Plans and Policies


The City of Peterborough develops plans, policies and reports to set objectives and guide our activities on behalf of the community. Plans show what we've done and what we want to achieve in support of our community. City Council approves policies that direct how we conduct our activities. And reports outline staff recommendations, updates, and high-level overviews.

Strategic Plan

Our Vision - PETERBOROUGH2050: Build a Future-Ready City with a forward-looking, contemporary community, thriving in creativity and a modern economy. The Peterborough of tomorrow will be bold, innovative, progressive, caring, vibrant, inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable, a place that respects its past, heritage, culture, and readily embraces its future with excitement and renewed vigor. Leading Today for Tomorrow will ensure our City’s fair share of respect and economic growth, locally as well as globally.

Our Mission - The Corporation of the City of Peterborough is committed to deliver proactive, effective, and efficient service delivery through a collaborative, engaged, and value-driven organizational culture to Peterborough’s growing and diverse community.


The City of Peterborough’s Mayor and Members of Council are very excited and proud to present the 2023-2050 City of Peterborough Strategic Plan. This plan represents what we all heard on the campaign trail and continue to hear and includes the priorities and passion from all of us elected to serve for the next four years. The development of this Strategic Plan was a collaborative process whereby we discussed the issues and opportunities facing Peterborough and collectively agreed to the plan and priorities. This plan sets the administrative direction necessary for the City services delivery to become more resilient and responsive against a backdrop of limited resources, an ongoing global pandemic, growing socioeconomic inequality, and the growing need to become more sustainable in response to climate change.

This document identifies the vision, mission, values, and strategic priorities pillars of the City of Peterborough, which in turn, will lay the foundation for the development of business and work plans for City departments. The Strategic Plan will be reviewed regularly during current and future Council term(s) to assess progress and adjust as necessary. As strategic priorities move to an operational level, and are accomplished, Council will review and renew the priorities on a regular basis. This living document provides a clear roadmap, focusing resources and energies on priority projects and initiatives that benefit the people who live, work, play, visit and invest in our City. It is a framework for critical decision making and sets the direction for our future and outlines where we need to change today to realize our vision for PETERBOROUGH, a City where everyone will have the ability to grow and succeed.

If you have any comments or questions, please email us at

Our values

Trust & Integrity: We will deliver exceptional public service by doing the right things, with personal accountability, transparency, consistency, and respect. We will work together and lead by example by taking on important community issues and instilling confidence in our governance.

Engagement & Openness: We will proactively collaborate to engage the community on a regular basis, welcoming new ideas and perspectives, embracing creativity, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Compassion & Teamwork: We value and care about the needs of our Community and Organization (residents, businesses, and employees). We will inspire authentic leadership with a sense of belonging at all levels, empowered to push forward the contributions that will transform our community. We collaborate across departments to achieve our goals. We work in partnership with our community. We are ONE COMMUNITY TOGETHER, ONE TEAM, with a common purpose.

Strategic pillars

The Strategic Plan encompasses four (4) strategic priority pillars, which will act as guiding beacons to achieve our PETERBOROUGH2050 Vision. These four pillars (not in any particular order) are:

Growth and economic development

Leadership in effective and sustainable growth that supports Peterborough’s current as well as future economic, physical, and social needs. Proactively supporting and encouraging business development to boost the local economy, provide new work opportunities, and improve the quality of life for the entire community. Facilitate diversified economic growth through innovative and sustainable policies, practices, and partnerships.

Strategic Priorities under this Pillar are:

  • Create a balanced property tax base by:
    • Proactively exploring all the available options for securing and enhancing competitive employment lands.
    • Economic development focus that supports existing businesses and facilitates the retention, expansion, and attraction of new business.
  • Implement Plan & Build Peterborough initiative - an effective, efficient, and dedicated service delivery process, whereby staff proactively work with development proponents for timely approval of development applications.
  • Plan for mid-density and high-density, mixed-use neighbourhoods to make the most efficient use of land and municipal services and provide affordable options for residents.
  • Establish area-specific plans for the redevelopment of key sites in the City to promote strong, compatible, connected neighbourhoods that enhance the quality of life and encourage greater infill.
  • Review and renew how we manage the Economic Development of our City.
  • Position the City as Destination of Choice for claiming its fair share of innovative business and people in Ontario.
  • Engage community and businesses to review and update the Central Area Master Plan to encourage more activity in the downtown.
  • Secure and consolidate more learning institutions in Peterborough and increased education and youth opportunities.
  • Develop the marketing plan to position Peterborough Airport as a vibrant aviation hub for the region.
  • Ensure the Airport becomes a Regional Airport within the City boundary.

