The Living City Policies

The Living City Policies for Planning and Development in the Watersheds of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is a document that guides the implementation of TRCA’s legislated and delegated roles and responsibilities in the planning and development approvals process.

Comparable to a combined municipal official plan and zoning by-law, the Living City Policies (LCP) represents a compilation of existing plan and permit review policies and practices that have evolved over time.

It also contains new policies related to TRCA programs, scientific research, and external planning and development initiatives.

The Living City Policies for Planning and Development in the Watersheds of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Purpose of the Living City Policies

  • To guide TRCA review of planning applications and environmental assessments
  • To provide the basis for approving permit applications under Section 28 of the Conservation Authorities Act
  • To inform TRCA’s advocacy role for The Living City in the planning and development process
  • To assist and enable our partners’ and stakeholders’ contributions to building The Living City

Under the Conservation Authorities Act, a conservation authority implements a program to further its “objects” of conservation, restoration, development, and management of natural resources.

The main program previously guiding TRCA in its planning and regulatory roles was the Valley and Stream Corridor Management Program (VSCMP), endorsed by TRCA in October 1994.

In the years after the VSCMP was first introduced, many changes occurred in the quality and extent of scientific understanding of TRCA watersheds, as well as changes to the planning, development, and growth management realm of the Greater Toronto Area.

The LCP supersedes the VSCMP while continuing and expanding on the VSCMP’s valuable foundation of principles and policy intent.

The process of developing the LCP included the completion of many TRCA projects such as watershed plans, natural heritage strategies, and the development of new technical guidelines or the update of existing ones. Each of these discrete projects included their own elements of public and/or stakeholder consultation.

In addition, TRCA created the Planning and Development Procedural Manual, which provides technical guidelines and procedural information for many of the policies found in the LCP.

The intent of the Procedural Manual is to enhance TRCA’s cooperative working relationship with municipal partners, the development community, and permit applicants regarding the implementation of TRCA’s planning and regulatory functions, including opportunities to increase procedural transparency and streamline the review process where feasible.

The Living City Policy Documents


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