Affordable housing: Under the Investment in Affordable Housing program, the federal/provincial governments define affordable housing as new rental housing that is rented at no more than 80% of the local average market rent as determined by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
Arterial road: Major traffic and transit route, intended to carry large volumes of traffic.
As of right use: Land uses that are automatically allowed by laws such as a municipality’s zoning bylaw.
Barrier-free design: Design of buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to both people without disabilities and people with disabilities.
Charette: A workshop-like public meeting to brainstorm community design issues.
Code grounds: Ontario’s Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination based on the following grounds:
- place of origin
- ethnic origin
- creed (for example, religion)
- sex (includes gender identity, pregnancy and breastfeeding)
- sexual orientation
- age (generally 18 years or older, but age 16 or older in some housing situations)
- marital status
- family status
- record of offences (only in employment)
- receipt of public assistance (only in housing).
People are also protected from discrimination when two or more grounds are involved (for example, a single parent with a disability), when they are associated with someone who identifies with a Code ground, or when they are perceived to be a member of a group identified by a Code ground.
Collector road: Traffic and transit routes designed to carry lower volumes of traffic than arterial roads, and providing continuous access across neighbourhoods.
Community Improvement Plan: A provision of the Planning Act that allows municipalities to prepare plans for designated community improvement project areas. These areas need improvement because of age, dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty arrangement, unsuitability of buildings, or for any other environmental, social or community economic development reason.
Discrimination: Discrimination includes any distinction, including any exclusion, restriction or preference based on a prohibited Code ground, that impairs the recognition of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The purpose of anti-discrimination laws is to prevent the violation of human dignity and freedom through the imposition of disadvantage, stereotyping, or political or social prejudice.
Discriminatory neighbourhood opposition (also called NIMBYism): Opposition to housing projects that is based on stereotypes or prejudices towards the people who will live in them. It can refer to discriminatory attitudes as well as actions, laws or policies that create barriers for people, such as persons with low income and/or disabilities, who seek to move into affordable or supportive housing in a neighbourhood.
Diversity: The presence, in an organization or a community, of a wide range of people with different backgrounds, abilities and identities such as ethnicity, race, colour, religion, age, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
Duty to accommodate: Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, people identified by Code grounds are entitled to the same opportunities and benefits as everybody else. In some cases, they may need special arrangements or “accommodations” so they can take part equally in all of the social areas covered by the Code, including, for example, employment, housing and education. Employers, housing providers, education providers and other parties responsible under the Code have a legal obligation to accommodate Code-identified needs, unless they can prove it would cause them undue hardship. Undue hardship includes considerations of cost, outside sources of funding and health and safety.
Harassment: Harassment means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought to be known to be unwelcome. Such comment or conduct could include unwelcome attention, remarks, jokes, threats, name-calling, touching or other behaviour. It also includes displaying (in workplaces, schools or housing) pictures that insult, offend or demean someone because they belong to a Code-protected group.
Housing Service Manager: In Ontario, Housing Service Managers establish, administer and fund housing programs and services, and may provide housing directly. There are 47 Service Managers and District Social Service Boards in Ontario.
Inclusive design: Design approaches meant to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to both people without disabilities and people with disabilities.
Lodging house: While there are many definitions for this term, in general lodging or rooming houses are buildings where four or more tenants rent individual rooms that do not have both kitchens and washrooms for a tenants’ exclusive use.
NIMBYism (also called discriminatory neighbourhood opposition): “Not in My Back Yard” opposition to housing projects that is based on stereotypes or prejudices towards the people who will live in them. It can refer to discriminatory attitudes as well as actions, laws or policies that create barriers for people, such as persons with low income and disabilities, who seek to move into affordable or supportive housing in a neighbourhood.
Official Plan: A long-range planning and policy document that guides and shapes growth and manages development over a 20-30-year timeframe. Official Plans contain goals, objectives and policies to guide future physical development of a community through the land use planning process while also considering important social, economic and environmental matters and goals.
Ontario Municipal Board (OMB): An independent administrative tribunal responsible for hearing applications and appeals and deciding on a variety of contentious municipal matters. Board members are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and include lawyers, accountants, architects, planners and public administrators. The OMB operates under the Ontario Municipal Board Act, as well as other legislation and its own rules of practice and procedure. It reports administratively to the Ministry of the Attorney General.
Quasi-constitutional: When we call the Ontario Human Rights Code “quasi-constitutional,” we mean that it has primacy or takes precedence over other laws. In other words, if an Ontario law such as the Planning Act says one thing and the Code says another, the Code will prevail unless the other law specifically states the Code will not take precedence.
Racialization: The process by which societies construct races as real, different and unequal in ways that matter to economic, political and social life. This term is widely preferred over descriptions such as "racial minority," "visible minority" or "person of colour" as it expresses race as something imagined by society rather than as a description of persons based on real characteristics.
Second units (also known as accessory or basement apartments, secondary suites or in-law flats): Self-contained residential units with kitchen and bathroom facilities within dwellings or within other buildings on the same property, such as coach houses or laneway garages.
Social housing: Housing developed under a federal/provincial government program by a non-profit or co-operative housing corporation, where some or all of the rents are subsidized so that households do not pay more than 30% of gross income on shelter.
Supportive housing: Housing developed and/or funded under a provincial government program, with support services to help tenants to live independently.
Systemic discrimination: Systemic or institutional discrimination consists of patterns of behaviour, policies or practices that are part of the social or administrative structures of an organization, and which create or perpetuate a position of relative disadvantage for people identified by Code grounds. These appear neutral on the surface but, nevertheless, have an exclusionary impact on people identified by Code grounds.
Transitional housing: This temporary or interim accommodation (in the form of multi-unit apartments, single room occupancies, scattered site apartments, etc. is combined with case managed support services, aimed at helping people make the transition to long-term and permanent housing, self-sufficiency and independence.
Variance: Permission to deviate from a specific requirement of a zoning bylaw.
Zoning: A system of land use regulation that designates allowed land uses based on their location and whether they conform with the Official Plan.
Zoning bylaw: A bylaw that controls the use of land in a community. It states exactly how land can be used, where buildings and other structures can be located, the types of buildings that are allowed and how they can be used, and the lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks from the street.
Zoning bylaw amendment: A change in zoning that is allows a property to be used or developed in a way that was not allowed before by the zoning bylaw.