Premier calls province-wide fourplex policy ‘a massive mistake’ now off the table

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has rejected the implementation of a province-wide policy allowing for construction of fourplexes in residential neighborhoods. Calling the idea a “massive mistake,” Ford highlighted concerns about potential backlash from residents in traditional single-family suburbs.

“I’m not going to override municipal planning to force four, six, eight-storey buildings in the idle of every neighbourhood across Ontario,” Ford said last week. “Imagine the disaster with parking on local streets.

“Queen’s Park doesn’t know best. Instead, I believe in collaboration. I believe in working together. I believe in setting clear targets and holding municipalities accountable and rewarding them for their success.”

During a housing-related event in Richmond Hill, Ford confirmed the proposed policy is “off the table” despite weeks of deliberation and discussions at Queen’s Park regarding the possibility of permitting developers to build up to four units – up to four-storeys tall – on a single lots that are zoned residential, without municipal approval.

“I can assure you 1,000 per cent, you go into communities and start putting up four-storey, six-storey, eight-storey buildings right deep into communities, there’s going to be a lot of shouting and screaming,” Ford said. “We are not going to go into communities and build four-storey or six-storey buildings beside residents.”

Instead, the province should respect municipalities’ planning decision-making power.

“I’m certainly not getting in the way of municipalities doing whatever it is that they want,” emphasizing that different municipalities have varying regulations, with Toronto already permitting fourplexes as of right,” said housing minister Paul Callandra.

The proposed fourplex policy stemmed from the province’s 2022 Housing Affordability Taskforce report, commissioned by the Ford government preceding the last election which pointed to increased accessibility to diverse housing options and expedited construction in existing neighborhoods.


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