Ontario's incipient provincial government is altering the approval process to allow development of the Lower Don Lands area more quickly. A news release issued earlier today by Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, outlines the province’s plan to remove a planning requirement and speed up the area-wide redevelopment.

Lower Don Lands redevelopment, TorontoLower Don Lands redevelopment, image via Waterfront Toronto

"By reducing Ontario's regulatory burden we're smoothing the way for the first of many projects in the Lower Don area and sending the message that Ontario is open for business," reads a statement from Minister Clark. "Making a simple change in the Building Code specific to the Lower Don Lands means construction can happen at the same time flood protection infrastructure is being put in place. To protect health and safety, the Building Code amendment also prevents the buildings from being occupied until the flood risk is removed."

With a flood protection project now active and a new integrated GO/Smart Track transit station in planning, the Lower Don area is being primed for the creation of a new mixed-use community that will include a re-naturalized Don River mouth, new parks, and a mix of both residential and commercial buildings.

The move to make adjustments to the Ontario Building code is being touted as a move that will bring the Lower Don Lands redevelopment project to market faster, and create over 50,000 new jobs in the process. "We're making government work harder, smarter and more efficiently to make life better for the people of Toronto and everyone in the province," said Minister Clark.

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