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City Planning Directors A team of leaders, our Directors oversee the work of City Planning, guide our priorities, and enable us to outperform expectations.

Kerri Voumvakis, Strategic Initiatives, Policy & Analysis

Gregg Lintern, Community Planning, Toronto East-York

Allen Appleby, Community Planning, North York

Raymond David, Community Planning, Scarborough

Neil Cresswell, Community Planning, Etobicoke-York

Joe D’Abramo, Zoning & Environmental Planning

Tim Laspa, Transporation Planning

David Stonehouse, Waterfront Secretariat

Harold Madi, Urban Design

message. chief planner’s

Our city is transforming before our eyes! Toronto is at a momentous point in its history, capping out a decade of rapid growth to become North America’s fourth largest city. Every year, thousands of new residents come to call Toronto home, their arrival a symbol of belief in the opportunity this great city provides. Growth holds the potential for inspirational architecture, a spectacular waterfront, vibrant neighbourhoods, streets that are for people, and green spaces that knit our communities together. Growth also brings new challenges as communities contend with change, as our infrastructure creaks under the strain, and as we continue to negotiate our shared values. Using our Official Plan as our guide, the City Planning Division seeks to shape growth and manage change in a manner that enhances quality of life within all of Toronto’s diverse communities. This Annual Report is the first of its kind within our Division, and represents a snapshot of how our actions in 2013 touched the lives of the people of Toronto. Where Torontonians work and live, how we move around, how we play – even the quality of the air we breathe - is directly impacted by the work we do in collaboration with our Divisional partners. The need for an Annual Report was identified as a key action in our Strategic Plan as we continue to move the Division towards adopting a culture of best practices. Our objective is to outline our accomplishments in a transparent manner that makes clear the breadth of work delivered this past year, the value City Planning adds to the City of Toronto, and priorities for 2014. This report captures the quality, professional service delivered by the City Planning team, our increasing operational efficiency, and our ability to manage and deliver the unprecedented volume of development experienced over the past five years. I am proud of our measurable impact on key quality of life indicators. For this reason, we have structured the Report to align with the key themes of our Official Plan.

In 2013, City Planning created and launched its first Strategic Plan, a five-year guiding document that operationalizes how we implement the Official Plan and serves as a foundation for achieving important cultural shifts within our organization. Feeling Congested?, the review of the Official Plan’s transportation policies, pioneered innovative consultation techniques and reached thousands of residents. We also completed a series of landmark projects in 2013, including the Tall Building Guidelines, the Harmonized Zoning By-Law, and many spectacular public art installations and civic improvements projects. Throughout the year our staff received 606 development applications, 3,162 committee of adjustment applications, held 384 non-statutory public meetings, and approved 16,174 residential units and 471,691 square metres of non-residential construction. 2014 brings opportunities to strengthen the completeness of our communities and to build on the growing momentum for mid-rise buildings along Toronto’s Avenues. The continued roll out of our Strategic Plan will ensure we remain connected to our vision, and become more effective and efficient as Division. Through Growing Conversations, a process launching this winter, we will engage communities by exploring innovative ways to broaden participation and to introduce planning to new audiences, such as youth and recent immigrant communities. In closing, I must stress that the successes of the past year are an outcome of interdivisional collaborations, as well as of the many meetings, conversations, and working groups held with stakeholders and residents of this city. Thank you so much for your energy and inspiration! Bring on 2014, and let’s continue to build a great city, TOgether.

Jennifer Keesmaat Chief Planner & Executive Director


City Planning is driven by the inputs it receives on a daily basis from the public, developers, City Council, and standing committees. The volume of work handled by City Planning is unprecedented among municipalities in Canada.



non-statutory community consultations





chief planner roundtable events participants in chief planner roundtables


development applications

In 2013, we worked to broaden the reach of our traditional consultation through the use of innovative methods and technologies. Building on these successes, we are launching Growing Conversations, an initiative that aims to engage new audiences and transform our approach to public consultation.


residents consulted

twitter interactions




1 million+

planners in public spaces (PiPs) events PiPs participants

interactions with the online zoning map page views of city planning website




committee of adjustment applications



heritage permit applications




applications in 2013


planning and growth management work program requests



completed hiring competitions


internal training sessions held


hours of internal staff training


staff that participated in conferences/seminars


staff that attended external training

350 strong, the City Planning team handles the workload inputs received by our Division. We strive to be leaders in city building in Toronto, delivering services efficiently, working to improve the quality of life of residents, and following a long-term vision for the growth of Toronto.

#2013 @CityPlanTO











reports to community councils & standing committees design review sessions


official plan amendments

section 37 agreements

OMB development application appeals submitted

committee of adjustment hearings

city building studies

member’s motions at council

employment survey respondents

Robust and meaningful conversations with stakeholders is at the core of the planning process. Through collaboration, we work to implement the pillars of the Official Plan, balance community interests, and strengthen liveability in Toronto.

180,000 tonnes


of future Co2 reduction from toronto green standard

heritage permit applications approved in 3 days




approved projects

public art installations unveiled

approved residential units


civic improvement projects completed

471,691 m2

approved non-residential space

$62 million section 37 and 45 benefits secured

Inputs into City Planning are shaped by our team and the public to form the tangible elements of city building that define the outputs of our Division. Toronto's future growth, resilience, and success are fundamentally impacted by the work we do.




2013 World’s Most Liveable Cities Toronto ranked 4th

high-rise buildings under construction















contents. table of


City Planning - Who We Are


Planning for People - What We Do


Planning a Great City Together


The Official Plan


A City of Diversity & Opportunity 2013 Project Profiles North Downtown Yonge A City that Works Parkway Forest Mimico-by-the-Lake


A City of Beauty 2013 Project Profiles Toronto Urban Design Awards Tall Building Guidelines Civic Improvements Public Art Program


A City of Connections 2013 Project Profiles Feeling Congested? Eglinton Connects


A City of Leaders and Stewards 2013 Project Profiles Waterfront Secretariat Official Plan Heritage Policy Toronto Green Standard Chief Planner Roundtables & Planners in Public Spaces Zoning By-Law


Pan Am/Parapan Am Games 2013 Development Review 2013 Development Applications Toronto & East-York Scarborough Etobicoke-York North York


Divisional Initiatives


2014 City Building

planning. city

who we are

We are 350 passionate urbanists committed to building Toronto. We believe in the power of place, and that Toronto is a leading best practice in city living. Our ranks are filled with talented professionals who deeply appreciate Toronto’s complex urban tapestry, and who are unfaltering in their commitment to strengthening its social, economic, and environmental underpinnings.

Community Planning As our primary face to the public, Community Planning and Committee of Adjustment staff are the frontlines of City Planning. Intimately familiar with their local neighbourhoods, this driven team provides stellar customer service and manages substantial volumes of applications ranging from the largest skyscrapers to finegrained infill projects.

Urban Design Shaping development to achieve beauty that astonishes and inspires, this creative team helps craft meaningful places and spaces designed for people. From the massing of Toronto’s largest structures, to the fine grained nuances of heritage preservation, public art and public realm improvements, Urban Design and the Graphics & Visualization team bring finesse to our work.


Strategic Initiatives, Policy and Analysis Whether its managing the largest development boom experienced in recent history, or responding to game changing proposals with city-wide implications, this talented group expediently handles critical planning issues facing Toronto. Through comprehensive research, improved business performance standards, zoning, area studies, and long range policy, the work of this team sets the stage for the quality of life of both current and future Torontonians.

Waterfront Secretariat Revitalizing Toronto’s greatest natural asset - its waterfront - is not without challenges. The Waterfront Secretariat works closely with Waterfront Toronto and other partner organizations to bring world-class planning to the shores of Lake Ontario, helping to facilitate the largest urban waterfront redevelopment project in North America.

Transportation Planning Tackling urban mobility, one of Toronto’s most pressing issues, these specialized professionals combine transportation and land use planning to form one of Canada’s most respected transportation planning teams. From Feeling Congested? to planning for the Relief Line, the work of our transportation planners will fundamentally shape Toronto’s underlying urban structure for decades to come.






Planning for the people of Toronto is what we do. The places Torontonians call home - where we live, our neighbourhoods, and our city are all fundamentally impacted by City Planning. As a Division, we seek to lead planning of this city, serve as stewards of its assets, and partner with communities to create a framework for change that will enable Toronto to thrive. Our work, and its objectives, touch on all aspects of quality of life. Where We Live and Work We plan strategically to ensure that appropriate housing and fulfilling employment opportunities are available throughout Toronto to meet the needs of a diverse and growing population.

How We Move We strengthen the linkages that bind us together by providing access to quality, affordable transportation options that help us move through our neighbourhoods and across the city.

Healthy and Equitable Communities We create complete inclusive communities by providing the elements of healthy everyday living in an accessible environment.

Memorable Places We strive to protect existing built and natural heritage, facilitate stunning new buildings, and provide vibrant public spaces that leave us with lasting memories.

