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A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2019

On May 16, 2019, A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2019 took effect. A Place to Grow replaces the Places to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2017. The new plan focuses its policies on putting people first, protecting the greenbelt, environmental sustainability, supporting complete communities, and improving the housing supply.


A key change in A Place to Grow are the reductions in the minimum intensification and density targets across the GGH. The targets were reduced to recognize the diversity of communities and the different pace at which communities grow.

Intensification Targets for Delineated Built-up Areas

A Place to Grow maintains that “A minimum of 50% of all residential development occurring annually within each of the Cities of Barrie, Branford, Guelph, Hamilton, Orillia and Peterborough and the Regions of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo and York will be within the delineated built-up area.”

However, it has added that The City of Kawartha Lakes and the Counties of Brant, Dufferin, Haldimand, Northumberland, Peterborough, Simcoe, Wellington will, through the next municipal comprehensive review, each establish the minimum percentage of all residential development occurring annually that will be within the delineated built-up area, based on maintaining or improving upon the minimum intensification target contained in the applicable upper-or single-tier official plan.

Density Targets for Designated Greenfield Areas

A Place to Grow identified new Greenfield density targets as follows:

·50 residents and jobs per hectare for the cities of Barrie, Brantford, Guelph, Hamilton, Orillia, and Peterborough, regions of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo, and York.

·40 residents and jobs combined per hectare: City of Kawartha Lakes, counties of Brant, Dufferin, Haldimand, Northumberland, Peterborough, Simcoe, and Wellington

In contrast, the 2017 Growth Plan required a minimum density target of 80 residents and jobs per hectare.

Additional Amendments

A Place to Grow has introduced Provincially Significant Employment Zones (PSEZ) to replace Employment Areas addressed within the 2017 Growth Plan. For these new PSEZ’s, the Minister may provide specific direction for planning to be implemented through appropriate official plan policies and designations and economic development strategies. The purpose of Provincially Significant Employment Zones is long-term planning for job creation and economic development.

The radius of Major Transit Station Area’s has also been expanded from approximately 500 metres to 500 to 800 metres of a transit station.

The above list includes key changes, and this list is not exhaustive.


Additional information can be found here:

https://www.placestogrow.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9&Itemid=14

https://files.ontario.ca/mmah-greater-golden-horseshoe-place-to-grow-english-15may2019.pdf