City of Toronto – Avenues and Mid-Rise Building Study

May 3, 2014

Toronto City Council has extend the monitoring period to the end of 2014 to allow staff to complete consultations on the effectiveness of the Mid-Rise Building Performance Standards.  The Study recommends that many of the major arteries in the city including, in the Lower West End of Toronto, most of Dundas St. W and parts of College St. , Queen St. W. , Bloor St. W,  Bathurst St. and Roncesvalles Ave.  are permitted Mid-Rise, mixed commercial-residential development as of right.

What is a mid-rise building?

Mid-rise buildings are the ‘in between’ scale of building, they are bigger than houses but smaller than towers. Mid-rise buildings have a good scale and relationship to the street. They define or make walls to the street that are tall enough to feel like a city and provide lots of usable space, but low enough to let the sun in and open the view to the sky from the street. They support a comfortable pedestrian environment, and animate the street by lining the sidewalk with doors and windows with active uses including stores, restaurants, services, grade related apartments, and community uses. Mid-rise buildings may contain a single use like an office or residential apartment but they usually contain a mix of uses which may include retail, office, community service, and residential all in the same building. The height of a mid-rise building varies from street to street, as we define mid-rises as buildings that are no taller than the width of their adjacent street right-of-way (the width of the publicly owned portion of the street). In Toronto, on the narrower 20 metre wide streets in the downtown, a mid-rise is 5 or 6 stories high. On the wider arterial streets outside of the Downtown, a mid-rise may be taller up to a maximum of 11 storeys on the widest Avenues. Mid-rises typically are designed with step-backs or terraces at upper levels to make them appear lower in height from the street, and to allow sunlight and sky views on the sidewalk.


The adoption of the ‘Avenues and Mid-Rise Building Study’ recommendation by the City of Toronto will have a major impact on property values for major arteries effected by the study.  Please drop me a line of give me a call to discuss.  A full version of the study including maps of the areas effected can be found at: