Environment

Environment

The City of Toronto has consistently been a leader in environmental policies and initiatives. In 2009, City Council approved the Toronto Green Standard, a two-tier set of environmental performance measures applied during the planning process to create more sustainable developments and help build a resilient city. Also, in 2009 Council adopted the City's Green Roof By-law, making Toronto the first City in North America to have a by-law to require and govern the construction of green roofs on new development. Other leading environmental initiatives include Bird Friendly Design Guidelines, Best Practices for Effective Lighting, the Biodiversity booklet series and Guidelines for Biodiverse Green Roofs.

City Council also adopted a strategy in 2008 for climate change adaptation as well as placed an increasing emphasis on the creation of a city that is resilient to the projected effects of climate change.

OPA 262 (Environmental Policies and Environmentally Significant Areas) is in-force and in effect (no OMB appeals)

On May 20, 2016, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (now the Ministry of Municipal Affairs) approved OPA 262, which amends the Official Plan policies and mapping with respect to climate change and energy, the natural environment, green infrastructure and environmentally significant areas (ESAs).  As there were no appeals to the Ministry's decision, OPA 262 is now in full force and effect.

An electronic version of the approved OPA 262 as modified can be found here:
OPA 262 Environmental Policies and Designation of ESA Areas BL No. 1158-2015


Highlights of OPA 262

  • Recognition of the importance of climate change and the need to reduce green house gas emissions and build a city that is resilient to changing weather;
  • Policies to encourage energy conservation, efficiency and resiliency and an energy neutral built environment;
  • Definition of green infrastructure and policies to encourage green infrastructure (including tree planting, storm water management systems and green roofs);
  • Enhancements that strengthen existing policies on the natural environment, consider climate change impact on biodiversity and explain Bird Friendly, Light Pollution and Biodiversity; and
  • Designation of 68 new environmentally significant areas (ESAs) and additions to 14 existing ESAs.

Links to the Minister's Decision, and letters can be found here:
OPA 262_In effect memo from Province (June 17-2016)
OPA 262_Minister's Decision (covering letter)
OPA 262_Minister's Notice and Decision (May 20-2016)


A link to the staff report which documents the final proposed policy changes resulting from the final round of consultation and the approved Official Plan Amendment, including an attachment showing the policy changes within excerpts of the affected sections of the Official Plan, is provided below.

2015 - Approved Policies and Designations

Staff report: Official Plan Five Year Review: Final Recommendation Report - Amendments to the Official Plan Environmental Policies and Designation of Environmentally Significant Areas:  PGM 7.2  October 8, 2015

Official Plan Public Consultation - Greenbelt Conformity

The Rouge Valley south of Steeles Avenue in Scarborough is part of a continuous ecological corridor that runs through the City and connects the natural systems of Lake Ontario to the Oak Ridges Moraine.  Land within the Rouge Valley is an important part of Toronto's Green Space System and is designated as Greenbelt Protected Countryside. Under the Greenbelt Act, 2005, municipalities with land located within the Greenbelt are required to update their Official Plans to reflect the requirements of the Greenbelt Plan and provide mapping showing the boundaries of the Greenbelt Area, the Protected Countryside and the Natural Heritage System.  As part of the Five Year Review of the Official Plan, the City is amending its Official Plan to bring it into conformity with the Provincial Greenbelt Plan (2005) and other environmental planning initiatives by: 

  • amending Chapter 2 to identify the Greenbelt Protected Countryside and recognize Greenbelt River Valley Connections;

  • amending Site and Areas Specific Policies (SASP) 135 and 141 to reflect Greenbelt Plan requirements, including amending the area subject to the policies and providing more detailed direction on how natural and hydrologic features and functions should be protected; and

  • amending SASP 141 to include a map of the Greenbelt Natural Heritage System, to reflect key policy goals of the 1994 Rouge Park Plan, including protecting the area within 30 meters of the stable top of bank, and to identify how the City will work with Parks Canada on the Rouge National Urban Park.

The areas affected by the Official Plan amendment are illustrated on the map below. The City Planning Division’s Report that is before the Planning and Growth Management Committee is available at:

Official Plan Five Year Review – Greenbelt Plan Conformity Official Plan Amendment.

Click on map to enlarge

  map of greenbelt




A meeting of the
Planning and Growth Management Committee to review the proposed Official Plan Amendment will be held on:

DATE: June 15, 2016
TIME: 10:30 a.m., or as soon as possible thereafter
PLACE: Committee Room 1, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto

At this meeting, the Planning and Growth Management Committee will receive input and review the proposal amendment and any other material placed before it, in order to make recommendations on the Official Plan Amendment to City Council for its consideration.  If you wish to address the Planning and Growth Management Committee in person or in writing, please contact:

City Clerk, Attention:  Nancy Martins, Administrator, Planning and Growth Management Committee, City Hall, 10th Floor West, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto ON M5H 2N2, Phone: 416-397-4579, Fax: 416 392-1879, e-mail: pgmc@toronto.ca

If you require additional information about the proposed Official Plan Amendment, please contact Jane Weninger at 416 392-0422, email:  jwening@toronto.ca.

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