Local Neighbourhood Retail and Services are small-scale retail, service and office uses primarily serving area residents.
As part of the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods initiative, the City of Toronto is investigating ways to support the preservation and growth of these uses for existing and future residents of the City’s designated Neighbourhoods.
This work recognizes the historic role walkable retail and services have played in Toronto’s Neighbourhoods and the need to support the daily life and activities of residents and workers and encourage complete, connected communities.
The Official Plan has eleven different land use designations: Neighbourhoods, Apartment Neighbourhoods, Mixed Use Areas, Natural Areas, Parks, Other Open Space Areas, Institutional Areas, Regeneration Areas, General Employment Areas, Core Employment Areas, and Utility Corridors. Lands designated Neighbourhood occupy approximately 35.4% of the City’s land area and it is the largest land use designation (by land area). Visualize the City of Toronto Official Plan Land Use Maps.
This work, initiated in Fall 2021, is exploring potential Official Plan policy and Zoning updates related to retail services and other local amenities that would:
These types of local retail and services have declined over the past few decades.
|Retail and Service Establishments in Neighbourhoods|
Staff will bring a report to Planning and Housing Committee in Q2 2022 with:
The proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments are provided below for review and comment. Please send any questions or feedback on the proposed amendments to: EHON@toronto.ca.
Further research and consultations with businesses, community groups, residents and City divisions on the matters listed below to inform an additional report and recommendations in 2023:
The current Official Plan Policy 4.1.3 articulates the policy for small scale retail, service and office uses that permits existing uses to be maintained in Neighbourhoods but limits the ability of new ones to be established, including by restricting their location to Major Streets on Map 3 and requiring a Zoning By-law amendment. This has contributed to a steady decline of these uses over time.
The team is proposing that the policy be updated and simplified to support the creation of new Neighbourhood amenities. As with other Official Plan policies, the Zoning by-law will continue to provide direction on appropriate uses, locations, and other performance standards. Research and consultations on updates to the Zoning by-law will occur through 2022 and 2023, with a further report anticipated in 2023.
The Proposed Draft Official Plan policy text is available in PDF format
Currently the Zoning By-law 569-2013 permits several types of home-based work City-wide. These are referred to as “Home Occupation” and are defined as “a business use within a dwelling unit, where the dwelling unit is the principal residence of the business operator”. Specific Use Regulations around Home Occupation are described in Section 150.5 of the By-law.
The R zone – which is generally only found within the former City of Toronto boundaries – is the most permissive in terms of home occupation.
There are many home occupation uses that are only permitted in the R zone, including:
As a first step, the EHON team is proposing to equalize these permissions across all residential zones in the City. Here is the Proposed Draft Zoning Bylaw Amendment.
In 2023, additional review will be undertaken on accommodating some other potential uses.
This work will consider lessons learned from previous local neighbourhood commercial initiatives including the Residential Apartment Commercial (RAC) Zoning. As Neighbourhood Major Streets may support opportunities for neighbourhood retail and service uses, staff advancing this initiative are working collaboratively with staff engaged on the Major Street Rezoning initiative.