The Orbit Potential & Innovation Plan (OPIP) plays an important role in the overall multi-tiered planning process here in Ontario. The Orbit project is being evaluated at the provincial, regional and municipal levels to ensure the responsible development of this proposed cutting-edge community.

Orbit chart outlining municipal, regional and provincial approvals and plans

A multi-tiered approach to mindfully shape Innisfil's future

The Orbit's development will be strongly guided by the Province of Ontario, County of Simcoe and most importantly, the Town of Innisfil. At each level of planning, significant public input will inform each of the frameworks from draft to their final state. The Orbit Potential & Innovation Plan will be no different and we strongly welcome the participation of all stakeholders that would like to have their say as we progress the OPIP forward. Check out our Get Involved page for opportunities to participate! 

Provincial Framework

Ontario Planning Act

The Ontario Planning Act is provincial legislation that sets out the ground rules for land use planning in Ontario. It describes how land uses may be controlled and who may control them.

The Planning Act sets outs matters of provincial interest that apply to the Orbit Potential and Innovation Plan, including: 

  • Adequate provision and efficient use of communication, transportation, sewage and water services, and waste management services
  • Orderly development of safe and healthy communities
  • Adequate provision of a full range of housing, including affordable housing
  • Adequate provision of employment opportunities
  • Identifying the appropriate location of growth and development
  • Promotion of sustainable development
  • Promotion of built form that is well-designed, encourages a sense of place, and provides high quality, safe, accessible and vibrant public spaces

Provincial Policy Statements

Provincial Policy Statements (PPS) set the foundation for regulating the development and use of land by providing policy direction on matters of provincial interest. At the core of the Provincial Policy Statements is building strong healthy communities. This is achieved by managing and directing land use to encourage efficient and resilient development and land use patterns. The Provincial Policy Statement allows municipalities, like Innisfil, to set higher standards to meet local needs.

Following the County of Simcoe Municipal Comprehensive Review process in the fall of 2022, the Orbit is anticipated to be recognized as part of the Alcona Settlement Area. Land use patterns within settlement areas are required to:

  • Efficiently use land, resources, infrastructure and services
  • Avoid the need for their unnecessary expansion
  • Minimize negative impacts to air quality and climate change, and promote energy efficiency
  • Prepare for the impacts of a changing climate
  • Support active transportation and transit use

Minister's Zoning Order

Section 47 of the Planning Act allows the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to make “Minister’s Zoning Orders” to govern land uses within areas subject to the order.

An MZO was issued on August 6, 2021 and includes regulations for two zones: Transit Oriented Community Zones 1 and 2. Note the MZO related to Orbit only applies to 425-metre radius from the centre of Orbit Project Study Area (intersection of the 6th Line and rail corridor). The issuance of the MZO was to provide economic certainty for private investment in the necessary infrastructure and help expedite the development of the proposed Innisfil GO Station.

County Framework

Simcoe County's Official Plan

Simcoe County’s Official Plan provides policies for growth management and intensification that emphasize complete communities and transit-supportive development.

The general location of the Orbit is at the south-west corner of the settlement area of Alcona. It is currently identified within parts of the Settlement Area, Rural, Greenlands, and Agricultural land use designations according to Schedule 5.1 of the County Official Plan. 

The Official Plan provides policies for growth management and intensification that emphasize complete communities and transit-supportive development.

Simcoe County's Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR)

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 Draft 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 play a key role in accommodating part of the new growth coming to Innisfil.

 Municipal Framework

Innisfil's Official Plan

Innisfil’s Official Plan, "Our Place" came into effect on November 13, 2018. Part A: Making Our Place Great sets the tone of the Official Plan, which places a strong emphasis on placemaking. Placemaking is an approach to the planning, design and management of places based around strengthening the connection between people and the places they share.

‘Our Place’ recognizes the proposed GO Station and identifies part of the Orbit as a Major Transit Station Area (MTSA), which is generally defined as the area within an approximate  500-metre radius of a transit station, representing about a 10-minute walk.  OPIP will seek to expand this area in the Official to reflect the Orbit Vision.

Orbit Potential & Innovation Plan (OPIP)

The Orbit Potential & Innovation Plan (OPIP) is a coordinated Master Servicing Plan and Secondary Plan that collectively will guide proposed development within Orbit by implementing a clear vision for a complete cutting-edge community where our small town and rural lifestyles are enhanced by the benefits and attributes of urban living. The two main components of the OPIP are the Secondary Plan and Master Servicing Plan: 

  • The Orbit Secondary Plan will help us understand land use opportunities in the Orbit area. It will guide local policy development unique to Orbit and will be adopted into the Official Plan. The Plan will provide the most desired types of development for Orbit, informed through community engagement. 

  • The Orbit Master Servicing Plan will identify the infrastructure requirements needed to support the Orbit area (water, wastewater, stormwater and mobility). The Master Servicing Plan will be undertaken to meet the requirements of a Schedule B Class Environmental Assessment (EA), including Phases 1 and 2 of the Class EA process.