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 923,000 people and 470,000 jobs by the year 2051, 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 2051.

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 923,000 people and 470,000 jobs by the year 2051, 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 2051.

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.

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Employment Land Conversion Submissions

14 days

39 Employment Conversion Requests Have Been Received

The Region is in the process of identifying Employment Areas in the Regional Official Plan (for more information click here). Part of this process is to review and evaluate requests to convert specific parcels (or areas) that are currently designated for employment (pink areas on the map) to permit non-employment uses.  This is referred to as an employment land conversion.  Non-employment uses could include residential, mixed use, commercial, and institutional uses.

As of September 24th, the Region has received 39 landowner requests for employment land conversions (green areas), as well as requests...

39 Employment Conversion Requests Have Been Received

The Region is in the process of identifying Employment Areas in the Regional Official Plan (for more information click here). Part of this process is to review and evaluate requests to convert specific parcels (or areas) that are currently designated for employment (pink areas on the map) to permit non-employment uses.  This is referred to as an employment land conversion.  Non-employment uses could include residential, mixed use, commercial, and institutional uses.

As of September 24th, the Region has received 39 landowner requests for employment land conversions (green areas), as well as requests from the area municipalities (blue/purple areas), as illustrated on this map.  We want to hear from two groups of people: the general public and the submission proponent.

Public Input: We want your help!

The Region is looking for your input on if you would support or oppose specific employment land conversions and why.  Instructions for how to add a comment pin (within a conversion request area) are provided below.  Please provide your input by October 16, 2020.

Proponent Input: We want your confirmation and to provide you with more information

If you have submitted an employment land conversion request, please review that the location has been identified correctly.  If any refinement needs to be made, email RegionalOfficialPlanReview@regionofwaterloo.ca and reference the request ID number by September 25, 2020. To identify the ID number, simply click on the request area in the map.

Next Steps

Over the course of this Fall, Regional staff will begin to review and evaluate each request against the conversion criteria and review the public's input, in collaboration with area municipal staff. Once initial recommendations have been determined, the Region will meet with the landowners of each request to provide the results of the evaluation process and receive any further information.  It is important to note that municipal requests will be evaluated against the same conversion criteria.  Regional staff will then provide recommendations to Regional Council on each request. Any Council approved conversion will not be included within the Region’s Employment Area

How to Add a Comment Pin:

To add a comment pin, simply click the  icon on the left of the screen, click and hold the type of comment pin you want, and then drop the pin within a conversion request area (green or blue/purple area) on the map where you have feedback.  A form will pop up where you can provide your comment long with a few questions to help us understand your comment better.  You can add as many comment pins as you like! Please note that once a comment pin has been submitted, it can then be seen by anyone viewing the map.

Map Legend

*note that the colours may be a little different if private and municipal requests overlap.

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Proposed Boundaries around ION Rapid Transit Station Areas

16 days

There are 24 planned ION transit station areas in Waterloo Region. The ION transit station areas are considered Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) and the lands within 500 to 800m radius of the stations are the focus of this assessment. The Region is now required to show on maps, within the Regional Official Plan, the boundaries around each ION rapid transit station area that will accommodate the density target of 160 people and jobs per hectare - this target is a Provincial requirement. Each ION rapid transit station area was analysed to assess the potential capacity for growth at full...

There are 24 planned ION transit station areas in Waterloo Region. The ION transit station areas are considered Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) and the lands within 500 to 800m radius of the stations are the focus of this assessment. The Region is now required to show on maps, within the Regional Official Plan, the boundaries around each ION rapid transit station area that will accommodate the density target of 160 people and jobs per hectare - this target is a Provincial requirement. Each ION rapid transit station area was analysed to assess the potential capacity for growth at full build-out.  

The proposed boundaries for each ION transit station are shown on the map below, and were identified in collaboration with staff from the Cities of Cambridge, Kitchener, and Waterloo.

 Zoom in on the map below and use the COMMENT PIN to let us know:

  • your thoughts on the proposed boundaries - should they stay the same, change, and if so, how and where?  
  • to comment on the transit service, please complete GRT’s online comment form

To add a comment pin, simply click on the  icon and then click on the map where you’d like to you place your comment.  A Comment Form will pop up and you will be asked to leave your comment and your name (it can be your screen name or initials, if you'd prefer).  You can add as many comment pins as you like! Please note that once a comment pin has been submitted, it can then be seen by anyone viewing the map. We will be closing this interactive mapping activity by August 15, 2020.


CLOSED: This map consultation has concluded. Thank you very much for your interest and participation.
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Identifying Employment Areas – Open Until August 31, 2020

about 13 hours

The Region is in the process of identifying Employment Areas to be protected for long-term employment opportunity and growth.  Employment in this context refers to industrial type businesses or business parks and include manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, as well as some office and retail that support the nearby businesses and their employees.  These areas are vital to the Region’s economy and accounts for approximately 100,000 jobs or a third of all jobs in the Region in 2019.

This map shows all employment lands within the Region (as of June 1, 2020).  The intent is for most/some of these lands to be...

The Region is in the process of identifying Employment Areas to be protected for long-term employment opportunity and growth.  Employment in this context refers to industrial type businesses or business parks and include manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, as well as some office and retail that support the nearby businesses and their employees.  These areas are vital to the Region’s economy and accounts for approximately 100,000 jobs or a third of all jobs in the Region in 2019.

This map shows all employment lands within the Region (as of June 1, 2020).  The intent is for most/some of these lands to be protected by the Region for long-term employment opportunity and growth.


We want your help! The Region is looking for your input on:

  1. What areas should be protected for employment uses, and why? Tell us with a green pin.
  2. What areas may be better suited for other uses, and why? Tell us with an orange pin.
  3. If the Region needs additional employment land to support growth to 2041, where should those lands be located, and why? Tell us with a red pin.
  4. Anything else related to employment lands. Tell us with a blue pin.

Some things to keep in mind when completing this exercise are:

  • Employment uses, in this sense, refers to industrial type businesses or business parks 
  • How far is the commute to/from where people live?
  • How far and along what routes do trucks need to travel to/from major good movement routes (e.g. highways, rail, and the airport)?
  • How might existing or future employment uses be impacted by new non-employment uses, such as residential, institutional, or big box stores?
  • How might new non-employment uses be impacted by existing or future employment uses? 

To add a comment pin, simply click theicon on the left of the screen, click and hold the type of comment pin you want, and then drop the pin on the map where have feedback or an idea.  A form will pop up where you can leave a comment and your name (it can be your screen name or initials, if you'd prefer).  You can add as many comment pins as you like! Please note that once a comment pin has been submitted, it can then be seen by anyone viewing the map. We will be closing this interactive mapping activity by August 31, 2020.






CLOSED: This map consultation has concluded.