Skip to main content

Definitions

Affordable
  1. in the case of ownership housing, the least expensive of:
    1. housing for which the purchase price results in annual accommodation costs which do not exceed 30 per cent of gross annual household income for low and moderate income households; or
    2. housing for which the purchase price is at least 10 per cent below the average purchase price of a resale unit in the regional market area;
  2. in the case of rental housing, the least expensive of:
    1. a unit for which the rent does not exceed 30 per cent of gross annual household income for low and moderate income households; or
    2. a unit for which the rent is at or below the average market rent of a unit in the regional market area.

      For the purposes of this definition:

      Low and moderate income households means, in the case of ownership housing, households with incomes in the lowest 60 per cent of the income distribution for the regional market area; or in the case of rental housing, households with incomes in the lowest 60 per cent of the income distribution for renter households for the regional market area. (Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Brownfield Sites
Undeveloped or previously developed properties that may be contaminated. They are usually, but not exclusively, former industrial or commercial properties that may be underutilized, derelict or vacant. (Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Built-up Area
All land within the built boundary.
Built Boundary
The limits of the developed urban area as defined by the Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal in accordance with Policy 2.2.3.5.
Community Infrastructure
Community infrastructure refers to lands, buildings, and structures that support the quality of life for people and communities by providing public services for health, education, recreation, socio-cultural activities, security and safety, and affordable housing.
Compact Urban Form
A land-use pattern that encourages efficient use of land, walkable neighbourhoods, mixed land uses (residential, retail, workplace and institutional all within one neighbourhood), proximity to transit and reduced need for infrastructure. Compact urban form can include detached and semi-detached houses on small lots as well as townhouses and walk-up apartments, multi-storey commercial developments, and apartments or offices above retail.
Complete Communities
Complete communities meet people’s needs for daily living throughout an entire lifetime by providing convenient access to an appropriate mix of jobs, local services, a full range of housing, and community infrastructure including affordable housing, schools, recreation and open space for their residents. Convenient access to public transportation and options for safe, non-motorized travel is also provided.
Density Targets
The density target for urban growth centres is defined in Policies 2.2.4.5 and 2.2.4.6.
The density target for designated greenfield areas is defined in Policies 2.2.7.2, 2.2.7.3
and 2.2.7.5.
Designated Greenfield Area
The area within a settlement area that is not built-up area. Where a settlement area does not have a built boundary, the entire settlement area is considered designated greenfield area.
Drinking-water System
A system of works, excluding plumbing, that is established for the purpose of providing users of the system with drinking water and that includes any thing used for the collection, production, treatment, storage, supply or distribution of water; any thing related to the management of residue from the treatment process or the management of the discharge of a substance into the natural environment from the treatment system; and a well or intake that serves as the source or entry point of raw water supply for the system. (Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002)
Employment Area
Areas designated in an official plan for clusters of business and economic activities including, but not limited to, manufacturing, warehousing, offices, and associated
retail and ancillary facilities. (Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Full Cost
The full cost of providing water and wastewater services includes the source protection costs, operating costs, financing costs, renewal and replacement costs and improvement costs associated with extracting, treating or distributing water to the public, and collecting, treating or discharging wastewater.
Gateway Economic Centre
Settlement areas identified in this Plan, as conceptually depicted on Schedules 2, 5, and 6 that, due to their proximity to major international border crossings, have unique economic importance to the region and Ontario.
Gateway Economic Zone
Settlement areas identified in this Plan within the zone that is conceptually depicted on Schedules 2, 5, and 6, that, due to their proximity to major international border crossings, have unique economic importance to the region and Ontario.
Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH)
The geographic area designated as the Greater Golden Horseshoe growth plan area
in Ontario Regulation 416/05.
Greenbelt Area
The geographic area of the Greenbelt as defined by the Ontario Regulation 59/05
as provided by the Greenbelt Act, 2005.
Greyfields
