Planning Kingston

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Planning is the process working behind the scenes to organize and structure your City. Everything from where residences are located to what business uses are permitted comes back to planning. It’s a dynamic process that focuses on land use and the “built environment”, bringing together technical agencies, key stakeholders and members of the public to inform every recommendation made by staff in Planning Services.

Good planning creates livable accessible cities, with humans at the centre. It answers questions about how we’ll live, work and play. It’s an interdisciplinary field that is responsible for balancing conflicting objectives and making recommendations that are in the public interest – part social science, geography, legal, engineering and design. At the City of Kingston, the Planning Services team works closely with all of the City's other departments to develop policy and guide development.

As planners, we’re trying to address important questions that affect all of Kingston’s residents:

  • How do we create a City where housing is accessible and affordable to everyone?
  • How do we design places that help fight climate change?
  • How do we help residents access all the resources they need to live a fulfilling life?
  • How do we make sure that all development and growth is sustainable?

The answers to these questions change over time, but it’s the job of the Planning Services team to ensure that we adapt and respond.

Your Planning Services team

The City's Department of Planning Services employs 26 staff, working in a range of roles, to support development and policy planning work across the City. This includes:

  • 4 managers (one policy planning, one development services, one service standards and data management, and one heritage planning)
  • 1 project manager, who supervises and coordinates policy work
  • 17 planners, with diverse range of specializations, including residential, commercial and heritage, to support both policy and development work
  • 3 geographic information system (GIS) coordinators
  • 2 clerk secretaries, who work with residents to process applications and payments

Our planning team is always happy to talk with residents about development and policy in our community. If you have a question, don't hesitate to contact the planning services team at planning@cityofkingston.ca or 613-546-4291 ext. 3180. If you interested in a specific project, you can read more about the file on DASH and contact the planner assigned to that file for more information.


Current policy planning projects

New Zoning Bylaw

What is it? The New Zoning Bylaw will consolidate, update and replace the separate, outdated zoning bylaws currently in effect across the City. The New Zoning Bylaw will provide one comprehensive regulatory framework for land use planning and development in the City.

Next steps: Staff will be presenting a series of discussion papers at special meetings of Planning Committee on April 29 and June 23.

Central Kingston Growth Strategy

What is it? A policy intended to guide infill and intensification in the central area of the City. This project will identify locations that can accommodate future growth and development. This policy will apply to the Central Kingston area only.

Next steps: Staff are finalizing the proposed policies for presentation to Council in Fall 2021.

Density by Design (Mid-rise and Tall Building Design Policy)

What is it? Kingston's project to develop mid-rise and tall building design guidelines. It will guide how these sorts of buildings are constructed. This project will apply across the City and will include different policies for specific areas.

Next steps: Staff will be scoping phase two for the project, the Central Business District, in 2021. Policy work is expected to begin in 2022.

North King's Town Secondary Plan

What is it? A secondary plan for the North King's Town area, intended to provide more detailed policies for the area. A secondary plan is a land use plan for a particular area of a municipality and is prepared as an amendment to an official plan. This policy will apply to the North King's Town area only.

Next steps: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a review of Council's strategic priorities, the project is on hold and will start up again in 2022.



View current planning and development activity.




Planning is the process working behind the scenes to organize and structure your City. Everything from where residences are located to what business uses are permitted comes back to planning. It’s a dynamic process that focuses on land use and the “built environment”, bringing together technical agencies, key stakeholders and members of the public to inform every recommendation made by staff in Planning Services.

Good planning creates livable accessible cities, with humans at the centre. It answers questions about how we’ll live, work and play. It’s an interdisciplinary field that is responsible for balancing conflicting objectives and making recommendations that are in the public interest – part social science, geography, legal, engineering and design. At the City of Kingston, the Planning Services team works closely with all of the City's other departments to develop policy and guide development.

As planners, we’re trying to address important questions that affect all of Kingston’s residents:

  • How do we create a City where housing is accessible and affordable to everyone?
  • How do we design places that help fight climate change?
  • How do we help residents access all the resources they need to live a fulfilling life?
  • How do we make sure that all development and growth is sustainable?

The answers to these questions change over time, but it’s the job of the Planning Services team to ensure that we adapt and respond.

Your Planning Services team

The City's Department of Planning Services employs 26 staff, working in a range of roles, to support development and policy planning work across the City. This includes:

  • 4 managers (one policy planning, one development services, one service standards and data management, and one heritage planning)
  • 1 project manager, who supervises and coordinates policy work
  • 17 planners, with diverse range of specializations, including residential, commercial and heritage, to support both policy and development work
  • 3 geographic information system (GIS) coordinators
  • 2 clerk secretaries, who work with residents to process applications and payments

Our planning team is always happy to talk with residents about development and policy in our community. If you have a question, don't hesitate to contact the planning services team at planning@cityofkingston.ca or 613-546-4291 ext. 3180. If you interested in a specific project, you can read more about the file on DASH and contact the planner assigned to that file for more information.


Current policy planning projects

New Zoning Bylaw

What is it? The New Zoning Bylaw will consolidate, update and replace the separate, outdated zoning bylaws currently in effect across the City. The New Zoning Bylaw will provide one comprehensive regulatory framework for land use planning and development in the City.

Next steps: Staff will be presenting a series of discussion papers at special meetings of Planning Committee on April 29 and June 23.

Central Kingston Growth Strategy

What is it? A policy intended to guide infill and intensification in the central area of the City. This project will identify locations that can accommodate future growth and development. This policy will apply to the Central Kingston area only.

Next steps: Staff are finalizing the proposed policies for presentation to Council in Fall 2021.

Density by Design (Mid-rise and Tall Building Design Policy)

What is it? Kingston's project to develop mid-rise and tall building design guidelines. It will guide how these sorts of buildings are constructed. This project will apply across the City and will include different policies for specific areas.

Next steps: Staff will be scoping phase two for the project, the Central Business District, in 2021. Policy work is expected to begin in 2022.

North King's Town Secondary Plan

What is it? A secondary plan for the North King's Town area, intended to provide more detailed policies for the area. A secondary plan is a land use plan for a particular area of a municipality and is prepared as an amendment to an official plan. This policy will apply to the North King's Town area only.

Next steps: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a review of Council's strategic priorities, the project is on hold and will start up again in 2022.



View current planning and development activity.



  • What's Happening in Planning?

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    You can find updates on major policy planning or development projects here.

Page last updated: 06 October 2021, 15:33