Volume 1 - Official Plan

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This is a consolidation of the Official Plan for the City of Ottawa as adopted under By-law 2003-203 by City Council on May 14, 2003, and modified by the Minister of Municipal Affairs on November 10, 2003, and modified by the Ontario Municipal Board in various decisions and official plan amendments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69. 70, 71, 72 73, 74, 75 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101,102, 103, 104, 105, 106,107,108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135, 138, 139, 141, 142, 143, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 166, 167, 168, 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183, 184, 185, 186 and 187, 188, 189, 190, 191, 192, 193, 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242 , 243, 244, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 253 and 254 by Council.

This consolidation is for convenience only. Reference should be made to the original certified documents which are on file in the City Clerk, City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1.

For proper and easy referencing, notations have been provided whenever changes to the original text have been made. These notations appear in short form and refer to the amending and modifying documents listed below.


Modifications made by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on November 10, 2003 concurrent with approval of certain parts of the Official Plan.[Ministerial Modification 16, November 10, 2003]


Outstanding appeals before the Ontario Municipal Board[Appeal x]


Modifications made by the Ontario Municipal Board concurrent with approval of certain parts of the Official Plan.[OMB decision #253, February 9, 2005]


Changes made by official plan amendments that have been approvedThe affected text and related notation will be italicized and bolded. [Amendment 8, July 14, 2004]

Specific sites or the application of specific policies where Board decisions are outstanding or where a Board hearing is still to be convened.

Appeal No. 79 – National Capital Commission
  • Site-specific appeal of Schedule B – Urban Policy Plan
  • Modification of Policy 5.2.1 f).


The Ottawa Official Plan is the first plan of the City of Ottawa and its guide to the 21st century. Creation of the city in 2001 brought 11 urban and rural municipalities and a regional government into one government structure, responsible for services to a population of about 800,000 living in an area of 2,760 square kilometres. Over the next 20 years, Ottawa’s population will push past the one million mark, a level of growth that will open new opportunities for the city and its residents. This Plan manages this growth in ways that reinforce the qualities of the city most valued by its residents: its distinctly liveable communities, its green and open character, and its unique characteristics that distinguish Ottawa from all other places.

Ottawa is unique among Canadian cities because its boundary takes in an urban area surrounded by a large and varied countryside. Prime agricultural lands touch the city’s suburbs and spread in all directions in broad plains, interspersed with wetland and forests and a fragment of Canadian Shield. But it is the rivers and waterways that are the hallmarks of Ottawa. Located at the juncture of the Ottawa River and the Rideau River and Canal, Ottawa and its history, economy and culture have been shaped by these waterways.

The Ottawa River and its tributaries form the most direct water route between the St. Lawrence River and the continental interior, making it the superhighway of the fur trade from the 17th to the 19th century. Evidence of Algonquian habitations has been found in Ottawa and throughout the Ottawa valley. The first European settlements were scattered farms and later a construction camp for the Rideau Canal was established in 1826. In the early 1800s, timber supplanted furs as the dominant good carried on the river. With its mill operations, Ottawa was the centre of this industry when it was named as the capital of the province of Canada in 1857 and as the national capital in 1867.

Today, Ottawa functions as both a national capital city on the international stage, and as an exciting yet comfortable place to call home. Parliament Hill is both a powerful national symbol and a familiar landmark to residents, a landmark carefully preserved in urban design plans prepared by both the federal government and the City of Ottawa. The green parkway system owned by the National Capital Commission, charged with coordinating the planning of federal properties in the National Capital Region, hosts motorcades for visiting dignitaries as well as streams of resident joggers and cyclists. The people of Ottawa celebrate Canada Day on Parliament Hill on national television, but also get together in neighbourhood parks to share their fireworks on the Victoria Day weekend.

As part of the National Capital Region, the City of Ottawa partners with the federal government as well as with the City of Gatineau in Québec on a range of issues, from the health of the river that runs between them to plans for new bridges to cross it. Together with the City of Gatineau, Ottawa is part of the fourth largest metropolitan area in Canada, with an economy to match.

