In 2017, City Planning initiated the Guidelines for Development Close to Rail Corridors & Yards Study (Rail Study) to research the issues, Federal and Provincial regulations and the role of municipalities in rail safety in relation to new development.
Based on the work completed through the Rail Study, a Pilot was initiated to introduce Rail Safety and Risk Mitigation reports as part of the development application process for properties in proximity to rail. The outcome of the pilot was a recommendation to introduce public safety related amendments to the Official Plan and Zoning By-law 569-2013 to require Rail Safety and Risk Mitigation Reports to be submitted as part of a complete application package when introducing sensitive and/or high density uses through Amendments, Zoning By-law Amendments, Site Plan Control and some Minor Variances.
The lessons learned from Pilot have informed the proposed Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Bylaw Amendment approach. The draft amendments and approach to zoning will be refined through the Q1 2021 consultation process with the aim of bringing the proposed amendments to Council for consideration in Q2 of 2021.
The objective of this Land Use Study was to assess and provide recommendations regarding the City’s practices with respect to reviewing development applications that are received for lands that are adjacent and or in proximity to rail infrastructure. The Study was conducted in two Phases and is now complete. The consultant’s Final Report City Wide Land Use Study: Development in Proximity to Rail Operations Phase 2 March 21, 2019 is now available.
As Toronto continues to intensify, development pressure is increasing on sites and lands that are located either in close proximity to, or adjacent to rail infrastructure. As a result of this pressure and in light of recent rail related train incidents, there are increasing concerns about the issue of rail safety in the City.
As part of its adoption of the Dupont Street Regeneration Area Study in late 2014, City Council directed City Planning staff to undertake a study in order to identify appropriate separation and mitigation requirements for developments along rail corridors in the City.
Currently, there are over 200 km of railway corridors and yards within the City of Toronto. In order to support the continued viability of this network and accommodate the City’s continued growth, the City retained IBI Group and Stantec to undertake the City wide land use study.