We Need More City Planners for Transit, Heritage and Communities.

If you agree, copy the text between the lines, paste it into an email and send it to the top three addresses today. Late emails matter here, so please pend when you read this.


Need More Planners

Nancy Martins email: pgmc@toronto.ca
10th floor, West Tower, City Hall
100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

‘During this period of massive growth in Toronto we need more City Planners and to tighten up the Heritage preservation systems.  Planning and Preservation MUST PRECEDE development!’ Sunnyside Historical Society and me.

Jack Gibney wrote: Applications for Heritage Designation take years to process due to staff shortages in City Planning. People often don’t bother to apply since responses are uncertain.  New York, for example, has twice as many planners per application as Toronto. We need more Planners. I have been attending many development and Heritage Conservation meetings around Parkdale and Roncesvalles and it is my perception that Toronto City Planners do a careful and thorough job, listening and responding to public opinion as well as the numerous other complex factors they must consider. While there is a shortage of Planners, there is also a revenue surplus for their function!  Toronto must hire more planners. Toronto is experiencing one of the highest growth rates in the world. Travel in the city is becoming extremely difficult. Heritage buildings and cultures are being lost. If there is all this money for building condos there must be some left to plan for us to live here.

Meghan Edmonds wrote:
I believe the historical society needs to take this position as part of our thoughtful planning initiative. With our current level of city planners we don’t have enough attention focused on preserving historical pieces. Case in point- we used to have a city planner assigned to our neighborhood- and we even knew his or her name- back when I was on the board of the RMRA (past decade starting in 2005) now we often have to go through our city Councillors office for more pressing matters.

Daryl Laundau suggested adding the following:
From a 2010/11 review of heritage protection in Toronto concluded:  “This report offers an overview of the heritage community’s concerns and perceptions of the state of Toronto’s heritage. The main concerns surrounded lack of City staffing and resources allocated to heritage preservation; the organization and processes of City planning, public education and awareness; and improving and enforcing legislation and policies related to heritage. Although encouraging changes have been made in the past nine years, many of the same concerns and recommendations raised during the 2010 consultations had previously been brought forward in 2001 in Heritage Toronto’s ‘State of Heritage’ Report Card.
Further efforts to strengthen the city’s heritage resources and museums through funding, legislation, and education are necessary before more of Toronto’s heritage resources are lost. Heritage Toronto and the Toronto Historical Association have undertaken the task to record perspectives of the heritage community in this report. City Council must be made aware of the important economic, social and cultural benefits of heritage. A central long-term vision and coordinated effort by politicians and City staff must be put forward to protect these fragile resources. It is our hope that Toronto City Council and related decision makers will consider this report when deliberating on funding opportunities and policy direction for the identification, protection, and interpretation of our finite heritage resources.” See the full report here: HeritageReport-2010.pdf


Send the above email. You can also attend: November 16 9:30 am Planning and Growth Management Committee Committee Room 1, City Hall.

Gord Perks: The City of Toronto has been seeing a record number of planning applications, OMB hearings, and a rising demand for pro-active neighbourhood-based planning studies. We are also demanding planning advice on major transit investments, service provisions to the people moving into our core, and more.

City Planners do this work. They are skilled and dedicated, but there aren’t enough of them to manage the workload.

Gord Perks spoke to this issue at our last Council meeting:

Our city deserves a planning division that is able to operate at the best of its abilities to meet our needs. Item 2016.EX17.15, covering this Planning Department funding challenge, will be coming back to the Planning and Growth Committee for discussion in the near future. I will share that date once it becomes available and will ask at that time that if you agree that we need better resources to manage our booming growth that you either write to the committee or appear in person to share your comments.

More information from the recent council on October 5-7, including the agenda, minutes, and decisions can be found here.

Gord Perks
City Councillor
Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park

Your city Councillors voted on looking into this as follows:

At City Council on October 5th , Gord moved a motion at City Council that:
“.. City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to report to the November 16, 2016 Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting on how well the City Planning Division is meeting performance metrics given the increase of the development activity as outlined in the operating variance report.
Vote (Amend Item (Additional))

Oct-05-2016 3:37 PM

Result: Carried Majority Required – EX17.15 – Perks – motion 1
Yes: 23 Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Jon Burnside, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Michael Ford, Mary Fragedakis, Jim Karygiannis, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam 
No: 8 John Campbell, Gary Crawford, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Jaye Robinson, John Tory 
Absent: 13 Ana Bailão, Shelley Carroll, Vincent Crisanti, Paula Fletcher, Michelle Holland, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Giorgio Mammoliti, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza 

Motion to Adopt Item as Amended (Carried)

Cover the Demolition Loophole. Michael Harrison of Parkdale / Roncesvalles asks the city:  2016-Oct-13-submission-to-EYCC-1-Audley1.pdf

Transit Planning is important for Parkdale, see latest plan here.

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