The Legacy We Leave We work to make Toronto both sustainable and resilient, positioning future residents of this city to enjoy an exceptional quality of life.

Shaping our Future City At the hundreds of public events held in 2013, we consistently heard the same message: Torontonians are deeply proud of their city. We share this pride and take privilege in the opportunity to shape the future of Toronto.

people. planning for

what we do

together. planningagreatcity

In 2013, we launched our first ever Strategic Plan, a divisional playbook for advancing a city building agenda. With the Official Plan Vision as its foundation, Strategic Directions are supported by key Actions that form a framework for our priorities and activities. The Strategic Plan lays out the Charter Statements that guide City Planning as a Division, the work we do, and how we do it. We Plan TO...


city building.


We plan Toronto by taking a leading role in city building.

3 learning.

We plan Toronto by creating policy that balances a city-wide vision with neighbourhood interests.


We plan Toronto by facilitating a culture of continuous learning.

5 participation. We plan Toronto by continually working to broaden participation in city building.

balancing interest.

innovation. We plan Toronto by embracing innovation.


partnerships. We plan Toronto by pursuing partnerships with other Divisions, City Council and the public.




officialplan. the

City Planning is a steward of the City of Toronto’s Official Plan, a City Council-adopted policy that manages growth and change. The Official Plan sets out a vision for Toronto and establishes the framework within which that vision will be achieved.

Official Plan Vision: •

Vibrant neighbourhoods that are part of complete communities;

Affordable housing choices that meet the needs of everyone throughout their life;

Attractive, tree-lined streets with shops and housing that are made for walking;

A comprehensive and high quality affordable transit system that lets people move around the city quickly and conveniently;

A strong and competitive economy with a vital downtown that creates and sustains well-paid, stable, safe and fulfilling employment opportunities for all Torontonians;

Clean air, land and water;

Green spaces of all sizes and public squares that bring people together;

A wealth of recreational opportunities that promote health and wellness;

A spectacular waterfront that is healthy, diverse, public, and beautiful;

Cultural facilities that celebrate the best of city living; and

Beautiful architecture and excellent urban design that astonishes and inspires.

At its core, the Official Plan is about planning for the people of Toronto by enhancing the quality of life of current and future residents. To achieve this, four pillars underscore the Official Plan Vision, each touching on a distinct yet interconnected quality of life element. These pillars represent the guiding structure that informs all that we do as a Division.






Economy, Housing, Complete Communities

Movement, Transportation Planning, Walking, Cycling

Toronto is a hopeful city, a place where ambition meets opportunity. The diversity of our people is the strength that drives our economy, culture, and pride. This pillar symbolizes the need to create complete communities within a complete city; places where fulfilling jobs and appropriate housing can be found in close proximity to community amenities and services.

The quality of life of Torontonians is deeply tied to urban connectivity. Strengthening our ability to connect, providing movement choices that meet the needs of all citizens, and reducing the amount of time and economic productivity lost to congestion are critical issues facing a rapidly growing city. This pillar is not only about making movement easier; it also is about ensuring that jobs, schools, services, parks, and the other components of daily life are within walking distance of where we live.



Green Spaces, Heritage, Urban Design, Streetscapes

Best Practices, Policy, Sustainability

The Official Plan seeks to create a city of beauty that astonishes and inspires. The beauty of Toronto is not defined by any one building or space, it is the outcome of the delicate composition in our fine-grained urban environment. The interplay between our ravines and heritage homes, our waterfront and skyline, and our vibrant main streets embedded within established communities are the daily scenes that express the inherent beauty of Toronto.

The context, challenges, and opportunities that Toronto faces are unique in North America. Maintaining and enhancing the quality of life within this environment demands taking a leadership role and pioneering best practices. Strong stewardship of our existing achievements is required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the elements that define what makes Toronto a great city to live in.

diversity& opportun acityof



nity Economy, Housing, Complete Communities Building complete communities that are places of diversity and opportunity is a guiding pillar of our Division. Complete communities provide choice; housing that is appropriate and affordable, jobs that are close to home, fulfilling education and employment opportunities, and a variety of ways to move around, socialize, and enjoy life. From citywide strategic initiatives to individual development applications, we seek to make Toronto a city of diversity and opportunity for all.



project profiles. Port Lands Area Studies Building on the successful outcomes of the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative, Community Planning, the Waterfront Secretariat, Waterfront Toronto, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority continue to unlock the revitalization potential of the Port Lands. Studies of this 356-hectare site are currently focusing on the Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Environmental Assessment, developing a Port Lands-wide planning framework, and completing precinct planning for Cousins Quay and the Film Studio District.

Mr. Christie’s Master Plan Between June and September 2013, representatives from a diverse and inclusive range of organizations met to explore options to strengthen local employment opportunities at the former Mr. Christie manufacturing site. The working group studied the potential of new commercial food incubator programs and food industry tenants, and generated a vision statement and ten guiding principles to inspire the creation of a vibrant mixed-use community.




MCR Housing Potential Analysis

West Roncesvalles Land Use Study

Nearly 3.4 million people are expected to live in Toronto by 2041. In order to ensure that the Official Plan can accommodate this growth, City Planning undertook a Municipal Comprehensive Review. The review determined that current planning policies are more than capable of accommodating the forecasted population growth without eroding lands currently designated as Employment Areas.

Community planning initiated the West Roncesvalles Land Use Study to preserve the healthy mix of uses and dwelling types that characterize this section of the west side of Roncesvalles Avenue. City Planning established a set of guidelines for the review of future nonresidential proposals in the area to ensure the application of Official Plan policies and Zoning By-Law provisions respect the unique character of this area.

Ossington Area Study

Toronto’s Senior Strategy

Community Planning undertook extensive community consultations as part of the Ossington Avenue Planning Study, recognizing that community organizations should be leaders in building Toronto. From these consultations emerged a new area-specific Official Plan policy, which includes a limit on the size of ground floor retail spaces, four and five-storey height restrictions, and heritageconscious design standards. This policy will help to maintain the community’s own sense of Ossington Avenue as a “village in a city” by encouraging diverse commercial activities and vibrant pedestrian experiences.

City Planning assisted Social Development Finance and Administration in the preparation of the 2013 Toronto Seniors Strategy, a guiding document that identifies key initiatives for developing an age-friendly city. The new strategy, its consultation process, and its embodied themes of equity, respect, inclusion, and quality of life align with the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Initiative, and Ontario’s Seniors Strategy: “Living Longer, Living Well.”

Section 37 Community Benefits

Queen Street West Restaurant Study

City Council and planning staff are committed to increasing the diversity and accessibility of Toronto’s housing. In June, City Council revised the City’s Section 37 policies to allow the provision of affordable rental units from a developer in exchange for additional height and/or density. Developers will now be able to transfer new condominium units to a nonprofit housing provider for use as affordable rental units, thereby increasing the diversity of tenure types in new developments and the accessibility of new housing.

To ensure a continued balance of residences and commercial establishments, the Queen Street West Restaurant Study recommends a limit on the density of restaurants and bars on Queen Street West, between Roncesvalles Avenue and Dufferin Street. City Council’s adoption of the study advances the Official Plan’s vision of creating a city of diversity and opportunity that encourages a mix of places to live and work.

downtown north


The North Downtown Yonge Area Specific Official Plan Policies and Urban Design Guidelines provide the necessary vision and implementation tools to create a unique sense of place in a dynamic mixed use community. These policies provide direction and guidance for the built form and the public realm. They accommodate both local and regional needs and support a diversity of housing, employment, and recreational opportunities in this transit-integrated community.



OVERVIEW In response to the Downtown Tall Buildings Study, and to address the quantity and type of new development occuring in the area, City Planning undertook the North Downtown Yonge Street Planning Framework (NDYPF) and community consultation. The original direction of the NDYPF was to provide area specific urban design guidelines, but as the study process evolved it was determined that a planning framework should also be provided through an Official Plan Amendment with area specific policies. In late 2013, City Council adopted both the urban design guidelines and Official Plan Amendment, delivering to the community a policy framework and design direction to shape the future of the neighbourhood where they live, work, and play.



= 9,788

number of community involvement opportunities held through the study process

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION: Active community involvement was a critical component throughout the study. Planning staff led a comprehensive consultation process for the North Downtown Yonge study that included a variety of engagement techniques, including the development of a fully accessible webpage, area walks, a series of open houses, a mini charrette, and a working group.


Focus on the built form of the area. Respect the area’s extensive heritage attributes. Identify places and streets of special interest. Improve the pedestrian experience. Recognize and identify opportunities to increase open space. Community Consultation Process

City Council Direction


Urban Design Guidelines



participants in the consultation process

Business Improvement Areas and Neighbourhood Associations that participated in the study process (4 BIAs and 3 NAs)

sites approved, under construction, and proposed in the study area


Policy Development


residential units


that works a city

Official Plan Review of Policies for Economic Health and Employment Areas Every municipality in Ontario is required to review its Official Plan within five years of it coming into effect. The review must include an assessment of the policies and designations for a municipality’s Employment Areas.