Federal employment has long dominated the Ottawa economy, giving way through the 1990s to employment in high technology. With three universities and a combination of government and private research facilities, plus an active business community and well-educated work force, Ottawa is a seedbed for innovation. Future growth will depend on the city’s continuing ability to develop its own talent pool and to attract talent in the international market.

Ottawa is increasingly cosmopolitan, with an estimated 1 in 4 residents born outside of Canada and 1 in 7 residents members of visible minorities. About 20 per cent of the population speaks a language other than English and French, while about 37 per cent speaks both official languages.

These are some of the qualities of Ottawa that this Plan seeks to preserve over the next 20 years. It proposes to manage growth in ways that enhance the liveability of Ottawa’s existing communities while creating exciting new areas for housing, work, shopping, and recreation. The environmental integrity of the city is reinforced throughout the Plan. The city shines as both a national capital and as a great place to call home.

Section 8 - Glossary


Abandoned Pits and Quarries
Area of land not previously licensed or permitted under the Aggregate Resources Act from which aggregate has been removed, leaving it in a form that is derelict, unproductive and/or incompatible with the surrounding landscape.

Planning the city to bring people closer to their destinations and making it easier for people to reach jobs, services, education and recreation.

Adverse Impact

For the purpose of Section 3.2.4, adverse impact means changes likely to arise directly or indirectly from development proposed within lands designated as Rural Natural Features that result in widespread, long-term, or irreversible degradation of significant natural features, impairment of significant natural functions, or both. Examples of changes to be considered in determining if an adverse impact is likely to occur within lands designated Rural Natural Features include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. fragmentation or reduction in size;
  2. increase in perimeter-to-area ratio;
  3. disruption of natural corridors and ecological linkages;
  4. alteration of natural topography;
  5. disruption or alteration of ecological relationships among significant or representative native species, or their habitat;
  6. alteration of quantity, quality, timing (hydroperiod) or direction of surface or groundwater flow;
  7. alteration of the structure, functions, or ecological interrelationships of natural habitats;
  8. reductions in the populations or reproductive capacity of significant species;
  9. erosion or compaction of soils or deposition of sediment.

[OMB Decision # 0734, March 21, 2007]

Affordable Housing
Affordable housing is defined as housing, either ownership or rental, for which a low- or moderate-income household pays no more than 30 per cent of its gross annual income.

Agricultural Uses
The growing of crops, including nursery and horticultural crops; raising of livestock and other animals for food, or fur, including poultry and fish; aquaculture; agro-forestry; maple syrup production; and associated on-farm buildings and structures.

Airport Operating Influence Zone (AOIZ)
This line is a composite of the 30 NEF and 30 NEP noise contours, and takes into account visible features such as roads and watercourses. The zone was established to restrict noise-sensitive development which can be disturbed by noise. The boundary of the AOIZ is not subject to interpretation and the precise location must be read from a map at a scale of 1:50,000 as prepared by the City of Ottawa or Ottawa International Airport Authority. [Amendment #193, December 5, 2018]

Airport Vicinity Development Zone (AVDZ)
Lands within the "Airport Vicinity Development Zone" are constrained by the Ottawa Airport Zoning Regulations. This line is based on the most restrictive of either the 25 NEF and NEP contours (the 25 noise composite line) as well as the "Outer Limitation" and "Bird Hazard Zone" boundaries as defined by the Ottawa Airport Zoning Regulations. The boundary of the AVDZ has been drawn to coincide with physical features such as roads, creeks, rail lines, and lot lines where possible, as shown on Schedule K, and is not subject to interpretation. The precise location of the AVDZ must be read from a map at a scale of 1:50,000 as prepared by the City of Ottawa or Ottawa International Airport Authority. [Amendment #193, December 5, 2018]

A substantive change to the built environment which could impact on the heritage character of an individually-designated heritage property or a heritage conservation district or buildings in heritage zones, as indicated in the zoning by-law.

Alternative Development Standards
Flexible planning and engineering standards providing a range of alternatives to the current standards used for the design and construction of communities. These may include standards relating to lot sizes and frontages, siting of houses on lots, street pavement, right-of-way widths, and parking requirements.

Archaeological Resources
Include the physical remains and contextual setting of any structure, event, activity, place, cultural feature or object which, because of the passage of time, is on or below the surface of the land or water, and is important to understanding the history of a people or place. Examples include individual artefacts or grouped features such as the remains of a pre-European aboriginal settlement.

Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI)
Areas of land and water containing natural landscapes or features that have been identified as having life science or earth science values related to protection, scientific study, or education.

Arterial Roads
Roads that serve through travel between points not directly served by the road itself and limited direct access is provided to only major parcels of adjacent lands.

Generally refers to street level, or the equivalent of ground-floor level.


Big- Box Retail
A term applied to very large floor plate, one-storey retail outlets, usually operated as part of a chain, that locate on individual sites or that cluster on a large site, sometimes adjacent to each other. Big-box retailers, also known as “superstores” “retail warehouses” or “large format retail”, serve a region-wide market and typically locate at highly-visible locations at major intersections or adjacent to highways. [Appeal 22, 24, 27, 30, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41]

Abandoned, vacant, or underutilized commercial and industrial properties where past actions have resulted in actual or perceived environmental contamination, and/or derelict, deteriorated or obsolete buildings. [Amendment 40, April 26, 2006]

Built Heritage
Includes buildings, structures and sites that contribute to an understanding of our heritage and are valued for their representation of that heritage. They may reveal architectural, cultural, or socio-political patterns of our history or may be associated with specific events or people who have shaped that history. Examples include buildings, groups of buildings, dams and bridges.


Central Business District
The major commercial area within the Central Area, including business, office, retail uses, mixed-use development and intense activity. The Central Business District also contains other uses that are compatible with the function of the Central Area, particularly those that contribute to its vibrancy and vitality, such as housing, hotels, cultural and entertainment.

Character Area
A geographical area designated in Volume 2 – Central Area Secondary Plan – Central Area Character Areas and Theme Streets, which has distinct land use functions and a unique, identifiable physical character.

City Freeway
A limited access roadway where high-speed traffic travels cross-city.

Community Improvement Plan
A plan adopted and approved under Section 28 of the Planning Act for the community improvement of a community improvement project area. This plan will specify the powers of Council with respect to carrying out the community improvement plan, including powers to

  • make grants and loans;
  • acquire, improve and develop land and buildings,
  • maintain, repair, rehabilitate, and/or construct infrastructure. [Amendment 40, April 26, 2006]

Community Improvement Project Area
A municipality or an area within a municipality, the community improvement of which in the opinion of Council is desirable because of age, dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty arrangement, unsuitability of buildings or for any other environmental, social or community economic development reason. [Amendment 40, April 26, 2006]

Collaborative Community Building
An inclusive process where everyone who lives, works or develops in a community comes together to strengthen and improve the local quality of life from both a physical land-use and human perspective.

Collector Road
Roads that serve neighbourhood travel to and from major collector or arterial roads and usually provides direct access to adjacent lands.

Community Design Plan
A plan developed for a community or neighbourhood that will undergo significant change. The community design plan will translate the principles and policies of the Official Plan to the community scale.

Community Garden
Public greenspaces that are cooperatively planned and maintained by local residents for the benefit of the entire community. Community gardens are a low-cost, barrier-free form of recreation that fosters physical activity, positive social interaction, environmental awareness and an opportunity to grow fresh, organic produce. Community gardens are inter-generational, multicultural places that integrate many aspects of sustainable community development.

Conservation (Heritage)
A broad range of activities used to identify, protect, maintain and revitalize a heritage property. Conservation seeks to retain elements of the built environment which are recognized as having heritage value.

Any solid, liquid, gas, odour, heat, sound, vibration, radiation or combination thereof resulting directly or indirectly from human activities that may cause an adverse effect.

Contaminated Sites
Sites where the environmental condition of the property and the quality of the soil or groundwater, particularly on former industrial and waste-disposal sites, may have the potential for adverse effects on human health or the natural environment.

Cultural Heritage Landscape
Any geographic area that has been modified, influenced, or given special cultural meaning by people and that provides the contextual and spatial information necessary to preserve and interpret the understanding of important historical settings and changes to past patterns of land use. Examples include a burial ground, historical garden or a larger landscape reflecting human intervention.

Cultural Heritage Resources
Includes four components: Built Heritage, Cultural Heritage Landscapes, Archaeological Resources, and documentary heritage left by people.


