The Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review
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The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan are four provincial land use plans that work together to manage growth, build complete communities, curb sprawl and protect the natural environment.

A Co-ordinated Review of the four plans has been undertaken, and the Government of Ontario has received extensive feedback in 2015. This includes recommendations made by the Niagara Escarpment Commission through its series of Plan Review Discussion Papers on how the NEP should be updated. An Advisory Panel chaired by David Crombie, provided recommendations in December 2015: Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015 – 2041 [PDF 25MB]. The Advisory Panel noted, “There is strong support for these plans” but “there is an urgent need to improve the plans.”

The Government of Ontario has reviewed and considered all feedback received from the NEC, Indigenous communities, stakeholders, and the public, as well as the Advisory Panel’s recommendations. The government is now proposing changes to the four plans.

The Niagara Escarpment Commission’s Role in the Co-ordinated Review

The NEC has a legislated role in the review of the NEP, as identified in the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act. In the first phase of the Co-ordinated Review, the NEC made recommendations, through its series of Plan Review Discussion Papers, on how the NEP should be updated. These recommendations were provided and considered by the government through the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, who is responsible for the NEP.

In the second round of consultation, the NEC must review and assess all comments received, and will provide its final recommendations to the government, in accordance with the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act.  The government will consider these recommendations in making final the changes to the NEP, including any decisions on site-specific amendments.

Proposed Amendments to the NEP

The proposed amendments to the NEP can be found here:

Changes are being proposed to some policies in the NEP. The government is proposing to update many NEP policies to reflect new legislation, to harmonize with the Greenbelt Plan and other land use planning policy documents where appropriate, and to address stakeholder and public comments from the first round of consultation.  

The existing NEP Land Use Designation mapping dates to the original NEP approved in 1985. The government is proposing to update these maps to more accurately reflect the current conditions on the ground. The proposed update may result in changes to the extent of the current Escarpment Natural Area, Protection Area and Rural Area Designations.

  • Site-specific, Urban Use and NEP Boundary Amendments [PDF 20 MB]  Under the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, urban use and urban boundary amendments can only be considered during the review of the Plan. More than 60 site-specific requests for amendments were submitted during the first round of consultation. These include:
    • proposals to remove land from the NEP Area
    • requests for more intensive, urban or recreational development
    • changes from one Land Use Designation to another (e.g., Escarpment Rural Area to Urban Area).

All requests received to date are included here for review and comment. No decision has been made on the merit of each request and each will be assessed against comments received and the purposes and objective of the NEPDA.

  • Additions of Land to Niagara Escarpment Plan Area [PDF 17 MB]  During the first phase of the Co-ordinated Review the government requested feedback on where the Greenbelt should be expanded. The Commission is proposing additions of land based on a number of established criteria. Feedback is now being sought on these proposals.


  • Attend a Public Open House

Learn more by attending a Public Open House in your area.

  • Provide Your Feedback

We want to hear your comments and feedback on the proposed changes to the Niagara Escarpment Plan.  Comments can be submitted directly to the NEC at the following email address:, or:

  • Environmental Registry:

Search for the registry number 012-7228 on the Environmental Registry at

  • By mail:

Niagara Escarpment Commission

232 Guelph Street, Third Floor

Georgetown, ON L7G 4B1

Please note that the deadline for providing feedback has been extended to October 31, 2016

All comments will be considered regardless of the selected method.

Notice Regarding Collection of Information

Any collection of personal information for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review is in accordance with subsection 39(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

It is collected under the authority of the legislation establishing the four plans for the purpose of obtaining input on revisions to the plans. If you have questions about the collection, use, and disclosure of this information, please contact the Niagara Escarpment Commission, 232 Guelph Street, Georgetown, Ontario L7G 4B1, 905-877-5191.

Organizations and Businesses:

Comments or submissions made on behalf of an organization or business may be shared or disclosed. By submitting comments you are deemed to consent to the sharing of information contained in the comments and your business contact information. Business contact information is the name, title and contact information of anyone submitting comments in a business, professional or official capacity.


Personal contact information will be used only to contact you and will not be shared. Please be aware that any comments provided may be shared or disclosed once personal information is removed. Personal information includes your name, home address and personal e-mail address.

Reference Materials

For more information about the Co-ordinated Review:


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232 GUELPH STREET, GEORGETOWN, ON L7G 4B1 TEL 905.877.5191 FAX 905.873.7452