Skip to Main Content

The Living City Policies

Download Summary
Board Report

The Living City Policies for Planning and Development in the Watersheds of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (The LCP) is our new DRAFT policy document that is now released for public consultation.

The LCP is a conservation authority policy document that, once adopted, will guide the implementation of TRCA’s legislated and delegated roles and responsibilities in the planning and development approvals process over the next ten years. Comparable to a combined municipal official plan and zoning by-law, The LCP represents a compilation of existing plan and permit review policies and practices that have evolved over time. It also contains new policies related to TRCA programs, scientific research, and external planning and development initiatives. 

[Page last updated: March 20, 2014 - click here]


Note: All documents are in Adobe Acrobat format (PDF) PDF

Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. The Toronto Region    
Chapter 3. Legislative Foundation
Chapter 4. TRCA History and Evolution to The Living City 
Chapter 5. The Living City
Chapter 6. Paths to Achieving The Living City: Policies for Sustainable Communities 
Chapter 7. Policies for Environmental Planning 
Chapter 8. Policies for the Administration of TRCA’s Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation 
Appendix A Municipal Policies for Approved Special Policy Areas and Two Zone Areas 
Appendix B Illustrative Examples of the Natural System 
Appendix C Defining the Limit of Regulated Areas
Glossary Definitions of terms used in the document
References Sources used in the development of the document 


The LCP’s purpose is four-fold:

  1. To guide TRCA review of planning applications and environmental assessments;
  2. To provide the basis for approving permit applications under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act;
  3. To inform TRCA’s advocacy role for The Living City in the planning and development process; and
  4. To assist and enable our partners’ and stakeholders’ contributions to building The Living City.

Under the Conservation Authorities Act, a conservation authority implements a program to further its “objects” of conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources. TRCA’s main program currently guiding the Authority in its planning and regulatory roles is the Valley and Stream Corridor Management Program (VSCMP) endorsed by the Authority in October 1994. The LCP will supersede the VSCMP while continuing and expanding on the VSCMP’s valuable foundation of principles and policy intent. Since the VSCMP was first introduced, many changes have occurred in the quality and extent of scientific understanding of TRCA watersheds, as well as changes to the planning, development and growth management realm of the GTA.

The process to bring The LCP to this draft stage where it is ready for external consultation has been ongoing for several years and has included: the completion of many TRCA projects such as watershed plans, natural heritage strategies, and the development of new technical guidelines or the update of existing ones. Each of these discrete projects has included their own elements of public and/or stakeholder consultation. Additionally, TRCA created the Planning and Development Procedural Manual in 2007, which provides technical and procedural details for many of the policies found in The LCP. The intent of the Procedural Manual is to enhance TRCA’s cooperative working relationship with municipal partners, the development community, and permit applicants regarding the implementation of TRCA’s planning and regulatory functions, including opportunities to increase procedural transparency and streamline the review process where feasible.

Process and Timelines

Public and stakeholder consultation on TRCA’s policy document, particularly with TRCA’s municipal partners, is critical to developing and updating a comprehensive and effective policy document. The external consultation process will follow a similar pattern to other TRCA projects such as TRCA watershed plans and Generic Regulation conformity. It is also similar to the consultative process that municipalities engage in when they update or create new official plans. TRCA is required to consult publicly on any new policies as set out by the Province’s policies and procedures for conservation authorities.

November 2013 – Update to Process and Timelines

We would like to thank those of you who participated in our external consultation process on TRCA's Draft Living City Policies, and to provide an update on our progress towards finalizing the document, now anticipated for mid-2014. Throughout external consultation meetings during the spring and summer, we benefitted from hearing and discussing stakeholders’ reactions to the document, based on their comprehensive reviews. Overall, the feedback was positive and many of our partners indicated that the document aligns well with their objectives for building sustainable communities. These discussions, along with the written comments received, will help inform our revisions to increase the effectiveness of the document.

We are in the process of inventorying and reviewing all of the written comments received on the draft Living City Policies. Once the revisions are completed and confirmed through consultation with senior TRCA staff, we will report back to the Authority Board on the consultation process and revised document. We anticipate timing on this report to be in January 2014, following which we will post a revised draft document publicly for another review period by all stakeholders.

We also plan to host a public information meeting at Black Creek Pioneer Village, following the release of the revised document. Once comments are received on the revised document, we anticipate the policy document will be finalized by mid-2014, and forwarded to our Authority Board for their approval.

We trust this update is helpful. Should you have any questions or concerns, or if you still wish to provide comments on the draft document, click here.

March 2014 – Update to Process and Timelines

Thank you for your patience while we finalize the revised draft of The Living City Policies for Planning & Development in the Watersheds of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. We received a great deal of valuable input from many stakeholders. Addressing each stakeholder's comments, and documenting how that has been done, is taking longer than anticipated. The revised draft will be released by early April, for a further commenting period of approximately 90 days. Thank you for your continued interest in the LCP.