The Design Review Panel is currently taking place over WebEx. For transparency and public access, the meetings will also be livestreamed on the City Planning YouTube Channel. After each meeting, the recording will remain online for six months and following this period will continue to be available on request.

New: Submission Materials

There will be no printed or physical drawing packages; only digital presentations are required. The digital presentation file (and any optional supplementary material) is required 1 week in advance of the meeting date.

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

The digital presentation file is required 1 week in advance of 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.

To facilitate a more in-depth and comprehensive design review process, applicants are also 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.

Tips to Consider

  • Presentation time is 12-15 minutes; please construct slides accordingly. Avoid “information overload” by limiting the presentation to an appropriate number of slides to fit this timing.
  • Slides should be kept simple to ensure legibility on a variety of devices (e.g. laptop screen etc.). No double page/facing page layouts; please use only single page presentation.
  • Supplementary drawings/additional information may be included in an appendix if desired.
    • Supplementary content may include: Shadow Studies, Toronto Green Standard Checklist, Heritage Impact Assessments etc.
  • Provide a summary report explaining contextual relationships and relationships to relevant policies and guidelines including 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 submission materials are not provided on time or if the outlined requirements are not met.

Typical content for the first/schematic review of a project includes:

  • 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.

Typical content for the second/detailed-design review of a project includes:

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

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.
  • Sun/shade/wind studies, set within related context as appropriate.

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.

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. Toronto Green Standard. Which tier is being targeted?
  7. Is the project pursuing LEED or Passive House green building certification? Which level is being targeted?
  • Materials should be submitted in electronic PDF or powerpoint format.
  • Panel members have requested concise documents. 12-15 minutes has been allocated for the proponent presentation; please construct the slides accordingly. (Supplementary materials including TGS or heritage reports can be included in an appendix if desired).
  • On the required submission 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 and the WebEx meeting invite will be sent the Friday before the meeting.

Please note that the meeting invite will be sent as a single continuous meeting. The proponent team should only join the WebEx meeting 10-15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time of their item.

Each project review entails a timed process structured to last for 65-75 minutes.

Proponent Presentation Portion

Proponents have 12-15 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 12-15 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.

The proponent team is expected to share their presentation during the WebEx meeting; however, the DRP Coordinator will also have a copy of their presentation ready in case of any technical difficulties.