OVERVIEW Toronto’s Employment Areas are designated for the exclusive use of business and economic activities. Employment areas house 29% of Toronto’s jobs, and spread workplaces and commutes across the city. It is crucial that Employment Areas are conserved to give existing businesses room to expand, and to welcome new businesses that will employ future generations of Torontonians. As part of the review of Official Plan policies on Economic Health and Employment Areas, an analysis of Toronto’s housing capacity determined that the City is on track to meet provincial Growth Plan population forecasts. With sufficient room to accommodate population growth, there is no need to convert Employment Areas to residential uses.



applications for Employment Area conversions

140 +

of Toronto’s jobs are located in Employment Areas

1.9 to 3.7


million m2 of new office space required in Toronto by 2031

additional jobs forecasted by 2031 in Toronto


PROJECT OBJECTIVES Promoting Office Space on Rapid Transit Lines • Recommended Official Plan policies promote office growth in the downtown, designated centres, and within walking distance of rapid transit stations. • In these transit-rich areas, if an office building is redeveloped for residential use, the redevelopment must also contain an increase in office space.

Public Consultation Draft Policies to City Council

Research & Policy Development


Preserving Toronto’s Employment Areas • 8,300 hectares of land are devoted to business and economic activity. • Recommended Official Plan policies will preserve 97% of Toronto’s Employment Areas. • Employment Areas can be converted to residential uses only at the time of the Official Plan Review.


PGM and City Council request further work Policies Approved by PGM and City Council


Ministerial Review


parkway forest

During community consultations on the project, residents made it clear they like the leafy feel and open spaces of the area. The redevelopment seeks to retain that feel by including plenty of green space and making sure that tall buildings are set back from the street or set on podiums so they don’t loom too large. “We wanted to keep the park in Parkway Forest,” says city planner Leo DeSorcy. Marcus Gee, The Globe and Mail


OVERVIEW Emerald City is a new community under construction in the Parkway Forest neighbourhood, adjacent to the Don Mills Subway Station and Fairview Mall. Once completed, the project will include residential condominium towers, rental replacement buildings, and new community services and facilities. The project includes a new community centre with a gymnasium, a running track, day care facilities, an outdoor pool, a new community agency space, and public art commissioned from renowned artist Douglas Copeland. The new mid-rise rental replacement buildings and townhouses are now occupied, and occupancy of the first residential condominium tower commenced in December 2013. Construction on the Parkway Forest Community Centre is anticipated to be complete by Summer 2014.


new rental replacement dwelling units in 3-storey townhouse buildings and 7-storey mid-rise buildings




working group, tenant information, and community consultation meetings held through the planning process

new condominium units in 3-storey townhouses, 7-storey mid-rise streetwall buildings and towers ranging from 25 to 36 storeys

the size of the new Parkway Forest Community Centre currently under construction

5,316 m2

PROJECT OBJECTIVES • Providing opportunities for new housing and rental replacement units within a variety of mid and high rise apartments and condominiums. • Respecting and enhancing the existing park like character of the community and providing new community services and facilities for the neighbourhood. • Using a phased transition of community services and transportation infrastructure throughout the redevelopment to ensure that residents always retain access to essential services. • Creating a high-quality, safe, and comfortable public realm with connected open space networks and improved pedestrian routes between the community and the Don Mills Subway Station.


Parkway Forest Community Centre - Public plaza at front entrance

by-the-lake mimico


Mimico-by-the-Lake is a historic Toronto community that is known for its unique lakeside location within Toronto’s waterfront. It has exemplary public spaces and connections to the waterfront with trails, parks and places for community gathering and play; an accessible, attractive and vibrant main street that supports transit and a mix of shops, services, employment opportunities and community activities and is a draw for residents and others outside the area; housing choices and opportunities for renewed rental and ownership; and inclusive participation from an active mixed income community which celebrates its history, diversity, environment, arts, and culture.


Mimico-by-the-Lake Secondary Plan Vision Statement


OVERVIEW Mimico 20/20 was a City Planning lead initiative that resulted in the creation of the Mimico by-the-Lake Secondary Plan. The plan provides the policy framework for revitalization and change within this community over the next 20 years. Taking advantage of its unique lakeside setting, this plan envisions an inclusive, mixed-use community that is well integrated with the surrounding neighbourhood. It provides for choice in terms of mobility, employment, shopping, and recreational opportunities, as well as housing in terms of built form, tenure, and affordability. Creating the plan involved a robust consultation campaign that drew upon a range of public consultation strategies. It successfully engaged hundreds of local residents and property/business owners in a substantive conversation on the future of the Mimico community.

8, 25 & 15 maximum building heights recommended

1,000 +




public consultation tools including a charrette, open houses, interviews, and workshops

residents of Mimico who were engaged through the various community consultation processes

dedicated to containing all the published material and project history

1 website

PROJECT OBJECTIVES Guiding Priorities In collaboration with the community, planning staff developed seven priorities that provide a frame of reference for developing the Secondary Plan, which include housing, parks, public realm and infrastructures, economic development, land use and built form, transportation and movement, and social services. Providing for Revitalization The Secondary Plan presents a framework that supports reinvestment through the creation of a new street and block pattern that facilitates redevelopment under a built form and height regime that is sensitive to its context. Revitalization in the Secondary Plan area is expected to occur through the renewal of the existing rental housing stock, infill development on underutilized sites, and redevelopment of properties in accordance with the Secondary Plan.

Accessing Lake Ontario The plan emphasizes stronger connections to Lake Ontario to allow the larger Mimico community to access Toronto’s landmark waterfront. Access is provided by introducing new streets from Lake Shore Boulevard West, along the waterfront, and providing pedestrian connections with green space expansions.


beauty a city of

Argen Elezi Photography, 2013




Green Spaces, Heritage, Urban Design, Streetscapes Building a city of beauty means encouraging the development of an urban landscape that constantly inspires and amazes. Beautiful cities build long-term resilience by attracting and retaining people and investment. Protecting our existing built and natural environments, new public art, heritage preservation, excellent urban design, the Design Review Panel, vibrant streetscapes, and plentiful green spaces are among the many ways that City Planning works to make Toronto beautiful.


project profiles. Heritage Conservation District Studies

Heritage Preservation Services is investigating the opportunity to create Heritage Conservation Districts (HCD) in five city neighbourhoods: King-Spadina, Historic Yonge Street, the Garden District, St. Lawrence, and Queen Street East. The first phase of this process involves a careful assessment of these areas, and the over 2,000 properties that they contain, to determine their historical significance. New area specific plans will then establish policies that will conserve important heritage attributes, while inviting new developments that respect the historical characteristics of these neighbourhoods.

City Hall Physical Model The architectural model of the city that greets people entering City Hall has received a wellearned refurbishment. This process involved a thorough cleaning of the model, new tables to support the base, and new counters and glass to match the existing heritage counters of the first floor lobby. New graphic wall murals and an LED projector augments the static nature of this venerable 3D snapshot of the city.




Privately Owned Public Spaces

Mimico Phase 2

A growing city needs new parks and open spaces as places of retreat, relaxation, and recreation. To create these facilities in Toronto’s dense urban landscape, City Planning actively pursues partnerships with private developers to include Privately Owned Publicly Accessible Open Spaces (POPS) as part of development applications. POPS agreements have added nearly 100,000 square metres of public space to the downtown area alone; and planning staff have identified up to 400 potential additional POPS sites throughout the city.

Mimico Waterfront Park is a new $18 million public space on the shore of Lake Ontario. Funded by Waterfront Toronto, the park includes 1.1 kilometres of waterfront trail that provides residents with environmentally sustainable access to the waterfront. The recently completed Phase 2 included the installation of three sections of cantilevered boardwalk and a multi-use trail between Superior Avenue and Grand Harbour.

Design Review Panel

Ranee Underpass

The Design Review Panel is an independent advisory body comprised of private-sector design professionals. Their mandate is to help improve the quality of life in Toronto by promoting design excellence in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and environmental sustainability. In 2013 the Panel reviewed 37 projects throughout the City, including 23 significant private developments (office buildings, condominiums etc.) and 14 major public projects (bridge, trail and park designs, and policy/visioning documents).

Improvements to Ranee Underpass emerged as a priority in City Planning’s community consultations during the Lawrence-Allen Revitalization process. The community produced a vibrant mural to create a more accessible and welcoming entrance to Yorkdale Subway Station. Civic Design then partnered with Transportation Services to implement numerous public realm improvements, including widening the sidewalks, improving the landscaping, and providing seating and bicycle parking.

Rouge National Urban Park

Midtown in Focus

In 2011, the Federal Government announced that it would establish Canada’s first national urban park through an expansion of Toronto’s Rouge Park. In addition to leading bilateral discussions with Parks Canada, City Planning staff are working with other Divisions to identify and address the implications of this expansion on existing and future infrastructure and adjacent land uses. A national urban park designation will ensure strengthened protections for this important natural environment and its significant beauty and recreational opportunities.

