The City of Peterborough is looking for residents’ feedback on its official plan.
An Official Plan (OP) lays out what a municipality will look like and how it will function in the future. Under the provincial planning act, all municipalities in Ontario must regularly update their official plan.
As part of the Greater Toronto Golden Horseshoe, the province projects that by 2041, the city will see an increase in population of 23,000 and the number of jobs in the city will increase by 10,000.
These projected numbers give city planners an idea of, for instance, how many kilometers of streets and sewer pipes they should budget for.
In Peterborough, an update on the city’s OP began in 2013, when residents were asked what their vision for the future was. That feedback was boiled down to a preliminary report called “2041 Community Vision.”
“These are a lot of the comments we have heard and the priorities that have been established through public consultations,” says Ken Hetherington, manager of the planning division of the City of Peterborough.
Hetherington says the provincial projections for population and job growth give the city some parameters on which to prepare the OP, but he adds they are not responsible for hitting those numbers as they are market-driven, and every municipality finds its own path to growth.
Rhonda Keenan, CEO of Peterborough Economic Development, says job growth can be accomplished by attracting new businesses to the city, by encouraging startups and entrepreneurs to develop new businesses, and by encouraging existing businesses to grow.
“What can we do as a community to help them get bigger and employ more people?” Keenan said.