Previously developed properties that are not contaminated. They are usually, but not exclusively, former commercial properties that may be underutilized, derelict or vacant.
Higher Order Transit
Transit that generally operates in its own dedicated right-of-way, outside of mixed traffic, and therefore can achieve a frequency of service greater than mixed-traffic transit. Higher order transit can include heavy rail (such as subways), light rail (such as streetcars), and buses in dedicated rights-of-way.
Inner Ring
The geographic area consisting of the municipalities of Hamilton and Toronto and the upper-tier municipalities of Durham, Halton, Peel and York.
Intensification
The development of a property, site or area at a higher density than currently exists through:
  1. redevelopment, including the reuse of brownfield sites;
  2. the development of vacant and/or underutilized lots within previously developed areas;
  3. infill development; or
  4. the expansion or conversion of existing buildings.(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Intensification Areas
Lands identified by municipalities or the Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal within a settlement area that are to be the focus for accommodating intensification. Intensification areas include urban growth centres, intensification corridors, major transit station areas, and other major opportunities that may include infill, redevelopment, brownfield sites, the expansion or conversion of existing buildings and greyfields.
Intensification Corridors
Intensification areas along major roads, arterials or higher order transit corridors that have the potential to provide a focus for higher density mixed-use development consistent with planned transit service levels.
Intensification Target
The intensification target is as established in Policies 2.2.3.1, 2.2.3.2, 2.2.3.3, and 2.2.3.4.
Inter-modal Facility
A location where transfers between modes can be made as part of a single journey.
For example, a typical freight inter-modal facility is a rail yard where containers are transferred between trucks and trains.
Major Office
Major office is generally defined as freestanding office buildings of 10,000 m2 or greater, or with 500 jobs or more.
Major Transit Station Area
The area including and around any existing or planned higher order transit station within a settlement area; or the area including and around a major bus depot in an urban core. Station areas generally are defined as the area within an approximate 500m radius of a transit station, representing about a 10-minute walk.
Mineral Aggregate Resources
Gravel, sand, clay, earth, shale, stone, limestone, dolostone, sandstone, marble, granite, rock or other material prescribed under the Aggregate Resources Act suitable for construction, industrial, manufacturing and maintenance purposes but not including metallic ores, asbestos, graphite, kyanite, mica, nepheline syenite, salt, talc, wollastonite, mine tailings or other material prescribed under the Mining Act. (Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Modal Share
The percentage of person-trips or of freight movements made by one travel mode, relative to the total number of such trips made by all modes.
Multi-modal
The availability or use of more than one form of transportation, such as automobiles, walking, cycling, buses, rapid transit, rail (such as commuter and freight), trucks, air and marine.
Municipal Comprehensive Review
An official plan review, or an official plan amendment, initiated by a municipality that comprehensively applies the policies and schedules of this Plan.
Municipal Water and Wastewater Systems
Municipal water systems, are all or part of a drinking-water system –
  1. that is owned by a municipality or by a municipal service board establishedunder section 195 of the Municipal Act, 2001
  2. that is owned by a corporation established under section 203 of the Municipal Act, 2001
  3. from which a municipality obtains or will obtain water under the terms of a contract between the municipality and the owner of the system, or
  4. that is in a prescribed class of municipal drinking-water systems as defined in regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002.
And, municipal wastewater systems are any sewage works owned or operated by a municipality.
New Multiple Lots and Units for Residential Development
The creation of more than three units or lots through either plan of subdivision, consent or plan of condominium.
Outer Ring
The geographic area consisting of the cities of Barrie, Brantford, Guelph, Kawartha Lakes, Orillia and Peterborough; the Counties of Brant, Dufferin, Haldimand, Northumberland, Peterborough, Simcoe, and Wellington; and the Regions of Niagara and Waterloo.
Prime Agricultural Area
Areas where prime agricultural lands predominate. This includes areas of prime agricultural lands and associated Canada Land Inventory Class 4-7 soils, and additional areas where there is a local concentration of farms which exhibit characteristics of ongoing agriculture. Prime agricultural areas may be identified by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs using evaluation procedures established by the Province as amended from time to time, or may also be identified through an alternative agricultural land evaluation system approved by the Province.

