Community Benefits

This page is intended to assist individuals and organizations to learn what Community Benefits are, what they can be used for and how to advocate for how they are directed/spent.

"Community Benefits" can describe several different processes and thus may create confusion if improperly applied. There are three different categories of Community Benefits: section 37 Density Bonusing, section 37 Community Benefits Charges and Community Benefit Agreements. Each is described below.


Who's Responsible for What?

Section 37 of the Provincial Planning Act authorizes municipalities to adopt a Community Benefits Charge (CBC) by-law and collect CBCs to pay for the capital costs of facilities, technical/engineering services and other matters required to serve development and redevelopment. CBC funding helps support complete communities across Toronto.

Community Benefits Charges (CBCs)

CBCs are collected on developments and redevelopments that are at least five storeys in height and that add at least ten residential units.

As of August 2023, the City can now only secure 4% of the land value as community benefits which are non-negotiable.

Density Bonusing

Prior to August 2023, section 37 permitted the City to authorize, under the Planning Act, increases in permitted height and/or density through the zoning bylaw in return for community benefits, provided that there were related Official Plan policies in place.

In Toronto Centre, previous City Councillors successfully negotiated and secured millions of dollars (often an average of 10-15% of the value of the additional density) under the former density bonusing model. This was before the Provincial Government made sweeping changes in August 2023, which switched to CBCs.


Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs)

Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) are increasingly being utilized in government procurement to maximize the social and economic impacts when they buy, build, or provide financial incentives for construction or remediation. In Ontario, the community benefits movement is built on the premise of community and labour working together to ensure the people building public infrastructure projects represent the demographics of the local communities.

In 2015, the Province of Ontario’s Bill 6, Infrastructure for Jobs and Prosperity Act was introduced by the provincial government to ensure infrastructure planning and investment include community benefits, being the supplementary social and economic benefits arising from infrastructure projects that are intended to improve the well-being of a community affected by the project. From this legislation, the province identified five pilot infrastructure projects in its Long-Term Infrastructure Plan that would include community benefits requirements.

These community benefits include but are not limited to:

  • local and equity hiring in apprenticeships
  • local and equity hiring in professional, administrative and technical positions
  • social procurement supporting local businesses, minority-owned businesses and social enterprises
  • neighbourhood and environmental improvements as identified by the community

Frequently Asked Questions

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