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.

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.

Official Plan Public Consultation– Environmental Policies and Environmentally Significant Areas

In November 2015, Council adopted Official Plan Amendment 262 which amends the environmental policies of the Plan pertaining to climate change and energy, the natural environment, green infrastructure and designates new environmentally significant areas (ESAs). This amendment strengthens the existing environmental policies and encompasses new priorities that have emerged since the adoption of the last Official Plan. 

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;
  • Definition of green infrastructure and policies to encourage green infrastructure (including tree planting, storm water management systems and green roofs;
  • Enhancement to strengthen existing policies on the natural environment and explain Bird Friendly, Light Pollution and Biodiversity; and
  • Designation of 68 new environmentally significant areas (ESAs) and additions to 14 existing ESAs.

The amendment is now Council policy but still requires approval of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.  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 under '2015 – Approved Policies and Designations'.

In June 2015, Council directed staff to prepare a Final Recommendations Report with a proposed Official Plan Amendment containing revised policies and ESA designations to be submitted to the Planning and Growth Management Committee at its September 2015 meeting, and that the report be considered at a Special Statutory Public Meeting on October 8, 2015. A link to the staff report is provided below under '2015 - Special Statutory Public Meeting'.

In June 2015, Council directed that revised policies and ESA designations be endorsed as the basis for public consultation at an open house in June 2015. Links to the proposed policies and designations and the materials used in the consultations are provided below under '2015 -  Proposed Policy Changes and Open House'.

In August 2014, Council approved draft revisions to the Official Plan environmental policies and Planning and Growth Management Committee authorized proposed ESAs as the basis for public consultations that followed in fall 2014. Links to the reports on the draft policies and proposed ESA designations, the materials used in the consultations, and a consultation summary are provided below under '2014 – Draft Policy Changes and Consultation'.

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

2015 - Special Statutory Public Meeting

Staff report: Official Plan Five Year Review:  Amendments to the Official Plan Environmental Policies and Proposed Designation of Environmentally Significant Areas – Final Recommendation Report: PGM September 16, 2015

2015 - Proposed Policy Changes and Open House:

Staff Report:  Official Plan Review: Results of Public Consultations, Revised Environmental Policies and Proposed Designation of Environmentally Significant Areas: PGM May 14, 2015

Open House Display Panels
Open House Presentation

 2014 - Draft Policy Changes and Consultation

Staff Report:  Official Plan Review Draft Environmental Policies: PGM August 7, 2014
Environmentally Significant Areas - Proposed Official Plan Amendment: PGM August 7, 2014 

Consultation Display Panels
Consultation Presentation

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