The Centre for City Ecology hosted a panel discussion titled Reset TO: Where is Toronto’s Voice in the Development Permit System? Panelists included:
Joseph D’Abramo, former Director of Zoning and Environmental Planning with the City of Toronto
Cathie Macdonald, former Director of Planning, Building and Property, City of Toronto, and former President of Deer Park Residents Group
Paul Hess, Associate Professor, University of Toronto Department of Geography and Program in Planning
The discussion, moderated by CCE Director Annabel Vaughan, began with an introduction by Joseph D’Abramo and an overview of Toronto’s Development Permit System, adopted by City Council in July. The adopted by-laws permit the Development Permit System to be used as an alternative to the traditional zoning by-law in areas specifically designated by Council. While a number of neighbourhood have been recommended as sites where a DPS system could be used, the system has not yet been enacted on the ground here in Toronto. This has left many with questions as to how the system will be implemented and what impact it will have on our neighbourhoods and city as a whole.
Cathie Macdonald responded to the DPS from a community perspective, exploring how the system might impact communities as the neighbourhood scale. Cathie proposed working groups to guide the initial implementation of the DPS and how community voices could be included in the discussion in meaningful and lasting ways.
Paul Hess then responded from a policy perspective, posing interesting questions as to how the DPS could impact neighbourhoods in need of development (rather than those wishing to curb the tide of rapid growth), and how the system might function with respect to the Ontario Municipal Board.
The audience of 50+ contributed excellent questions that fuelled conversation during the Q&A.
Thanks to all those who presented and attended!