The New Official Plan

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The City of Ottawa's Official Plan provides a vision for the future growth of the city and a policy framework to guide the city's physical development. In 2019, the City of Ottawa is beginning a multi-year process to develop a new Official Plan. This page will be your hub for all updates, proposed policy and opportunities to provide feedback.

Below you will see an Updates and Engage section. Updates will be where you can get all new information on the Official Plan, for example any FAQ's, blogs, and draft policies.

After reviewing the information provided, we invite you to participate through the different feedback opportunities in the Engage section. Both sections will be continuously updated throughout the Official Plan process.

This website is also a tool to support residents' engaging their communities in the new Official Plan. Check out the Toolkit section to get a step by step guide for reaching new people in the Official Plan process.

The City of Ottawa's Official Plan provides a vision for the future growth of the city and a policy framework to guide the city's physical development. In 2019, the City of Ottawa is beginning a multi-year process to develop a new Official Plan. This page will be your hub for all updates, proposed policy and opportunities to provide feedback.

Below you will see an Updates and Engage section. Updates will be where you can get all new information on the Official Plan, for example any FAQ's, blogs, and draft policies.

After reviewing the information provided, we invite you to participate through the different feedback opportunities in the Engage section. Both sections will be continuously updated throughout the Official Plan process.

This website is also a tool to support residents' engaging their communities in the new Official Plan. Check out the Toolkit section to get a step by step guide for reaching new people in the Official Plan process.

  • 15 Minute Neighbourhood

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    6 days ago

    The new Official Plan is a document that describes how the city will grow and has a goal to be the most liveable mid-sized city in North America. To achieve this goal, Five Big Moves were adopted to frame new Official Plan, including the concept of 15-minute neighbourhoods. 

    What do we mean when we say a 15-minute neighbourhood? It is a neighbourhood where you can access most of your day-to-day needs within a 15-minute walk from your home, including when using a wheelchair or other mobility aids, on sidewalks or pathways.  

    A 15-minute neighbourhood is a neighbourhood where you can walk to get to the grocery store, where you can easily walk to frequent transit, and where children can safely walk to school.    

    Walkable, 15-minute neighbourhoods reduce our dependency on cars, promote equity, social connections and a greater sense of community, foster physical and mental health, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  

    Learn more about the connection between health and our built environment here.

    We'd love to hear what makes a successful 15 minute neighbourhood for you! Please take a few minutes to complete this survey, it will close on September 4th, 2020.

  • New Official Plan Growth Management Strategy

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    4 months ago

    The new Official Plan provides a strategy and policy framework to guide development and growth over a 28-year period from July 2018 to July 2046. Over this period Ottawa is projected to grow by about 402,000 persons, reaching a city-wide population of over 1.4 million people.

    This growth will require in the order of 195,000 new residential units. The strategy and policy framework to accommodate this growth and the development of these units is to be established by the new Official Plan policy directions.

    Please see the proposed Growth Management Strategy and related documents below:

    New Official Plan Growth Management Strategy Report

    Residential Growth Management Strategy for the New Official Plan

    Selected Growth Management Policies, Provincial Policy Statement 2020

    Vacant Urban Residential Land Survey

    Village Residential Land Survey

    Analysis of Residential Net to Gross Ratios in the City of Ottawa

    Urban Expansion Detailed Evaluation Criteria

    Stakeholder Comments and Response to Urban Expansion Criteria

    Learn how to participate in the joint Agricultural and Rural Affairs meeting on May 11th, 2020 here.

  • Preliminary Policy Directions

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    8 months ago

    The Preliminary Policy Directions are more detailed policy ideas for the New Official Plan, building on the 5 Big Moves. They recommend:


    • a new framework of urban designations intended to better address neighbourhood context,
    • a proposed approach to growth management with intensification focusing on low-rise building forms along corridors and nodes,
    • improved support for active transportation and better alignment of land use and transportation policies, revisions to the employment area policies,
    • integration of public health,
    • climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation policies throughout the Plan,
    • and revised policies for the rural area that will support rural and village character and rural economic development.

    Read more details in the following reports:


  • The 5 Big Moves

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    almost 1 year ago

    A New Official Plan

    The City is rewriting its Official Plan- the strategic document that describes how the city will grow over time, where we will place major infrastructure, and what policies will be in place to support economic growth and guide the development and evolution of communities. The purpose of this review is to position Ottawa to be flexible, resilient, and, above all, a city where people want to live, work, and play.

    Preliminary Policy Directions

    The City is proposing to make a number of significant policy changes through the Official Plan to make Ottawa the most liveable mid sized city in North America. Known as the ‘Five Big Moves’, the following statements capture the most significant policy proposals for the new Official Plan:

    1. Growth: Achieve, by the end of its planning period, more growth by intensification than by greenfield development. This growth will provide a variety of affordable housing options for residents.

