The City of Toronto’s Planning and Housing Committee is considering a staff report on April 22, 2021, which includes 16 proposed Protected Major Transit Station Areas (PMTSAs) within the Downtown Secondary Plan. The report also includes a series of draft policy considerations to implement all delineated Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) and PMTSAs across the City, which will form the basis of a new Chapter 8 of the Official Plan.
Last summer, the City of Toronto announced that it had commenced its Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR), which includes an assessment and delineation of MTSAs (see our previous Cassels Comment here). As part of the MCR, the City is required to individually delineate the boundaries for the 180+ MTSAs within the City and to demonstrate that each MTSA is planned for the established minimum target. The proposed 16 delineated PMTSAs are intended to form a subset of all 180+ MTSAs and will set the stage for the implementation of inclusionary zoning in the Downtown.
The report includes a draft Official Plan Amendment 524, which proposes individual Site and Area Specific Policies (SASPs) for each of the 16 PMTSAs in the Downtown Secondary Plan. Each SASP includes a delineation of the PMTSA, identification of the minimum population and employment targets and minimum density requirements represented in Floor Space index. The 16 PMTSAs being considered are:
- Spadina Station: 300 people and jobs per hectare
- St. George Station: 400 people and jobs per hectare
- Bay Station: 900 people and jobs per hectare
- Bloor-Yonge Station: 900 people and jobs per hectare
- Sherbourne Station: 500 people people and jobs per hectare
- Wellesley Station: 1000 people and jobs per hectare
- College Station: 1200 people and jobs per hectare
- Dundas Station: 1900 people and jobs per hectare
- Queen Station: 2000 people and jobs per hectare
- King Station: 2000 peope and jobs per hectare
- Union Station: 1700 people and jobs per hectare
- St. Andrew Station: 1700 people and jobs per hectare
- Osgoode Station: 1700 people and jobs per hectare
- St. Patrick Station: 1500 people and jobs per hectare
- Queen’s Park Station: 900 people and jobs per hectare
- Museum Station: 700 people and jobs per hectare
A copy of Draft OPA 524 including the delineation mapping is found here. The boundaries of the draft PMTSAs are based on a walkability analysis which includes walkability to stations using existing streets and pedestrian access, limitations or constraints to walkability including natural features, infrastructure and consideration of special characteristics of the local context.
Advancing the delineation of PMTSAs will lay the foundation for the inclusionary zoning framework. As stated in a previous Cassels comment, the implementation of inclusionary zoning is limited to PMTSAs, or where a Development Permit System is in place. The draft inclusionary zoning framework would apply to complete applications submitted after January 1, 2022. A further report on Inclusionary Zoning is targeted for the June Planning and Housing Committee meeting.
The draft PMTSAs and policy directions will be used for consultation purposes, prior to advancing a Final Report for City Council’s adoption in the fourth quarter of 2021. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has 120 days to approve Council’s adoption of the OPA delineating the PMTSAs. Note that the Minister’s decision is not subject to appeal.
Based on statutory timelines, the draft PMTSAs for the Downtown are expected to be in effect by early 2022.