Proposed Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe - tracked changes
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This page shows a tracked changes version that compares the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006 that is currently in effect and the Proposed Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2016. While this document has been carefully prepared, readers should refer to the Proposed Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2016 available at www.ontario.ca\landuseplanningreview, and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006, for the official proposed policies.
Note that the Proposed Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2016 also includes explanatory text on the proposed changes to assist readers that is not included on this page.
Growth Plan for the
Greater Golden Horseshoe
The Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) is one of the fastest growing regions in North America. It is
also the destination of choice for many people and businesses relocating from other parts of Canada and around the world. They settle here because of the high quality of life and the economic opportunities. This is a place of prosperity where, through their skills and talents, people are building a great future for themselves.
Over the next quarter century,
communities within the
GGH will continue to experience the benefits that come with growth , including:
vibrant, diversified communities and economies
; new and expanded community services; and arts, culture and recreation facilities. However, without properly managing growth, communities will continue to experience the negative aspects
· associated with
rapid growth, such as increased
· traffic congestion,
deteriorating air and water quality, and the disappearance of
· agricultural lands
and natural resources.
Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe
(this Plan) has been prepared
Places to Grow Act, 2005
. It is
a framework for implementing
the Government of Ontario's vision for building stronger, prosperous communities by better managing growth in this region. This is a plan that recognizes the realities facing our cities and smaller communities , and that acknowledges what governments can and cannot influence. It demonstrates leadership for improving the ways in which our cities, suburbs, towns , and villages will grow over the long-term.
This Plan will guide decisions on a wide range of issues – transportation, infrastructure planning, land-use planning, urban form, housing, natural heritage and resource protection – in the interest of promoting economic prosperity. It will create a clearer environment for investment decisions and will help secure the future prosperity of the GGH.
This Plan builds on other key government initiatives including: the Greenbelt Plan, Planning Act reform and the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 (PPS, 2005). This Plan does not replace municipal official plans, but works within the existing planning framework to provide growth management policy direction for the GGH.
This Plan reflects a shared vision amongst the Government of Ontario, the municipalities of the GGH and its residents. Successful implementation of this Plan's vision will be dependent upon collaborative decision-making.
In preparing for the future, it is essential that planning for the GGH take into account the importance, and the unique characteristics and strengths of its economy. These include:
· A diverse economy supported by a wide array of manufacturing industries of which the largest is the automotive sector, and other key industry clusters such as financial and business services, hospitality and tourism, education and research, life sciences, information services, and agriculture;
· An economy in transition, with economic activity and wealth increasingly generated by service and knowledge industries;
· Trade that accounts for over half of Ontario's GDP, over 90 per cent of which is with the United States;1 
· A highly educated workforce, whose social and economic diversity are critical factors for success in the growing knowledge economy;
· Abundant natural heritage features and areas, and prime agricultural areas, and the government's commitment to protecting them, as demonstrated through initiatives such as the Greenbelt Plan, which make our communities more attractive and healthier places to live and work;
· Cultural amenities that offer the kinds of creative and recreational activities that attract knowledge workers.
The GGH must remain competitive with other city-regions. However, urban sprawl can affect its competitiveness. Despite its many assets, Ontario and the GGH face a number of challenges in sustaining and growing its economy:
· Increasing numbers of automobiles are travelling over longer distances resulting in clogged transportation corridors, including those that provide access to our critical border crossings. Traffic congestion and the delay in movement of goods costs Ontario upwards of $5 billion in lost GDP each year; 
· Attractive and efficient public transit is difficult to introduce into sprawling communities, and this limits our ability to respond effectively to growing traffic congestion issues;
· Employment lands are being converted from their intended uses, thereby limiting future economic opportunities;
· New infrastructure is being built to service lower-density areas, while existing infrastructure in the older parts of our communities remains underutilized;
· Urban sprawl contributes to the degradation of our natural environment, air quality and water resources, as well as the consumption of agricultural lands and other natural resources so critical to the future economy.
Decades of neglect and lack of sufficient investment have resulted in the current infrastructure deficit. Tens of billions of dollars beyond current levels of investment will be required before the situation is back in balance. All levels of government are under pressure to meet public infrastructure needs. Additional support from federal partners; innovative, alternative partnership arrangements that protect the public interest; and the strategic staging of infrastructure investments are all required to respond to these challenges. Ultimately, better investment in our cities will help to mitigate sprawl. Enhancing infrastructure, integrating and improving transit systems, protecting valuable natural resources and strengthening local government will all go far towards the implementation of this Plan.
This Plan addresses these challenges through policy directions that –
· direct growth to built-up areas where the capacity exists to best accommodate the expected population and employment growth, while providing strict criteria for settlement area boundary expansions
· promote transit-supportive densities and a healthy mix of residential and employment land uses
· preserve employment areas for future economic opportunities
· identify and support a transportation network that links urban growth centres through an extensive multi-modal system anchored by efficient public transit, together with highway systems for moving people and goods
· plan for community infrastructure to support growth
· ensure sustainable water and wastewater services are available to support future growth
· identify natural systems and prime agricultural areas, and enhance the conservation of these valuable resources
· support the protection and conservation of water, energy, air and cultural heritage, as well as integrated approaches to waste management.
1.1.1 A Vision for the Greater Golden Horseshoe
More than anything, the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) will be a great place to live
in 2041. Its communities will be supported by the pillars of a strong economy, a clean and healthy environment and social equity.
The GGH will offer a wide variety of choices for living. Thriving, livable, vibrant and productive urban and rural areas will foster community and individual well-being. The region will be supported by modern, well-maintained infrastructure built in accordance with
a broad plan for growth. Residents will have easy access to shelter, food, education and health-care facilities, arts and recreation and information technology.
Getting around will be easy. An integrated transportation network will allow people choices for easy travel both within and between urban centres throughout the region. Public transit will be fast, convenient and affordable. Automobiles
, while still a significant means of transport, will be only one of a variety of effective and well-used choices for transportation. Walking and cycling will be practical elements of our urban transportation systems.
A healthy natural environment with clean air, land and water will characterize the GGH. The Greenbelt, including significant natural features, such as the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment,
has been enhanced and protected in perpetuity. These will form the key building blocks of the GGH's natural systems. The GGH's rivers and streams, forests and natural areas will be protected and accessible for residents to enjoy their beauty. Open spaces in our cities, towns and countryside will provide people with a sense of place.
Unique and high
-quality agricultural lands will be protected for future generations. Farming will be productive, diverse and sustainable.
Urban centres will be characterized by vibrant and more compact settlement and development patterns
and will provide a diversity of opportunities for living, working and enjoying culture. The evolving regional economy of the GGH will have matured into an economic powerhouse of global significance. It will function as Canada's principal international gateway.
The Greater Toronto and Hamilton
area will be a thriving metropolis with an extraordinary waterfront. At the heart of this metropolis will be Toronto, a celebrated centre of influence for commerce, culture and innovation.
All of this will translate into a place where residents enjoy a high standard of living and an exceptional quality of life.
1.2.1 Guiding Principles
The vision for the GGH
is grounded in the following principles that provide the basis for guiding decisions on how land is developed, resources are managed and public dollars invested:
· Build compact, vibrant and complete communities .
· Plan and manage growth to support a strong and competitive economy.
Protect, conserve, enhance and wisely use the valuable natural resources of land, air and water for current and future generations.
Optimize the use of existing and new infrastructure to support growth
a compact, efficient form.
· Provide for different approaches to
managing growth that recognize the diversity of communities in the GGH.
· Promote collaboration among all sectors – government, private and non-profit – and residents to achieve the vision.
for the GGH derives its authority from the Places to Grow Act, 2005. This Plan is approved through an Order -in -Council made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council under that Act .
This Plan applies to the
GGH lands designated by Ontario Regulation 416/05.
1.2.3 How to Read this Plan
This Plan consists of policies, schedules, definitions and appendices. It also includes non-policy contextual commentary to provide background and describe the intent of the policies. Terms in italics are defined in the Definitions section of this Plan.
This Plan informs decision-making regarding growth management in the GGH. It contains a set of policies for managing growth and development to the year 2041. While certain policies have specific target dates, the goals and policies of this Plan are intended to be achieved within the life of this Plan.
The land-use planning process within the GGH is governed primarily by the Planning Act and the Government of Ontario's existing planning system.
The Provincial Policy Statement and Provincial Plans
The Provincial Policy Statement (PPS)
provides overall policy directions on matters of provincial interest related to land use and development in Ontario, and applies to the GGH
. This Plan should be read in conjunction with the applicable PPS.
This Plan should also be read in conjunction with relevant provincial plans, including the Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment, and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plans. These plans apply to parts of the GGH and provide specific policy on certain matters. This Plan, in conjunction with these other plans and the PPS, 2005, expresses the Government of Ontario's interests and directions with regard to growth management in the GGH.
As provided for in the Places to Grow Act, 2005, this Plan prevails where there is a conflict between this Plan and the PPS. The only exception is where the conflict is between policies relating to the natural environment or human health. In that case, the direction that provides more protection to the natural environment or human health prevails.
