NOTICE OF MOTION
A Picture Tells Too Many Storeys: Honest Advertising for Proposed Developments
Moved by: Councillor Matlow
Seconded by: Councillor Wong-Tam
Toronto is becoming an increasingly dense city with an additional 134,000 new residents added between 2001 and 2011. The majority of those new inhabitants are living in condominiums. It is anticipated that this trend will continue as Toronto’s population is expected to grow by 160,000 over the next 10 years with just as many new condo or apartment units added.
Residents in high-growth areas are being asked to live with an increasing amount of density, construction and traffic. It is only fair that they are provided every opportunity to voice their concerns and offer their feedback. While Toronto’s planning process provides forums for resident participation, many community members are under the impression that a development has already been approved due to misleading advertising.
At the beginning of the application review process, local residents are generally confronted with on-site, billboard, print and other advertising depicting a building that will be “coming soon” with no mention of a municipal approval process, opportunity for citizen input or that the rendering can be altered. In addition to the confusion created in the community, this misleading advertising suppresses local engagement by giving the impression that the application is a “done deal”.
Misleading condominium advertising can also negatively affects purchasers. Individuals have purchased units that have later been removed from the project through the City’s planning process, leaving buyers scrambling to find alternative living arrangements.
This motion requests that the City Manager request the provincial government to require developers to clearly state that applications are subject to approval by the City of Toronto on all advertising for development applications.
- City Council request the City Manager to formally submit a recommendation to the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services that would require developers to clearly state that applications are subject to approval by the City of Toronto on all advertising for development applications until a Building Permit has been issued
- The required language, “application is subject to approval by the City of Toronto”, must occupy no less than 25% of the advertisement
- “Advertising” referred to in recommendation (1) includes, but is not limited to: on-site, billboard, print, radio and television
April 3, 2013