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Changes in Ontario’s Land Use Planning

Backgrounder August 04, 2021

Municipal Implications

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for the development review process. In 2020, AMO successfully advocated for the suspension of Planning Act timelines. This allowed municipal operations to first focus on emergency matters brought about by COVID-19 and secondly, to adjust to new technologies and processes to carry on with development applications.  

In 2021 AMO has been engaged in ongoing provincial consultations regarding updating the Land Use Compatibility Guideline (D-Series) and other initiatives to strengthen environmental compliance. The Province is also updating its Projection Methodology Guideline for land use planning outside of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Throughout these consultations AMO has advocated for flexibility and choice for municipal governments, and against undue administrative burdens on limited municipal resources.

Municipal governments are eager to increase housing supply. Inclusionary zoning bylaws have the potential to create more affordable units and both rental and home ownership opportunities. AMO is seeking to work with the provincial government to promote changes that will enable a broader application of inclusionary zoning to more neighbourhoods and communities.


In Ontario, the Province guides land use planning through several pieces of legislation, including the Planning Act, Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), and provincial plans like the Greenbelt Plan and the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario.

To help municipalities navigate the development approval process, AMO has created a best practices guide. The guide includes an online form section where municipalities can submit their planning best practices cases to share with others.


Amber Crawford
Senior Advisor