New: Submission Materials

To facilitate a more in-depth and comprehensive design review process, applicants are now encouraged to provide concise summary statements which describe:

  • The sustainable design ambitions of the project;
  • How the project fits within and contributes to its context; and
  • The approach to heritage conservation, if the project impacts any heritage resources.

Applicants should follow the two-step process outlined below when preparing for the Design Review Panel:

Briefing materials are required in advance of the meeting for inclusion in a briefing package that is distributed to Panel Members. Materials should be submitted approximately 2 weeks prior to the meeting date. Different materials are required depending on the stage of review for each project. The materials should highlight key urban design features of the proposal, and help to explain why it represents the most appropriate design solution for the site.

Tips to Consider

  • Avoid “information overload” by limiting the package of materials to approximately 30 pages double-sided. Heritage Impact reports and Toronto Green Standard Checklist can be extra attachments.
  • Provide a summary report explaining contextual relationships, and relationships to relevant policies and guidelines includes Zoning, Secondary Plans, Mid-rise Guidelines, Tall Building Guidelines, Public Realm Plans, etc. Providing this information clearly upfront can avoid lengthy questions of clarification during the meeting.
  • Clearly set the proposal in its context within drawings and plans; avoid images where the proposal stands alone.
  • Include pedestrian perspectives for tall building applications, rather than aerial/birds-eye perspectives.
  • Staff will pull an application from the agenda if briefing materials are not provided on time or if the outlined requirements are not met.

First/Schematic Review

  • Context plan (showing the proposal in relation to key elements such as transit stations, major roads, parks and other major open spaces, planning boundaries, landmark buildings, etc)
    • Site context should be clearly illustrated to the Panel through rendered area plans, scaled site plan and massing studies that portray building bulk, height and setbacks.
  • Height analysis of the surrounding context for all tall building proposals.
  • Site plan which includes the ground floor plan and proposed uses, as well as adjacent properties and buildings.
  • Photographs which illustrate existing site conditions and surrounding context.
  • Floor plans, sections and landscape plan as developed.
  • All elevations, showing neighbouring buildings to scale.
  • Alternative studies for site layout and building massing that were considered.
  • Toronto Green Standard Checklist, if applicable.
  • Heritage Impact Assessment, as required.
  • Shadow Studies are required for all Tall Buildings and Landscape Concepts.

Second/Detailed-Design Review

  • A focused response to issues identified from the First Review.
  • Site plan application drawings, including:
    • Elevations
    • 1:50 plan
    • Ground floor plan with proposed uses, adjacent properties and buildings
    • Sections and typical floor plans, if previously requested
  • Completed landscape plan that includes a planting list and specifications.
  • Site and/or massing model.
  • Updated height analysis of the surrounding context, for tall building proposals
  • Large-scale perspective drawings showing views of the first few storeys and related pedestrian realm. Perspective drawings should be set within the existing streetscape.
  • Grading plan, if grades are an issue.
  • Toronto Green Standard Checklist.
  • Heritage Impact Assessment, as required.
  • Energy Model, if available.
  • Shadow Studies.

Landscape Concepts

  • In addition to the above, these projects should include a strategy for sunlight accessibility, and wind mitigation measures.

Other Submission Materials

To assist the Panel in their review supplementary materials are highly encouraged, including:

  • 3-D drawings.
  • Physical context model (digital or foam-core).
  • Sun/shade/wind studies, set within related context as appropriate.

Sustainability Concepts

The Design Review Panel advocates for sustainable design strategies to be integrated at an early stage in the design due to impacts on the initial massing and site planning directions.

Toronto Green Standard is a two-tier set of performance standards for sustainable site and building design. Tier 2 is the higher level of site and building performance and is strongly encouraged for all DRP projects. Tier 2 projects may be eligible for a development charge refund.

Proponents should illustrate an overall Sustainable Design strategy, by addressing the following:

  1. Building massing and envelope efficiency
  2. Productive landscape
  3. On-site storm water
  4. Energy
  5. Community energy strategy
  6. Is the project pursuing LEED or Passive House green building certification? Which level is being targeted?
  7. Is the project pursuing the Toronto Green Standard Tier 2 (may be eligible for a Development Charge Refund.)

How to Submit the Briefing Materials

  • Materials should be submitted in electronic PDF format, at 11×17 size, batched into one file.
  • Panel members have requested concise documents.The package of materials should be no longer than 30 pages double-sided. (TGS or heritage reports are permitted to exceed this maximum).
  • Printing and distribution of briefing materials is usually done by the City of Toronto. Materials are printed double-sided in colour copy. Some proponents prefer to print their own documents and submit 17 hard copies, at maximum 11×17 size, by the date specified.
  • On the required date materials should be e-mailed to the DRP Coordinator.
  • If the file is larger than 90MB, contact the DRP Coordinator for details on how to submit the file.

Proponents will be notified of the specific timing of their item approximately 1 week prior to the meeting date. The proponent team should arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of their item for setup. Each project review entails a timed process structured to last for 70 minutes.

Proponent Presentation

Proponents have 10 minutes to present the proposal to Panel Members. The presentation should outline the design intent of the project, including how the proposal responds to its surrounding context, and show how it responds to relevant urban design guidelines. It is not intended to be a sales pitch for the proposal.

The presentation should:

  • Introduce and clearly identify the main design objectives of the project.
  • Explain the response to design opportunities and constraints of the area.
  • Explain the response to the direction set by related policies, urban design guidelines etc.
  • Show how the proposal fits within the existing and planned context.
  • Outline the integrated sustainable design approach that is being pursued.
  • For items at second review, clearly show and explain your response to the issues identified at the First Review.
  • Be no longer than 10 minutes, unless otherwise specified by City staff.

The presentation should not:

  • Include information related to policy or the project background; this will be provided by City staff.
  • Include drawings that were not included within the briefing package.

Technical Support

A laptop computer and projector will be available for use. Proponents should e-mail the presentation prior to the meeting. USB memory device brought on the day is not advised due to frequent incompatibility issues. Please note, if you bring an additional laptop with you, it may not be possible to connect to the projector during the meeting.

Other Materials: Mounted Drawings and Model

  • 6-8 easels will be available for the display of select mounted drawings.
  • A table will be available for the display of a massing model.