Similarly where there is a conflict between the Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment or Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plans and this Plan regarding the natural environment or human health, then the direction that provides more protection to the natural environment or human health prevails. Detailed conflict provisions are set out in the Places to Grow Act, 2005.
2 Where and How to Grow
The GGH is one of the fastest growing regions in North America. By
2031, the population of this area is forecast to grow by an additional 3.7 million (from 2001) to 11.5 million people , accounting for over 80 per cent of Ontario's population growth. The magnitude and pace of this growth necessitates a plan for building healthy and balanced communities and maintaining and improving our quality of life.
To ensure the development of
healthy, safe and balanced communities, choices about where and how growth occurs in the GGH need to be carefully made. Better use of land and infrastructure can be made by directing growth to existing urban areas . This Plan envisages increasing intensification of the existing built-up area, with a focus on urban growth centres , intensification corridors, major transit station areas,brownfield sites and greyfields. Concentrating new development in these areas also provides a focus for transit and infrastructure investments to support future growth.
The revitalization of urban growth centres
is particularly important, not only because they can accommodate additional people and jobs, but because they will increasingly be regional focal points. They are meeting places, locations for cultural facilities, public institutions , major services , and transit hubs . These centres are not all at the same stage of development: some are the downtowns of older cities, while others are newly planned suburban centres. They all have potential to become more vibrant, mixed-use, transit-supportive communities .
Better use of land and infrastructure
also be achieved by building
more compact greenfield communities
that reduce the rate at which land is consumed. Communities will need to grow at transit-supportive densities, with transit-oriented street configurations. Compact urban form and intensification efforts go hand-in-hand with more transit: not only do they support each other, they are all necessary. This correlation is fundamental to where and how we grow. Communities will also need to provide a mix of jobs and housing to create opportunities for people to work close to where they live.
Providing opportunities for businesses to locate in the GGH is fundamental to using land wisely and ensuring a prosperous economic future. Therefore, it is important to ensure an adequate supply of land for employment areas and other employment uses.
There is a large supply of land already designated for future urban development in the GGH
. In most communities there is enough land to accommodate projected growth based on the growth forecasts and intensification target and density targets of this Plan. It is important to optimize the use of the existing land supply to avoid over-designating new land for future urban development. This Plan's emphasis on intensification and optimizing the use of the existing land supply represents a new approach to city-building in the GGH, one which concentrates more on making better use of our existing infrastructure, and less on continuously expanding the urban area.
Strong, healthy and prosperous rural communities are also vital to the economic success of the GGH and contribute to our quality of life. This Plan recognizes and promotes the
traditional role of rural towns and villages as a focus of economic, cultural and social activities that support surrounding rural and agricultural areas across the GGH. Healthy rural communities are key to the vitality and well-being of the whole area.
This Plan is about building complete communities, whether urban or rural. These are communities that are well-designed, offer transportation choices, accommodate people at all stages of life and have the right mix of housing, a good range of jobs, and easy access to stores and services to meet daily needs.
2.2 Policies for Where and How to Grow
1. Population and employment forecasts contained in Schedule 3 for all upper- and single-tier municipalities will be used for planning and managing growth in the GGH.
1. The Minister of Infrastructure will review the forecasts contained in Schedule 3 at least every five years in consultation with municipalities, and may revise the forecasts.
2. Population and employment growth will be accommodated by
a) directing a significant portion of new growth to the built-up areas of the community through intensification
intensification in intensification areas
compact, transit-supportive communities in designated greenfield areas
a) reducing dependence on the automobile through the development of mixed-use, transit-supportive, pedestrian-friendly urban environments
a) providing convenient access to intra- and inter-city transit
d) ensuring the availability of sufficient land for employment to
accommodate forecasted growth to support the GGH's economic competitiveness
g) planning and investing for a balance of jobs and housing in communities across the GGH to reduce the need for long distance commuting and to increase the modal share for transit
, walking and cycling
a) encouraging cities and towns to develop as complete communities with a diverse mix of land uses, a range and mix of employment and housing types, high quality public open space and easy access to local stores and services
i) directing development to settlement areas, except where
necessary for development related to the management or use of resources, resource-based recreational activities, and rural land uses that cannot be located in settlement areas
major growth to settlement areas that offer municipal water and wastewater systems and limiting growth in settlement areas that are serviced by other forms of water and wastewater services
l) prohibiting the establishment of new settlement areas.
1.1.1 General Intensification
By the year 2015
year thereafter, a
3. per cent of all residential development occurring annually within each upper- and single-tier municipality will be within the built-up area.
If at the time this Plan comes into effect, an upper- or single-tier municipality is achieving a percentage higher than the
a) minimum intensification target
identified in policy 188.8.131.52, this higher percentage will be considered
1. the minimum intensification target for that municipality.
1. If at the time this Plan comes into effect, an upper- or single-tier municipality has established in its official plan an intensification target that is higher than the minimum intensification target identified in policy 184.108.40.206, this higher target will be considered the minimum intensification target for that municipality.
The Minister of Infrastructure may review and permit an alternative minimum intensification target for an upper- or single-tier municipality located within the outer ring to ensure the intensification target is appropriate given the size, location and capacity of built-up areas.
The Minister of Infrastructure, in consultation with affected municipalities will verify and delineate the built boundary.
1. All municipalities will develop and implement through their official plans and other supporting documents, a strategy and policies to phase in and achieve intensification and the intensification target. This strategy and policies will –
a) be based on the growth forecasts contained in Schedule 3, as allocated to lower-tier municipalities in accordance with policy 220.127.116.11
a) encourage intensification generally throughout the built-up area
a) identify intensification areas to support achievement of the intensification target
a) incorporate the built boundary delineated in accordance with Policy 18.104.22.168
a) recognize urban growth centres, intensification corridors and major transit station areas as a key focus for development to accommodate intensification
a) facilitate and promote intensification
a) identify the appropriate type and scale of development in intensification
a) include density targets for urban growth centres where applicable, and minimum density targets for other intensification areas consistent with the planned transit service levels, and any transit-supportive land-use guidelines established by the Government of Ontario
a) plan for a range and mix of housing, taking into account affordable housing needs
a) encourage the creation of secondary suites throughout the built-up area.
1. All intensification areas will be planned and designed to –
a) cumulatively attract a significant portion of population and employment growth
a) provide a diverse and compatible mix of land uses, including residential and employment uses, to support vibrant neighbourhoods
a) provide high quality public open spaces with site design and urban design standards that create attractive and vibrant places
a) support transit, walking and cycling for everyday activities
a) generally achieve higher densities than the surrounding areas
achieve an appropriate transition of built form to adjacent areas .
1. Ministers of the Crown and municipalities will use infrastructure investment and other implementation tools and mechanisms to facilitate intensification.
2.2.3 Urban Growth Centres
1. Urban growth centres for the GGH are identified in Schedule 4.
1. The Minister of Infrastructure, in consultation with municipalities that have urban growth centres, will determine the approximate size and location of the urban growth centres.
Municipalities will delineate the boundaries of urban growth centres in their official plans.
2. Urban growth centres will be planned
a) as focal areas for investment in
institutional and region-wide public services, as well as commercial, recreational, cultural and entertainment uses
b) to accommodate and support
major transit infrastructure
c) to serve as high
density major employment centres that will attract provincially, nationally or internationally significant employment uses
d) to accommodate
a significant share of population and employment growth.
3. Urban growth centres will be planned to achieve, by 2031 or earlier, a minimum gross density target of
a) 400 residents and jobs combined per hectare for each of the urban growth centres in the City of Toronto
b) 200 residents and jobs combined per hectare for each of the Downtown Brampton, Downtown Burlington, Downtown Hamilton, Downtown Milton, Markham Centre, Mississauga
City Centre, Newmarket Centre, Midtown Oakville, Downtown Oshawa, Downtown Pickering, Richmond Hill/Langstaff Gateway, Vaughan Corporate Centre, Downtown Kitchener and Uptown Waterloo urban growth centres
c) 150 residents and jobs combined per hectare for each of the Downtown Barrie, Downtown Brantford, Downtown Cambridge, Downtown Guelph, Downtown Peterborough and Downtown St. Catharines urban growth centres.
If at the time this Plan comes into effect, an urban growth centre is already planned to achieve, or has already achieved, a gross density that exceeds the minimum density target established in Policy 2.2. 4.5, this higher density will be considered the minimum density target for that urban growth centre.
Major Transit Station Areas and Intensification Corridors
Major transit station areas and intensification corridors will be designated in official plans and planned to achieve –
a) increased residential and employment densities that support and ensure the viability of existing and planned transit service levels
a) a mix of residential, office, institutional, and commercial development wherever appropriate.
4. Major transit station areas will be planned and designed to
provide access from various transportation modes to the
b) , including
consideration of pedestrians, bicycle parking and
c) commuter pick-up/drop-off areas.
