TRREB has communicated with Mayor Tory and the Toronto City Manager regarding important City Services that have been impacted by the City’s suspension and adjustment of City services, specifically the City’s Planning and Building Departments.
In a letter to Mayor Tory and the City Manager, TRREB highlighted that City services play an important role for numerous real estate transactions. Specifically, the City’s Planning and/or Building Departments play important roles for many inquiries, permits, zoning reviews, etc., which often form parts of conditions on real estate transactions that must be cleared before the transaction can be completed. Initially, the City of Toronto had suspended all of these services, while most other GTA municipalities were still able to continue providing these services with staff working remotely to ensure safety and social distancing.
TRREB worked with other stakeholders, including the Building Industry and Land Development Association and the Toronto Region Board of Trade, to ensure that the City was aware of the potential severity of impact that this could mean for the City’s economy.
Status of City Planning and Building Services
The City has now made adjustments to allow some of these services to continue during the shutdown, while still ensuring the safety of their staff. The following is an update on these services posted by the City:
Current Building Department services include:
- 24/7 emergency building inspections services.
- Building permit inspection reports can now be conducted by a qualified professional in lieu of a City inspector.
- Issuing building permits that were ready to be issued prior to March 16
Suspended Building Department services:
- There will be no new Building, Sign Permit and Zoning intake, review and issuance.
- No building inspection services by City inspectors other than emergency inspections.
- Not currently addressing information requests or complaints.
Currently evaluating needs and capability to safely allow for the following activities:
- Providing occupancy inspections
- Issuing building permits for critical projects that were received prior to March 16 that are ready to issue.
- Issuing critical building permits to allow construction to continue to the next phase of work.
Current Planning Department services include:
- Limited reviews of planning applications received on or before March 16
- The review of applications that have cleared any Council-related approval and are proceeding through final technical clearances (e.g., site plan approval).
- Development projects close to occupancy (e.g., draft plans of condominium clearances and registrations).
- Working with applicants’ solicitors to register agreements where the agreements can be finalized.
- Committee of Adjustment decision appeals will be accepted electronically. Note: the Province has suspended deadlines for submitting appeals, retroactive to March 16. Should you still wish to submit an appeal it can be done via email. Please send the appeal to both the general email address and the Manager & Deputy Secretary-Treasurer for your district as found on the Committee of Adjustment web page.
- Fee payments will be collected after regular service delivery resumes.
- Limited review of Heritage Planning applications received on or before March 16.
Suspended Planning Dept Services
- Committee of Adjustment meetings have been cancelled and will be rescheduled.
- New applications to the Committee of Adjustment will not be received.
- Updates to the online Application Information Centre will be suspended.
- Design Review Panel meetings have been cancelled and will be rescheduled.
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