For the purposes of this definition:

Prime agricultural land includes specialty crop areas and/or Canada Land Inventory Classes 1, 2, and 3 soils, in this order of priority for protection. (Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Private Communal Water and Wastewater Systems
Private communal water systems are drinking-water systems that are not municipal water systems as defined in municipal water and wastewater systems, and that serve six or more lots or private residences, and
Private communal wastewater systems are sewage works that serve six or more lots or private residences and are not owned or operated by a municipality.
Redevelopment
The creation of new units, uses or lots on previously developed land in existing communities, including brownfield sites. (Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Regional Market Area
An area, generally broader than a lower-tier municipality that has a high degree of social and economic interaction. In southern Ontario, the upper- or single-tier municipality will normally serve as the regional market area. Where a regional market area extends significantly beyond upper- or single-tier boundaries, it may include a combination of upper-, single and/or lower-tier municipalities. (Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Rural Areas
Lands which are located outside settlement areas and that are not prime agricultural areas.
(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Settlement Areas
Urban areas and rural settlement areas within municipalities (such as cities, towns, villages and hamlets) where:
  1. development is concentrated and which have a mix of land uses; and
  2. lands have been designated in an official plan for development over the long term planning horizon provided for in the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005. Where there are no lands that have been designated over the long-term, the settlement area may be no larger than the area where development is concentrated.
Sewage Works
Any works for the collection, transmission, treatment and disposal of sewage or any part of such works, but does not include plumbing to which the Building Code Act, 1992 applies. (Ontario Water Resources Act)

For the purposes of this definition:
Sewage includes, but is not limited to drainage, storm water, residential wastes, commercial wastes and industrial wastes.
Small Cities and Towns
Settlement areas that do not include an urban growth centre.
Specialty Crop Area
Areas designated using evaluation procedures established by the Province, as amended from time to time, where specialty crops such as tender fruits (peaches, cherries, plums), grapes, other fruit crops, vegetable crops, greenhouse crops, and crops from agriculturally developed organic soil lands are predominantly grown, usually resulting from:
  1. soils that have suitability to produce specialty crops, or lands that are subject to special climatic conditions, or a combination of both; and/or
  2. a combination of farmers skilled in the production of specialty crops, and of capital investment in related facilities and services to produce, store, or process specialty crops.(Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Sub-area
An area identified by the Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal within the Greater Golden Horseshoe at a scale generally larger than any one upper- or single-tier municipality.
Transit-supportive
Makes transit viable and improves the quality of the experience of using transit. When used in reference to development, it often refers to compact, mixed-use development that has a high level of employment and residential densities to support frequent transit service. When used in reference to urban design, it often refers to design principles that make development more accessible for transit users, such as roads laid out in a grid network rather than a discontinuous network; pedestrian-friendly built environment along roads to encourage walking to transit; reduced setbacks and placing parking at the sides/rear of buildings; and improved access between arterial roads and interior blocks in residential areas.
Transportation Corridor
A thoroughfare and its associated buffer zone for passage or conveyance of vehicles or people. A transportation corridor includes any or all of the following:
  1. Major roads, arterial roads, and highways for moving people and goods;
  2. Rail lines/railways for moving people and goods;
  3. Transit rights-of-way/transitways including buses and light rail for moving people.
Transportation Demand Management
A set of strategies that results in more efficient use of the transportation system by influencing travel behaviour by mode, time of day, frequency, trip length, regulation, route, or cost. Examples include: carpooling, vanpooling, and shuttle buses; parking management; site design and on-site facilities that support transit and walking; bicycle facilities and programs; pricing (road tolls or transit discounts); flexible working hours; telecommuting; high occupancy vehicle lanes; park-and-ride; incentives for ride-sharing, using transit, walking and cycling; initiatives to discourage drive-alone trips by residents, employees, visitors, and students.
Transportation System
A system consisting of corridors and rights-of-way for the movement of people and goods, and associated transportation facilities including transit stops and stations, cycle lanes, bus lanes, high occupancy vehicle lanes, rail facilities, park-and-ride lots, service centres, rest stops, vehicle inspection stations, inter-modal terminals, harbours, and associated facilities such as storage and maintenance. (Provincial Policy Statement, 2005)
Urban Growth Centres
Locations set out in Schedule 4. Urban growth centres will be delineated pursuant to Policies 2.2.4.2 and 2.2.4.3.
Watershed
An area that is drained by a lake or river, and its tributaries.
Watershed Plan
A watershed plan provides a framework for integrated decision-making for the management of human activities, land, water, aquatic life and aquatic resources within a watershed. It includes matters such as a water budget and conservation plan; land and water use management strategies; an environmental monitoring plan; requirements for the use of environmental management practices and programs; criteria for evaluating the protection of water quality and quantity, and hydrologic features and functions; and targets for the protection and restoration of riparian areas.
Updated: May 30, 2022
Published: July 17, 2019