did not endorse a guideline for a recommended all-inclusive property tax increase for a typical property taxpayer in 2021 after debating the appropriate amount next year reflecting the ability of residents to pay.

To maintain existing services levels would be $5.8 million (that cost includes $2.8 million directly related to impacts from COVID-19) and providing additional capital funding of $2 million would result in a $7.8-million budget increase, which would require a 5.14% increase in the all-inclusive property taxes for a typical homeowner. Staff had recommended a 3% all-inclusive (municipal, education and sewer surcharge) increase, which would still leave a shortfall of $3.8 million in funding that would be needed to maintain existing service levels. Council didn't support setting a guidelines with a 3% increase for 2021.

"Staff are very cognizant of the taxpayer’s ability to pay, particularly in these unprecedented circumstances," staff state in the report to Council. "Presenting a budget that meets the guideline will have to involve a critical review of user fees and opportunities for new revenues, a more detailed review of escalating costs and opportunities to reduce them and potential service cuts."

Council supported asking staff to report back to Council to seek up to an additional 0.5% all-inclusive increase if the Province and federal government announce stimulus funding as part of their COVID-19 pandemic recovery plans and a municipal funding share is required to access those funds for projects.

Council also endorsed that the annual earnings from investing the proceeds from the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. be directed toward enhancing funding for capital spending, such as repairing infrastructure.

Council requested reports from staff to Finance Committee on various items, including:

  • potential savings that could be achieved based on a KPMG review of Social Services;
  • maintaining City funding to Peterborough and the Kawarthas Economic Development Corporation, the Downtown Business Improvement Area, the Peterborough Humane Society, the Peterborough Family Health Team Network, and the Innovation Cluster at 2020 levels in 2021;
  • directing that no new staff positions be added in 2021 unless they are self sustaining;
  • options on potential actions to achieve savings and efficiencies in the transit operations budget;
  • the impact of raising user fees by 5% to 10% in 2021; and
  • information on zero based budgeting.

To help inform the setting of the 2021 Budget guidelines and the development of the Draft 2021 Budget, the City consulted with residents through public drop-in sessions as well as a survey on community priorities. A What We Heard report on the results from the budget survey is available online at

Next steps: 2021 Budget process
DateBudget process stage
July 27, 2020 Council to consider approving a guideline for drafting the 2021 Budget
Nov. 2, 2020 Draft 2021 Budget documents presented to Finance Committee
Nov. 16, 2020 Public meeting for City Council to hear comments from the community on the draft 2021 Budget
Nov. 17, 2020 External agencies attend City Council's budget deliberations
Nov. 23-26, 2020 Finance Committee deliberations on the draft 2021 Budget
Dec. 14, 2020 City Council considers approval of the 2021 Budget


New home sales office and model homes, 2159 Old Norwood Rd.

Council endorsed a temporary zoning by-law amendment to allow a new home sales office and model homes on 2159 Old Norwood Rd. for a period of up to three years.

In 2018, Council approved a zoning by-law amendment, an Official Plan amendment and a draft plan of subdivision for a development known as Ashborough Village with about 707 residential units on the property.

Typically, model homes and new home sales offices are permitted on serviced, residential zoned lots within registered plans of subdivision pursuant to provisions contained in subdivision agreements between developers and the City. In the present case, the Applicant wishes to construct their sales office and model homes in a location that is beyond their first phase of development.

Once the sales office is no longer permitted by a Temporary Use By-law, the structure would need to be removed.

Amendments for the planned subdivision on Lily Lake Road

Council endorsed amending the zoning by-law and draft plan of subdivision for the planned development with about 1,750 units at 663, 689 and 739 Lily Lake Rd., to make changes such as adding street names to the plan, widening certain single-detached house lots to allow two-car garages, and introducing a rear lane for a stretch of townhomes.

