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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New City-wide Zoning By-law amendments: get involved!

To CORRA Members and RA Executive:

Thank you to those groups who wrote to Planning and Growth Management Committee (P&GMC) in support of CORRA or raising your own group’s concerns. 

The Statutory Public Meeting on March 6, 2013 lasted the entire day beginning with presentations and ending with the Committee moving the proposed November 8, 2013 version of the New City-wide Zoning By-law with amendments including amendments brought forward from the January 2013 P&GMC meeting.

Unfortunately, CORRA’s request seeking the Committee to direct Staff to meet with CORRA and affected residents and ratepayer groups prior to the first reading is not part of the package of amendments going forward to City Council.

CORRA on behalf of member groups and other affected groups resident groups will continue to seek meaningful dialogue with Staff to consider our concerns.

Link to P&GMC recommendations to City Council:


We strongly urge that your group WRITE to City Council.  Your group’s letter will reserve your right to continue the dialogue, review, and assessment of impacts that your group is undertaking as the New City-wide By-law makes its way through to Council’s final passage.

Mayor Rob Ford and Members of Council
Toronto City Hall,
100 Queen Street West,
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2

Attention: Ms. Marilyn Toft, Manager Council Secretariat Support
Fax: 416.392.2980

RE: PG21.1 Proposed New City-wide Zoning By-law

Preserving Your Right to Appeal:
Filing a letter now does not mean that your group is appealing to the OMB.  Filing now retains your rights to an appeal.  Your group remains part of the ongoing process.  Should the final By-law passed by Council remain unacceptable to your group and residents, that letter to City Council will allow you the right to file an appeal to Ontario Municipal Board should your group wish to object.   This is important as your group should not inadvertently waive or surrender your right to appeal,

At the Statutory Public Meeting, CORRA learned that the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) and its members are opposing the residential chapters of the zoning by-law.

Here is a summary of issues the OAA raised at the Statutory Public Meeting:

1.    Remove and GFA or FSI restrictions in the by-law;
2.    If GFA or FSI stays, remove the inclusion of attic space and allow the FSI to rise to 70/80% of the lot area;
3.    Measure height from the mid-point of the roof rather than the ridge, or add a meter to the overall height restriction;
4.    No height restrictions on flat-roofed buildings;
5.    No restrictions on the width of dormers in a roof above the second storey;
6.    Remove the maximum height of specified pairs of main walls;
7.    Remove restrictions for a detached house with a flat or shallow roof;
8.    Remove roof Slope for detached houses in R areas; and
9.    Allow below grade parts of buildings and structures to not comply with setback requirements.

This is another reason why you need to write to Council.  The OAA wants the City to remove or significantly amend many of the residential zoning standards that are proposed in the By-law. It is likely the OAA may appeal to the OMB.

While there are improvements in the proposed By-law for our perspective, CORRA believes there are general provisions that require further assessment and strengthening from its current base.  Furthermore, groups like Teddington Park RA, Swansea and others have identified issues unique to their areas that also require amending.  But with the OAA position, we certainly do not want to be back peddling on hard won issues by resident and ratepayer groups.

For property owners under the former City of Toronto and the other municipalities that included a GFA/FSI zoning standard—retaining the GFA/FSI standard on a go-forward basis was the linchpin.  Even the OP Chapter 5.6.13 identifies the importance of height and density as key standards.

CORRA will be writing to City Council.  CORRA will be preserving its rights.  And again CORRA will be seek Council to direct staff to engage with CORRA and other affected resident and ratepayer groups prior to the final passage of the Zoning By-law. 

WRITE to City Council supporting CORRA’s position and outline your group’s concerns.  This letter will preserve your rights.

COPY your letter to CORRA and to your local Councillor (Visiting Councillors present at the Statutory Public Meeting were focused on other issues).

ATTEND CORRA’s WORKSHOP—MARCH 30TH AT THE SWANSEA TOWNHALL.  CORRA would like to help groups understand their maps and zoning. And CORRA needs your help and support to ensure the zoning by-law is not weakened before it takes full force and effect.

Please attend the Workshop:

Date:           Saturday, MARCH 30, 2013

Time:           1:30 pm Session One
3:00 pm Session Two

Place:         Swansea Town Hall
95 Lavinia Avenue
East of Windermere and South of DeForest
(See directions provided below)


Please confirm your attendance (maximum number of attendees is two per group) by identifying the Session  Space is limited and it is the Easter long weekend—please let us know as soon as possible. 

Please bring a lap top.   WIFI is available and this will allow us to focus on your local concerns and queries as well as facilitate a discussion on the general provisions that affect us all. In addition, we can walk you through the maps for your area to assist you in understanding how the general and special rules interact.

The New City-wide Zoning By-law is advancing to Council in April (more on this is a separate CORRA Update soon).

If traveling by TTC, you may exit at either the Jane or Runnymede subway stations.  Walk to Windermere and head south to DeForest and Lavinia.  Also, you can take the Runnymede bus south to either DeForest and walk to Lavinia or get off at Windermere and Morningside and walk east to Lavinia and then north to the Town Hall.

If driving, follow the green signs to the Town Hall on Windermere and turn onto either DeForest if driving from the north or Morningside from the south and to Lavinia.  The Swansea Town Hall is between DeForest and Morningside.

We encourage all to write to Council and attend our Workshop.  Thank-you for your continued support.


Eileen Denny, CORRA Vice-Chair
William Roberts, CORRA Chair