Canada: Changes To Toronto's Official Plan And Zoning By-Law - What You Should Know

Important date

On June 18th, the City of Toronto Planning and Growth Management Committee will consider revisions to the heritage policies of the Official Plan and will formally commence public consultation on the draft revised comprehensive zoning by-law for the City of Toronto.

Five year review of the Official Plan

Anyone with land in the City of Toronto will be interested to know that the City is undertaking its mandatory five year review of the Official Plan and will bring forward proposed revisions to sections of the Official Plan for consultation and approval.

On June 18th, the City's Planning and Growth Management Committee will hear deputations and receive comments on the draft Heritage Policies, the first proposed policies of the Official Plan to be reviewed and released for comment. These policies may be finalized and adopted by City Council as early as its October meeting.

The City's Municipal Comprehensive Review ("MCR") of its Employment lands is also well underway. The results of the MCR and draft new Employment policies are expected to be released in November for public consultation.

Proposed Revised Harmonized Zoning By-law

City of Toronto Council repealed its comprehensive zoning by-law, No. 1156-2010 ("By-law 1156-2010") on May 18, 2011 and directed planning staff to have further stakeholder consultations and to bring forward another by-law.

City staff has now compiled a draft revised zoning by-law ("Revised By-law"), again intended to "harmonize" the zoning by-laws of the six former municipalities. At the Planning and Growth Management Committee on June 18th, City staff will seek the Committee's approval to release the Revised By-law for public review and comment. The initial public review period is anticipated to end on September 27th. Following consultation, including a planned Statutory Public meeting in the latter half of November 2012, the draft Revised By-law may be passed, possibly as early as February 2013.

The Revised By-law is intended to address previous concerns raised respecting, among other matters, insufficient transition provisions, the treatment of "pipeline" development applications, recognition of minor variance and by-law permissions, treatment of existing buildings, gross floor area definitions, Conservation Overlay mapping, Employment Zone regulations, Commercial Residential Zone issues including tall building regulations, as well as matters pertaining to Residential Zones.

Transition Protocol

Under the Revised By-law's Transition Protocol, the current in-force zoning by-laws will not be repealed. The City proposes that certain sites and areas be excluded from the Revised By-law on an interim basis. The Revised By-law will also contain a series of Grandfathering or "Exemption Clauses".

A new Transition Clause establishes how active applications for a zoning certificate, building permit, minor variance, site plan approval, consent to sever, draft plan of subdivision, plan of condominium, payment in lieu of parking agreement or part lot control exemption (collectively, "Application" or "Applications") under the Former By-laws will be treated after the Revised By-law is passed. If any Application deemed complete is submitted prior to the enactment of the Revised By-law, it will be reviewed and approved under the applicable Former By-law. The Revised By-law will apply to new Applications submitted after it is enacted or incomplete Applications (apart from processing) at the time of the By-law's passage. The Transition Clause provisions will be in effect for three years from the enactment of the Revised By-law, after which the standards of the Revised By-law will apply.

Properties regulated by site specific zoning by-law amendments that have existing buildings or have received building permits (that are not phased projects) will be included in the Revised By-law, but their site specific zoning permissions will be recognized in the Revised By-law as governing over any inconsistent provisions in the Revised By-law. Any future additions or enlargements to the existing buildings will be required to comply with the Revised By-law.

Why should I be concerned?

Any changes to the list of permitted uses, maximum densities, height limits and other performance standards will affect all redevelopment opportunities and directly impact the value of your lands.

It is important for landowners and developers to determine whether their properties qualify for any of the exceptions contained in the Transition Clause of the Revised By-law. The Transition Clause provides a window of opportunity to obtain development approvals and permits in accordance with the Former By-laws. There may however be transition issues that remain unresolved in the Revised By-law.

Regardless of whether you plan to develop or redevelop your land, you should take the following into consideration:

  • City Staff have not undertaken comprehensive reviews of how the new Official Plan and zoning will impact each parcel of land in Toronto. The onus is on landowners to stay informed and get involved;
  • Any landowner who fails to express concerns or issues with the proposed new Official Plan or zoning prior to Council passing the new Official Plan or zoning by-law will not be able to maintain an appeal of either document and risks not being added as a party to an appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board; and
  • For sites not omitted from the Revised By-law or developments not otherwise exempted, after the Revised By-law is passed and during the time that the new zoning is under appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, the Chief Building Official is likely to treat the new zoning, as passed by City Council, as "applicable law" when considering the issuance of building permits where new zoning is more restrictive than the existing zoning.

How Stikeman Elliott can help

Stikeman Elliott's municipal and land use planning team would be pleased to speak with you about the new Official Plan and the new harmonized zoning by-law consultation process and discuss strategies on how you can protect your land development investments and opportunities.

Our team can assist you with:

  • opportunities to participate in the City's development of the new Official Plan and revised harmonized zoning by-law;
  • examining the potential implications of changes to Official Plan designations and zoning; and
  • safeguarding appeal rights and advocating your property interests at meetings with City staff and politicians, public meetings, municipal Council and at the Ontario Municipal Board.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions