The Official Plan is our City's key land use document. This plan plays an important role in the development of our City. It describes what kind of community we want to become in the future. It sets goals, objectives, and policies which guide our land use planning decisions.

The Plan contains several chapters which describe many land use systems and areas. It also contains figures, appendices, and maps called schedules. These maps sort lands in various categories known as designations. The plan describes the objectives and policies for each designation and how they relate to one another.

The vision for Thunder Bay is a city that is healthy, safe, successful, and adaptable. This speaks to the community, the economy, and the environment. The Plan seeks to create an attractive, accessible, and walkable City that supports community needs.

The Zoning By-law is one of the many tools used to implement this vision. The Zoning By-law contains rules about what you can and cannot do with land. But, the Official plan provides more flexible guidance that describes our vision for the City and the ways we might reach this vision. 

Thunder Bay just finished a review and update of its 2002 Official Plan and adopted a new Official Plan on April 30th, 2018. Until the new Plan receives provincial approval, the 2002 Official Plan still applies. However, the policies and proposed restrictions contained in the 2018 Plan are considered the current direction of Council and will be considered in the review of planning applications. 

2018 Adopted Official Plan

Schedules

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2002 Official Plan

Schedules

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Studies and guidelines

Urban Design and Image Route Guidelines

The City of Thunder Bay has two documents that guide the design of private and public lands. These are the Urban Design and Image Route Guidelines.

Guidelines for studies and reports

The Official Plan lists many studies and reports that you may need to provide for planning applications. Staff are working on guidelines to help you with these studies and reports. Until these are ready, please see Planning Services for help.

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