Council supports Toronto bidding on the World Cup, serving alcohol early during Winter Olympic hockey and honouring a civil rights leader.
Toronto will be part of a North American bid to co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup as long as funding is provided by the federal and provincial governments.
On Thursday, council voted 29 to 1 in favour of the bid.
The only member against it was Councillor Gord Perks.
As for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics, alcohol will start flowing at bars and restaurants throughout the city starting as early as 7:00 a.m. on Feb. 19, 23 and 24, council decided.
The Olympics run from Feb. 9 to 25 in South Korea and some women and men’s semi-final and final matches are scheduled to begin in the morning.
Councillor Mike Layton recommended the motion so that residents can “enjoy and benefit from the medal (hockey) games.”
“The medal round of the hockey tournament represents an opportunity for residents to come together to celebrate and cheer for their team and country,” read the motion.
Support for the World Cup in Toronto is strong from Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and BMO field could be used if the joint bid is successful, a staff report noted. Several smaller soccer pitches could be used as training facilities for visiting teams “although these may require upgrades in order to meet FIFA playing standards.”
“Staff has a high degree of confidence that Toronto could successfully host an international event of this scale and prestige, provided that the required resources are in place,” the report says.
In December, Canada joined the “United 2026” proposal that would see Canada and Mexico each host 10 games, and the U.S. 60 fixtures.
Montreal, Vancouver and Edmonton are the other potential Canadian host cities.
If United 2026 wins World Cup hosting rights, Toronto would get three to five games.
FIFA will announce in June if it accepts the U.S.-Mexico-Canada bid. The winning bid — so far, Morocco is also in the running — will be announced in 2020.
Meanwhile, council passed a motion to rename a Scarborough park after Viola Desmond, the first Black woman to challenge segregation in Canada. She will also be the first Canadian woman depicted on the face of a Canadian banknote. The $10-bill will be released later this year.
“By naming a park after her, people from all backgrounds can now learn about and celebrate this important historic role model,” said Councillor Neethan Shan, who put forward the member motion.
Desmond was a successful businesswoman from Nova Scotia who fought for equality and civil rights movement in Canada. In 1946, she was convicted for refusing to leave an area for only white residents under the law of the time. She was pardoned 63 years later.
The Viola Desmond Park will be located next to Mary Shadd Public School, also named after a civil rights advocate.