On June 29, 2020, City Council approved a work plan (Item PH14.4) for the Growth Plan Conformity and Municipal Comprehensive Review of the Toronto Official Plan. Council established August 4, 2020 as the commencement of the City’s Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR). Attachment 5 of the report lists the work plan components.

A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Growth Plan (2019)) came into effect on May 16, 2019. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has established a deadline of July 1, 2022 for municipalities to update their Official Plans to achieve conformity with the Growth Plan (2019). This provincially legislated requirement is satisfied through a Growth Plan Conformity exercise and MCR.

The City of Toronto’s upcoming Growth Plan Conformity and MCR present an opportunity to address, through planning policy, a number of the growth related challenges facing Toronto today and in the future. These challenges include: housing affordability, climate change, mobility, public health and others that will help inform the City’s response to, and recovery from, the current global pandemic.

The City of Toronto will be undertaking an intensification strategy to satisfy the Growth Plan (2019) policies. This intensification strategy is intended to direct Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and prioritize growth where transit and other infrastructure currently exists or is planned, including in Major Transit Station Areas, Urban Growth Centres, and other Strategic Growth Areas. As part of the intensification strategy, City staff will undertake a Land Needs Assessment, as required by the Growth Plan (2019), to assess the quantity of land required to accommodate forecasted growth to 2041.

MTSAs are defined in the Growth Plan (2019) as areas within an approximate 500-800 metre radius of a transit station and representing a 10-minute walk. The Growth Plan (2019) prescribes the following minimum density targets for MTSAs: 200 residents and jobs per hectare for subways; 160 residents and jobs per hectare for light rail transit; and 150 residents and jobs for GO Transit rail. To satisfy the Growth Plan (2019) requirements, the City is required to individually delineate the boundaries for the 180+ MTSAs within the City and to demonstrate that each MTSA is planned for the established minimum target as part of the MCR.

MTSA Prioritization
Attachment 2 of the approved work plan groups all of the potential MTSAs into three phases.

Map of proposed MTSA Prioritization All Phases - Red dots indicate major streets, blue dots indicate highways, and purple dots indicate municipal boundaries

Local Area Studies

Local area studies will inform the MTSA delineation and density calculation for some, but not all MTSAs. Considering the time and resources required to complete a local area study, the recommended prioritization approach will inform which MTSAs Council should consider as a priority (see Attachment 2).

An integral component of the City’s economic health are the 8,100 hectares of lands designated as Core Employment Areas and General Employment Areas. These two designations account for 13 per cent of all lands in the City. The Growth Plan (2019) requires municipalities to: prohibit certain land uses (residential); prohibit or limit other sensitive land uses; prohibit or establish size or scale thresholds for major retail uses; and address compatibility issues between Employment Areas and non-employment areas. As part of the employment lands strategy, City staff will undertake a review of the recently approved policies and advance recommendations for Council’s consideration that may be necessary.

As of August 4, 2020, City staff may start receiving formal requests to convert lands designated as Core Employment Areas or General Employment Areas to non-employment uses, as stated in Growth Plan (2019) policies 2.2.5.9 (related to Provincially Significant Employment Zones (PSEZ)) and 2.2.5.10 (non-PSEZ) until August 3, 2021.

Attachment 3 of the approved work plan report lists out the additional in-effect conversion policies that each conversion requests is required to address.

To submit a conversion request, please submit one paper and one electronic copy of the required information to the following addresses:

Paper Submission

Attention: Kerri A. Voumvakis, Director
Strategic Initiatives, Policy & Analysis, City Planning Division
City of Toronto
Metro Hall, , 55 John Street, 22nd Floor
Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3C6

Electronic Submission
Email to: Kerri.Voumvakis@toronto.ca and Jeffrey.Cantos@toronto.ca

Please Note: City Council directed staff to review options on introducing a fee associated with reviewing conversion requests. Additional information on this matter will be posted on this webpage once available.

City Staff will develop official plan policies based on conservation objectives related to: water, energy, air quality improvement, integrated waste management, and stormwater master plans. As the City continues to implement TransformTO, the Growth Plan (2019) requires municipalities to develop policies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change adaptation and mitigation goals that are aligned with other provincial plans and policies for environmental protection.

Through the Growth Plan conformity exercise, staff will review the in-effect environmental policies in light of the City’s declaration of a climate emergency and any revisions necessary to further advance climate change mitigation and resilience.

As a major undertaking that will direct the future growth of the City for the next 30 years, the conformity exercise and MCR requires an engagement strategy that ensures all Torontonians, businesses, and other stakeholders, including First Nations and M├ętis communities have the opportunity to participate and engage with the City. Staff will design the citywide engagement strategy to accommodate physical distancing measures, given the City’s current inability to host large public gatherings. Staff will develop and execute an inclusive and comprehensive engagement strategy that is intended to explain the process, approach and outcomes; major areas of work; and associated timing in a manner that is accessible to all Torontonians and interested stakeholders.

Attachment 4 of the approved work plan report lists a preliminary stakeholder list, which will be expanded as necessary.

Through the course of the conformity exercise and MCR, staff may determine that additional Official Plan policy matters may need to be reviewed and amended.

The City of Toronto Official Plan was approved by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) in 2006. The first statutory Five Year Review subsequently began in 2011. Updated policies have been adopted by Council for a number of thematic policy areas and are either in effect, being reviewed by the Province, or are being adjudicated at the LPAT.

Environment

OPA 262 was approved by the Province in May 2016. The OPA is in full force and effect.

Employment

OPA 231 is currently being adjudicated by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). The majority of the policies and mapping are in full force and effect.

Heritage

OPA 199, which won the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals Award of Excellence, was approved with modifications by the Ontario Municipal Board in April 2015. The OPA is in full force and effect.

Housing

OPA 214 was approved by City Council in July 2013. The OPA is in full force and effect.

On April 6, 2016, Planning and Growth Management Committee considered a new Official Plan definition for Affordable Ownership Housing.

Neighbourhoods & Apartment Neighbourhoods

OPA 320 was approved with modifications by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) in December 2017 and December 2018. The OPA is in full force and effect.

Urban Design

OPA 479 and OPA 480 were approved by the Province with one modification on September 11, 2020. The OPAs are in full force and effect.

Transportation

OPA 274 was approved by the Province on December 31, 2014. The OPA is in full force and effect.

OPA 456 was adopted by City Council on February 26, 2020. The OPA is currently being reviewed by the Province and is not in effect.