The Midtown in Focus Study will create a framework for coordinated improvements to parks, open spaces, and streetscapes in the area surrounding the Yonge-Eglinton Centre. The Study will identify how the existing relationships between parks, open spaces, streets, and public buildings can be improved. The objective is a public realm that is a destination in its own right, and one that contributes to the vibrancy of the area.

urbandesign toronto


The Toronto Urban Design Awards present an opportunity to pause, take stock and recognize the work we are doing, collectively, to create a great city. Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat 2013 Awards Gala keynote address

The Toronto Urban Design Awards are for projects that not only demonstrate excellence in design, but thoughtfully engage with and contribute to the public realm and the creation of place.

2013 Toronto Urban Design Awards Jury


OVERVIEW Every two years, the City of Toronto holds Urban Design Awards to acknowledge the significant contribution that architects, landscape architects, urban designers, artists, design students, and city builders make to the look and liveability of the city. The 2013 Toronto Urban Design Awards program once again provided an encouraging snapshot of how we have collectively shaped and improved the city’s built environment. The 2013 Awards competition received 125 entries in the following seven categories: 1. Elements 2. Buildings in Context – Private a. Low-scale b. Mid-rise c. Tall 3. Buildings in Context – Public 4. Small Open Spaces 5. Large Places and Neighbourhood Designs 6. Visions and Master Plans 7. Student Projects

AWARD WINNERS The Jury selected 28 winning projects, including 11 Awards of Excellence, 16 Awards of Merit, and 1 Special Jury Award. The 2013 award winners were announced and celebrated during an evening gala on September 11, 2013 at the Palais Royale.

125 entries an impressive 125 projects entered in 7 categories

28 winners financial and in-kind contributions from corporate partners supports full program cost recovery


industry professionals joined City representatives at an evening awards gala announcing the winners


11 Awards of Excellence, 16 Awards of Merit and 1 Special Jury Award

25 sponsors

JURY An independent jury of design professionals selected winning projects that reflect Torontonian’s expectation for high-quality and sustainable design. Jury deliberation was two full days, and included a thorough review of each entry, a tour of shortlisted projects, and selection of the winning submissions. The results of the competition are summarized in a 35 page Jury Report.

The Jury was particularly impressed by the range and quality of Public Buildings entered, and awarded an unprecedented 10 projects in this category. Toronto’s 2013 Award of Excellence winners receive advanced placement in the 2014 National Urban Design Awards competition hosted by Architecture Canada | RAIC, the Canadian Institute of Planners, and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.


Jury Members (right to left): Marianne McKenna, KPMB Architects | Eric Turcotte, Urban Strategies Inc. | Cecelia Paine, University of Guelph | Jeremy Sturgess, Sturgess Architecture | Matthew Blackett, Spacing | |

tallbuilding guidelines

What we have to think about are ways to create a vertical urban life that’s liveable. It isn’t just about the view. It has to be about how buildings work at the base and how they contribute to the public realm.

Bruce Kuwabara , KPMB Architects The Toronto Star, Urban Issues, Dec 22, 2011 by Christopher Hume





Toronto has recently experienced an unprecedented number of tall building developments. In response, City Planning developed clear design guidance to ensure that new tall buildings fit well with neighbours, improve living, working, and pedestrian experiences, and support a sustainable future.

Coordination and Consistency Provide one coordinated set of guidelines which can be applied consistently city-wide.

In May 2013, City Council adopted updated city-wide Tall Building Design Guidelines. These guidelines bring together previous tall building studies and guidelines into a unified set of performance measures. The Guidelines are used to help evaluate all new and current tall building development applications across Toronto. The city-wide Guidelines are used together with the award winning companion “Downtown Tall Buildings: Vision and Supplementary Design Guidelines” to address specific tall building planning and design concerns identified within the city’s downtown, where tall building development is most intensive.



Design Quality Prioritize design excellence and innovation as a means of addressing the important civic role tall buildings play in defining the image and liveability of Toronto. Clarity Use simple, direct language, clear graphic illustrations, and a userfriendly layout to communicate design concepts and solutions to a broad audience. Consultation Incorporate input from more than 6 years of guideline testing and review: • 290+ “tall building” applications (about 50% downtown); • District Planning and Design studies; • Design Review Panel meetings; • City Council and Ontario Municipal Board decisions; • Community meetings; and • Resident and industry stakeholder consultations.


47 21



Tall Building Official Plan policies adopted

2006 :

DRAFT city-wide “Design Criteria for the Review of Tall Building Proposals” adopted


Downtown study “Tall Buildings, Inviting Change in Downtown Toronto” completed (2013 OPPI Award of Excellence winner)


Downtown Tall Buildings Vision and Performance Standards Design Guidelines adopted


Updated city-wide Tall Building Design Guidelines & Downtown Tall Buildings: Vision and Supplementary Design Guidelines adopted



Number of Tall Building* Development Applications City-Wide (2006 to 2012) * Applications with building(s) 14 storeys or more



improvements Dundas Street West Parkettes, 2013 Toronto Urban Design Award of Merit winner | PMA Landscape Architects | Scott Eunson & Marianne Lovink | Design input and construction funding provided by City Planning in collaboration with Dundas West BIA and Economic Development & Culture


Through a combination of wood benches, sculptural bicycle racks, curbed planting areas and the use of high-quality paving materials, eight new public spaces have been created that serve the needs of local residents and contribute to retail street life on Dundas Street West...This type of initiative should be repeated and encouraged throughout the city.


2013 Toronto Urban Design Awards Jury


OVERVIEW Every year, City Planning undertakes a series of civic improvement projects to advance the placemaking policy objectives of the Official Plan. The program involves low-cost, high-value investments to enhance the design quality and environmental sustainability of large capital works projects underway across the city. These demonstrations of design excellence and innovation in city building take place on Toronot’s streets, bridges, and adjacent public open spaces. Design enhancements may include the addition of small public plazas, seat walls, planters, steps and ramps, interpretive signage, public art, tree planting, stormwater management, and naturalization programs. These improvements result in improved pedestrian safety, environmental benefits and more attractive, functional, and inviting public places for local residents, businesses, and visitors to enjoy.

$2.7 million value of civic improvement projects completed in 2013

12 places number of bridge, gateway and trail enhancements installed



extent of linear streetscape greening and design improvements completed

6 km

number of new parkettes and small open spaces completed

5 connections

CAPITAL PROJECTS COMPLETED IN 2013 The range of projects delivered city-wide in 2013 includes new parkettes, improvements to bridges, ravine connections, and transit waiting areas, as well as the installation of seat walls, street trees, and an innovative bioswale pilot project for stormwater management.

public art program OVERVIEW City Planning creates public art policy, identifies public art opportunities on public and private lands, and oversees the private developer Percent for Public Art Program. Based in Urban Design, and working with volunteer advisors at the Toronto Public Art Commission, the Percent for Public Art Program has secured and approved dozens of public art commissions across Toronto. 2013 was very active for the City Planning Percent for Public Art Program: 10 new public art installations were completed, 14 Public Art Plans were approved, and more than 12 new public art commitments were secured.

The mission of the PLAZA Public Art Program is to create inspiring living environments that benefit their residents and cultivate a sense of community.

PLAZA’s press release for Breuning’s Guardians

65, 75, 85 East Liberty Street, Developer: PLAZA, Guardians by Olaf Breuning




525 Wilson Avenue

103 and 105 The Queensway

Developer: Tippet Developments Incorporated

Developer: Cresford Developments

These three prominent “Light Containers” are perforated stainless steel with thousands of circular holes. Sculptor Linda Covit added programmed LEDs to create a changing sequence of tones.

American sculptor Jim Hodges created this boldly abstract sculpture made from galvanized steele plate. 6 m wide by 9 m tall, ‘Echo’ can be seen from the Gardiner Expressway.

Markham Steeles Crossing

125 Western Battery Road

Developer: Baif Developments Limited

Developer: PLAZA

“Toronto 360” announces a large retail plaza at the corner of Markham and Steeles. Designed by Dean Martin, this prominent play on words and text serves as an important landmark.

Fastwurm’s giant treefrog is a delightful addition to Liberty Village’s neighbourhood. In an open plaza, combined with an 11 m tall unicorn tusk, “Monoceros” these sculptures are powerful icons from traditional and popular cultures.

570 Bay Street

430 King Street West

Developer: Concert Properties

Developer: Great Gulf Limited

Two lovely bronze sculptures and text by Ken Lum are located in a quiet corridor near the busy intersection of Bay and Dundas Streets. “Across Time and Space, Two Children of Toronto Meet” is a symbolic reference to the passage of time.

