Infrastructure Master Plan

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A growth-focused plan for Ottawa’s water resource systems

The Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP) is a strategic document that sets growth-related goals, objectives, and priorities for municipal infrastructure related to water purification and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and stormwater management, supporting the City’s New Official Plan project. The Official Plan provides a vision for the future growth of the City and a policy framework to guide the City’s physical development.

A key focus of the updated IMP will include developing strategies and programs aimed at managing infrastructure capacity to support increasing rates of intensification. Projects will be identified in order to achieve expected levels of service for community infrastructure while being socially, environmentally, and economically conscious of our water resources and assisting to implement the City’s climate change strategy. Infrastructure needs and cost forecasts to the year 2046 will also be identified, in keeping with the Official Plan’s horizon.

Preparation of the plan will follow City Council’s adoption of the Official Plan and will be coordinated with the Long Range Financial Plan, the Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review, the Comprehensive Asset Management (CAM) and the Wet Weather Infrastructure Management Plan.



A growth-focused plan for Ottawa’s water resource systems

The Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP) is a strategic document that sets growth-related goals, objectives, and priorities for municipal infrastructure related to water purification and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, and stormwater management, supporting the City’s New Official Plan project. The Official Plan provides a vision for the future growth of the City and a policy framework to guide the City’s physical development.

A key focus of the updated IMP will include developing strategies and programs aimed at managing infrastructure capacity to support increasing rates of intensification. Projects will be identified in order to achieve expected levels of service for community infrastructure while being socially, environmentally, and economically conscious of our water resources and assisting to implement the City’s climate change strategy. Infrastructure needs and cost forecasts to the year 2046 will also be identified, in keeping with the Official Plan’s horizon.

Preparation of the plan will follow City Council’s adoption of the Official Plan and will be coordinated with the Long Range Financial Plan, the Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review, the Comprehensive Asset Management (CAM) and the Wet Weather Infrastructure Management Plan.



  • Infrastructure Master Plan Update (report to Committee and Council)

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    The draft Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP) has been updated following the Province’s removal of urban expansion lands from the City’s Official Plan in December 2023. With the recent passing of Bill 162, the City’s Official Plan is now final. A new set of display boards has been prepared to summarize the changes to the IMP since the June 2023 public consultation period.

    A Special Joint Meeting of the Planning and Housing Committee and the Environment and Climate Change Committee will be held on June 20, 2024 to consider a staff report on the final draft of the Infrastructure Master Plan and will be considered by Council on June 26, 2024. The report and all documentation related to the Infrastructure Master Plan will be made available on the City's agendas and minutes web portal(External link) on June 11, 2024.

    Once the Infrastructure Master Plan receives Council approval, the City will publish a Notice of Master Plan to initiate a 30-day public review period. Following the 30-day public review period, receipt and resolution of any comments received, the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment requirements for Master Plans will have been satisfied and the IMP will be considered final.

  • Postponed - Infrastructure Master Plan (report to Committee and Council)

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    Please be advised that the Special Joint Planning and Housing and Environment and Climate Change Committees Meeting that was rescheduled to Thursday, November 23, at 9:30 am has been postponed. This meeting will be rescheduled to a date to be determined in 2024.

    A revised Special Meeting notice with a new meeting date will be communicated to as soon as it is confirmed.

  • Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP) - As We Heard It Report and Benefits to Existing (BTE) document release

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    The IMP project team is pleased to publish the As We Heard It (AWHI) report and Benefits to Existing (BTE) document.

    This AWHI report embodies the project team's commitment to gathering, analyzing, and integrating comprehensive feedback from community groups, residents and industry experts. The report summarizes feedback from the June public engagement on the summary of the draft IMP.

    We also share the draft Benefits to Existing (BTE) document, which explains the basis for attributing IMP project costs to existing ratepayers. The balance of project costs would be covered by the development industry.

  • Public engagement period closed

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    The City of Ottawa would like to thank all the residents and stakeholders who have participated in Engagement sessions.

