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Planning and development

Planning Ottawa

Land use planning is described and illustrated in this section including how the Official Plan and master plans guide growth. The challenges facing our growing city and the building blocks needed to attain our goals are also highlighted.  

The Official Plan provides a vision for the future growth of the city and a policy framework to guide its physical development.  The master plans support the Official Plan.

The Official Plan provides a vision of the future of the city and its physical development. Design and Planning Guidelines translate that broad framework into detailed principles for development. These guidelines play an integral role in achieving high quality design throughout the city.

Developing Ottawa

This search tool has been designed to give citizens greater access to development applications that have been submitted to the City of Ottawa.

Development is a very broad term that encompasses activities that result in a change of land use or the construction or addition to a building(s) or to the creation of a parcel of land. Outlined in this section is a step-by-step guide through the development application review process.

This section provides a guide to the Development Application Review Process, Registration for Community Groups and information for property owners.  The City of Ottawa welcomes and encourages comments from the public and community organizations regarding the development review process.

The Committee of Adjustment is a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal appointed by City Council that operates at arm’s length from the City administration. The Committee derives its jurisdiction from the Planning Act to make decisions on Minor Variances, Permission Applications and Consents to Sever.

The success of parks and pathways begins in the early stages of planning, during the pre-application consultation stage and again at the subdivision review stage, when park blocks and pathways are selected and acquired.

Heritage planning is the preservation, conservation, rehabilitation, restoration and management of heritage resources. Heritage planners work to manage change throughout the city to ensure that cultural heritage resources are retained, protected and integrated into new developments.

Get involved

The City of Ottawa is a city on the move.  Exciting improvements are planned and underway in all areas of the city.  Take a look and find our what’s happening in your neighbourhood!

The goal of this program is to build a strong relationship between the City and its communities and provide residents participating in the land-use planning process with knowledge and resources.  


The Ottawa Urban Design Awards is a biennial awards program that celebrates projects built in the City of Ottawa that achieve urban design excellence.

The City recognizes outstanding achievements in heritage conservation with the Ottawa Heritage Awards.

As part of the Wildlife Strategy, the City of Ottawa initiated a Wildlife Speaker Series to increase residents' knowledge and appreciation of wildlife.

Constructing Ottawa