The Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations Incorporated (FoNTRA) is a not for profit organization now comprised of over 30 residents’ associations, located between Bloor Street, Sheppard Avenue, the Don Valley Parkway and Bathurst Street in the City of Toronto. We monitor, investigate and help solve urban planning issues, share best practices and represent common interests of our members with all levels of government.
- The importance of Good Planning in the Race to be Better
We recognize that this year the City continues to face fiscal challenges on a scale that is unprecedented. We believe that the City should be bold, not shy away from making investments and raising revenue. It is apparent that the way the City, the province, the country, and the world, work have been changed indelibly and permanently as a consequence of the pandemic. If people can work from anywhere, they will still work from somewhere. Will that somewhere be Toronto? Or Whitby, or Scottsdale, or Barbados?? The call has been “to build back better”. This is right. The legacy of the pandemic will be the “race to be better”. What has Toronto going for it? Its brand? “Diversity Our Strength”, “You Belong Here”? Toronto not only has to remain a good place to live for all its (diverse) people, but become a better place.
FoNTRA supports the recommendations of this report to improve the Preliminary Review Program, and specifically Recommendation 4 that:
- City Council request the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, in consultation with the Chief Building Official and Executive Director, Toronto Building, to review application requirements for the Committee of Adjustment to consider requiring a preliminary zoning review to verify the minor variances and remove the option of a zoning waiver.
FoNTRA supports the careful intensification of neighbourhoods and has been involved in the development of the new policies and regulations for Garden Suites to help ensure that the character of neighbourhoods is protected, and that the impacts on neighbours are acceptable. We have been pleased to see the wide consultations undertaken. Our Garden Suites Working Group has been actively involved in consultations with staff regarding a wide range of considerations required to carefully insert garden suites in the backyards of homes across the City.