In response to the City’s End-to-End Review of its development review process and because development will play a vital role in supporting Toronto’s economic recovery post-COVID-19, the City is implementing a program called Concept 2 Keys (C2K).

C2K is transforming the City’s development review process from pre-application consultation to occupancy by reimagining organizational structures, processes and technology. C2K is implementing improvements to the City’s development review process in collaboration with development applicants, putting the needs of both the development community and City staff at the forefront of the review redesign.

The transformation of the City’s development review process is a large undertaking that will impact many City divisions and agencies as well as development applicants. For this reason, C2K is being implemented in phases, using an incremental approach that will allow changes and improvements to be tested and refined before rolling them out on a wider scale.

C2K will provide opportunities for increased collaboration between development applicants and City staff, create processes to resolve issues with applications earlier in the review process, improve the quality of applications and shorten review turnaround times.

In order to support the City’s objective of improving housing affordability and meet HousingTO Action Plan targets of 40,000 new affordable rental homes by 2030, Phase 1 of C2K is prioritizing affordable housing development applications. This focus will allow the City to test new processes and technology, including a new online application submission tool, before they are extended to all development applications.

In 2018, the City of Toronto hired KPMG Canada to conduct an End-to-End Review of the development review process. The review’s overarching objective was to identify recommendations to help create a development review process that is efficient and effective, clear and transparent and results in good city-building outcomes.

KPMG concluded that the fundamental challenge facing the City’s development review process was how to enable collaboration across and between staff, applicants and the public. Its analysis indicated that the main obstacles to collaboration were systemic and that their root cause was the overarching structure and organization of the development review process. KPMG’s report identified 31 largely systemic challenges impacting the efficiency, consistency, transparency, timeliness and outcomes of the development review process.

In response to KPMG’s End-to-End Review and because development will play a vital role in supporting Toronto’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery, the City implemented the Concept 2 Keys (C2K) program in 2020 to accelerate the development review process. Extensive consultation was conducted with the development community, City staff, external experts, academics and other jurisdictions to understand challenges posed by the City’s current development review approach, seek input on what can be improved and develop priority deliverables with meaningful impacts.

Concept 2 Keys will have a number of benefits for both development applicants and City staff. C2K will:

  • Enable better collaboration between applicants and City staff by establishing various touchpoints for communication, including:
    • Review teams to keep applications moving through the process by identifying and resolving issues early and communicating the City’s requirements so applicants can provide what is needed to conduct an efficient review
    • Application Coordinators who can provide progress updates on applications and resolve minor issues
    • Relationship and Issues Management staff who can escalate complex issues for resolution by City leaders
    • Application milestone meetings with applicants and the City
  • Enhance technology to make submitting an application more convenient and transparent for applicants and easier and less time-consuming for City staff to process, manage and prioritize
  • Increase clarity and transparency around application requirements
  • Simplify and improve review processes to better meet the needs of applicants and City staff and improve the quality of development applications with the goal of shorter turnaround times
  • Lead to a more consistent applicant experience and application of policy and practices across the City’s divisions, agencies and geographic districts
  • Establish a single point of contact for the development review process through dedicated review teams and new Application Coordinators.

A new online application submission tool is being tested in Phase 1 of Concept 2 Keys. Participating applicants are using the tool to submit their application and City staff and applicants are offering feedback so it can be refined and improved before wider implementation. When the new tool is ready to be used for the submission of all development applications, it will be available on this web page.

Benefits of the new online application submission tool include:

  • Applicants are able to easily upload their documents into their application for secure transfer to City staff
  • Applicants are able to save their progress and return to their application at any time prior to submitting it to the City
  • Applicants can verify the status of all applications they have submitted in real time

Learn more about the new online application submission tool on the Review Process Changes page.

To sign up for project updates from C2K:

Send an email to Concept2Keys@toronto.ca with UPDATES in the subject line

C2K Connect & City of Toronto Development Updates – June 2021

C2K Connect – May 2021

Concept 2 Keys Development Application Review
Program Q2 2021 Update (June 11, 2021)

C2K Development Review Operational Pilot (September 30, 2020)