Intensification

Table 3.5 at the end of this section details the municipal intensification rates across the Region. Three trends are clear.

First, in the Inner Ring, all municipalities have adopted the 40% intensification figure, with two exceptions. Since the City of Toronto’s municipal jurisdiction is entirely built out, all development there can be considered intensification, and the minimum target is therefore irrelevant. And the Region of Peel has proposed to increase the intensification target over time to 50% by 2026. The remaining Inner Ring municipalities do not appear to be promoting intensification beyond the required minimum rate required by the Growth Plan. That is, what was intended to be a minimum requirement is apparently being treated as a maximum by most municipalities.

Second, in the Outer Ring, of the upper- and single-tier municipalities, nine have adopted the 40% target, five have set lower targets (ranging from 15 to 32%), and only one (Waterloo Region) has opted to set a higher target (45%). Interestingly, those municipalities that have chosen lower targets are not necessarily the most rural or slowest-growing municipalities in the region. Table 3.3 compares the growth rate of each municipality to its intensification rate. Figure 3.2 shows the variation of targets at the level of single- and upper-tier municipalities.

Third, upper-tier municipalities, which have the authority to set minimum intensification targets for their constituent municipalities,[1] have done so in a variety of ways. Some have set the same target rate for all lower-tier municipalities, and some have assigned individual rates for individual lower-tier municipalities, ranging from a low of zero to a high of 95%.

Table 3.3: Intensification rates and population growth forecasts for single- and upper-tier municipalities

Municipalities

2001 Population Forecast1

2031 Population Forecast1

Forecast Population Increase 2001-2031

Forecast Population Increase 2001-2031 (%)

2041 Population Forecast2

Forecast Population Increase 2001-2041

% Forecast Population Increase 2001-2041

Minimum Intensification Rate Target (%)3

City of Toronto

2,590,000

3,080,000

490,000

19%

3,400,000

810,000

31%

Not Applicable4

Region of Durham

530,000

960,000

430,000

81%

1,190,000

660,000

125%

40%

Region of York

760,000

1,500,000

740,000

97%

1,790,000

1,030,000

136%

40%

Region of Peel

1,030,000

1,640,000

610,000

59%

1,970,000

940,000

91%

40%

(50% in 2026)

Region of Halton

390,000

780,000

390,000

100%

1,000,000

610,000

156%

40%

City of Hamilton

510,000

660,000

150,000

29%

780,000

270,000

53%

40%

County of Northumberland

80,000

96,000

16,000

20%

110,000

30,000

38%

40%

County of Peterborough

56,000

61,000

5,000

9%

76,000

20,000

36%

40%

City of Peterborough

74,000

88,000

14,000

19%

115,000

41,000

55%

40%

City of Kawartha Lakes

72,000

100,000

28,000

39%

107,000

35,000

49%

30%

County of Simcoe

254,000

416,000

162,000

64%

497,000

243,000

96%

32%

City of Barrie

108,000

210,000

102,000

94%

253,000

145,000

134%

40%

City of Orillia

30,000

41,000

11,000

37%

46,000

16,000

53%

40%

County of Dufferin

53,000

80,000

27,000

51%

85,000

32,000

60%

40%

County of Wellington

85,000

122,000

37,000

44%

140,000

55,000

65%

20%

City of Guelph

110,000

175,000

65,000

59%

191,000

81,000

74%

40%

Region of Waterloo

456,000

729,000

273,000

60%

835,000

379,000

83%

45%

County of Brant

35,000

47,000

12,000

34%

57,000

22,000

63%

15%

City of Brantford

94,000

126,000

32,000

34%

163,000

69,000

73%

40%

County of Haldimand

46,000

56,000

10,000

22%

64,000

18,000

39%

32%

Region of Niagara

427,000

511,000

84,000

20%

610,000

183,000

43%

40%

1 Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006, Office Consolidation, January 2012, Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure.
2 Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006, Office Consolidation, June 2013, Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure.
3 Upper- and single-tier municipal official plans and correspondence between the Minister of Infrastructure and upper- and single-tier municipalities, See Table 3.5
4 The City of Toronto is fully built out, therefore all development can be considered intensification.
Figure 3.2: Adoption of minimum intensification targets by upper- and single-tier municipalities

What does this patchwork of different rates mean? For one thing, it suggests a somewhat arbitrary and inconsistent distribution of minimum intensification targets across the Region. Waterloo Region, which is planning to achieve a 45% intensification rate at both the upper-tier level and for each of its lower tiers, shares a border with Wellington County, which plans to achieve a 20% intensification rate, and with Brant County, which is using a 15% intensification target.

For another, it means that decisions about growth at the lower-tier level are very much in the hands of upper-tier municipalities, and those municipalities appear to have a range of attitudes towards intensification. Some municipalities appear to have a greater willingness or desire to intensify than others.

