The City of Toronto in collaboration with Metrolinx and the Province of Ontario are working to deliver numerous transit expansion projects.
During the design, review and approval of each project, the City checks zoning compliance. If a project does not comply with current zoning, the City undertakes an amendment to the City’s zoning by-law 569-2013 or other prevailing bylaws.
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The City is undertaking zoning by-law amendments for transit projects because these projects require relief from City Zoning Standards. For example, a transit project needs to locate an emergency exit building on a property and will create a new building lot for it. But the zoning by-law would require a much bigger footprint for the new lot due to minimum setback requirements. So the City changes the by-law by reducing the setbacks to allow the emergency exit building to exist on an adequately sized lot. This way there is less land taken away from the original property.
Some common zoning issues for transit projects include: setbacks, gross floor area, lot coverage and sometimes use.
Most lands throughout the City can be used for public transit but in some cases where the existing zoning does not allow public transit as a use, the City is changing the by-law to allow the land to be used for public transit.
An interdivisional team was set-up to deliver the transit enabling zoning work. The work begins with research and drafting of zoning text and maps. The draft zoning amendments are then reviewed by legal, building and zoning staff, as well as, stakeholders such as Metrolinx.