EHON Multiplexes (update June 6, 2022)

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

SAHRA reviewed the document but had many questions that could not be answered or understood unless one could read the OPA in conjunction with the proposed Zoning By-law Amendment, which is not yet available.  The schedule called for the EHON Multiplexes OPA being approved by the end of the current City Council term although the Zoning Review Amendments would not be published for review until Early 2023.  SAHRA felt that the two should be reviewed together!  We questioned what the rush is to approve this before City Council’s end of term for the Elections.

On May 24, we sent an eBlast to our Members asking them to send an email before May 31 to our Councillor and City Officials asking that the review/approval of the proposed Official Plan Amendment be DEFERRED

We provided a copy of Councillor John Filion’s concerns which he expressed in a Councillor Filion’s Community News Bulletin.

Thank you to all our Members who forwarded emails!

On May 26th, 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.”

SAHRA submitted Comments on May 28, 2022 [SAHRA Comments on the Draft Official Plan Amendments for Multiplexes May, 2022] as we have many questions and concerns about the OPA, the not yet published ZBA and the new concept of ‘Building Envelope’ or ‘Permitted Envelope’ and how all of this will impact our Neighbourhood. 

FoNTRA also submitted a very detailed Comment letter on May 31 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!


EHON Local Commercial Uses (update June 6, 2022)

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

SAHRA submitted  SAHRA Comments on the Draft OPA and ZBA for Local Commercial Uses May, 2022 describing our Neighbourhood and our residents access to stores and services on Avenue Road, Yonge Street and Lawrence Avenue West.  We do not see difficulties with the Draft OPA changes nor the Zoning By-law changes for defined home-occupation uses but we see this happening on our boundary streets, not our inner residential streets. 

We did however ask for an explanation between the term ‘physical scale’ and ‘physical form’ and the removal of the exception of portions of street which have ‘revised lot frontages’. 

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.


EHON Multiplexes, Local Commercial Uses and Major Streets Rezoning

Update May 5, 2022:

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.

This re-zoning approach was considered in the Ontario Housing Affordability Tax Force Report but the Ontario Conservative Party has decided NOT to legislate this change prior to the June 2 Election. 

But the City of Toronto may well proceed, even although not mandated by the Province.

Engagement Sessions were held in April.  Review the Presentation  EHON District – North York 4 MB  made at the EHON engagement session for North York District on April 5, 2022 for information on the intentions and the timelines for the three initiatives.

Draft Official Plan Amendments were published on May 4 for Multiplexes – this will be reviewed at the July 5th 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 Bv-law 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:

Draft Official Plan Amendments for Multiplexes

Draft Official Plan Amendments for Local Commercial Uses

Draft Zoning Bylaw Amendments for Local Commercial Uses

The City has asked that you review the documents and submit your comments to [email protected] by May 30, 2022.

This could mean very significant changes to our Neighbourhood if done as “one size fits all” for all Neighbourhoods across the City


Multiplexes Study

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.

It all started with a Member Motion presented by Mayor Tory and Councillor Bailao at the July 16, 2019 City Council being 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”.

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.

The Multiplexes study is looking to intensify the ‘missing middle’ neighbourhoods by changing the zoning to include ALL types of residential-zoning.  For example, most of the SAHRA area is currently zoned ‘RD’ for Residential Detached. This could be changed to allow all ‘R’ (Residential) zoning types – semi-detached, triplexes, fourplexes, stacked townhouse, low-rise hybrid building and low-rise apartment building. 

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.

These are major issues with very significant impacts if done as “one size fits all” for all Neighbourhoods across the City.