A measure of specified units as in persons, employees or buildings/floor space per unit of area.

Density Transfer
An increase in the permitted gross floor area on one or more lot(s) (the recipient) accompanied by a concurrent reduction on the permitted gross floor area on another lot(s) (the donor).

Design Guidelines
A set of recommendations intended to guide development toward a desired level of quality through the design of the physical environment, which is applied on a discretionary basis relative to the context of development.

Design with Nature
An approach that utilizes natural methods during site design to work with the terrestrial, aquatic, and biological characteristics of the site and the relationship between them. These measures may serve to reduce the reliance on technological solutions, which may be expensive, energy- or management-intensive, and less environmentally sensitive. This may include

  • Retention of natural vegetation on slopes to reduce erosion;
  • Conservation of as many existing trees as feasible;
  • Use of appropriate natural infiltration techniques on site to reduce the need for stormwater management ponds;
  • Orientation of streets to maximise opportunities for passive solar heating and reflection of natural contours;
  • Protection of natural stream corridors and incorporation of natural features into open spaces.

The construction, re-construction, erection or placing of one or more buildings or structures on land or the making of any material change in the use or intensity of the use of any building or land.

Distinctive Street
An important street or road which extends through the Central Area which links important focal points, and which has a unique role and/or character such as through landscape treatment, architectural features, land use, and/or pedestrian or vehicular movement.

The area including the Central Area and adjacent residential neighbourhoods (including Centretown, Sandy Hill, Lowertown East, Lowertown West and Dalhousie).


Systems of plants, animals, and micro-organisms, together with the non-living component and related ecological processes, and humans.

Edges are formed at the boundaries of areas by a transition of visual character or a linear break, as in the case of barriers created by a watercourse or a freeway.

Endangered Species
Any native species, as listed in the regulations under the Endangered Species Act, that is at risk of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its Ontario range if the limiting factors are not reversed.

Environmental Impact Study
A study prepared in keeping with established procedures to identify and assess the impacts of development on a specified feature or system.


An agricultural operation which for most dairy, cattle or cash crop farming, will consist of approximately 36 hectares or more whether contiguous or not. For other farm types, such as market gardening or a greenhouse operation, a lesser farm size would exist.

A farmer is defined as someone whose primary occupation consists of working on a farm and who has been involved in cropping and/or animal husbandry. His or her primary occupation is the operation of the farm, where primary occupation is defined in terms of time spent farming and/or proportion of income derived from farming.

A specific physical area that can be defined by shape, make-up or appearance. Examples include a particular woodland community or wetland area.

The design of buildings and landscape features which provides for a sympathetic relationship with the prevalent characteristics of their physical context.

Fixed Viewpoint
The location from which one obtains an unobstructed or unmarred view of the Centre Block, as depicted on Annex 7 – Central Area Gateways, Nodes and Distinctive Streets.

Flood Plain
Area adjoining a watercourse, covered by water in the event of a 100-year flood.

Focal Point
The centre of activity in a community.

A natural process that operates within or between areas and involves the movement and exchange of nutrients, energy, or genetic material.
Examples include hydrological processes, food webs, animal population dynamics, and surface drainage.


An important road or path which serves as a major entry into the city, into a district (including the Central Area) or into a local area. Gateways are also created where a road or path intersects with the edge of a district, and are often signified by entrance features.

Large undeveloped lands within the urban boundary that serve as locations for new communities or for development that completes existing communities.

Includes sensitive wetlands and forests in urban and rural areas, playing fields and playgrounds, landscaped parkways, the carefully planned greens surrounding major public buildings and natural areas around stormwater management ponds and in hydro corridors.

Greenspace Network
All greenspace in Ottawa that is physically connected.

Sub-surface water or water stored in pores, cracks, and crevices in the ground below the water table.


Buildings, structures, sites, landscapes, areas and environments of historic, architectural, contextual, cultural, and/or natural interest, which are or should be conserved for the benefit of the community and posterity.

Heritage Area
A site, landscape, area or environment which may have a concentration of resources of historic, architectural, archaeological, contextual, cultural, and/or cultural interest, which are or should be conserved for the benefit of the community for posterity.

