Official Plan Review 2020 to 2022

About the project

The City is working to review and update its Official Plan to conform to 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.

The Official Plan Review is occurring concurrently with Shaping Guelph. Shaping Guelph is exploring how and where Guelph can grow over the next 30 years to meet provincial forecasts and targets in a way that works for Guelph. The Official Plan review and Shaping Guelph will result in an Official Plan amendment(s) to ensure Official Plan conformity with provincial legislation and policies.

Official Plan Amendment 80 provides the policy and schedule changes for the Shaping Guelph: Official Plan Review.

Official Plan Amendment 80

The Official Plan Review Policy Paper was received by the Committee of the Whole on May 3, 2021 and City Council on May 31.

Project timeline

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

Community engagement

The OP Official Plan (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 has been developed to address key aspects of the Official Plan review. The community engagement plan and consultation process goes above and beyond the minimum statutory requirements of the Planning Act. Over the course of 2021, the City undertook several engagement opportunities to receive feedback on the Official Plan Review Policy Paper. A Policy Paper Engagement Summary Report is available for review


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 and was subsequently amended in August 2020.

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 and Building Services
[email protected]