    2. Mobility: By 2046, the majority of trips in the City of Ottawa will be made by sustainable transportation.

    3. Urban Design: Improve our sophistication in urban and community design, and put this knowledge to the service of good urbanism at all scales, from the largest to the very small.

    4. Resiliency: Embed public health, environmental, climate and energy resiliency into the framework of our planning policies.

    5. Economy: Embed economic development into the framework of our planning policies.

    Read the full 5 Big Moves report here.

    Read the full report to Planning Committee and Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee here.
  • Official Plan Toolkit Hub

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    about 1 year ago

    Welcome to the Official Plan Toolkit!

    The toolkit has 4 sections: The New Official Plan, Plan, Connect, and Share. The various sections will provide information on the project, engagement and feedback tools, and how you can provide your feedback into the Official Plan. The image above illustrates how these sections work together.

    Download the Toolkit.

    Help us track the local workshops by emailing newop@ottawa.ca to let us about your outreach plan.

    Note, as more information is developed for the new Official Plan, the Toolkit will be regularly updated with new Workshop Rubrics, etc.

  • FAQ's

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    about 1 year ago

    Why a new Official Plan?

    Ottawa has changed dramatically since it was incorporated in 1855, when it was a small lumber town of 16,000 people. This year, the City of Ottawa will reach one million people and the Ottawa-Gatineau Metropolitan region will reach 1.5 million people.

    Our current Official Plan is from 2003 - a response to the needs of the newly amalgamated city. Our region will hit 2-3 million people by the end of the century - our needs are evolving, change is accelerating. Resiliency and adaptability are needed.

    What is an Official Plan?

    An Official Plan provides the policy framework to guide the city's physical development including:

    Regulating land use
    Managing growth and change in the urban, suburban and rural areas
    Planning for public works and infrastructure
    Planning for new communities and existing areas undergoing change
    Preserving natural systems providing for the wise use of resources

    Terms

    Don't understand some of the words in the report or survey? Check out this glossary of terms. If you have a word that isn't listed in the glossary, let us know and we will get a definition and add it!

    Can I see the Current Official Plan?

    You can get a sense of what such a plan looks like by reviewing the current Official Plan.


    What is the process for creating a New Official Plan?

    The process to create the new Official Plan is guided by requirements in the Planning Act and Provincial Policy Statement, 2014.

    The process will run in coordination with the reviews of the Infrastructure Master Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Greenspace Master Plan and the Development Charges By-law.

    All aspects of the Official Plan will be reviewed and updated, including secondary plans for urban neighbourhoods and rural Villages.

    The process will take place over the course of two years as follows:

    March 2019 to August 2019

    Discussion papers on key issues facing the city released on March 4, 2019

    Ongoing public consultations on discussion papers

    August 2019 to September 2019

    In response to comments on the discussion papers and the findings of the Beyond 2036 planning study, a report will be presented at a joint meeting of Planning Committee and Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee on August 22, 2019 and Council on September 11, 2019. The report will contain:

    1. High level preliminary policy directions;
    2. Draft projections for total population, housing and jobs to 2046;
    3. Draft growth strategies.

    A link to the report in the Committee agendas and minutes will be available on August 12, 2019;

    Public consultations on the high level policy directions will occur through September 2019.

    September 2019 to December 2019

    Detailed policy directions will be prepared for the new Official Plan and presented in a report at a public meeting held under Section 26 of the Planning Act in December 2019;

    Council will give direction to table a draft Official Plan in June 2020, based on the policy directions in the December report;

    The December report will include a description of:

    • Detailed policy directions to be included in the Plan;
    • Growth strategy for the city including growth projections and, if necessary, adoption of criteria for site evaluation for expansion areas, and;
    • Direction on secondary plans, site- specific policies and community design plans.

    January 2020 to October 2020

    A draft Official Plan will be prepared during this time, based on policy directions approved by Council in December 2019.

    October 2020 to July 2021

    The draft Official Plan will be tabled in October 2020;

    Following tabling of the draft Official Plan, a 90-day statutory circulation to the public, technical agencies and Ministry will occur;

    July 2021

    Council adopts new Official Plan.

    Following adoption by Council, the Plan will be sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The Ministry has up to six months to review and approve the Official Plan. Approval by the Ministry is expected by late-2021.


  • Economic Development and New Official Plan Panel

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    6 months ago

    You are invited to join the City of Ottawa for a Panel on Economic Development and the new Official Plan. The City of Ottawa's new Official Plan will provide a vision for the future growth of the city and guide the city's physical development.

    On Tuesday, February 18th, we have four fantastic panelists, each with a unique understanding of economic potential here in Ottawa. An English language moderated panel discussion will explore how the new Official Plan can help foster this economic development potential.

