With new powers in hand that would allow him to pass bylaws without a majority vote, Toronto Mayor John Tory is looking to bring major zoning changes to the city.

In a motion that will go before City Council on December 14, Tory calls for "a more aggressive approach" to ramping up housing in Toronto. He directs the City Manager to develop a 2023 Housing Action Plan that will allow Toronto to meet its provincially mandated target of building 285,000 new homes over the next 10 years. Tory also lays out a number of components to be included in this plan, such as zoning bylaws amendments to allow more density both on major streets and within neighbourhoods.

"I campaigned and was elected on a mandate to get more housing, including affordable and supportive housing built and to get it built faster," Tory writes. "Now is the time for us to take action to deliver on the mandate to get homes built."

Tory calls for a revisiting of plans for the Port Lands, waterfront, and other major projects "to ensure housing density is optimized," and for the creation of a post-secondary strategy to increase the availability of student housing. He also lays out plans for the legalization, and regulation, of multi-tenant houses city-wide.

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Tory has twice deferred a vote on multi-tenant housing, saying that it does not have the support it needs to pass. But with his newly extended strong mayor powers that allow him to pass bylaws with the support of just one-third of Council, the legalization of multi-tenant housing seems all but guaranteed.

"We must move quickly to change City policies and advance new programs that will create new housing, be solutions-oriented, and demonstrate a strong commitment from Council to deliver the reforms needed to increase new housing and prioritize the supply of affordable and market rental housing that our residents and newcomers desperately need," Tory writes.

In a move that's sure to draw backlash from the NIMBY crowd, Tory's motion directs the City Manager to explore the possibility of allowing multiplexes within neighbourhoods, as well as removing the exclusionary zoning that restricts the majority of Toronto to single-family homes.

If Tory's proposal is passed as-is, the City Manager will report back to the executive committee with a detailed plan no later than March 2023.