Toronto City Council supports the expansion of neighborhood retail and local services – City of Toronto


Press release

July 21, 2022

Today, Toronto City Council passed Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendments to provide a more supportive environment for residents, local businesses and community organizations in Toronto neighbourhoods.

Today’s changes are part of the City of Toronto’s Neighborhood Housing Options Expansion Program, which will include further consultation, research and action, including a retail and service study. in local neighborhoods to assess ways to enable more local uses of retail, service and small-scale offices. in areas of the city currently zoned as ward-designated areas. Supporting opportunities for these amenities will help create vibrant, complete communities that provide more choices for retail, services, and work within walking distance of people’s homes. Further work, including a citywide zoning by-law that expands permits for retail businesses and local neighborhood services, is expected to be considered by Council in 2023.

Ward-designated lands occupy approximately 35% of Toronto’s land area, the most common land use designation. The use of local spaces for shops, services and offices will contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of a territory by improving the accessibility, quality and diversity of services and goods; support residents with reduced mobility and families with young children; provide employment and economic opportunities closer to home; and improving community safety through increased activity at different times of the day.

By reducing the need to drive longer distances to obtain goods and services, this change will also support the City’s goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving net zero emissions by 2040.

More residents are now spending more time in their neighborhoods as many employers have embraced hybrid and/or remote working. This has led to changes in shopping habits and a greater reliance on local businesses and services.

Further information is available on the Local Neighborhood Retail and Services webpage:

The Chief Planner’s Report to Council, Expanding Housing Options in Neighborhoods – Neighborhood Retail and Services Study Final Report Phase One, is available on the City’s website at Expanding Housing Options in Neighborhoods – Neighborhood Retail and Services Study Final Report Phase One .


“Expanding opportunities for retail, service and office use in local neighborhoods is economically, socially and environmentally important. These amenities bring vibrancy to communities and provide opportunities closer to home, which is critical to improving access to goods and services, achieving net zero emissions by 2040, and increasing community safety. The Local Neighborhood Retail and Services study is an important step in supporting the livability of our city.
– Mayor John Tory

“These changes recognize the need for walkable businesses and services in our neighborhoods. They will support the daily lives and activities of residents and foster complete and connected communities.
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport), Chair of the Planning and Housing Committee

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s main economic engine and one of the most diverse and livable cities in the world. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a world leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and ranks consistently at the top of international rankings thanks to investments supported by its government, residents and businesses. For more information, visit the City’s website or follow us on TwitterInstagram or Facebook.


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