With our population growing and more parents choosing to raise their families in Toronto, access to daycare is a critical component of how we plan and grow our city. Section 37 of the Planning Act enables the City to secure contributions for development applications that exceed a site’s zoned height and density. At the Village Green Square development in Scarborough (near the intersection of Kennedy Road and Highway 401), Section 37 was used to require the developer to provide a non-profit child care facility for local residents. As part of the next phase of development, a second non-profit daycare facility is planned to be opened.
Heart Beatz Child Care, a registered charity that has served Scarborough for more than 35 years, operates the current daycare. Daycare provision is an important part of Toronto’s planning policy. Our Official Plan explicitly states that development in mixed use areas should have access to childcare, as well as schools, parks, community centres, and libraries. Following Toronto’s Section 37 protocol, the agreement required that the developer construct, finish, furnish, and equip both child care facilities. The developer was also required to provide start-up funding to help the daycare get established during its first year of operation.
When complete, this mixed-use neighbourhood will include over 2,700 residential units, public art within a 1.7 acre park, retail space, as well as land for a future transit terminal and road connection. By tailoring Section 37 benefits to serve the local community, the City has helped ensure that residents of all ages will be able to call this neighbourhood home.