    After the panel discussion, there will be an opportunity for you to ask the panelists your own questions.

    Following the Q and A you are welcome to stay for some light refreshments and the opportunity to network with panelists and other attendees.

    5:00 pm – 8:00 pm February 18th, 2020

    Ottawa Art Gallery, Alma Duncan Salon

    Please register to attend the event here. Please note there is limited seating.

    We couldn’t be more excited to engage you and the panel in an important discussion that can help shape the economic future of our great city. See the panelists profiles below to learn more about them:

    Manjit Basi: An entrepreneur and leadership coach with diverse experience in business, philanthropy, and the voluntary sector. She is fascinated by the human dynamics that power up organizations and communities. Her work is inspired by the belief that people have a remarkable ability to learn and change. Manjit partners with clients to dive deep into radical self-awareness, generosity, and curiosity in order to gain radical agility and see more possibilities.

    She was a Co-Founder of Synapcity, a not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to accelerate collaboration, participatory city-making, and engagement across people, communities, and sectors.

    For 21 years, Manjit owned 4 locations of The Body Shop (1987 – 2008) where she obtained an experiential and alternative MBA with a global brand that was a rabble-rouser and trail blazer in social entrepreunership and “business as unusual”. She leans into organizations where purpose, people, planet, and profits collectively thrive.

    Alongside her business pursuits, Manjit holds a deep commitment to community; she volunteers in various capacities at the grassroots level and board governance. She has a quirky brain that’s secretly run by a generous heart.

    Yancy Craig: Vice President Indigenous and Government Relations at Indspire. Indspire is an Indigenous-led registered charity that invests in the education of Indigenous people for the long term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire disburses financial awards, delivers programs, and shares resources with the goal of closing the gap in Indigenous education.

    Through the K-12 Indspire Institute, it provides resources to educators, communities, and other stakeholders who are committed to improving kindergarten to grade 12 success for Indigenous youth. In 2015-16, Indspire awarded over $12.2 million through 3,792 scholarships and bursaries to Indigenous students across Canada. Each year, the organization presents the Indspire Awards, a gala celebration of the successes achieved by Indigenous people.

    Mandi Lunan: is the former owner of Auntie Loo’s Bakery and now works as a food business coach and consultant for small food business entrepreneurs.

    Mandi Lunan Food Business Coach is unique from similar services in the field as she brings over a decade of real life experience as an owner here in the small business culinary community. Mandi has now worked with over 150 small culinary businesses in North America and beyond.

    Mandi has worked with diverse clients in all stages of the business life cycle in North America and beyond since 2016.

    Zainab Muse: The CEO & Founder, Wingd Inc. and Creatorland, she is an award-winning entrepreneur, process designer, interactive digital media expert and filmmaker. Some of her core mandates include advocating for youth leadership, women & newcomer entrepreneurship, digital transformation and diversity + inclusion in the workplace.

    Not only has she been recognized as an Ottawa ambassador, she was also recently named one of the 'Top 10 Shifters in Ottawa' in 2018, and in 2019 was awarded 'Entrepreneur of the Year' by the Women in Communications & Technology (WCT). Also in 2019, she became the first Canadian Chapter Lead for Singapore/New York based organization, SoGal Foundation, with a mission to close the diversity gap in entrepreneurship.

  • Indigenous Community Conversation

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    6 months ago


  • Defining Ottawa Together: Culture in the Official Plan

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    10 months ago

    On Thursday, October 17 from 2 to 6 pm in Council Chambers at Ottawa City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, the City's Cultural Development and Initiatives Section hosted an open event called Defining Ottawa Together: Culture in the Official Plan. This public engagement session aimed to define the future of Ottawa through culture. Ideas were proposed and places/spaces were identified.

    Click here to see where the ideas from that session will live, and where you can participate from Friday, October 18 to Sunday, October 27 even if you couldn't join the session

  • Discussion Papers

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    almost 1 year ago

    What are the big issues facing the city? Nine discussion papers outline some of the main themes of the Official Plan review and identify ideas for moving forward.

    The Building Blocks for a Healthy Ottawa discussion paper

    The Building Blocks for a Healthy Ottawa highlight sheet

    Climate Adaptation and Resiliency discussion paper

    Climate Adaptation and Resiliency highlight sheet

    The Economy discussion paper

    The Economy highlight sheet

    Energy discussion paper

    Energy highlight sheet

    The Greater Ottawa-Gatineau Area discussion paper

    The Greater Ottawa-Gatineau Area highlight sheet

    Housing discussion paper

    Housing highlight sheet

    Infrastructure and Water Management discussion paper

    Infrastructure and Water Management highlight sheet

    Natural Ottawa discussion paper

    Natural Ottawa highlight sheet

    Rural Ottawa discussion paper

    Rural Ottawa highlight sheet