Heritage Conservation District
An area or environment, usually an aggregate of buildings, open spaces and streets, which has been designated by by-law by City Council under the authority of Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Heritage Reference List
A city-wide inventory of heritage resources, which may have architectural, historical, archaeological, contextual, cultural, and/or natural interest and which may warrant designation under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Home-Based Business
Business operated by a resident from the premises of his or her own home.

Human Scale
The quality of the physical environment which reflects a sympathetic proportional relationship to human dimensions and abilities, and/or which contributes to the citizen’s perception and comprehension of the size, scale, height, bulk and/or massing of buildings or other features of the built environment.


Image Analysis
A method to document the existing physical environment to assist in evaluating the suitability and appropriateness of new development within an existing man-made or natural context.

Income Percentile
Defines the percentage below which a specified percentage of household incomes lie.
For example, the 60th income percentile refers to the point which is equal to or greater than the income of 60 per cent of all households.

Infill is development that occurs on a single lot, or a consolidated number of small lots, on sites that are vacant or underdeveloped. Infill may also refer to the creation of the lot or lots.

Physical structures that form the foundation for development. Infrastructure includes wastewater and water works, electric power, communications, transit and transportation facilities, and oil and gas pipelines and associated facilities.

Intensification means that the density of development, measured in households or employment per hectare, increases.


Landmarks are urban design elements that create distinct visual orientation points Landmarks provide a sense of location to the observer within the larger urban pattern, such as that created by a significant natural feature, or by an architectural form which is highly distinctive relative to its surrounding environment.

Leisure Resources
Open spaces and facilities that provide for leisure, which may be either passive or active in nature.
Leisure resources may be public, quasi-public or private.

Local Road
Roads that provide direct access to adjacent lands and serve neighbourhood travel to and from collector or arterial roads.


A commercial street with strong pedestrian orientation, accessible to the adjacent community and containing a mix of uses (stores, community facilities, apartments, etc.).

Major Collector Road
Roads that serve neighbourhood travel between collector and arterial roads and may provide direct access to adjacent lands.

The overall shape or arrangement of the bulk or volume of development.

Mine Hazards
Any feature of a mine as defined under the Mining Act or any related disturbances of the ground that has not been rehabilitated.

Mineral Aggregate Resources
Non-renewable resources such as limestone, sand, and gravel suitable for construction, industrial, manufacturing and maintenance purposes.

Minimum Distance Separation Formulae
A formulae developed by the Province of Ontario to separate uses so as to reduce incompatibility concerns about odour from livestock facilities.

Minor Variance
A departure from the provisions of the zoning by-law or any other by-law which is deemed by the Committee of Adjustment to maintain the general intent and purpose of the zoning by-law and of the Official Plan pursuant to the Planning Act.

Mixed Use
A variety of uses in a building or a community in close proximity, possibly including housing, recreational, commercial, institutional, or other employment uses.

Providing the transportation facilities (roads, bus routes, sidewalks, bridges, etc.) to get people from one part the city to their destinations in other areas, no matter the distances involved.

Modal Share
The ratio of the number of trips by a specific travel mode to the total number of trips by all modes, usually expressed as a percentage.


National Symbols
These include major public buildings, public monuments and physical landforms within the Parliamentary Precinct and around Confederation Boulevard.

Natural Channel Design
The process by which new or reconstructed stream channels and their associated flood plain riparian systems are designed to be naturally functional, stable, healthy, productive, and sustainable.

Natural Features
Physically tangible elements of the environment including wetlands, forests, ravines, rivers, valleylands, and associated wildlife habitat areas along the edge of, or which support significant ecological functions within, the natural feature.

Natural Functions
Natural processes, products or services provided or performed by natural features within or between natural systems and species at a variety of scales. Examples include groundwater recharge, provision of wildlife habitat, temperature moderation, natural cleansing and filtration of surface water, and carbon sequestration (carbon sinks).

Natural Corridors
The naturally-vegetated or potentially revegetated areas that link or border natural areas and provide ecological functions such as habitat, passage, hydrological flow, connection or buffering from adjacent impacts.