The applicant is working to fulfill the conditions of approval and the detailed engineering design for their first phase of development. Through this process, the developer has determined that it would like to make the following changes to the draft plan of subdivision in order to address issues emerging in the detailed design and City comments received to date on the proposed design:

  • Add street names to the plan as approved by the City
  • Widen all 10.67 metre wide single detached lots to 11.0 metres to facilitate two-car garages and reduce the demand for on-street parking
  • Introduce a 11.0 metre wide municipal rear lane to remove direct vehicular street access for townhomes fronting Northcott Avenue, a high capacity collector street that forms the core of the neighbourhood
  • Shift the location of the accesses to the two planned stormwater management ponds
  • Create building lots at the former stormwater management pond access locations
  • Add a servicing corridor to connect the northwest corner of medium-high density residential Block 923 to Carpenter Trail
  • Extend Block 858 westerly to add an additional townhouse unit on Carpenter Trail
  • Reduce the Northcott Avenue right-of-way from a width of 26m to 23m to maintain consistency with the adjacent draft approved plan of subdivision to the east
  • Adjust lot limits in the vicinity of Lily Lake Road to respect flood plain mapping competed as part of detailed design
  • Identify four lots on Wearing Place at the south edge of the site as parkland/trail blocks to implement condition No. 20 of the conditions of approval
  • Increase the depth of some lots to facilitate to an improved building envelope
  • Update the lot and block numbering and land use statistics shown on the plan

Staff state that the amendments:

  • reduce demand for on-street parking;
  • improve the streetscape along a major collector street in the neighbourhood;
  • help achieve the objectives of the Lily Lake Secondary Plan;
  • are consistent with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe;
  • are minor in nature;
  • and implement standards that are common to newer plans of subdivision in the City.

Adding "office" to permitted uses for 850 Lansdowne St. W.

Council supported amending the zoning for 850 Lansdowne St. W. to add "office" to the list of permitted uses.

The property, which is at the northeast corner of Lansdowne Street West and Wightman Avenue, has been used for service commercial uses since at least 1973 and has been a lighting store since 1996.

The property was rezoned in 2016 to add bank, financial institution, and loan company to the list of permitted uses for the property.

The applicant proposes to facilitate the re-use of the existing building for a ‘small scale office’ having a maximum floor area of 350 square metres. The application also seeks to incorporate site specific regulations to reduce the minimum landscaped open space requirement adjacent to the residential district to the north from 10 metres to four metres; and to increase the maximum building coverage from 25% to 30%.

COVID-19 response and financial impacts update

Council endorsed an update report on the City's COVID-19 response and financial impacts, including recommendations on agreements with the City that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and response for the City is estimated to be $10.4 million for the period of March to August 2020. With the pandemic response expected to extend beyond August 2020, the City anticipates there will be additional costs.

Lost revenues of $11.3 million and direct costs for the response at $3.2 million have been partially offset by $1.8 million in reduced costs and $2.4 million in provincial funding received to date.

Examples of estimated lost revenue include:

  • $2.75 million from the City's share of casino revenue
  • $2 million through Peterborough Transit
  • $1.3 million from arenas
  • $1 million from parking
  • $750,000 from Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre

Examples of estimated direct costs include:

  • $1.1 million in social housing and homelessness services
  • $1 million in children's services
  • $340,000 in Peterborough Transit

From a legislative perspective, a municipality may suffer a deficit in any given year when comparing an approved Budget to the actual financial results incurred, however, a municipality cannot budget for a deficit. As the 2020 year unfolds, staff will need to predict any 2020 deficit to be carried over to 2021 and identify some one-time actions to fund that deficit in 2021 such as these additional sources.

Quarterly financial update report

Council endorsed the March 31, 2020 unaudited quarterly financial update report.

The regular quarterly report provides a summary and supporting details of expenditures and revenues for the Operating Budget and a summary of expenditures and revenues for the Capital Budget.

As part of the update report, Council supported reallocating $385,000 in federal gas tax revenue to the 2019 Transit Bus Project from the Sherbrooke Street - Glenforest to West City Limits Project, and to reallocate $385,000 of Capital Levy funding to the Sherbrooke Street project to cover the shift in funding.

With the Sherbrooke Street project being a longer-term project and the need to spend federal gas tax revenue in an expeditious manner, the City would shift the gas tax funding to the Transit Bus Project and replace the funding for the Sherbrooke Street project with Capital Levy funding.

Peterborough Housing Corporation board appointments

Council supported recommendations from the Peterborough Housing Corporation for appointments to its board of directors.

