In Your Municipality
Municipal Services Offices
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs has five municipal services offices in Kingston, London, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Toronto. Planning staff in the offices provide support and advice to municipalities and the public about land use planning.
Your Municipality’s Planning Department
Do a web search using the name of your municipality and “planning development” (e.g. Kirkland Lake planning development). Most municipalities have a counter service where people can drop by and ask questions about an application before they submit it.
Lawyers and Paralegals
This service connects people looking for legal assistance with a lawyer or paralegal.
If you search for a lawyer, municipal lawyers who may have relevant experience appear under administrative law, civil litigation or real estate law.
If you search for a paralegal, paralegals who may have relevant experience will appear under administrative law.
You will be provided with the name of a lawyer or paralegal who will provide a free consultation of up to 30 minutes.
The Ontario Bar Association’s “Find a Lawyer” page
In the “Area of Law” drop down menu, choose “Municipal Law” to find lawyers who may have relevant experience.
In the “Main Areas of Law” select “Administrative law” and/or” Other Tribunals” for professionals who may have relevant experience.
The Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) consultant directory lists and briefly describes professional planning consulting firms doing business in Ontario. In the “service” field, select: “Land Use Approvals”
Online Guides from the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs
The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs has a series of Citizens’ Guides to Land Use Planning. Note that these documents have not been updated to reflect the changes resulting from The Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act. Those changes came into effect on April 3, 2018.
Some Ontario Laws that Influence Land Use Planning:
The Planning Act is the law that sets out the ground rules for land use planning in Ontario. It gives municipalities the power to create official plans and zoning bylaws. It also establishes the process for appealing land use planning decisions.
The Local Planning Appeal Support Centre Act establishes the Local Planning Appeal Support Centre. It sets out the high-level goals and services of the centre.
The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act establishes the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. Part III discusses the jurisdiction and powers of the tribunal. Part VI addresses the tribunals practices and procedures for Planning Act appeals.
The Statutory Powers Procedures Act provides a general framework for how hearings before Ontario’s administrative tribunals are conducted, including the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.
The Building Code Act is the legislative framework governing the construction, renovation and change-of-use of a building. The Ontario Building Code is a regulation under the act that establishes detailed technical and administrative requirements as well as minimum standards for building construction.