||Waterfront Community Improvement Plans
The City of Toronto Council is preparing Community Improvement Plans (CIPs) to support economic development in the Waterfront and the South of Eastern Employment District. The affected areas include the East Bayfront, West Don Lands, Port Lands and South of Eastern Employment District.
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Council adopts Community Improvement Plans
On May 26 and 27, 2008, City Council adopted the CIPs for the Waterfront and the South of Eastern Employment District. Council also adopted a City-wide CIP. The City issued the required Notice of adoption of the CIPs on June 11, 2008.
Draft Community Improvement Plans Released
The draft CIPs for the Waterfront and South of Eastern Employment District are now available. These plans will be considered by the Planning and Growth Management Committee at 10:00 a.m. on May 8th in Committee Room 1 at City Hall.
What are CIP's?
Community Improvement Plans (CIPs) enable municipalities to provide financial incentives to support the improvement and rehabilitation of defined areas called Community Improvement Project Areas. Without the adoption of a CIP, the City of Toronto is prohibited from providing financial incentives to businesses (called 'bonusing') as this could lead to an unfair competition with other jurisdictions.
What Policy Objectives are Behind the Use of CIPs in the Toronto Waterfront?
The governments of Canada, Ontario and the City of Toronto are partnering to revitalize Toronto's Waterfront. They have established the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation (WaterfronToronto) to implement their vision for a series of mixed use communities and parks on the Waterfront. The City has adopted a Plan ('Making Waves') for the revitalization.
Investment in business and job growth is an important part of the vision, with a particular focus on knowledge-based business in sectors like biotechnology, film, and information and communications.
The City recently adopted a Secondary Plan for the South of Eastern Employment District. The Plan supports the District's long term viability for a mix of employment activities.
How could CIPs be used in the Waterfront?
While the Waterfront is expected to become attractive to private business investment over the long-term, financial incentives are needed to overcome market conditions in the short-term. Waterfront studies have noted the need to provide incentives to level the playing field with competing residential development and to attract pioneer companies to the area
In the West Don Lands and East Bayfront, CIPs could be used to support the transformation of these old industrial areas into new mixed use communities by helping to attract strategic new businesses and office development.
In the Port Lands, and the South of Eastern Employment District a CIP could be used to support the retention and improvement of existing employment areas. In these areas, providing support for screen-based industries is particularly important.
Some major public initiatives are still being planned in the parts of the East Bayfront and Port Lands that are shown as shaded areas on the map. It is not proposed to provide financial incentives in these areas until the plans for them are closer to being finalized.
All CIP incentives provided in the project areas should comply with the following Principles:
What Financial Incentives Are Being Proposed?
- Effective City building;
- Generate jobs/employment;
- Encourage new commercial investment;
- Fair and equitable access to incentives;
- Transparent distribution of incentives;
- Cost-efficient achievement of objectives;
- Limited government risk and liability; and
- Efficient and timely administration.
At this stage, the following areas of financial assistance are being examined:
Who Will be Eligible to Receive these Grants?
- Grants for new development:
These instruments are often referred to as Tax Increment Equivalent Grants, or TIEGs. The grant will be given to a property owner who develops a new building, or expands an existing building, for the uses targeted for the Waterfront and the South of Eastern Employment District. The new development will increase the value of the property. The grant is based on the increase in the property taxes that result from the increased value. After the taxes have been paid each year, the City then gives back a percentage of the increment in the property tax for that year.
The initial proposal is to provide grants that would add up to 60% of the total tax increment over a ten-year period. The first year's grant would be equivalent to 100% of the increment for that year. This percentage would decrease by 9% each year to around 20% in the tenth year.
- Assistance for 'brownfield' remediation:
Cleaning up contaminated industrial land could be an obstacle to new development in the Waterfront and the South of Eastern Employment District. To address this, the City can cancel some or all of the property taxes on a property to help the owner pay to clean it up, or 'remediate' it. If the City cancels some or all of its taxes, the Province may also agree to cancel some of the school taxes on the property. Provincial assistance is unlikely to be available, however, in the East Bayfront and West Don Lands areas in the Waterfront. This tax relief would be in addition to the grants for new development and would only be available to properties that are developed for the targeted employment uses after they are cleaned up.
The initial proposal is to cancel any tax increases on the property for up to two years after the property is redeveloped following its remediation.
Developing a framework with clear beneficiary eligibility criteria is fundamental to a transparent and equitable process. These criteria will involve the kinds of uses the property is being developed for, and possibly a minimum value or size of development. Development will also have to meet 'green' standards of the City and Waterfront Toronto.
Public Consultation Report Released
The Consultant's report on the public consultation process for the Waterfront and South of Eastern CIPs is now available.
Waterfront CIP's - Public Consultation Meeting
The City just completed two public consultation meetings on the contents of the proposed Community Improvement Plans at two Community Meetings: on Thursday, February 28, 2008 for the East Bayfront, West Don Lands and Port Lands; and on Wednesday March 5, 2008 for South of Eastern.
The consultation process is designed to obtain stakeholder and public input into the contents of the CIPs. It informs stakeholders and the public on the use of CIPs.
What is the Focus of the Consultation Program?
Key issues for which input is sought include:
How are people able to participate in this process?
- the areas where incentives should apply;
- the uses for which incentives should be provided;
- the amount of the incentive being provided;
- the time period over which the incentives are provided; and
- other types of financial tools that should be considered.
- Landowner Workshops:
Two interactive workshops were hosted to ask the opinion from landowners with a specific interest in the proposed CIPs.
- Community Meetings:
Two community meetings were held to get initial public input (see notice for meetings).
Public Meeting to consider the proposed CIPs:
The Planning Act requires the City to hold a meeting to allow the public to provide comments on the proposed CIPs. This meeting will be held by the City's Planning and Growth Management Committee and is targeted for May 8th at 9.30am in Committee Room 1 at City Hall.
The proposed CIPs will be available for public review on April 17th. They will be posted on this web page and also be available from the City Planning Department.
If you want to make sure you receive a notice of the public meeting, please send us an email with your mailing address or get in touch with either Kathy Thom (416-392- 0759) or Denise Graham (416-392-0871) of the City Planning Division.
- Project Web Page:
This page presents up-to-date information including public notices, schedule of public consultation events, meeting agendas and meeting minutes, background information and materials presented during public consultation sessions.
* Target dates may change. If so, new dates will be posted on this web page.
|February 28, 2008
||Community meeting for East Bayfront, West Don Lands and Port Lands (Completed)
|March 5, 2008
||Community meeting for South of Eastern Employment District (Completed)
|April 17, 2008
||Target date* for Draft CIP to be available to the public for comment (Completed)
|May 8, 2008
||Target date* for Public Meeting of Planning and Growth Management Committee to consider the proposed CIP (Completed)
|May 26, 2008
||Target date* for meeting of City Council to approve the CIP. (Completed)
If you have questions, please contact:
Toronto and East York District
Community Planning Office
Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2