Peterborough Housing Corporation (PHC) is recommending that Scott Mancini be appointed to its board for a term of up to three years, commencing on the date of Council approval, and that Bonnie Clark be appointed to its board for a three-year term from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2023.

The City of Peterborough owns 100% of the shares of PHC.

The City as the Service Manager for social housing in the City and County has established shareholder direction for PHC that requires the PHC board to include:

  • An elected representative each from City and County councils;
  • A non-voting community advisor; and
  • A Service Manager advisor from the City of Peterborough.

The remaining appointments to the board are recommended by a Nominating Committee and approved by City Council. The majority of the board members are required to be citizens of Canada and reside within the Service Area.

Arena needs plan and ice allocation

Arena with an ice clearing machine

Council supported receiving an information report on the City's arena needs plan and an update on ice allocations for the 2020-2021 season.

In 2014, Council received and adopted as a planning tool the Arena Needs Assessment Study that investigated the use and functionality of existing arena facilities and determined the specific needs of community ice and floor users currently and in the next 20 years. The study established community arena requirements to move forward.

The recommended arena service level would produce the following requirement for ice surfaces to 2031 (based on the upper and lower range of predicted population growth and assumed that Northcrest Arena would be retired, leaving five ice surfaces in the City):

  • 2013: (82,500) 7.5 ice surfaces required (+2.5)
  • 2018: (84,775-87,250) 7.7 to 7.9 ice surfaces required (+2.7 to 2.9)
  • 2021: (88,775-90,500) 8.1 to 8.2 ice surfaces required (+3.1 to 3.2)
  • 2031: (95,500-103,000) 8.7 to 9.4 ice surfaces required (+ 3.7 to 4.4)

The Needs Assessment found a projected requirement of two additional ice surfaces by 2021 over and above the replacement of the single pad at Northcrest Arena. A further ice surface is required by 2031.

The proposed new Arena and Aquatics Complex has incorporated all the elements and features as expected through the 2015 Council report as well as a Phase 2 eight lane competitive pool and a Phase 3 third ice pad.

City staff consulted with user groups about the impact of the closure of Northcrest Arena and has provided regular updates to the Arenas, Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.

There are currently 49 organizations and user groups with ice allocated for the full 27-week 2020/21 Fall/Winter Season that runs from September through March. Out of these 49 organizations and user groups, 21 have experienced a shift in time or location as a result of the reallocation of ice time from Northcrest Arena. Various organizations and user groups have shown their willingness to cooperate and be flexible to use the available early and later ice time in other facilities. Among the user groups, 24 are adult organizations and many experienced a shift in day of the week, facility, and allocation of ice time. These groups are the most impacted by this reallocation of ice time. As a result, the majority of ice reallocated from Northcrest Arena has been provided by City facilities, and prospective opportunities exist and will be explored with users and county and township arenas to supplement additional ice for larger tournaments.

Transition of the City's Blue Box Program to producer responsibility

Council endorsed setting November 1, 2023 as the preferred date for the transition of the City's Blue Box program to extended producer responsibility, with producers taking over responsibility for all costs for the service.

Ontario’s Blue Box Program is currently partially funded through a formula established by Resource Productivity Recovery Authority (RPRA) which determines how much producers are required to pay each municipality for their residential recycling program based on their recycling program’s performance. The City of Peterborough has historically received approximately 50% of costs associated with the collection and processing of the City’s Blue Box materials.

In 2019, the Ontario government issued a direction to begin the transition of the Blue Box program in Ontario to an extended producer responsibility, with industry taking over funding 100% of all related costs, by December 31, 2025. The Province has proposed that about one third of municipalities will transition to the new program each year from 2023 to 2025. It wants to ensure that the transitioned Blue Box Program is affordable for Producers, workable for the waste processing sector, effective form municipalities, and accessible for residents.

Transitioning in November 2023 would coincide with the City’s plans to launch a residential source separated organics (SSO) collection and processing program in the Fall of 2023. The timely transition of the recycling program coinciding with the implementation of the SSO program will enable the City to prepare a comprehensive education and communication package to inform residents of all program changes.

