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Ontario incentivizes speedy application process to increase housing supply (webinar)

Author(s): Chris Barnett

May 26, 2022

Ontario’s More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022, received Royal Assent on April 14, just over two weeks after its first reading at Queen’s Park. Osler partner Chris Barnett, Municipal, Land Use Planning & Development and Real Estate, hosted Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director of City Planning at the City of Toronto, and David Wilkes, President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), for a lively and informative discussion about the bill’s implications for housing development and municipal planning in the province.

The Ontario government touted the new law as the first step in implementing the recommendations of the Housing Affordability Task Force, whose February 2022 report included some fundamental changes to the way the housing planning process works in the province. Both developers and planners are still working to understand the full ramifications of the bill, which makes several significant amendments to the Planning Act and the City of Toronto Act, 2006, among others.

A controversial aspect of the bill is its incentivization of quicker decision-making on development applications, requiring the refund of application fees if not approved within certain prescribed timelines. Notably absent, however, is a stop-the-clock mechanism for potential roadblocks beyond municipal control like refinancing, sales of land or other issues that could stall progress on a plan or development.

While zoning limitations and other factors affecting the province’s current housing crisis are beyond the scope of this new law, industry is optimistic that it can begin to address some of the supply challenges.

Watch the full webinar.