Multiplexes

The Multiplex study is part of the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) initiative. This study is to support the construction of a range of low-rise housing across the City’s low-rise neighbourhoods. The scope of the study includes multiplexes – buildings with two, three and four units – and low-rise apartment buildings.

Member Motion MM9.36 presented by Mayor Tory and Councillor Bailao at the July 16, 2019 Council meeting was adopted with amendments.The request was for a report to be presented to Planning and Housing Committee by Q4 2019 on “options and a timeline to increase housing options and planning permissions in areas of Toronto designated as Neighbourhoods”.

A Report accompanied by a Presentation was delivered to the Planning and Housing Committee on July 13, 2020 and was then adopted by City Council on July 28, 2020 with amendments. The work plan detailed in the report was approved. Planning was also directed to prepare a pilot implementation project in Ward 19, no later than Q4 of 2020. Priority projects were endorsed to report back on Official Plan and Zoning By-laws amendments on:

(a) increasing permissions for additional residential dwelling units within currently permitted building envelopes in residential zones
(b) permissions for other forms of low-rise housing in areas designed as Neighbourhoods, along Major Streets, and
(c) allowing garden suites, coach houses, through-lot suites, and other forms of additional units in accessory buildings.

An Interim Report on the Multiplex Study was presented at the November 25, 2021 meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee. Review the Presentation for a summary.

The Multiplex team selected six case study areas across the city to help identify challenges for constructing multiplex dwellings in Toronto’s varied neighbourhoods:  Ionview, Lawrence, Ossington, Pearldale, Royal York and Woodbine.

FoNTRA submitted a letter expressing support for the overall EHON strategy to permit increased density in the Neighbourhoods based on the idea of encouraging development across the city rather than allowing over-development in certain parts of the city. However, it is critical that the strategy create complete communities, not just residential growth. While supportive in principle, FoNTRA urges the City to be cautious in moving too far, too fast without proper consideration of the implications arising. A change of this magnitude needs to be approached carefully, ideally involving development of Secondary Plans on an area by area basis.

Next Steps / Timeline:

Q4 2021: Online multiplex survey will continue until Dec 31, 2021.

Q1 2022: Virtual open houses will be promoted through the EHON website and social media channels, with targeted promotion in communities which are typically under-represented in City Planning consultations.

Q2 2022: Recommended policy and zoning amendments will be brought to the Planning and Housing Committee

An Update Report on EHON was presented to the Planning and Housing Committee on February 15, 2022. The Presentation provides information on the 19 Initiatives, possible outcomes, and questions to considered. Online Open houses are to be held in March, 2022. The Final Report, Official Plan amendments and Zoning By-law Amendments are to be presented to Planning and Housing Committee by end of Q2 2022, such that they could be approved at the final City Council meeting in July, prior to the Election.

FoNTRA submitted a letter stating that “neighbourhoods across the City have different characteristics that must be taken into consideration in expanding building types across the City. This cannot be a “one size fits all” initiative.” FoNTRA believes that extensive public consultation at a Neighbourhood level is critical / City wide engagement is essential. Detailed comments were provided on the work program next steps.

The Ontario Affordable Housing Task Force Report was released on February 8, 2022.  It speaks to various aspects of the already-in-progress EHON initiatives and so should be considered together.

Multiplexes (duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes), Local Commercial Uses, and Major Street Rezoning are initiatives within Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON).

The City is considering rezoning all Neighbourhoods across the City to permit multiplexes (at this time duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes) as-of-right.

Engagement sessions were held in April. Review the Presentation for information on the intentions and the timelines for the three initiatives.

EHON Presentation – North Toronto Engagement Session – April, 2022

Draft Official Plan Amendments were published on May 4 for Multiplexes – this will be reviewed at the July 5, 2022, Planning and Housing Committee meeting for approval at the City Council meeting on July 19th, before Council closes for the Elections. Draft Zoning By-law Amendments will be published before July 5, but they are being presented only for review purposes at this time. They will be formally presented in Q1 of 2023.

An Official Plan Amendment and a Draft Zoning By-law Amendment for Local Commercial Uses will also be presented on July 5/16. The Official Plan Amendments will support the creation of new neighbourhood amenities where today they are restricted to Major Streets on Map 3 and require a Zoning By-law amendment. The zoning changes are to equalize the current permissions for Home Occupations as per the R zone across all residential zones in the City for small medical offices, and personal services such as hair and beauty services, dressmaking and tailoring. This study will continue throughout 2022 and they will bring further Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments forward in Quarter 1 of 2023.

The Major Street Re-zoning team will not be presenting Official Plan Amendments or Zoning By-law Amendments at this time. They will continue their study into Quarter 1 of 2023.

The following documents are available for review:

The City has asked that you review the documents and submit your comments to ac.ot1669313027norot1669313027@NOHE1669313027 by May 30, 2022.

Update: May 31, 2022

A Draft Official Plan Amendment (OPA) for EHON Multiplexes was distributed on May 5, 2022 and the public were asked to submit their comments by May 31, 2022.

On May 26, the EHON Team announced a change in the schedule…only a Proposals Report will be presented to the Planning and Housing Committee on July 5; they will NOT be asked to approve the Draft OPA.  Rather “both the Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments are expected to be brought forward at the same time in Early 2023.”

FoNTRA submitted a very detailed Comment letter on May 31, 2022, accompanied by a Planning Report by Arris Strategy Studio on the Draft OPA.

Hopefully, this additional time can be used for on-going constructive discussions between now and early 2023 on Multiplexes!

A Draft Official Plan Amendment and a Draft Zoning By-law Amendment were also distributed on May 5, 2022,  for Local Commercial Uses and the public was asked to submit their Comments by May 31, 2022.

The Draft Official Plan Amendment and the Draft Zoning By-law Amendment will be presented at the July 5 meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee for approval and it will then proceed to the final City Council meeting for the term on July 19 for final approval.