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. 

Current Issues

Northern District Library where TLAB meets

TLAB Annual Report

We congratulate Chair Dino Lombardi on his continuing leadership of the TLAB. It is important to remember that Toronto has a unique (in Ontario) distinction in having its own tribunal to decide on appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions. Other municipalities in Ontario are dependent on more remote exigencies of the Ontario Land Tribunal!

2023 was a milestone in the life of the TLAB as it was the first full year following the Provincial elimination of third party appeals (mostly by residents and resident associations) as a result of the passage of Bill 23. 

Public meeting

Improving Community Consultation

This will confirm that in principle we support (with one significant reservation), the staff report and its recommendations, including: Planning and Housing Committee to request the Executive Director, Development Review, in consultation with the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, to continue to undertake stakeholder consultation on potential policy amendments to address ongoing legislative changes and report back to Planning and Housing Committee by the end of Q2 2025. We appreciate that City Planning is attempting to ensure a balanced and effective public consultation regime under difficult circumstances. In that regard, the report notes the rapidly changing (and seemingly haphazard) legislative environment directly affecting development review – such as Bill 185 eliminating mandatory pre-application consultation PAC). The latter process represented an innovative approach by the City to address the revised review deadlines and punitive application fee refunds imposed by the Province.

Urban sprawl at Derry & Thompson in Milton

In Ontario, it’s harder than ever to appeal local developments

Groups frustrated by the Ford government’s “sledgehammer” approach limiting development appeals say they’re now powerless to prevent urban sprawl, loss of farmland, and squandered green space in the province.

Among other changes, Ontario’s Bill 185, known as the “Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act” limits third-party challenges to municipal plans and zoning heard by the Ontario Land Tribunal and dismissed appeals scheduled after April 10. The new rules were introduced by the provincial government to expedite construction of 1.5 million homes by 2031.

Vancouver 4-plex

Could a housing revolution transform Canadian cities?

A new type of home called a fourplex is being hailed as the answer to Canada’s acute housing shortage. But why is there so much opposition?

Proponents of fourplexes, which include the Canadian government, hope they will spread out across the country. They want them to provide the “missing-middle” between large apartment buildings and single residency houses.

(The) opposition centres on a fear that long-existing Canadian suburbs of single-family homes will have their character irretrievably changed if fourplexes are forced upon them.

Yonge and Eglinton houses with construction in background

City of Toronto comments on Bill 185

FoNTRA is in strong support of the Recommendations in the Report from the Interim Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, as amended by the Planning and Housing Committee on May 9, 2024.

We are particularly concerned about especially the removal of residents’ right to appeal Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) decisions, which amounts to a serious loss of our democratic rights as citizens.

Lindesfarne Rd., London, ON suburb

Bill 185, Cutting Red Tape to Build More Homes Act

Based on the issues and impacts, especially those which amount to a loss of our democratic rights as citizens, we strongly oppose Bill 185, with the exception of certain Planning Act changes, including application fee refunds, replacing CIHA with MZO framework and Development Charges.

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