Ontario’s Planning Act (Section 51) grants the City authority to regulate the division of land through Plans of Subdivision. Through the review of Plans of Subdivision the City will examine whether the land is suitable for the proposed subdivision, the number and location of new public streets and their connection to the broader transportation network, the adequacy of utilities, municipal services and school sites, and the conservation of natural resources.
Draft Plan of Subdivision Applications are used to divide larger and/or contiguous landholdings into new parcels of land which commonly establish new development blocks. Through this process, new public streets, public parks and municipal services may also be provided to support the new development blocks.
If you are not sure whether your development proposal requires a Draft Plan of Subdivision, contact the district Planning Consultant (listed under Contact Information). You should also consider applying for a Zoning Applicable Law Certificate Program (ZAP) review to confirm that your proposal complies with the Zoning By-law.
As of April 3, 2023, if you are applying for a Draft Plan of Subdivision, you will be required to consult with the City through a Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation to, among other matters, assist in determining which application requirements must be provided as part of your initial submission in order for it to be considered a complete application.
The level of detail required for most of the application requirements listed below can vary, depending on the nature of your property and your proposal. The requirements and scope of any reports or studies will be assessed during your meeting.
After your Pre-Application Consultation, you will receive a Planning Application Checklist that will tell you which of the following application requirements are required (in addition to the minimum application requirements set out in the Planning Act, the City of Toronto Act, and the Official Plan) in order for your application to be considered complete.
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, listed below.
In addition to the prescribed requirements of the Planning Act and the City of Toronto Act, the following information and material will be required under the Planning Act, the City of Toronto Act and this Official Plan, unless it is determined that certain studies, plans, drawings and reports are not applicable:
All submissions must include a covering memo listing all the submitted materials along with the Submission Checklist.
The process for submitting a planning application to the City is as follows:
After receiving your submission (which includes all application requirements and payment), the City will circulate your application to City divisions and external agencies and issue a written decision as to whether the submission is complete or incomplete in accordance with the City’s minimum application requirements (refer to the Complete Application Decision section below).
Within 14 days of submission, you will be required to post a sign on the subject property in accordance with the procedures outlined in the application form.
The Toronto Official Plan provides the City the statutory authority to require additional information, studies and plans for submitting a complete application beyond the prescribed requirements of the Planning Act. The City will consider your application to be “complete” when it includes all of the minimum application requirements as well as any materials included on your Planning Application Checklist.
Within 30 days of making your submission (including payment), you will be advised in writing as to whether the submission is complete or incomplete.
Submitting a complete application to the City will allow for a more efficient and comprehensive review of all materials and will mark the beginning of the time period under the Planning Act for the City to make a decision on the application.
For Draft Plan of Subdivision applications, within 15 days of your submission being deemed complete, the City Clerk will also issue a formal Notice of Application to the public in the newspaper, in accordance with the Planning Act.
The City will consider your application to be “incomplete” if it does not meet the minimum application requirements. Incomplete Application Notifications will be accompanied by a list of outstanding information and/or material that must be submitted for your submission to be determined to be complete.
If you disagree with the City’s determination of whether the submission is incomplete or if the City does not make a decision on the completeness of the submission within 30 days, the Planning Act allows you to file a motion for directions to request the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) determine whether the information and material have in fact been provided; or whether a requirement was reasonable.
You are encouraged to submit all outstanding information and material as one comprehensive package. The application circulation and review process will only commence once a complete application is made to the City.
Your application will be circulated to a number of City Divisions and/or Agencies, Boards and Commissions for detailed technical review and comment.
Depending upon the circumstances of your property, 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 web page for a list of external agencies that may be asked to comment on your application.
Although not required by the Planning Act, a community consultation meeting may be held on your Draft Plan of Subdivision application. This meeting is organized by City Planning staff and is usually attended by the Ward Councillor.
The community consultation meeting:
The planner assigned to your application will co-ordinate responses from the circulation along with any comments received from the Ward Councillor and the local community. These responses will be forwarded for you to consider as you revise your proposal.
In response to the comments on your initial submission, you may be asked to revise your proposal and/or provide additional information and material. Revised and/or additional information and material should be discussed and co-ordinated with the planner and resubmitted through Toronto Building Customer Service Staff.
You will be asked to 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.
This step in the process involves:
These steps may be repeated until your application is finalized.
The Planning Act requires that the City hold a public meeting when considering applications for Plans of Subdivision. The public meeting takes place at the meeting of one of the four Community Councils considering your proposal. If the application has city-wide significance, it is considered by the Planning and Housing Committee.
Once your application has been finalized, the City will issue a formal notice of the public meeting. The City also requires that you post the date and time of the public meeting on the sign erected on the property.
City staff will prepare and submit a Report with recommendations on your application to Community Council. At the public meeting, members of Council will consider the staff report and provide a public forum for debate on the merits of your application. You have an opportunity to present and respond to questions about your proposal and the public can write in or attend to make their views known before Community Council makes a recommendation on your application(s).
Community Council or the Planning and Housing 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 or the Planning and Housing Committee.
The Planning Act provides a process to appeal the decision to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) on Draft Plan of Subdivision applications.
The City will issue a notice of approval 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 OLT. 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.
A similar appeal procedure applies should the City refuse your application.
*Words in bold are defined in the Glossary of Terms.