Official Plan Amendment 453 addresses the loss of dwelling rooms across the city by creating new policies that require dwelling rooms lost to redevelopment to be replaced as rental housing and require the provision of assistance to displaced tenants.
Individuals who live in rooming houses are often vulnerable and may include households with low incomes, seniors on fixed incomes, newcomers to the city and students. As the city grows, development is placing pressure on the stock of existing dwelling rooms.
The City of Toronto’s Official Plan rental replacement policies and Municipal Code By-law for Rental Demolition and Conversion do not provide the ability to address the loss of rental housing that is in the form of dwelling rooms. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of dwelling rooms that have been lost due to redevelopment.
At its meeting of June 18, 2019, City Council approved Official Plan Amendment 453 which contains new policies to:
The in effect policies require the same amount of dwelling room gross floor area to be replaced in the new development as secured rental housing and assistance provided to displaced tenants.
Dwelling Room means a room used as living accommodation that is available for rent and that is not self-contained. A dwelling room may contain private sanitary facilities or cooking facilities, but not both. A dwelling room, for the purposes of this policy, excludes living accommodation exempted from the application of the Residential Tenancies Act, or successor legislation.
In consideration of the need for the policy to better reflect the range of rents associated with dwelling rooms, four dwelling room rent threshold tiers apply to the policy, including two affordable rent tiers and two mid- range rent tiers.
The thresholds and the associated 2023 rent levels are detailed in the table below.
|Dwelling room rent tier
|Rent range as a % of the CMHC AMR for studio unit
|2023 rent for top-end of range
|Affordable Tier One
|60% or lower
|Affordable Tier Two
|61 to 80%
|Mid-Range Tier One
|81% to 100%
|Mid-Range Tier Two
|101% to 120%
City Planning staff held an Open House on the revised draft policies based on the feedback received through the consultations, and additional analysis and consultation with other City Divisions.
Between November 26 to 29, 2018, several public meetings and consultations were held with key stakeholders including tenants of dwelling rooms; housing-related organizations, agencies and groups; and the development industry. An external consultant was retained to undertake the consultation process and an estimated 283 participants were engaged in the following:
The City’s Summary Report consolidates the feedback received through the consultation process. Please contact the Planner for the public meeting presentation slides or public meeting presentation boards.
The Final Recommendation Report on the Official Plan Amendment – Policies to Address the Loss of Dwelling Rooms was adopted with amendments at a statutory public meeting held by the Planning and Housing Committee on May 28, 2019. The Official Plan Amendment was then approved by City Council at its meeting of June 18, 2019.
The Planning and Housing Committee endorsed the revised policies to address the loss of dwelling rooms as the basis for public consultation and directed City Planning to conduct an open house to obtain comments and feedback on the proposed revisions to the policies and prepare a Final Recommendation Report to be considered at a statutory public meeting held by the Planning and Housing Committee on May 28, 2019. Committee also requested City Planning to consider the public presentations and communications from this meeting in addition to the Consultant’s summary report on the consultations when preparing the Final Recommendations report.
The Committee adopted with amendments the staff report and appendices on Public Consultation Comments and Revised Official Plan Policies to Address the Loss of Dwelling Rooms .
The Planning and Growth Management Committee endorsed the draft Official Plan amendment with new policies to address the loss of dwelling rooms due to redevelopment and the displacement of tenants who rent them as the basis for public consultation.
Committee also directed staff to conduct open houses in each community council district and to meet with key stakeholders to obtain comments and feedback on the draft policies. More details are found in the Draft Official Plan Amendment – Dwelling Room Protection Policies Staff Report, which was considered by Planning and Growth Management Committee in June 2018.
The policies were drafted in response to a Protecting Dwelling Units motion that was put forward at the October 12, 2017 meeting of Planning and Growth Management Committee for City Planning to report back on a policy framework that protects dwelling rooms similar to policies in the Official Plan that provide for the protection of rental units. This motion also built upon a September 3, 2015 Large Single-room Occupancy Buildings motion from the Affordable Housing Committee.
The City’s Summary Report consolidates the feedback received through the consultation process for the Draft Policies to Address the Loss of Dwelling Rooms.