Invest in building, improving, and maintaining quality infrastructure (horizontal, vertical and underground) to meet the current and future growth needs of the City. Ensure that the City's built infrastructure always stays in a state of good repair to attract quality people and businesses.

Strategic Priorities under this Pillar are:

  • Develop and implement robust long-term capital planning forecasts and budget planning to ensure municipal infrastructure (Horizontal, Vertical, and Underground Assets) remain in a state of good repair.
  • Invest in infrastructure to ensure that it meets the future needs of our growing City.
  • Continue to invest in lower carbon footprint initiatives which support the City’s unique biodiversity to ensure the sustainability of our future.
Community and wellbeing

Foster community resiliency, neighbourhood identity, civic pride, sense of belonging, and intercultural harmony. Enhance and protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of all in our City. Provide robust, affordable, and accessible sport, recreation, wellness, the arts, and social programs for people of all ages and abilities.

Strategic Priorities under this Pillar are:

  • Work proactively with provincial and federal governments to explore all options and seize opportunities to provide housing support for people experiencing homelessness, and to respond to mental health challenges, addictions, and the need for family physicians.
  • Encourage our neighbourhoods to be safe, diverse, accessible, and affordable across all ages, incomes, and abilities.
  • Work proactively with local community partners to find an amicable workable solution towards reducing homelessness, mental health, and addiction issues within our community.
  • Support opportunities for multi-modal transportation including walking, cycling and Transit services.
  • Ensure City’s Transit system / network supports effective movement of people, which is cost effective, efficient, and works for all.
  • Promote and enforce traffic safety on city roads.
  • Plan and implement Service Peterborough, centralized one-stop shop customer service delivery for the residents.
  • Enhance the natural, recreational, sports, the arts, and cultural aspects of our community.
  • Demonstrate strong leadership in environmental stewardship by proactively addressing issues and challenges of climate change and the environment.
Governance and fiscal sustainability

Accountable, transparent, ethical, and responsible Corporate Governance and Financial Management that supports the needs of the community into the future. Proactively advocating for Peterborough’s interests by working with other levels of government and optimizing strategic opportunities as they arise for the benefit of our City.

Strategic Priorities under this Pillar are:

  • Pursue service excellence in governance to support long-term fiscal sustainability of the city while respecting the impact of decisions on taxpayers.
  • Support review / update of City’s By-laws to make them effective and efficient, meeting the needs of our growing City.
  • Support a culture of continuous improvement, safety, and innovation to enhance cost effective delivery of City programs and services.
  • Continue the work to strengthen our relationships with the provincial / federal government, and our regional partners to make these relations more productive, collaborative, and complementary.
  • Develop and implement a robust and effective community engagement and communication plan to ensure our community is well informed and proactively engage in conversations and decisions that shape our community’s future.
  • Continue to leverage user fees that are competitive and market-balanced to reduce service subsidies through the tax base.
  • Explore increased sponsorships, and partnerships utilizing municipal assets and existing service provisions to provide alternative non-property tax revenue opportunities.

Foundation of our future - Community engagement, employee engagement, benchmarking, data management, key performance indicators, then realign strategic plan.

The 2023-2050 Strategic Plan was approved by City Council on April 24, 2023.


Accessibility Plan

The 2018 to 2022 Accessibility Plan is a five-year road map to help Peterborough become more accessible.

The plan outlines 184 planned initiatives to improve accessibility throughout Peterborough.

In August 2017, we consulted with the public to better understand the experiences of people with disabilities. The survey included 53 questions with many opportunities to allow people to provide detailed feedback on transportation, employment, information and communication, City-owned buildings and public spaces, and City services. In total, 298 people completed the survey and provided 1,898 comments.

