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Minimum / Maximum Standards in Zoning (s. 34 (3) )

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An illustration of several adjoining mid-rise buildings of varying height.  A dashed line along the top of the shortest buildings and another dashed line along the top of the tallest buildings show that zoning can regulate minimum and maximum height.  An inset graphic shows a number of lots of varying sizes, and a dashed line around the smallest lot is used to show how zoning can regulate minimum lots sizes.


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Description of Tool

  • Clarifies that zoning by-laws can regulate minimum as well as maximum standards for height and density and minimum lot area
  • Optional tool that does not require official plan policies for set-up


  • A municipal council/approval authority passes zoning by-laws and zoning by-law amendments
  • Timeline: when the complete application is received, the council has 120 days to make a decision

Potential Benefits

  • Can ensure that buildings reach a minimum height to establish a consistent building pattern on a street
  • Can establish an urban design standard to ensure compatibility with adjacent buildings and the surrounding neighbourhood
  • Can promote safe, compact, well-designed, walkable and vibrant streetscapes
  • Can support intensification and transit supportive goals
  • Can provide a range of height and density that may create development potential and economic opportunities

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This sheet deals in summarized and conceptualized fashion with complex matters that reflect legislation, policies and practices that are subject to change. All illustrations represent hypothetical scenarios of the application of various tools. For these reasons, this fact sheet should not be relied upon as a substitute for the relevant legislation, regulations and policy documents, or for specialized legal or professional advice when making land-use planning decisions.

ISBN 978-1-4435-1157-5 (PDF)
ISBN 978-1-4435-1156-8 (HTML)