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Employment Lands Protection (s. 22, 34)

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An illustration of 2 large blocks showing a variety of large 2 storey industrial, office and warehouse buildings.  The sidewalks adjacent to the buildings are wide and have trees.   Two roads are shown, each with 4 lanes.  One road has buses and cars travelling on it, and the other has cars and light rail.  Two of the buildings have green roofs, and there are a number of landscaped areas with trees and grass along walkways between buildings and around parking lots.  The parking lots are located behind the buildings and away from the roads.  In the middle of one of the blocks is a courtyard with trees and a reflecting pond.

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Description of Tool

  • Prevents appeal of a council refusal or non-decision on an application to redesignate/re-zone lands from employment uses to other uses, even if other lands are proposed to be added
  • Appeals only allowed at the time of a 5-year official plan (OP) review


  • Municipal council must adopt OP policies dealing with employment lands and potential conversions to non-employment uses
  • OP policies must be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), 2005 and conform to the more specific policies of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Growth Plan), 2006, as applicable

Potential Benefits

  • Can support employment areas policies of the PPS
  • Can support employment lands policies of the Growth Plan
  • May provide municipalities with greater certainty and control when planning for employment
  • Can help maintain a sufficient supply of serviced and ideally located (e.g. near transit, highways, ports, rail, airports) employment lands to accommodate future population, employment growth and economic development

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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 978-1-4435-1197-1 (PDF)
ISBN 978-1-4435-1196-4 (HTML)