At a busy King Street West corner sits Jed Lind’s “Ballast”, a 5 m tall bronze homage to the shipping days. This bold contemporary relic is the focal point of a popular social space for the public.

connection a city of




ns Movement, Transportation Planning, Walking, Cycling Urban connectivity ties us together. How we travel to work, to buy our groceries, or to visit family and friends profoundly impacts our quality of life. A connected city is a place where all residents have the ability to move in a way that is accessible, efficient, affordable, sustainable, and healthy. Through our Transportation Planning Section, Civic Improvement Program, and planning inputs into transportation initiatives led by our corporate partners, City Planning is deeply committed to making Toronto a city of connections.


project profiles. Richmond-Adelaide Cycle Tracks Transportation Services and City Planning are undertaking the Richmond-Adelaide Cycle Tracks Planning and Design Study, an assesment of the potential for physically separated bicycle lanes (“cycle tracks”) running along Richmond, Adelaide and/or Wellington Streets between Bathurst and Sherbourne Streets. The Richmond-Adelaide Cycle Tracks will advance the transportation objectives established in the Official Plan by expanding the city’s bike-way network, improving transit interconnectedness, reducing automobile dependency, and creating a bicycle-friendly urban environment.

Billy Bishop Island Airport For the expedited review of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport expansion proposal, planning staff collected public input from more than 1,000 attendees at four public meetings, 41,000 online surveys, 350 face-to-face interviews, and 1,000 residents via a telephone poll. As well, staff led an interdisciplinary consultant and staff team, and comprehensively analyzed and synthesized the technical report findings. Staff formulated recommendations for Executive Committee and City Council on the basis of this information.




Ward 18 Rail Corridor

Mount Dennis Mobility Hub

City Planning sought to respond proactively to development proposals along the western edge of Ward 18, and plan for long-term revitalization of the lands beside the Canadian National Railway tracks. The study identifies potential sites for parks and open spaces, advocates for bikeway connections to the West Toronto Rail Path, incorporates options for additional vehicle parking and pedestrian walkways, and strives to protect and conserve heritage resources.

The Mount Dennis Mobility Hub Study aims to inform the development of a fully integrated transit station. The completed study - a collaboration between Metrolinx and City Planning - will establish a long-term vision for the station and surrounding lands that aspires towards a higher density mixed-use environment with enhanced pedestrian and cyclist connectivity and functionally improved public spaces.

Lawrence-Allen Revitalization

Gardiner Environmental Assessment

The Lawrence-Allen Secondary Plan establishes a foundation for a long-term revitalization of the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood. City staff, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation, and developer partners are currently planning the first phase of this development which will include both market and social housing components. With a short walk of two subway stations, the development will encourage active and sustainable living with excellent integration into the city’s transportation network.

A joint project of the City and Waterfront Toronto, the Gardiner East Environmental Assessment and Urban Design Study is studying four options for the elevated expressway east of Jarvis Street: maintain, improve, replace, and remove. Given the importance of the corridor to Toronto’s economic future, and its role within emerging waterfront communities, the options are being evaluated from the perspective of transportation and infrastructure, economics, urban design, and environment in accordance with the approved Terms of Reference. Council will consider a preferred EA alternative in April.

Beecroft Streetscape

Kennedy Mobility Hub

Urban Design viewed the planned extension of Beecroft Road as an opportunity to collaborate with Transportation Services to engage in a project of placemaking, and bring aesthetic and functional enhancements to the community. Now completed, the Beecroft Streetscape revitalization added a series of parkettes for playgrounds with new seating and picnicking areas. A tree-lined streetscape now connects the residential community to the North York Centre subway station.

In 2013, City Planning, Metrolinx, and the Toronto Transit Commission engaged in dialogue on the future development of this important transportation hub. Following community consultations, a comprehensive plan emerged for a well-designed and integrated Kennedy Station that will contribute significantly to the connectivity of the city. The mixed-use focus of the Mobility Hub, and a high-quality station design, will help strengthen the connections between residential neighbourhoods and employment areas.

congested? feeling

As we were riding down Sherbourne St. toward Allen Gardens, I realized just how much the separated bike lanes make a difference. I felt immediately safer peddling down the green marked lane, and cautioning a look at drivers, I could tell they were happy they didn’t have to deal with cyclists.

Julia Alexander, Toronto Sun


OVERVIEW Feeling Congested? is a process to update the transportation policies in the City’s Official Plan. Designed around a robust consultation campaign that has pioneered a range of innovative engagement methods, it is successfully engaging thousands of Torontonians in a substantive conversation about the future of transportation in this city. Extensive consultation and analysis was undertaken throughout 2013 to develop a Rapid Transit Decision Making Framework that applies a criteria-based process for prioritizing future rapid transit investments. For the first time ever, this prioritization framework will be included in the Official Plan once approved. In addition, a new Bicycle Policy Framework, a Complete Streets Framework, and other amendments to existing policies are proposed. The process is scheduled to conclude in early 2015.

135 million


residents of Toronto engaged so far through the process

residents engaged in “meetings-onthe-move” discussion panels, public meetings and intercepts

8,300 +

OBJECTIVES Build Capacity • Enable the public to engage in informed conversations with City Planning through capacity building. Engage New Audiences • Use innovative consultation techniques and new technologies, including web-based tools and social media, to reach larger and more diverse audiences than has traditionally been possible. • Use marketing, branding, and media to broaden reach.

Improve Transportation Planning and Decision Making • Reduce congestion and increase movement options. • Adopt a network-based approach to transportation planning and implementation that is grounded in evidence and good planning. • Establish transportation priorities within the City’s Official Plan. • Provide political and financial certainty for investment.

Policy Development RFP


Decision Process

Community Consultation




rapid transit projects evaluated

media impressions through “earned media”, TTC adverts, and through social media

18,000 +



connects eglinton

OVERVIEW Eglinton Connects is about evaluating options to take advantage of new rapid transit infrastructure along Eglinton Avenue. How do we grow with rapid transit? Where will people live and work, and what kind and size of buildings should be built along Eglinton Avenue in the future? How should Eglinton Avenue function, how should it look, and what features should it have? Through Eglinton Connects, City Planning is working to answer these, and many other, questions. The Study began with an existing policy framework that indicates the Eglinton corridor is an area appropriate for accommodating growth, but that the degree of change will vary across the corridor and must be considerate of existing character, context, and local needs. The Study is an opportunity to monitor and implement the Performance Standards for mid-rise buildings adopted by City Council in 2010.

Eglinton Connects is both a Planning Study and a streetscape-related Environmental Assessment. The focus is on planning for the future Eglinton Avenue, and how to best leverage investment in the Metrolinx Crosstown Light Rail Transit line for the benefit of our communities and our city. Although still in progress, Eglinton Connects is already an award-winning study, having recently been awarded the Institute of Transportation Engineer’s “Project of the Year” for 2013.


Through over 60 consultation events, promoted through 14 methods (including 6 newspaper ads, 238,000 flyers, and social media), and two years of research and analysis, City Planning now has an initial list of 21 recommendations for the Eglinton Avenue corridor.

OBJECTIVES Involve the Communities of Eglinton • Host multiple consultation events across the 19 km corridor that are both formal and informal. • Promote the events through multiple channels to ensure awareness of the Study by employing newspaper, direct mail, radio, online, and social media methods. Direct ‘Right-sized’ Built Form • Develop a built form strategy that accommodates intensification and is sensitive to existing contexts, local needs and character, while also providing appropriate transition to low-scale neighbourhoods. • Make it easy for the right kind of development to occur, through as-of-right zoning or a Development Permit System.


60 +

of protected bike lanes are recommended as a component of creating a complete street


people who have participated in the Study through attending events or answering surveys

5000 +

Create a Great Metropolitan Avenue • Develop a streetscape that facilitates efficient travel, accommodates all users, and maintains existing parking capacity. Partner to Create a Great Transit Experience • Work with Metrolinx and other partners to ensure the transit infrastructure is designed to achieve excellence in function, physical quality, and user experience.



Community Consultation


consultations including 13 workshops and open houses, and 11 pop-ups

approximate proportion of the Study corridor recommended for as-ofright zoning for mid-rise buildings

38 km


3D test modelling of mid-rise buildings along Eglinton Avenue

Research & Analysis

Policy Development



Decision Process


leaders& stewards a city of



Best Practices, Policy, Sustainability As a city of stewards and leaders, Torontonians take ownership and pride in the physical, economic, and social assets that define the city. All residents, organizations, and communities have a role to play in upholding Toronto as a leader in global best practices. As stewards and leaders, City Planning works to pioneer exemplary policy, research, processes, and guiding principles that collectively ensure that Toronto remains a thriving and sustainable metropolis.



project profiles. Bird Friendly Guidelines City Planning encourages the stewardship of the city’s wildlife, and recently published the “Best Practices for Bird Friendly Glass” manual as a follow-up to the internationally acclaimed “Bird Friendly Development Guidelines”. The manual identifies strategies that architects and designers can use to meet the Toronto Green Standard bird-friendly performance measures.

Best Practices for Effective Lighting Light pollution is pervasive in urban environments. The Division’s “Best Practices for Effective Lighting” attempts to address this problem by identifying applications and technologies for effective urban lightning, minimizing light pollution while enhancing the safety, security, and beauty of the city at night.