    We heard from many key stakeholders through public surveys, engagement sessions, and meetings. The feedback will be used to develop the draft Infrastructure Master Plan, which will be presented to Committee and Council.

    There continue to be several ways you can stay informed and engaged throughout the study process:

    • Sign-up to the project’s email list to receive updates on the planning study’s progress and notification of all public events (imp-pdi@ottawa.ca)
    • Visit this webpage to stay up-to-date about upcoming events and current information
    • Contact the Project Team during the process to request information, ask questions, submit feedback or meet in-person

    Your participation is vital in shaping our city's infrastructure future. Please take the opportunity to explore the updated policies, the informative display boards and share your feedback via the survey!

  • Have your say!

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    Updated Policies

    We have posted the revised policies that shape the IMP's strategic direction and objectives. These policies provide valuable insights into our city's infrastructure planning and development. Take a moment to explore these updates and gain a deeper understanding of our goals and priorities.

    Display Boards

    We have also added display boards. These boards provide a summary of the draft IMP which will be presented for Council approval this fall. They provide an easy-to-understand overview of how the IMP addresses growth needs through proposed new infrastructure projects and programs, considering greenfield development, intensification, climate change, infrastructure sustainability, and funding sources.

    Share Your Feedback

    Complete the survey to provide your feedback on the IMP. We recommend waiting until you have reviewed the policies and display boards, or after attending our upcoming engagement session on June 14 to complete the survey.

    Let's work together to build a sustainable and resilient future for our city's infrastructure. Thank you for your ongoing interest and involvement in the IMP.


  • Virtual open house and online consultation

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    Join the City of Ottawa on June 14, 2023, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm for a virtual open house on the draft Infrastructure Master Plan. The meeting will include a presentation of the outcomes from work completed following the consultations from summer 2022 and will allow the opportunity for the public to provide comments and ask questions of the study team.

    This public consultation will also provide the following:

    • A review of the study objectives and environmental assessment (EA) process as a Master Plan
    • An overview of feedback on and edits to draft infrastructure policies
    • A presentation of draft recommended infrastructure projects
    • A presentation on recommended programs to support intensification
    • A look at next steps

    Register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Comments throughout the Infrastructure Master Plan Study can also be provided by emailing imp-pdi@ottawa.ca. The Study is being conducted per the requirements of Phases 1 and 2 of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment, which is an approved process under the Environmental Assessment Act. Any comments received will be collected under the Act and, with the exception of personal information, will become part of the public record.

    Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa. The City makes every effort to consider accessibility issues in its EA studies and encourages the participation of disability group representatives in consultations. Accessible formats and communication supports are available upon request. Please get in touch with the City of Ottawa’s Project Manager if you require accessibility-related accommodations.

    For further information or to provide comments, please contact:

    Chris Rogers, P.Eng.
    Program Manager, Infrastructure Planning
    City of Ottawa
    110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th floor
    Ottawa ON K1P 1J1
    Email: imp-pdi@ottawa.ca
    613-580-2424, ext. 27785

  • As we heard it report

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    Thank you to everyone who participated in the consultations on the Preliminary Policies and Program Recommendations of the Infrastructure Master Plan (May to July 2022). The IMP Team have reviewed and responded to the feedback received. The following document provides summaries of those comments:

    As we heard it report

    There will be another opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed IMP in late Spring 2023. More details will soon follow on Engage Ottawa!

  • Infrastructure Master Plan Schedule

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    The following are the project’s key milestones and anticipated dates:

    • City of Ottawa Council adoption of New Official Plan ─ October 2021
    • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Approval of New Official Plan – November 2022
    • Infrastructure Master Plan Public Engagement Event ─ Q2 2023
    • City of Ottawa Planning Committee to consider Infrastructure Master Plan ─ Q3 2023
  • Preliminary Policies and Program Recommendations

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    The preliminary policies and program recommendations of the Infrastructure Master Plan (IMP) is now ready for review. The draft document includes detailed infrastructure-related policies that support the New Official Plan and provide clarification on City expectations related to infrastructure planning, approvals, and implementation. It also includes new program recommendations to support intensification.

