Ontario Holding Landowners Accountable to Commitments to Build Homes

Province starting process to return Ajax site to Greenbelt while reinforcing expectations to other landowners and home builders

Houses are seen under construction in a neighbourhood of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 17, 2023. REUTERS/Lars Hagberg

Toronto – The Ontario government has begun the process of returning 765 and 775 Kingston Road East in Ajax to the Greenbelt, following the property owner’s decision to list these lands for sale in recent weeks, including listing some of the lands to be used for a business park rather than homes. At no time was the intention to sell or change the ownership structure disclosed to the government’s Office of the Provincial Land and Development Facilitator despite active and ongoing discussions. This lack of transparency raises serious concerns about the owner’s ability to meet the government’s expectation that homes be built in a timely manner, including the need to show meaningful progress before the end of year.

The government’s intention in amending the Greenbelt boundaries has always been to increase the supply and affordability of homes by building at least 50,000 homes quickly, while also expanding the overall size of the Greenbelt. Any attempt to sell these lands or otherwise profit from this decision without building the homes Ontario residents rightly expect runs contrary to the government’s intentions and will not be tolerated.

To ensure that construction on the remaining lands proceeds without unnecessary delays, the government will inform the remaining proponents that they are required to notify the Office of the Provincial Land and Development Facilitator of any potential transactions or actions regarding these lands. Any actions that stand in the way of building homes quickly on these lands will not be tolerated.

The facilitator continues to work closely with proponents at these sites to ensure the government’s criteria regarding these lands are met. These criteria include making substantial planning progress by the end of 2023 with shovels in the ground no later than 2025 and that proponents cover the cost of community benefits, such as housing-enabling infrastructure, parks and green spaces, as well as other amenities that will result in complete communities. If these expectations are not met, the lands will be returned to the Greenbelt.

Quick Facts

  • The province will ensure Indigenous communities are appropriately engaged with and consulted as part of the process to return the Ajax site to the Greenbelt. The province will also launch a 45-day consultation with the public and municipalities through the Environmental Registry of Ontario, similar to the process that was undertaken to remove lands from the Greenbelt.
  • The province is seeing meaningful progress in its plan to build homes. Both 2021 and 2022 saw the most housing starts in over 30 years, with close to 100,000 homes built in each year. In 2022, Ontario recorded close to 15,000 purpose-built rental housing starts, the highest number on record.

SOURCE: Province of Ontario

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