Background Paper: Planning for Employment in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, May 2008

Planning for Employment in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, May 2008

Background Paper



On June 16, 2006, the Government of Ontario released the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006. It was prepared under the Places to Grow Act, 2005, as part of the Places to Grow initiative for healthy and prosperous growth throughout Ontario.

The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006 aims to:

  • Revitalize downtowns to become vibrant and convenient centres.
  • Create complete communities that offer more options for living, working, shopping and playing.
  • Provide greater choice in housing types to meet the needs of people at all stages of life.
  • Curb sprawl and protect farmland and green spaces.
  • Reduce traffic gridlock by improving access to a greater range of transportation choices.

Recognizing that planning for employment is a vital, yet often challenging task, in Policy 5.3.4 of the Growth Plan, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure committed to undertaking an assessment of employment areas in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. When complete, the overall assessment may not result in a single product or policy change, rather it may involve a variety of final products to support better planning for employment, for example, better mapping, planning guidelines, a database of employment lands, or amended Growth Plan policies. This assessment will help to ensure:

  • there is enough readily available land for future economic activities;
  • the region is in a good position to adapt to new economic trends; and
  • employment activities are planned for in a way that supports growth management objectives.

Background Paper

The background paper entitled Planning for Employment in the Greater Golden Horseshoe was released on May 14, 2008 and is available on the Places to Grow website at www.placestogrow.ca. The background paper is a first step in the employment area assessment that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal is undertaking. It is intended to generate input on land use planning issues related to employment activities. It explores the changing nature of employment in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and potential strategies to better plan for employment. Specifically the background paper examines:

  • promoting increased regional coordination and collaboration for employment lands;
  • locating and building employment uses in a manner that supports growth management objectives of more vibrant, complete and compact communities;
  • ensuring that infrastructure is used efficiently and supports vibrant, productive employment areas; and
  • possibly identifying and supporting strategic employment lands in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

The Greater Golden Horseshoe

The Greater Golden Horseshoe is currently well positioned in the world with a diverse and dynamic economy, skilled workforce, and a high quality of life. The region is Ontario's economic engine, accounting for nearly 70% of the province's GDP.

Economic and job growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe has been strong over the past two decades. In that time, there have been significant changes in the region's economy with a shift from manufacturing to a service-oriented economy. The changing nature of the region's economy now and in the future has important implications for land use planning for economic activities.

There are a number of factors that influence where companies will choose to invest and locate in the future. While land use planning and infrastructure investment are the focus of the assessment that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal is undertaking, there are a number of other initiatives that the province is undertaking through the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Ministry of Research and Innovation that will help to support the continued prosperity of the region.

Feedback on the Background Paper

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal is seeking feedback to inform the next stages of the employment area assessment.

Please submit comments on the background paper, by July 18, 2008, to:

Ontario Growth Secretariat
Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal
777 Bay Street, 4th floor, Suite 425
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5
Fax: 416-325-7403
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information, please visit the Places to Grow website at www.placestogrow.ca or call the toll-free line at 1-866-479-9781. Toronto area residents can call 416-325-1210.

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