Nodes are points of intensive activity, which provide a focus to public life, such as a market place or community centre, and are usually created at the convergence of important paths. Nodes are often signified by distinctive urban design characteristics relative to the surrounding area or district, such as the inclusion of a landmark building.

Noise/Noise Level
Noise is undesirable and unwanted sound. Sound is measured in decibels (units of sound). The A-weighted sound level (i.e. dBA) has been found to correlate well with the perception of annoying sounds and is used to assess community and roadway noise. The generally-accepted sound level descriptor for community and roadway noise is the equivalent sound level (Leq). It is the sound level of the continuous sound, which would have the same sound energy as the actual time varying sound over the period of time being considered. Due to the time consideration, Leq has to be referenced to a specific time period. For community and roadway noise, the Ottawa Official Plan will use a 30 minute sound level time period which will be expressed as Leq (30 min).

Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF)
Value at a ground position providing an estimate of the integrated noise exposure produced by all types of aircraft at an airport, based on the actual or projected number and type of aircraft as well as the yearly runway utilization.

Noise Exposure Projection (NEP)
Value of noise exposure similar to the NEF with the exception that it provides long-range guidance in land use planning based on a projection of aircraft traffic levels, aircraft types and runway configurations. The NEPs are developed for periods beyond the five-year to 10-year horizon, up to 20 years into the future.

Noise Study
Study that is generally a result of conditional approval. The purpose of the detailed study is to assess all noise sources affecting the proposed lands and includes details of assessment methods, results and recommendations for control measures. The study is based on the proposed grading plans and reflects the details of the buildings if known at the time of approval.


Open Space
Local parks, linear corridors, and large-scale public lands primarily along the rivers and in the Greenbelt, which are in or intended to be in public ownership and are, or will be, generally available for public use and enjoyment.

Outdoor Amenity Area
The main outdoor area of a property that is designed to accommodate a variety of individual leisure activities.


Park and Leisure Areas
Playgrounds, parks, and sports fields that provide people with frequent and immediate contact with greenspace.

Parliament Buildings and Other National Symbols
The Parliament Buildings are the Centre Block and Library, East Block and West Block. Other National Symbols include public buildings, public monuments and the physical landform within the Parliamentary Precinct and around Confederation Boulevard.

Pedestrian-Oriented Uses
Uses which generate pedestrian interest and activity, especially retail stores and restaurants, as well as entertainment, personal service businesses, arts and cultural uses, theatres, small open spaces or pedestrian amenity areas, tourist information centres and other similar uses. Pedestrian-oriented uses are also designed to give preference to narrow street frontages, resulting in a continuity of uses along the street, the principle entrances of which are located along the perimeter of the building, and are directly accessible and visible to pedestrians using public rights-of-ways. Retail uses such as banks and similar financial institutions are included, provided such uses have narrow and limited frontage.

Land or land under water from which unconsolidated aggregate is being or has been excavated and that has not been rehabilitated, but does not mean land or land under water excavated for a building or other work on the excavation site or in relation to which an order has been made under subsection 1.(3) Aggregate Resources Act.

Private Individual Services
One individual, autonomous water supply and wastewater disposal system, normally a well and septic system, owned and maintained by the property owner(s).

Public Art
The integration of permanent, site-specific works of art into buildings, natural places, public spaces and structures through a community design process that includes citizens, artists, architects and urban planners.

Public Service Area
The area served by City-owned and -operated water and wastewater services. This includes the urban area on central services and the parts of the rural area serviced by smaller-scale City facilities.

Public Utility
A public body or private corporation providing infrastructure services to the public, such as hydro, natural gas, telephone, cable and sewer and water.


Land or land under water from which consolidated aggregate is being or has been excavated and that has not been rehabilitated, but does not mean land or land under water excavated for a building or other work on the excavation site or in relation to which an order has been made under subsection 1.(3) Aggregate Resources Act.


Rapid-Transit Facility
The components of a rapid-transit network including rapid-transit stations and the road or rail connections between them.

Rapid-Transit Network
The rapid-transit network consists of an interconnecting system of existing and planned rights-of-way and corridors in which a rapid-transit facility (transitway, O-train, streetcar, etc.) may be located.

