TOCore, the City's new Downtown Secondary Plan, needs your help to ensure it is fully approved by the province.
TOCore came out of a request I made in 2012 to City Planning. Staff was responding to site-specific planning applications rather than holistically planning our Downtown, making it easy to build condominium towers, but challenging to build communities. I asked staff to create a plan for the Downtown so that we could channel this growth through comprehensive, vibrant community planning that protects and enhances its cultural strengths, expands public space as well as critical services and facilities for residents.
City Planning took this challenge and developed an integrated planning framework and infrastructure growth strategy, known today as TOCore. Many residents came out during the extensive consultations to make it the strongest possible plan for Downtown Toronto.
While approved by City Council, the last hurdle is the Environmental Registry of Ontario. The Registry is where residents and developers can submit comments to inform the Province's review of policies such as TOCore. We need the Province to hear your support for TOCore so the City can move forward with the first comprehensive Downtown plan since 1976 - ensuring that growth enhances our communities and meets existing needs.
The policies of TOCore establish a 25-year vision and goals for growing the Downtown. It directs growth, land use, parks and public realm, transportation, built form, community services and facilities, culture, housing, resiliency and water. Highlights include:
- Expansion of the Financial District and establishment of a Health Sciences District where non-residential uses will be prioritized;
- Refinement of the current single Mixed Use Areas designation into 4 Mixed Use Areas designations to provide clear guidance on the appropriate scale of development based on existing and planned context;
- Requirement for the submission of a Complete Community Assessment to ensure all developments contribute to the creation of liveable and complete communities;
- Requirement for all developments to address the priorities contained within the Downtown Community Services and Facilities Strategy;
- Protecting Downtown parks and open spaces from shadow;
- Increased building setbacks to expand the public realm in areas of growth;
- Prioritization of a “Land First” approach to maximize opportunities for new parkland through the development process, along with incentives for developers to work together to consolidate the provision of parkland;
- Direction to use a new framework to improve the quality, quantity and connectivity of parks and the public realm in Downtown;
- Prioritization of walking, cycling and transit use on Downtown’s streets;
- Requirements for 2- and 3-bedroom units in most developments, along with protection of dwelling rooms;
- Retention of cultural spaces and support for live music and filming;
- Encouragement of low-carbon and resilient infrastructure and buildings; and
- Partnerships with Indigenous communities, stakeholder groups and community groups as part of implementation.
You have until November 29, 2018 to let the Province know that TOCore is important to you and your community. Comments can be submitted through the Environmental Registry of Ontario under EBR Registry number 013-3485, Official Plan Amendment 406 through By-law 1111-2018 (i.e. the TOCore Downtown Secondary Plan).
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Municipal Services Division
Municipal Services Office – Central Ontario
777 Bay Street
Phone: (416) 585-6226
Toll Free Phone: (800) 668-0230
Please also email your comments directly to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing at email@example.com.
You can learn more about TOCore by contacting City staff or by visiting the city's website:
Please help us get this great new plan for the Downtown across the finish line!
Yours in service,