Updating the Regional Official Plan

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Schematic graphic logo representing growth

What is this project about?

Waterloo Region is growing. Our population is expected to reach 835,000 people and 404,000 jobs by the year 2041, and we want your ideas on how and where to grow! We are currently reviewing the Regional Official Plan (ROP), a key document that guides long-term growth and development in the Region to 2041.

How do I get involved?

We know people living and working in the region are passionate and eager to help shape future community growth. We encourage you to comment on project updates, ask questions or attend a public meeting to have your say.

This page will be updated regularly with project updates and opportunities to interact with the Project Team. Feel free to ask questions using the Q&A tab below.

Visit the Region's ROP main homepage for more information.

What are the key elements of the ROP review?

This review builds on the existing ROP, and will look at:

  • how and where our cities and townships might grow;
  • what kind of housing we should build;
  • how to continue to host a variety of jobs that residents need;
  • how to protect farmland, our environment and plan for climate change.

Stay tuned for more opportunities to share your ideas. If you have questions about the ROP go to the Q&A tab below.

What is this project about?

Waterloo Region is growing. Our population is expected to reach 835,000 people and 404,000 jobs by the year 2041, and we want your ideas on how and where to grow! We are currently reviewing the Regional Official Plan (ROP), a key document that guides long-term growth and development in the Region to 2041.

How do I get involved?

We know people living and working in the region are passionate and eager to help shape future community growth. We encourage you to comment on project updates, ask questions or attend a public meeting to have your say.

This page will be updated regularly with project updates and opportunities to interact with the Project Team. Feel free to ask questions using the Q&A tab below.

Visit the Region's ROP main homepage for more information.

What are the key elements of the ROP review?

This review builds on the existing ROP, and will look at:

  • how and where our cities and townships might grow;
  • what kind of housing we should build;
  • how to continue to host a variety of jobs that residents need;
  • how to protect farmland, our environment and plan for climate change.

Stay tuned for more opportunities to share your ideas. If you have questions about the ROP go to the Q&A tab below.

  • New Survey and Interactive Mapping Activity

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    18 days ago

    A new five to 10 minute survey is available ("Six Questions about Growth in Waterloo Region") as well as an interactive mapping activity regarding the proposed boundaries for the ION Rapid Transit Stations. Both of these activities will be available until July 31, 2020. If you have a few minutes, we would really like to hear your thoughts on growth in Waterloo Region, particularly as they related to density and intensification.

    A new five to 10 minute survey is available ("Six Questions about Growth in Waterloo Region") as well as an interactive mapping activity regarding the proposed boundaries for the ION Rapid Transit Stations. Both of these activities will be available until July 31, 2020. If you have a few minutes, we would really like to hear your thoughts on growth in Waterloo Region, particularly as they related to density and intensification.

  • Employment Land Conversion Submission Requested by July 31, 2020

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    21 days ago

    The Regional Official Plan (ROP) Review is currently underway. It provides an opportunity to assess the Region’s employment lands, which may prohibit non-employment uses such as residential, commercial, or institutional uses. One aspect of this assessment is to identify employment lands may be better suited for non-employment uses.


    The Region is inviting land owners to submit requests for properties that are currently designated for employment to be converted to permit non-employment uses. Please refer to the employment land map to determine if your property is designated for employment.


    Please submit requests electronically to RegionalOfficialPlanReview@regionofwaterloo.ca by July 31, 2020 with the...

    The Regional Official Plan (ROP) Review is currently underway. It provides an opportunity to assess the Region’s employment lands, which may prohibit non-employment uses such as residential, commercial, or institutional uses. One aspect of this assessment is to identify employment lands may be better suited for non-employment uses.


    The Region is inviting land owners to submit requests for properties that are currently designated for employment to be converted to permit non-employment uses. Please refer to the employment land map to determine if your property is designated for employment.


    Please submit requests electronically to RegionalOfficialPlanReview@regionofwaterloo.ca by July 31, 2020 with the following information:


    • Municipal address(es) and a map clearly outlining the area to be considered;
    • Property description, including the past/current uses and site characteristics that may make it unsuitable for employment use;
    • Proposed non-employment use, with as much detail as possible; and
    • Rationale for the conversion request.


    All requests will be reviewed and evaluated against conversion criteria the Region as developed, which is based on Provincial policies and Regional objectives. Please note there is no guarantee that requests will result in a Regional staff’s recommendation and/or Council’s decision to convert employment lands to non-employment uses.


    This employment land assessment is being conducted under the ROP Review, which will fulfill the Municipal Comprehensive Review requirements of the Provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.


    Submissions should be received by July 31, 2020.


    To speak to project staff or to submit a request, please contact:


    Alyssa Bridge

    Supervisor, Regional Official Plan Review

    Planning Development and Legislative Services

    Regional Municipality of Waterloo,

    150 Frederick Street, 8th Floor,

    Kitchener, ON N2G 4J3

    Phone: 519-580-3948

    Email: RegionalOfficialPlanReview@regionofwaterloo.ca



  • Ask-a-Planner Webinar - Thursday, June 25, 2020, 6-8 p.m.

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    about 1 month ago

    Grow with Us! Have your say!

    Waterloo Region - let's start talking numbers. We are going virtual for our second round of public engagement on the Regional Official Plan (ROP) Review.

    Please click here to register for the Ask-a-Planner Webinar, to be held on Thursday, June 25, 2020, from 6-8 p.m. NEW information about intensification, density, and major transit station areas will be presented. There will be opportunities to ask questions throughout the webinar. Please note that the presentation portion of the webinar will be recorded and then posted (early July) on this Engage page.

    We look forward to a great conversation on opportunities for growth.

    Can't wait to share your thoughts? Tell us now on social media using #talkinggrowth

    Grow with Us! Have your say!

    Waterloo Region - let's start talking numbers. We are going virtual for our second round of public engagement on the Regional Official Plan (ROP) Review.

    Please click here to register for the Ask-a-Planner Webinar, to be held on Thursday, June 25, 2020, from 6-8 p.m. NEW information about intensification, density, and major transit station areas will be presented. There will be opportunities to ask questions throughout the webinar. Please note that the presentation portion of the webinar will be recorded and then posted (early July) on this Engage page.

    We look forward to a great conversation on opportunities for growth.

    Can't wait to share your thoughts? Tell us now on social media using #talkinggrowth

  • Regional Official Plan Review Continues

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    2 months ago

    The Regional Official Plan Review (ROPR) team continues to work on updating the plan and currently we are:

    • finalizing the employment conversion criteria, which will be shared on this site and sent directly to those on our notification list;
    • continuing to work with our Area Municipal colleagues to map more specific areas around the 27 existing and planned Major Transit Station Areas; and,
    • working towards a preliminary Land Needs Assessment (LNA) and preliminary growth scenarios - this information will also be shared on this site and through some form of public consultation.

    Our team has been thinking of new ways to share information instead of in-person public consultation events. We welcome any suggestions you may have for how to inclusively continue public engagement for this project while practicing physical distancing.

    The ROPR team is always available to answer any of your project questions. (RegionalOfficialPlanReview@regionofwaterloo.ca).

    The Regional Official Plan Review (ROPR) team continues to work on updating the plan and currently we are:

    • finalizing the employment conversion criteria, which will be shared on this site and sent directly to those on our notification list;
    • continuing to work with our Area Municipal colleagues to map more specific areas around the 27 existing and planned Major Transit Station Areas; and,
    • working towards a preliminary Land Needs Assessment (LNA) and preliminary growth scenarios - this information will also be shared on this site and through some form of public consultation.

    Our team has been thinking of new ways to share information instead of in-person public consultation events. We welcome any suggestions you may have for how to inclusively continue public engagement for this project while practicing physical distancing.

    The ROPR team is always available to answer any of your project questions. (RegionalOfficialPlanReview@regionofwaterloo.ca).

  • Minor mapping revisions and an extended deadline

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    6 months ago

    Welcome to 2020! We are excited about the new year and all the upcoming work that we will be sharing with you as the ROP review progresses.

    Please note: there have been minor revisions to the three display boards that were presented at the first round of Public Open Houses from November 18 to December 4, 2019 (to reflect an ongoing Local Appeal Planning Tribunal matter - PL180728). The fundamental information on the display boards remains the same.

    Also, the deadline for comments on the proposed delineation for the Regional Recharge Area in the Southwest Kitchener Policy Area has been...

    Welcome to 2020! We are excited about the new year and all the upcoming work that we will be sharing with you as the ROP review progresses.

    Please note: there have been minor revisions to the three display boards that were presented at the first round of Public Open Houses from November 18 to December 4, 2019 (to reflect an ongoing Local Appeal Planning Tribunal matter - PL180728). The fundamental information on the display boards remains the same.

    Also, the deadline for comments on the proposed delineation for the Regional Recharge Area in the Southwest Kitchener Policy Area has been extended to April 1, 2020. Feedback on the proposed mapping for the RRA can be submitted directly to ABridge@regionofwaterloo.ca.