1. Intensification corridors will generally be planned to accommodate local services, including recreational, cultural and entertainment uses.
1.1.1 Employment Lands
1. An adequate supply of lands providing locations for a variety of appropriate employment uses will be maintained to accommodate the growth forecasts in Schedule 3.
1. Municipalities will promote economic development and competitiveness by –
a) providing for an appropriate mix of employment uses including industrial, commercial and institutional uses to meet long-term needs
a) providing opportunities for a diversified economic base, including maintaining a range and choice of suitable sites for employment uses which support a wide range of economic activities and ancillary uses, and take into account the needs of existing and future businesses
a) planning for, protecting and preserving employment areas for current and future uses
a) ensuring the necessary infrastructure is provided to support current and forecasted employment needs.
1. The downtown Toronto office core will continue to be the primary centre for international finance and commerce of the GGH.
1. Major office and appropriate major institutional development should be located in urban growth centres, major transit station areas, or areas with existing frequent transit service, or existing or planned higher order transit service.
1. Municipalities may permit conversion of lands within employment areas, to non-employment uses, only through a municipal comprehensive review where it has been demonstrated that –
a) there is a need for the conversion
a) the municipality will meet the employment forecasts allocated to the municipality pursuant to this Plan
the conversion will not adversely affect the overall viability of the employment area, and achievement of the intensification target ,
6. density targets
e) other policies of this Plan
there is existing or planned infrastructure
2. to accommodate
b) the lands are not required over the
long term for the employment purposes for which they are designated
a) cross-jurisdictional issues have been considered.
For the purposes of this policy, major retail
8. non-employment uses.
1. Policy 22.214.171.124 only applies to employment areas that are not downtown areas or regeneration areas. For those employment areas that are downtown areas or regeneration areas, Policy 1.3.2 of the PPS, 2005 continues to apply.
12. In recognition of the importance of cross-border trade with the United States, this Plan recognizes a Gateway Economic Zone and Gateway Economic Centre near the Niagara-
US border. Planning and economic development in these areas will support economic diversity and promote increased opportunities for cross-border trade, movement of goods and tourism.
Through sub-area assessment, the Minister of Infrastructure
1. , in consultation with other
Ministers of the Crown, municipalities and other stakeholders will identify provincially significant employment areas
prime industrial lands.
1. Municipalities are encouraged to designate and preserve lands within settlement areas in the vicinity of existing major highway interchanges, ports, rail yards and airports as areas for manufacturing, warehousing, and associated retail, office and ancillary facilities, where appropriate.
In planning lands for employment,
2. municipalities will
facilitate the development of transit-supportive, compact built form
minimize surface parking.
2.2.7 Designated Greenfield Areas
1. New development taking place in designated greenfield areas will be planned, designated, zoned and designed in a manner that –
a) contributes to creating complete communities
a) creates street configurations, densities, and an urban form that support walking, cycling, and the early integration and sustained viability of transit services
a) provides a diverse mix of land uses, including residential and employment uses, to support vibrant neighbourhoods
creates high quality public open spaces with site design and urban design standards that support opportunities for transit, walking and cycling.
2. The designated greenfield area of each upper- or single-tier municipality will be planned to achieve a minimum density target that is not less than
50 residents and jobs combined per hectare .
This density target will be measured over the entire designated greenfield area of each upper- or single-tier municipality, excluding the following features where the features are both identified in any applicable official plan or provincial plan, and where the applicable provincial plan or policy statement prohibits development in the features: wetlands, coastal wetlands, woodlands, valley lands, areas of natural and scientific interest, habitat of endangered species and threatened species, wildlife habitat, and fish habitat. The area of the features will be defined in accordance with the applicable provincial plan or policy statement that prohibits development in the features.
1. Policy 126.96.36.199 is provided for the purpose of measuring the minimum density target for designated greenfield areas, and is not intended to provide policy direction for the protection of natural heritage features, areas and systems.
The Minister of Infrastructure may review
permit an alternative density target for
4. an upper- or single-tier municipality that is located in the outer ring
, and that does not have an urban growth centre , to ensure
b) the density target is appropriate given the characteristics of the municipality and adjacent communities.
5. Municipalities will develop and implement official plan policies, including phasing policies, and other strategies
, for designated greenfield areas to achieve the intensification target and density targets of this Plan.
2.2.8 Settlement Area Boundary Expansions
1. The policies in this section apply only to the expansion of a settlement area within a municipality.
1. A settlement area boundary expansion may only occur as part of a municipal comprehensive review where it has been demonstrated that
a) sufficient opportunities to accommodate forecasted growth
contained in Schedule 3, through intensification and in designated greenfield areas , using the intensification target and density targets, are not available:
within the regional market area, as determined by the upper- or single-tier municipality, and
ii. within the applicable lower-tier municipality to accommodate the growth allocated to the municipality
pursuant to this Plan
b) the expansion makes available sufficient lands
for a time horizon not exceeding 20 years, based on the analysis provided for in Policy 2.2.8. 2(a)
c) the timing of the expansion and the phasing of development within the designated greenfield
area will not adversely affect the achievement of the intensification target and density targets , and the other policies of this Plan
a) where applicable, the proposed expansion will meet the requirements of the Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plans
a) existing or planned infrastructure
required to accommodate the
c) proposed expansion
can be provided in a financially
g) and environmentally sustainable
in prime agricultural areas :
i. the lands do not comprise specialty crop areas
ii. there are no reasonable alternatives that avoid prime agricultural areas
iii. there are no reasonable alternatives on lower priority agricultural lands in prime agricultural areas
j) impacts from expanding settlement areas
on agricultural operations which are adjacent or close to the settlement areas are mitigated to the extent feasible
in determining the most appropriate location for expansions to the boundaries of settlement areas, the policies of Sections 2 (Wise Use and Management of Resources) and 3 (Protecting Public Health and Safety) of the PPS , 2005 are applied
for expansions of small cities and towns
m) within the
outer ring ,
plan to maintain or move significantly towards a minimum of one full-time job per three residents within or in the immediate vicinity
the small city or town.
2.2.9 Rural Areas
Rural settlement areas are key to the vitality and economic well-being of rural communities. Municipalities are encouraged to plan for a variety of cultural and economic opportunities within rural settlement areas to serve the needs of rural residents and area businesses.
3. Development outside of settlement areas
, may be permitted in rural areas in accordance with Policy 188.8.131.52(i).
6. New multiple lots
and units for residential development will be directed to settlement areas, and may be allowed in rural areas in site-specific locations with approved zoning or designation that permits this type of development in a municipal official plan, as of the effective date of this Plan.
1. For lands within the Greenbelt Area, the applicable policies in the Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plans apply.
3 Infrastructure to Support Growth
Ready and accessible public infrastructure is essential to the viability of Ontario's communities and critical to economic competitiveness, quality of life and the delivery of public services. But increasing demand, low-density land-use patterns and historic underinvestment have resulted in a substantial infrastructure deficit to meet the needs of current residents as well as those of future Ontarians.
This Plan provides the framework
investments in the GGH, so that existing infrastructure and future investments are optimized to serve growth to 2031 and beyond. The policy directions for intensification and compact urban form in this Plan guide many of the infrastructure priorities in this section. It is estimated that over 20 per cent of infrastructure capital costs could be saved by moving from lower density development to more efficient and compact urban form . The savings could then be reinvested more efficiently.
This Plan guides infrastructure planning and strategic investment decisions to support and accommodate forecasted population and economic growth – particularly in the three key areas of transportation, water and wastewater systems, and community infrastructure. This Plan will be supported by ReNew Ontario, Ontario's multi-year provincial infrastructure investment strategy, additional investments in transportation such as Move Ontario, and by sustainable financing models and sound infrastructure asset management practices.
The transportation policies in this section and schedules in this Plan guide the planning and development of an integrated and efficient transportation system needed to support a vibrant economy and quality of life in the GGH. The policy directions ensure that transit infrastructure is optimized by high density land uses, and that highway corridors are planned to promote efficient goods movement and support more efficient compact urban form through appropriate design and control of access points.
This Plan promotes co-ordination and consistency among land-use and transportation planning and investment by all levels of government and other transportation stakeholders in the GGH. To improve co-ordination, improve commuting choices and to implement transportation initiatives in this Plan, the Minister of Transportation has introduced legislation, which if passed would provide for the establishment of a Greater Toronto Transportation Authority.
Investments in water and wastewater systems by all levels of government have also lagged behind GGH growth and many municipalities are now faced with
renewal and capacity expansion issues.
There is a need to co-ordinate investment in water
and wastewater infrastructure to support future growth in ways that are linked to the determination of how these systems are paid for and administered. Improved maintenance and upgrading
systems is necessary to ensure the reliable and safe provision of water.
community infrastructure – such as hospitals, long-term care facilities , schools , and affordable housing – should be planned to keep pace with changing needs and to promote more complete communities. In the case of housing, there is an underlying societal need for affordable housing in many municipalities that is heightened by growth pressures. Multi-year infrastructure strategies such as ReNew Ontario are addressing this infrastructure gap and directing investments to help achieve complete communities.
