Concept 2 Keys (C2K) was created to implement improvements to development review at the City of Toronto in response to recommendations made in the City’s End-to-End Review of the Development Review Process. These improvements will play a vital role in supporting affordable housing and Toronto’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

The City is transforming the development review process from pre-application consultation to occupancy by reimagining organizational structures, processes and technology. These improvements, which will benefit the development industry, City staff and the public, are being rolled out incrementally so that they can be tested and refined before being implemented on a wider scale.

The C2K program office is fostering better collaboration between City divisions and between development applicants and City staff, which will enable a development review process that is effective and efficient, clear and transparent and results in good city-building outcomes. To support the City’s objective of improving housing affordability and to meet the HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan target of 40,000 new affordable rental homes by 2030, C2K is prioritizing and expediting affordable housing projects.

In 2018, the City of Toronto hired KPMG Canada to conduct an end-to-end review of its 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 report and because development will play a vital role in supporting Toronto’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery, the City implemented the Concept 2 Keys program in 2020 to improve 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.

The improvements that C2K is implementing will benefit both City staff and the development industry by:

  • Enabling better communication and collaboration between City staff from different divisions
  • Facilitating better communication between City staff and applicants
  • Making it easy to submit applications digitally
  • Clarifying application submission requirements
  • Simplifying and improving application circulation and review processes
  • Improving consistency
  • Providing relationship and issues management services

Concept 2 Keys Development Application Review Program – Interim Results of the Priority Affordable Housing Application Stream and Third Quarter Program Updates (October 18, 2021)

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

C2K Development Review Operational Pilot (September 30, 2020)