Toronto

Council suspends paving contractor for 3 years

City council has unanimously voted to bar contractor Four Seasons Site Development from bidding on city contracts for three years after officials fired the company because it breached its College Street beautification contract last summer.

City officials fired the company last year for breaching its College Street beautification contract

City council has approved the suspension of paving contractor Four Seasons Site Development until Feb. 8, 2020. (Mark Bochsler/CBC)

Toronto council has unanimously voted to ban contractor Four Seasons Site Development from bidding on city contracts for three years after officials fired the company for breaching its contract to revamp College Street last summer.

"This is not something that I take lightly," said Coun. Paul Ainslie Friday, who chairs the government management committee. "This is a company that does work for the City of Toronto, they have employees, they have families — but first and foremost ... this company did not follow city guidelines, did not follow Ministry of Labour guidelines."

The committee voted earlier this month to implement the ban, something that required council's approval. The company's suspension begins today and will run until Feb. 8, 2020.

City officials fired the contractory because it breached its College Street beautification contract last summer. (Mark Bochsler/CBC)

The contract it breached last year included replacing the sidewalks with interlocking brick, planting new trees, and installing furniture on both sides of College Street between Shaw and Havelock streets. 

The local business improvement area paid more than $3 million for the project with the help of a municipal loan. But then some store owners said the construction delays and torn up sidewalks cost them between 30 and 40 per cent of their business.

The city brought in Four Seasons to do the work, but terminated the agreement in October 2016 due to "unsatisfactory performance ... and failure to correct the defaults." It reported 101 deficiencies with the company's work. 

Four Seasons has said soil contamination and communication problems with city engineers were to blame for work delays. This is the first time the company has been suspended from a city contract.

With files from Michelle Cheung and John Rieti

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