3.2 Policies for Infrastructure to Support Growth
1. Infrastructure planning, land use planning, and infrastructure investment will be co-ordinated to implement this Plan.
Infrastructure includes but is not limited to transit, transportation corridors, water and wastewater systems, waste management systems, and community infrastructure.
3. Priority will be given to infrastructure investments made by the Province
of Ontario that support the policies and schedules in this Plan.
Minister of Infrastructure will work with other Ministers of the Crown and other public sector partners to identify strategic infrastructure needs to support the implementation of this Plan through multi-year infrastructure planning , and through the sub-area assessment of transit and transportation , and water and wastewater systems.
2. The transportation system within the GGH will be planned and managed to
a) provide connectivity among transportation modes for moving people and for moving goods
b) offer a balance of transportation choices that reduces reliance upon
any single mode and promotes transit , cycling and walking
c) be sustainable
, by encouraging the most financially and environmentally appropriate mode for trip-making
multi-modal access to jobs, housing, schools, cultural and recreational opportunities, and goods and services
e) provide for the safety of system users.
1. Transportation system planning, land use planning, and transportation investment, will be co-ordinated to implement this Plan.
1. In planning for the development, optimization, and/or expansion of new or existing transportation corridors, the Ministers of Infrastructure and Transportation, other Ministers of the Crown, other public agencies and municipalities will –
a) ensure that corridors are identified and protected to meet current and projected needs for various travel modes
a) support opportunities for multi-modal use where feasible, in particular prioritizing transit and goods movement needs over those of single occupant automobiles
a) consider increased opportunities for moving people and moving goods by rail, where appropriate
a) consider separation of modes within corridors, where appropriate
a) for goods movement corridors, provide for linkages to planned or existing inter-modal opportunities where feasible.
1. Through sub-area assessment, the Ministers of Transportation and Infrastructure, in consultation with municipalities and other stakeholders, will undertake further work to implement the transportation network and policies of this Plan.
4. Municipalities will develop and implement transportation demand management policies in official plans or other planning documents
, to reduce trip distance and time, and increase the modal share of alternatives to the automobile.
3.2.3 Moving People
1. Public transit will be the first priority for transportation infrastructure planning and major transportation investments.
2. All decisions on transit planning and investment will be made according to the following criteria:
Using transit infrastructure to shape growth, and planning for high residential and employment densities that ensure the efficiency and viability of existing and planned transit service levels;
Placing priority on increasing the capacity of existing transit systems to support intensification areas;
Expanding transit service to areas that have achieved, or will be planned so as to achieve, transit-supportive residential and employment densities , together with a mix of residential, office, institutional and commercial development wherever possible;
Facilitating improved linkages from nearby neighbourhoods to urban growth centres, major transit station areas , and other intensification areas;
Consistency with the strategic framework for future transit investments outlined on Schedule 5;
Increasing the modal share of transit .
3. Municipalities will
4. ensure that
pedestrian and bicycle networks are integrated into transportation planning to –
provide safe, comfortable travel for pedestrians and bicyclists within existing communities and new development
a) provide linkages between intensification areas, adjacent neighbourhoods, and transit stations, including dedicated lane space for bicyclists on the major street network where feasible.
Schedule 5 provides the strategic framework for future transit investment decisions, including capacity improvements to existing transit systems to support intensification, and proposed higher order transit and inter-regional transit links between urban growth centres, in the GGH. Schedule 5 should be read in conjunction with the policies in this Plan. The transit linkages shown on Schedule 5 provide a strategic framework and are not drawn to scale. Actual timing, phasing and alignments are subject to further study and, where applicable, the environmental assessment process.
3.2.4 Moving Goods
The first priority of highway investment is to facilitate efficient goods movement by linking inter-modal facilities, international gateways, and communities within the GGH.
The Ministers of Transportation and Infrastructure, other appropriate Ministers of the Crown, and municipalities will work with agencies and transportation service providers to –
and optimize goods movement systems
b) improve corridors for moving goods across the GGH
consistent with Schedule 6 of this Plan
c) promote and better integrate
multi-modal goods movement and land -use and transportation system planning , including the development of freight-supportive land-use guidelines.
1. The planning and design of highway corridors, and the land use designations along these corridors, will support the policies of this Plan, in particular that development is directed to settlement areas, in accordance with policy 184.108.40.206(i).
3. Municipalities will provide for the establishment of priority routes for goods movement, where feasible, to facilitate the movement of goods into and out of areas of significant
employment, industrial and commercial activity and to provide alternate routes connecting to the provincial network.
1. Municipalities will plan for land uses in settlement areas adjacent to, or in the vicinity of, transportation facilities such as inter-modal facilities, rail yards, airports, dockyards, and major highway interchanges that are compatible with, and supportive of, the primary goods movement function of these facilities.
1. Schedule 6 provides the strategic framework for future goods movement investment decisions in the GGH. Schedule 6 should be read in conjunction with the policies in this Plan. The proposed corridors shown on Schedule 6 provide a strategic framework and are not drawn to scale. Actual timing, phasing, and alignments are subject to further study and, where applicable, the environmental assessment process.
3.2.6 Water and Wastewater Systems
1. Municipalities should generate sufficient revenue to recover the full cost of providing municipal water and wastewater systems.
1. For lands within the Greenbelt Area, all policies regarding water and wastewater systems or stormwater set out in provincial plans, applicable to lands within the Greenbelt Area, continue to apply.
1. Municipalities are encouraged to plan and design municipal water and wastewater systems that return water to the Great Lake watershed from which the withdrawal originates.
Construction of new, or expansion of existing, municipal or private communal water and wastewater systems should only be considered where the following conditions are met:
Strategies for water conservation and other water demand management initiatives are being implemented in the existing service area;
Plans for expansion or for new services are to serve growth in a manner that supports achievement of the intensification target and density targets ;
e) have been considered in the context of applicable inter-provincial, national, bi-national, or state-provincial Great Lakes Basin agreements.
Through sub-area assessment, the Minister of Infrastructure, in consultation with municipalities and other stakeholders, will undertake an analysis of the implications of forecasted growth for water and wastewater servicing.
4. Municipalities that share an inland water source
and/or receiving water body , should co-ordinate their planning for potable water, stormwater, and wastewater systems to ensure that water quality and quantity is maintained or improved .
, in conjunction with conservation authorities, are encouraged to prepare watershed plans and use such plans to guide development decisions and water and wastewater servicing decisions.
Municipalities are encouraged to implement
2. stormwater management
actions as part of redevelopment and intensification.
1.1.1 Community Infrastructure
-use planning , and community infrastructure investment will be co-ordinated to implement this Plan.
1. Planning for growth will take into account the availability and location of existing and planned community infrastructure so that community infrastructure can be provided efficiently and effectively.
1. An appropriate range of community infrastructure should be planned to meet the needs resulting from population changes and to foster complete communities.
5. planning, funding and delivery sectors
are encouraged to develop a community infrastructure strategy to facilitate the co-ordination and planning of community infrastructure with land use, infrastructure and investment through a collaborative and consultative process.
1. Municipalities will establish and implement minimum affordable housing targets in accordance with Policy 1.4.3 of the PPS, 2005.
1. Upper- and single-tier municipalities will develop a housing strategy in consultation with lower-tier municipalities, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and other appropriate stakeholders. The housing strategy will set out a plan, including policies for official plans, to meet the needs of all residents, including the need for affordable housing – both home ownership and rental housing. The housing strategy will include the planning and development of a range of housing types and densities to support the achievement of the intensification target and density targets.
4 Protecting What
is blessed with a broad array of unique natural heritage features and areas, irreplaceable cultural heritage sites, and valuable renewable and non-renewable resources that are essential for the long-term economic prosperity, quality of life, and environmental health of the region.
These valuable assets must be wisely protected and managed as part of planning for future growth.
Some of these features, areas and sites are already protected through legislation such as the Ontario Heritage Act, statements of provincial policy such as the PPS, 2005, and provincial plans such as the Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plans. This Plan supports and builds on these initiatives. A balanced approach to the wise use and management of all resources, including natural heritage, agriculture, and mineral aggregates, will be implemented.
As the GGH grows, so will the overall demand for water, energy, air, and land. The ongoing availability of these natural resources is essential for the sustainability of all communities. This Plan recognizes and supports the role of municipal policy in providing leadership and innovation in developing a culture of conservation.
As noted in Section 1.4 of this Plan, the PPS, 2005 applies in the GGH and the provisions of this Plan are to be read in conjunction with all applicable provisions of the PPS, 2005 and other applicable documents.
4.2 Policies for Protecting What is Valuable
1. Through sub-area assessment, the Minister of Infrastructure and other Ministers of the Crown, in consultation with municipalities and other stakeholders will identify natural systems for the GGH, and where appropriate develop additional policies for their protection.
1. For lands within the Greenbelt Area, all policies regarding natural systems set out in provincial plans, applicable to lands within the Greenbelt Area, continue to apply.
