The Toronto District School Board’s City Growth and Intensification Strategy was approved by the Board of Trustees on June 20, 2018. The strategy aims to strengthen the role of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in the land-use planning process to ensure the TDSB is able to provide adequate long-term accommodation for students.
The strategy includes:
- Affecting Change within the Municipal Policy Making Process
Staff will continue taking an active role in the creation of municipal policy documents (e.g. urban design guidelines, official plan amendments), which will allow the TDSB to assess the impact of new developments on long-term student accommodation and its infrastructure. Staff will continue to emphasize that development approval by the City of Toronto must consider the ability of the local schools to accommodate enrolment growth on a timely basis and recognize the role of schools in contributing to complete communities (communities that meet people's needs for daily living throughout an entire lifetime by providing convenient access to housing, jobs, local services and infrastructure).
- Representation at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT)
The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has now been replaced by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT). Any land-use decisions made by municipal Councils are now subject to the new appeal process of the LPAT. To ensure that staff is well positioned to advocate for the TDSB in this process, staff will:provide thorough and timely written comments to the City on development applications supported by expert opinions; ensure that submitted comments are consistent with applicable provincial and municipal policies; and, work closely with the City to ensure that the issue of student accommodation is clearly articulated.
- Greater Participation in the City’s Development Application and Approval Process
Staff will become more involved in the City of Toronto’s development approval process to ensure the City takes into consideration the TDSB’s concerns before it approves new development applications. Staff will request early meetings with the City and developers to highlight these concerns as they relate to student accommodation and/or land-use planning. In the case of developments near school sites, a set of terms and conditions for construction management will be provided to the City and developers. Where development is proposed within areas where no local student accommodation is available, staff will clearly communicate to the City that the TDSB does not support the application in its current form. Staff will work with the City and developers to address issues on a site-by-site basis and will appeal unresolved issues to the LPAT if necessary.
- Affecting Change within the Provincial Policy, Funding and Regulatory Context
Staff will continue advocating for changes to provincial policy and funding practices to ensure that the TDSB is able to provide adequate accommodation for students in intensifying urban areas. This includes changes to the provincial funding model to support the construction of new school capacity in advance of new developments being fully occupied, as well as the construction of flexible space to address growth needs over time.In addition, staff will continue to advocate for the Ontario Government to amend the Education Development Charges (EDCs) regulation (Ontario Regulation 20/98) under the Education Act to allow the TDSB to collect EDCs to help support urgent school infrastructure needs and reduce overcrowding in high-growth areas of the City.
Learn more about the TDSB’s City Growth and Intensification Strategy.