Ontario Construction News staff writer
Toronto City Council approved new bylaws last week for development charges and a new community benefits charge in order to meet a September 2022 transition timeline mandated by the Province of Ontario.
DC rate increases will be phased in over a two-year period, with 50 per cent of the jump implemented when the current bylaw expires in 2023, and full rates coming into effect in 2024. Also, Toronto would normally adjust development charge rates for inflation this November (an estimated 17 per cent) but will delay the increase until May 2023.
Exemptions will continue for affordable housing, industrial uses and non-ground floor non-residential uses. Additional supports are provided for purpose-built rental housing and inclusionary zoning developments, by freezing the rates at current levels for those units. New exemptions are provided for more housing choice in communities across Toronto for multiplex projects with no more than four units on a lot, as well as an increase in the Toronto Green Standard rebate program.
The new community benefits charge will be implemented next month and will be levied on developments and redevelopments that are at least five storeys high with at least 10 residential units. The charge will be linked to the appraised value of the land and restricted to four per cent of land value at the time a building permit is issued.
Lower density developments (less than five storeys) aren’t subject to this charge. Additionally, the new regulation exempts long-term care homes and hospices, retirement homes, universities, colleges and Indigenous institutes, Royal Canadian Legion buildings and non-profit housing.
Applications for a development under 10,000 square metres that is complete before the new bylaw is enacted in August will not be subjected to the charge. This protects developments that are in the pipeline, giving them time to adjust to the new rate.
Housing Now projects and other affordable housing initiatives will be exempt from the charge.