Official Plan review 2020-2022

About the project

The City is working to review and update its Official Plan to conform with changes to Provincial legislation and policies by July 1, 2022.

Guelph’s Official Plan (OP) is a legal planning document that establishes a vision for the future of the municipality and provides policy direction to manage future land use patterns and growth. An OP covers:

  • How land can be used, whether it should be used for houses, industry, offices, commercial, parks, natural areas or a mix of uses;
  • What services, like roads, sewers, parks and schools are needed; and,
  • When, and in what order, parts of the municipality will grow.

Revisions to the Official Plan will ensure Guelph conforms and is consistent with:

  • Recent amendments to the Planning Act,
  • Recent amendments to the Clean Water Act,
  • The Provincial Policy Statement (2020), and
  • A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2019).

To initiate a five-year review of an Official Plan, the Planning Act requires a special meeting of Council, open to the public, be held to discuss OP revisions that may be required.

Latest updates

Project timeline

Q1/Q2 2021: Policy paper(s) to be prepared and released for public review and comment
Q3/Q4 2021: Draft Official Plan policies and OP amendment to be prepared and released for public review and comment
Q1/Q2 2022: Recommended OP amendment to be brought forward for Council’s consideration

Community engagement

The OP review will include the following community touch points for input:

  • Special meeting of Council to discuss OP revisions that may be required
  • Release of a policy paper or papers
  • Statutory open house to discuss draft OP policies
  • Statutory public meeting (as part of a Council meeting) to discuss draft OP policies
  • Council decision meeting

A community engagement plan will be developed to address key aspects of the Official Plan review. The community engagement plan and consultation process will go above and beyond the minimum statutory requirements of the Planning Act.


The Provincial Planning Act (Section 26) requires that the City’s Official Plan be reviewed every five years (or ten years after the approval of a new Official Plan) to ensure it conforms to Provincial legislation, policy and plans.

The City adopted its last comprehensive review of the Official Plan in June 2012 (known as OPA 48) which was approved by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in October 2017, with some exceptions.

Since 2017, the Province has updated the Planning Act and the Clean Water Act and released a new Growth Plan and Provincial Policy Statement. The new Provincial Policy Statement came into effect on May 1, 2020 and A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (APTG) came into effect in 2019.

To bring Guelph’s Official Plan into conformity with APTG, it is necessary to complete a municipal comprehensive review (MCR) that will determine where and how Guelph will grow to 2051, and plan to achieve the targets for the built-up area, designated greenfield area and downtown, known as the urban growth centre. This work, known as Shaping Guelph, is in progress.

Resources and documents

For more information

Planning Services
[email protected]