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Media Release

Board of Trade Calls on Province to Eliminate Exclusionary Zoning Policies to Address Housing Crisis

Eliminating “yellowbelt” zoning in cities with over 30,000 residents would deliver significant benefits province-wide.

Row of buislding with CN tower in background

TORONTO, ON, December 14, 2021 – Toronto Region Board of Trade released “Meeting in the Middle: A plan to end exclusionary zoning and tackle Ontario’s housing crisis.” It is a proposed framework outlining how the provincial government can eliminate exclusionary zoning policies that prohibit even modest forms of density such as triplexes or small apartment buildings in most residential neighbourhoods. 

This call comes during a crucial time for discussions around housing policy in Ontario. This week there is a summit between big city mayors and the provincial government as well as Toronto council’s critical discussion of their Multiplex Study.  

Housing affordability is a critical issue in Ontario – our competitiveness in attracting talent, driving innovation, and realizing the potential of the climate economy depends on solving the housing shortfall. Allowing more types of homes in more places will help address the region’s affordability crisis and enable a host of other economic, environmental and social benefits.  

Municipalities like Toronto are already taking positive steps to enable more “missing middle” housing types. Provincial leadership is uniquely positioned to help accelerate this process. The proposed framework outlines an approach, which eliminates exclusionary zoning, supported by additional policies such as bringing development charges for a four-unit building in line with a single detached house.  

“High housing prices are already costing our economy up to $8 billion per year - the time for action is now,” said Jan De Silva, President & CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “Ending exclusionary zoning will increase our housing supply and ensure working families can afford to live here. This helps companies recruit and retain talent which, in turn, will draw innovative companies to invest in Toronto.”  

“The elimination of exclusionary zoning policies has a host of benefits beyond housing affordability,” said Craig Ruttan, Policy Director, Housing, at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “This framework would provide opportunities to help address systemic racism, maximize existing infrastructure and deliver environmental benefits – it’s a winner across the board.”  

This framework follows the Board’s ‘Priced Out’ report, which highlighted that 114,000 manufacturing jobs forecast to be added in the Toronto region by 2050, are at risk if workers continue to be priced out due to soaring home prices. This work also addresses the challenges laid out in the Board’s “Housing a Generation of Workers” series, which identified that high housing prices are already costing our economy up to $8 billion per year.  

Read 'Meeting in the Middle'

A plan to end exclusionary zoning and tackle Ontario’s housing crisis.
Row of townhouses.

About Toronto Region Board of Trade

The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.

Media Contact

Andrew Perez, Media Relations Manager