A set of criteria to help evaluate new development proposals in the Kensington Market neighbourhood.


  • Maintains the mixed-use and live-work nature of the Market
  • Follows the KM format of ground level retail with housing / office units above
  • Provides space for cultural, creative, academic, innovative and knowledge-based industries
  • Provides space for community services
  • Provides family-sized and low-income housing  units
  • Provides a range of housing sizes and types to support a diverse neighbourhood
  • Provides a range of independent retail outlets to support local residents
  • Provides support for local businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Provides supportive housing units where possible


  • Ensures that height and size are appropriate to the site and surrounding area
  • Retains the original footprint of the site when possible
  • Incorporates accessibility features
  • Incorporates and adaptively re-uses significant heritage structures when possible
  • Ensures that new design features add to the liveability and architectural interest of the streetscape
  • Does not intrude upon or interfere with the privacy of neighbouring residents
  • Minimizes new eye-level windows overlooking private outdoor space
  • Staggers new windows relative to those of adjacent buildings
  • Ensures an appropriate transition between different zoning areas (Commercial Residential & Residential), and between major streets at the neighbourhood edge (Spadina, Dundas, Bathurst & College) and the core of the neighbourhood
  • Minimizes the impact of shadowing on adjacent properties


  • Protects existing trees and green spaces, including back yards
  • Works with the City of Toronto’s Private Tree Bylaw and Plant a Tree Program to protect and increase the neighbourhood tree canopy
  • Ensures an appropriate transition between public space and private space
  • Provides a useable transition space between the public street and private property (eg. front porches and front gardens)
  • Enhances the pedestrian experience by providing physical enhancements to the neighbourhood
  • Creates pedestrian-friendly streetscapes by providing visual variety and permeability, greening measures (trees, planting beds and planters) and pedestrian amenity (benches and lighting)
  • Integrates retail units and publicly-accessible private space (front yards and patios) with adjacent public streets and parks using visual and physical connections where appropriate
  • Provides physical enhancements to the neighbourhood
  • Handles service and parking access in ways that do not disrupt sidewalk continuity


  • Demonstrates a commitment to environmentally sustainable design
  • Adheres to high standards and guidelines on environmental sustainability
  • Implements environmentally sustainable technologies, methods and materials


  • Maintains and encourages the traditional Kensington Market mix of ages, abilities, incomes
  • Ensures that the current and future needs of present residents will be met and enhanced


  • Integrates community views into project planning, design and development decisions
  • Shares relevant information and allows reasonable timelines for community review