Planning authorities are encouraged to identify
1. natural heritage features and areas
that complement, link, or enhance
1. Municipalities, conservation authorities, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties are encouraged to develop a system of publicly accessible parkland, open space and trails, including shoreline areas, within the GGH that
a) clearly demarcates where public access is and is not permitted
b) is based on a co-ordinated approach to trail planning and development
c) is based on good land stewardship practices for public and private lands.
2. Municipalities are encouraged to establish an
urban open space system within built-up areas, which may include rooftop gardens, communal courtyards, and public parks.
Prime Agricultural Areas
Through sub-area assessment, the Minister of Infrastructure and other Ministers of the Crown, in consultation with municipalities and other stakeholders, will identify prime
2. agricultural areas, including specialty crop areas,
in the GGH, and where appropriate, develop additional policies for their protection.
1. For lands within the Greenbelt Area, all policies regarding agricultural areas set out in provincial plans, applicable to lands within the Greenbelt Area, continue to apply.
1. Municipalities are encouraged to maintain, improve and provide opportunities for farm-related infrastructure such as drainage and irrigation.
6. Municipalities are encouraged to
establish and work with
d) agricultural advisory committees and
consult with them on decision-making related to
4.2.8 Mineral Aggregate Resources
Through sub-area assessment, the Ministers of Infrastructure and Natural Resources will work with municipalities, producers of mineral aggregate resources, and other stakeholders to identify significant mineral aggregate resources for the GGH, and to develop a long-term strategy for ensuring the wise use, conservation, availability and management of mineral aggregate resources in the GGH, as well as identifying opportunities for resource recovery and for co-ordinated approaches to rehabilitation where feasible.
4.2.9 A Culture of Conservation
1. Municipalities will develop and implement official plan policies and other strategies in support of the following conservation objectives:
Water conservation, including –
i. water demand management
, for the efficient use of water
ii. water recycling to maximize the reuse and recycling of water
a) Energy conservation, including –
b) energy conservation for municipally owned facilities
i. identification of opportunities for alternative energy generation and distribution
i. energy demand management to reduce energy consumption
-use patterns and urban design standards that encourage and support energy- efficient buildings and opportunities for cogeneration.
c) quality protection, including reduction in emissions from municipal and residential sources
Integrated waste management, including –
i. enhanced waste reduction, composting
, and recycling initiatives and the identification of new opportunities for source reduction, reuse , and diversion where appropriate
ii. a comprehensive plan with integrated approaches to waste management, including reduction, reuse, recycling, composting, diversion
, and the disposal of residual waste
iii. promotion of reuse and recycling of construction materials
iv. consideration of waste management initiatives within the context of long
term regional planning, and in collaboration with neighbouring municipalities.
i. Cultural heritage conservation, including conservation of cultural heritage and archaeological resources where feasible, as built-up areas are intensified.
5 Implementation and Interpretation
Key to the success of this Plan is its effective implementation. Successful implementation will require that all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and citizens work together in a co-ordinated and collaborative way to implement the policies of this Plan and to realize its goals.
The success of this Plan is
dependent on a range of mechanisms being in place to implement the Plan's policies. This includes the legislative framework provided by the Places to Grow Act, 2005, and a wide range of complementary planning and fiscal tools, including instruments found in the Planning Act and the Municipal Act, 2001.
Measuring the success of this Plan will
also require rigorous and consistent evaluation of its progress. One method to measure this Plan's progress currently under development is an index that will monitor changes in the amount of land developed and the increased percentage of new development taking place within the built-up areas of the GGH.
1.1 Places to Grow Act, 2005
The Places to Grow Act, 2005 provides the legislative framework for this Plan. It gives the Lieutenant Governor in Council the authority to establish any area of land in the Province as a growth plan area and requires that the Minister of Infrastructure prepare a growth plan for all or part of that area. The growth plan area for this Plan is defined by Ontario Regulation 416/05, and is shown on Schedule 1 of this Plan.
A growth plan works in conjunction with other provincial legislation, policies, plans and regulations. Land use within the growth plan area is governed by the Planning Act and Ontario's planning system and is also subject to the conformity requirements and conflict provisions of the Places to Grow Act, 2005. Within a growth plan area, a growth plan applies to all decisions on matters, proceedings or applications, made under the Planning Act and the Condominium Act, 1998, subject to any applicable regulations.
The Places to Grow Act, 2005 also includes processes for making and amending growth plans. This includes the requirement that the Minister of Infrastructure review each growth plan at least every 10 years after the plan comes into force. Under the Act, the Minister of Infrastructure may propose an amendment to a growth plan. When an amendment is proposed, the Minister of Infrastructure will give notice and invite written submissions on the amendment. Any significant modification to the plan requires approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.
1.1 Implementation Analysis
The Minister of Infrastructure will work with other Ministers of the Crown, municipalities and other stakeholders on the following key pieces of further analysis, in order to implement this Plan:
1. Verification and finalization of the built boundary;
1. Assessment of the need for new designated greenfield areas;
1. Determination of the approximate size and location of the urban growth centres;
1. Sub-area assessments at a regional scale, focussing on –
a) regional economic analysis and provincially significant employment areas
a) further work on the proposed transportation network
a) implications of projected growth for water and wastewater servicing
a) identification of natural systems
a) identification of prime agricultural areas, including specialty crop areas
a) identification of significant mineral aggregate resources.
1. Development of a new methodology for measuring and forecasting employment.
Implementation analysis will be undertaken by the Minister of Infrastructure, in consultation with other Ministers of the Crown, municipalities, and other stakeholders . While this further analysis and assessment is being completed, all relevant policies of this Plan continue to apply.
5.2 Policies for Implementation and Interpretation
This Plan, including context sections,
1. policies , definitions and schedules , should be read in its entirety and all relevant policies are to be applied to each situation.
1. The appendices to this Plan are provided for information purposes only.
1. Terms in italics are defined in the Definitions section of this Plan. The definitions apply to these italicized terms regardless of whether the terms are singular or plural.
In the Definitions section, sources have been cited where the definitions are the same or have the same content as the definitions provided in the policy or statute cited.
1. The policies and targets of this Plan represent minimum standards. Planning authorities and decision-makers are encouraged to go beyond minimum standards established in specific policies and targets, unless doing so would conflict with any policy of this Plan , the applicable PPS, or any other provincial plan.
Unless otherwise stated, the boundaries and lines displayed on the schedules provide general direction only and should not be read to scale.
1. The built-up area, shown on Schedules 2, 4, 5, and 6, is conceptual only.
1. The designated greenfield area, shown on Schedules 2, 4, 5, and 6, is conceptual. For the actual settlement area boundary, the appropriate municipal official plans should be consulted.
Where this Plan indicates that further analysis and assessment will be carried out but the analysis has not been completed, all relevant policies of this Plan continue to apply and any policy that relies on information that will be available from further analysis should be implemented to the fullest extent possible.
1. Where policies contain a list of sub-policies, the list of sub-policies is to be applied in its entirety unless otherwise specified.
5. References to the responsibilities of the Minister
of Infrastructure set out in this Plan should be read as the Minister, his or her assignee, his or her delegate pursuant to the Places to Grow Act, 2005, or any other member of Executive Council given responsibility for growth plans under the Places to Grow Act, 2005.
1.1.1 General Implementation and Interpretation
1. A co-ordinated approach will be taken both
within the Government of Ontario, and in its dealings with municipalities and other related planning agencies , to implement this Plan, in particular for issues that cross municipal boundaries.
Where planning is conducted by an upper-tier municipality, the upper-tier municipality, in consultation with the lower-tier municipalities, will –
a) allocate the growth forecasts provided in Schedule 3 to the lower-tier municipalities
identify intensification targets for lower-tier municipalities, to achieve the intensification target and density targets for urban growth centres where applicable
c) density targets for the designated greenfield areas of the lower-tier municipalities, to achieve the density target for designated greenfield areas
e) policy direction on matters that cross municipal boundaries.
1. Where planning is not conducted by an upper-tier municipality, the affected lower-tier municipalities and the upper-tier municipality will work together to implement the matters listed in policy 220.127.116.11. The Minister of Infrastructure will work with the affected municipalities as appropriate to implement these policies.
1. Notwithstanding policy 18.104.22.168, if at the time this Plan comes into effect a lower-tier municipality's population is greater than 50 percent of the population of the upper-tier municipality, the upper-tier municipality may assign some or all of its responsibilities pursuant to the policies of this Plan to the applicable lower-tier municipality, provided that applicable allocations and targets are met at the regional or county level.
5. Single-tier municipalities in the outer ring and adjacent municipalities should ensure a co-ordinated approach to implement the policies of this Plan.
1. The Minister of Infrastructure will develop a set of indicators to measure the implementation of the policies in this Plan.
1. The Minister of Infrastructure will monitor the implementation of this Plan, including reviewing performance indicators concurrent with any review of this Plan.
will monitor and report on the implementation of this Plan's policies within their
2. municipality, in accordance with
guidelines developed by the Minister of Infrastructure.
