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Council Directed Review on City’s Response to Three-Prior Neighbourhood-Level Emergencies

The Issue

In May 2011, the Ombudsman tabled an investigation report, An Investigation into the Provision of Emergency Human Services following the 200 Wellesley Street Fire at City Council.  

As a result of tabling that investigation, Council directed the Ombudsman to review the City’s responses into three earlier neighbourhood-level emergencies – the Queen Street West fire (February 2008), the Secord Avenue fire (July 2008) and the Sunrise Propane explosion (August 2008). 

Our Investigation

As directed by Council, we:

  • Conducted a review of the reports and evaluations from previous emergency human responses to the Queen Street fire, the Secord Avenue fire and the Sunrise Propane explosion; and
  • Reported back to Council on the degree of implementation of previous recommendations flowing from the above emergency responses by the Toronto Public Service.

What We Found

Our review found that, based on the information the City has provided, it has fulfilled 53 of the 66 recommendations to improve the City’s response to neighbourhood-level emergencies. The City intends to fulfill all outstanding recommendations by the second quarter of 2013.

Our Recommendations

Taking into account all of the information gathered in this review, the Ombudsman recommends that the City revise its Emergency Level Notifications, Operation Support Function by March 31, 2013, to allow for the following:

  • Whenever the Office of Emergency Management is activated in response to a Level 2 – Major Incident, it be mandatory that the Deputy City Manager of Cluster B is notified.