The Pre-Application Consultation process gives various stakeholders – including development applicants, City staff, Councillors, members of the public and residents of local communities – the opportunity to engage in the development review process by taking part in preliminary discussion about a development proposal.
Effective consultation at the outset of the development review process supports good city-building outcomes in several ways, including by:
The Pre-Application Consultation process is designed to provide all stakeholders engaged in development review with consistent information and to ensure a consistent level of service across City divisions delivering development review. It results in collaborative and productive working relationships. The City offers services aimed at helping applicants determine application requirements and supporting good city-building outcomes.
As of April 3, 2023, Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meetings will be required in Toronto by Chapter 415, Article II, Section 19.2, of the Toronto Municipal Code, for the application types listed below. Chapter 5.5 of the City’s Official Plan provides policy direction to support the practice.
The new process provides a more structured approach aimed at clarifying application requirements at the outset of the development review process. Applicants and staff will have a clear understanding of what the Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting entails. Applicants will be informed of the materials they need to provide to the City in order to submit a complete application given current information and they will have the opportunity to receive draft advisory comments from the City to aid them in submitting a complete development application. See the Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation Meeting: Review Procedure section to learn more about how the meetings will work.
As of April 3, 2023, all requests for Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meetings must be submitted through the new online request form in the Application Submission Tool (AST) in accordance with the City’s commitment to Electronic Service Delivery. Questions about the Application Submission Tool (AST) may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of April 3, 2023, Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meetings will be required in Toronto by Chapter 415, Article II, Section 19.2 of the Toronto Municipal Code. The Municipal Code requires Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meetings for four application types. Chapter 5.5 of the City’s Official Plan also supports the practice.
If your project requires more than one application type, you will need a Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting for each application type. Exception: Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment may be combined.
The City strongly discourages applicants from submitting concurrent PAC meeting requests for Zoning By-law Amendment (ZBA)/ Site Plan Control (SPC) or Official Plan Amendment (OPA)/ZBA/SPC applications. Should an applicant submit a concurrent PAC meeting request, staff will schedule and hold a separate PAC meeting for the SPC application. The City will issue a separate checklist for the SPC application, advising the applicant that the SPC application may be premature.
The scope of the Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting is specifically focused on two primary objectives:
The outcome of a Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting is a Planning Application Checklist Package, which will provide you with both a checklist of the planning materials that are required for your specific proposal (e.g., required plans, studies, reports) and advisory comments related to the City’s policy framework to aid you in developing your application submission.
The City ensures that a Core Team is circulated on every Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting. The Core Team consists of reviewers from the following units and divisions:
Additional reviewers may also be included based on the nature of the proposal, such as:
If you are applying to a funding program such as Housing Now, Rapid Rehousing Initiative or Open Door through the Housing Secretariat, you need to identify this when submitting your Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting request through the Application Submission Tool (AST).
For more background on the Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting, please refer to the Report for Action.
You will be required to pay a non-refundable fee (PAC Fee Deposit) of $700 prior to the meeting. Instructions for payment will be emailed to you once your request for a meeting has been approved.
The fee is a deposit, which will be deducted from the development application submission fees when you submit the development application in accordance with the Guidelines below. If you decide not to submit an application after the meeting, there is no refund for the deposit.
Please note that a separate Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation Meeting fee is applied for each individual application type (Official Plan Amendment, Zoning By-law Amendment, Draft Plan of Subdivision, Site Plan Control).
The applicant is advised that the development application that they submit after the Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting:
Please note that if the Guidelines are not followed:
When you submit a request for a Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting, you are required to submit two materials: a Concept Site Plan and Concept Elevations and/or Renderings. Submitting the required materials will reduce delays in processing your request.
To request a Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting, complete the online form using the Application Submission Tool (AST). For technical assistance on using the Application Submission Tool, please email email@example.com.
When completing the form, you will need to provide information about the property and your proposal, in addition to uploading the required documents as listed in Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation Meeting: Application Requirements. Provide as much information as possible as it allows City staff in scoping the discussion at your Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting.
You will also need to indicate the names of all parties you will bring to the meeting. Note: Should you seek to bring legal representation, please refer to our procedure at the end of this section.*
Once you submit the Pre-Application Consultation meeting request, you will receive a confirmation number. A Toronto Building Planning Consultant will check your documents against the stated standards. If any are missing, the Planning Consultant will ask you to provide the required information or documents. Submitting the required materials at the time of the request reduces delays in processing your meeting request.
After all the required information and documents are received, the Planning Consultant will email you a Pre-Application Consultation folder number and the instructions to pay the Pre-Application Consultation fee.
To reduce delays in securing a meeting date, the City encourages you to complete payment as soon as you receive payment instructions from the Planning Consultant.
