Wood Bull Blog

City of Toronto Enacts New Harmonized Zoning By-law 569-2013

May 15, 2013

On 9 May 2013, the City of Toronto passed By-law 569-2013, which enacts the new harmonized Zoning By-law for the City of Toronto (the "New Zoning By-law").  The New Zoning By-law replaces the zoning by-laws of the former municipalities that now form part of the amalgamated City of Toronto.


The City has issued a notice of the passing of the New Zoning By-law. This provides an opportunity to appeal the New Zoning By-law to the Ontario Municipal Board.  The eligibility to appeal the New Zoning By-law is limited to those who have made oral submissions at a public meeting or written submissions to City Council before the by-law was passed.  The last day to appeal the New Zoning By-law is 4 June 2013.


Of particular interest to landowners and developers are the transition provisions from the old to new zoning regimes.

  • The Transition Protocol established criteria for categories or types of properties that are not incorporated in the New Zoning By-law. These sites are represented as a “Hole” in the New Zoning By-law map, and the former zoning by-laws will continue to apply to those sites.  It is intended that eventually all these properties will be incorporated in the New Zoning By-law. 
  • The Transition Clauses in the New Zoning By-law allow for active applications (for building permits, zoning certificates, minor variances, site plan approvals, and other approvals and agreements) that were filed on or prior to 9 May 2013 to be processed under the former zoning by-laws. It also allows for resultant minor variance and building permit applications, filed after 9 May 2013, to be processed under the former zoning by-laws.  The Transition Clauses apply for three years, and are repealed on 9 May 2016.
  • The Minor Variance Clause in the New Zoning By-law addresses the time after which the Transition Clause is no longer in effect and provides that approved minor variances under the former zoning by-laws may be relied upon if the provision varied has remained the same or becomes more permissive in the New Zoning By-law.  Minor variance approvals to regulations that have become more restrictive in the New Zoning By-law can be protected by a building permit issued within the three year time limit set out in the Transition Clause.
  • Site Specific Exceptions in the New Zoning By-law recognize the permissions for existing buildings or those under construction. These include site specific provisions, prevailing by-laws (amendments to former zoning by-laws), and prevailing sections of former zoning by-laws.
  • Grandfathering or Exemption Clauses are set out in the various sections of the New Zoning By-law with respect to building standards for "lawfully existing" buildings.  The Exemption Clauses provide that the condition of a "lawfully existing" building is the permitted zoning requirement for that building.
For more information, see the City of Toronto's Zoning Project Website.


Author(s): Yvonne Choi


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