Review of A Place to Grow and Provincial Policy Statement

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Planning Act
Summary of Proposal:
Everyone in Ontario should be able to find a home that is right for them. But too many people are struggling with the rising cost of living and with finding housing that meets their family's needs.

Ontario's housing supply crisis is a problem which has been decades in the making. It will take both short-term strategies and long-term commitment from all levels of government, the private sector, and not-for-profits to drive change. Each entity will have to do their part to be part of the solution to this crisis.

Ontario needs more housing, and we need it now. That's why the Ontario government is taking bold and transformative action to get 1.5 million homes built over the next 10 years.

To support Ontario's More Homes Built Faster: Ontario's Housing Supply Action Plan: 2022-2023, the government introduced the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022, which, if passed, would ensure that cities, towns, and rural communities grow with a mix of ownership and rental housing types that meet the needs of all Ontarians. These visionary changes will place Ontario at the forefront of housing policy in North America.

These changes are providing a solid foundation to address Ontario's housing supply crisis over the long term and will be supplemented by continued action in the future.

The Provincial Policy Statement, 2020 (PPS) and A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (A Place to Grow) both provide comprehensive, integrated, whole-of-government policy direction on land use planning matters including:

Growth management, housing and economic development;
Infrastructure planning and investment, such as sewage, water and stormwater management services, transportation, transit, energy supply and corridor protection;
Protection and management of resources, such as aggregates, natural heritage, water, cultural heritage, recreation and prime agricultural areas; and
Protection of public health and safety, such as mitigating potential risks due to natural and human-made hazards.
Both policy documents aim to support the achievement of liveable communities, a thriving economy, a clean and healthy environment and social equity, improving the quality of life for all Ontarians.

The PPS is issued under the Planning Act and is the primary provincial land use planning policy document, applying across Ontario. A Place to Grow is a growth plan issued under the Places to Grow Act, 2005. It works with the Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan to provide a more detailed framework for where and how growth should be accommodated in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Provincial plans build upon the policy foundation of the PPS, providing additional land use policy direction to address issues facing specific geographic areas of Ontario. All provincial plans are to be read in conjunction with the PPS.

Under the Planning Act, planning decisions shall be consistent with policy statements such as the PPS and shall conform with provincial plans like A Place to Grow.

Policies of the PPS are outcome-oriented, and some policies allow flexibility in their implementation provided that the original intent of the policy is upheld.

Planning decisions under A Place to Grow must demonstrate that provincial direction is explicitly satisfied, such as including specific population and employment forecasts in official plans, to ensure provincial interests are protected across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The anticipated regulatory impacts of the proposal may vary in the short-term, depending on the status of a municipality's work to update their official plan. Over time, it is anticipated that the impacts would be positive as the proposed changes are intended to create a streamlined province-wide land use planning policy framework that provides greater flexibility for municipalities to approve housing faster and increase housing supply. While there are no new administrative costs associated with this proposal, depending upon when new policy is brought not effect, some municipalities in the process of updating official plans may experience additional administrative costs if they are required to revise their work
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
October 25, 2022
Comments Due Date:
December 30, 2022