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Municipal Affairs plans reforms to Ontario Growth Plan

Municipal Affairs plans reforms to Ontario Growth Plan

TORONTO — Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has introduced a set of proposed new policies to amend the provincial growth plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) area.

The proposed changes were introduced June 16 with a 45-day comment period. Comments will be closed July 31.

The ministry website indicates the reforms to the growth plan, titled A Place to Grow, includes changes to the population and employment forecasts, the horizon year for planning and other policies to “increase housing supply, create jobs, attract business investment and better align with infrastructure.”

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) has said it is reviewing the proposed revisions and will submit comments.

The ministry overview notes the revisions to the growth plan follow up on the More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan introduced in 2019. The growth plan currently provides population and employment forecasts for all upper- and single-tier GGH municipalities. Growth projections have been updated to reflect a longer time horizon, contained in a new document titled Greater Golden Horseshoe: Growth Forecasts to 2051. The ministry is considering amending A Place to Grow with one of the following growth outlooks: the Reference Growth Forecast, High Growth Scenario, or Low Growth Scenario for the forecast numbers.

The new planning horizon is said to be consistent with the long-range planning approach of previous growth plans and better reflects the land supply requirements of the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020, states the ministry. Under the Reference Forecast, the GGH is forecast to grow to close to 15 million people and seven million jobs by 2051.

The reforms also include new policies for Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) in Provincially Significant Employment Zones (PSEZs).

“To address the government’s objective of intensification around major transit station areas, Proposed Amendment 1 proposes to change an employment policy within A Place to Grow with respect to the planning of MTSAs within a PSEZ. Notably, the policy amendment would allow conversions of employment areas to non-employment uses within a provincially significant employment zone that is located within a MTSA,” the ministry explains.

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