Calling Torontonians: Your Input for Official Plan and Municipal Comprehensive Reviews

Calling Torontonians: Your Input for Official Plan and Municipal Comprehensive Reviews

Under the Ontario’s (Province’s) Planning Act in Canada, the City of Toronto is obligated to carry out the Five Year Review of the Official Plan this year and adjust it, if necessary, in order to fulfill the following objectives:

  • manage and direct physical change in the city through to the year 2031;
  • determine what kind of city Toronto will be in the 21st century;
  • review which policies:
    • are working,
    • to be updated,
    • revised or
    • deleted, and
    • are required to be added as a result of more recent provincial legislation;
  • include a number of civic policy initiatives referred by City Council;
  • ensure that the Official Plan conforms with Provincial Plans;
  • have regard for matters of Provincial interest;
  • is consistent with Provincial Policy Statements, including reviewing growth patterns in Toronto to confirm the City is on course to meet provincial targets of 3.08 million people and 1.64 million jobs by 2031;
  • review its Official Plan policies dealing with areas of employment, including the designation of lands as areas of employment,
    • this review, as required by the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, is called a Municipal Comprehensive Review which is to be carried out in conjunction with the Five Year Review of the Official Plan
    • to address specific criteria if Toronto wants to consider changing land use permissions for designated areas of employment

As shown in this video here, Gary Wright, the Chief Planner for the City of Toronto, welcomes you to the city’s website for the Official Plan and Municipal Comprehensive Reviews, and talks about how you can get involved and share your thoughts on planning in Toronto:

In the following video showing fantastic Toronto scenes, Gary Wright provides an overview of the Official Plan and explains why Toronto is doing both the Official Plan Review and the Municipal Comprehensive Review:

Well from the time you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night your life is affected by how Toronto is planned.

The Vision of the Plan is about creating an attractive, safe city, that evokes pride, passion, and a sense of belonging.

A city where people of all ages and abilities can enjoy a good quality of life. A city with:

  • a strong, competitive and diverse economy;
  • vibrant neighbourhoods; affordable housing choices that meet
    the needs of everyone throughout their life;
  • attractive, tree-lined streets with shops and housing;
  • transportation networks that enable people to move around the City quickly and conveniently;
  • clean air, land and water;
  • green spaces of all sizes and public squares that bring people together;
  • a wealth of recreational opportunities encouraging active participation;
  • cultural facilities that celebrate the best of city living;
  • and beautiful architecture and excellent urban design that astonish and inspire.

The policies contained within the Plan help in part to move Toronto towards this vision.

The three stages for the Toronto Official Plan and Municipal Comprehensive Reviews are listed as:

  • Stage 1 involves gathering information and public engagement.
  • Stage 2 involves identifying directions and potential changes to the Official Plan in response to Stage 1 outcomes as well as Council referrals.
  • Stage 3 involves City Planning staff preparing a final report with recommendations for City Council’s consideration.

We are now in Stage 1 as City Planning is hosting six open houses at civic centres across Toronto on the following dates:
•    Tuesday, September 13 – Metro Hall
•    Wednesday September 14 – Etobicoke Civic Centre
•    Tuesday, September 20 – Scarborough Civic Centre
•    Wednesday, September 21 – East York Civic Centre
•    Monday, September 26 – York Civic Centre
•    Tuesday, September 27 – North York Civic Centre

Please note that:

  • Each open house will run from 3 to 9 p.m.
  • You can attend at any time to view displays and share your insights with City staff.
  • A presentation and facilitated discussion will occur at each open house at 4 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m.
  • Following the initial public engagement, City Planning will report on feedback received and issues raised to the Planning and Growth Management Committee.

Alternatively, if you cannot attend the above open houses, you can complete the first survey (open until October 17, 2011) for the Official Plan and Municipal Comprehensive Reviews.

