City of Toronto is considering more variety in housing

In a press release today, the City of Toronto states that it is committed to addressing housing challenges and developing regulations to expand housing options in neighborhoods to meet future housing needs. On the board of the Planning and Housing Commission at today’s meeting, the commission is considering a number of city staff reports with recommendations for addressing housing problems.

Mayor John Tory’s released statement on the matter reads: “I am committed to building more homes for our growing city. Torontonians need more options to address their housing challenges, including small-scale or ‘missing middle’ housing. When it comes to parking requirements for new developments, I believe the staff recommended a better balance that makes sense. The proposed approach would also help reduce bureaucracy, align with our climate goals and lower housing costs. to the discussion of all these reports and I am proud that more affordable housing is being built in our city.”

With high-rise apartment buildings on one end of the spectrum and detached houses on the other, the city reports consider opportunities for greater variety of housing forms, including low-rise apartments, duplexes, triplexes and townhouses through the Extension of Housing Options in Neighborhoods (EHON) initiative. This work supports access to more housing choices and creates a more equitable, sustainable city.

The personnel reports being considered by the Planning and Housing Commission today are:

Expansion of housing options in neighborhoods

Based on the Multiplex study, this report explores ways to simplify zoning and approvals to allow additional units in neighborhoods, while maintaining their low-rise scale. The scope of this study includes multiplexes – two, three and four unit buildings – as well as low-rise apartment buildings. These low-rise housing forms fit within the objective of the Official Plan that physical change in Neighborhoods will be sensitive and gradual and match the existing physical character.

Areas Covered by the Case Study, Image of Submission to the City

“Cautiously expanding the housing supply in low-rise neighborhoods will help people at all stages of life – be they students, young professionals, families or aging grandparents,” said deputy mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), planning chair. and Housing Committee: “As we seek to meet the future needs of all our hard-working residents of this city, the policies and tools we bring to the table will have a meaningful impact on future generations.”

Broadening the types and sizes of units available in low-rise neighborhoods, along with local amenities such as parks, schools, shops and services, makes them more accessible to a wide range of people and needs, leading to more equitable and inclusive communities.

“We can do more to make our city a place where our children, families, friends and colleagues can all find a home,” said Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, Toronto City Planning. “I invite everyone to join the discussion to allow multiplexes in our neighborhoods and provide choice and access to housing for everyone. This is an important planning tool that will make a difference.”

The results of technical assessment, further research and feedback provided during the consultation will help shape policy proposals, potential zoning changes and official policy changes to the plan that will be presented to the Planning and Housing Commission in the second quarter of 2022. .

Neighborhood change and intensification

This study examines growth and change within neighborhoods, with research conducted by city planning professionals into the characteristics and trends in Toronto’s neighborhoods. The Bulletin examines building permits, planning applications, and census demographics for the city’s five low-density residential zone types, categorizes these zone types as “more permissive” and “less permissive,” and provides a high-level overview of how zoning, along with other intervening factors, can influence community outcomes.

The study found that neighborhoods with more permissive zoning, such as residential or multi-family dwellings, housed significantly more people and households per acre, and were more likely to experience gradual intensification. Areas with more permissive zoning had on average a more stable population level, more diverse housing types and a wider range of incomes.

Laneway Suites Final Report Review

An avenue suite is a self-contained housing unit in a private building, often in the backyard of a lot adjacent to a public avenue. They offer people more opportunities to live nearby, where they work, shop and play and can help make city streets greener, more livable and safer. They also contribute to increasing the supply of rental housing and provide additional housing options for different household configurations and people in different life stages.

City of Toronto Map of Public Roads, Depicting Submission to the City

Since 2019, avenue suites have been allowed all over the city and are increasingly being built. Laneway suites are also being built in a variety of sizes and configurations, creating new homes for different types of Toronto household structures.

Avenue house example, image of submission to the city

This report discusses the results of the review and monitoring of the Laneway Suite and recommends several strategic bylaw changes to facilitate its construction and respond to community and industry comments.

Parking Requirements for New Development

The Planning and Housing Committee will also consider the report Recommended parking requirements for new construction. This report recommends zoning changes to adjust current standards for car and bicycle parking, better manage car dependence and achieve a better balance between building too many or too few parking spaces and contributing to more sustainable and healthier to build. communities.

Minimum parking requirements lead to overcrowding of parking spaces and support the continued growth of greenhouse gas emissions. The introduction of maximum parking permits will slow the growth of car use and the resulting emissions.

City of Toronto Concerns Regarding Parking, Image of Submission to the City

The report does not propose minimum or maximum parking standards for low-rise and missing-middle housing types, which will facilitate the construction of this type of housing. New developments will still need to provide ample on-site parking and not assume that residents can park on the street.

To meet the growing demand for travel associated with the city’s growing population and employment opportunities, the city will need to promote more space-efficient modes of travel and discourage car travel. Staff will continue to work across divisions and agencies to advance the city’s policy goals related to parking, including further revisions to the zoning ordinance and a review of the city’s current approach to on-street parking, front yard parking, and on-street parking. the boulevard.

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