Massey Square Bridge pedestrian bridge collapse, ramifications for future.

Addressing safety and integrity of Massey Square Bridge, and privately owned publicly accessible spaces into the future – by Councillor Brad Bradford, seconded by Mayor John Tory
* Notice of this Motion has been given.
* This Motion is subject to referral to the Executive Committee. A two-thirds vote is required to waive referral. 
Councillor Brad Bradford, seconded by Mayor John Tory, recommends that: 1. City Council request the Chief Building Official and Executive Director, Toronto Building and the Executive Director, Municipal Licencing and Standards to report to the Executive Committee in the first quarter of 2019 on: a. causes of and identification of known facts about responsible parties for the pedestrian bridge collapse at Massey Square on November 17, 2018; b. recommended actions for an Internal Review using Internal Audit resources or an independent inquiry into the City actions with respect to the Crescent Town bridge, including: i. inspection and enforcement activities; ii. interactions with and between other parties, including Pinedale Properties and the Toronto District School Board; iii. City policies and procedures within and between Divisions; and iv. any City regulatory, policy, and procedural changes for the City; c. current work being undertaken by the City and its agencies and divisions to improve monitoring and enforcement of privately-owned, publicly accessible infrastructure; and d. recommendations for future work and actions needed to improve safety standards for privately-owned, publicly accessible bridges including recommendations for legislative or regulatory changes to the Ontario Building Code or City By-laws related to building condition assessments and reporting requirements for private and public property owners.
On Saturday November 17, 2018 around 6:00 a.m. a portion of the Massey Square pedestrian bridge collapsed. The bridge connects Crescent Town Elementary with the nearby residential apartments and is jointly owned by the Toronto District School Board and owners of the neighbouring apartment buildings. Many of the neighbourhood children have used the bridge every day to reach school and residents have used it for decades to provide convenient access to and from their neighbourhood. This event took place in the early morning on a weekend. At any other time, there would have been a higher likelihood of injury or harm to individuals in the community. The regular maintenance and state-of-good-repair of the bridge was a concern to residents. Over several years, former City Councillor Janet Davis brought together the property owners and City divisions to address these concerns. Various inspections and studies were conducted by the City and the property owners. Repairs were planned or completed by both parties. Despite these efforts, a section of the bridge collapsed. It is critical that the City understand both the physical causes of the collapse as well as the regulatory gaps in property standards and state of good repair requirements for infrastructure that is not City owned. The joint-ownership of the Massey Square bridge makes it a valuable test case. While privately owned, publicly accessible infrastructure is not new, the number of these spaces is growing. These partnerships and shared spaces are positive opportunities to create new community amenity and connections between and within neighbourhoods. As such they should be encouraged. However, the City should have confidence in its mechanisms for ensuring good maintenance and safety for all that use them.
Background Information
Member Motion MM1.3 

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