On May 10, 2023, City Council adopted the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment to permit multiplexes citywide. These amendments are in effect as no appeals were received. Visit the Multiplex study more information.
Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods is a City of Toronto initiative to facilitate more low-rise housing in residential neighbourhoods to meet the needs of our growing city. The City is working to expand opportunities for “missing middle” housing forms in Toronto, ranging from duplexes to low-rise walk-up apartments. All of these housing types can be found in many parts of Toronto today, but have historically been limited in where they can be newly built. Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods is one solution among a range of City initiatives to increase housing choice and access and create a more equitable, sustainable city.
More information and details about opportunities for input can be found on the individual Priority Project study pages.
The Multiplex study focused on permitting multiplexes – residential buildings containing up to four units – across Toronto’s low-rise neighbourhoods. In May 2023, City Council adopted Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments to permit multiplexes city-wide.
The Major Streets study focuses on permitting gentle density – missing middle housing – on major streets in low-rise neighbourhoods across Toronto.
The Garden Suites study focused on permitting garden suites on properties without lane access in most residential zones across Toronto. In February 2022, City Council adopted Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments to permit Garden Suites city-wide.
The Local Neighbourhood Retail and Services study is investigating ways to support the preservation and growth small-scale retail, service and office uses – primarily serving area residents – in the City’s designated Neighbourhoods. In July 2022, City Council adopted Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments to expand neighbourhood retail and services uses and harmonize home occupation permissions city-wide.
The Beaches-East York Missing Middle Pilot Project is reviewing appropriate City-owned sites in Beaches-East York (Ward 19) and working with the development industry and in consultation with the community to build “missing middle” demonstration projects.
In partnership with the City Planning Division, the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) convened the EHON Roundtable, an advisory body comprised of individuals representing a broad range of backgrounds and equity-deserving groups, that discussed changes to Neighbourhoods policies in the Official Plan, multiplex housing permissions and design considerations, the desirability of expanding local retail and services, and rezoning for Major Streets.
With the goal of elevating lived experience into housing policy, the Final Recommendations Report summarizes the work of the EHON Roundtable and includes recommendations for the City to consider through the EHON initiative.
The following graphics show how much of the City of Toronto’s total area is in each Official Plan land use designation and Zoning By-law zone category. One square represents one percent of the City of Toronto’s area.
|Official Plan – Land Use Designation
|Area (square kilometres)
|Percentage of City of Toronto Land Area
|Other Open Space Areas (including Golf Courses, Cemeteries, Public Utilities)
|Mixed Use Areas
|Core Employment Areas
|General Employment Areas
|Special Study Areas
|Lands not subject to Official Plan Land Use Designation (e.g. roads)
|Total City of Toronto Land Area
|Zoning By-law – Zone Category
|Area (square kilometers)
|Percentage of City of Toronto Area
|Utility and Transportation
|Commercial, Commercial Residential & Commercial Residential Employment
|Total City of Toronto Area
Although zoning by-laws must generally conform to the Official Plan, the exact breakdown of land areas in land use designations and zone categories varies due to differences in how these areas are drawn and measured. For example, Official Plan land use designations do not include rights-of-way, whereas zones are based on property boundaries extended to the centreline of adjacent streets.
The graphic below illustrates the percentage of the City of Toronto’s total area subject to Residential zoning (47.1%). On its own, the Residential Detached (RD) zone makes up 31.3% of the city’s total area. 15.8% of the city’s total area consists of Residential zones (R, RS, RT and RM zones), most of which permit a variety of Missing Middle housing forms. Secondary suites are permitted in all Residential zones.
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