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Guiding Sustainable Prosperity

Archived Backgrounder

Guiding Sustainable Prosperity

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

The policies of the Provincial Policy Statement 2014 (PPS 2014) can be grouped under five goals for land use planning in Ontario. Each goal helps to support sustainable economic development and active communities in a healthy environment across the province.

Bolstering the Economy and Employment

  • Policies support the efficient movement of goods by protecting existing and planned transportation corridors and the employment areas near them.
  • Designated employment areas are better protected from uses on nearby lands that could limit employment growth.
  • Investment-ready communities and mixed-use areas are promoted.
  • Long-term planning for employment areas, and infrastructure and public service facilities, can extend beyond 20 years in the future.
  • Protection is strengthened for major industrial, port and rail yard lands to help ensure their continued operation and possible expansion.
  • Existing and planned provincial corridors are better protected by promoting compatible uses for adjacent lands.
  • Consideration of the life-cycle costs of infrastructure (e.g. through asset management planning) is required.

Responding to Northern and Rural Communities


  • The PPS 2014 recognizes that, in contrast to urban communities in the south, northern and rural communities have smaller populations; different levels of economic activity and pace of growth; and distinct physical and natural characteristics.
  • A new section of rural policies has been added to support healthy, integrated and viable rural areas.
  • A separate Backgrounder gives more details on the policies promoting and supporting this goal.

Protecting the Environment and Managing Resources

  • Natural heritage systems must be identified in official plans for southern Ontario. Natural heritage systems are areas of, for example, wetlands and woodlands connected by natural corridors that are needed to support native plants and animals.
  • Refine the area of protection of significant woodlands and valleylands in southern Ontario on an ecosystem basis.
  • All Great Lakes coastal wetlands in central and southern Ontario are protected.
  • Mineral, petroleum and aggregates sites and resources must be identified in official plans.
  • Prime agricultural areas must be identified in official plans.
  • There are stronger requirements to rehabilitate prime agricultural lands formerly used as quarries back to their original state.
  • Limitations are strengthened on quarries that go below the water table in specialty crop areas.
  • Aggregate recycling facilities at quarries are promoted to support conservation.

Promoting Healthy and Active Communities

  • Policies promote active transportation, such as cycling and walking, to improve public health.
  • Policies promote transit, transit-supportive development and connectivity among transportation modes.
  • Planning authorities are encouraged to build public facilities, such as schools, libraries and recreational complexes, at community hubs to make them more easily accessible by transit, walking or cycling.
  • Heritage buildings and landscapes should be promoted as important features that help define community character.
  • Climate change impacts that may increase the risks associated with natural hazards require consideration.
  • Green infrastructure, such as permeable surfaces, is encouraged in official plans.
  • Shoreline areas must be identified in official plans.

Promoting Coordination and Integration, and Supporting Implementation

  • The PPS 2014 must be implemented in a manner consistent with the recognition and affirmation of Aboriginal and treaty rights, both existing and those that may be acquired, in the Constitution Act, 1982.
  • New policies provide more direction on how the PPS 2014 should be applied and how it works with provincial plans, and other legislation, regulations and policy.
  • Policies recognize official plans and zoning by-laws as important vehicles for implementation and require that these documents be kept up-to-date.
  • Policies promote coordinated, integrated planning processes (e.g., integrated approach to Planning Act and Environmental Assessment Act processes).

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