Selected Official Plan Policies

January 1, 2012 · 0 comments

in City of Toronto Official Plan, Member Resources


The following selected Official Plan Policies may be useful for resident associations and individuals in determining whether a proposed development is in harmony or not as set out in the Official Plan Neighbourhood protection policies and Zoning By-laws. In addition, an example is provided concerning an area specific policy for a selected residential area..

Policy (Healthy Neighbourhoods) on page 2-22 states:
“Neighbourhoods and Apartment Neighbourhoods are considered to be physically stable areas. Development within Neighbourhoods and Apartment Neighbourhoods will be consistent with this objective an will respect and reinforce the existing physical character of buildings, streetscapes and open space patterns in these areas.”
Policy (Built Form) on page 3-6 states:

“New development will be located and organized to fit with its existing and/or planned context. It will frame and support adjacent streets, parks and open spaces to improve the safety, pedestrian interest and casual views to these spaces from the development by: … ”

Policy (Built Form) on page 3-6 states:
“New development will be massed to fit harmoniously into its existing and/or planned context, and will limit its impacts on neighbouring streets, parks, open spaces and properties by: … ”

Sidebar (Neighbourhoods) on page 4-2 states:
“Prevailing Building Types”
“Many zoning by-laws currently permit only single detached houses. The type of dwellings permitted varies among neighbourhoods and these detailed residential use lists are contained in the established zoning by-laws which will remain in place and establish the benchmark for what is to be permitted in the future. If, for example, an existing zoning by-law permits only single detached houses in a particular neighbourhood and the prevailing (predominant) building type in that neighbourhood is single detached dwellings, then the Plan’s policies are to be interpreted to allow only single detached dwellings in order to respect and reinforce the established physical character of the neighbourhood, except where the infill development policies of Section 4.1.9 would be applicable. While most Neighbourhoods will have one prevailing building type, some may have more. For example, multiples may prevail at the edge, along major streets, while singles prevail in the interior, along local roads.”

Policy 4.1.1 (Neighbourhoods) on page 4-3 states:
“Neighbourhoods are considered physically stable areas made up of residential uses in lower scale buildings such as detached houses, semi-detached houses, duplexes, triplexes and townhouses, as well as interspersed walk-up apartments that are no higher than four storeys. … ”
Policy 4.1.4 (Neighbourhoods) on page 4-3 states:
“Apartment buildings legally constructed prior to the approval date of this Official Plan are permitted in Neighbourhoods.”
Policy 4.1.5 (Neighbourhoods) on page 4-4 states:

“Development in established Neighbourhoods will respect and reinforce the existing physical character of the neighbourhood, including in particular:
a) patterns of streets, blocks and lanes, parks and public building sites;
b) size and configuration of lots;
c) heights, massing, scale and dwelling type of nearby residential properties;
d) prevailing building type(s);
e) setbacks of buildings from the street or streets;
f) prevailing patterns of rear and side yard setbacks and landscaped open space;
g) continuation of special landscape or built-form features that contribute to the unique physical character of the neighbourhood; and
h) conversion of heritage buildings, structures and landscapes.

“No changes will be made through rezoning, minor variance, consent or other public action that are out of keeping with the physical character of the neighbourhood.

“The prevailing building type will be the predominant form of development in the neighbourhood. Some Neighbourhoods will have more than one prevailing building type. In such cases, a prevailing building type in one neighbourhood will not be considered when determining the prevailing building type in another neighbourhood.”

Policy 4.1.6 (Neighbourhoods) on page 4-4 states:
“Where a more intense form of development than the prevailing building type has been approved on a major street in a Neighbourhood, it will not be considered when reviewing prevailing building type(s) in the assessment of development proposals in the interior of the Neighbourhood.”
Policy 4.1.8 (Neighbourhoods) on page 4-5 states:
“Zoning by-laws will contain numerical site standards for matters such as building type and height, density, lot sizes, lot depths, lot frontages, parking, building setbacks from lot lines, landscaped open space and any other performance standards to ensure that new development will be compatible with the physical character of established residential Neighbourhoods.”
Policy 4.1.9 (Neighbourhoods) on page 4-5 states:

“Infill development on properties that vary from the local pattern in terms of lot size, configuration and/or orientation in established Neighbourhoods will:
a) have heights, massing and scale appropriate for the site and compatible with that permitted by the zoning for adjacent and nearby residential properties;
b) provide adequate privacy, sunlight and sky views for residents of new and existing buildings by ensuring adequate distance and separation between building walls and using landscaping, planting and fencing to enhance privacy where needed;
c) front onto existing or newly created streets wherever possible, with no gates limiting public access; and
d) locate and screen service areas and garbage storage to minimize the impact on existing and new streets and residences.”

Policy (The Official Plan Guides City Actions) on page 5-12 states:
“Amendments to this Official Plan that are not consistent with its general intent will be discouraged. Council will be satisfied that any development permitted under an amendment to this Plan is compatible with its physical context and will not affect nearby Neighbourhoods or Apartment Neighbourhoods in a manner contrary to the neighbourhood protection policies of this Plan. When considering a site specific amendment to this Plan, at the earliest point in the process the planning review will examine whether the application should be considered within the immediate planning context or whether a broader review and possible area specific policy or general policy change are appropriate.”

Policy 5.5.1 (The Planning Process) on page 5-19) states:
“Public involvement”

“A fair, open and accessible public process for amending, implementing and reviewing this Plan will be achieved by:
a) encouraging participation by all segments of the population, recognizing the ethno-racial diversity of the community …
b) promoting community awareness of planning issues and decisions, through use of clear, understandable language …
c) providing adequate and various opportunities for those affected by planning decisions to be informed and contribute to the planning processes, including:
i) encouraging pre-application community consultation;
ii) holding at least one community meeting in the affected area, in addition to the minimum statutory meeting required by the Planning Act, for proposed Official Plan and/or Zoning By-law amendments prior to approval;
iii) ensuring that information and materials submitted to the City as part of an application during the course of its processing are made available to the public; and
iv) ensuring that draft Official Plan amendments are made available to the public for review at least twenty days prior to statutory public meetings, and endeavouring to make draft Zoning By-law amendments available to the public for review at least ten days prior to the statutory public meetings, and if the draft amendments are substantially modified, further endeavouring to make the modified amendments publicly available at least five days prior to consideration by Council.”

Sidebar (The Planning Process) on page 5-19 states:
“Information and materials to be made available to the public for review will be provided upon request in electronic and/or paper copy form at a fee not to exceed the City’s actual cost in providing such information or material.”

Policy 5.6.1 (Interpretation) on page 5-20 states:
“The Plan should be read as a whole to understand its comprehensive and integrative intent as a policy framework for priority setting and decision making.”

Bedford Park Zoning By-law: City of Toronto Zoning By-law 438-86 – R2 Z0.60 or R2 Z2
Floor Space Index (FSI) / Density @ 0.60 of lot area & maximum height @ 10 metres
Section 12(2)(8) of City of Toronto Zoning By-law 438-86 prohibits apartments and semi-detached triplexes in the R2 zone north of Lawrence Avenue in the former City of Toronto – except on lots that actually abut the north side of Lawrence Ave. West.
Note: The “ban” on apartment buildings for the Bedford Park community has been in place (in various forms) since the early 1960s.


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