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Official Plan Update

How will our City grow, look, and function in the year 2041?

The City of Peterborough is in the process of completing an update of its Official Plan, a legal document which sets the vision and direction that shapes the growth and development of the city to the year 2041. By the year 2041, the City is expected to grow to a population of 115,000 people and 58,000 jobs – an increase of about 32,000 people and 10,000 jobs from 2016. 

The Official Plan is being developed with input from the community. We invite you to be engaged in the process and to get involved. With your input, we can develop a plan to help achieve the desired future of our community.

Have your say in our community vision and future (the survey is available from August 9 to September 20, 2017):

Link to Official Plan Survey 2017

Why should I participate in the Official Plan Update?

Whether you work or live in the city, the Official Plan affects just about every aspect of your daily life – it provides strategic policy direction on the:

  • Affordability and availability of a range of housing types;
  • Transportation choice and connectivity within the city and beyond;
  • Location and physical form of housing and employment areas;
  • Location and range of community services and amenities;
  • Design of our neighbourhoods, buildings, streets, and spaces; 
  • Environmental protection and sustainability measures; and,
  • Construction of infrastructure such as sewers, water mains, transit, and roads.

All and all, the Official Plan ensures the growth and development of a city is managed to balance the interests in our built, natural, economic, and social environments and sets the priorities for our city’s future.

We thank the many people who have contributed their time and ideas to the development of the Official Plan so far.

  • News Updates

    Upcoming Public Engagement

    Plan It Peterborough is beginning the next phase of public engagement.

    The goal of the public engagement is to check back with the community to ensure that the draft policies are on the right track for realizing the community’s vision for Peterborough’s future. Input from the public and stakeholders will be used to finalize the Official Plan for Council’s approval.

  • Where have we been?

    Plan It Peterborough is being conducted in two distinct phases. 

    Phase One: Review Phase (2011-2013)

    • Review of issues and policy options with existing City Official Plan.
    • Review of requirements and policy options relating to the Provincial Policy Framework.
    • Check in with community and stakeholders on the City’s Future Visions and themes for the Official Plan Review to determine their views and priorities for the community.
    • Check in with City staff on the review of policy options for integrating other City Master Plans and Studies.
    • Identification of Community Vision Principles.
    • Determination of five overarching themes for renewing the Official Plan.

    Official Plan Review Key Drivers

    Existing City Official Plan

    • Existing Official Plan Structure and detailed Policies 
    • City land use structure and community organization 
    • Secondary Plans 

    Provincial Policy Framework

    • Ontario Planning Act 
    • Provincial Policy Statement 
    • Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe
    • Source Water Protection

    Public Input on City's Future Vision & Themes for the OP Review

    • Three public open houses/workshops
    • Four issue-themed stakeholder workshops
    • Three guest speaking appearances
    • Municipal Plan Review workshop
    • 400 open house/workshop participants
    • 100 responses to Online survey

    Other City Master Plans & Studies

    • Flood Reduction Master Plan (2005)
    • Vision 2025: Strategic Plan for Recreation, Parks, and Culture (2016) 
    • Central Area Master Plan (2009) 
    • Little Lake Master Plan (2010) 
    • Morrow Park Masterplan Design Study (2011)
    • Urban Forest Strategic Plan (2011) 
    • Municipal Cultural Plan (2012) 
    • Comprehensive Transportation Plan (2012) 
    • Community Sustainability Plan (2012)
    • Housing and Homelessness Plan (2014)
    • Plus other plans and studies 

    Official Plan Review Key Drivers (Diagram)

    Where Can I Find Information About Phase One?

    Phase One consisted of initial public and stakeholder consultation between 2011 and 2013.

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

    Three 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 and the staff presentations from these workshops are available for review.

    In addition to the input received at the public workshops and through an 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:

    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. Stakeholders were given an opportunity to comment on a Draft Policy Directions Report in the Fall of 2012.

    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.

    Decision from the March 4, 2013 Presentation to Council Sitting as Planning Committee:

    That Council approve the recommendations outlined in Report PLPD13-014 dated March 4, 2013, of the Manager, Planning Division, as follows:

    1. That Report PLPD13-014 be received for information purposes;
    2. That the report entitled Plan It Peterborough, Official Plan Review, Potential Policy Directions Report dated March 2013, attached as Exhibit A to Report PLPD13-014, be adopted as a guide for staff to use in the preparation of Official Plan amendments to implement the conclusions of the Plan It Peterborough consultation campaign;
    3. That Council deem Phase 1 of Plan It Peterborough to be complete; and,
    4. That Council direct staff to proceed with the necessary Official Plan amendments to implement the conclusions of the Plan It Peterborough consultation as described in Report PLPD13-014.

