Lauren Pelley

City Hall reporter

Lauren Pelley is a CBC reporter in Toronto covering city hall and municipal affairs. Contact her at:

Latest from Lauren Pelley

Ontario Place revival could include bids for urban spa, convention centre amid concerns over 'backroom' deals

Premier Doug Ford’s government is gearing up to select the successful bidder who will transform Ontario Place into a “year-round” destination. The submission period is closed but there’s still little public information about what the iconic waterfront site could become — prompting one city councillor to warn about the threat of a "backroom deal."

Critics slam 'disappointing' recommendation to expand city's sidewalk snow clearing

A new report heading to Toronto's infrastructure committee recommends conducting a trial snow clearing program on 250 kilometres of sidewalks that aren't being cleared right now. But critics say it doesn't go far enough.

Only 2 Scarborough restaurants signed on for this year's Summerlicious — but there's a push for more

During the last round of Toronto's Summerlicious program, around 200 restaurants participated — and only two were in Scarborough. Now, one of the area's councillors is pushing the city to do a "better job" bringing in restaurants from the east-end food scene.

Safety concerns abound at 'chaotic' spot where Eglinton meets Allen Road

Some say the intersection where Eglinton Avenue West hits Allen Road is "chaotic" and "dangerous." The area marks the spot where two main thoroughfares meet. It's been the scene of years-long construction for the Eglinton Crosstown. And it's home to the bustling Eglinton West subway station. So what can be done to boost safety?

Toronto exploring mandatory licence for retailers selling vaping, e-cigarette products

Amid rising popularity and health concerns over vaping products, Toronto is exploring how to license retailers that sell them. If council gives the green light, all businesses offering the products would be required to buy a licence from the city.

Road safety advocates slam city's 'ludicrous' $80K investment in Queen Street towing blitz

With a more than six-week towing blitz launching on Queen Street on Monday, road safety advocates are questioning the investment by the city and police in parking enforcement while road deaths are still a "huge crisis." 

Toronto no longer offering new licences to 'predatory' payday loan outlets

Starting immediately, Toronto won't be issuing any new licences for payday loan outlets amid concerns that the companies are "predatory." The major regulatory change was approved through a unanimous 20-0 vote by city council on Wednesday night.

Uploading Toronto's subway could be step toward 'true regional approach,' say U of T profs

The provincial government's hotly-debated plan to "upload" Toronto's subway network could spark much-needed dialogue about getting regional transit back on the rails, according to a pair of University of Toronto professors.

Councillors calling on restaurants to offer reusable items instead of plastic cutlery, plates

In a member motion heading to city council this week, a pair of councillors want to explore the feasibility of a new "requirement" for restaurants to provide reusable serviceware for eat-in customers. 

After years of legal battles over empty Queen West market, city wants to 'take it back'

After years of legal battles over a now-empty market on Queen Street West, the city wants to "take it back," says the area's councillor, Joe Cressy. That's the spirit behind an application Toronto's legal team just filed in Ontario's Superior Court to end the current tenant's 50-year lease.

80% of pedestrian deaths so far in 2019 are older adults, seniors

More than 80 per cent of the pedestrians killed on Toronto's roads so far this year are older adults or seniors, police data shows. It's the latest example of a troubling trend in cities around the world, and local road safety advocates say it points to the city's failure to protect vulnerable road users.

How climate change gave added urgency to a $1.25B project to prevent flooding in Toronto

Toronto is spending $1.25 billion on a massive flood-protection project on the city's waterfront, which involves building a new river system. The project highlights the lengths some Canadian communities will have to go to brace for the impact of a changing climate in the years ahead.

Parkdale parent says parked cars are problematic on street where child was hit

This fall, CBC Toronto is examining the city's riskiest roadways and searching for solutions. Up now: Macdonell Avenue. A driver hit a child with their car on the Parkdale street earlier this year, and some residents say on-street parking could be reducing visibility for both drivers and pedestrians.

Toronto council cuts 'undeniably' within Ford government's authority, Court of Appeal rules

Ontario's Court of Appeal has decided Premier Doug Ford's government had the "legitimate authority" to make mid-election council cuts, quashing Toronto's latest court battle. Back in June, the province and the city of Toronto faced off for a third time in court over Ford's surprise move to slash the number of council seats — causing what city officials called "unprecedented disruption."

17,000 feral cats could be roaming Toronto — and experts say that's good news

It's a stat that might give you paws: A whopping 17,000 feral cats could be roaming the streets of Toronto. That's the finding of a first-of-its-kind analysis from the Toronto Humane Society, and it shows colony populations may be dropping dramatically thanks to neutering programs.