Review our frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Orbit development and Orbit Potential and Innovation Plan (OPIP). If you have a question, please email orbit@innisfil.ca

Planning and related studies

How did this project benefit Innisfil?

All communities grow and change over time. By planning ahead, we make sure change is well managed; that growth occurs in the right place, with parks, services, and infrastructure in place when and where it is needed. Responsible growth will help limit the outward spread of urban areas and protect and preserve our natural areas and agricultural lands.

The Government of Ontario requires municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe to review their long-term growth plans to set an overall pattern of development and environmental management until the year 2051. The Town of Innisfil contributes to the Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR) led by the County of Simcoe, the upper-tier municipality in which we are situated. The County must plan for a future population of 555,000 by 2051. As part of this overall growth to 2051, the County's Land Needs Assessment is allocating a total population for Innisfil of about 85,000 people (growth of 40,000 from 2021-2051) and 26,000 jobs (growth of 16,000 from 2021-2051). The Orbit will help concentrate this growth into one hub, instead of developing into an outward spread of urban areas.

When did the Town decide a project of this size was needed in Innisfil?

The vision for the Major Transit Station Area was identified in the Town's Our Place Official Plan. Through Our Place consultation we heard of the importance of place making—creating vibrant parks and public spaces and protecting and preserving our agricultural land and natural resources. The initial Orbit presentation, which was brought to Council in November of 2019, is available to view along with all Council meetings that discussed the Orbit.

What is the Orbit Potential & Innovation Plan?

The Orbit Potential and Innovation Plan (OPIP) combines a Secondary Plan (planning guidelines) and Master Servicing Plan (MSP) (infrastructure needs) to plan for the area around the proposed Innisfil GO Station. The aim of OPIP is to create a cohesive plan that supports the future growth plans for Innisfil.

What is the Orbit vision?

The Orbit Vision is a growth model supported by Council through the Official Plan (OP) and community strategic plan—a chance for Innisfil to grow on its own terms. The proposed changes, whether through a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) or otherwise, will be initiated through the Town to implement the Vision. The new OP recognizes the proposed GO station and higher density growth around it.

Can the Town produce all planning studies that support the densities proposed in the MZO?

The densities proposed in the MZO inner circles (Transit Oriented Community Zones 1 and 2 – TOCs) are supported by the Province's Growth Plan and the Town's Official Plan direction for minimum densities of 150 people and jobs per hectare around major transit stations.

The Town's Master Servicing and Transportation plans will guide planned growth in Innisfil, including Orbit. Technical studies are being prepared.

How is the Orbit project being funded?

Development charges will pay for the major roads. Through Metrolinx’s Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) Program, third-party partners will be leveraged to fund and deliver new and improved transit infrastructure.

How are the costs of the water treatment plan being covered?

The water treatment plant expansion is being partially front-ended financed by the developers of the Orbit.

Will the Orbit attract new people and talent to the area?

Orbit’s progressive vision is based on sustainable development principles. Orbit will be a walkable community with ready access to transit and cycling trails. Orbit will be of interest to people of diverse backgrounds.

What is the anticipated population of Orbit?

Approximately 90,000 residents plus employment opportunities.

How is the Town considering equitable and affordable housing?

The Town is collaborating with the County of Simcoe to identify where affordable and social housing opportunities can be implemented in the Orbit Secondary Plan study area.

What is a Transit Oriented Community? How is this model being applied to the Orbit?

A Transit Oriented Community (TOC) is a type of development designed around higher-order public transportation while maximizing the surrounding space by strategically designing an urban community comprised of residential, business, leisure, and green space within walking distance. This development model aims to reduce reliance on cars and promotes sustainable urban growth.

The Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) 1, 2 and 3+ are centered around the proposed Innisfil GO Station. Provincial planning regulations have been established for TOC 1 and TOC 2 through a Ministerial Zoning Order dated August 2021.

Can the Town produce all planning studies that support the densities proposed in the MZO?

The densities proposed in the MZO inner circles (Transit Oriented Community Zones 1 and 2) are supported by the Province's Growth Plan and the Town's Official Plan direction for minimum densities of 150 people and jobs per hectare around major transit stations. Master Servicing and Transportation Plans will guide planned growth within Innisfil, including Orbit. As part of the site plan control process, further technical studies may be required.

Why do we need a GO Station?

A proposed GO station has been envisioned for Innisfil for a number of years and provides a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to find alternative means of travel for work, play and learn. Orbit will provide a sustainable mix of land uses that is supported by the proposed GO Station and broader transportation network.