CASINO Consultation

647 - City Blue



Green Roof Policies

Biodiversity Booklet Series

As the first city in North America to establish a By-Law that requires and regulates the construction of green roofs, Toronto is a leader in pioneering sustainable development. In 2013, the Green Roof By-Law resulted in 196 site plan applications requiring green roof installations that will create over 50,000 square metres of new green roofs city-wide. New Biodiverse Green Roofs Guidelines will encourage green roof designs that can accommodate a variety of wildlife native to Toronto.

The characteristics and habitats of Toronto’s native wildlife have been beautifully and carefully rendered in the acclaimed Biodiversity Booklet Series. The series, which is the product of a dedicated group of volunteers including experts, financial contributors, and photographers - expanded in 2013 with the publication of the “Mammals of Toronto” and the “Reptiles and Amphibians of Toronto”.

Casino Proposal

Toronto 3D Model

City Planning was part of an inter-divisional group tasked with conducting public consultation, providing analysis, and making recommendations about a potential new casino in Toronto’s downtown and an expanded facility at Woodbine Race Track. City Planning staff focused on four thematic areas: urban fabric, placemaking, transportation, and infrastructure. The Division prepared materials for five public consultation meetings and identified planning directions for City Council’s consideration.

Forty-eight new buildings were added to the City’s Urban Design 3D model in 2013. The model is a geographically correct depiction of existing and proposed buildings, roads, parks, and other features of the urban landscape. Its accurate and extensive coverage, and its ability to seamlessly accommodate all potential development, makes the model an important tool for addressing development concerns pertaining to light, privacy, and potential shadow impacts on parks and other public spaces.

Annual Toronto Employment Survey

Putting People First

The Toronto Employment Survey (TES) is a rich dataset that provides a valuable profile of economic activity across the city. The survey team marked the TES’s thirtieth year by visiting 75,000 business establishments to create a detailed resource for the analysis of the nature of the city’s employers and land uses. The TES results are combined with the findings of other surveys, such as the 2011 Living in the Downtown and Centres Survey, to better understand Toronto’s changing employment opportunities.

City Planning is partnering with the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) to revitalize TCHC residences and physically transform former public housing neighbourhoods into mixed-income, mixeduse communities. The seven projects currently underway include large-scale initiatives, such as Regent Park and Lawrence Heights, and smaller, targeted intensification projects like Allenbury Gardens.

secretariat waterfront

In 2013, the Waterfront Secretariat joined City Planning, creating a fully integrated unit that acts as the “one window� at the City level for waterfront revitalization. In this capacity, the Secretariat works with City Divisions and agencies, the other two orders of government, and Waterfront Toronto to support the revitalization of the Central Waterfront.




CORKTOWN COMMONS The public opening of Phase 2 of Corktown Commons by Waterfront Toronto in 2013 has been extended into 2014. Phase 1 of the park has been an important step in the evolution of the West Don Lands community. It is within short walking distance of the new River City and Toronto Community Housing developments under construction to the north and the emerging Canary District/Athletes’ Village to the west. The park is located on top of a flood protection landform completed through work with the Province and Toronto Region and Conservation Authority. The Secretariat is assisting Waterfront Toronto and Infrastructure Ontario with the park handover process.

Queens Quay Revitalization



The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee has approved a Design Build process to complete a revised bridge design, integrated with area development in the Ordnance Triangle Lands north and west of the fort. The bridge will connect the area park system across the rail corridors and south into Garrison Common and the waterfront.

The Secretariat’s involvement in this project dates back to 2006 when Waterfront Toronto, in conjunction with the City, conducted a design competition for re-imaging Queens Quay. The design then proceeded to an Environmental Assessment in 2010. In 2013, the project was under construction. To date, in the vicinity of the Redpath Sugar plant, new sidewalks and a Martin Goodman Trail extension have been completed. Construction of the portion between Bathurst Street and Bay Street will continue in 2014 and 2015. Already, granite and other finishes are being installed along some portions of the street.

The Design Build process and bridge construction will be carried out by Build Toronto. This process will determine the final design and construction costs, and will help deliver a high-quality project on time and on budget.

BAYSIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PILOT PROJECT In 2013, the Bayside Affordable Housing Pilot Project came one step closer to becoming a reality. In November, City Council gave approval in principle to the construction of approximately 70-80 affordable housing units integrated with market housing in the next buildings to be constructed on the Bayside site. Negotiations continue on all of the details which will be presented to City Council for final approval in May 2014.


Bayside Development

Bayside is a 5.3 ha parcel of City-owned lands to be revitalized by Waterfront Toronto and their development partner, Hines. All of the governing agreements relating to respective obligations are now in place and development will proceed in a series of phases. The first two residential buildings are at the planning approval stage with construction targeted to begin mid 2014.

official plan

heritage policy

These new Official Plan heritage policies are the result of feedback from the public and the work of many stakeholders who came together to share thoughts and provide input. We all want Toronto to be a city that is a great place to live, work, invest and play, and the Official Plan policies will help to set out the vision for where and how Toronto will grow through to the year 2031.

Jennifer Keesmaat, Toronto’s Chief Planner


OVERVIEW Heritage assets, whether architectural, natural, or cultural, are fundamental in creating and maintaining a sense of place and identity for Torontonians. Since the approval of the Official Plan in 2006, City Council has acquired new resources through the Ontario Heritage Act to better preserve Toronto’s heritage assets. A priority of the Five-Year Review of the Official Plan is to build these new provisions into holistic heritage policies. Working in conjunction with a consulting team, Planning staff prepared a progressive, cultural-heritage oriented set of conservation policies for integration into the Official Plan. These new polices earned the City a national award of excellence in heritage planning from the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP).

100 +


new policies for heritage planning and conservation

policy review meetings with specially formed Heritage Advisory Committee

OBJECTIVES The new Official Plan heritage policies are now consistent with the expanded authority granted to City Council by the Ontario Heritage Act. These Official Plan policies - informed by modern conservation theory - provide council with a broad and complete set of heritage conservation policies. By providing better protection for significant views, heritage conservation districts, and archaeological resources, the new policies also acknowledge the importance of Toronto’s heritage in fostering a liveable and diverse city amid rapid growth and development.

Mary MacDonald and Scott Barrett receiving the CAHP award on behalf of City Planning

Policy Review Project Initiation & RFP Consultant Selection


Stakeholder Consultation

Public Meeting - Report to PGM - Approval by PGM Adoption by City Council - Notice of the Minister of Municipal Affairs Decision to Approve OPA 199

Policy Development



new views protected in the Official Plan

people attended public meetings for Official Plan Heritage Policies





standard toronto green

Going Green – Toronto Green Standard identified as one of 10 important policies that are making Toronto a more sustainable city. Spacing Magazine, Winter 2013/2014

Since Toronto brought in these mandatory standards, other municipalities have started looking at creating policies of their own. Gabrielle Kalapos, Executive Director of Clean Air Partnership


$20 million

OVERVIEW The Toronto Green Standard (TGS) is a two-tier set of environmental performance measures applied during the planning process to create more sustainable developments. The TGS helps to build a resilient city through measures that improve air quality, manage storm water on site, and promote the planting of native species. Since January 2010, when TGS first came into effect, Toronto has led other cities in North America by being the only municipality to require green standards for new construction.

annual energy saving for buildings constructed to Tier 1 performace measures


The TGS was updated in 2013 to incorporate new regulations, guidelines, and input from the development industry and City Divisions. The result is a clearer, more accessible document that will achieve better environmental performance from new developments while being easier to implement. TGS Version 2.0 came into effect on January 1, 2014.



applications for higher performace measures under TGS Tier 2


forecasted reduction in annual tonnes of Co2 emissions as a result of TGS

new site plan applications required to meet TGS Tier 1 performance measures since 2010


OBJECTIVES Responds to Environmental Pressures & Policies TGS addresses the City‘s environmental priorities: air quality, energy efficiency and green house gas emissions; water quality and efficiency; solid waste; and ecology and the natural environment.

Implement the Official Plan The TGS is an innovative tool for strengthening the environmental performance of new developments. It helps to achieve the Official Plan’s vision for clean air, land, and water, and contributes to realizing the targeted 80% reduction of greenhouse gases by 2050. Measurable and Performance–oriented The policies encourage innovative initiatives to meet performance targets.