1.1.1 Monitoring and Performance Measures
1. The Minister
of Infrastructure will develop a set of indicators to measure the implementation of the policies in this Plan. The Minister of Infrastructure will monitor the implementation of this Plan, including reviewing performance indicators concurrent with any review of this Plan.
2. Municipalities will monitor and report on the implementation of this Plan's policies within their municipality, in accordance with guidelines
developed by the Minister of Infrastructure.
1.1.1 Public Engagement
1. The Minister of Infrastructure will ensure ongoing consultation with the public and stakeholders on the implementation of this Plan.
1. The Minister of Infrastructure will provide information to the public and stakeholders in order to build understanding of growth management and facilitate informed involvement in the implementation of this Plan.
1. Municipalities are encouraged to engage the public and stakeholders in local efforts to implement this Plan and to provide the necessary information to ensure the informed involvement of local citizens.
1. Schedule 3 forecasts shall be implemented by applying:
a) Only the 2031A forecasts to:
i. all upper- and single-tier municipal official plans, including amendments or requests for an amendment, commenced on or after June 16, 2006 but before June 17, 2013; and,
i. all official plans, including amendments or requests for an amendment, commenced before June 16, 2006 and required to be continued and disposed of in accordance with this Plan;
Only the 2031A forecasts, as allocated by the upper-tier municipality pursuant to policy 5. 4.2.2 (a) or by the Minister of Infrastructure pursuant to policy 22.214.171.124, to all lower-tier municipal official plans, including amendments or requests for an amendment, commenced before the applicable upper-tier municipal official plan is amended to conform with the Updated Forecasts;
a) Only the 2031A forecasts to all zoning by-laws, including amendments, applications for an amendment to a zoning by-law, applications for approval of a plan of subdivision, and applications for the approval of, or an exemption from an approval of, a condominium, commenced before all official plans applicable to the lands affected by these matters are amended to conform with the Updated Forecasts;
1. the forecasts contained in Schedule
7 for the Simcoe Sub-area to:
i. all upper- and single-tier municipal official plans, including amendments or requests for an amendment, commenced on or after June 16, 2006 but before June 17, 2013;
i. all official plans, including amendments or requests for an amendment, commenced before June 16, 2006 and required to be continued and disposed of in accordance with this Plan;
i. all lower-tier municipal official plans, including amendments or requests for an amendment, commenced before the Simcoe County official plan is amended to conform with the Updated Forecasts; and
i. all zoning by-laws, including amendments, applications for an amendment to a zoning by-law, applications for approval of a plan of subdivision, and applications for the approval of, or an exemption from an approval of, a condominium, commenced before all official plans applicable to the lands affected by these matters are amended to conform with the Updated Forecasts; and
a) The Updated Forecasts to any planning matter other than those listed in 126.96.36.199 a), 188.8.131.52 b), 184.108.40.206 c) and 220.127.116.11 d).
1. Notwithstanding policy 1.4, for the planning matters referred to in policy 18.104.22.168 a), 22.214.171.124 b), 126.96.36.199 c) and 188.8.131.52 d), the policies of this Plan are intended to be achieved by 2031.
6 Simcoe Sub-area
The Simcoe Sub-area is comprised of the County of Simcoe and the cities of Barrie and Orillia.
Section 6 provides more detailed direction on how this Plan's vision will be achieved in the Simcoe Sub-area.
The policies in Section 6 direct a significant portion of growth within the Simcoe Sub-area to communities where development can be most effectively serviced, and where growth improves the range of opportunities for people to live, work, and play in their communities, with a particular emphasis on primary settlement areas. The City of Barrie is the principal primary settlement area. Downtown Barrie is the only urban growth centre in the Simcoe Sub-area. The policies in Section 6 recognize and support the vitality of urban and rural communities in the Simcoe Sub-area. All municipalities will play an important role in ensuring that future growth is planned for and managed in an effective and sustainable manner that conforms with this Plan. The intent
of this policy is that by 2031 development for all the municipalities within Simcoe County will not exceed the overall population and employment forecasts contained in Schedule 7.
Ensuring an appropriate supply of land for employment and residential growth, and making the best use of existing infrastructure is also important to the prosperity of the Simcoe Sub-area. Section 6 identifies specific employment areas that will enable municipalities in the Simcoe Sub-area to benefit from existing and future economic opportunities. By providing further direction on where growth is to occur in the Simcoe Sub-area, it also establishes a foundation for municipalities to align infrastructure investments with growth management, optimize the use of existing
, planned and new infrastructure, co-ordinate water and wastewater services, and promote green infrastructure and innovative technologies.
A more livable, compact, complete urban structure with good design and built form will support the achievement of economic and environmental benefits. Through effective growth management, municipalities will ensure that the natural environment is protected from the impacts of growth in the Simcoe Sub-area, while providing amenities for the residents and visitors to this area from across the
Greater Golden Horseshoe and beyond.
6.2 Growth Forecasts
1. Notwithstanding policy 5.
4.2.2 (a), lower-tier municipalities in the County shall use the population and employment forecasts contained in Schedule 7 for planning and managing growth in the Simcoe Sub-area .
4. The employment forecasts include employment located in the strategic settlement employment areas and economic employment districts.
1. The Minister of Infrastructure will review the forecasts contained in Schedule 7 in conjunction with the review of Schedule 3, and in consultation with municipalities in the Simcoe Sub-area, and may revise the forecasts.
6.3 Managing Growth
6.3.1 Primary Settlement Areas
1. Primary settlement areas for the Simcoe Sub-area are identified in Schedule 8.
2. Municipalities with primary settlement areas will, in their official plans and other supporting documents
a) identify primary settlement areas
b) identify and plan for
intensification areas within primary settlement areas
c) plan to create complete communities within primary settlement areas
d) ensure the development of high quality urban form and public open spaces within primary settlement areas through site design and urban design standards that create attractive and vibrant places that support walking and cycling for everyday activities and are transit-supportive.
3. Primary settlement areas in the County will be identified in the official plan of the County of Simcoe.
4. The Town of Innisfil, Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury and the Town of New Tecumseth will direct a significant portion of population and employment growth forecasted to the applicable primary settlement areas. The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury and the Town of Innisfil, in planning to meet their employment forecasts, may direct appropriate employment to the Bradford West Gwillimbury strategic settlement employment area and the Innisfil Heights strategic settlement employment area respectively.
6.3.2 Settlement Areas
Development may be approved in settlement areas in excess of what is needed to accommodate the forecasts in Schedule 7, provided the development –
a) contributes to the achievement of the intensification
targets and density targets identified by the Minister in accordance with policy 6.5. 3
b) is on lands for urban uses as of January 19, 2012
c) can be serviced in accordance with applicable provincial plans and provincial policies
d) is in accordance with the requirements of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, 2009, if applicable.
The County may approve adopted official plans or adopted official plan amendments regarding lands within a settlement area that redesignate lands not for urban uses to lands for urban uses that are in excess of what is needed for a time horizon of up to 20 years or to accommodate the forecasts in Schedule 7, whichever is sooner, provided it is demonstrated that this growth –
a) can be serviced in accordance with applicable provincial plans and provincial policies
b) contributes to the achievement of the intensification
target and density target set in accordance with policy 6.5. 3
c) contributes to the development of a complete community
d) is subject to phasing policies
e) contributes to the achievement of the jobs to residents ratio in Schedule 7 for the lower-tier municipality
f) is in accordance with the requirements of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, 2009, if applicable
g) is supported by appropriate transportation infrastructure and is in accordance with any transportation guidelines and policies developed by the County of Simcoe
h) is in accordance with any additional growth management policies specified by the County of Simcoe that do not conflict with the policies in this Plan.
3. The sum of all population growth accommodated on lands for urban uses approved pursuant to policy 184.108.40.206 shall not exceed a total population of 20,000 for the County of Simcoe.
4. Municipalities in the County of Simcoe may approve development on lands for urban uses approved pursuant to policies 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.
5. Policies 22.214.171.124 and 6.3.2.
3 will apply to the County of Simcoe and its lower-tier municipalities until January 19, 2017.
6. The County of Simcoe Council will monitor and report annually on approvals made pursuant to policies 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
1. Settlement area boundary expansions are subject to policy 2.2.8 of this Plan, except policies 184.108.40.206(a)(i) and 220.127.116.11(i).
1. In addition to policy 4.2.4 of this Plan, municipalities in the Simcoe Sub-area are encouraged to achieve greater efficiency and conservation in energy, water and wastewater management through building and community design.
7. The County of Simcoe and the lower-tier municipalities in the County shall establish and implement phasing policies to ensure the orderly and timely progression of development on lands for urban uses.
8. The County of Simcoe will develop and implement through its official plan, policies to implement
6.4 Employment Lands
1. The Bradford West Gwillimbury strategic settlement employment area, the Innisfil Heights strategic settlement employment area, the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport economic employment district and the Rama Road economic employment district are identified in Schedule 8.
