Download Provincial Policy Statement here

Part I: Preamble

The Provincial Policy Statement provides policy direction on matters of provincial interest related to land use planning and development. As a key part of Ontario’s policy-led planning system, the Provincial Policy Statement sets the policy foundation for regulating the development and use of land. It also supports the provincial goal to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Ontario.

The Provincial Policy Statement provides for appropriate development while protecting resources of provincial interest, public health and safety, and the quality of the natural environment. The Provincial Policy Statement supports improved land use planning and management, which contributes to a more effective and efficient land use planning system.

The policies of the Provincial Policy Statement may be complemented by provincial plans or by locally-generated policies regarding matters of municipal interest. Provincial plans and municipal official plans provide a framework for comprehensive, integrated and long-term planning that supports and integrates the principles of strong communities, a clean and healthy environment and economic growth, for the long term.

Land use planning is only one of the tools for implementing provincial interests. A wide range of legislation, regulations, policies and programs may also affect planning matters, and assist in implementing these interests.


Part II: Legislative Authority

The Provincial Policy Statement is issued under the authority of Section 3 of the Planning Act and came into effect on March 1, 2005. It applies to all applications, matters or proceedings commenced on or after March 1, 2005.

In respect of the exercise of any authority that affects a planning matter, Section 3 of the Planning Act requires that decisions affecting planning matters “shall be consistent with” policy statements issued under the Act.


Part III: How to Read the Provincial Policy Statement

A policy-led planning system recognizes and addresses the complex inter-relationships among environmental, economic and social factors in land use planning. The Provincial Policy Statement supports a comprehensive, integrated and long-term approach to planning, and recognizes linkages among policy areas.

The Provincial Policy Statement is more than a set of individual policies. It is intended to be read in its entirety and the relevant policies are to be applied to each situation. A decision-maker should read all of the relevant policies as if they are specifically cross-referenced with each other. While specific policies sometimes refer to other policies for ease of use, these cross-references do not take away from the need to read the Provincial Policy Statement as a whole.

Part IV, Vision for Ontario’s Land Use Planning System, provides the context for applying the Provincial Policy Statement. Implementation issues are addressed in the Implementation and Interpretation section.

Except for references to legislation which are traditionally italicized, italicized terms in the Provincial Policy Statement are defined in the Definitions section. For other terms, the normal meaning of the word applies. Terms may be italicized only in specific policies; for these terms, the defined meaning applies where they are italicized and the normal meaning applies where they are not italicized. Defined terms in the Definitions section are intended to capture both singular and plural forms of these terms in the policies.

There is no implied priority in the order in which the policies appear.