Community Consultation

Oct.2009 Council Approval Jan 2010 Implementation



July TGS v2 Council Approval

TGS Review



Jan 2014 TGS v2 came into effect


roundtables chief planner

Chief Planner Rountable public forum

ROUNDTABLE OVERVIEW The Chief Planner Roundtable is a public forum where Torontonians discuss key city-building issues and identify innovative “drivers for change”. Each roundtable is held in an engaging environment, and provides a variety of options for participation, including attendance in person, watching a live-stream on the internet, and contributing to the conversation through comment cards, e-mail, and on Twitter. The roundtables allow City Planning to reach out beyond the structured conversations typical of the planning process, creating meaningful dialogue and new partnerships with community advocates, other Divisions, academics and the private sector.



held in 2013, with more planned for in 2014

including civic leaders, industry professionals, academics, and City and agency staff

55 members

2,000+ tweets

roundtable conversations continued on Twitter

attended in-person or viewed livestreams of the events online

2,600 +

2013 ROUNDTABLE TOPICS • • • • • •

Our Urban Fabric: Designing and Creating Public Places The Resilient City Next Generation Suburbs The Shape of Toronto’s Suburbs Arrival City: Toronto’s Suburbs as Global City Landing Spot Mobility in the Suburbs


These information sessions are an important way to keep Torontonians engaged with their city, their neighbourhoods, and most importantly the planning decisions City Hall makes on their behalf…So, we call on planning staff to continue these out-reach initiatives and start planning many, many more. The Etobicoke Guardian, August 2013

PLANNERS IN PUBLIC SPACES (PiPS) OVERVIEW On August 20, 2013, City Planning launched a month-long outreach campaign called “Planners in Public Spaces” (PiPS). City Planning information booths sprang up in public spaces across Toronto, and residents had opportunities to learn about planning issues and the role of city planners. Over 1,700 people participated in this initiative by visiting information booths at 20 community spaces, asking questions about planning, and discovering ways to become more involved in shaping their city.


public events held throughout the city




less cost per person reached vs. average community meeting

250 tweets

social media coverage helped draw visitors to event locations

people participated in PiPs events and connected with City Planning

1,700 +

OBJECTIVES Raise people’s awareness of the importance of city planning and the role that planners play in shaping the city. Provide education about the basic elements of city planning and how it can create more liveable neighbourhoods. Engage people to become more involved in city planning issues in their neighbourhoods and city-wide. Planners in Public Spaces kick-off event at City Hall

planners in


zoningby-law OVERVIEW By-Law 569-2013 is Toronto’s first city-wide Zoning By-Law. Enacted on May 9, 2013, the By-Law is a consistent set of rules that applies to every property in the city. The By-Law regulates the use of land, as well as building height, size, bulk, location, and amount of parking required. The project required consolidating 43 different Zoning By-Laws of the former municipalities. Most of these By-Laws dated back to the 1950s and included over 8,000 amendments. By-Law 569-2013 is now the single largest regulatory By-Law in Toronto, affecting over 470,000 properties. Innovative features of the new By-Law include transition clauses, which allow applications submitted prior to the enactment of the new By-Law to continue the approval process under the old zoning rules.

Zoning By-Law 569-2013 is the result of a ten-year harmonization exercise, with the goals of developing a common terminology, structure, and set of defined zoning terms that apply across the City.


OBJECTIVES Capture the intent of existing By-Laws Harmonized language and definitions will ensure a consistent application of the regulations across Toronto. Simplify the language and structure The use of accessible language and a simple organization make the new By-Law easier to understand. Introduce new standards for parking and loading New parking ratios were created for each type of land use, and are now determined by geographic areas. Be innovative The online zoning map is fully interactive and accessible.

3,450 Maps in five volumes including zoning maps and policy area, height, lot coverage, rooming house overlay maps


43 general zoning By-Laws from the former municipalities to one city-wide Zoning By-Law

2003-04: Comparison of existing By-Laws 2004-05: Preparation of GIS mapping Parking studies


Public Consultation


Zoning By-Law 569-2013 enacted


pages of text in three volumes


visitors to the interactive zoning map in 2013, ranking it as one of the top five City mapping applications




Visit for more zoning information

43 to 1

parapan am pan am /


In the summer of 2015 the Pan Am / Parapan American Games are being held in Toronto. Close to 7,000 athletes from across the Americas will be competing in this major international sporting event.




PAN AM AQUATIC CENTRE The CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatic Centre and Field House, currently under construction at the corner of Morningside Avenue and Military Trail, is an example of city building grounded in the principles of leadership and stewardship. Meeting international standards of excellence, this facility will provide recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. City Planning worked extensively with the University of Toronto and Infrastructure Ontario during the design, review, and remediation phases of this project. The new facility is approximately 29,000 square metres in size and will include two Olympic size swimming pools, a dive pool, a field house, office space, and meeting rooms. The building will also provide facilities for the Canadian Sports Institute of Ontario, an organization that provides training opportunities for Canada’s high performance athletes.

Interior: Aquatic Centre

PAN AM VILLAGE The Athletes’ Village is located within the West Don Lands and will provide temporary accommodation for athletes during the games. After the games, the Village will become affordable rental housing, market housing, commercial space, community recreation facilities, and several parks and public spaces. The West Don Lands is a key precinct within the Waterfront Revitalization Initiative, and the games provide the impetus to expedite the planning, design, and construction schedule. City Planning expertise in subdivision implementation, environmental analysis, design, and construction issue resolution supported the Province and Waterfront Toronto in advancing this project in time for the 2015 Games.

Track & Field Stadium at York University

TRACK & FIELD STADIUM YORK UNIVERSITY The new CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium is part of an expansion of the world-class athletics facilities at York University. As part of this project, the City of Toronto is also revitalizing the indoor tracks at the Toronto Track & Field Centre, at Birchmount Stadium, and Centennial Park Stadium. With an anticipated completion date of July 2014, athletes will have one year to break-in the facilities before the largest games Canada has ever hosted arrive.

Pan Am Village looking west


2013 development



With 606 development applications and 3,162 Committee of Adjustment applications received in 2013, the Division’s impact is city-wide in breadth. In the review of every application, we seek to uphold our responsibility to the public interest by implementing the Official Plan’s pillars of diversity and opportunity, beauty, connectivity, leadership and stewardship.
























applications. 2013 development

2 Temperance Street | Status: Built The City’s heritage policies encourage the active reuse and repurposing of historically significant buildings. An excellent example of this approach is the award-winning revitalization of the Dineen Building at the corner of Yonge and Temperance Streets. The project is a testament to the collaboration of heritage planning staff and the developer to preserve and restore a building’s heritage attributes while creating modern functionality in a unique and desirable space.

2263 Yonge Street | Status: Approved A 58 storey tower will soon define the skyline at the intersection of Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue. The development, which includes an additional tower of 38 stories and an expansive public plaza, is a crucial component of the ongoing redevelopment and intensification in this area. Community Planning and Urban Design worked with the developers to ensure compliance with the Tall Building Design Guidelines, the creation of welcoming and functional public spaces, and seamless integration with the transportation network that converges at this intersection.




Toronto & East York Development Applications received in 2013

501 Yonge Street | Status: Approved Active community involvement informed the development of two condominium towers at 501 Yonge Street. Community planners established a partnership between the developer, staff, and the community that resulted in a proposal for a vibrant, mixed-use development with a range of housing options to allow residents to age-in-place. Section 37 benefits securing public art, streetscape improvements, and additional parkland will go far towards realizing the Official Plan’s vision of a city of beauty.

Ripley’s Aquarium | Status: Built The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada opened in 2013 to become one of the most significant tourism attractions in downtown Toronto. The aquarium, and future mixed-use tower, will fulfill the Official Plan’s principles of fostering diversity and opportunity by providing new employment opportunities and by enhancing the area’s entertainment attractions. In working with the developer, community planners refined the proposal by securing additional publicly accessible open space and sightlines through the development.

385 Passmore Avenue | Status: Built An example of how planning and development processes are keeping pace with our dynamic city is the new 7,000 square metre Federal Express distribution facility at 385 Passmore Avenue. Opened in record time thanks to the City’s Gold Star Program, a process that expedites planning approvals and building permits for qualified non-residential developments, the facility received approvals and building permits in twelve weeks. The facility is now operational and employs 150 people.

3220 Sheppard Avenue East | Status: Approved This is the first project to build upon the new neighbourhood vision that emerged from the Sheppard/Warden Avenue Study. A 262 unit residential apartment building with a 6 storey podium and a 20 storey tower will create new housing options for the community. The development will also realize the Division’s advocacy for strong Avenues by creating a walkable street with sensitive transitions in height, and integration with local transportation networks.

Scarborough Civic Centre Library | Status: Approved When complete, the 1,400 square metre Scarborough Centre Branch Library will be a learning and community centre best practice. Community planners sought a well-connected public space that will be both an organic extension to Raymond Moriyama’s heritage designated Civic Centre building and a centrepiece for the longterm renewal of the area.

4040 Lawrence Avenue East | Status: Approved The East Scarborough Storefront is a service delivery hub that manages relationships with 40 different community organizations. A major addition to the existing facility will accommodate a multipurpose space, meeting rooms, and a community greenhouse. This grassroots effort to improve an important community facility is a collaboration between the East Scarborough Storefront, the City of Toronto, and local volunteers.




Scarborough Development Applications received in 2013

Etobicoke-York Development Applications received in 2013




34-50 Southport | Status: Approved The Official Plan’s advocacy for complete communities is realized in the proposed redevelopment of this low-rise retail plaza. Planning staff worked with the developer, the architect, and local residents to enable the development of a mixed-use community with 558 residential units and over 2,000 square metres of commercial retail space. Plans for public art installations and improved pedestrian accessibility will create a beautiful and walkable public realm.