Rapid-Transit Quality Service
The provision of transit service to developing areas that seeks to provide a rapid-transit type service in advance of construction of a full rapid-transit facility to serve the new community.

Rapid-Transit Station
Any station on the transitway or rail rapid-transit facilities.

Rare Species
Species that are known to be distributionally significant in the City of Ottawa by virtue of their rarity in the city or the Province of Ontario. Rarity is established through a number of sources which have examined species occurrence in a systematic fashion at the provincial and city level, including the assessments and rankings completed by the Natural Heritage Information Centre and the Wetland Evaluation System (provincial rankings) and studies within the City of Ottawa such as the Natural Environment Systems Strategy (Brownell 1995, Brunton 1998 – distributionally significant flora), and, in future, the Urban Natural Areas Environmental Evaluation Study.

The construction of new residential units or mixed-use development to replace the current development of an area.

River Corridor
The shoreline of the Ottawa River and Rideau River and Canal as well as the shoreline of all waterways in the urban area and Villages.

Rural Area
The part of the city not intended for urban development. It contains a number of important natural resources and is characterized by the dominance of the natural rather than the built environment and the relatively low density of development. Village are the focus for development in the rural area.


Secondary Dwelling Unit
Additional residential living space, either as a distinct dwelling unit incorporated by interior renovation with an existing detached or semi-detached house or within an accessory garage. Standards may be set out in the zoning by-law to govern compatibility in matters such as parking requirements and exterior amenity areas where appropriate.

Sensitive Natural Areas
Areas including significant natural features and functions.

The separation of a piece of land to form two new adjoining properties, authorized by consent, as defined by the Planning Act.

Significant (when applied to natural features and functions)
Significant means ecologically important in terms of natural features and functions, representation or amount, and contributing to the quality and diversity of a defined natural area or system. In regard to wetlands identified as provincially significant or Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest, significance is established using evaluation procedures established by the province, as amended from time to time. In regard to other areas and features, significance is determined through application of criteria or assessment methods in the context of systematic studies such as those described in Section 2.4.3 (Watershed and Subwatershed Plans) and Section 3.2.2 (Natural Environment Areas), Section 3.2.3 (Urban Natural Features) and Section 3.2.4 (Rural Natural Features).

Snow Disposal Facility
A public or private, permanent or temporary, facility where snow is placed after being brought to a site from elsewhere.

Solid Waste Disposal Sites
Sites for landfills, incinerators and any other facilities providing for the long-term storage or destruction of municipal solid waste.

Stormwater Site Management Plan
A plan developed for a particular development proposal in accordance with guidance set out in a subwatershed plan where that is available. Generally, site management plans will include details on subdivision stormwater management, specific best-management practices for stormwater, erosion and siltation control and details for enhancement and rehabilitation of natural features.

Subwatershed Plan
A plan initiated by a local municipality, or identified through a watershed plan dealing with water management issues in the area drained by a particular river and its tributaries and forming part of a larger watershed. It will provide a greater level of detail than a watershed plan, including the components identified in Section 2.4.3.

Sustainable Development
A strategy that requires the integration of economic growth, social equity, and environmental management to ensure a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come.


Theme Street
Predominantly linear retail shopping streets and designated in Volume 2 – Central Area Secondary Plan – Central Area Character Areas and Theme Streets, with associated additional land uses, a unique physical character, and a unifying theme.

Threatened Species
Any native species that is at risk of becoming endangered through all or a portion of its Ontario range if the limiting factors are not reversed.

A rapid-transit facility in the form of a roadway designed for the exclusive use of buses and other authorized vehicles.

Transit Priority Network
A system of primarily arterial roads upon which transit-priority measures may be implemented to improve the quality of transit service in terms of speed and reliability.


Unstable Slope
Slope of land that has potential to collapse or slide if development occurs on, or adjacent to, such an area. The landslide condition can result from a variety of reasons, such as the geological makeup of the soil or rock, steepness of slope, the degree of erosion occurring due to natural causes, or as a result of human activities and the amount of natural vegetation present in the area. Any single condition or combination of the above conditions may cause slope instability.

Urban Area
Area designated on Schedule A. The urban area is serviced or planned to be serviced by the central systems for water supply and wastewater treatment.

