Private Development Thresholds

The design review process is most beneficial in areas which are experiencing pressure to address issues of mixed-uses, contextual fit and quality, and where the challenges of integrating new development into established urban contexts, or into entirely new urban contexts are common. Because of this, design review for private development focuses upon targeted Growth areas of the City which are experiencing these challenges, such as the Centres, Avenues and along Transit Priority corridors.

The Design Review Panel will review new Site Plan and Rezoning applications which satisfy the following criteria:

The Toronto Design Review Panel will review, in particular, new Site Plan and Rezoning applications:

  1. All publically-initiated projects containing significant visual and physical public realm impacts (e.g. Environmental Assessments, new buildings such as police stations, fire halls and libraries, new parks, and new policies which contain public realm implications);
  2. All large-scale site plan and rezoning applications within the Design Review Districts shown in purple on the map; and
  3. Applications which contain significant public realm impacts as a result of their location, scale, form or architectural quality, if they are located along:
    • an Avenue (see Official Plan map 2);
    • a Major Street (see Official Plan Map 3);
    • a Surface Transit Priority Corridor (see Official Plan Map 4 and Map 5).

Complex map showing transit lines, and the following landmarks or neighbourhoods: North York City Centre, Etobicoke City Centre, Yonge-Eglinton Centre, Scarborough City Centre, Humber Bay Shores, Fort York Neighbourhood and Downtown Toronto

Exclusions – Private Development

Projects which have little or no impact upon the public realm such as projects with grade-related residential uses and 1-storey commercial developments, are excluded from the Design Review process.

Timing of Project Review

With the understanding that design issues are not necessarily resolved at the pre-application stage and furthermore, that they often remain to be resolved once a formal application has been submitted, the following two-stage review process should be followed:

  • Initial consultation with the Panel should take place early on in the process during the initial functional design stages (e.g. at the pre-application stage for development).
  • A second consultation should occur during the detailed design finessing stage.