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Growth Information

Population & Employment Growth

Simcoe County Land Budget

The County is expected to continue to experience population and employment growth over the next thirty years. Wise growth management practices will assist municipalities to balance growth in a sustainable and coordinated manner. The County Official Plan is in part, the County’s growth management strategy, which is closely linked with its strategies for guiding growth and development while protecting the environment and agricultural lands, managing resources, and outlining a structure that supports complete communities.

To support the County’s growth management and conservation strategies, the County of Simcoe has worked with its municipal partners to update the Simcoe County Land Budget. The Simcoe County Land Budget is a planning tool used to assist the County and its member municipalities to sustainably accommodate population and employment growth. The County Land Budget has been in development since 2008, and has evolved to accommodate changes in relevant policy and adopt new data collection techniques.​

The County Land Budget was updated in January 2017 to incorporate the 2016 Census population figures along with current development and land supply statistics.  This data was prepared to determine the current municipal growth status with respect to the 2031 population and employment forecasts identified in Schedule 7 to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2017).  The Residential Land Budget has been further updated such that it is current as of December 31, 2019.   

On August 28, 2020, the Province released A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Office Consolidation 2020, and the associated Land Needs Assessment Methodology for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2020).  Schedule 7 to the previous 2017 and 2019 versions of the Growth Plan has been removed, and the planning horizon within Schedule 3 Distribution of Population and Employment for the Greater Golden Horseshoe was changed from 2031/2036/2041 to 2051.

The policies of the Growth Plan 2020 require that upper-tier municipalities complete a Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) and that the population and employment forecasts contained in Schedule 3 or such higher forecasts as established by the upper-tier through its MCR, be used for planning and managing growth to the horizon of the Plan being 2051.  The County through its MCR will utilize the Province’s Land Needs Assessment Methodology to assess the quantity of land required to accommodate forecasted growth in each lower-tier municipality as determined through the MCR which numbers will be incorporated in the updated County Official Plan to be approved by the Province.

It is noted that the existing 2019 Residential Land Budget and 2017 Employment Land Budgets have not been prepared in accordance with the current provincial Land Needs Assessment Methodology.  These County Land Budget documents are a snapshot in time and offer insight into the current inventory of development land available in each municipality to accommodate both population and employment growth.  The documents are planning tools that may be utilized by County and lower-tier planning staff in the assessment of development and policy related Planning Act applications.

Data Collection & Analysis

Data used for the Residential and Employment County Land Budgets was sourced from, and in partnership with, the County’s municipal partners. The data gathered is a compilation of planning applications as well as an analysis of lands designated for population and employment growth. Each land budget is accompanied by a document – referred to as a methodology – which provides a detailed explanation of the process and assumptions involved in Land Budget data collection and analysis. These methodology documents, and the data which underpin each Land Budget, will be reviewed periodically to incorporate that which may be necessary. 

The 2016 Residential Land Budget methodology is titled Simcoe County Land Budget Data Collection and Analysis – Phase 1: Population Growth(Updated December 2015). This document should be read in conjunction with relevant Municipal and Provincial planning documents.

The 2017 Employment Land Budget methodology, titled Simcoe County Land Budget Data Collection and Analysis – Phase 2: Employment Growth (updated June 20, 2017), provides a detailed explanation of the process and assumptions involved in Land Budget data collection and analysis.

Residential Land Budget update Memorandum from Hemson’s​​​ summarizes our updated residential land budget and Land Needs Assessment (LNA) for the County of Simcoe and its constituent lower-tier municipalities to 2031. The update incorporates all relevant data from the 2016 Census and land supply information updated to January 2020.

Together, the Land Budget information is intended to assist the County, local municipalities, provincial agencies, and stakeholders in the following:

  • Accommodating the population and employment forecasts provided in the County of Simcoe Official Plan (2016) until such time as the County has applied the forecasts in Schedule 3 to the Growth Plan 2020 in accordance with policy and those forecasts are approved by the Province and are in effect in the updated County Official Plan;
  • Identify growth committed to approved development;
  • Track pending and unapproved applications for new development;
  • Quantify available land supply;
  • Encourage and monitor achievement of density and intensification targets, and;
  • Analyze growth and development trends.