Toronto: Density Bonuses in Exchange for Community Benefits - Case Study
Municipal Finance, Urbanscapes
May 19, 2020
In the early 1980s, the Province of Ontario (Canada), sought to improve the quality of life in communities where development and intensification were taking place and to address the need for additional public services and infrastructure that resulted from increasing populations. To this end, Section 37 of the Planning Act was introduced to authorize municipalities in the Province to grant increases in height and density of development which are above the permissible limits, in exchange for developers providing “facilities, services or matters”. The main rationale of the exchange was to compensate neighboring residents for potential negative impacts of added density. The additional (bonus) rights in exchange for additional “facilities, services or matters” would be enshrined in a Community Benefits Agreement – signed between the city and the site developer.