The Major Street study is one component of the City’s Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) initiative. This study focuses on permitting gentle density – missing middle housing – on major streets in low-rise neighbourhoods across Toronto. Please see the Study Overview section below for more details.

Summary of Study

The Major Street study is part of the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods initiative, which aims to bring more types of housing to Toronto’s low-rise neighbourhoods. This study proposes to permit gentle intensification of residential units in areas designated Neighbourhoods by the Official Plan, along major streets as shown on Map 3 of the Official Plan.

What is a Major Street

Major streets are those transportation corridors which support surface transportation, shipping and delivery routes, and provide connectivity across the city. Major streets are identified on Map 3 – Right-of-Way Widths Associated with Existing Major Streets.

Guiding Principles

Four guiding principles have been established for the Major Streets Study:

1. Equitable access to housing,
2. Equitable access to community,
3. Sustainability and environment, and
4. Equitable participation in redevelopment.

These principles have influenced the approach to research and review as follows:

  • Policy: review and analysis of the existing planning framework governing residential land use permissions in neighbourhoods in Toronto, including Provincial legislation, Official Plan policies, and the City-wide Zoning By-law;
  • Design: consideration of opportunities to expand existing permissions for low-rise residential development on major streets while maintaining liveability of units and responding to neighbourhood character and scale;
  • Financial: analysis of redevelopment opportunities and barriers to individual property/ homeowners (retrofit or new development) of Neighbourhood designated parcels fronting directly onto major streets; and
  • Opportunity Areas: identification of Neighbourhood designated road segments of Major Streets to facilitate analysis of site-specific conditions, and urban design modeling in the preparation of recommendations for amendments to Official Plan policies and Zoning regulations.

Integrating Equity

The Major Streets Study offers the City an opportunity to investigate policies and programs that are targeted at increasing the creation of a diverse range and mix of housing options in lower density, ground related formats. Included in this are additional units to accommodate people at all stages of life, to accommodate the needs of all household sizes and incomes and provide support for expanded housing options across Toronto.

Summary of Consultation to Date

The EHON project teams have conducted 19 community and stakeholder consultation events between February 7 and May 9, 2022, all of which have provided opportunity for participants to comment on the Major Streets Study stream. The consultation events consisted of the below.

Participants highlighted the importance of continuing to look for opportunities to expand the number of housing types, work on finding ways to enhance equity of access to neighbourhood housing, encouraging new units to be designed for accessibility, and to support small scale commercial whenever possible.

February 7, 2022 – EHON Roundtable Launch event
February 22, 2022 – Scarborough-Rouge Park Ward Meeting
February 24, 2022 – Scarborough Centre ward meeting attended by over 40 residents
February 24, 2022 – EHON Roundtable Session #2 on Neighbourhood Policies
March 1, 2022 – Etobicoke-Lakeshore Ward Meeting
March 4, 2022 – School of Cities Mid-term Presentations: Analysing missing middle typologies in Don Valley Village, Willowdale, Weston, and Birchcliff areas
March 24, 2022 – EHON Roundtable Session #3 on Multiplex permissions
April 5, 2022 – EHON Public Meeting – North York
April 6, 2022 – Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) Event
April 7, 2022 – EHON Public Meeting – Scarborough
April 12, 2022 – EHON Public Meeting – Etobicoke
April 13, 2022 – EHON Public Meeting – Toronto East York
April 14, 2022 – Design Review Panel
April 26, 2022 – EHON Roundtable Event – Major Streets
April 27, 2022 – Twitter Spaces Event
May 7, 2022 – Jane’s Walk Events: 2 Walks and 1 Panel Event
May 9, 2022 – Confronting Anti-Black Racism Advisory Committee

On July 16, 2019, City Council adopted Member Motion MM9.36 entitled “Expanding Housing Options in Toronto – Tackling the Missing Middle and the Yellowbelt“. The motion directed City Planning to report on options and a timeline to increase housing options and planning permissions in areas of Toronto designated as Neighbourhoods in Toronto’s Official Plan.

On December 14, 2022, City Council adopted the Mayor’s First Key Item: CC2.1 entitled “2023 Housing Action Plan“. The item directs the City Manager to develop a “2023 Housing Action Plan” for the 2022-2026 term of Council to enable both market, non-market and hybrid housing production in order to achieve or exceed the provincial housing target of 285,000 new homes over the next 10 years. The item includes amending the Zoning By-law to increase zoning permissions on major streets.

Feedback and comments can be emailed to