Process for responding to concerns about the calculation of the applicable charge

This page outlines the process for addressing questions or concerns about a development charge calculation applicable to a specific land development proposal, including payment under protest and statutory complaints. This process does not apply to challenges to the by-law itself, which is governed by a separate appeal process.


Development charges applicable to land development proposals are calculated and collected by Toronto Building staff. Development charges are calculated based on plans and other information submitted with building permit and planning applications in accordance with the City’s development charges by-law and related policies. The City’s development charges by-law and rates can be found on the City’s development charges website.

Building permit applicants are encouraged to work with Toronto Building staff regarding any questions or concerns on the calculation of a development charge. However, under certain conditions if a dispute about the charge is unresolved, applicants are afforded certain rights under the Development Charge Act, as follows:

Under Section 20 of the DC Act, a person required to pay a development charge may complain to Council.

Complaint to council of municipality

20 (1) A person required to pay a development charge, or the person’s agent, may complain to the council of the municipality imposing the development charge that,

(a) the amount of the development charge was incorrectly determined;

(b) whether a credit is available to be used against the development charge, or the amount of the credit or the service with respect to which the credit was given, was incorrectly determined; or

(c) there was an error in the application of the development charge by-law.  1997, c. 27, s. 20 (1).

Time limit

(2) A complaint may not be made under subsection (1) later than 90 days after the day the development charge, or any part of it, is payable.  1997, c. 27, s. 20 (2).

Form of complaint

(3) The complaint must be in writing, must state the complainant’s name, the address where notice can be given to the complainant and the reasons for the complaint.  1997, c. 27, s. 20 (3).


(4) The council shall hold a hearing into the complaint and shall give the complainant an opportunity to make representations at the hearing.  1997, c. 27, s. 20 (4).

Council’s powers

(6) After hearing the evidence and submissions of the complainant, the council may dismiss the complaint or rectify any incorrect determination or error that was the subject of the complaint.  1997, c. 27, s. 20 (6).

The following information describes how an applicant may submit an inquiry challenging the application of the City of Toronto Development Charges By-law.

Making a Development Charge Calculation Inquiry or Complaint

Step 1

The applicant is encouraged to speak with Toronto Building staff about any concerns with the calculation of a development charge.

Step 2

If resolution was not achieved under Step 1, the applicant may make a formal complaint to the City Clerk’s Office.

Complaints related to development charges and education development charges must be made in writing through the City Clerk’s Office by email ( or by mail at the following address:


Executive Committee, City Clerk’s Office

10th floor, West Tower, City Hall

100 Queen Street West

Toronto, ON M5H 2N2


For questions about how to submit the complaint, please contact the City Clerk’s Office by phone at 416-396-7287 or by email at

If delivering in-person, drop off at Registry Services Counter, Toronto City Hall.

Hours: Monday to Friday (except holidays)

8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.


The complaint should include all relevant details explaining why the applicant believes the amount of the development charge was incorrectly determined or why there was an error in the calculations of the Development Charges By-law as required by section 20 (above).

This process applies equally to any complaint regarding the payment of Education Development Charges. Under section 257.85 of the Education Act, the City is responsible for handling complaints regarding the payment of Education Development Charges so any complaint regarding the payment of Education Development Charges should be submitted to the City Clerk at the address above.

The complaint will be forwarded to the Office of the Controller for review.

Step 3

The Office of the Controller will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within five business days, initiate an investigation and respond upon the conclusion of the review.

As part of the investigation, the Office of the Controller will make a determination as to whether it is a complaint that meets the requirements of section 20 of the Ontario Development Charges Act, 1997, c. 27, s. 20, which entitles the applicant to certain procedural rights under the Act, re-iterated in excerpts of the Act above.

Examples of Section 20 complaints:

  • Incorrect calculation of development charge
  • Interpretation of the Exemptions, Reductions, and Unit Types

If the complaint is determined not to be a Section 20 statutory complaint, staff will respond with the procedural options available to the complainant.

Examples of a non-Section 20 complaints:

  1. Administrative delays in planning or building permit approvals
  2. Development Charge rates are too high / should be reduced

The City’s written response will include:

  • Confirmation of the applied charge or adjustment to the applied charge;
  • A determination if the inquiry constitutes a statutory complaint under section 20 of the Development Charges Act; and
  • Description of the procedural options available to the complainant, as appropriate.

Step 4

If the matter is determined to be a Section 20 complaint and is unresolved, staff will schedule a hearing at Executive Committee, with a final decision by Council, and advise the complainant on timelines and procedures, including the opportunity for the complainant to make representations at the hearing.

The City’s Hearing Procedure is online.

Step 5

If the complainant is not satisfied with a decision made in Step 4, or if a Section 20 complaint has not been dealt with within 60 days of the complaint, or if staff determine that the complaint does not fall under the criteria for a Section 20 complaint, the complainant may appeal the decision to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal.

Related Laws and Resources