COVID-19 Transit route network update

Council endorsed receiving a report for information on the recent changes to the Peterborough Transit route network that took effect on June 28, 2020 related to the COVID-19 response.

The ability for Peterborough Transit to support the community to safely transition through the re-opening phase is contingent upon the City following direction from Public Health officials, Provincial Orders and the transit providers industry. Peterborough Transit has been given parameters for a "re-opening", related to:

  • personal protection and barriers
  • distancing requirements on buses, at transit stops and at the terminal
  • traffic flows, signage, communication

Staff considered these parameters along with the following additional factors in developing the interim Transit Route Network:

  • Public and driver input gathered to date via the initial stages of Transit Route Review
  • Peterborough Public Health guidelines
  • Provincial Orders
  • Emergency Services
  • The adjusted downtown street and sidewalk layout as well as construction that's underway

Changing transit routes in this period of time has required substantial preparation in a relatively short time frame to ensure the service can continue to be provided in a safe manner and as ridership increases.

Peterborough Transit routes and schedules

Any proposed permanent, long-term changes to transit routes would be presented to Council when we are functioning in a business as usual setting. Further community consultation would occur as part of that process.

Initial community feedback from the Transit Route Review as well as input from stakeholders, industry colleagues and Peterborough Public Health was considered as part of the planning for the interim route changes. This input, along with key travel destinations and ridership data, was used to develop the guiding principles and design a service model for implementation during the recovery phase of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Changes to the operation at Transit needed to be made during the summer months to continue to provide physical distancing and enhanced safety measures with normal reductions in staffing levels. With the gradual reopening of the Community, higher ridership demands are anticipated along with increased need to return to regular operating hours.

In terms of the transit network redesign, full consultation was not possible given the current situation and the timelines required for developing a response plan; however, staff have incorporated a number of themes and ideas generated from other consultation activities.

While the overarching goal of the interim route system changes is to help protect the health and wellbeing or customers, employees, and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the themes generated as part of the previously collected community feedback on the route system were considered such as:

  • Reduce the number of trips that are forced to travel to and transfer at the downtown terminal by making routes more direct to destinations;
  • Improve passenger travel times to high demand destinations – provide options for more direct routes from Point A to Point B;
  • Consider transfers at locations other than the downtown terminal to reduce out of way travel;
  • Increase the number of community buses between key destination points such as community centres, shopping nodes, and health care providers; and
  • Maintain accessibility goal for transit system, of a stop within 450 m from 90% of the population.

The new interim route network was designed to reduce congestion at the Bus Terminal and onboard buses, allowing for greater physical distancing. The new network realigns several routes to be direct and reduces the number of routes that directly service the Bus Terminal, relieving the significant congestion, due to customers having to transfer at a central location to board another bus to complete their trips. Onboard buses, customers traditionally experience crush loads on primary routes and peak trips, particularly when they leave the terminal or return to the terminal. Staff has focused on customer safety, creating an interim network that allows customers more options to move around the city without going into the Bus Terminal or taking an overloaded peak bus.

Interim Network Highlights:

  • Reduction in conventional routes from 17 to 9
  • Increase in Community Bus routes from 1 to 3
  • Only four routes will service the Bus Terminal
  • One route will service Simcoe street at the Bus Terminal
  • New routes are more direct and multiple routes link many key destinations around the City directly, reducing the need to transfer and reducing passenger volumes on buses serving popular destinations
  • Three new hubs (Trent University, Fleming College, and the Hospital) are served by more routes facilitating trips that still need to transfer
  • All routes, including those servicing the Bus Terminal will be able to connect customers across the City with multiple transfer points, rather than the single point at the Terminal
  • Modified routes to eliminate some areas currently served by TransCab
  • All new routes were mindful of improving coverage throughout the city, providing more localized service for mobility assisted riders, adjusting to rider limits on buses while still providing consistent service, providing good connections for riders to move across the City

Benefits of the interim Transit Route Network:

  • Improved physical distancing opportunities
  • More travel options
  • More direct point to point trips linking key destinations
  • Fewer transfers; more transfer points
  • More Community Bus routes
  • Reduced travel time for many trips, limiting time spent on board where physical distancing can be more difficult
  • Ability to scale up service frequency in response to further increases in demand