Toronto City Council adopted amendments to the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw to provide a more supportive environment for residents, local businesses and community organizations in neighbourhoods across Toronto.
Today’s amendments are part of the City of Toronto’s Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods program which will include further consultation, research and actions including a Local Neighbourhood Retail and Services study to assess ways to permit more locally-serving small-scale retail, service and office uses in areas across the city currently zoned as neighborhood-designated areas. Supporting opportunities for these amenities will help to create vibrant, complete communities that offer a greater number of choices for retail, services and work within walking distance of people’s homes. Further work, including a city-wide Zoning Bylaw that expands permissions for local neighbourhood retail and service uses is anticipated to be considered by Council in 2023.
Neighbourhood-designated lands occupy approximately 35 per cent of the Toronto’s land area, the most common land use designation. The use of local neighbourhood spaces for retail, services and offices will contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of an area by improving access to and the quality and diversity of services and goods; supporting residents with limited mobility and families with young children; providing employment and economic opportunities closer to home; and enhancing community safety through increased activity at different times of day.
By reducing the need to travel longer distances by car for goods and services, this change will also support the City’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieving net zero emissions by 2040.
A greater number of residents are now spending more time in their neighbourhoods as many employers have adopted hybrid and/or remote work. This has resulted in changes to shopping patterns and a heavier reliance on local shops and services.