    As always, please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.


  • January 17, 2020 Deadline for Feedback - Employment Land Conversion Criteria, Regional Recharge Area (in southwest Kitchener) and Candidate Agricultural Areas

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    7 months ago

    The first round of Open Houses are complete and we were pleased to be able to talk to so many community members about growth within Waterloo Region.

    If you were unable to come to one of the Open Houses, or still have some thoughts that you'd like to share with us on:

    • the draft employment land conversion criteria;
    • the proposed criteria for the Candidate Areas in the Agricultural Land Base; and,
    • the proposed mapping of the Regional Recharge Area (RRA) in the Southwest Kitchener Policy Area;

    please do so by January 17, 2020. Feedback on the...

    The first round of Open Houses are complete and we were pleased to be able to talk to so many community members about growth within Waterloo Region.

    If you were unable to come to one of the Open Houses, or still have some thoughts that you'd like to share with us on:

    • the draft employment land conversion criteria;
    • the proposed criteria for the Candidate Areas in the Agricultural Land Base; and,
    • the proposed mapping of the Regional Recharge Area (RRA) in the Southwest Kitchener Policy Area;

    please do so by January 17, 2020. Feedback on the employment land criteria and agricultural land base can be submitted through this survey. Feedback on the proposed mapping for the RRA can be submitted directly to ABridge@regionofwaterloo.ca.

    We will then review the information received, continue to work on the technical analyses that will feed into our Land Needs Assessment, and anticipate being ready for another round of public consultation by Spring 2020.
    • The draft employment land conversion criteria, based on criteria provided in the province's A Place to Grow, can be seen on the Open House Display Boards (board #10). After the January 17, 2020 deadline for feedback, we will finalize the criteria, and then publish a public notice regarding the submission of employment conversion requests, providing a 60 day window for submissions.

    • The proposed criteria and the draft mapping, using direction from this provincial publication, can be seen on the Open House Display Boards (boards 16 and 17). Based on the feedback we receive, Regional staff will present updated information at the next round of public consultation in Spring 2020.

    • The proposed delineation (mapping) of the Regional Recharge Area in the Southwest Kitchener Policy Area can be seen on the Open House Display Boards (boards 12 and 13) and the technical information upon which the proposed delineation (mapping) can be accessed here or here. Based on the feedback we receive, Regional staff will present the recommended mapping to Regional Council in 2020.

  • ROP Review open house reminder and some new information posted

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    8 months ago

    The first round of the “Talking Growth” public Open Houses has begun and there are still three more opportunities to join us:

    · Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at Cambridge City Hall, 4 – 8 p.m.

    · Thursday November 28, 2019 at the Wilmot Recreational Complex, 4 – 8 p.m.

    · Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at the Heidelberg Community Centre, 4:30 – 8 p.m.

    In the Document Library, we have also posted the open house display boards, in addition to some technical information about the proposed delineation (boundary) of the Regional Recharge Area in the Southwest Kitchener Policy Area.

    Please...

    The first round of the “Talking Growth” public Open Houses has begun and there are still three more opportunities to join us:

    · Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at Cambridge City Hall, 4 – 8 p.m.

    · Thursday November 28, 2019 at the Wilmot Recreational Complex, 4 – 8 p.m.

    · Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at the Heidelberg Community Centre, 4:30 – 8 p.m.

    In the Document Library, we have also posted the open house display boards, in addition to some technical information about the proposed delineation (boundary) of the Regional Recharge Area in the Southwest Kitchener Policy Area.

    Please feel free to browse through the new information, or drop by an upcoming Open House and chat with us about where we have been and where we want to go as a community into the future.


  • Project Launch

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    9 months ago

    The Region has initiated a multi-year process to review the Regional Official Plan (ROP), beginning with an in-depth technical analysis of growth and development across the Region. We are looking at opportunities to accommodate a diverse and growing population, while continuing to offer a vibrant environment for people to live, work and play into 2041.

    We will be hosting the first round of community and stakeholder engagement during November 2019 - please join us! We will be talking about where we have been and where we want to go as a community into the future, and we need your input...

    The Region has initiated a multi-year process to review the Regional Official Plan (ROP), beginning with an in-depth technical analysis of growth and development across the Region. We are looking at opportunities to accommodate a diverse and growing population, while continuing to offer a vibrant environment for people to live, work and play into 2041.

    We will be hosting the first round of community and stakeholder engagement during November 2019 - please join us! We will be talking about where we have been and where we want to go as a community into the future, and we need your input. Please see the Key Dates section on this page for more event information.