Figure 3.3: Minimum intensification targets assigned to lower-tier municipalities

Third, although the basis for lowering the minimum intensification rate is the “size, location, and capacity” of the municipality in question, there appears to be no clear relationship between a municipality’s “size, location, and capacity” and its assigned intensification rate. For example, Niagara-on-the-Lake (pop. 15,400) and Port Colborne (pop. 18,400) in Niagara Region are sizable, well-established lakefront communities without obvious servicing constraints, and both have an intensification rate of 15%. By comparison, the small and largely rural communities of North Dumfries (pop. 9,300) or the Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen (pop. 4,500) are assigned minimum intensification rates of 45 and 40%, respectively.

A policy in the Growth Plan requires municipalities that were already achieving rates of intensification higher than 40% to maintain those levels.[2] However, this policy would be difficult to implement, because there is no official record of earlier intensification rates that could be used to support this requirement.

Finally, 12 (or 15%) of the 89 lower-tier municipalities in the GGH have been exempted from the minimum intensification target (see Table 3.4). These 12 lower-tier municipalities were considered to have no delineated built-up area (the area to which intensification must be directed) in their municipality. That is, they had only undelineated built-up areas that include rural settlement areas without full municipal services and no development that could be considered a consolidated “urbanized” area.

Interestingly, five other lower-tier municipalities that have undelineated built-up areas (also listed in Table 3.4) have been assigned a 20% intensification target. These municipalities have a higher 2031 population forecast and a higher population growth rate compared with the municipalities using a 0% intensification target. Presumably the intent is to ensure that the existing towns and villages in these municipalities start to develop as more compact communities as they grow over the coming years.

Table 3.4: Minimum intensification rates for lower-tier municipalities without a delineated built boundary

Upper-tier Municipality

Lower-tier Municipality

Intensification Rate Target1

Built-Up Area2

2001 Census Population3

2001 Adjusted Population4

2031 Population Forecast5

Population Growth Forecast 2001-20316

Population Growth Forecast 2001-2031

(%)6

County of Northumberland

Township of Alnwick/Haldimand

0%

0 ha

5,846

6,092

7,200

1,108

18%

Township of Hamilton

0%

0 ha

10,785

11,238

12,080

842

7%

County of Peterborough

Township of Douro-Dummer

0%

0 ha

6,652

6,931

7,397

466

7%

Township of Galway-Cavendish and Harvey

0%

0 ha

4,372

4,556

4,919

363

8%

Township of North Kawartha

0%

0 ha

2,144

2,234

2,348

114

5%

Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan

0%

0 ha

6,669

6,949

7,407

458

7%

County of Dufferin

Town of Mono

0%

0 ha

6,922

7,213

9,770

2,557

35%

Township of Amaranth

0%

0 ha

3,770

3,928

4,680

752

19%

Township of East Garafraxa

0%

0 ha

2,214

2,307

3,150

843

37%

Township of Melancthon

0%

0 ha

2,796

2,913

3,410

497

17%

Township of Mulmur

0%

0 ha

3,099

3,229

4,290

1,061

33%

Region of Niagara

Township of Wainfleet

0%

0 ha

6,258

6,521

8,200

1,679

26%

County of Wellington

Town of Puslinch

20%

0 ha

5,885

6,132

8,200

2,068

34%

County of Simcoe

Township of Tiny

20%

0 ha

9,035

9,414

12,500

3,086

33%

Township of Ramara

20%

0 ha

8,615

8,977

13,000

4,023

45%

Township of Oro-Medonte

20%

0 ha

18,315

19,084

27,000

7,916

41%

Township of Adjala–Tosorontio

20%

0 ha

10,082

10,505

13,000

2,495

24%

1 Upper- and single-tier municipal official plans and correspondence between the Minister of Infrastructure and upper- and single-tier municipalities, See Table 3.5.
2 Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure, Built Boundary for the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006 (2008).
3 Statistics Canada, 2001 Community Profiles.                           
4 The Growth Plan forecasts include an undercount, which adjusts the population to account for people who were not enumerated; therefore to make a valid comparison, the population counts from the 2001 census have been adjusted to include a 4.2% undercount.
5 Lower-tier population allocations in upper-tier municipal official plans. See Appendix D.
6 Calculated using the 2001 Adjusted Population and the 2031 Population Forecast.
Table 3.5: Minimum intensification rate targets, by municipality

Municipalities

Minimum Intensification Rate Target

Source

City of Toronto

Not Applicable

-

Region of Durham

40%

Regional Official Plan Amendment No. 128, Annotated Consolidation (as approved by the OMB on January 9, 2013 Board Order)

City of Pickering

40%

City of Ajax

40%

City of Whitby

40%

City of Oshawa

40%

Town of Clarington

40%

Township of Uxbridge

40%

Township of Brock

40%

Township of Scugog

40%

Region of York

40%

York Region Official Plan, 2010, Annotated Version Showing Policy Status, Office Consolidation January 14, 2013

City of Vaughan

 

 

 

 

Lower-tier municipal minimum intensification target rate is unknown - intensification was reported in number of residential units only.

