Toronto's "Dysfunctional" Planning

With its planning department reporting to a deputy manager several steps removed from the mayor's office, Toronto's planning system is "just insane", writes Christopher Hume.

Hume argues that, although Toronto is Canada's largest city, its size is no excuse for its disjointed and unresponsive planning regime. Other major cities such as New York have their planning directors report directly to the mayor's office. In Toronto,

"the [planning] department reports to a deputy city manager, who reports to the city manager, who reports to city council."

This affects not only major projects such as waterfront redevelopment, but neighbourhood-scale zoning issues. Without strong planning governance, Hume notes that real planning power ends up resting with local city councillors, with no effective oversight.

He concludes that "Planning in Toronto doesn't stand a chance, and, therefore, neither does the city. Indeed, it is set up for failure."

Full Story: How Toronto Plans for Failure


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