The City of Toronto has released a proposed new zoning by-law
for the entire city, and is now engaging in public consultations.
The by-law has implications for all property owners in the
The zoning for a site prescribes permitted uses, height,
setbacks, maximum density, and other standards that directly govern
development rights and, accordingly, property values.
Changes to the zoning by-law can affect existing developments
by restricting uses or altering redevelopment potential.
Owners with lands currently in the planning process for
redevelopment or expansion need to be informed about the new
transition rules so as to avoid adverse impacts under the new
zoning regime where appropriate.
All property owners in the City would be advised to review the
status of their property and to consider their near-term
development aspirations in light of the provisions of the proposed
new zoning by-law.
It is important to remember that the Planning Act only allows
appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board if oral or written
submissions about objections are made to the City prior to
Council's decision to enact the by-law. In order to protect
your right to appeal the revised zoning by-law, should you not be
satisfied with how the City addresses any of your planning
concerns, it is important to ensure that submissions are made to
The public consultation period ends September 27, 2012.
CONTEXT – WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Following amalgamation, the City of Toronto has been working on
a new comprehensive zoning by-law in order to harmonize zoning
across the former municipalities. The first attempt at this, By-law
1156-2010 enacted in 2010, was repealed by City Council in May
2011, and staff were directed to undertake consultations and bring
forward a new by-law. The new revised zoning by-law was released to
the public on June 18th, 2012, and is currently in the public
consultation stage until September 27, 2012. Staff will report on
consultations in October including any further proposed
A Statutory Public Meeting will take place in November 2012. If
the revised by-law is received favourably, Council is expected to
adopt it in early 2013.
THE NEW REVISED ZONING BY-LAW
We have reviewed the new zoning by-law and find that there are
significant changes from the repealed 2010 by-law. Changes include
provisions regarding minor variance permissions,
'grandfathering' of existing buildings, transition of
applications in process, Tall Building regulations, the definition
of gross floor area for specific uses, and new requirements and
standards affecting a variety of uses including residential;
drive-throughs, restaurants and other commercial operations;
industrial and other employment land uses; funeral homes and
cemeteries, among others.
The revised by-law includes complex transition rules, including
a three year transition period where certain applications submitted
before enactment of the new by-law will continue under the now
in-force zoning by-laws. Other properties meeting certain criteria
will be excluded from the by-law now, and will be brought into the
new by-law on a case by case basis later. For a number of such
reasons, the current in-force zoning by-laws will not be
HOW BORDEN LADNER GERVAIS LLP CAN HELP
BLG has a leading land use planning practice, with lawyers and
land use planners able to help you determine the existing zoning
status and development permissions for your property, and assess
how the revised zoning by-law will affect your property and
development intentions. Our lawyers are experienced in all facets
of property development and bring this experience to the critical
We are also experienced and effective advocates and can help
protect you by securing your appeal rights, advancing your
interests at statutory public meetings, and, if necessary,
litigating an appeal at the Ontario Municipal Board.
Russell v. Township of Georgian Bay provides a useful reminder of the fact that while municipal officials sometimes appear to hold all of the cards in disputes with home owners, that is not always the case.
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