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Official Plan Technical Reports

Sustainable Halton is a complex, technical growth management and land use planning project. This section includes related research and technical reports.

Sustainable Halton is a complex, technical growth management and land use planning project. To help you understand these reports, we have included summaries of some of our key planning terms below.

Complete Communities offer residents the ability to live, work and play in their local neighbourhood. They provide a range of housing options from single family homes to higher density apartment complexes. As well, they encourage residents to walk and use public transportation instead of cars.

Landform Permanence refers to the preservation of natural structures such as rivers, lakes, moraines and hills in urban environments.

For example, in Halton Region, Landform Permanence refers to the need to permanently protect landforms such as the Trafalgar Moraine, which:

  • contains the headwaters for six creeks in Oakville
  • filters local drinking water
  • provides habitat for a wide variety of plant, fish and animal species

Natural Heritage Systems (NHS) are areas of the natural environment where large, core natural areas link together using smaller, ecologically stable corridors of natural habitat. Think of Natural Heritage Systems as a necklace of large, green “jewels” joined into one cohesive piece by smaller “links” of natural areas.

By creating Natural Heritage Systems, we help to reduce the impacts of fragmentation caused by large scale development and provide sufficient habitat to support populations of native plants and animals over the very long term (greater than 100 years).

The term Primary Study Area (PSA) refers to land situated below the escarpment. Halton Region Official Plan recognizes this land in the current Halton Region Official Plan as Halton's prime agricultural land.

PSA land is subject to the policies of the Halton Official Plan and its long-term future was determined as part of the Sustainable Halton process.

At Halton Region, we define the term sustainable development with two principles:

  1. That sustainable development includes planning for the current needs of Halton's residents and leaves future generations of residents with options to meet their needs.
  2. That with sustainable development, we will plan to protect the environment, encourage economic strength and foster a healthy, just society.

In this section, find research and technical reports on Sustainable Halton. Technical reports cover topics such as Agriculture, Archaeology, Water and Wastewater, and the Natural Heritage System.

Also included is the evaluation framework and land use concept materials that guided the completion of the technical reports.

Phase One

22 technical reports to help you understand the issues on growth management and land use planning in Halton from 2021 to 2031.

The Phase One technical reports are grouped into 3 categories for you:

  • Evaluation Framework
  • Environment
  • People

Evaluation Framework

These reports look at high level growth concepts and land use options identified during Phase One of the Sustainable Halton process.


Environment reports focus on Halton's physical and natural environment. These reports cover information and suggest policy direction for: aggregates, agricultural needs, climate change, energy needs and options, a Natural Heritage System, land use, and fresh water needs and options.


The People section contains research reports on local archaeology, health, housing, land supply, transportation considerations and waste management.

  • Archaeology
    • Archaeological Resources (PDF file)
      A total of 135 archaeological sites have been documented within or immediately adjacent to Halton Region. These sites date from circa 10,000 B.C. to the nineteenth century A.D.
      This report provides a summary of the relevant policies from the various archaeological and cultural heritage documents that should be considered as part of the planning review for the Sustainable Halton Plan.
  • Health
    • Community Food Security (PDF file)
      Land use planning decisions of the Sustainable Halton process can affect the community's ability to attain and maintain community food security. Given this potential impact on food supplies, this report:
      • Reviews the importance of preserving agricultural lands for food production
      • Describes the community health benefits of a local food supply, and
      • Discusses the impact of community design on community food security including the placement of food retail outlets, planning for affordable housing, and allowing for urban agriculture.
    • Appendix One - Canada Food Guide (external link)
    • Healthy Community Principles (PDF file)
      This report describes the Healthy Communities model, its qualities and process, and details how the Healthy Communities model can be applied to land-use planning projects, especially Sustainable Halton.
    • Human Services (PDF file)
      Human services include, but are not limited to, community health and social services, schools, hospitals, police, housing providers, municipal recreation departments, and non-profit and voluntary services.
      This paper recommends an integrated approach to community and social services as part of land use planning.
    • Physical Activity and the Built Environment (PDF file)
      Our built environments - homes, schools, workplaces and communities - can either encourage or discourage physical activity. This report outlines the benefits and options to designing Complete Communities that encourage regular physical activity.
  • Housing
    • Housing Directions (PDF file)
      Creating Complete Communities includes providing a range of housing to meet residents' needs over their lifetimes. This report examines housing mix options outlined in regional and provincial policy initiatives. It also offers a framework for creating a balanced mix of housing types to meet density, accessibility, affordability and other requirements.
  • Land Supply
    • Land Supply Analysis (PDF file)
      This report analyzes the range of urban residential and employment land that may be required to accommodate growth in Halton to 2031.
    • Regional Land Analysis (PDF file)
      The Regional Land Analysis analyzes Halton through the lens of land use and breaks Halton Region up into five major land use types. It also provides the basis for land use analysis and definitions of key terms used in developing the Sustainable Halton plan.
      Finally, it provides an overview of what land is currently designated for environmental purposes, what is currently designated for urban use and what areas could be designated for urban use.
    • Urban Structure: Potential Long-Term Growth Areas (PDF file)
      This report discusses potential locations for new urban employment and residential areas in Halton within the Sustainable Halton Primary Study Area.
    • Towards An Intensification Strategy (PDF file)
      Housing intensification is one of the major challenges for the Sustainable Halton plan. This short report outlines the intensification strategies that will be examined later in the research process.
    • Explaining Density (PDF file)
      This report details the range of density options available to Halton Region including the Local Municipalities in Halton, and evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of the various options.
    • Effect of Demographic Change on Halton Region (PDF file)
      Halton Region's population is going to increase significantly over the next 25 years. The demographic changes that accompany this growth will change the employment and residential lands needs of the region.
      This report outlines how these changes may also significantly affect municipal and agency service delivery over the next 25 years. It shows how the primary driver of this change will likely be the distribution of the population across different age groups from pre-school to elderly (age structure) .
  • Transportation Transportation covers roadway improvements, transit initiatives, transportation supply management and transportation demand management. This study provides an overview of current, planned and potential transportation improvements in Halton Region and surrounding regional municipalities.
  • Waste Management
    • Waste Management Facilities (PDF file)
      This report provides a review of the 2006-2010 Solid Waste Management Strategy and future potential waste management infrastructure requirements to 2031 for Halton Region. It also provides a policy framework for the management of municipal solid waste when developing future areas in Halton.

