a subway train.

Priority Transit Projects Corridor Development Permit

Building Near Metrolinx - Guidelines and Permits

Construction work near a Priority Transit Corridor

The Province passed the 2020 Building Transit Faster Act, which provides the Province with tools needed to support the accelerated completion of priority transit projects. As part of the Act, land that may be needed for the construction of transit projects is designated as Transit Corridor Lands. This designation will ultimately help Metrolinx streamline the construction of priority transit projects. Learn more about the Act.

A Metrolinx Corridor Development Permit (CDP) is needed by anyone carrying out work within the Transit Corridor Lands and permit buffers shown in the diagram below.

Transit Corridor Lands and permit buffers are designated for each of the priority transit projects, and CDPs are required within 10 metres of the Transit Corridor Lands for utility infrastructure works and within 30 metres for the construction or alteration of buildings, structures and roads.

You will need a permit if you are building, altering or placing a building or structure or utility infrastructure that requires dewatering, grading or excavation and other work as may be prescribed by the Regulation under section 84 of the Act.

Diagram showing the clearances around transit corridors

The Corridor Development Permit is in addition to any other needed permits that you must obtain to satisfy applicable law, including municipal and provincial approvals.

If you are planning construction activities within the Transit Corridor Lands and permit buffers for one of the Metrolinx priority transit projects, first search the location using the Third Party Coordination & Permitting App.

Determining the scope of your project

Every project that takes place within Transit Corridor Lands and or the 30 metre buffer area surrounding the Transit Corridor Lands is unique and will vary in size, scope and complexity, and can take different timelines to review and issue a corridor development permit.

Projects that are considered small scale or minor will have a shorter review process than larger, more complex projects. For small scale or minor projects, expect to hear from Metrolinx within 20 to 30 business days from the date Metrolinx receives a complete permit application package.

Under the Building Transit Faster Act, even small scale or minor projects require a permit as long as they are occurring within the Transit Corridor Lands and permit buffers and or within the 30 metre buffer area.

If you are a homeowner, builder, developer, utility company or municipality, check the list below to see if your project will be classified as small scale or minor project.

Please contact Metrolinx at development.coordinator@metrolinx.com to confirm before you start your work.

For all utility and roadway inquiries, please contact us at MCReviews@metrolinx.com

For more information on utility relocations requested by Metrolinx check out the Utility Coordination Near Transit Construction page.

Criteria for small scale or minor projects

To be classified as a small scale or minor project, your project must be deemed as one with little or no impacts to priority transit projects, including having:

  • No Metrolinx property interests on the lands that are subject to the project;
  • No ground dewatering, excavation or shoring work within the geotechnical zone of influence;
  • No material loading implications on existing/planned transit works or assets;
  • No deviation from Metrolinx requirements and standards, as applicable to a project;
  • No overlap in schedule or location with a priority transit project that would necessitate the need to coordinate designs and construction activities – this includes overlaps in proposed use space on the public right of way.

Examples of small scale or minor projects include (but not limited to):

  • Single-story structure demolitions and/or additions
  • Excavations in support of single-story structure additions
  • Single-story exterior structural or material alteration, renovation, restoration, and reconstruction
  • New permanent detached garages, and carports, automotive structures
  • New or replacement covered structures like patios, decks, sunrooms
  • New or replacement/expansion of pools and accessory structures
  • Major municipal tree planting initiatives (more than 10 trees)
  • New, rehabilitation and replacement park pathways/trails, bridges, underpasses, ice and skating rinks and other park facilities that require excavation of 0.5m deep
  • Streetscape maintenance including sidewalk, curb and pavement rehabilitation, street furniture installation and maintenance
  • New, rehabilitation and replacement of street furniture (e.g., street lights, traffic lights, signage, benches)

Residential and business projects exempt from corridor development permit process

Not every project will require a permit from Metrolinx. The list below outlines the type of work on residential and business property that will not require a permit. If you are planning work on your property and have questions, reach out to Metrolinx at development.coordinator@metrolinx.com to discuss.

  • Interior construction activities including renovation, restoration, reconstruction, and alteration such as
    • painting
    • plumbing repairs
    • electrical repairs
    • heating/ventilation/furnace repairs
    • wood and wall reconstruction and repairs
  • Façade work – replacing in-kind windows, recladding, and roofing (non-structural or material alterations)
  • Finishing or repairing an existing basement, except basement underpinnings with a depth greater than 0.5m
  • Driveway/entryway/pathway repairs or repaving
  • Private tree planting
  • Temporary tent
  • Replacement and new fences and uncovered platforms with less than 0.5m deep excavation
  • Repairing or new landscaping features less than 1-metre in height and/or less than 0.5m deep excavation
  • Excavation for burial or exhumation activities that extend up to a maximum depth of 2.6m (8.5 ft)
  • Erection of monuments, headstones or statues that involve foundations up to a maximum depth of 1.25m (4 ft)

Utility or municipal projects exempt from the corridor development permit process

Certain work related to utility or municipal projects are also exempt from the permit process, but may still be subject to a fast track review by Metrolinx. When in doubt, please contact Metrolinx at MCReviews@metrolinx.com to confirm before you start your work.

  • Park upgrades, including painting of bridges, street furniture or wayfinding structures
  • Park landscaping improvements, including replacing existing vegetation
  • Park maintenance including interior work to washrooms and structures, replacement of playground equipment without extensive excavation
  • New, rehabilitation and replacement park amenities such as playground equipment, benches and equipment
  • Utility inspections, investigations, locates, surveys and/or CCTV activities
  • Utility and other investigation/survey work that requires road cut/excavations in addition to road occupancy (test holes, bore holes, integrity pits)
  • Site investigation including boreholes, test pits, integrity digs
  • Rodding, roping and pulling ducts
  • Traffic signal timing set up
  • Municipal tree planting (10 trees or less at a time)
  • Replacement and new city park fences and uncovered platforms with less than 0.5m deep excavation
  • Repairing or new landscaping features less than 1-metre in height and/or less than 0.5m deep excavation

Transit Corridor Lands Coordination

Details of the land assembly process required to support implementation of Priority Transit Projects. Learn more.

If you have any inquiries or wish to initiate the corridor development permit process, please contact Metrolinx at development.coordinator@metrolinx.com. Please include property information as well as a description of your work or site plan, or any architectural drawings (if available) in your initial email.

Failure to comply with the above requirements may endanger public safety and/or impact Metrolinx rail operations. Metrolinx has enforcement authority under the Act, including the ability to issue non-compliance notices, and stop work orders depending on the severity of the infraction.