Zoning by-laws are tools cities use to control the use of land. They are authorized by Section 34 of the Planning Act. They contain criteria and requirements for development and they implement the City’s Official Plan. Zoning by-laws regulate permitted uses, building types, the location, height, density, spacing and character of buildings, as well as parking and loading requirements, among others.
Zoning in some areas of Midtown needs to be updated to reflect the City’s Official Plan and the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan. City Council directed the zoning review for Midtown’s 22 Character Areas, as identified in the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan.
The Zoning Review includes three discrete components.
The Zoning Background Report will help determine where zoning by-laws need to be updated or where further study may be required. Staff are currently finalizing the Background Report, which will be made available on the Information and Reports page.
The Built Form Study will help establish specific height limits for buildings, minimum and maximum densities and appropriate building performance standards. It also includes the block study of the Broadway and Erskine area City staff were directed to undertake by Council in 2019. The Built Form Study is in progress.
Updated Infrastructure Assessments will be prepared as part of the Infrastructure Strategies. This will assist the City in ensuring continued growth is supported by appropriate infrastructure.
Midtown Toronto encompasses the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan Area, extending roughly from Blythwood Road to the Kay Gardner Beltline Trail, and from Chaplin Crescent to east of Bayview Avenue.
This 600 hectare area is home to a diverse population, a number of distinct neighbourhoods, a concentration of employment uses, and busy retail streets. There are currently over 62,000 residents and 33,000 jobs within Midtown. The area also includes two subway stations on the Yonge-University Line and several planned stops on the future Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
The area is represented by City Councillors for Wards 8 (Eglinton-Lawrence), 12 (Toronto-St. Paul’s) and 15 (Don Valley West).
The Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan introduced the concept of Character Areas for Midtown. In total there are 22 Character Areas that are organized into five groupings. Each grouping includes four or five character areas that share common development objectives or characteristics, such as land use, building types and built form.
The Midtown Zoning Review will be phased in order to respond to areas of highest priority first. Phase 1 areas include areas with significant development pressure and potential for intensification.
The Midtown Zoning Review was launched in 2019. Consultants were retained and background analysis started in early 2020, with ongoing consultation through the year. Preliminary population and employment estimates will be generated to determine final infrastructure needs, which will inform the final report. A proposals report with a draft by-law on the Phase 1 areas to the Planning and Housing Committee is targeted for the first quarter of 2021, which will be followed with further consultation before finalizing the report.
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