Official Plan Review 

Official Plan Review - Your City Your Plan graphic

Brantford's Official Plan is the City’s overarching policy document intended to guide future land use, physical development, growth and change within the city. The policies of the Plan are designed to maintain a good quality of life for the citizens of Brantford, to reduce uncertainty concerning future development, and to provide a basis for land use controls.

The City of Brantford is currently reviewing its Official Plan with the intent of developing a new Plan that will provide policy direction to guide the growth of the City over the next twenty-five years while capturing the priorities of the community, and implements new policy directions to bring the Plan into conformity with Provincial legislation. The First Draft of the new Official Plan is now complete and ready for review. The following outlines; why the City has prepared a new draft Official Plan, the process to date, highlights from the first draft, and next steps in the Official Plan Review process.

What Is An Official Plan?

  • An Official Plan is a legal document that has legal authority under the Ontario Planning Act, and contains policies and maps that are used to guide planning and development by identifying where land uses can be located.
  • An Official Plan is used to ensure future planning and development is managed in a way that balances the social, economic, and environmental interests of the community.
  • Official Plans are prepared by municipalities in accordance with the Ontario Planning Act, and must conform to all Provincial legislation.
  • All municipal public works, bylaws, master and strategic plans must conform to the Official Plan.

How Does The Official Plan Affect Me?

  • AS A RESIDENT it outlines the City’s strategy to improve the quality of life for all residents.
  • AS A PROPERTY OWNER it establishes how you can modify, use, or redevelop your home or building.
  • AS A BUSINESS OWNER it provides direction as to where and how the City will grow.
  • AS A MEMBER OF CITY COUNCIL it highlights your commitment to the future growth of the community.
  • AS A PLANNER OR DEVELOPER it provides policy direction and guidance for the evaluation of planning applications.

Why Is A New Official Plan Needed?

  • The City’s current Official Plan was adopted by City Council in 1987.
  • There has been considerable change in the City over the past 29 years that requires the City of Brantford to review and update the goals, vision and policies of the Official Plan.
  • The Official Plan needs to be brought into conformity with provincial legislation including the Provincial Policy Statement 2014 and the Places to Grow Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006.
  • The Official Plan is the City’s main policy document, and aligns local strategic directions, such as:
    • Council’s Strategic Plan
    • Transportation Master Plan
    • Master Servicing Plan
    • Parks and Recreation Master Plan
    • Waterfront Master Plan
    • Downtown Master Plan

What Has Been The Process To Date To Complete The Official Plan Review Work Program?

  • The Official Plan Review has been underway since 2013. A Statutory Public meeting was held on April 8th 2013, to formally kick off the Official Plan Five Year Review, as per the requirements of the Planning Act.
  • The intent of the public meeting was to engage the community early in the process to ensure all major issues with the Official Plan could be incorporated into the work program.
  • The Official Plan Review process to date:
    1. Visioning Sessions: 2013 (Completed)
      New Vision and 10 Guiding Principles were developed that would form the basis for new land use policies
    2. Issues Identification- Planning Summit: 2014 (Completed)
      Public and stakeholders identified planning issues to be address through the Official Plan Review process.
    3. Technical Background Papers: 2014-2015 (Completed)
      In response to the issues identified at the Planning Summit, Nine (9) papers were prepared that proposed new policy directions to guide policy development in the draft Official Plan. Copies of the Technical Background Papers can be found on the left side menu on this page.
    4. Plan Development-2015-2016 (In- Progress)
      City staff has prepared the first draft of the new Official Plan. The first draft was reviewed by an Editorial Committee, as well as internal departments, the result of which is a revised first draft that is now ready for public circulation.

What Is The Vision And Direction Of The New Official Plan?

  • The following statement captures the key messages expressed by the public and key stakeholders for how they envision Brantford in 2041. This Vision Statement will guide the development of policies during the Official Plan Review:
    “Brantford has grown to become a unique urban community that has retained connections to its small town origins. It is defined by the Grand River, which is cherished for its natural features, historic legacy, and recreational amenities. The people of Brantford are healthy and prosperous. They live in complete communities that are inclusive, accessible, compact, and well connected for all modes of travel. Residents have access to a range of community services and recreational amenities to support their well-being. The local economy thrives because it is diverse and adaptable to changing trends, just as it has been over the course of Brantford's history. The entire community comes together in the Downtown, which is recognized as the heart of the community with a mix of activities, and the highest quality public realm to present a distinct image of the city. As Brantford grows, the success of our existing communities is strengthened, and the features that make the city unique remain as valued assets for future generations to enjoy”.

What Are The Highlights Of The First Draft Of The New Official Plan?

  • The new Draft Official Plan is an entirely new document, intended to be read as a whole and is a significant departure for the current Official Plan. The following captures key highlights from the new Draft Official Plan.
    • New Community Vision and 10 guiding principles to guide policy development;
    • New Urban Structure and Growth Management Policies to direct growth and respond to Prov. growth directions;
    • New Land Use Designations that focus on built form vs. density and unit counts;
    • Increased focus on urban design, infill, and compatibility;
    • New policies to support a clean and healthy Brantford, with emphasis on sustainability, transportation and walkability; and
    • Servicing & Implementation updates

Where Can I Access a Copy Of The First Draft Of The New Official Plan?

  • The first draft of the new Official Plan is NOW available for downloading here: Click to view Official Plan First Draft (pdf document opens new window)
  • A hard copy of the first draft of the new Official Plan will be also be available from July 18, 2016 until October 15, 2016, for viewing at the City’s Planning Department counter at 100 Wellington Square, Brantford, ON. As well as in the Main Lobby of Brantford City Hall (100 Wellington Square, Brantford, ON) during regular business hours, and at the following City locations:
    • Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre, 254 North Park Street, Brantford, ON;
    • Brantford Visitor and Tourism Centre, 399 Wayne Gretzky Parkway, Brantford, ON;
    • Brantford Public Library Main Branch, 173 Colborne Street, Brantford, ON; and
    • Brantford Public Library St. Paul Branch, 441 St. Paul Avenue, Brantford, ON.

How Can I Get Information and Provide Comments on the First Draft of the New Official Plan?

  • Written comments on the first draft of the new Official Plan may be submitted to the City’s Planning Department by mail, fax or email to: until October 31st, 2016.
  • Please visit this page frequently for regular updates about upcoming public consultation opportunities.

Next Steps in the Official Plan Review Process

  • There will be a series of public open houses and public meetings scheduled throughout the process leading up to the adoption of the City’s new Official Plan. Watch for details on these upcoming public open house and meetings.
  • Following the completion of the consultation period, staff will review, summarize and respond to comments in the form of a summary report, make revisions to the draft Official Plan where appropriate, and review the timing to bring a Final Draft to City Council for consideration.

Public input is very important to this project and we welcome you to share your thoughts with us by contacting:

Nicole Wilmot Danette Dalton
Manager, Policy Planning
City Hall, Planning Department
100 Wellington Square
Brantford, Ontario N3T 2M3
Tel: 519-759-4150 ext. 5472
Fax: 519-752-6977
Policy Planner
City Hall, Planning Department
100 Wellington Square
Brantford, Ontario N3T 2M3
Tel: 519-759-4150 ext. 5163
Fax: 519-752-6977