Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor, Kanata North

Complete, affordable, liveable communities are the goal in new Official Plan

The City’s updated Official Plan, tabled at Planning Committee today (June 25), charts a course of affordable growth, with strong support for developing liveable, more complete communities that offer residents a sustainable mix of housing, employment and recreation uses.

A draft version of the Official Plan Amendment ─ the proposed updated plan ─ was presented to the Committee. The City’s planners are proposing some strategic changes to the plan, rather than a wholesale rethink of the document, which guides Ottawa’s development.

“Ottawa is moving forward with a plan that we can afford and that will deliver on our promise of building the liveable city,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “We are working to have greater certainty in our land-development planning process to continue to build a beautiful capital and support growth of the city’s economy.”

“The goal of building an environmentally and financially sustainable city has not changed with this review of the Official Plan,” said Councillor Peter Hume, Chair of the Planning Committee. “What we’re focusing on is refining and updating the plan, with practical strategies to guide development and provide greater clarity for residents and developers.”

The proposed changes to the Official Plan include these highlights:

  • Setting maximum building heights for all parts of the city
  • Strengthening the authority of community design plans with respect to building height and density within their boundaries
  • Introducing new policies for urban design city-wide, including new design criteria for high-rise buildings
  • Promoting transit-oriented development
  • Clarifying where intensification can occur outside of the target areas
  • Reclassifying portions of Walkley Road, St. Laurent Boulevard, Ogilvie Road, Innes Road and Carling Avenue as main streets
  • Changing some lands to employment uses to support economic development and growth
  • Protecting natural corridors throughout the city
  • Designating additional rural properties as bedrock resource area for future extraction
  • Focussing rural growth in the villages
  • Making the prohibition on country lot subdivisions permanent, but allowing two severances on rural properties

The draft Official Plan changes are being tabled today and will be subject to extensive consultation with the general public, community and business groups, public open houses as well as technical comment by various City departments over the summer and fall.

The revised Official Plan will be considered by Planning Committee and Council in the fall, in tandem with a revised Transportation Master Plan, Pedestrian Plan, Cycling Plan and Infrastructure Master Plan. These updated plans will form the basis for a new Development Charges By-law to be considered by Council next year.

A copy of the staff report and draft Official Plan amendment is available on

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