February 28, 2018 / 6:09 AM / 6 months ago

FACTBOX-Ontario's Growth Plan for Toronto area

Feb 28 (Reuters) - Toronto, one of the world’s hottest property markets, is struggling with supply bottlenecks and developers and some experts say that, ironically, a growth plan drawn up for the city may have contributed to the crunch.

Here are the main facts about the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe adopted by the Ontario provincial govenrment to manage the expansion of Toronto and its surrounding areas through 2031.

It was created in 2006 and updated in 2017 following a review in 2016, with the aim of managing population growth largely through more construction in existing developed areas, locating the highest densities where infrastructure and municipal servicing already are in place and ensuring the protection of agricultural land and the environment.

( here.pdf )

Key points:

* Confine at least 50 percent of growth to already built-up areas with existing or planned water and wastewater systems until 2031, and 60 percent from 2031 onwards.

* All municipalities must develop strategies to achieve minimum targets, including identifying strategic growth areas, updating zoning and prioritizing infrastructure investment.

* Identified 25 urban growth centres, central areas of already built-up towns and suburbs, as the focal points for growth with a range of mandated densities per hectare (2.47 acres): 400 people and jobs combined within the City of Toronto, 200 in Toronto suburbs and 150 in centres of outer ring towns.

* Greenfield areas should have a minimum of 80 residents and jobs combined per hectare.

* Municipalities must develop housing strategies that promote a mix of housing options and densities and establish targets for affordable housing; accommodate the plan’s forecasted growth and density targets; and maintain land with servicing capacity for a three-year supply of housing.

* Minimum density targets along transit corridors range from 200 residents and jobs per hectare near subways to 160 around light rail and buses to 150 around the regional public transit system.

* Public transit is the first priority for transportation infrastructure planning and investment.

* New developments should demonstrate no negative impacts on, or disruption to, key natural heritage or natural water resources.

* Prime agricultural areas identified in official plans should be protected.

* Planning for infrastructure corridors should undergo environmental assessments that include impacts on agricultural land, natural heritage features and natural water systems.

* Water and wastewater systems should support achievement of the plan’s minimum intensification and density targets. (Reporting By Nichola Saminather and Matt Scuffham)

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