“TOcore: Planning Downtown” (The Downtown Plan) is 4-year planning study which will lead to a new 25-year plan for the development of Toronto’s Downtown. This Downtown Plan sets the direction for the city centre as the cultural, civic, retail and economic heart of Toronto and as a great place to live. The Downtown Plan provides a blueprint to manage growth, sustain livability, achieve complete communities and ensure that there is space for the economy to grow.
May 22-24, 2018 : City Council adopted the TOcore Downtown Plan Official Plan Amendment OPA 406 and the plan began its long journey to provincial approval. This will likely involve appeals to the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), however, the core concepts of the Secondary Plan will be used to influence developments throughout the process.
City staff has put in a tremendous amount of effort to develop this important and long overdue planning tool, and it is a major accomplishment for ABCRA to have the support of City Council.
ABCRA Board members have been actively involved in the process over the last 4 years, attending and contributing to public meetings.
Our work has had a positive impact on final policies. We have been told that the Bloor-Yorkville/North Midtown Planning Framework & Implementation Strategy, commissioned by the ABC Residents Association and The Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area inspired some of the policies included in the framework.
We have worked closely with Councillor Wong-Tam, who was instrumental in making amendments to the Downtown Plan Official Plan Amendment that improved some of the specific policies affecting our area.
Read the full details about TOcore and the new Downtown Plan HERE.
Working with Councillor Wong-Tam and City staff, additions were made to the plan that will positively impact area. Read ABCRA Letter to City Council HERE For example:
- Ensuing policies to set standards for wider City sidewalks will include not just new development but also those older areas of the Downtown.
- Provisions to encourage the Government of Ontario and the Chief Building Official for the City of Toronto work to set codes and guidelines to limit exterior building noise.
- Adding clarifying language to help understand how TOcore will be used around area-specific Secondary Plans / Site and Area Specific Policies such as "The provisions of the Official Plan, which set out the policies applicable to neighbourhoods, and development criteria within neighbourhoods, will continue to apply to neighbourhoods in the downtown unless such polices are in conflict with an applicable Secondary Plan, or Site and Area Specific Policy";
The Full report with all the motions passed by City Council at the May 22,2018 Council meeting can be found HERE.
BUT —THE WORK MUST CONTINUE
ABCRA’s 10-year effort to get better planning of our whole area is not yet completed.
The new TOcore Downtown Plan does not cover any of the downtown neighbourhoods.
The old Official Plan, which set out policies applicable to neighbourhoods, and development criteria within neighbourhoods, will continue to apply to communities in the downtown core unless such polices are in conflict with an applicable Secondary Plan or Site and Area Specific Policy.
The ABCRA Area still does not have a Secondary Plan and Area Specific Policy 211 is inadequate and out of date.
Councillor Wong-Tam with the full support of City Council directed City Planning to report back to Toronto East York Community Council in the first quarter of 2019 with recommendations on updates to Site and Area Specific Policy 211 (SASP 211).
Planning staff will continue to use the Bloor-Yorkville/North Midtown Planning Framework & Implementation Strategy. to inform the evaluation of development applications until the updated Site and Area Specific Policy 211 is approved by City Council.
Our advocacy for better planning of the Bloor-Yorkville/ North Midtown area will continue.
READ about our continuing efforts HERE.