Organized by type of instrument, with examples from different municipalities. New instrument proposals can also be found under these categories, presented generically (adaptation to the specific requirements of each municipality would be required).

Official Plans

Food production in the municipality

OPs guide municipal decision making and outline long-term environmental, economic and housing goals and targets.  In provinces with upper and lower tier municipalities, the lower tier OP must conform with the upper tier OP.  By-laws are used to execute official plans.  Plans and by-laws are supposed to conform with provincial legislation, statements and plans.

Section 16.1.13 of the Ontario Planning Act requires municipalities to have an Official Plan. Under Section 41 of the Act, a municipality’s Official Plan (Section 41.2) may designate lands that requiring a site plan agreement, through a By-Law  for one or more land use designations. Sections 41.1 & 2 outline the conditions for a site plan agreement, including details about exterior design, construction materials,  landscaping, property massing and the relationship to nearby buildings and neighbours.


Zoning by-laws are a tool, mandated by  provincial governments to establish:

“how land may be used, where buildings and other structures can be located, the types of buildings that are permitted and how they may be used and how the lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights and setbacks from the street”. (Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 2019)


“implement the objectives and policies of a municipality’s official plan, provides a legal way of managing land use and future development, and in addition to the official plan, protects you from conflicting and possibly dangerous land uses in your community” (Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 2019).

Interim Control By-law

Under Section 38:1-9 of the Ontario Planning Act, municipalities can conduct a review  of land use regulations, referred to as an interim control by-law. It suspends the specific land use  for a up-to a year and allows  a municipality to determine how best to apply land use regulations. During this period, a municipality can consult with residents and subject matter experts, to prepare long-term strategies.

Street vending and food truck by-laws

Urban agriculture by-laws


Establishment licensing

Building requirements

Health promotion measures