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UrbanToronto: The Province Wants Your Land-Use Ideas

The provincial government is after suggestions for changes to the laws that govern real-estate development in Ontario.

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Lindy Jeffrey at Fort York. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Thursday morning at Fort York, Lindy Jeffrey, Ontario’s minister of municipal affairs and housing, announced that her government would be seeking input as to how the province could improve land-use planning. Over the next 80 days, consultations will be held to examine issues such as Ontario Municipal Board appeals, development charges, and Section 37 benefits.

“Our government wants to allow communities in this province to reach their potential,” said Jeffrey, indicating that the government was holding these consultations in order to address concerns from both developers and municipal leaders, and to create a fairer, more transparent system—especially given the rapid growth that many parts of the province (Toronto in particular) have seen.

“All of these changes create challenges, but they also create opportunities,” she said.

The province says it will be requesting feedback on the following themes:

  • How land-use planning in Ontario can be improved, and if changes should be made to what can be appealed to the OMB.
  • Changing the Development Charges Act.
  • Creating more transparency and guidance over how the Planning Act’s Section 37 benefits are calculated and applied, including parkland dedication.

Head over to to learn more about the consultations.


  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    More mixed use, more family units in large developments, more consideration for the streetscape, less provincial meddling in local/municipal planning. Easy.

    • tomwest

      So you wnat the province to mandate more things, but meddle less?

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        Exactly! No, I don’t want the province (via the OMB) to override local planning all willy-nilly. Take the Walmart on Bathurst scenario: if the community decides no developments of Type X are allowed somewhere, developers shouldn’t be able to run to the province and get Queen’s Park to overrule the will of the community.

        The Scarborough transit plan would be another example.

        • tomwest

          So “meddle” means “overide” here – got it :-)
          I quite agree – if our democratically-elected officials make descisions (as they do about creating Official Plans, Official Plan amendments, zoning by-laws and minor variances), then that should be it. There should no appeal.

  • wklis

    More mid-rise. Four, five, six story buildings. More duplex, tri-plexes.

  • tomwest

    If it’s not permitted by an Official Plan, and the municipality doesn’t wnat to change it, then no appeals to the OMB. The OMB should only be for disputes about exactly what an OP allows, not for changing things our elected officials have made descisions on.