Urban Boundary
The urban boundary defines the area that already is serviced or may be serviced with major roads, transit and piped sewer and water services.

Urban Design
The process of applying desired functional and aesthetic parameters to the design of the city and its parts.


Refers to what can be seen from a particular location, such as a significant building and/or landscape features

View Sequence
A sequence of views of a significant building and/or landscape feature from a series of vantage points along a path or road, such as the sequence of views of the Parliament Buildings and other national symbols from Confederation Boulevard.


A naturally occurring drainage channel which includes rivers, streams and creeks.

All lands drained by a river or stream and its tributaries.

Watershed Plan
A plan developed in partnership with municipalities, agencies and residents dealing with broad water management issues in the area of land drained by a particular river and its tributaries. It will provide general direction and objectives for the watershed area and more specific direction for the preparation on subwatershed or site management plans. It will include the components outlined in Section 2.4.3.

Wayside Pit or Quarry
A pit or quarry for a specific contract of road construction that has been authorized by a permit issued to a public authority or any person who has a contract with a public authority.

Include lands that are seasonally or permanently covered by shallow water as well as lands where the water table is close to or at the surface. The four major categories of wetlands are swamps, marshes, bogs and fens.

Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat
Wildlife refers to flora and fauna. Wildlife habitat means areas where plants, animals and other organisms live and find adequate amounts of food, water, shelter and space needed to sustain their populations. Specific wildlife habitat of concern may include areas where species concentrate at a vulnerable point in their annual or life cycle and areas which are important to migratory or non-migratory species.

Treed areas that provide environmental and economic benefits such as erosion prevention, water retention, provision of habitat, recreation and the sustainable harvest of woodland products. Woodlands include treed areas, woodlots or forested areas and vary in their level of significance.

Site Map

Section 1 – Introduction

Section 2 – Strategic Directions

Section 3 – Designations and Land Use

Section 4 – Review of Development Applications

Section 5 – Implementation

Section 6 – Schedules

Section 7 – Annexes

Section 8 – Glossary

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Table of Contents


Section 1 - Introduction

  • 1.1 – The Role of the Official Plan
  • 1.2 – The Role of Ottawa:  A Capital City and a Place to Call Home
  • 1.3 – The Challenge Ahead
  • 1.4 – Building a Sustainable Capital City
  • 1.5 – Structure of the Official Plan

Section 2 – Strategic Directions

  • 2.1 – Patterns of Growth
  • 2.2 – Managing Growth
  • 2.3 – Providing Infrastructure
  • 2.4 – Maintaining Environmental Integrity
  • 2.5 – Building Liveable Communities

Section 3 – Designations and Land Use

  • 3.1 – Generally Permitted Uses
  • 3.2 – Natural Environment
  • 3.3 – Open Space
  • 3.4 – Central Experimental Farm
  • 3.5 – Greenbelt
  • 3.6 – Urban Designations
  • 3.7 – Rural Designations
  • 3.8 – Solid Waste Disposal Sites
  • 3.9 – Snow Disposal Facilities
  • 3.10 – Airports
  • 3.11 – Urban Expansion Study Area
  • 3.12 – Development Community (Expansion Area)

Section 4 – Review of Development Applications

  • 4.1 – Site-Specific Policies and Secondary Policy Plans
  • 4.2 – Adjacent to Land-Use Designations
  • 4.3 – Walking, Cycling, Transit, Roads and Parking Lots
  • 4.4 – Water and Wastewater Servicing
  • 4.5 – Housing
  • 4.6 – Cultural Heritage Resources
  • 4.7 – Environmental Protection
  • 4.8 – Protection of Health and Safety
  • 4.9 – Energy Conservation Through Design
  • 4.10 –Parks and Greenspace Requirements
  • 4.11 – Urban Design and Compatibility

Section 5 - Implementation

  • 5.1 – Introduction
  • 5.2 – Implementation Mechanisms by Authority under the Planning Act
  • 5.3 – Other Implementation Policies
  • 5.4 – Interpretation
  • 5.5 – Monitoring and Measuring Performance
  • 5.6 – Summary of Studies Referred to in the Official Plan

Section 6 - Schedules

Section 7 - Annexes

Section 8 – Glossary