Government Relations Update, November 2019

With nearly 1300 members, NAIOP Greater Toronto is a leader in public policy issues municipally and provincially. Working independently and in collaboration with a coalition of real estate industry organizations, we are recognized as an important voice for the commercial real estate industry. NAIOP is advocating on issues of importance to our membership, including:

Community Benefit Charges Consultation – Bill 108 

NAIOP is actively participating in the Community Benefit Charges Consultation process to help determine the formula to be used to calculate this new charge. Bill 108 introduced Community Benefit Charges as a single charge to replace the “soft services” component of development charges, Section 37 density bonusing, and, the alternative parkland dedication rate. This charge, once determined, will impact the fees developers pay across the Province. The province is expected to ask for additional public feedback on its proposals later this fall.  NAIOP will continue to advocate strongly in support of the commercial real estate industry throughout this process.

King-Parliament Secondary Plan Review

Toronto Planning Staff have presented their proposed Secondary Plan for the King-Parliament Area. The plan’s key objectives are to enhance employment, maintain the area’s diverse physical heritage and character and improve and expand parks and the public realm. These proposals will significantly impact the commercial development industry. The finalized Secondary Plan and updated zoning by-law is expected to be brought to Council in April 2020.  NAIOP is participating in the consultation process to ensure that the plan incorporates commercial realities. 

Peel Region Vacant and Excess Land Class Review

Peel Region is undertaking a review of the appropriateness of its vacant and excess land sub class property tax reduction program for commercial and industrial properties. NAIOP submitted a letter as part of the review in favour of maintaining the program and attended the consultation meetings. NAIOP is concerned that reducing or eliminating this program would create additional pressure to rezone industrial lands for non-manufacturing uses and contribute to the reduction of land available for future employment. Peel Region is expected to review staff recommendations for this program at its January 2020 Council meeting. NAIOP will continue its advocacy in support of commercial and industrial development in the Region.

GO Train Electrification

The Province’s plan for two-way, all-day rapid GO transit service will have a dramatic impact on the continued growth of the GTA and links to smaller communities in southern Ontario. NAIOP has been closely monitoring the process and is working with the Ministry of Transportation to address electromagnetic field (EMF) related issues along the downtown Union Station Rail Corridor that could adversely impact tenants and owners. Local stakeholders have indicated that substantial increases to EMF in this area could interrupt sensitive building systems.

Following NAIOP’s outreach, the Ministry has committed to ensuring that any EMF issues will be addressed following the award of the project’s RFP later in 2020. NAIOP is monitoring this issue. 

Waterfront LRT

The significant development planned for the east Waterfront has increased the need for transit. NAIOP has been working with the Waterfront BIA to enhance political and public awareness of the imperative for a Waterfront LRT.

Toronto City Staff are expected to present a request to complete the preliminary planning and design work for the LRT to Budget Committee by the end of 2019. NAIOP will continue to advocate in support of this project.

Toronto Budget 2020

As always, NAIOP will be monitoring Toronto’s 2020 Budget process for issues of importance to our membership. City staff and Mayor Tory have committed to an ongoing property tax ratio reduction program to keep Toronto competitive and we will be watching to ensure this commitment is maintained. Staff are also expected to present a report on revenue tools for Council to consider in its efforts to alleviate its annual Budget pressures. NAIOP will be actively involved in this process to ensure that its membership is not unduly impacted.

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