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Official Plan Review

The City of Peterborough is undertaking an Official Plan Review in order to update the planning principles and policies that will determine how our City grows and develops over the next 20 years. Some of the policies in the Official Plan start shaping the City immediately, while others are more long-term. Whether the policies take effect over the short or long term, they are based on a common vision. The City will be looking to the public and to community stakeholders to formulate this appropriate vision.

News Updates

Special Public Meeting – Monday, March 4, 2013

On March 4, 2013, the Council of the Corporation of the City of Peterborough, sitting as Planning Committee, held a Special Public Meeting pursuant to Section 26(3)(b) of the Planning Act, RSO, 1990, c. P.13 (as amended) to provide the public an opportunity to identify and discuss revisions that may be required to update the current City of Peterborough Official Plan.

The meeting included the submission of a Potential Policy Directions Report to Council to summarize the findings of the Plan It Peterborough Official Plan Review public consultation program together with a brief presentation from City Planning Staff.

A copy of the staff report, including the Potential Policy Directions Report, can be found online.

Access a copy of the Staff Presentations to Council.

City's Official Plan Review is Underway!

On March 21, 2011 the City's Official Plan Review process was officially initiated with approval from Planning Committee. The staff report presented to Council can be viewed here.

Public Workshops Feedback Report

3 Public Workshops were held in June to help develop a vision for how Peterborough should grow over the next 20 years. The Public Workshops Feedback Report can be viewed here. A copy of the staff presentation from these workshops can be viewed here.

Community Stakeholder Workshops Held

In addition to the input received at the public workshops and through the online questionnaire, City staff met with community stakeholder groups during the summer/fall of 2011. Feedback reports from these workshops will be posted here as they become available:

Draft Policy Directions Report Completed

The input received from this first phase of consultation has been summarized into a Draft Policy Directions Report as described in Staff Report #2 - Official Plan Review Update. This report identifies strategic opportunities to translate the messages heard from the public and stakeholders into Official Plan policy. The Planning Division is now asking for comments and feedback on this draft report before it is presented to Council. Comments can be submitted by email to or by phone to 705-742-7777 ext.1886.


What is an Official Plan?

An Official Plan is a document that has status in law pursuant to the provisions of the Planning Act. It provides for a long-term comprehensive framework for land use decision-making in our community. It affects your everyday life through policies about where and how housing, employment and other land uses will be developed. It shapes how our neighbourhoods will look and feel in 20 years. Reviewed every 5 years, the Plan aims to create a better living environment within the City by taking into consideration important social, economic, cultural, and environmental factors.

The aspect of the Plan that the citizens of Peterborough encounter most frequently is the Zoning By-Law. These by-laws regulate the structure of buildings, their uses, and their associated facilities (e.g. parking requirements). The Zoning By-Law implements the Official Plan and must conform to it. The Zoning By-Law will be amended after changes are made to the Official Plan. The City’s Zoning By-Law and current Official Plan can be viewed on the City’s website.

Why is the Official Plan being reviewed now?

The authority for preparing and adopting an Official Plan is set out in provincial planning legislation known as the Planning Act. This Act requires the City to review its Official Plan at least every 5 years. Since the City’s Official Plan was last reviewed, the Province of Ontario has made significant changes to provincial land use planning legislation such as a new Provincial Policy Statement in 2005 and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2006. Also, studies recently completed by various City departments may or may not be reflected in the Official Plan. The City’s review of the Official Plan will serve the purpose of not only ensuring that the Plan continues to reflect the changing priorities and issues of the community, but also that it’s up-to-date and in compliance with the over-ruling Provincial planning legislation.

Why is the Official Plan important to me?

Whether you live or work in the City, the Official Plan affects just about every aspect of your everyday life. The Plan determines where new houses, stores, industries, schools, cultural facilities, social services, parks, trails, and other land uses will be built; it protects our natural environment; and it directs the construction of new infrastructure such as sewers, water mains, transit and roads. It sets out the community’s vision for its future.

How can I provide input and learn more about the Official Plan?

The City will be seeking your input into the Official Plan through a range of consultation activities. There are several ways in which you can become actively involved:

  • Regularly visit the City’s Official Plan Review website at  
  • Respond to questionnaires
  • Attend public/stakeholder workshops and meetings
  • E-mail us at with your comments/questions at any time. All comments/feedback received will be considered.