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City of Ottawa Official Plan

Update:  August 2021

The City has announced that residents can provide input on the draft Official Plan at a public open house slated for September 29. Details on location, etc are to be released shortly.


It also announced that the joint Planning Committee and Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee meeting to discuss the Official Plan has been moved to October 14. This is another opportunity for residents to provide feedback on the Plan. Details are yet to be released.


Two weeks later, the Plan will go to full City council for approval. You can read the draft official Plan and get info on the upcoming consultations, when available, at

Update:  June 2021

The City has released a full report on what 8,500 residents had to say about the draft Official Plan, “As We Heard It”. The report provides a snapshot of the comments that were received from multiple submissions and does not include a detailed summary of everything they heard.


Feedback included concerns about the status and location of high rise buildings, intensification, the need to address societal changes resulting from the COVID 19 pandemic, improved flood risk management and protecting the urban tree canopy. The report indicates what the City response to each of those comments, indicating a change to the draft Official Plan or clarification around the original intent.


It is also releasing ward-specific reports which you can find on Engage Ottawa. The rural ward reports highlight rural economic development, the concept of villages as 15-minute neighbourhoods, the support for agri-tourism, and renewable energy policies.


A new rural specific item in the draft Official Plan relates to the status of country lot subdivisions that were approved prior to amalgamation. In regard to these subdivisions, developers of country lot subdivisions will now have the opportunity to sell those rights which can be exchanged for development of a new subdivision adjacent to a village. The new subdivision could not be built on prime agricultural land or sensitive environmental lands and would be required to go through a rezoning process. It is not likely this would be an option for land around Manotick, particularly since we still have a lot of land available for development within the Village boundaries.


The draft official Plan will be released this summer with a public open house planned for late summer and further opportunity for public input. Copies of the reports are available at

Update:  April 2021 

The City continues to hold consultations on components of the draft Official Plan to assist in finalizing the Plan for approval by Council in the fall. There has been a lot of public engagement to date on the overall Plan as well as components such as a Rural Economic Development Strategy, active transportation and urban boundary expansion. For example, over 4000 residents completed a recent survey on 15-minute neighbourhoods.

And a virtual Q and A session on the draft Plan attracted over 400 participants on March 24th. About 80 questions were submitted in advance and there were many more questions asked during the session. The questions covered a variety of areas, including questions on topics relevant to rural residents. It was reassuring to hear that Secondary Plans will continue to have priority over the Official Plan when it comes to local development. For example, if the City decides that six storey buildings will be the norm along main streets city-wide, developers would still be limited to three storey buildings in Manotick as required in the Manotick Secondary Plan. A report on the questions and answers is being compiled and will be posted on the Engage Ottawa web site later this year.


As part of the consultation process, the City has established an Ambassador group to garner input from under-represented residents. It includes 11 representatives to provide input on a variety of topics including issues specific to rural and low income residents as well as different racial groups. Rural residents are represented in the process through a Rural Ambassador, Jordan Newman from Richmond.

The City also held an information session on 15-minute neighbourhoods on March 30 to help increase the understanding of what constitutes a 15-minute neighbourhood and to provide an update on input received so far. Manotick already fits that bill in many ways: many Village residents can reach shopping, restaurants and services within a 15 minute walk from home. There are also many key services here in the Village, including health care businesses and recreational facilities, as well as the Watson’s Mill historical site and Dickinson House.

Update:  February 2021 - MVCA's response to Draft Official Plan

Click HERE to read the submission from MVCA

Manotick Village and Community Association has submitted comments on the draft Official Plan encouraging the City to improve pedestrian access throughout the Village, establish guidelines to deter large trucks from cutting through rural villages to access provincial highways and clarify rural design guidelines to guide new development in villages. The Association also commented on other areas of the draft Plan that impact on rural villages including climate change and mobility.

The Plan commits the City to protecting rural villages with a 1 km buffer around village boundaries, a rural economic development strategy to encourage the establishment of small to medium sized businesses in villages, the construction of warehouse facilities close to provincial highways and the development of 15-minute neighbourhoods. While Manotick has the characteristics of a 15-minute neighbourhood with retail and commercial businesses within walking distance of many of the homes, it needs more safe pedestrian connections between neighbourhoods and the downtown core. The MVCA submission has highlighted this as an area that needs to be addressed.


The other major concern for local residents is the volume of truck traffic going through rural villages. The MVCA has flagged the need to consider the upstream and downstream impact of the establishment of more warehouse and storage facilities in rural areas. The major east-west truck routes in the south end of the City cut through rural villages, resulting in noxious fumes from trucks driving past schools, residences and seniors’ buildings. The Association has been working for years to address this issue and continues to do so in this submission to the City.


MVCA also noted the positive step of developing rural design guidelines. Currently, any new commercial development is reviewed by the Urban Design Review Panel. The Panel looks at design through an urban lens which makes it difficult to ensure that new buildings in villages fit within the existing architecture.

Update:  November 2020 - Draft of New Official Plan and Feedback Forms

On the Engage Ottawa site there is a draft of the new Official Plan and twenty-two documents providing a brief overview of the New Official Plan proposed policies on specific subject areas.  Each of these twenty-two documents has an associated feedback form.  General questions and comments can also be submitted through the Engage Ottawa website.

Engage Ottawa - New Official Plan

Update:  August 20, 2020 - 15 Minute Communities Survey

Through the new Official Plan they City is striving to improve livability through concepts like 15 Minute Communities.  Click the link to learn more and to take the survey to provide your opinion about your community.  Survey closes September 4, 2020

Click HERE

Source:  City of Ottawa website

"The City of Ottawa Official Plan provides a vision for the future growth of the city and a policy framework to guide the city's physical development to the year 2031. It is a legal document that addresses matters of provincial interest defined by the Planning Act and the Provincial Policy Statement. It also serves as a basis for a wide range of municipal activities. These include the:

  • Assessment of applications for new development or redevelopment of land.

  • Planning for and approval of public works and infrastructure (such as roads, and parks)

  • Guidance to Comprehensive Zoning By-law and changes to zoning

  • Planning for new communities and existing areas undergoing change.

  • Preservation of natural systems and the wise use of resources

  • ​Consultation and soliciting opinions from the community 


Consultation and soliciting opinions from the community The Official Plan of the City of Ottawa was adopted in 2003 and applies city wide. The Official Plan also includes Secondary Plans and Site Specific Policies to provide more detailed guidance in specific circumstances or locations. The Official Plan and Secondary Plans may be amended from time to time as part of a regular review or by application (Official Plan Amendments). As these changes are approved they are consolidated into the online documents. The consolidated Plan can be accessed below or from  the navigation bar to the left.  


New Official Plan

We have an opportunity to prepare for the future with a brand new Official Plan. The review of the Official Plan will be done as required by the Planning Act and Provincial Policy Statement, 2014, and will run in coordination with the reviews of the Infrastructure Master Plan, Transportation Master Plan and the Development Charges By-law. All aspects of the Official Plan will be reviewed and updated, including secondary plans for urban neighbourhoods and rural Villages."

Ottawa Official Plan Review Archive

City of Ottawa Official Plan Review (2013)-Building a Liveable Ottawa 2031 has set out a process to guide the completion of a five-year update of the city's Official Plan as well as the Transportation, Cycling, Pedestrian, and Infrastructure Plans. The draft documents for each of these plans can be found in this archive.

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