This section of the Development Guide will focus on Draft Plan of Subdivision Applications. Draft Plan of Subdivision Applications are used to divide larger parcels of land into a significant number of lots and/or blocks which may contain streets, parks and municipal services.

Section 51 of the Planning Act grants the City authority to regulate the division of land through Plans of Subdivision. This authority is used to provide for the orderly servicing and development of large parcels of land in accordance with appropriate municipal regulations and standards. Issues that are examined during the review of Plans of Subdivision include whether the land is suitable for the proposed subdivision, the adequacy of utilities, municipal services and school sites and the conservation of natural resources.

Plans of Subdivision will usually include information on new municipal infrastructure (i.e., water and sewer servicing and new roads), lot and block patterns and any park and/or school sites. Plans of subdivision are also typically used to create public rights-of-way for municipal services.

If you wish to divide your land into lots, blocks or units which can be sold, you must apply for one of the following:

This section of the Development Guide will focus on Draft Plan of Subdivision Applications. Draft Plan of Subdivision Applications are used to divide larger parcels of land into a significant number of lots and/or blocks which may contain streets, parks and municipal services.

Consents for Severance are used to divide smaller parcels of land into a few lots (one large single-family lot into two or three lots, for example). Consent applications are decided by the Committee of Adjustment and are not subject to the STAR process. Please refer to the Committee of Adjustment section of this guide for additional information.

If you are uncertain whether your development proposal requires a Draft Plan of Subdivision or a Consent, contact the Planning Consultant at your local Customer Service counter. You should also consider applying for a Project Review to confirm that your proposal complies with the Zoning By-law.

To ensure the City’s interests are met and to appropriately assess the merits and technical aspects of your proposal, the City requires submission of a number of information items with your application(s).

These are outlined below as Submission Requirements (those that will be required for the majority of applications).

A pre-application consultation meeting is recommended to assist in determining which of these requirements must be provided as part of your initial application submission in order for it to be considered a complete application.

The City will endeavour to review your application and render a decision within the STAR (Streamlining the Application Review) target timelines. The City’s commitment to the STAR target timelines will only begin once a complete application submission is received.

The level of detail required for most of the reports/studies listed below can vary, depending on the nature of your property and your proposal. In some cases, a single-page letter from a qualified expert will be adequate, while in other situations a major study will be necessary. The requirement and scope of any reports/studies can be assessed during your pre-application consultation meeting.

All submissions must include a covering memo indicating all submitted materials along with either Planning Application Checklist, OR the Pre-Application Consultation Checklist received from your Pre-Application meeting.

Submission Requirements

Forms

 Plans

Information/Studies

In addition to the prescribed requirements of the Planning Act, the following non-prescribed information will also be required to evaluate a planning application, unless it is determined that certain studies, plans, drawings and reports are not applicable.

Submission of Application

After receiving your application and application fees, the City will:

  • Circulate your application to City divisions and external agencies for detailed technical review and comment (refer to Application Circulation section below); and
  • Issue a written decision on the completeness of your application within 30 days, in accordance with the legislative requirements of the Planning Act and assign it a STAR (Streamlining the Application Review) stream (refer to Complete Application Decision section below).

Within 14 days of submitting your application, you will be required to post a sign on the subject property in accordance with the procedures outlined in the application form. Contact the district Planning Consultant to obtain the name of the Planner assigned to your file and the City Application File Number.

Complete Application Decision

The Toronto Official Plan provides the City the statutory authority to require information, studies and plans for a complete application submission beyond the minimum requirements of the Planning Act. The City will consider your application(s) to be complete if it meets the complete application submission requirements of the Planning Act and Toronto Official Plan.

Within 30 days of payment of the application fee, you will be advised in writing as to:

  • the completeness or incompleteness of your application(s) in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act and Toronto Official Plan; and
  • the assigned STAR stream and application file number.

A complete application submission will allow a more efficient and comprehensive review of all supporting material by the City and will trigger the following:

  • The City’s commitment to meet the STAR target timelines. Draft Plan of Subdivision applications will be assigned a STAR Stream of “Complex” and are targeted for a decision within 9 months from a complete application submission; and
  • The timeframe under the Planning Act for the City to make a decision on the application.

Within 15 days of your application being deemed complete, the City will also issue a formal Notice of Application to the public in the newspaper, confirming receipt of your application in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act and Toronto Official Plan.

The City will consider your application(s) to be “incomplete” if it does not meet the complete application submission requirements of the Planning Act and Toronto Official Plan. Incomplete Application(s) Notifications will be accompanied by a listing of outstanding information and/or material that must be submitted for your application to be considered complete.