2. The Minister
of Infrastructure, in consultation with other Ministers of the Crown, and affected municipalities and stakeholders, will determine the location and boundaries of strategic settlement employment areas, and may establish as appropriate the following:
Permitted uses, and the mix and percentage of certain uses;
Permitted uses for specific areas within the strategic settlement employment areas;
Lot sizes; and
Any additional policies and definitions that apply to these areas.
3. The Minister
of Infrastructure, in consultation with other Ministers of the Crown, and affected municipalities and stakeholders, will determine the location and boundaries, and establish as appropriate the uses permitted in the economic employment districts.
4. The Minister
of Infrastructure may review and amend decisions made pursuant to policies 6.4.2 and 6.4.3. Municipalities in the Simcoe Sub-area may request the Minister to consider a review.
5. The County of Simcoe and lower-tier municipalities in the County in which the strategic settlement employment areas and economic employment districts are located, will delineate the areas and districts, as determined by the Minister
of Infrastructure, in their official plans.
6. The lower-tier municipalities in the County in which the strategic settlement employment areas and economic employment districts are located will develop official plan policies to implement the matters determined by the Minister
of Infrastructure in accordance with policies 6.4.2, 6.4.3, and 6.4.4, as applicable.
7. Although not settlement areas, the strategic settlement employment areas and economic employment districts are considered designated greenfield area for the purposes of policies 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, and 2.2.7.
5 of this Plan.
8. For lands within strategic settlement employment areas and the economic employment districts the municipality can identify the natural heritage systems, features, and areas for protection.
1. The policies in Section 6 apply only to the Simcoe Sub-area.
2. For the Simcoe Sub-area, where there is a conflict between policies in Section 6, Schedule 7, and Schedule 8 and the remainder of this Plan, the policies in Section 6, Schedule 7, and Schedule 8 prevail.
Notwithstanding policies 126.96.36.199 (b) and 188.8.131.52(c) where this Plan allocates growth forecasts to the
5. lower-tier municipalities in the County of Simcoe
, the Minister of Infrastructure will identify for the County and the lower-tier municipalities in the County intensification targets to achieve the intensification target, and identify density targets to achieve the density target for designated greenfield areas.
a) in the case of ownership housing, the least expensive of:
i. housing for which the purchase price results in annual accommodation costs which do not exceed 30 per cent of gross annual household income for low and moderate income households; or
ii. housing for which the purchase price is at least 10 per cent below the average purchase price of a resale unit in the regional market area;
b) in the case of rental housing, the least expensive of:
i. a unit for which the rent does not exceed 30 per cent of gross annual household income for low and moderate income households; or
ii. a unit for which the rent is at or below the average market rent of a unit in the regional market area.
For the purposes of this definition:
Low and moderate income households means, in the case of ownership housing, households with incomes in the lowest 60 per cent of the income distribution for the regional market area; or in the case of rental housing, households with incomes in the lowest 60 per cent of the income distribution for renter households for the regional market area.
(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Amended to Conform
An official plan is amended to conform to this Plan when a new official plan or an official plan amendment being made to bring the municipal official plan into conformity with this Plan, as required pursuant to section 12 of the Places to Grow Act, 2005, is final and the new official plan or the official plan amendment is in effect.
Bradford West Gwillimbury Strategic Settlement Employment Area
Location set out in Schedule 8. The Bradford West Gwillimbury strategic settlement employment area boundary is determined by the Minister of
Infrastructure and planned for in accordance with policy 6.4.
Undeveloped or previously developed properties that may be contaminated. They are usually, but not exclusively, former industrial or commercial properties that may be underutilized, derelict or vacant.
(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
All land within the built boundary.
The limits of the developed urban area as defined by the Minister
of Infrastructure in accordance with Policy 184.108.40.206.
For the following matters, the matter was started:
the case of a request for an official plan amendment under section 22 of the Planning Act, on the day the request is received;
a) in the case of an official plan, an amendment to it or a repeal of it, under section 17 or section 26 of the Planning Act, on the day the by-law adopting the plan, amendment or repeal is passed;
a) in the case of a zoning by-law or an amendment to it, under section 34 of the Planning Act, on the day the by-law is passed;
a) in the case of an application for an amendment to a zoning by-law under section 34 of the Planning Act, on the day the application is made; and
a) in the case of an application for the approval of a plan of subdivision under section 51 of the Planning Act, or an application for the approval of, or an exemption from an approval of, a condominium under section 9 of the Condominium Act, 1998, on the day the application is made.
Community infrastructure refers to lands, buildings, and structures that support the quality of life for people and communities by providing public services for health, education, recreation, socio-cultural activities, security and safety, and affordable housing.
-use pattern that encourages efficient use of land, walkable neighbourhoods, mixed land uses (residential, retail, workplace and institutional all within one neighbourhood ), proximity to transit and reduced need for infrastructure. Compact urban form can include detached and semi-detached houses on small lots as well as townhouses and walk-up apartments, multi-storey commercial developments, and apartments or offices above retail.
Complete communities meet people's needs for daily living throughout an entire lifetime by providing convenient access to an appropriate mix of jobs, local services, a full range of housing , and community infrastructure including affordable housing, schools, recreation and open space for their residents. Convenient access to public transportation and options for safe, non-motorized travel is also provided.
The density target for urban growth centres is defined in Policies 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168. The density target for designated greenfield areas is defined in Policies 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
Designated Greenfield Area
The area within a settlement area that is not built-up area.
settlement area does not have a built boundary, the entire settlement area is considered designated greenfield area.
A system of works, excluding plumbing, that is established for the purpose of providing users of the system with drinking water and that includes
a) used for the collection, production, treatment, storage, supply or distribution of water;
b) related to the management of residue from the treatment process or the management of the discharge of a substance into the natural environment from the treatment system; and
a well or intake that serves as the source or entry point of raw water supply for the system. (Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002)
Economic Employment Districts
To be planned and protected for locally significant employment uses. These are not settlement areas.
Areas designated in an official plan for clusters of business and economic activities including, but not limited to, manufacturing, warehousing, offices, and associated retail and ancillary facilities.
(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
The full cost of providing water and wastewater services includes the source protection costs, operating costs, financing costs, renewal and replacement costs and improvement costs associated with extracting, treating or distributing water to the public, and collecting, treating or discharging wastewater.
Gateway Economic Centre
Settlement areas identified in this Plan, as conceptually depicted on Schedules 2, 5, and 6 that, due to their proximity to major international border crossings, have unique economic importance to the region and Ontario.
Gateway Economic Zone
Settlement areas identified in this Plan within the zone that is conceptually depicted on Schedules 2, 5, and 6, that, due to their proximity to major international border crossings, have unique economic importance to the region and Ontario.
Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH)
The geographic area
designated as the Greater Golden Horseshoe growth plan area in Ontario Regulation 416/05 .
The geographic area
of the Greenbelt as defined by the Ontario Regulation 59/05 as provided by the Greenbelt Act, 2005.
Previously developed properties that are not contaminated. They are usually, but not exclusively, former commercial properties that may be underutilized, derelict or vacant.
Higher Order Transit
Transit that generally operates in its own dedicated right-of-way, outside of mixed traffic, and therefore can achieve a frequency of service greater than mixed-traffic transit. Higher order transit can include heavy rail (such as subways), light rail
(such as streetcars), and buses in dedicated rights-of-way.
The geographic area consisting of the
municipalities of Hamilton and Toronto and the upper-tier municipalities of Durham, Halton, Peel and York.
Innisfil Heights Strategic Settlement Employment Area
Location set out in Schedule 8. The Innisfil Heights strategic settlement employment area boundary is determined by the Minister of
Infrastructure and planned for in accordance with policy 6.4.
The development of a property, site or area at a higher density than currently exists through:
a) redevelopment, including the reuse of brownfield sites;
b) the development of vacant and/or underutilized lots within previously developed areas;
c) infill development; or
d) the expansion or conversion of existing buildings.
(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Lands identified by municipalities or the Minister of Infrastructure within a settlement area that are to be the focus for accommodating intensification. Intensification areas include urban growth centres, intensification corridors, major transit station areas, and other major opportunities that may include infill, redevelopment, brownfield sites, the expansion or conversion of existing buildings and greyfields.
Intensification areas along major roads, arterials or higher order transit corridors that have the potential to provide a focus for higher density mixed-use development consistent with planned transit service levels.
The intensification target is as established in Policies 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, and 22.214.171.124.
A location where transfers between modes can be made as part of a single journey. For example, a typical freight inter-modal facility is a rail yard where containers are transferred between trucks and trains.
Lake Simcoe Regional Airport Economic Employment District
Location set out in Schedule 8. The Lake Simcoe Regional Airport economic employment district boundary is determined by the Minister of
Infrastructure and planned for in accordance with policy 6.4. Major retail and residential uses are not permitted.
Lands for Urban Uses
Lands that are not designated for agricultural or rural uses within a settlement area identified in the approved official plan for the municipality.
