Secondary Plan: Help plan our neighbourhood’s future

The City of Toronto Planning Division is developing a Secondary Plan that will expand upon existing built form and urban design policies, including the recently approved Downtown Plan. The Bloor-Yorkville Secondary Plan will provide additional policy direction on built form, area-specific policies, and the public realm. This study is being undertaken in tandem with the Heritage Cultural Resource Assessment in the area.

We have sent a series of messages in 2023 to residents in the area, explaining the components of the Secondary Plan and what we hope to achieve. This is the first message.

In the coming months, you’ll be seeing and hearing more about what’s called a “secondary plan” that will guide development in our neighbourhood for the next 25 years. You have a right, and hopefully a desire, to participate in advocating for the kind of community that you want to see. That’s why this communication is the first of three or four we’ll be sending to explain the various elements of the plan.

What is a secondary plan?

So some of you are likely asking: what’s a secondary plan, and what’s it to me? Very fair question!

It’s something ABCRA has long been requesting for our community. Some of you will have seen articles on the ABCRA website and communications recently from the City about it.

A secondary plan lays out the planning and development vision and direction for a particular area of the City. This includes building zoning, design guidelines, parks and other public space including pedestrian and transportation networks, as well as heritage considerations. It elaborates on Toronto’s Official Plan that covers the entire city and also the Downtown Plan, of which we are part.

The plan is currently called the Bloor-Yorkville Secondary Plan. It includes all of our ABCRA area and also stretches eastward on Aylmer Avenue/Rosedale Valley Road to Sherbourne Street and south to Charles Street. See a map of the boundaries below.

What’s the status of the secondary plan?

The City’s Planning Department recently outlined some high-level information about directions for the plan and held a small round of consultations. We were disappointed with these efforts which fell far short of our expectations for engaging residents.

We had expected a more comprehensive set of proposals, including addressing the distinct considerations for our area that were outlined in the Planning Framework document provided to the City in 2015 by ABCRA and the Bloor-Yorkville BIA (Business Improvement Association).

In response, we and the BIA sent a joint letter to the City Planners expressing the need for a comprehensive approach to managing change in our community. This includes articulating more specific height/density rules, policies for the larger developments on our major roads as well as for the different character of our low-rise residential streets, enhancing our parks, green space and streetscapes, and a framework for ensuring a fair share of development funds generated in our area are invested back here.

What happens next?

The City expects to have a Draft Secondary Plan available and ready for public consultation later this year. It’s also consulting with Indigenous stakeholders (including about Davenport Road which, you may know, was a significant Indigenous trail) and a Cultural Heritage assessment is being completed. ABCRA will review the proposals when they are released, share information with our residents and advise how to get involved. This continues the work ABCRA has been doing for the past 65 years to protect and enhance our community and our collective quality of life.

What do you love about our neighbourhood?

Take a moment to think about what you love the most about our community as it grows and evolves. That’s a good lens for considering information we’ll send you and how to judge and respond to the City’s draft plan when it’s published.
Thanks for your interest and support. Please always email with any questions or comments.

Ian Carmichael & John Caliendo
ABC Residents Association

Photo: Alejandro, via CC BY 2.0 DEED

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