The Planning Act provides an administrative process that allows you to appeal the City’s decision on your application completeness within 30 days after receipt of a negative notice by filing a motion for directions to have the Ontario Municipal Board determine:

  • whether the information and material have in fact been provided; or
  • whether a requirement made was reasonable

You are encouraged to submit all outstanding information and material as one comprehensive package. The City will process all applications to the greatest extent possible, however, the City’s STAR target timeline commitments for review of your application will only commence once a complete application is submitted.

Application Circulation

Your application will be circulated to a number of City Divisions and/or Agencies, Boards and Commissions for detailed technical review and comment. A complete application submission allows staff to undertake a more comprehensive review of your proposal and will help to reduce overall processing times.

The STAR process targets the first internal comments be provided to the City Planning Division within 8 weeks of the initial application submission.

Depending upon the circumstances of your property, various external agencies may also be asked to comment on your proposal. For example, if your property is close to a watercourse, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority will be asked for their input and/or approval (a service for which the TRCA charges). If your property is next to a rail line, the appropriate rail authority will be asked to comment. Refer to the External Agencies, Boards and Commissions page for a list of external agencies that may be asked to comment on your application.

Community Consultation Meeting

Although not required by the Planning Act, staff may hold a meeting with the local community on your Draft Plan of Subdivision application. This meeting is organized by Planning staff and usually attended by the Ward Councillor.

The meeting provides staff an opportunity to outline the planning process to the local community and you an opportunity to publicly present your proposal. It also provides the local community an opportunity to comment on the proposal. This input is taken into account by City staff when discussing revisions to your proposal.

Technical review of your application will continue during this process.

Response to Applicant

The Planner assigned to your application(s) co-ordinates responses from the circulation and any comments from the public. These responses are then forwarded to you for the purpose of revising your proposal.

While the Planner may provide you with early responses from City divisions, the STAR process targets the Planner to give you a response within 9 weeks of your application submission.

Application Revision and Resubmission

In response to the comments on your initial submission, you may be required to revise your proposal and/or provide additional information and material. Revised and/or additional information and material should be discussed, co-ordinated and submitted to the Planner.

Please Note:

  • You must include a covering letter with all resubmissions that clearly indicates how and where your proposal has been revised and, if appropriate, why any requested revisions were not made.
  • The target timelines of the STAR process assume you will make an appropriate resubmission to the City within 6 weeks of being advised that additional information and/or material is required. Should this not occur, the STAR target timelines may not be met.

It is during this step that the value of Pre-Application Consultation and the submission of a complete application is realized. The time and cost incurred by you from additional cycles of revisions and resubmissions can be significantly reduced by these actions.

Recirculation, Consultation, Further Revisions and Finalization of Application

This step in the process involves:

  • Recirculating your revised proposal to the City Divisions, and/or Agencies, Boards and Commissions that need to review the changes;
  • Holding further discussions over new material and/or technical matters;
  • Conducting further consultations with the Ward Councillor or the local community; and
  • Undertaking subsequent resubmissions and recirculations arising from these considerations.

These steps may be repeated until your application is finalized.

Public Meeting at Community Council

The Planning Act requires that the City hold a Public Meeting to consider all applications for Plans of Subdivision. This responsibility has been assigned to the four Community Councils and, if the application has City-wide significance, the Planning and Growth Management Committee.

Once your application(s) has been finalized, the City will issue a formal notice of the Public Meeting in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act. The City also require you to post the date and time of the Public Meeting on the sign erected on the property.

A Final Report that contains staff recommendations on your application is prepared for Community Council. The purpose of the Public Meeting is to consider the staff report and provide a public forum for debate on the merits of your application. You will have an opportunity to present your proposal, the public can write in or attend to make their views known and Community Council has the opportunity to evaluate your application.

City Council Decision

Community Councils and/or Planning and Growth Management Committee are empowered to make recommendations on your application to City Council. City Council has delegated the approval authority for Plans of Subdivision to the Chief Planner, and makes recommendations to the Chief Planner based on the input of the Community Council and/or Planning and Growth Management Committee.

Draft Approval of Plan of Subdivision

The STAR process target for your application to receive Draft Plan Approval by the Chief Planner is within 9 months of a complete application submission.

The Planning Act provides an administrative process to appeal the decision to the Local Planning Approval Tribunal (LPAT) on Draft Plan of Subdivision applications.

  • The City must issue a notice within 15 days of the Chief Planner’s draft approval.
  • After this notice has been issued, there is a 20 day period within which a party can appeal this approval to the LPAT.
  • If no appeal is submitted, the approval is deemed to be in effect.

A similar administrative and appeal procedure applies should the City refuse your application.

If no appeal is submitted, the draft approval of your Plan of Subdivision comes into full force and effect on the day it was passed. You can begin to satisfy the conditions of your draft approval and work towards the registration of your plan of subdivision.

This complex flowchart shows the application process for Draft Plan of Subdivision. For more information, please email developingtoronto@toronto.ca