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PortsToronto is the owner and operator of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (herein referred to as “Billy Bishop Airport”), the Outer Harbour Marina, the Marine Terminals Property, and other minor land parcels around the Toronto Harbour. PortsToronto also owns the land-under-water in the Toronto Harbour and manages the flow of vessels in and out of the Port.

A Land Use Plan is required under Section 48(1) of the Canada Marine Act for every Port Authority in Canada, and contains the objectives and policies for the development of the property that the Port Authority manages, owns or occupies. As a federal agency, PortsToronto is not subject to municipal planning policy and regulation. However, PortsToronto works collaboratively with the City of Toronto and other public agencies with the shared goal of improving the City’s waterfront. The Land Use Plan takes the place of the Official Plan and Zoning By-law to provide direction for new development on lands owned by PortsToronto.

There is an existing Master Plan for Billy Bishop Airport, published in 2018. The land use plan adopts the Billy Bishop Airport Master Plan and the two should be read in tandem.

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Project Summary

The Land Use Plan work program consists of 3 phases. Phase 1 is the Background Review. It sets the stage for the Plan by reviewing the Port’s history, key changes to Port operations over time, and important environmental considerations. It also summarizes the legislative framework under which PortsToronto operates, as well as the land use policies that guide the evolution of the lands beyond the boundaries of PortsToronto’s landholdings and which PortsToronto must have regard for. The draft Background Review is available for download here.

Phase 2 will begin with virtual community consultation sessions to gather feedback and learn about community and Port stakeholder priorities for the Land Use Plan. This will inform a set of development principles and an analysis of land use challenges and opportunities. A draft Land Use Plan will be prepared for the major landholdings owned or operated by PortsToronto. It will include a number of Port-specific land use designations, and draft policies to ensure the principles of the Plan are maintained through future developments on PortsToronto’s landholdings.

A second round of community consultation sessions will be held to gather feedback on the draft plan and policies. The Plan will be revised, published to the PortsToronto website, and submitted to Transport Canada.

Purpose of the Land Use Plan

The purpose of the Land Use Plan is to articulate a vision for the future of the Port, considering social, economic and environmental factors as well as the changing context of Toronto’s Waterfront including the Port Lands and South of Eastern area. It will balance the perspectives of local, regional, provincial and national governments, stakeholders and other agencies. The Plan will conform to the land use objectives established in the Letters Patent and have regard for land use matters established by the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario and other agencies such as Waterfront Toronto and the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA). 

The Land Use Plan creates a framework for planning and development that will:

  • Form the basis of a transparent and cooperative development process for Port properties vis-à-vis the City of Toronto;

  • Help community and Port stakeholders understand PortsToronto’s interests, goals and operating constraints, and the rationale behind specific developments;

  • Guide current and future land use decision-making by PortsToronto and support the implementation of the Strategic Plan;

  • Set out the principles that will be applied to new property acquisitions and redevelopments; and,

  • Achieve PortsToronto’s economic development and goods movement mandate as set out in the Letters Patent.

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