Humbertown Shopping Centre | Status: Approved Toronto’s low-density shopping centres present exciting opportunities to bring amenities and services to established communities. The redevelopment of the Humbertown Shopping Centre will see a 1950s era low-rise shopping plaza transformed into a new commercial and residential community. New green spaces and transit connectivity will help realize the Official Plan’s vision of community-sensitive intensification in Mixed Use Areas.

1844 Bloor Street West | Status: Approved Community planners worked with the developer on a proposal to turn this site into a 14 storey mixed-use, mixed-tenure development. The project will accommodate 407 residential units, including rental replacements. On the ground floor, commercial space and a plaza will help animate the Bloor West streetscape. Environmental sustainability is enhanced by the incorporation of Toronto Green Tier 2 Standards and bird-friendly design.

Humber College | Status: Approved A new Learning Resource Centre will form a key component of Humber College’s North Campus expansion. The centre will be the new hub of the campus, providing a welcome centre, student services, a library, administration offices, and IT support, and will also serve as the “front door“ to the college by architecturally coalescing a number of existing buildings.

Forensics Building Provincial Campus | Status: Built The state-of-the-art Forensics Services and Coroner’s Complex opened its doors in 2013. Planning staff and the Province of Ontario collaborated to ensure the environmental sensitivity of the new complex by creating extensive green infrastructure and achieving LEED Gold certification. The facility is the first new building in the Provincial Campus which includes a network of new public streets, a public park and trails, and the Humber River Regional Hospital that is currently under construction.

North York Development Applications received in 2013

Stanley Greene | Status: Approved Planning staff worked closely with Parc Downsview Park Inc. to plan a new community that will advance the Official Plan’s commitment to complete and connected neighbourhoods. 1,356 new housing units, 113 affordable rental units, and mid-rise buildings with ground floor commercial space will create a dynamic and resilient community. A new municipal park, a stormwater management pond, and Section 37 benefits for daycare spaces and public art will help to ensure the beauty and sustainability of this neighbourhood.


Willowdale Plaza | Status: Approved Encouraging mixed-use development along Toronto’s transportation corridors is a key priority for planning staff. The Hullmark Centre is a true mixed use project that will bring 90,591 square metres of residential, retail, and office space to the transportation hub at the intersection of Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue. A new landmark plaza at the Yonge and Shepard intersection will give identity to the area and provide another focus for pedestrian life in North York Centre. New direct subway access from the plaza reinforces the significance of this corner.



Allenbury Gardens | Status: Approved The Allenbury Gardens redevelopment is a landmark project that will help ensure housing stock diversity through the replacement of 127 social housing units, as well as adding 907 new condominium and rental units. The centre of the site is a new 0.3 ha park which will be the social focus for the neighbourhood. The proposed housing will line the streets and parks, creating integration between old and new. Section 37 benefits will revitalize the nearby Godstone Park, Fairview Drive streetscape, and the Fairview Library.

initiatives. divisional




Throughout 2013, City Planning implemented a series of initiatives designed to improve our capacity to deliver services effectively and to re-imagine our existing work processes. A major component in this undertaking was the development of our Five-Year Strategic Plan, the Divisional playbook that forms the framework for our future actions. In 2014, we will advance new initiatives to implement the Strategic Plan’s 44 Actions, which are arranged under five Strategic Directions: 1. Setting Priorities and Improving Processes; 2. Enhancing and Strengthening the Capacity of the Division; 3. Clear, Consistent and Compelling Communication; 4. Pursing Deep Collaborations; and 5. Measuring Success. Guided by the Strategic Plan, the first initiatives are underway. They will improve our ability to work efficiently and collaboratively, strengthen the skills and capacity of our team, and increase the transparency of the planning process by realizing new opportunities to engage the public.

initiatives. divisional


Our new Heritage E-Permit Services is an online system that allows permit applications to be received and reviewed electronically. Heritage Preservation Services reviewed 1,549 permits since its launch in February 2013. The Application Information Centre, an e-service initiative that provides online access to information on development applications, was enhanced with improved mapping and search functionality in June and has since attracted 23,550 visitors.

strategic plan

gold star program

As part of the City’s Gold Star Program, an initiative intended to reduce the time it takes to review development applications identified as having an economic benefit, City Planning services were harmonized to ensure a seamless transition from preliminary project review to planning applications to building permits. In 2013, City Planning received 47 projects to review using this program.

City Planning launched its first ever Strategic Plan, an internal guiding document that establishes the framework for the Division to implement Toronto’s Official Plan. Our Strategic Plan’s 44 Actions are the outcome of many months of consultation and will be our operational guidebook through to 2018.

online presence

A new City Planning website was launched as part of the City‘s “Web-Revitalization” process, making important public information easier to find, universally accessible, and regularly updated. Concurrently, we established a social media presence using Twitter with our @CityPlanTO handle, attracting thousands of interactions in only a few months.




building team environments City Planning is adjusting our existing office facilities to help create more collaborative and integrated working environments.

growing conversations

technological advancement City Planning is studying how to better leverage technology to improve both our working efficiency and our ability to interface with stakeholders. Planned initiatives, such as an ePortal for development applications, will increase the accessibility of City Planning.

Toronto is stronger when we plan it together. In 2014, City Planning will launch Growing Conversations, which is about making sure that our public engagement processes work to better reflect the vision and values of residents and the communities in which they live. Key objectives include exploring new engagement models and tools, engaging new audiences, and identifying other opportunities to improve engagement in the current community planning process.

building capacity In 2013, City Planning initiated 64 hiring processes and collectively underwent 2,300 hours of professional training. Building on this success, our new Talent Development Manager will launch a comprehensive approach to talent development, including facilitating an internal staff performance review process, assessing training requirements, and implementing a succession management program.

building. 2014 city



City Planning strives to proactively respond to emerging needs within Toronto. The city’s sustained growth over the last decade has brought new residents, job opportunities, and renewed vibrancy to our many neighbourhoods. While urban growth is a healthy reality, it also brings unique challenges and places pressures on Toronto’s existing infrastructure. Our 2014 planning priorities are designed to encourage development in growing communities with sufficient transit connectivity and public facilities to accommodate development, while protecting our stable neighbourhoods and our natural and cultural assets.





TRANSIT PLANNING Public transit ridership in Toronto is at an all-time high, but investment in new infrastructure has not kept pace with demand. Feeling Congested?, the five-year review of the City’s Official Plan transportation policies, will continue in 2014 with a focus on transit investment priorities and network planning. Parallel to this study, City Planning will conduct a comprehensive review of the proposed Relief Line and host an extensive public consultation process.

HERITAGE CONSERVATION DISTRICTS (HCD) HCD policies require specialized plans and guidelines for areas of Toronto designated as having common heritage attributes. By assessing the neighbourhood-wide impact of proposed developments, HCD guidelines are an important preservation tool in an environment of increasing development pressures. Five HCD studies began in 2013, and three additional studies will launch in 2014.

MID-RISE BUILDINGS Mid-rise buildings are an appropriate scale of redevelopment along many of Toronto’s main streets. No taller than the width of the street, mid-rise buildings ensure a comfortable pedestrian environment and transition to low-rise neighbourhoods. They often contain a mix of uses, including stores, services, and restaurants on the ground floor, and a mix of dwelling types above. Through studies like Eglinton Connects, City Planning is making it easier to develop mid-rise buildings through measures such as as-of-right zoning. In 2010, City Council adopted Performance Standards for mid-rise buildings, the effectiveness of which staff will evaluate in 2014.





COMPLETE COMMUNITIES The last decade brought unprecedented growth to particular areas of the city, sometimes resulting in a strain on local infrastructure and resources. In 2014, City Planning will assess the capacity of under pressure neighbourhoods to absorb additional development, and will identify infrastructure investments required to accommodate further growth. Similarly, an ongoing review of Section 37 policies will study recommendations intended to ensure that significant new developments contribute needed community amenities.

ADVANCING THE OFFICIAL PLAN REVIEW Advancing the City’s Official Plan Review work program in 2014 will include reviews of affordable housing and neighbourhood, environmental, and housing policies. City Planning will also defend City Council’s approval of new Official Plan heritage policies at the Ontario Municipal Board.

DEVELOPMENT PERMIT SYSTEM (DPS) In 2014, City Planning will launch Reset TO, a consultation process on the implementation of a DPS, a new planning framework that allows an area-based approach to the assessment of development applications. A DPS will merge zoning, site plan, and minor variance processes into one application and approval system. This system will provide greater stability to communities experiencing growth, as well as shorten the approval period for developments that meet specific performance requirements.



“ As leaders and partners in an innovative

culture, we build a great city through excellence in planning and influential policy. We implement Toronto’s Official Plan for a sustainable, connected city of neighbourhoods where life and business flourish.

City Planning Mission Statement




Toronto City Planning 2013 Annual Report  
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