City of Toronto
It’s with great pleasure that I introduce to Torontonians a new piece of legislation — a by-law that will change many lives for the better in our great city.
The RAC zone is a simple change to Toronto’s by-laws. This change will provide more convenience, more services and more economic opportunities for the hundreds of thousands that call Apartment Neighbourhoods home across our city.
These apartment buildings are an extremely important part of Toronto. They provide affordable housing to Toronto residents – whether you’ve lived here your whole life or new to the city. They are culturally diverse and full of lively families.
Many of these buildings are in need of basic repair, as well as upgrades to improve energy efficiency. But more importantly, the residents of these neighbourhoods need better access to services, amenities, conveniences, and opportunities.
All these needs are addressed in the initiative known as “Tower Renewal,” which aims to improve apartment neighbourhoods throughout our city. It’s important to improve our apartment buildings themselves, so they function better and produce reduced greenhouse gasses. It’s also important to build new affordable housing, new transit and new infrastructure that more completely connects our apartment neighbourhoods.
The new RAC zone is an important step in this larger initiative. Before this by-law, it was very difficult or even illegal to have shops and cafés, community services, markets, and all kinds of other healthy community conveniences and businesses in Apartment Neighbourhoods. This is not acceptable. The City of Toronto and partners worked together to make the required changes to improve the social fabric that helps our neighhourhoods survive.
Through this effort, dozens of new uses will be allowed. It will enable stronger, more equitable communities where people have better access to fresh food, health care, and active lifestyle choices. People will have communities where they have an easier time getting to work and school. Residents will have infrastructure that will allow for more opportunities to follow their passions, start businesses, and build success.
These are the kinds of communities where people can grow roots, work together, build families, and follow their passions. Overall this means a more accessible city and better quality of life for all.
The RAC zone will be a proud moment for City Hall. It’s specific legal and regulatory decisions like this that can truly make our city more livable, more affordable, and more functional. And it’s this spirit of action that empowers our citizens, fosters our entrepreneurs, builds on each other’s strengths, and helps us build a better Toronto.
The Mayor’s Office wishes to extend thanks and congratulations to the many staff members, institutions, advocates, and residents who have championed the RAC zone, and made it a reality.