We also consulted with the Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) in June 2018. The feedback received from the public and the AAC helped to inform priorities and set the Planned Initiatives listed in the plan. The plan uses an accessibility lens on how the City does business.

Our goal is to meet the diverse needs of all people and follow the principles of dignity, independence, integration and equal opportunity. We will strive to achieve an inclusive environment for our facilities, goods, services, employment, information and transportation.

Age-friendly Peterborough

Age-friendly Peterborough is a community-based collaborative that brings together local governments, First Nations, organizations, businesses and older adult residents with the goal of building a more inclusive, respectful and accessible community for our aging population.

Asset Management Plan

The Asset Management Plan helps us look to the future to identify the best places to invest limited dollars to provide the greatest benefit to citizens, visitors and businesses.

Central Area Master Plan

The Central Area Master Plan is intended to stimulate creativity. It's intended to capture opportunity. It's intended to direct priority. It's a statement of vision for what the Official Plan considers to be the historic heart of the community – the Central Area.

Community Improvement Plans

We have two community improvement plans, the Central Area Community Improvement Plan and the Affordable Housing Community Improvement Plan.

The Central Area Community Improvement Plan encourages and supports downtown redevelopment and revitalization projects.

The Affordable Housing Community Improvement Plan assists with the creation of affordable housing in our community.

Community Safety and Well-being Plan

In accordance with the Safer Ontario Act, 2018, the City of Peterborough, County of Peterborough, and the Townships of Douro-Dummer, Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, North Kawartha, Selwyn, and Trent Lakes have adopted their first Community Safety and Well-being Plan (CSWB Plan).

The CSWB Plan takes an integrated approach to service delivery by working across a wide range of sectors, agencies and organizations to proactively develop and implement evidence-based strategies and programs to address local priorities related to crime and complex social issues on a sustainable basis. Community safety and well-being exists when everyone feels safe, has a sense of belonging, where individuals and families can meet their needs for education, health care, food, housing, income, as well as social and cultural expression.


Documents that support the CSWB Plan:

Comprehensive Transportation Plan

The City of Peterborough offers a range of transportation infrastructure and services.

While automobile use continues to be significant in Peterborough, other modes of transportation are gaining in popularity. We're seeing growth in public transit use, cycling and walking.

The Comprehensive Transportation Plan helps the City ensure that our long-term infrastructure needs are based on population and employment projections and that our planning process identifies needs within a multi-modal transportation network.

Emergency Response Plan

The City of Peterborough provides leadership and guidance to meet the challenges associated with emergency management. This includes preparing and planning to safeguard health, safety, and welfare of citizens, protect property and the environment, and provide effective and timely response and recovery operations as much as reasonably possible.

The Emergency Response Plan has been prepared to provide overall guiding principles to City staff in planning for, responding to, and recovering from a potential or actual emergency or disaster.

Flood Reduction Master Plan

The City developed the Flood Reduction Master Plan to guide infrastructure improvements to improve the operation of the City's drainage and sanitary systems, to help reduce the risk of future flooding damage.

Greater Peterborough Area Community Sustainability Plan

The Sustainability Plan was modelled after the Bruntland definition of sustainability – development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It seeks to find a balance between the environment, socio-cultural, and economic pillars, known as the triple bottom line approach. It is also about maintaining our values and qualities for future generations to enjoy, while working to mitigate threats to our future.

Housing and Homelessness Plan

Housing and Homelessness Plan

10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan - 2022 Progress Report

The Housing and Homelessness Plan (Plan) is for the City and County of Peterborough. The Plan is evidence-based and informed by input from community members, gathered through community consultation in the City and County.

The Executive Summary shows a high-level snapshot of the  plan. The Needs Assessment and the What We Heard in community consultations report provides more details on what informed the Plan.


Housing provides a solid foundation for people as they work, seek jobs, care for each other and live healthy, productive lives. Housing is fundamental to creating successful communities and preventing homelessness. Safe and stable housing provides a good basis to raise children. It is a crucial factor in a child’s success at school and in continuing to higher education and employment.

Families and individuals must have housing that is affordable and meets their unique needs, for the well-being of the Peterborough community. A range and mix of homes for people living and working in this community and a housing market that creates jobs in the industry are key factors in a strong local economy.

Targets and Priority Areas

There are two key Priority Areas:

Built For Zero Peterborough
Built For Zero Peterborough is a multi-agency improvement team led by Social Services staff. Key elements of Built For Zero are a system for Coordinated Access, a By-Name Priority List for housing, and a Housing First approach.
Coordinated Access
Coordinated Access is a community wide strategy to help prevent homelessness and to match individuals and families experiencing homelessness to appropriate housing and support resources based on their level of need.
By-Name Priority List
The By-Name Priority List is an up-to-date, real-time list of everyone in the City and County of Peterborough who is experiencing homelessness. It includes details about their level of need. This helps inform what type of supports are needed to ensure housing is successful.
Housing First 
Housing First is a recovery-oriented approach that centers on quickly moving people experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent housing and then providing additional supports and services according to individual needs.

Building Housing

A Summary of the Housing Forecast Units Needs Projection (2019-2029) was created for the City and County of Peterborough. It sets targets for affordable housing production up to 2029. More details on the housing unit targets are included, specifically City and Township targets, and details about income levels. Incomes range from rents affordable for people receiving Ontario Works Shelter Allowance to people who are fully employed and earning minimum wage. There are specific targets for permanent supportive housing for people who have been chronically homeless and targets for affordable homeownership.

Housing unit targets are not solely the responsibility of the City of Peterborough to develop. The Housing and Homelessness Plan identifies roles for private sector development, non-profit partners, and units that could be developed through the regeneration of existing Community Housing properties, through such organizations as Peterborough Housing Corporation.

Jackson Creek Flood Reduction Master Plan

The Jackson Creek Flood Reduction Master Plan was completed in April 2010.

Little Lake Master Plan

The Little Lake Master Plan is a comprehensive study of the waterfront, Otonabee River, and Little Lake from the bridge on Hunter Street to the bridge on Lansdowne Street. The study assessed current conditions, activity, uses and opportunities to develop a comprehensive plan for the Little Lake study area.

Little Lake is surrounded by mixed land use, including residential, commercial/business (including a municipally operated marina), parkland and open space. The study area supports both active and passive recreation including swimming, boating (power boats, canoes, kayaks, windsurfing), fishing, hiking, competitive sports, site seeing, camping, and special events (Wakeboarding, Dragon Boating, Peterborough Triathlon, Festival of Lights, to name a few).

The Plan serves as a guide for City activities and investments around Little Lake.

Municipal Cultural Plan

Through the Municipal Cultural Plan, the City expresses its vision for Peterborough, highlighting economic prosperity, social progress and quality of life. It focuses on culture's role in creating a livable, sustainable community with a vibrant downtown and healthy neighbourhoods.

Cultural maps

The cultural maps are a key component of the Municipal Cultural Plan that provide a wealth of information about our cultural festivals and events, cultural facilities and organizations, public art, heritage resources and the businesses that make up the cultural economy.

Promoting, nurturing and growing these assets is vital to ensure a high quality of life for the people of Peterborough and economic prosperity for our community.

Please note: Municipal cultural maps are for illustrative purposes only. Do not rely on this map as being a precise indicator of routes, location of features or surveying purposes. These maps may contain cartographical errors or omissions.

Public art

The City of Peterborough's growing public art collection consists of sculptures, murals, monuments and other art installations. The City recognizes that public art is an important aspect of culturally vibrant cities - both as expressive works of art that enhance the attractiveness and livability of an area, and to commemorate events and places of historical significance.

Cultural facilities and spacing

Cultural facilities identified on this map offer space and enable the community to showcase or produce cultural products and activities. This infrastructure includes libraries, museums, art galleries, theatres, archives and aboriginal centres as well as outdoor stages and pavilions. The cultural facilities map shows the location and overall distribution of cultural facilities in the city and identifies those that are City-owned and privately owned. Five types of facilities are identified in this map:

  • Performance facilities – These are facilities that showcase or provide space for the performing arts including live theatre, musical and dance productions, literary performances, as well as film and videography. In some cases they also provide space for training and classes across these areas of specialization.
  • Galleries – These are facilities that feature visual and craft arts. Many also offer art classes or seasonal workshops in addition to their formal exhibition programming.
  • Cultural Heritage Facilities –These facilities provide space and support for local heritage resources and programs including museums, heritage buildings and archival facilities.
  • Arts and Cultural Space – These facilities provide free or affordable space for the production of arts and cultural activities and products, for showcasing local work, as well as space to engage in creative activities and entrepreneurship. Examples include rehearsal studios, incubator office space, art and design studios, gallery space, meeting rooms and box office functions.
  • Libraries – Library facilities are home to literary resources as well as an expanding array of audio and visual resources and provide digital access to online information. Libraries also offer space to individuals and local groups for meetings, events and a wide range of cultural activities.

Cultural organizations

Non-profit cultural organizations play a key role in enabling and supporting cultural activity in the City of Peterborough. These are the organizations that coordinate, assist and advance cultural sector development and activities in order to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship and artistic excellence.

The cultural organizations map includes visual arts organizations, music organizations, performing arts organizations, literary organizations, multicultural organizations, heritage organizations, arts advocacy organizations and cultural education organizations.

Heritage resources

The heritage resources map identifies three broad classes of heritage resources:

  • Fixed heritage: These are fixed land or land-based resources such as heritage buildings or natural areas.
  • Movable heritage: These are heritage resources that can be detached and moved from one location to another such as artworks or documents.
  • Intangible heritage: These are the non-physical forms of cultural heritage such as stories, traditions, songs and beliefs. They are products of our history that reflect a particular way of life tied to a place and the people who live there.

Cultural heritage encompasses both the historic built environment and the non-physical heritage that shapes our local identity. Cultural heritage preservation ensures that treasures from the past are not lost as the urban landscape continues to evolve. Mapping heritage resources provides a valuable snapshot of the historic fabric of our city.

In 2011, the City was awarded both the Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Community Leadership by the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership.

Cultural economy and businesses

The City of Peterborough's cultural resources, activities, festivals and events, and businesses are important economic drivers that contribute to the health of the local economy. The cultural economy and businesses map displays the locations of these types of activities in our community.

Cultural and creative industries create employment growth, revitalize urban areas, transform ordinary cities into ‘destinations', create stronger connections between arts and business and attract skilled workers.

Peterborough is home to a larger than average pool of creative occupations and industries and a relatively high number of cultural workers as a percentage of the total workforce. In Peterborough, almost 3.5 percent of the total labour force is employed in cultural occupations. In comparison with eight Ontario municipalities, only Toronto has a higher percentage of cultural workers as a percentage of the total labour force. The percentage of creative class workers in Peterborough is almost 33 percent.

Your input on the cultural maps

We regularly update our cultural maps. They're a work in progress. The cultural sector is continuously evolving so some items might be missing or incorrect. Let us know what you want to see on the maps and we'll do our best to include it. Or if you see something wrong, we want to correct it.

Official Plan

The Official Plan sets the vision and direction that shapes the growth and development of the City. 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 14,000 jobs from 2016.

Public Transit Operations Review

The Public Transit Operations Review is a comprehensive review of Peterborough's transit services. It included an assessment of and recommendations on conventional, fixed-route transit, Trans-cab and Accessible Van services. An executive summary of the report is also available.

Un-named City Tributaries Flood Reduction Master Plan

The Un-named City Tributaries Flood Reduction Study Master Plan was completed in March 2012.

Urban Forest Strategic Plan

To safeguard the many benefits provided by trees, the City is committed to managing the urban forest by promoting community stewardship and strategic practice to preserve, renew and enhance this essential resource.

The Urban Forest Strategic Plan provides a foundation for the maintenance and renewal of our urban forest.

Vision 2025

Vision 2025 is a 10-year strategic plan to guide decision-making for recreation, parks, arenas and culture.

The study examined the nature of the community, anticipated population growth and change, the parks and open space system, recreation and culture facilities, programming and community events, how services are provided, the state of volunteer engagement in the community, and national trends in leisure and service provision.

Waste Management Master Plan

The Waste Management Master Plan reviews the waste management system, including waste infrastructure, collection services, and processing. It includes recommendations on how to improve areas of the waste management system that focus on diversion. An executive summary of the plan is also available


Commonly requested policies