Neighbourhood character studies are on their way to becoming zoning rules and part of the Official Plan.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 7, 2016



They have been a long time coming. And not everyone wanted the studies in the first place but the Planning department worked their way through public meetings that were at times fascinating at other occasion almost a total waste of time.

Character studies for Roseland, Shoreacres and Indian Point have been pulled together into one omnibus report to council which, if approved, will become the zoning for properties in each neighbourhood. These zoning changes will get put into the Official Plan review that is currently underway.

Communities – perhaps better referred to as neighbourhoods wanted more control over the kind of development that took place – the residents didn’t want to lose the feel of what they had.

Anne McIlroy on the left, who served cookies to the 25+ people who attended the meeting, talks with with Andrea Smith

Anne McIlroy on the left, who often served cookies to people attending meetings, talks with with Andrea Smith

And while that “feel” was not always easy to define Anne McIlroy, the consultant brought in to handle the character study was particularly good at settling an audience and finding a way to determine just what the community wanted – not always an easy task.

Three neighbourhoods got one of those up close and very personal treatments. Roseland, Indian Point, and Shoreacres were each facing challenges of their own with small developers doing infills and on other occasions tearing down a smaller house for something bigger.  Monster homes were appearing, much to the chagrin of those living in the neighbourhood


Roseland has a number of stately dwellings that reflect the period during which it was built – many wanted to keep that look and feel.

Residents of Roseland and Shoreacres communities have for the most part reacted positively to the findings of the character studies, while some from the Indian Point community have expressed concerns (which is putting it mildly) with any proposed changes to the regulatory framework applicable to their community.


Indian Point, a small neighbourhood tucked away on the west side of the city had a character of its own that was quite mixed. There were the old-timers and the nouveaus – that didn’t speak the same language.

Indian Point is a very small neighbourhood and there were people who had bought properties and didn’t care all that much about what their neighbours thought – they knew what they wanted to do and they didn’t see the need for any meddling by the planners. At least one of the meetings got downright nasty.

City council looked at the highlights of the proposed amendments on February 17, 2016. The next step was to consolidate the proposed zoning, official plan, and site plan by-law amendments that had been proposed and make it all legal.

The development industry has reacted positively to the notion of eliminating the site plan process for low density residential areas in exchange for additional zoning regulations.

The detail is complex and at this point all we have is a draft that will be debated at the  September 12, 2016 Community and Corporate Services Standing Committee meeting.

The Gazette will report in detail on the final decision.

Set out below are the proposed zoning regulations in a graphic format.

Balcony Regulations

Balconies located above the first storey in the side and rear yard of detached dwellings are not permitted.

Front Yard Setbacks.

Properties located on the west side of Indian Road as identified in Part 2 – Residential Zones, Section 4.10 Character Area Maps shall have a front yard of 4 m.

Properties located within the Shoreacres Character Area as identified in Part 2 – Residential Zones, Section 4.10 Character Area Mapswith an R2.1 zone shall have a front yard of 9m

Lot Coverage

Floor Area Ratio

The maximum floor area ratio is 0.45:1.

Properties with a front or street side yard abutting Lakeshore Road and North Shore Boulevard and all properties south of Lakeshore Road and North Shore Boulevard (excluding Indian Point Character Area as identified in Part 2 – Residential Zones, Section 4.10 Character Area Maps) shall be exempt from this floor area ratio regulation. For through lots, the front building elevation shall determine the front of the lot for the purposes of this regulation.

Garage Widths and Projections

The width of a front loading attached garage shall not exceed 50% of the width of its building elevation.

An attached garage with a garage door facing the street is not permitted to project beyond the front wall on the first storey of a dwelling.


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