Please click here for more information.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

News Release

August 30, 2011

City launches public engagement for the Official Plan and Municipal Comprehensive Reviews

The City of Toronto’s City Planning division today launched a website dedicated to the Official Plan and the Municipal Comprehensive Reviews: http://www.toronto.ca/opreview.

To ensure Toronto continues to be an attractive place in which to live, work, invest and play, Torontonians  are being asked to reflect on what kind of city Toronto will be in the 21st century.

The City of Toronto’s Official Plan is the main policy document to manage and direct physical change in the city through to the year 2031. This review is the first review of the Official Plan that was approved by Council in 2002 and brought into effect in 2006. The City of Toronto is also undertaking a Municipal Comprehensive Review under the Provincial Growth Plan that looks specifically at designated areas of employment in the Official Plan.

“These reviews are important,” said Gary Wright, Chief Planner. “We want as many people as possible to provide their observations and ideas on planning in Toronto. We ask that residents take a moment to complete the survey or visit us at one of the open houses to participate in these reviews.”

The website contains videos, a survey, questions and answers, information about the open house events and more. The site is a portal for everyone to learn about, get involved in and share their thoughts on planning in Toronto.

As part of the first phase of the reviews, City Planning is hosting six open houses at civic centres across Toronto on the following dates:
•    Tuesday, September 13 – Metro Hall
•    Wednesday September 14 – Etobicoke Civic Centre
•    Tuesday, September 20 – Scarborough Civic Centre
•    Wednesday, September 21 – East York Civic Centre
•    Monday, September 26 – York Civic Centre
•    Tuesday, September 27 – North York Civic Centre

Each open house will run from 3 to 9 p.m. Members of the public can attend at any time to view displays and share their insights with City staff. A presentation and facilitated discussion will occur at each open house at 4 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. These open houses are a great opportunity for Torontonians to share observations and ideas on planning in Toronto. Open house material will also be posted on the website.

Following the initial public engagement, City Planning will report on feedback received and issues raised to the Planning and Growth Management Committee.

For City Planning’s initial report on the Official Plan and Municipal Comprehensive Reviews that went to Planning and Growth Management Committee on May 30, 2011, visit http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011/pg/bgrd/backgroundfile-38172.pdf.

For more information, visit http://www.toronto.ca/opreview.

About the Official Plan Review
The Province’s Planning Act requires a municipality to review its Official Plan at least every five years. Toronto’s Official Plan came into force in June 2006, requiring that the City commence an Official Plan Review in 2011. The purpose of the review is not to create a new Official Plan from first principles but to review the plan and adjust it if necessary.

The Official Plan Review will review which policies are working, which policies need to be updated, revised or deleted, and which new policies are required to be added as a result of more recent provincial legislation. For example, the plan’s heritage policies need updating to align with the Ontario Heritage Act of 2005. There are other instances in which an individual policy or map needs updating to reflect changed legislation or “facts on the ground” such as new public parks.

The review will also include a number of civic policy initiatives referred by City Council, including implementation of key elements of the Avenues and Mid-rise Buildings Study.

In addition, Ontario’s Planning Act requires that certain matters be included in a review of the Official Plan. The City is required to ensure that the Official Plan conforms with Provincial Plans, has regard for matters of Provincial interest, and is consistent with Provincial Policy Statements, including reviewing growth patterns in Toronto to confirm the City is on course to meet provincial targets of 3.08 million people and 1.64 million jobs by 2031.

The Planning Act also requires that the City review its Official Plan policies dealing with areas of employment, including the designation of lands as areas of employment.

About the Municipal Comprehensive Review
In conjunction with the Five Year Review of the Official Plan, the City is concurrently undertaking a Municipal Comprehensive Review as required by the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

This review will look specifically at the City’s designated areas of employment and how the Official Plan policies and designations are working. The Provincial Growth Plan requires the City to address specific criteria if it wants to consider changing land use permissions for designated areas of employment. As the City’s Five Year Review of the Official Plan includes a review of policies and designations for employment lands, it is an appropriate opportunity to undertake the Municipal Comprehensive Review at the same time.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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