Section 37 of the Planning Act authorizes the City to adopt a community benefits charge (CBC) by-law and collect CBCs to pay for the capital costs of facilities, services and matters that are required to serve development and redevelopment. CBC funding will help support complete communities across Toronto.
CBCs are collected on developments and redevelopments that are at least five storeys in height and that add at least ten residential units.
Developments that do not meet the above criteria are not subject to CBCs. Additionally, the Planning Act and applicable regulation provide exemptions for long-term care homes and hospices, retirement homes, universities, colleges and Indigenous institutes, Royal Canadian Legions and non-profit housing. The City’s CBC by-law also identifies exemptions for other types of development or uses.
The City is required to enact a CBC by-law, supported by a CBC strategy, before it can collect CBCs. The CBC strategy demonstrates the City’s capital needs arising from eligible development, and supports levying a four per cent CBC based on the appraised value of the land at the time a building permit is issued.
At its August 15, 2022 meeting, City Council enacted By-law 1139-2022 to adopt a Community Benefits Charge By-law for the City of Toronto as City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 415, Development of Land, Article VI.
At its July 19, 2022 meeting, City Council endorsed the Community Benefits Charge Strategy dated April 2022 and Community Benefits Charge Strategy Addendum dated June 2022 included as Attachments 2 and 3 to the Growth Funding Tools – Community Benefits Charge report dated June 27, 2022, from the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, and Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning (EX34.2).
Former Section 37 Density Bonusing – A Tool utilized for Building Healthier Neighbourhoods helps explain how previous Density Bonusing provisions in the Planning Act was utilized as an essential tool for building healthy neighbourhoods.
Former Section 37 Density Bonusing permitted the City to authorize, under the Planning Act, increases in permitted height and/or density through the zoning bylaw in return for community benefits, provided that there were related Official Plan policies in place (section 5.1.1 of the Official Plan as well as certain area-specific policies).
The Section 37 Implementation Guidelines were adopted by City Council on November 20, 2007 and have been revised to consolidate Council adopted amendments up to July 2013. The Guidelines are intended to assist in the implementation of the Section 37 policies of the Official Plan (section 5.1.1). The guidelines are designed to be read in conjunction with the Official Plan policies, and address implementation principles, other implementation issues, and guidelines for securing specific types of community benefits.
A Protocol for Negotiating Section 37 Community Benefits was adopted by City Council at the meeting of December 11-13, 2007. The Protocol was requested by Planning and Growth Management Committee and is another form of guideline. The Protocol deals with the process by which community benefits are negotiated by City Planning staff, with the involvement of the Ward Councillor and with community consultation.
At its meeting of September 30th 2015, Council considered the report entitled: Report on Sections 37 and 45(9), Community Benefits Secured in 2013 and 2014. The report provided Council with the first annual report summarizing yearly contributions secured from the application of Sections 37 and 45 of the Planning Act with respect to community benefits/capital facilities.
At its meeting of October 29th 2019, Council considered the report entitled: Planning Act (Section 37 and Section 45) Reserve Funds Statement, 2016-2018. The report provided Council with a financial statement of Planning Act (Section 37 and Section 45) reserve funds for the fiscal years of 2016, 2017 and 2018. The report details the contributions received from developers; interest earned; and transfers for expenditure for the period of January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2018. In addition, the report summarizes the Section 37 community benefits secured through site-specific zoning bylaws and Section 45 community benefits secured through Committee of Adjustment decisions during this time period.
At its meeting of July 14th 2021, Council considered the report entitled: Planning Act (Section 37 and Section 45) Reserve Funds Statement, 2019. The report provided Council with a financial statement of Planning Act (Section 37 and Section 45) reserve funds for the fiscal year of 2019. The report details the contributions received from developers; interest earned; and transfers for expenditure for the period of January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. In addition, the report summarizes the Section 37 community benefits secured through site-specific zoning bylaws and Section 45 community benefits secured through Committee of Adjustment decisions during this time period.