The Town of Innisfil is growing quickly. Within a few years, we will have a new GO station on the rail line between Barrie and Toronto. The Orbit: Innisfil is our vision for a community that will help us grow while preserving our agricultural lands and natural landscapes. The Orbit will encourage high-density living instead of suburban sprawl, mixing small town with urban living.

Give us your feedback

Visit Get Involved Innisfil to find project documents for The Orbit, past discussions and give future feedback.

Updates and timeline

Our first goal is getting the new GO station built. As The Orbit comes together, there will be more opportunities to share your feedback and get involved. See our key dates for a timeline of The Orbit's development. Check back on Get Involved Innisfil for future project updates.

Features

As a community where you will be able to live, work and play, The Orbit will include:

  • Transit system and links
  • Trails and paths
  • Bike and pedestrian friendly roads
  • Recreation centres
  • Retail space
  • Affordable housing
  • Farmer's markets and pop-up shops
  • Hacklabs and makerspaces
  • Free Wi-Fi

Check out The Orbit brochure to review design ideas and watch our promotional video to learn more.

Location

The Orbit will be built around the Innisfil GO station by 6th Line and east of 20th Sideroad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Review our frequently asked questions about The Orbit. If you have a question, please contact our planning team. You can also review our community engagement responses.

Why use a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO)? Is this project urgent, given we're living through a global pandemic?

Public consultation prior to and during the pandemic showed that the construction of the Innisfil GO Station remains a high community priority. To respond to this, construction will start as early as 2022. The MZO will facilitate the construction of much needed housing with access to transit, which is of even greater priority during these unprecedented times. 

In order for the developer to secure financing for the GO station construction, within the designated time frame, an expedited planning approval process is required. As a result, a request of the Province for a MZO by the Town with support from the County of Simcoe was proposed. Though an MZO cannot be appealed, the public will have the right to appeal the upcoming Secondary Plan.  

What have you done to inform the community on the development of the Orbit (including seasonal residents)? How have/will you use community feedback to inform this plan?

The Orbit was introduced to the public on Nov. 27, 2019 and a variety of engagement tools have been used to inform and consult the public. Here is a summary which encompasses what we have done. We will be continuing to educate and consult the public as this development moves forward:

  • 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, has been made available via YouTube and on Get Involved, along with all Council meetings that discussed the Orbit
  • 2 focus groups have been held: 1 in-person, and 1 virtually. The virtual focus group was recorded and has been made available on Get Involved under “videos”
  • Our Get Involved Page has received over 23,304 web page views, and 490 responses to a survey asking about potential GO train use
  • There is an open forum tool available for the public to discuss the recent report that went to Council regarding the use of an MZO. There is also a Q&A tab open, as well as newsfeed
  • We emailed 4 newsletters to 2,100 residents via Get Involved Innisfil
  • There is an Orbit brochure available on our website and at Town Hall
  • We created a promotional video in November of 2019 and there have been roughly 50,000 views to date. It is available via YouTube, Get Involved Innisfil, and innisfil.ca

The community's feedback will continue to inform the finalization of the MZO as well upcoming community engagement in the Secondary Plan process for the entire Major Transit Station Area.

What steps have you 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. As part of the Environmental Assessment Study for the 6th Line improvements in 2016, we completed several technical studies for lands in the vicinity of 6th Line and within the Orbit MZO.

Further studies will require consultation with the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority to help ensure that there are no negative 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.

Why was the 6th line selected for this development and not the 8th line or somewhere along IBR?

The 6th Line location, which is next to the Alcona settlement boundary, was selected after a screening process undertaken by Metrolinx and endorsed by Town Council in 2016. The 8th Line/IBR was not selected for a station for various operational/logistical reasons such as the need for a grade separation/bridge over IBR.

How does this development balance rural and urban life?

As our Town grows, focusing development around the GO Station will help protect and preserve more of the Town's agricultural land and natural spaces. For example, accommodating 30,000 residents through the typical densities of sprawling subdivisions (50 people per hectare), would require approximately 600 hectares of land. This is about 3 times more land than accommodating 30,000 people at the minimum density of 150 people per hectare envisioned for the Orbit.

Where are the plans/design for the GO Station?

The presentation and report to Council on July 15, 2020 provided the station design based on the requirements of Metrolinx (i.e. platform, station, access, bus and vehicle drop off, vehicle and bicycle parking). These documents are available on Get Involved Innisfil.

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.

The Town's Master Servicing and Transportation Plans will be updated to align with planned growth within Innisfil, including the Orbit. As part of the site plan control process, further technical studies will be required.