In 2016, Metrolinx completed an Initial Business Case (IBC) and further completed a Preliminary Design Business Case (PDBC) in 2018 which examined the benefits of a potential Innisfil GO Station on the Barrie GO rail line within the Town of Innisfil at 6th Line, just east of 20th Sideroad.

What are the plans/design for the GO Station?

Per Metrolinx’s Transit Oriented Community program, plans and designs for the proposed station would developed by a third-party partner, in accordance with Metrolinx’s requirements and standards, which is consistent with all new stations across the GO Network. The design will be shared once the plans are complete in accordance with the Town’s municipal planning process, and the necessary agreements have been signed.

Will sanitary sewer service and water capacity for this development be built to service and accommodate the Orbit?

The Town’s wastewater treatment plant must be expanded to accommodate population growth. A Master Servicing Plan will identify the sanitary sewer and water infrastructure needed to support the Orbit.

When will the Orbit be built?

The Orbit will be built once the necessary plans have been approved and infrastructure is in place.

When will the OPIP be complete?

The OPIP is anticipated to be presented to Council in early 2023 following extensive public and landowner reviews.

Sustainability

What are biking and hiking trails going to look like in the Orbit?

The Orbit will feature broad, attractive, high-quality cycling and pedestrian pathways, making it simple, fast, and enjoyable to get anywhere in the neighbourhood without use of a car. In addition, the network of paths will create direct routes to the proposed GO station from anywhere in the Orbit so that residents and employees can get to the proposed GO station without needing to drive.

Has thought been put into EV charging stations and parking spots? Do you have an idea for how many you’d like to create?

The goal is to live a life free of single-occupant vehicles. There will be ample parking, and parking will feature charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. More than this, there will be bicycle and pedestrian pathways throughout the development connecting to each other and directly to the proposed GO station, so that residents can easily get around the neighbourhood, or get on the GO, without needing a car.

What are the six Orbit Sustainability principles and where were they developed?

The six Orbit Sustainability principles feature themes that promote a harmony between the Orbit and its natural environment.​ You can review them on our Orbit Sustainability page.

How is agricultural land being preserved and enhanced in the Orbit?

The Town’s agricultural lands are identified in Schedule B of the Town’s Our Place Official Plan and provide a policy framework to ensure the lands are protected for agricultural and agricultural-related uses.

How are sustainable development practices being integrated into the Orbit?

The Orbit will be based on measurable sustainability targets, such as Envision, LEED and/or Passive House.

How does this development balance rural and urban life?

As Innisfil grows, focusing development on a proposed GO Station will help protect and preserve more of the Town's agricultural land and natural spaces.

How will Lake Simcoe be protected from the Orbit?

The Town is committed to the health of Lake Simcoe. The policies of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan apply to the Master Servicing Plan. Stormwater runoff will be strictly controlled to protect water quality.

What steps has the Town taken to ensure that Innisfil's environmental assets are protected?

The environment is a priority for residents and will remain a priority throughout this project.

Further studies will require consultation with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority to mitigate impacts on Lake Simcoe and its watershed. The upcoming Secondary Plan for the Orbit will also include your input to protect and enhance air and water quality and the health of Lake Simcoe.

The current Secondary Plan and Master Servicing Plan include a summary of existing conditions to summarize the existing natural, social and cultural environments. These details are helping inform locations to avoid and will also be used to evaluate alternative infrastructure to support the future development.

Community consultation and feedback

How are Indigenous communities’ concerns, opinions and comments being integrated into the OPIP and the entire Orbit development?

Indigenous engagement on this proposed project is essential and underway. The Town is sharing draft Orbit and related studies and plans with Indigenous communities to gather feedback. Indigenous input will then be reflected in the final OPIP.

How can I get involved in this project?

We invite you to visit and subscribe to our Orbit Get Involved page to stay up to date about all upcoming engagement opportunities.

What have you done to inform the community on the development of the Orbit? How have/will you use community feedback to inform the OPIP?

The Orbit was introduced to the public on November 27, 2019 and a variety of engagement tools have been used to inform and consult the public. View all the Orbit engagement activities to date for more information.

Do I need to live in Innisfil to get involved?

No. We invite any interested individual to take part in our community engagement process for the OPIP. Visit our Orbit Get Involved page to stay in the loop on engagement opportunities.

Who can I contact about the project?

If you have a comment, question, or concern please email orbit@innisfil.ca