Rethinking Zoning


Rethinking Zoning


Implementing the RAC Zone

The RAC Zone came into being through a long term collaboration between a group of partners including the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal, United Way Toronto & York Region, Toronto Public Health and the City of Toronto. Together they worked to rethink the historic zoning and replace it with a new, more flexible framework linked to the aspirations of residents, and the broader goals of Tower Renewal. Following several years of research, consultation, policy design and approval processes, the RAC zone is now a reality. Tower Neighbourhoods across the city can now begin the process of incremental change toward more integrated, vibrant, and diverse community hubs.

It’s time to get started!


Project Development Partners

Project Sponsors

Special thanks to the City of Toronto Zoning Team and Tower Renewal Office for making recommendations for the RAC zone a reality!

RAC Project Team: 
City of Toronto:
Joe D'Abramo, Jane Welsh, Alan Theobald, Aderonke Akande, Elise Hug

Centre for Urban Growth + Renewal:
Graeme Stewart, Michael McClelland, Ya'el Santopinto, Jason Thorne, Bryan Bowen, George Martin; 

United Way Toronto and York Region:
Pedro Barata, Lorraine Duff, Jamie Robinson, Nauman Khan;

Site Editorial Board:
Graeme Stewart, Centre for Urban Growth + Renewal;
Pedro Barata, United Way of Toronto;
The City of Toronto

Site Authors: Josh Thorpe, Carl Shura, Simon Rabyniuk
Cover Image: Will MacIvor
RAC Zone Illustrations: Daniel Rostszrain
RAC Rules Diagrams: Simon Rabyniuk






Tower Renewal Today

Tower Renewal is a multi-faceted initiative to enable Toronto's Remarkable stock of Apartment Neighbourhoods to become more complete communities, resilient neighbourhoods and healthy places, fully integrated into the City’s infrastructure and community life. Looking at a wide range of opportunities the initiative is routed in three main objectives:

• to optimize buildings and neighbourhood performance through lower carbon urbanism and healthy built form;

• to maximize Social Opportunity through expanding community infrastructure and opening doors to allow social innovators, local entrepreneurs, local residents and newcomers to define their neighbourhoods; and

• to integrate apartment neighnourhoods into local and citywide infrastructure, and where appropriate, expand housing and employment options through growth that supports the above.

For more information, visit the Tower Renewal Office at the City of Toronto, and ERA / Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal research Blog. 





Tower Renewal Partnership

To further the goals of Tower Renewal, the Tower Renewal Partnership is a collaboration between a broad group of urban organizations and leaders with the aim of working directly with government and other stakeholders to establish the conditions for real change, based on a solid foundation of policyfinance, and design best practices.

The partnership includes the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal (CUG+R), Maytree Foundation, DKGI In, United Way Toronto & York Region, and Evergreen CityWorks. Transsolar KlimaEngineering and NBLC are technical advisers to the partnership. Additional organizations participate on a project-by-project basis, and include the Toronto Public Health, the Metcalf Foundation, Toronto Atmospheric Fund and more.