High Performance Development Standard Requirements for Draft Plan of Subdivision

A subdivision is land that has been divided into multiple lots for the purpose of development. These lots may be developed individually, or as a group. They may be used for a range of uses such as residential, commercial or institutional lots depending on the designation of the land in the Official Plan and Zoning By-law. The purpose of a draft plan of subdivision is to:

  • develop land in an orderly manner by making sure that the proper infrastructure and municipal services will be in place, if they are not already
  • manage the effect of development of the proposed subdivision on matters of provincial interest

There are 3 Tier 1 requirements or “metrics” that will apply to Plan of Subdivision applications.

1.1 Community Energy Plan

The Community Energy Plan ensures communities plan for the infrastructure necessary to move toward zero emissions and enables solutions that are only available if planned on community scale. For example, district energy is most efficient and cost effective when accounted for along with the other utility plans. Another example is that currently there are limitations on the electrical grid infrastructure’s capacity to connect to local renewable energy sources. This limits the number of net zero homes which may be constructed in any given area.


Complete a Community Energy Plan as per the terms of reference document.

1.2 Trees

Trees are an important part of our natural systems supporting natural species, managing heat island impacts, and supporting natural storm water management. To ensure healthy long living trees with large canopies, sufficient soil is critical. The standard lays out the planting requirements to support long term health and growth of the site’s trees.


Volume of high-quality soil sufficient to support canopy cover on the site, as recommended in the City’s Tree Planting Guidelines.

30 m3 high quality soil required for street trees. Soil calculation can include continuous soil on private or public property. High quality soil excludes compacted soil, further details are provided in the Landscape Plan Terms of Reference.

Trees to be maintained and warrantied for a minimum of 2 years.

1.3 Planting

Climate projections suggest that we can expect more frequent summertime drought conditions in the coming decades. Plant selection is important for maintaining the long term health of greenspace set out in landscape design and address impacts to the larger natural heritage system. For this reason, the standard restricts invasive species and requires a large proportion of drought tolerant species.


Landscape plan to include no invasive species and target a minimum 50% native plant species. Drought tolerant and pollinator friendly plant species preferred.

Vegetated buffers to be 100% native vegetation.

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