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August 30, 2010
Toronto City Council enacts new zoning bylaw
At its meeting of August 25 - 27, Toronto City Council enacted a new, single, city-wide zoning bylaw. The zoning bylaw regulates the use of land and buildings as well as their height, size, bulk and location. Previously, the City of Toronto had 43 different zoning bylaws inherited from the six pre-amalgamation municipalities.

The new zoning bylaw, which is now in effect, is the result of an eight-year harmonization exercise, with the principal emphasis on developing a common terminology, structure and set of defined zoning terms that apply across the city.

“There has been extensive work done on this bylaw, and the time is right for its passing now," Chief Planner Gary Wright said. "Not only will the new bylaw achieve staff time and money savings, it will ultimately improve turnaround times in the various steps of the development approval process.”

The new zoning bylaw maintains current development standards (height, density, setbacks and use) as much as possible, protecting Toronto’s existing neighbourhoods. It was developed with extensive opportunities for the public to comment and provide feedback. Citizens and stakeholders were encouraged to participate in the public consultation process to ensure their comments were heard on this important subject. Feedback from public consultation was consolidated and reviewed by the project team and changes were made to the draft bylaw where appropriate and necessary.

Some key parts of the bylaw:
• The entire bylaw will be available online through interactive maps which allow the user to search by address and see the specific zoning details that apply to that property.
• The new zoning bylaw sets out comprehensive performance standards for each zone category and it also includes new standards related to built-form, including minimum heights in commercial/residential (CR) zones.
• The bylaw aims to protect existing regulatory standards with respect to setbacks, height and similar building requirements.
• Site-specific zoning bylaws and minor variance permissions will continue to be recognized.
• The bylaw introduces new regulations related to vehicular and bicycle parking and loading requirements, as well as new definitions for terms such as “gross floor area” and “established grade,” which will help to ensure regulations are interpreted the same way in all parts of the city.
• The bylaw has been made user-friendly for residents and businesses, with the following new features: The bylaw is cleanly organized and uses plain language and coloured maps to increase user accessibility.
• Rules applying to rooming houses are replicated from existing provisions.
• The new bylaw strives to protect ravines by applying regulations to lands, buildings and structures in or partly in the areas identified on the Conservation Overlay Map.
• A transition protocol has been developed that aims to protect existing development permissions and prevent delay of active development applications.
• As the former 43 zoning bylaws will not be repealed, if a property is shown as “Not Part of this Bylaw” on the new zoning bylaw maps, the former zoning regime and regulations that existed prior to the enactment of the new zoning bylaw will continue to apply. The intent is for these properties to eventually be incorporated into the new zoning bylaw.

The new bylaw, which is more accessible than the previous bylaws, is available online and features an interactive map that is easy to access, search and navigate.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contact:
Bruce Hawkins, Senior Communications Coordinator, 416-392-3496,



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