1. Development

YMVA’s Involvement in Development

The YVMA restricts its involvement to issues that either:

  1. have the potential to set a negative precedent for future development in The Valley, or
  2. development proposals that would negatively affect all valley residents.

The YMVA will not take sides in disputes between neighbours unless they meet one of the two criteria noted above.   In the interest of fairness The Development Committee will make the identical information available to all parties.

Building Applications and the Committee of Adjustment:

If a building permit application  is submitted to the city that meets all of the applicable city bylaws, it will be approved.  If there is an application that requires variances from the bylaws, the application will be sent to the Committee of Adjustment for review.  All neighbours within 60 feet of the property in question are notified.  Any ratepayer has the right to speak at the committee on a particular application.

The city has information on their website to explain the Committee of Adjustment process at

Neighbourhood Building Guidelines

The YMVA’s Development Committee’s role is to monitor development in and around or neighbourhood.  The Valley is praised and prized for its natural features – trees, river, slopes, winding streets, parks, intriguing views and a variety of charming homes.  We enjoy the mix of bungalows, split-level 1 ½ and 2 storey dwellings.  We have chosen to live in the Valley for these attributes and are privileged to enjoy the wealth of natural beauty the West Don River fosters.  In order to maintain this peaceful and natural corner of Toronto, we should all take responsibility for preserving it and encouraging future developments that preserve the Valley’s signature features.  A “development” can mean a an individual home renovation, new addition, or a new construction.  A development should never be contentious due to the size or impact to the Valley features and/or on a neighbour.  We are a community that cares.

The following is a list of guidelines that we would review in measuring the impact of the “development” on the neighbourhood.  We encourage you to support these guidelines and design your plans with these standards in mind.  By doing so, we hope that the unique setting in the valley will be preserved and enjoyed by all of us for many years to come.


  1. Maintain the Valley’s natural features: tress, ravines, slopes, varying topography and green spaces.  Adhere to the zoning by-law that states there should be a maximum of 30 percent coverage on property in the area.
  2. Think natural setting: For over 20 years we have called our community the Country in the City, enjoying the open space and privacy.  Keep within the by-laws by respecting good spacing between homes, maintain, compatible front, side and backyard setbacks to preserve your and your neighbour’s view.  Variances should be minor.
  3. Respect your neighbours: right to privacy, sun and shadow effects, rain and spring runoff, being on a flood plain or on a hill does create some challenges.
  4. Build to scale and character of your street and neighbour: size, mass and style of proposals should be similar or compatible to the character of the houses on the street.
  5. Communicate with your designer and builder to make sure they are aware of your wishes to stay as close to these guidelines as possible.
  6. Discuss your intentions and review your plans with your neighbours at least three houses each side and across the street from your lot well before the construction begins or variance notices from the city go out.

The YMVA prepared this pamphlet describing the development and committee process with some tips. If, after reviewing this information, you still have questions, please feel free to call the executive member for development issues.