Town of Richmond Hill

Town of Aurora

City of Markham

City of Newmarket

Township of King

Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville

Town of East Gwillimbury

Town of Georgina

Region of Peel

40% (50% in 2026)

Peel Region Official Plan, Working Draft Office Consolidation, February 2013

Town of Caledon

40% (50% in 2026)

City of Brampton

40% (50% in 2026)

City of Mississauga

40% (50% in 2026)

Region of Halton

40%

Halton Official Plan (2009), ROPA 38, December 16, 2009

Town of Halton Hills

40%

Town of Milton

40%

City of Oakville

40%

City of Burlington

40%

City of Hamilton

40%

Urban Hamilton Official Plan, March 16, 2011

County of Northumberland

40%

Letter from Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Brad Duguid to County of Northumberland Warden, Peter Celanty, August 13, 2010

Town of Brighton

42%

Town of Cobourg

39%

Municipality of Port Hope

50%

Town of Trent Hills

31%

Township of Alnwick/Haldimand

Not Applicable

Township of Cramahe

31%

Township of Hamilton

Not Applicable

County of Peterborough

40%

Peterborough County Official Plan February 28, 2013

Township of Asphodel-Norwood

40%

Township of Cavan-Monaghan

40%

Township of Douro-Dummer

Not Applicable

Township of Galway-Cavendish and Harvey

Not Applicable

Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen

40%

Township of North Kawartha

Not Applicable

Township of Otonabee-South Monaghan

Not Applicable

Township of Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield

40%

City of Peterborough

40%

City of Peterborough OP, Office Consolidation Dec. 31, 2009

Kawartha Lakes

30%

Letter from Minister of Infrastructure, Bob Chiarelli to City of Kawartha Lakes Mayor, Ric McGee, March 30, 2011

County of Simcoe

32%

Letter from Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Transportation, Bob Chiarelli to County of Simcoe Warden, Cal Patterson, July 9, 2012

Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury

20%

Town of Collingwood

40%

Town of Innisfil

33%

Town of Midland

40%

Town of New Tecumseth

40%

Town of Penetanguishene

40%

Town of Wasaga Beach

20%

Township of Adjala–Tosorontio

20%

Township of Clearview

20%

Township of Essa

20%

Township of Oro-Medonte

20%

Township of Severn

20%

Township of Springwater

15%

Township of Ramara

20%

Township of Tay

20%

Township of Tiny

20%

City of Barrie

40%

City of Barrie OP, Apr. 2010, Office Consolidation March 2011

City of Orillia

40%

Official Plan of the City of Orillia, March 9, 2010

County of Dufferin

40%

Letter from Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Brad Duguid to County of Dufferin Warden, Allen Taylor, August 13, 2010

Town of Mono

Not Applicable

Town of Orangeville

50%

Town of Shelburne

38%

Township of Amaranth

Not Applicable

Township of East Garafraxa

Not Applicable

Township of East Luther-Grand Valley

12%

Township of Melancthon

Not Applicable

Township of Mulmur

Not Applicable

County of Wellington

20%

Letter from Deputy Premier, George Smitherman to County of Wellington Warden, Joanne Ross-Zuj, August 21, 2009

Township of Centre Wellington

20%

Township of Erin

20%

Town of Guelph/Eramosa

20%

Township of Mapleton

20%

Township of Minto

20%

Town of Puslinch

20%

Township of Wellington North

20%

City of Guelph

40%

Official Plan Amendment 39: Conformity with the Planning Framework of the Growth Plan for the GGH, March 17, 2010

Region of Waterloo

45%

Waterloo Region Official Plan, January 24, 2011

City of Waterloo

45%

City of Kitchener

45%

City of Cambridge

45%

Township of Woolwich

45%

Township of Wellesley

45%

Township of Wilmot

45%

Township of North Dumfries

45%

County of Brant

15%

Letter from Minister of Infrastructure, Bob Chiarelli to County of Brant Mayor, Ron Eddy, March 31, 2011

City of Brantford

40%

City of Brantford Official Plan, Consolidation September 2011

County of Haldimand

32%

Letter from Minister of Infrastructure, Bob Chiarelli to County of Haldimand Warden, Ken Hewitt, March 20, 2011

Region of Niagara

40%

Region of Niagara Sustainable Community Policies: Places to Grow/2005 Provincial Policy Statement Conformity and Niagara 2031 Amendment, Amendment 2-2009 of the Official Plan for the Niagara Planning Area as approved on May 28, 2009 by Regional Council and amended through the addition of Policy 4.6.6

City of Niagara Falls

40%

City of Port Colborne

15%

City of St. Catharines

95%

City of Thorold

15%

City of Welland

40%

Town of Fort Erie

15%

Town of Grimsby

80%

Town of Lincoln

40%

Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake

15%

Town of Pelham

15%

Township of Wainfleet

Not Applicable

Township of West Lincoln

15%


[1] Growth Plan, Section 5.4.2.2.b.
[2] Growth Plan, Section 2.2.3.2.