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Development approval timelines in the Greater Toronto Area

Altus Group recently completed a study for BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association) that looked at the various factors that might be contributing to housing affordability and supply issues here in the Greater Toronto Area. One area that they looked at was development approval timelines, and I thought these were two interesting charts:

What this is suggesting is that approval timelines don’t seem to really vary based on project size. Whether you’re rezoning for 3-50 homes or 400-500 homes, it’s probably going to take you a similar amount of time. This in turn creates a strong incentivize to want to develop bigger projects. Among other things, it brings down the “number of days per unit” metric shown in this second chart.

I have spoken anecdotally before about minimum project size inflation, and here’s some data to support why that is happening. But it really is too bad. We should be doing more to incentivize smaller infill projects. Our cities need development at all scales.

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