Records held by municipal governments are regulated by the provincial Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and the City of Toronto Act. MFIPPA states that, in general, the public has a right to see most of these records, and to get copies of them (fees for photocopying may apply). There are specific exemptions to general access to records, especially regarding personal information.

Records are made available in numerous ways:

  • Routine disclosure: Divisions and program areas automatically make information available to the public when it is requested, and by publishing it online or in a printed form such as brochures and reports.
  • Formal request: When a Division or program area denies a request for information, a formal Freedom of Information request can be made through the City Clerk’s Office, Access and Privacy Unit.
  • By appeal: If a Freedom of Information (FOI) request is denied by the City, the decision can be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.

A record is information recorded or stored in any manner, including print, film, digital or otherwise. The content may include reports, forms, financial statements, minutes, correspondence, email, maps, photographs and more.

Fees

Photocopying charges should be applied at a cost of $0.50 per page. If amount is under $10.00, no fee is collected.

See the Request to View File form.

Purpose

  • Enhance transparency by routinely disclosing information about planning applications
  • Provide better service to the public by providing access to information without going through a formal FOI process
  • Be more cost effective to the City than FOI
  • Improve compliance with the principles of MFIPPA

Applicability

This Routine Disclosure Plan applies to planning applications as well as meetings held by the Design Review Panel. The types of planning applications include Official Plan Amendments, Zoning Amendments, Subdivision, Part Lot Control Exemption, Site Plan Control approval, Condominium, Committee of Adjustment Consents and Minor Variances.

This Routine Disclosure Plan generally applies to planning application files applied for since 2008, except for files that are under review by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Requests for information from planning application files prior to 2008 or at the OMB should be made through a formal FOI request. Please see Making a Formal FOI Request below.

This Routine Disclosure Plan does not apply to other types of planning files, including transportation studies, policy studies, avenue studies, research files, and pre-application files. For the release of information from these types of files, the requester may need to file a formal FOI request. Please contact the respective Planning Manager for further direction on these types of Planning Files.

Under the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.13, s.1.0.1, all information and material that is required to be provided to the City of Toronto respecting planning applications shall be made available to the public.

As set out in the City’s Planning Application Forms, the applicant grants the City permission to reproduce, in whole or in part, any document submitted as part of a complete application for internal use, inclusion in staff reports or distribution to the public either online or through other means for the purpose of application review. In addition, the applicant agrees to provide a reasonable number of copies of any such document, or parts thereof, in paper and/or electronic form, to the City for internal use and distribution to the public for the purpose of application review.

The requester must complete a Request to View File form in order to view a planning application file.

 

Below is a sample of documents found in a typical planning application file and whether or not the information can be released through routine disclosure.

Record Type Description Comments How to Get Information
Planning Application Forms Forms that have been submitted in support of a planning application Can be viewed, copied and released. Through the District Planner assigned to the file or
the Application Information Centre (AIC)
Drawings Prepared by Engineer or Architect, Property Surveys Drawings or surveys submitted to the City in support of a planning application. Drawings (with the exception of Plans stamped “without prejudice” or where a security risk has been identified by the proponent) can be viewed, copied and released. Through the District Planner assigned to the file or
the Application Information Centre (AIC)
Requests for Comments Form (Circulation Form) Form that is circulated with a planning application. Can be viewed, copied and released. Through the District Planner assigned to the file.
Formal Comments from Divisions/ Agencies/ Planning Staff A formal comment can be a memo, letter or e-mail from a responding division or agency in response to a planning application. Formal comments can be viewed, copied and released.

A formal comment from Legal Services or portions of a formal comment which include comments from Legal Services, or other solicitors retained by the City, are confidential and cannot be viewed, copied or released.

Through the District Planner assigned to the file.
Correspondence from Proponent Correspondence from the proponent of a planning application. All correspondence and documentation submitted by the applicant that is used in assessing the application and forming a planning opinion, can be viewed, copied and released. Through the District Planner assigned to the file or
the Application Information Centre (AIC)
Proponent Studies Studies submitted to the City in support of a Planning application. Studies (with the exception of archaeological studies, or where a security risk has been identified by the proponent) can be viewed, copied and released. Through the District Planner assigned to the file or
the Application Information Centre (AIC)
Staff Reports Once published on an agenda, staff reports can be viewed, copied and released.

Staff reports which have not been published on an agenda cannot be viewed, copied or released.

See staff reports and related information about applications that
have been submitted to City Council or a Council Committee
Community Consultation Meeting Records, with the exception of Community Consultation Meeting Sign-In Sheets Community Consultation Meeting Records, excluding Meeting Sign-In Sheets, can be viewed, copied and released to the public or may be published online on purpose-built web sites to support individual projects.

Community Consultation Meeting Sign-In Sheets cannot be viewed, copied or released.

Through the District Planner or Project Manager assigned to the file or online.
Budget Reports Reports submitted as part of City Planning’s annual operating and capital budget submissions Once published on an agenda, reports on the City’s annual Budget Process can be viewed, copied and released.  See the Budget Process
Maps Outlining Area of Circulation for Mailing Lists Maps outlining area of circulation for mailing lists for Notices as specified under the Planning Act. Map outlining area of circulation, if available in the file, can be viewed, copied and released. Through the District Planner assigned to the file.
Emails/Letters from or to Residents If correspondence is received from the public, it is part of the public record and it can be viewed, copied and released.

If someone has specifically requested removal of their personal information, the document must be redacted (i.e. blacked out) before it can be viewed, copied and released.

Through the District Planner assigned to the file.
Agreements of Purchase and Sale, Site Plan Control Agreements, Section 37 Agreements, etc. Finalized Agreements that are not yet registered on title are available for viewing only.

Draft Agreements cannot be viewed, copied or released.

Offers of Purchase and Sale cannot be viewed, copied or released.

Through the District Planner assigned to the file.

Registered Agreements are not available through
Routine Disclosure.

Registered Agreements are available to the public through
the Provincial Land Registry System at the Land Registry Office.

Design Review Panel: Meeting Schedule, Agenda and Minutes Meeting Schedule Agenda and Minutes
Design Review Panel: Filming of Meetings Electronic copy of meeting proceedings

Access to City records not available to the public through a Routine Disclosure Plan may potentially be obtained by submitting a Freedom of Information request. Freedom of Information requests are processed by the City Clerk’s Office, Access and Privacy Unit.

See a list and detailed description of the City’s general classes or types of records and personal information banks is available.

See more information concerning a Freedom of Information requests.

Where an appellant has received an Ontario Municipal Board directive to issue a Notice of Hearing to interested parties, the following procedure applies concerning access to:

  • Non-Committee of Adjustment applications, the request should be to City Clerk’s District specific Community Council Office
  • For Committee of Adjustment applications
  • For a 60m mailing list, the request should be made to the District City Clerk’s Office to generate the list from the assessment roll
  • For the interested party list, appellants are to submit a written request to the District specific Deputy Secretary Treasurer with a copy of the OMB order attached