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Toronto City Council approves townhomes and small six-storey residential units along major roads: TRREB’s take

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The City of Toronto recently approved the motion of allowing townhomes and small six-storey residential units along major streets.

In response to the motion, Jennifer Pearce, Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) president, says elected leaders need to step up and deliver policy action to make a meaningful impact where it matters most.

“For families and individuals, housing is often the biggest monthly cost. To increase affordability, City Council must prioritize building more homes people can afford, faster.”


‘Will cut through red tape to get more affordable homes built faster’


The regional board feels that permitting townhouses and small six-storey residential buildings on designated major streets is a promising public policy that will cut through red tape to get more affordable homes built faster.

“TRREB is leading the way in calling for more as-of-right zoning in our city. This approach encourages more gentle density in existing communities and makes it easier for developers to build family-friendly homes. The proposal before City Council will upzone major streets, put more homes closer to transit and enable builders to create more multi-family housing,” Pearce says.

“City Council should know that this initiative is in perfect alignment to meet the agreed upon goals when receiving the $471 million from the federal government as a part of the Housing Accelerator Fund by streamlining zoning bylaw approvals, eliminating barriers to build the housing we need and allowing increased housing density.”


‘A momentous decision that will benefit generations of Torontonians’


The board has urged City Council to “think big and be bold in their approach to building housing by going further and supporting additional motions that enable more units along major streets to ensure their financial feasibility.”

On May 23, City Council approved the decision to allow townhomes and small six-storey residential buildings with a maximum of 60 units to be built along major roads as-of-right. Pearce says this is a big win for housing affordability.

“Council’s decision builds on a less ambitious original plan to only allow townhomes and small residential units to a maximum of 30 units on the “edges of neighbourhoods” and along some major roads. The expansion of the original plan to build more homes is a momentous decision that will benefit generations of Torontonians,” says Pearce.

“This change will also make the City of Toronto a more equitable and inclusive city by reversing decades of zoning policy that was historically used to prevent the building of more units in existing neighbourhoods.

For too long, Toronto’s planning policies forced working families and individuals to live on the edges of the city and endure long commutes. Council’s decision will help generate more affordable units in every neighbourhood so that people can live closer to where they work and play.”


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