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This is the crux of the matter: They can’t. Triplexes are a minor side dish when it comes to new housing supply. Right now the proportion is under 1% IIRC.

If Toronto is going to build 35,000 units a year, these will overwhelmingly be in big buildings. Even if 10% of that number were in converted houses, that would be a huge increase - like 20x - from what’s happening now.

Plexes are good, yes. And missing middle and towers are compatible! But in politics, people will claim that they aren’t. “You don’t need more towers if Toronto gets missing middle.”

This was Gil Penalosa’s housing platform. We will hear it again. It’s a false argument that only serves NIMBYism.

I’m not suggesting that anyone here is pushing that agenda. But other people do and will.

Right, but the big towers are going up. Lots of them, more than any other City in North America. There is no limitation there from City restrictions. That's not to suggest we ought not to remove some of the sillier restrictions, but it won't change how much gets built.

Removing restrictions on small developers will make a change. That change isn't substitution of big developments with small ones, its a substitution of McMansions w/Multiplexes.
Something to note in this conversation is that the parts of the city that we all love were built one home at a time, most likely by the homeowners themselves. It is more desirable to have human scale development. Unfortunately, with our population growth we don't have the luxury of only human scale development. Towers are a necessity. We have to make it easy to do both. I think it is a mistake to throw out the regulations that go with hi-rises as many have been pushing for now. I think we will regret it decades in the future.
Ok, I could swear and @innsertnamehere likewise remembers making a post on the seeming demise of the Angular Plane rules as they pertained to Downtown Yonge North, in a development thread (I remember it being in 646 Yonge) but I can't find it, and he can't remember it being anywhere else.


Ah well.

Let's make a spot here.........

Through sources.................

I am told.........the angular plane is killed City wide right now.

It is no longer an absolute (if even seriously considered); new guidelines (more permissive and different) will be coming shortly..........but for now, its my understanding that this, as a hard rule is done.

Some setbacks, shadowing, some separation from 'neighbourhoods' is still required, but nobody is hung up on the protractor (to use a dated reference) ........
I am told.........the angular plane is killed City wide right now.

It is no longer an absolute (if even seriously considered); new guidelines (more permissive and different) will be coming shortly..........but for now, its my understanding that this, as a hard rule is done.
That’s incredible! When do we get official confirmation? I assume it’s a rule that makes it to Council sometime?
That’s incredible! When do we get official confirmation? I assume it’s a rule that makes it to Council sometime?

Don't have a definitive date, but there will be more than one report from Planning on new guidelines this spring. The first reports will come with the big one requested by the Mayor to Planning and Housing Ctte's meeting in March. There's a decent chance of one or two action-reports being included in that package, but from what I can discern if its not March, it will be before summer.
Ok - so…Toronto Planning just released its Multiplex proposal:

High-level changes:

Key changes proposed in the zoning by-law amendment for multiplexes:

  • Permit multiplex building types in RD, RS and RT zones
  • Harmonize building depth, side yard setbacks, and main wall height regulations for all building types
  • Increase 9 metre height maximums to 10 metres
  • Permit up to two porches/decks/balconies per unit
  • Exclude multiplex building elements (eg. shared entrances and stairwells) from gross floor area calculations
  • Lift restrictions on multiple front entrances for secondary suites
  • Amend “U” values to permit up to 4 units in all residential zones
  • Exempt multiplexes from “ST” values that specify the maximum number of storeys permitted
The zoning amendment would not change these standards:

  • Front and rear yard setbacks
  • Landscaped open space
  • Driveway width
  • Lot coverage

Reactions from Sean Galbraith:

Excellent find @allengeorge.

I've read Sean's comments which I think can be broadly called supportive, but with caveats over certain anachronisms that would remain.

I mostly agree w/Sean's analysis; though will put in my own 2 cents sometime soon.

First, here's a quick link for those wanting to look at some of the changes.

Second, let me note that there is a survey up on the City's site for people to chime in with their take. I will report back on that shortly also, but for now, here's the link:

To follow-on; I essentially agree w/Sean's comments, as I noted above; though I also understand Planning is actually trying to get something through Council in one piece, and may be gauging how far they can push in a single move.

Sean rightly notes that some of the worst fears of Nimbys/Councillors on height or other measures may be regulated in a number of ways, and therefore there is room for relaxing or eliminating certain requirements such as FSI or for simplified zoning. (Sean advocates for consolidating any of the lower density zoning categories such as RD (residential detached), RS (residential semi) and RT (residential townhomes) into one category, with maximum permissiveness. I get it. But I can see the problem with the RT zoning in particular from a political perspective.

Having also taken the survey, here is my 2 cents.

1) Though this shouldn't change much I expect, I agree with Sean on consolidating the RD and RS zoning categories just for simplicity's sake. This regulation change would essentially have 2 zones with the same permissions, so far as I can tell, so why bother maintaining 2 different zonings?

2) I agree with the general premise of permitting up to 3s and 10M height everywhere; but I advocated to be just a bit more permissive, in a way that I don't think would offend most Councillors or Nimbys.........that the permitted height be the greater of 3s/10M OR 4s/13M where the prevailing height of an area is at or above 3s/10M now. (so, everywhere can grow to 3, or to the prevailing height +1 which ever is greater)

3) I endorsed, in general, protecting mature trees, but argued for exceptions for the removal of non-native and invasive trees, so long as a replacement, native tree is planted.

4) I argued against arbitrary limits to the size of platforms/balconies, noting they ought to be functional in size. I advocated that energy efficiency should be addressed by requiring such spaces be thermally broken, rather than size cap.


In summation, I think this is a huge step forward for 'missing middle' and 'rental' housing, and with a few modest tweaks could be even better.
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I think simply allowing a maximum FSI on any yellowbelt with few other restrictions is the way to go. Something in the range of 1-1.5. Consider a typical 6,000 sq.ft. post war lot. Excluding common areas, this gives you 6,000 to 9,000 sq.ft. which is 3-6 townhouse units on a detached lot. Essentially, the exact kind of density that we're trying to encourage in the yellowbelt.
I'm posting the following here as it's tangentially on topic, and I can't find a more appropriate place to post.

I'm currently working on a fictional short film with themes that relate directly to zoning reform and other elements of the housing crisis in Toronto. It's a bit of a collision between my worlds of filmmaking and time spent on this site.

I'm posting because I'm looking for help from the good people of Urban Toronto. I am hoping those with development connections here my have some insight or the name of a contact that would be helpful.

First, some context: The story follows two groups of people vying over the same fictional property. It's a dark satirical comedy, and it deals with themes of class, commercialization of housing, exclusionary zoning and NIMBYISM.

Secondly, the specifics: The script calls for a model home and an empty lot where townhomes will be built. Those two elements don't necessarily have to be found together, but it would be a bonus. A perfect example of the type of empty lot I am looking for is this spot on Barton:!1stctOQKwC8Q90aFrwTq1IFg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192.

It made sense logistically with regards to noise levels and the beautiful skyline backdrop, but the catholic school board has already refused a permit. I am basically looking for an empty parcel of land that looks like houses are going to be built on it. A model home would be very helpful as well, but thats easier to fake in an airbnb or something similar.

The last bit of relevant information is that I have money to give in exchange for the rental, though not a significant amount for a developer or land owner.

If anyone has any input that would be helpful I would be very grateful for any form of lead.

Thanks so much to the community!