Across Toronto, halted construction often leads to construction sites falling into a state of disrepair. Under current by-laws, there is no mechanism to require site restoration, even if a property has been abandoned for several years. From vacant townhomes on Bayview to Lake Leaside, numerous Ward 15 developments have demonstrated the need to comprehensively review the City's bylaws governing property standards and unfinished construction sites.
At City Council, I spearheaded an initiative to improve our regulation of these issues and hold developers accountable to their project timelines and construction schedules through the use of fines, permit revocation, and other enforceable regulations. I'm pleased to share that my motion was passed unanimously by City Council.
While many new development applications include a targeted project completion date, there is often a significant gap of time between project approval and completion of the construction process. On sites where ongoing work is halted, building permits remain valid for up to six months under the Ontario Building Code, even if no progress is occurring. During this time, dormant construction sites can fall into a state of disrepair, becoming dangerous, unsightly, and hazardous to the surrounding community. The regulatory "grey area" around stalled construction sites is further compounded by a lack of enforceable regulations to ensure that proposed development timelines are adhered to.
As a result, commercial, industrial, and residential sites across the City can be left unfinished for years at a time, at no expense to the developer. Toronto needs stronger property regulations requiring developers to remediate and fully restore construction sites before they become a visual nuisance or health and safety concern in our neighbourhoods.
To learn more about my ongoing efforts to protect our neighbourhoods during construction, please read the other articles on my website.