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Resource List: Land Use Planning in Ontario

Land Use Planning in Ontario

Well-designed, well-planned communities attract jobs and investment. Ontario’s land use planning system gives municipalities the major role in planning decisions. The ministry identifies and protects provincial interests, and promotes sound infrastructure planning, environmental protection, economic development and safe communities.

Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review

The four provincial land use plans for the Greater Golden Horseshoe work together to manage growth, protect the natural environment and support economic development. The updated plans were released on May 18, 2017.

To support municipalities, the province has committed this year to:

The Smart Growth for Our Communities Act, 2015 (Bill 73)

The Smart Growth for Our Communities Act, 2015 (Bill 73) received Royal Assent on December 3, 2015. 

Ontario's changes to the Planning Act and the Development Charges Act are intended to provide for enhanced tools and processes for communities and residents to determine how their neighbourhoods grow, and to plan and pay for growth. The legislation also aims to help municipalities recover more costs for growth-related infrastructure, give residents more say in how their communities grow, protect and promote greenspaces, enhance transparency and accountability, set clearer rules for land use planning, give municipalities more independence to make local decisions and make it easier to resolve disputes.

Support materials have been designed to assist users with understanding the changes to the planning system introduced by the Smart Growth for Our Communities Act, 2015 (Bill 73) and its associated Regulations.

Land Use Planning Resources

The Government of Ontario provides resources grouped into topic areas and are of various types: case studies, guides, guidelines, information, legislation, plans and tools.

Accessibility

Type

Link to Resource

Handbook

Planning for Barrier-Free Municipalities (MMA)

Infosheet

The Planning Act and Accessibility (MMA)

Agriculture

Type

Link to Resource

Guidelines

Classifying Prime and Marginal Agricultural Soils and Landscapes (OMAFRA)

Legislation

Farming and Food Production Protection Act, 1998 (OMAFRA)

Guidelines

Guidelines for Detailed Soil Survey for Agricultural Land Use Planning (OMAFRA)

Guide

Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) Formulae (OMAFRA)

Legislation 

Nutrient Management Act, 2002 (OMAFRA)

Appeals and Mediation

Type

Link to Resource

Guide

Citizens' guide #6 - Ontario Municipal Board Citizens' guide (MMA)

Guide

Citizens' guide #10 - Making Mediation Work for You (MMA)

Clean Air, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy

Type

Link to Resource

Information

Energy Conservation, Efficiency and Supply (Energy)

Legislation

Green Energy Act, 2009 (MOECC)

Information

Improving Air Quality (MMA)

Information

Planning for Electricity Infrastructure (Energy)

Cultural Heritage and Archaeology

Type

Link to Resource

Information

Archaeological Management Plans (MMA)

Information

Designating Heritage Properties (MTCS)

Environmental Assessment

Type

Link to Resource

Legislation

Environmental Assessment Act (MOECC)

General Information

Type

Link to Resource

Guide

Citizens' guides (MMA)

Information

Ontario Building Code (MMA)

Mining, Minerals and Aggregates

Type

Link to Resource

Legislation

Aggregate Resources Act (MNRF)

Tools

CLAIMaps (MNDM)

Legislation

Mining Act (MNDM)

Municipal Planning

Type

Link to Resource

Guide

Citizens' guide #2 - Official Plans (MMA)

Case Study

Municipal-Aboriginal Relationships: Case Studies (MMA)

Tools

Municipal Financial Tools for Planning and Development (MMA)

Natural Heritage, Endangered Species and Wild Life Habitat

Type

Link to Resource

Legislation

Endangered Species Act, 2007 (MNRF)

Guide 

Natural Heritage Reference Manual (MNRF)

Guide 

Significant Wildlife Habitat Guide (MNRF)

Provincial Plans

Type

Link to Resource

Plan

Greenbelt Plan (MMA)

Plan

Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, 2011 (MMA)

Plan

Niagara Escarpment Plan (MNRF)

Legislation

Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act (MNRF)

Plan

Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (MMA)

Case study

Planning for Employment in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (MMA)

Guide

Size and Location of Urban Growth Centres in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (MMA)

Transportation

Type

Link to Resource

Guidelines

Corridor Management Guideline (MTO)

Guidelines

Guidelines for Traffic Impact Studies (MTO)

Guidelines

Guidelines for Municipal Official Plan (MTO)

Legislation

Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act (MTO)

Water

Type

Link to Resource

Legislation

Clean Water Act, 2006 (MOECC)

Legislation

Conservation Authorities Act (MNRF)

Legislation

Ontario Water Resources Act (MOECC)

Legislation

Safe Drinking Water Act 2002 (MEOCC)

 

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