    Phase Two: Policy Development (2013-2016)

    • Developing draft policies as per the policy directions report. (completed March 2016)
    • Checking back with the community, stakeholders, staff and Council, and making adjustments.(we are here)
    • Finalizing the Official Plan and obtain Council approval.
  • Where are we now?

    Plan It Peterborough is beginning the next phase of public engagement.

    The draft Official Plan includes policies to:

    • Support the Community vision established in Phase One.
    • Align with overarching themes and policy directions identified in Phase One.
    • Address provincial policy requirements.
    • Incorporate other Council approved City plans and policies to create an integrated policy framework.

    Input from the public and stakeholders will be used to finalize the Official Plan for Council’s approval.

    Community Vision Principles Established in Phase One

    Through the public consultation process in Phase One, many common visions emerged for the City’s future including:

    • A healthy community with a strong focus on active living, walkable streets, connected trails and opportunities for community interaction;
    • A green, attractive, affordable and pedestrian oriented community;
    • A community abundant with public spaces, trails, parks and gathering places that are accessible for all and connect neighbourhoods and communities to one another and to nature;
    • A community of compact, walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods with opportunities for playing, working, shopping, entertainment and community uses;
    • A community with a vibrant downtown where new development preserves heritage and supports existing stores and destinations;
    • An innovative community with growth in businesses and jobs that leverage the strengths of the City;
    • A community with multi-sectoral employment opportunities that are stable and supportive of small business, creative culture and youth;
    • An inclusive and diverse community with integrated housing for all incomes, ages and ethnicities;
    • A community for people of all ages and abilities;
    • A community with efficient public transportation and reduced automobile reliance;
    • A community that supports safe and accessible active transportation with cycling and walking for all ages; and,
    • A community of quality buildings designed to a comfortable scale with appropriate heights, mix of uses and attention to the public realm.

     Additionally, through the stakeholder workshops, participants also emphasized creating a community that:

    • Strives to achieve environmental sustainability and proactively responds to environmental issues such as climate change, drinking water quality, air quality, waste management, noise, odour and light pollution;
    • Fosters business growth and is welcoming to new and innovative business opportunities;
    • Is an attractive destination for newcomers; and,
    • Is socially responsive by providing an accessible built environment and by enhancing access to healthy, locally-sourced food, affordable housing and community services.

    Overarching Themes and Policy Directions Identified in Phase One

    Complete Healthy Communities

    • Range of Housing
    • Affordable Housing
    • Appropriate Intensification
    • Community Infrastructure
    • Safe, Inclusive Neighbourhood Design
    • Aging Population

    Environmental Sustainability

    • Natural Areas/Green Spaces
    • Sustainable Building Design and Green Energy
    • Urban Forest
    • Local Food/Urban Agriculture
    • Green Employment Areas
    • Sustainable Servicing and Waste Management

    Economic Strength

    • Innovative Employment
    • Creative Economy
    • Tourism
    • Protected Employment Areas
    • Partnerships
    • Business Brand

    Unique and Vibrant Places and Spaces

    • Downtown Peterborough
    • Urban Design
    • Cultural Heritage
    • Arts and Culture

    Connectivity and Mobility

    • Active, Alternative Transportation
    • Pedestrian-Oriented Development
    • Accessibility
    • Road and Major Transportation Networks

    Overarching Themes and Policy Directions (Diagram)

  • How can I participate?

    • Have five minutes?  Take part in our questionnaire.
    • Participate at the Plan It Peterborough Summit (check back for the details on when and how members of the community can participate.)
    • Look for our City team at pop-up events and festivals.
    • Email us at with your comments/questions at any time. 
  • Timeline


    Council approval and adoption of the updated Official plan is scheduled for September 2018. There will be opportunities throughout the process at each key component of the Official Plan for input from residents and community stakeholders. Comments and feedback will assist in refining and finalizing the policies in the Official Plan. 

    Official Plan Update Timeline 2017-2018