Lands Not for Urban Uses
Lands that are designated for agricultural or rural uses within a settlement area identified in the approved official plan for the municipality.
Major office is generally defined as freestanding office buildings of 10,000 m² or greater, or with 500 jobs or more.
Major Transit Station Area
The area including and around any existing or planned higher order transit station within a settlement area; or the area including and around a major bus depot in an urban core.
Station areas generally are defined as the area within an approximate 500m radius of a transit station, representing about a 10-minute walk.
Mineral Aggregate Resources
Gravel, sand, clay, earth, shale, stone, limestone, dolostone, sandstone, marble, granite, rock or other material prescribed under the Aggregate Resources Act suitable for construction, industrial, manufacturing and maintenance purposes but not including metallic ores, asbestos, graphite, kyanite, mica, nepheline syenite, salt, talc, wollastonite, mine tailings or other material prescribed under the Mining Act.
(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
The percentage of person-trips or of freight movements made by one travel mode, relative to the total number of such trips made by all modes.
availability or use of more than one form of transportation, such as automobiles, walking, cycling, buses, rapid transit, rail (such as commuter and freight), trucks, air and marine.
Municipal Comprehensive Review
An official plan review, or an official plan amendment, initiated by a municipality that comprehensively applies the policies and schedules of this Plan.
Municipal Water and Wastewater Systems
Municipal water systems, are all or part of a drinking-water system
a) that is owned by a municipality or by a municipal service board established under section 195 of the Municipal Act, 2001
b) that is owned by a corporation established under section 203 of the Municipal Act, 2001
c) from which a municipality obtains or will obtain water under the terms of a contract between the municipality and the owner of the system
d) that is in a prescribed class of municipal drinking-water systems as defined in regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002.
And, municipal wastewater systems are any sewage works owned or operated by a municipality.
Municipalities with Primary Settlement Areas
City of Barrie, City of Orillia, Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, Town of Collingwood, Town of Innisfil, Town of Midland, Town of New Tecumseth, and Town of Penetanguishene.
New Multiple Lots
and Units for Residential Development
The creation of more than three units or lots through either plan of subdivision, consent or plan of condominium.
The geographic area consisting of the cities of Barrie, Brantford, Guelph, Kawartha Lakes, Orillia and Peterborough; the Counties of Brant, Dufferin, Haldimand, Northumberland, Peterborough, Simcoe, and Wellington; and the Regions of Niagara and Waterloo.
Any matter listed under commenced or:
a) an application for an approval of development in a site plan control area under subsection 41(4) of the Planning Act;
a) an application for a minor variance under section 45 of the Planning Act;
a) an application to amend or revoke an order made under section 47 of the Planning Act; or
a) an application for a consent under section 53 of the Planning Act.
Primary Settlement Areas
Locations set out in Schedule 8. Primary settlement areas are the settlement areas of the City of Barrie, the City of Orillia, the Town of Collingwood, the Town of Midland together with the Town of Penetanguishene, and the settlement areas of the communities of Alcona in the Town of Innisfil, Alliston in the Town of New Tecumseth and Bradford in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury.
Prime Agricultural Area
Areas where prime agricultural lands predominate. This includes areas of prime agricultural lands and associated Canada Land Inventory Class 4
-7 soils, and additional areas where there is a local concentration of farms which exhibit characteristics of ongoing agriculture. Prime agricultural areas may be identified by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs using evaluation procedures established by the Province as amended from time to time, or may also be identified through an alternative agricultural land evaluation system approved by the Province.
For the purposes of this definition:
Prime agricultural land includes specialty crop areas and/or Canada Land Inventory Classes 1, 2, and 3 soils, in this order of priority for protection.
(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Private Communal Water and Wastewater Systems
Private communal water systems are drinking-water systems that are not municipal water systems
as defined in municipal water and wastewater systems, and that serve six or more lots or private residences, and
Private communal wastewater systems are sewage works that serve six or more lots or private residences
residences and are not owned or operated by a municipality.
Rama Road Economic Employment District
Location set out in Schedule 8. The Rama Road economic employment district boundary is determined by the Minister of
Infrastructure and planned for in accordance with policy 6.4. Major retail uses are not permitted.
The creation of new units, uses or lots on previously developed land in existing communities, including brownfield sites.
(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
An area, generally broader than a lower-tier municipality that has a high degree of social and economic interaction. In southern Ontario , the upper- or single-tier municipality will normally serve as the regional market area. Where a regional market area extends significantly beyond upper- or single-tier boundaries, it may include a combination of upper-, single- and/or lower-tier municipalities. (Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Lands which are located outside settlement areas and
that are not prime agricultural areas. )
(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005
Urban areas and rural settlement areas within municipalities (such as cities, towns, villages and hamlets)
a) development is concentrated and which have a mix of land uses; and
b) lands have been designated in an official plan for development
over the long term planning horizon provided
in the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005. Where there are no lands that have been designated over the long-term, the settlement area may be no larger than the area where development is concentrated.
Any works for the collection, transmission, treatment and disposal of sewage or any part of such works, but does not include plumbing to which the Building Code Act, 1992 applies. (Ontario Water Resources Act)
For the purposes of this definition:
Sewage includes, but is not limited to drainage,
storm water, residential wastes, commercial wastes and industrial wastes.
The geographic area consisting of the County of Simcoe, the City of Barrie and the City of Orillia.
Settlement areas that do not include an urban growth centre.
Specialty Crop Area
Areas designated using
evaluation procedures established by the Province, as amended from time to time , where specialty crops such as tender fruits (peaches, cherries, plums), grapes, other fruit crops, vegetable crops, greenhouse crops, and crops from agriculturally developed organic soil lands are predominantly grown, usually resulting from:
a) soils that have suitability to produce specialty crops, or lands that are subject to special climatic conditions, or a combination of both;
a combination of farmers skilled in the production of specialty crops , and
c) of capital
investment in related facilities and services to produce, store, or process specialty crops.
(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Strategic Settlement Employment Areas
To be planned and protected for employment uses that require large lots of land and depend upon efficient movement of goods and access to Highway 400. These are not settlement areas. Major retail and residential uses are not permitted.
An area identified by the Minister of Infrastructure within the Greater Golden Horseshoe at a scale generally larger than any one upper- or single-tier municipality.
Makes transit viable and improves the quality of the experience of using transit. When used in reference to development, it often refers to compact, mixed-use development that has a high level of employment and residential densities to support frequent transit service. When used in reference to urban design, it often refers to design principles that make development more accessible for transit users, such as roads laid out in a grid network rather than a discontinuous network; pedestrian-friendly built environment along roads to encourage walking to transit; reduced setbacks and placing parking at the sides/rear of buildings; and improved access between arterial roads and interior blocks in residential areas.
A thoroughfare and its associated buffer zone for passage or conveyance of vehicles or people. A transportation corridor includes any or all of the following:
a) Major roads, arterial roads, and highways for moving people and goods;
a) Rail lines/railways for moving people and goods;
a) Transit rights-of-way/transitways including buses and light rail for moving people.
Transportation Demand Management
A set of strategies that
results in more efficient use of the transportation system by influencing travel behaviour by mode, time of day, frequency, trip length, regulation, route, or cost. Examples include: carpooling, vanpooling, and shuttle buses; parking management; site design and on-site facilities that support transit and walking; bicycle facilities and programs; pricing (road tolls or transit discounts); flexible working hours; telecommuting; high occupancy vehicle lanes; park-and-ride; incentives for ride-sharing, using transit, walking and cycling; initiatives to discourage drive-alone trips by residents, employees, visitors, and students.
A system consisting of corridors and rights-of-way for the movement of people and goods, and associated transportation facilities including transit stops and stations, cycle lanes, bus lanes, high occupancy vehicle lanes, rail facilities, park-and-ride lots, service centres, rest stops, vehicle inspection stations, inter-modal
terminals, harbours, and associated facilities such as storage and maintenance. (Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Urban Growth Centres
Locations set out in Schedule 4 . Urban growth centres
be delineated pursuant to Policies 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52.
An area that is drained by a
lake or river , and its tributaries.
A watershed plan provides a framework for integrated decision-making for the management of human activities, land, water, aquatic life and aquatic resources within a watershed . It
matters such as a water budget and conservation plan; land and water use management strategies; an environmental monitoring plan; requirements for the use of environmental management practices and programs; criteria for evaluating the protection of water quality and quantity , and hydrologic features and functions; and targets for the protection and restoration of riparian areas.
 TD Economics. Ontario: The Land of Opportunity. September 2004, pg. 2
 Ontario Chamber of Commerce. Cost of Border Delays to Ontario. May 2004, pg. 8
GTA Task Force. Greater Toronto: Report of the GTA Task Force. January 1996, p. 12; Slack, Enid. Municipal Finance and the Pattern of Urban Growth, C.D. Howe Institute. No. 160, February 2002, p. 6; TD Economics. Greater Toronto Area: Canada's Primary Economic Locomotive in Need of Repairs. May 2002, p. 15.