Changes to Ontario Regulation 244/97 and the provincial standards, August 2020

The Ontario government is improving the way aggregate resources like stone, sand and gravel are managed.

The aggregates sector is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the province and is subject to many federal, provincial and municipal laws. The Aggregate Resources of Ontario Provincial Standards outline the application and operational requirements for pits and quarries. The standards have not been updated since they were created in 1997.

Based on your feedback, Ontario made changes to Ontario Regulation 244/97 and the provincial standards under the Aggregate Resources Act.

Some regulatory changes are effective September 1, 2020, while the others took effect April 1, 2021 and January 1, 2022.

These changes support our growing communities and promote economic growth within the aggregate industry, while continuing our commitment to protecting the environment and addressing community impacts.


Before updating the provincial standards, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry consulted with the public and hosted a summit on March 29, 2019, attended by approximately 70 representatives from:

  • the aggregate industry
  • municipalities
  • stakeholder organizations
  • Indigenous communities

Roundtable sessions at the summit focussed on three main areas:

  • industry: reducing red tape and obstacles that affect the aggregate resource industry
  • rehabilitation: ensuring sustainability and stewardship
  • municipal and Indigenous communities: working better together

From February 12 to May 15, 2020, Ontario posted changes to Ontario Regulation 244/97 and the Aggregates of Ontario Provincial Standards under the Aggregate Resources Act for comment on the Environmental Registry of Ontario.

Regulatory changes are now finalized. The changes to the regulation and provincial standards will:

  • modernize the way aggregates are managed in Ontario
  • reduce red tape for the aggregates industry
  • create opportunities for growth
  • maintain Ontario’s commitment to protecting the environment and addressing impacts on local communities

You can view the new requirements:

Aggregate Resources Act updates

From September 20 to November 4, 2019, all communities and stakeholders were able to  review and provide feedback on proposed legislative changes to the Aggregate Resources Act on the Environmental Registry of Ontario

Ontario passed Bill 132, Better for People, Smarter for Business Act on December 19, 2019. The changes to the legislation create opportunities for growth while maintaining our commitment to protecting the environment and addressing impacts to communities.

Changes included:

  • strengthening protection of water resources through a more robust application process for requests from existing sites to extract aggregates below the water table
  • improving access to aggregates within road allowances
  • clarifying jurisdiction on Crown land and depth of extraction
  • clarifying how haul routes are considered under aggregates legislation