The following is a selection of tools we think you may find useful for understanding the Places to Grow initiative and smart growth principles. The tools explain intensification and livable, walkable, complete communities that support transit use. The resources include presentations, fact sheets, guides, images, and calculators. Links with this icon are tools that kids may enjoy.
Visit the Places to Grow Image Bank for images that illustrate some of the themes addressed in the Places to Grow initiative. Please feel free to download them to use for public outreach and education purposes.
Tools produced by the Government of Ontario specifically for Places to Grow.Urban Form Case Studies
Case studies of recently completed projects which illustrate key policies in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006. We encourage you to download the case studies to inform your work, to use as a platform for discussion and to share with your community, colleagues and decision-makers.
Computer-generated photo montages that show hypothetical communities with different density targets, and before and after images of hypothetical intensification scenarios. Please feel free to download the visualizations to use them in your own materials to explain these concepts.
A handy, illustrated quick reference sheet of selected policies and definitions that are in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006.
Planning, development and financial tools created by other ministries and agencies.
Ministry of Transportation
These guidelines are designed to assist in creating an environment that is supportive of transit use. They include transit-friendly land use planning, urban design and operational practices, and should be used in communities of all sizes.
Mobility Hub Guidelines for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
The Mobility Hub Guidelines provide a framework for the successful planning and development of mobility hubs. They provide detailed strategies, best practices, case studies, and suggested resources for a number of key objectives.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing – Municipal Planning and Development Tools
Open for Business: A Land Use Planning Guide for Businesses
A guide to help new businesses understand the land use planning process in Ontario and acts as a reference to those opening new businesses, or expanding existing businesses.
Municipal Planning and Financial Tools for Economic Development Handbook
Descriptions of planning and financial tools that can be used to support municipal goals for economic development, snapshots and case studies on how other jurisdictions are capitalizing on their assets, and a municipal checklist for investment readiness.
Community Planning and Development 3D Visualization Portal
Interactive 3d scenarios illustrating how the Ontarioplanning system and its tools work 'on the ground'.
Planning by Design: A Healthy Communities Handbook
A guide of ideas for planning and designing for healthy and sustainable communities, prepared in partnership with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute .
Planning Act Tools
A summary, InfoSheets, and 12 illustrated one-page descriptions (Building Blocks for Sustainable Planning) of the range of planning tools that support intensification and sustainability.
Community Improvement Planning Handbook
A guide for municipalities to community improvement planning under section 28 of the Planning Act.
Information on brownfields (former industrial sites), including related legislation, land use planning, environmental protection and financing.
Citizens' Guides to Land Use Planning
A series of guides for citizens explaining the land use planning process in Ontario, including the Planning Act, Official Plans, Zoning By-laws, and the Ontario Municipal Board.
Municipal Plan Review and the One Window Planning Service
A handbook for municipalities on various planning approval processes, the roles and responsibilities of the municipality and the province, and strategies to help municipalities with their municipal plan review.
Planning Act Approval Authority in Ontario
A chart showing who has planning approval authority regarding official plans and amendments, subdivisions, condominiums, consents, power of sales and validations.
Support Materials for the Development Permit System
A handbook for municipal implementation, an InfoSheet, frequently asked questions, and a presentation explaining the development permit system.
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing – Municipal Tools and Financial Resources
Municipal Tools for Planning and Development InfoSheets
Information sheets on planning for barrier-free municipalities, tax increment-based financing, business improvement areas, affordable housing, wind energy, and planning for railway safety.
Financial Tools and Resources
Publications on financing tools and economic development strategies for municipalities.
Building Strong Communities: Cleaner Air Strategies
Handbooks on air quality and climate change case studies and strategies for local government officials, decision makers and others to reduce greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.
Innovative Municipal Land Use Planning Practices
A guide for municipal planning approval authorities, including creative approaches to land use planning and case studies for alternative municipal plan review models.
A selection of tools produced by other governments and organizations.
A U.S. design guide, gallery, and checklists for housing developments and a video lecture series on residential density.
A document that describes a process for measuring energy efficiency and sustainability of a range of approaches to community development.
Case studies on intensification; comparison of neighbourhood sustainability; and a sustainable community visioning and assessment exercise.
Centre for Sustainable Transportation: Child- and Youth- Friendly Land-Use and Transport Planning Guidelines for Ontario ( PDF 852 KB)
Guidelines to help communities meet the mobility needs of young people by encouraging non-motorized transportation and healthier environments.
Database and images of international new urbanist/smart growth projects.
Photos of 21 neighbourhoods around the world (including Toronto examples) with their densities expressed in people per hectare.
Comprehensive urban design principles, policy, and project development processes for the U.K., illustrated using over 100 international case studies.
Facts sheets (using U.S. data) about the relationship of transportation to issues such as biodiversity, energy and climate change, and social equity.
A summary of density concepts and issues (using U.S. examples); a quiz, an image gallery; and an interactive game.
A compact disc for sale that includes a PowerPoint presentation, case studies of 60 California projects, an image survey, "Guess the Density" game, and design guidelines.
A booklet featuring design principles, information about the smart growth and density connection, and nine U.S. case studies of smart growth projects.
A guide to density with images and (U.S.) examples of different residential density levels.
Ontario Professional Planner's Institute: Kid's Guide to Building Great Communities - A Manual for Planners and Educators ( PDF 1.8 MB)
A number of learning exercises for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 that explain basic principles of community planning.
A U.S. site for children, youth, and educators, including an interactive animation; lesson plans; and a small image library.
An interactive U.S. map with population and commuting data linked to over 70 photo montages of "before" and simulated "after" views of community improvement and intensification.
Searchable database of publications on best practices in transit-oriented development.
Illustration of potential development densities for six study areas and documents visualizing existing and potential development densities in the Region of Waterloo. Includes case studies of building forms.
A calculator that interactively compares a number of neighbourhoods in San Fransisco in terms of 17 measures, including density, water use, air pollution, and automobile costs.
Compares a range of U.S. neighbourhood types and densities (in units per acre) against a hypothetical sprawling neighbourhood.
Guides and toolkits on healthy communities, affordable housing, smart growth, and protecting agricultural land (with a British Columbia focus).
Links to a wide selection of (mostly U.S.) resources including PowerPoint presentations; radio, television and film; quotes; guidebooks; and toolkits.
Three case studies of British Columbia smart growth projects.
Smarter Niagara Smart Growth Showcase Tour
Pdf presentations of smart growth development in Hamilton, Port Credit, Oakville, Kitchener/Waterloo, and Cambridge.
An online street section drawing tool (in imperial measurements) and international streetcape photo gallery, and street section data base.Toronto Centre for Active Transportation: Complete Streets by Design ( PDF 4.1 MB)
The Toronto Centre for Active Transportation illustrates how six Toronto streets could look and feel if designed as complete streets.
Transport Canada: Active Transportation in Canada
A resource tool for transportation planners and related professionals to accommodate, promote and support active transportation.
Urban Land Institute Higher Density Development: Myth and Fact - Pdfs and PowerPoint Presentations
Two U.S. scripted PowerPoint presentations for a suburban audience and an urban audience on increasing density as a desirable way to combat sprawl.
Using U.S. examples, posters of walking, bicycling, traffic calming, transit access, crossings, and pedestrian links.