Residential Demolition / Rental Replacement

Section 33, Planning Act

In Ontario, section 33 of the Planning Act authorizes municipalities to identify areas where the demolition of residential property will be controlled.  Within identified areas, a permit may be required from the municipality to authorize the demolition of an existing residential building, and a condition can be imposed requiring that the new building be constructed within a specified time or a fine of up to $20,000 may be imposed.  An applicant can appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board against the municipality’s refusal to issue a demolition permit, its failure to make a decision on the application for a demolition permit, or the timeline and fine amount specified in any condition imposed by the municipality when it issued the demolition permit.   

The holder of a demolition permit issued under section 33 of the Planning Act can request an extension of the deadline for constructing the new building or request relief from the requirement to construct the new building if it has become unfeasible to do so.  The municipality’s refusal to extend the deadline or grant relief from the requirement to construct a new building can be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. 

Municipal Act, 2001 / City of Toronto Act, 2006

In addition to the Planning Act, the Municipal Act, 2001 and the City of Toronto Act, 2006 authorize municipalities to enact by-laws regulating the demolition of multi-unit residential rental properties, or the conversion of such rental properties to other uses such as a residential condominium.  By-laws regulating the demolition or conversion of multi-unit residential buildings vary from municipality to municipality, but commonly include features intended to minimize the impact to the affordable rental housing market.  Such by-laws may include a requirement that the new building include sufficient rental units to replace the residential units being demolished, or the requirement to contribute to a municipal fund that has been established to fund the development of new affordable housing. 

In contrast with residential demolition control under the Planning Act, under the Municipal Act and the City of Toronto Act, there is no appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board from a municipal refusal to issue a permit for the demolition or conversion or multi-unit residential property.  As a result, persuasive advocacy directed to municipal staff and politicians is essential.

Wood Bull assists our clients in understanding local restrictions on residential property demolition and conversion, and provides guidance to ensure that issues related to residential demolition and conversion are addressed throughout the various stages of the development and approvals process.

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