Strategy to Address Growth and Intensification

To address the significant growth and intensification pressures in the Midtown Area, on June 10, 2019, the TLC Board approved the use of a holding provision or other planning tool(s) to phase development with respect to Midtown development applications at the Ontario Land Tribunal(OLT). The report is available on the TLC website:

A holding provision by-law (commonly referred to as an “H”), is a planning instrument under section 36 of the Planning Act that allows development to proceed only when specified conditions are met.

As set out in the City of Toronto Official Plan, these conditions may include the provision of community services and facilities (such as schools), professional studies to assess potential development impacts, phasing of development, and entering into agreements.

TLC’s proposed holding provision provides the TDSB with time to complete its complex accommodation review process, and begin implementation of strategies to mitigate local accommodation pressures. By specifying dates in TLC’s proposed holding provision for when the holding provision may be lifted, it provides the development industry with certainty of timing. In the interim, prior to the lifting of a holding provision, a developer may proceed with a site plan application submission and review, and begin preparation of building permit application materials.

The Ontario Land Tribunal(OLT) is an adjudicative tribunal that hears cases in relation to a range of land use matters, heritage conservation and municipal governance. Appeals that come before OLT are identified through policies found in the Planning Act, Aggregate Act, Heritage Act, Municipal Act, Development Charges Act and Expropriations Act. These include matters such as official plans, zoning by-laws, subdivision plans, consents and minor variances, land compensations, development charges, electoral ward boundaries, municipal finances, aggregate resources and other issues assigned by numerous Ontario statutes.

OLT was formerly known as the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).

TDSB/TLC staff are working closely with City staff to ensure that the timing of development throughout key growth areas of the City aligns with the provision of school accommodation.

TLC is exploring the use of a variety of planning tools on residential development applications in the Midtown and High Park Area in an attempt to phase in development to align with adequate student accommodation in local schools.

Planning tools to phase in development will not be required in areas where accommodation pressures can be managed using TDSB accommodation tools (e.g. placing portables on site).

No, where the TDSB can manage enrolment pressures using TDSB accommodation tools, TLC will not need to attend OLT hearings. At this time, in key growth areas of the City, such as Midtown and High Park, TLC will continue to attend OLT hearings where appropriate.

TLC anticipates that earlier involvement in the City planning approval process will allow the TDSB to identify and address student accommodation challenges and needs arising from residential development and growth, and therefore reduce or avoid the need to attend at the OLT in the future.

TLC supports the Provincial government’s goal to address a range of housing challenges faced by residents across the housing spectrum. We recognize the challenge of advancing the supply of affordable housing, while balancing the existing and planned capacity of public service facilities, including schools.

For example, TLC has successfully completed a land exchange with the City of Toronto, as part of the City’s Toronto’s Housing Now Plan, which it plans to build 10,000 new market and affordable rental units on 11 municipal sites. As part of this exchange, the TDSB will gain the right build a new elementary school on the lower floors of a planned housing complex near the Ontario Science Centre, while the City will get a surplus 12-acre school site in Scarborough’s Kingston-Galloway area, which offers significant opportunities for affordable housing and community services.

Other examples where TLC has worked with the development community include the redevelopment of North Toronto Collegiate on the lower floors of a midtown Tridel tower, and, more recently, a complex deal that involved an adjoining pair of Scarborough high schools on a sprawling parcel of land and the development of a 140 townhouses on a surplus corner of the site.

TLC is not against development; we are for building complete communities that serve and accommodate Toronto’s public school students in a responsible manner. TLC’s position is that the provision of accommodation for students in local public schools is a critical element of building and sustaining complete communities throughout the City. The Province’s More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan recognizes that after price/rent, the top criteria for Ontarians when looking for a home is having transit, schools, and services nearby.

TLC’s strategy helps facilitate better coordination of public service facilities and land use planning. It provides time for the TDSB to complete its PAR process and implement strategies that will ultimately bring students back to local schools. We trust our accelerated land redevelopment strategy will deliver significant change in terms of the number of schools that have been modernized and reductions in deferred maintenance, with no additional demand on the province to fund this.

We believe our accelerated land redevelopment strategy will deliver significant change in terms of the number of schools that have been modernized and reductions in deferred maintenance, with no additional demand on the province to fund this. Our strategy calls for a re-purposing of a portion of the funding that is annually directed toward school maintenance and repair to be redirected towards redeveloping TDSB’s rapidly aging and under-utilized infrastructure, including Administration buildings.