These Notes are part of a series of Notes on key City issues to update City Council at the start of its 2018 – 2022 term.

What are the Issues?

Click on the link below each issue to read the full Note.

Official Plan – Growth Management Strategy

Toronto’s strong development prospects will bring more people and jobs to the city, and an increased demand on existing infrastructure for both hard and soft services. Managing this growth is critical for the city’s quality of life. Understanding development trends, directing growth and ensuring that growth is aligned with infrastructure is an ongoing process for the City and requires a regular review of Provincial growth plans and the City’s Official Plan.

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Overview of Waterfront Revitalization

The revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront is one of the largest urban redevelopment projects underway in North America. To lead the project, Waterfront Toronto was established in 2003 by the governments of Canada, Ontario and Toronto. Almost $1.5 billion in tri-government funding has been invested in waterfront revitalization, attracting thousands of new residents and jobs. In addition, governments have allocated $1.25 billion in funding over seven years for Port Lands Flood Protection.

Overall, considerable momentum has been built. However, with the forecasted addition of 40,000 new residents and 40,000 new jobs, revitalization is far from complete. There is a need to maintain momentum and invest in the infrastructure that future residents and businesses will need.

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Bill 139 Implementation – New Planning Appeal System

In April 2018, the Province of Ontario proclaimed into law the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 (Bill 139). The Bill introduced significant changes to the planning appeal system and has a considerable impact on the City’s planning and development application review and approval process.

Implementation will require the City to manage reforms to existing processes required to implement Bill 139, and respond to the surge in the number of appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board prompted by the transition to the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LAPT) appeals process.

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Parks, Recreation and Leisure

Torontonians want safe parks and public spaces, easy access to recreation facilities and programs, and natural spaces that respond to and reflect changing demographics, and community needs.

Council has adopted the Community Recreation Growth Plan, Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan, Ravine Strategy, and Parks Plan to guide decision-making and investment in parks and recreation facilities, increase public engagement in parks, and preserve and enhance Toronto’s natural heritage. These plans further align with and help to advance, citywide strategies including the Seniors Strategy, Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy, Poverty Reduction Strategy, Climate Change, Clean Air and Sustainable Energy Action Plan.

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Alternative Parkland Dedication Policy

The Planning Act (Section 42) allows the City to establish an alternative parkland dedication rate to require the dedication of parkland or cash-in-lieu to purchase or improve parkland as a condition of development or redevelopment. The City’s current alternate rate is 0.4 hectares per 300 units capped by site size. Over the past 12 years, the intensity of development has significantly increased although the alternative rate has remained unchanged. A new rate is required that reflects today’s development environment.

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Major Capital Projects Process

In 2018, the City will have invested more than $720 million to maintain and upgrade its infrastructure in the public right of way. An estimated $360 million was earmarked for roads, expressways, bridges (including rehabilitation of the F. G. Gardiner Expressway); $300 million on sewers and water mains; and $60 million on basement flooding protection.

While these investments help address the City’s significant infrastructure renewal backlog and provide longer-term benefits, construction activities will have some adverse impacts on traffic, road users, residents, and businesses in the short term.

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