Home News and Politics SHOCKING: Ford government compelled to rectify hasty zoning order, endangering flight path with towering structure in Toronto

SHOCKING: Ford government compelled to rectify hasty zoning order, endangering flight path with towering structure in Toronto

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SHOCKING: Ford government compelled to rectify hasty zoning order, endangering flight path with towering structure in Toronto

The Ford government had to revise a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) after a developer was given permission to construct a skyscraper in the flight path of Pearson International Airport, according to sources. The rushed process resulted in the airport officials informing the government that building a 50-storey tower on a flight path used by numerous aircraft would not be feasible. This incident is expected to raise more concerns about the controversial use of MZOs, which allow the province to override and replace planning decisions made by local councils. The province had previously surprised officials by issuing two zoning orders to bypass local planning rules in Mississauga. These orders led to a significant increase in the size of a waterfront development and the allowance of towers along Hurontario Street. The announcement caught local officials off guard, and they learned about the changes simultaneously with the public. It was later revealed that one of the buildings included in the zoning order, a 50-storey tower near Toronto Pearson Airport, had been requested by a developer and approved in less than two weeks by the Ford government. However, after the airport authorities raised concerns about the tower’s location in an emergency flight path, the province amended the MZO to remove the site next to the airport. Despite the government’s lack of explanation for the changes, the revised zoning order effectively halted the developer’s proposal. The incident highlights the increasing scrutiny on MZOs and their potential misuse. Following the Greenbelt scandal, where the province controversially swapped land and forced some cities to expand their boundaries, the use of MZOs has become a source of concern. The NDP recently revealed a list of 18 MZOs granted to development projects involving individuals who attended Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s daughter’s wedding. Opposition politicians are now pushing for a review and potential reversal of over 100 zoning orders. The housing minister is currently reviewing all MZOs issued by the government, with the aim of aligning them with the province’s goal of constructing 1.5 million homes by 2031.

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