Phase Two

After analyzing the Phase One technical reports, five land use concepts were developed.

Land Use Concepts

The report, Sustainable Halton Working Paper #1: Locating New Urban Land, shown above, is long. To make the five growth concepts more accessible to you, we saved them in a separate file.

  • Five Growth Concepts (PDF file)
    These growth concepts show the land use ideas that were developed after analysis of the technical reports prepared for Sustainable Halton Phase One.

Phase Two Consultation Report

Phase Three

For Sustainable Halton Phase Three, 12 technical reports were prepared to help identify and assess the preferred concepts and options for growth management and land use planning in Halton.

The Phase Three reports are grouped into 4 categories for you:

  • Key Policy Documents
  • Evaluation Framework
  • Environment
  • People

Key policy documents

In addition to the technical reports, phase 3 had two key policy documents:

Evaluation Framework

Evaluation Framework contains the reports looking at high level concepts including 3 growth concepts and 2 land use options identified during the Sustainable Halton process.

  • Summary of Evaluation of Growth Concepts
    • Summary of Evaluation Growth Concepts (PDF file)
      This report assesses the three land use concepts and comments on their ability to meet various goals while providing a framework for future population and employment growth. [Report number 3.09]
  • Working Paper #2: Land Needs
    • Working Paper #2 Land Needs (PDF file)
      Working Paper #2 identifies: how much intensification the Region can accommodate; the capacity of existing greenfield areas; how much greenfield land is needed; and the required character and density for promoting Complete Communities for the region's residents.
  • Working Paper #3: Options Under Preferred Concept
    • Working Paper #3 Land Use Options (PDF file)
      Working Paper #3 outlines the options being considered under the preferred concept as locations for potential new mixed-use/residential areas and new employment lands outside the region's current urban boundary.


Environment contains reports on Halton's physical and natural environment. These reports cover information and suggest policy direction for aggregates, agriculture and a Natural Heritage System.

  • Aggregates
    • Aggregate Resource Management (PDF file)
      This comprehensive report outlines a framework for aggregates resource management in Halton Region. It covers topics such as detailed mapping of aggregate locations and strategic directions to guide resource management.
  • Agriculture
  • Natural Environment
    • Natural Heritage System Framework (PDF file)
      The proposed Natural Heritage System for Halton Region evolved through Sustainable Halton Phases One through Three. This report provides background information on this evolution and provides a framework for the Natural Heritage System.


The People section contains research reports on archaeology, accommodating growth, sustainability, transportation, and water and wastewater management.

  • Archaeology
    • Archaeological Master Plan 2008 (PDF file)
      Halton Region has an archaeological history extending back nearly 10,000 years. This report updates the original 1998 Archaeological Master Plan data. It includes information such as: archaeological sites identified since 1998; changes to planning and heritage legislation; trends in First Nations consultation; and recommendations for wise management of archaeological resources in Halton Region. [Report number 3.06]
  • Population and Employment
    • Accommodating Growth to 2031 (PDF file)
      Population and employment targets were set by the province. This report discusses land requirements for population and employment in Halton Region to 2031. [Report number 3.07]
      • Supplementary Information
        After the “Accommodating Growth to 2031” report was published, we received requests for clarifying data. The files below, grouped by request, include the initial request, our response and the response from Hemson Consulting.
        The naming convention is SI (Supplemental Information), 3.07 (Report Number), 101 (Stakeholder Number in our files), and A (publishing order).
    • Townsend Mattamy Household Forecast (PDF file)
      Request from Townsend, Rogers LLP legal firm on behalf of Mattamy Homes asking for clarification on household and population forecasts shown in Accommodating Growth to 2031 report.
    • Halton Region Cover Memo (PDF file)
      Cover memo notifying Townsend, Rogers LLP that question was responded to in the attached Hemson Consulting memo, and that both the initial question and the response will be made part of the public record.
    • Hemson Response to Townsend Request (PDF file)
      Detailed response to initial Townsend question regarding household and population projections.
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation
    • Transportation Servicing (SI.3.07.101.B.) (PDF file)
      The Transportation Servicing report presents a strategic assessment of the transportation infrastructure required for the three growth concepts (Milton Centered, Milton and Georgetown Growth to 20,000 People, and Milton and Georgetown Growth to 40,000 People). [Report number 3.12]
  • Water and Wastewater
    • Water and Wastewater (SI.3.07.101.C.) (PDF file)
      This report presents a strategic assessment of the water and wastewater infrastructure required for the Milton Centered, Milton and Georgetown Growth to 20,000 People, and Milton and Georgetown Growth to 40,000 People growth concepts. [Report number 3.13]

Phase Four

The Sustainable Halton - Fiscal Affordability Analysis (PDF file) was released on October 16, 2009.