Payment can be made with a credit card either online at Toronto Building Payments Online or over the phone at 416-397-5222. You will receive an email to confirm receipt of your payment.
The fee must be paid within sixty (60) business days of receiving instructions for payment. If you fail to make payment within this period, the City will close your Pre-Application Consultation file. Once the file is closed, you will need to submit a new request for a Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting through the Application Submission Tool (AST).
An Application Coordinator will contact you to schedule the meeting within ten business days of the confirmation of your payment. You will be given one to two potential meeting times and asked to confirm the times that work for you within one to two business days. Any delay in confirming a time may result in delays to the overall process, as the provided meeting times will not be held past this point.
A Community Planner will chair the meeting, with members of the Core and Extended Teams in attendance as needed. You will be given five minutes to make a presentation about the location of the site and the proposal, highlighting any unique features. If more time is required to provide a presentation about the proposal, more than one Pre-Application Consultation Meeting may be required to satisfy Chapter 415, Article II, Section 19.2 of the Toronto Municipal Code.
The City will discuss with you the general application requirements, and you will be given the opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification on the application requirements and draft comments provided by the City. Additional discussion may take place regarding the application proposal and any issues or opportunities identified by either you or the reviewers.
The submission materials that you present at the Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting must be identical to the ones that you submitted through the Application Submission Tool (AST) as part of your request. Staff will only discuss the submission materials that were provided in advance of the meeting.
The level of detail required for most of the application requirements 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 Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation, you will receive a Planning Application Checklist Package 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. You must wait until after you have received your Planning Application Checklist Package before you can submit your application.
Within five business days of the meeting, the Community Planner will email you the finalized Planning Application Checklist Package. At this point, you can continue developing your application for submission based on the directions provided by the City. If you need clarification on the application requirements, you may directly contact the reviewers assigned to your Pre-Application Consultation meeting using the contact information included in the Planning Application Checklist Package. Please note that at the time of application submission, it remains the applicant’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all requirements for a complete application as prescribed under the Planning Act, the City of Toronto Act, 2006 and the City’s Official Plan at the time of submission.
The Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation process is complete once you have attended the Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting and received the Planning Application Checklist Package. After receipt of the Planning Application Checklist Package, you can prepare all of the materials that are listed on the Planning Application Checklist that will be sent to you after your Pre-Application Consultation. You are also required to review the Planning Act, the City of Toronto Act (where applicable) and the Official Plan to ensure you have provided the required application information and materials to support the application(s) in accordance with the City’s Terms of Reference.
If you choose to modify your proposal after the meeting in a way that differs from staff comments and recommendations, a new Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting may be required. Contact the Planner to confirm if the changes to your proposal will result in changes to your Planning Application Checklist Package − if changes are needed, a new meeting may be required. This helps the City maintain records of the requests and responses to each of the proposals that are discussed and ensure that the application submitted satisfies the requirements of Chapter 415, Article II, Section 19.2 of the Toronto Municipal Code.
* Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meetings are intended to be an open, free-flowing discussion on a future development application between applicants and the City and it is not expected or required that legal representation would attend. In rare circumstances where the applicant provides a justification as to why a legal representative should attend, a request of City Legal Services will be made to have a City lawyer also attend the Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting. The Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting will be scheduled based on the availability of Legal Services to attend such a meeting. If a legal representative or counsel is present at a pre-application consultation meeting where it has not been pre-arranged, the meeting will be immediately cancelled and rescheduled for another time. In such circumstances, the applicant will not have satisfied the Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting requirement in accordance with Chapter 415, Article II, Section 19.2 of the Toronto Municipal Code until the rescheduled meeting is held.
Other services such as General Pre-Application Inquiry and the Zoning Applicable Law Certificate Program are voluntary yet encouraged as they provide opportunities for applicants to get a clearer understanding of what application(s) may be needed. Additionally, while voluntary, the Official Plan, Chapter 5.5 encourages applicants to start outreach to Councillors, local communities and other stakeholders before submitting their application(s).
During the early stages of forming your proposal, resources are available to you both online and through informal discussion with the City. Pre-Application Inquiry can take many forms, including, but not limited to:
A Zoning Applicable Law Certificate Program (ZAP) review can help you determine the application type(s) required for a proposal. A ZAP review is a preliminary review of plans to confirm zoning and applicable law compliance.
A ZAP review may:
While a ZAP review is not required prior to submitting a request for a Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation meeting, you are strongly encouraged to submit one as they provide information about what type of planning or other applications may be required.
Chapter 5 of the Official Plan encourages applicants to consult with Councillors and local communities prior to formal submission of an application. This is to be done after the Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation Meeting process has been completed. By engaging with these stakeholders early on:
While this consultation is voluntary, it is valuable for all stakeholders and is considered a best practice.