Section 37 & the creative city: how density bonuses have secured cultural benefits in the city of Toronto
thesisposted on 2021-05-25, 07:15 authored by Meaghan Davis
Section 37 of the Planning Act authorizes Ontario municipalities to permit developments to achieve greater height and density than otherwise allowed in exchange for community benefits. Although land use planners rarely take a leading role in arts policy discussions, this planning tool has been identified as an important opportunity to support and grow Toronto’s arts and culture sector. This research project investigates how Section 37 agreements have been used to secure spaces for cultural production and dissemination in the City of Toronto. A mixed-methods approach is used to quantify these benefits and their distribution throughout the city, and to probe the experiences of cultural organizations in order to better understand who and what is relied upon to build new cultural spaces. The study concludes that land use planners must reinvent their approach to cultural planning and make proactive use of planning tools in order to support Toronto’s creative city goals.