Received the following communication from BILD. Link to the manual: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/u...oronto-Retail-Design-Manual-December-2019.pdf
Members of the BILD Toronto Chapter:
Despite these lofty claims that this document is an aspirational guide of best practices etc., I think we all know that City Staff, especially UD, will attempt to use these as rules, further complicating and extending the jurisdictional overreach by certain departments in the development review process.Please be advised that the City of Toronto has released a draft Retail Design Manual for your review and comments. The Manual is targeted to be reported to the Planning and Housing Committee on March 23rd, 2020.
The Manual is organized into three major themes including: (1) the building, (2) the street & retail frontage and (3) the retail space.
The City has expressed that the Manual is a collection of best practices and is intended to provide guidance on developing successful ground floor retail spaces. The intent is also to provide aspirational retail design best practices to inform, guide, inspire and educate architects, retail designers, City staff and the development community.
The Manual is provided as a resource to a wide variety of stakeholders involved in the design and development of retail. Each of these user groups will refer to this document in a different way and at different stages in the planning, design and development process. Some best practices are direct and provide guidance on quantitative measures (e.g. ground floor heights), while others are more qualitative or are intended to guide tenants at later stages of development (e.g. lighting).
A number of the best practices, such as recommendations for MEP - Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing for example, are not subject to City Planning review or oversight. Again, these are included in this document only as a resource for developers, architects, and retail designers to consider as they develop the retail program and space.