Tower Renewal Blog

Cities Alive Podcast – Zoning Out! Pt. 1


How do zoning laws contribute to – or prevent – the creation of complete communities? The Cities Alive podcast episode, Zoning Out! Part 1 addresses issues surrounding this question.

Hosts Ross Soward and Danielle Davis invite guest speakers to talk about new trends in zoning that are allowing the formation of vibrant neighbourhoods.

Today there is a rethink in how zoning works – from once rigid and separated into fixed single uses – to more flexible and mixed. Desire for zoning reform is coming both from above – planning departments and think tanks, and the grass roots – those frustrated their small scale initiatives can’t get off the ground due to out dated land-use laws. One such initiative is Toronto’s Tower Renewal project, where zoning reform was initiated through a collaboration between ERA Architects, United Way Torontothe City and local communities.

The Tower Renewal project’s aim in zoning reform is to enable opportunities in Apartment Neighbourhoods by allowing the range of uses within these higher density neighbourhoods that are permitted in a typical Toronto main street. This makes it possible for residents to start their own businesses and have access to fresh food, community services and other aspects of neighbourhood life many neighbourhoods take for granted. These reforms are one step toward creating more complete communities.

To learn more about how zoning works, and what projects are challenging traditional ideas about zoning to create a more dynamic Toronto, listen to the full episode here.

The Zoning Out! episode is hosted on the Planning & Design Centre website and is by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI).