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.


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.

Capital Asset Management Plan

The Capital 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.

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 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.

The 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan lays out a vision that will shape the City’s leadership in the housing and homelessness sectors, from 2014-2024.

We have reviewed and updated our plan, and the 2018 Housing and Homelessness Progress Report is now available. Some of the work we did to prepare the progress report includes:

  • updating goals for the City and County of Peterborough;
  • connecting with the community to learn from people with lived experience;
  • listening to organizations that help people;
  • gathering and analyzing data to understand community needs;
  • creating targets to improve the housing and homelessness system; and
  • setting up a new Steering Committee and structure to helping staff to guide the work for the community.

We are working to meet the housing needs of people across the housing continuum. This means helping people who:

  • are experiencing homeless
  • are renting
  • want to own, or already own their home

The focus will be on helping people with low incomes and using a “Housing First” approach to ending chronic homelessness.

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.

The City is updating the Official Plan with input from the community. We invite you to be engaged in the process and to get involved.

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, Transcab and Handi-Van services. An executive summary of the report is also available.

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

Vision statement: A City of natural beauty, opportunity and lasting impressions

The Shaping Our City for the Future strategic framework brings together various City plans, policies and reports into one overall, strategic framework for our City. As you read through our guiding documents, you'll notice the goals of each plan can be described by one or more of the following themes:

  • Healthy and connected
  • Prosperous
  • Sustainable
  • Vibrant

Our approach to leadership and governance is guided by the following values and standards:

  • Accountable
  • Collaborative
  • Compassionate
  • Innovative
  • Responsive
  • Progressive
  • Transparent

The themes and values are building blocks to help positively shape the future of our City.