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City of Toronto - Online Information and Services

Zoning inquiries - re-zoning - amendments

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The zoning information service provided by Toronto Building has changed.

Toronto Building is no longer providing general zoning information over the phone. This service change is in accordance with service levels endorsed through the Core Service Review and the 2012 Budget Process. This change came into effect March 1, 2012.

Customers may attend in person, at the appropriate district's Customer Service counter, in order to receive general zoning advice. More detailed zoning advice is available through our existing Project Review Program by applying for a Preliminary Project Review (PPR) or a Zoning Certificate Review (ZC).

For zoning summary information, please refer to the online summary sheets.

City-wide Zoning Bylaw 569-2013 as amended may be accessed using the interactive map.

The new Zoning bylaw for the City of Toronto (569-2013) has been enacted and is enforceable. This new Zoning bylaw is also the subject of an appeal. All former bylaws of the City are also in effect until such time that the appeals are dealt with. This means that in many instances, there are two separate bylaws that currently affect the properties in the City of Toronto, one entirely available online and another that may have very limited info available electronically.

In addition, there are properties that are not governed by the new Zoning bylaw. This is evidenced by the grey areas "not part of this by law" as shown on the maps. In these instances, only the former bylaws are applicable.

For these reasons, on the majority of properties, Toronto Building recommend that clients visit our service counters where staff can provide guidance on navigating both bylaws.

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Definition of Zoning
Zoning is the municipal regulation of land and building use. Zoning regulations are the specifications which determine the use of a property i.e. single family use, high-rise residential use, industrial, commercial use etc. Zoning bylaws also govern where you can locate a structure, and the size, and type of structure

Zoning bylaw
The Zoning bylaw is the legal document that implements the policies and objectives described in the Official Plan. The Zoning bylaw regulates the use and development of buildings and land by stating exactly what types of land uses are permitted in various geographic areas and by establishing precise development standards for lot size and frontage, building setbacks, the height and built form of structures, the number and dimensions of parking and loading spaces, requirements for open space, etc. The Planning Act grants the City the authority to implement land use controls through Zoning bylaws.

Zoning map
A Zoning map is a property map showing the zoning designation for a particular property. From this designation and other information provided on the map, you may determine the applicable Zoning provisions such as permitted use, setbacks and parking requirements regulated for a particular address.

Zoning bylaw amendments (re-zoning) - change zoning
Individuals who wish to use, alter or develop their property in a way that does not conform with the Zoning bylaw, must apply for a site-specific amendment to the bylaw. Individuals can do this through either a Zoning bylaw Amendment application (commonly called a Rezoning) or a Minor Variance application. Rezoning is used for major revisions to the bylaw such as land use changes or significant increases in permitted building heights and development densities. Minor Variances are used for issues such as small changes to building setback or parking requirements.

If you are uncertain if your development project involves a rezoning or a minor variance, contact staff at your local Toronto Building customer service office. You should consider applying for a Preliminary Project Review that will identify any features of your project that do not comply with the Zoning bylaw. In most cases development proposals that require a Zoning bylaw amendment also require Site Plan Approval.

Viewing former municipality zoning bylaws & maps:

  • Etobicoke York
    All legacy zoning bylaws are NOT available for viewing at the Customer Service Counter and copies of segments also are NOT provided at the Customer Service Counter.
  • Scarborough, Toronto & East York District
    Viewing copies of the zoning maps is available during regular business hours. Viewing the bylaws may be permitted in conjunction with a discussion with a zoning examiner.
  • North York District
    The North York office does not provide copies of the bylaw books or zoning maps for public viewing. The North York Central Library has the zoning bylaw book available and you can check the zoning maps in the touch down computer available beside the North York Toronto Building Customer service counter.