Skip to content

Our Ontario Lawyers

When success matters, there is no substitute for the advantage that comes from experience.

Search for a lawyer below:


Search Results

We're sorry, We cannot locate any lawyers with that criteria. Please search again.

Sort By:

Experience and Expertise:

How Can We Help? We’ll be happy to match you to the right qualified Lerners Lawyer.

Planning for Housing in Ontario – The Potential Impact of the Proposed 2024 Provincial Policy Statement on the future of development and housing in Ontario

5 minute read

In its own words, the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS), “sets the policy foundation for regulating the development and use of land” in Ontario. Beginning in 2023, the Ontario government proposed several policy changes to the PPS under the Housing Supply Action Plan. These changes aimed to simplify planning rules and promote greater housing supply. The initial drafts of the proposed PPS were released in 2023, with a subsequent draft issued in April 2024, which was open for comment until May of the same year (the “proposed 2024 PPS”). It is anticipated that the much of the proposed 2024 PPS will be implemented sometime in 2024, on a date specified by an order in council.

The proposed 2024 PPS introduces specific policy directions for Ontario’s “Large and Fast-Growing Municipalities”, including the City of London and Toronto, among others. It aims to increase the supply and diversity of housing options across the spectrum of affordability. Integral to this goal, the proposed 2024 PPS seeks to efficiently manage lands to accommodate appropriate development to meet current and future provincial needs.

This article will outline the proposed 2024 PPS policies on housing supply and land development, encompassing both existing provisions and the proposed amendments.

2.1 Planning for People and Homes

  • 2.1.1 - 2.1.2 Population and employment forecasts shall be based on Ministry of Finance 25-year projections, but municipalities may continue to utilize population and employment forecasts previously issued by the Province for the purpose of land use planning
  • 2.1.3 Municipalities shall make land available to accommodate various land uses to meet projected needs for at least 20 years, and no more than 30 years. This accommodation should be enshrined in local Official Plans at the time of the next Official Plan review period. Where a zoning order has been made by the Minister, the applicable lands shall be made available for development in addition to the lands allocated for projected needs in municipal Official Plans
  • 2.1.4 To provide for multiple housing options, municipal planning authorities shall ensure:
    • “Designated and Available Lands” (meaning lands designated in municipal Official Plans for urban residential use) be made available to accommodate residential growth for a minimum of 15 years.
    • Servicing capacity be allocated for at least a 3-year supply of residential units where new residential development is to occur, including units in draft or approved registered plans.

2.2 Housing

  • 2.2.1 a) Local planning authorities shall establish minimum targets for housing that is affordable to “low and moderate income households” (in terms of homeownership, this refers to households in the lowest 60% of income distribution locally, and in terms of rental housing, this refers to households in the lowest 60% of income distribution for renter households locally).
  • 2.2.1 b) Local planning authorities shall permit and facilitate:
    • All housing options required to meet local needs (i.e. social, health, economic, and demographic changes).
    • Residential intensification including the development and redevelopment of underutilized commercial and industrial facilities for residential use.

2.3 Settlement Areas and Settlement Area Boundary Expansions

  • 3.1.1 Within settlement areas, growth shall be focused in “Strategic Growth Areas”, which are areas designated by municipalities specifically for the purpose of accommodating intensification and higher-density uses (i.e. existing downtown areas, major transit areas, etc.).
  • 3.1.3 Municipal planning authorities shall support intensification and redevelopment and invest in the necessary infrastructure and public facilities to accommodate this.
  • 3.1.5 Municipalities must set density targets for “Designated Growth Areas”, which are areas within settlement zones designated for growth, including residential development, to accommodate residential expansion over a minimum of 15 years, along with land needed for other uses. In Large and Fast-Growing Municipalities, planning authorities are encouraged to set a target of 50 residents and jobs per hectare, and plan accordingly to achieve this standard.

2.3.2 New Settlement Areas and Settlement Area Boundary Expansions

  • 3.2.1 In establishing new settlement areas, or expanded existing boundaries, municipalities shall consider the need for land to accommodate a range of land uses, the capacity of the existing or planned infrastructure and utilities, and the phased progression of urban development. Municipalities are encouraged to avoid adding prime agricultural areas into the settlement boundary, and where avoiding agricultural lands is not possible, municipalities are encouraged to only include lower priority agricultural lands. An agricultural impact assessment may be necessary to ascertain and mitigate impacts on the agricultural system.
  • 3.2.2 - Municipalities may only identify a new settlement area where infrastructure and utilities are either existing or available.

2.4 Strategic Growth Areas

  • 4.1.1 Planning authorities are encouraged to identify Strategic Growth Areas, meaning areas within Settlement Areas identified for intensification and higher-density mixed uses.
  • 4.1.2 Planning authorities shall plan for a range of housing options, intensification and mixed-use development to accommodate growth, transit, and “affordable, accessible and equitable” housing.
  • 4.1.3 Planning authorities should:
    • Prioritize infrastructure and utilities within Strategic Growth Areas.
    • Identify the type and scale of development appropriate for area.
    • Allow development and increased density in key growth areas to foster the creation of complete communities and a compact urban structure.
    • Consider a student housing strategy within these efforts.
    • Support the redevelopment of commercial lands for mixed residential uses.

If adopted, whether in whole or in part, the proposed 2024 PPS will replace both the 2020 PPS and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Local municipalities will be required to incorporate these amendments into their respective official during their regularly-scheduled reviews.

Contact Courtney Sinclair, a member of the Lerners Real Estate and Land Development team, for more insight on the current PPS, the proposed amendments, and related planning policies.

LERNx Sidebar


Our lawyers are committed to making the law easier to access for all by publishing high-quality and industry-leading content.

Courtney Sinclair

We are here to help.

Do you have any questions about your unique scenario? Feel free to reach out directly by visiting my Lerners Profile View My Full Profile