    Resident and stakeholder input regarding this document is being requested at this stage and will be taken into account as the City prepares the draft final IMP for consideration by City Council. If you have any comments or feedback on the document, please fill out the feedback form by July 22, 2022.

  • Infrastructure Master Plan Components

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    Development of the IMP is currently in progress, including several major components that address drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater management required to support the Official Plan objectives. The IMP will also enable associated greenfield and intensification development in urban areas and rural villages. A status update on key aspects of the plan and preliminary conclusions are provided below.


    Intensification Capacity Management

    The City is completing several studies to support the management of infrastructure capacity as intensification increases in existing neighbourhoods. These studies fall into the following three categories:

    • Review of best practices in place in other major Canadian cities;
    • Analysis of local water distribution and wastewater collection systems performance in existing neighbourhoods; and
    • Review of strategic options for managing stormwater.

    Through these studies, the following must be taken into consideration when developing the new IMP:

    • Existing grading and development constraints limit opportunities to improve storm drainage system capacities;
    • A regulatory mechanism will be required to enforce on-site stormwater management on virtually all intensification development projects where there is an increase in imperviousness. The proposed approach includes development of a design guide, sizing tables, approved servicing concept illustrations and standard drawings to simplify the design process for property owners;
    • New City programs will be required to identify and prioritize upgrades to local water and sanitary systems based on intensification development pressure, asset condition, and existing system vulnerabilities; and
    • A growth financing mechanism, such as Development Charges, will be needed to support these programs.

    Early findings from these studies indicate that water and wastewater system capacity is available to support significant increases in intensification in most areas of the City. The key reasons for this are as follows:

    • Per capita water demands have been dropping steadily over the last 30 years;
    • Redevelopment in many areas of the City provides opportunities to remove wet weather flow from the sanitary sewer system; for example, through elimination of existing foundation drain connections;
    • On-site stormwater management provides opportunities to reduce flows to the City’s combined sewers, allowing capacity for future sanitary flows;
    • Local watermain sizing is not typically governed by average daily water demand;
    • Pipe sizing standards govern the sizing of the upstream sections of local sanitary networks.


    Water and Wastewater Master Plans

    Studies to support updated Water and Wastewater Master Plans are in progress to identify the major infrastructure projects needed to support growth to 2046 and beyond. These major projects will account for land use intensification, greenfield development on vacant urban lands in established areas, and any urban expansion lands approved by Council in February 2021.

    Detailed models of the existing water distribution system and wastewater collection system have been improved, updated, and calibrated based on monitoring data to support development of the Water and Wastewater Master Plans.

    Gross City-wide projections were approved by Council in May 2021. Detailed local projections are currently being developed, which consider greenfield development and intensification-based development to support preparation of the plans.


    Stormwater Master Plan

    An updated Stormwater Master Plan (SMP) is also an important aspect of the IMP update. Generally, major stormwater infrastructure required to support greenfield development will continue to be planned and implemented by the development industry, subject to City approval processes. The Stormwater Master Plan will include recommendations for City-wide studies and programs, processes, and policies required to ensure resilience of Stormwater Management (SWM) systems and protection of receiving watercourses. It will also establish high-level requirements for stormwater management in expansion areas, including on sites with Low Impact Development (LID). LID involves the management and reduction of runoff as close to the site as possible to better mitigate impacts on receiving watercourses, compared to conventional approaches which treat stormwater at downstream locations.

    The SMP will include an overview of existing and future conditions, including constraints and opportunities associated with existing infrastructure and natural drainage systems. Future conditions will consider local climate projections. The SMP also presents the strategy for developing stormwater management retrofit plans in existing development areas.


    Rural Servicing

    Expansion to the City’s village boundaries are not being contemplated in the New Official Plan. As such, it is not anticipated that any new infrastructure projects to support village growth will be identified in the IMP. However, the IMP will provide a status report on village development and the supporting infrastructure projects that were identified in previous editions of the IMP. Private servicing issues in the rural area will also be reviewed.

Page last updated: 06 Jun 2024, 02:41 PM