The Province, through Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario, is working with the City to implement Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) projects. These projects intend to provide new housing and employment either directly integrated with, or in close proximity to, new major transit stations

There are two types of TOCs:

  • Developments related to new subway stations and Light Rail Transit (LRT); and
  • Developments related to GO and SmartTrack stations

City Planning will bring to Council preliminary reports on all TOC proposals, outlining issues identified through the review of the TOC submissions and public consultation carried out to date. For example, in the spring of 2023, City Planning aims to bring to Council for consideration the East Harbour Implementing Agreements between the City, Cadillac Fairview, and the Province, which will formalize commitments with Cadillac Fairview and the Province and will define the implementation process.

Current Status

Subway and LRT TOCs

The Province authorized the first group of TOCs through Minister’s Zoning Orders (MZOs) in the spring of 2022. It is not anticipated that the Province will file formal planning applications for its TOC proposals.

The Province indicates it will submit a second group of new TOC proposals in late 2022 for City review, with City Planning undertaking public engagement and reporting to Council early in 2023.

City Planning and Infrastructure Ontario will work jointly to initiate public engagement on these new proposals. This will include Councillor briefings, the formation of Local Advisory Committees, and community meetings. Some of this activity may occur in late 2022, while most of it will occur in early 2023.

GO and SmartTrack TOCs

SmartTrack will transform heavy rail infrastructure in Toronto from a regional commuter service into an urban rapid transit network. TOCs for GO and SmartTrack Stations are based on agreements between Metrolinx and landowners/developers at or adjacent to transit stations where the development partner will design and deliver all or part of the transit infrastructure in conjunction with private development.  It is expected that the development partners would go through the City’s development approvals process and meet all City requirements.

City Planning will bring forward all planning approvals for TOCs related to GO and SmartTrack Stations to Council as per the existing City approvals process.

Background & Context

The Provincial Transit Oriented Communities Program has the following objectives:

  • Increase transit ridership and reduce traffic congestion;
  • Increase housing supply (including affordable housing) and jobs;
  • Stimulate the economy after COVID-19 through major projects for years; and
  • Bring retail and community amenities (for example, libraries) within walking distance of public transit stations.

Between 2020 and 2022, Council adopted several decisions to advance this program:

  • A final assessment (EX31.2) for the first series of Ontario Line Transit Oriented Communities (TOCs) to be received by the City in advance of the issuance of MZOs to authorize zoning for the projects. Council provided direction on community benefits, parkland dedication, City-use spaces at the First Parliament TOC, affordable housing, and authorization to enter into implementing agreements.
  • An East Harbour Transit Oriented Communities Proposal (EX31.5), which outlined the terms and approach to be incorporated into the drafting of Implementing Agreements between the City, the Province of Ontario, and Cadillac Fairview.
  • A Provincial Transit Oriented Communities Program (EX23.3),which provided additional direction on early planning for TOC projects and specific directions concerning the TOC proposal at the First Parliament site.
  • A Transit Oriented Communities Update (TE29.17)that outlined Council expectations for TOC public engagement and staff reporting, as well as affordable housing targets.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (EX12.3) between the City and the Province that established shared objectives for TOC and identified roles and responsibilities of the City and Province in the delivery of TOC projects.

Truth, Justice & Reconciliation

The City and Province are actively discussing how to collaborate on engagement with Indigenous Peoples. Engagement will address program-wide matters as well as explore site-specific issues and opportunities. The City’s Reconciliation Action Plan will guide city work on engagement activities.

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Provincial TOC program objectives articulate a commitment to building complete communities at major transit stations.  This includes providing a range of housing unit sizes and affordable housing units, as well as retail, food service and office employment spaces.  All TOCs will be within walking distance of major transit stations.

During the review of TOC proposals, City Planning engages with City service providers to explore opportunities to secure spaces for public services within TOC developments.  These services may include child care facilities, a library branches, and/or community meeting spaces, among others.  The developments will be subject to Community Benefit Charges which will provide funding for public services.

Key Contact

James Perttula
Director, Transportation Planning, 416-392-4744

Additional Resources