Planning and Development in Pickering

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Pickering is growing. Our population is expected to grow to over 150,000 by 2036. To proactively and effectively make Pickering a place we are all proud to call home, we rely on the help of our City staff, municipal partners, and you - get informed and get involved!

The process of approving new housing, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use projects is rigorous. We reference the existing provincial, regional, and local policies to determine if a proposed project is permissible. We also rely on you, the public, to provide input and comments. The more you participate in this process, the more we are able to build a city that reflects our collective vision.

Current Development Applications

Did you know that each development proposal has its own information page on pickering.ca/devapp where members of the public can view supporting documents and opportunities for public engagement?

Get informed and get involved!

Snapshot of High-Density Development Activity

View PDF or click on the following images to enlarge.

Let's Talk Pickering Speaker Series

The City hosts an educational series on where we hear from Canadian experts on the best ways our city can accommodate urban growth & new development. Learn more and get involved - watch now!

June 2023 - Watch Video

The City of Pickering hosted a discussion on community growth and housing, featuring a presentation by Karen Chapple, School of Cities, followed by an audience Q&A period. The School of Cities, based out of the University of Toronto, is a solutions incubator for urban-focused researchers, educators, students, practitioners, and the general public to explore and address the complex global challenges facing urban centres.

April 2022 - Watch Video

By now, many of you have seen the ‘75 Towers Video’ by Fahad Rehman, Real Estate Broker and Founder of The NextGen Team.

Well, the City’s very own Manager of Development Review & Urban Design, Nilesh Surti, recently caught up with Fahad to have a thoughtful discussion on growth, the planning process behind development proposals, what the future of Pickering looks like, and other pressing questions that have been on your mind. Watch video.

November 17, 2021 - Watch Video

November 24, 2021 - Watch Video


Street team pop-up - Summer 2022

We recently hosted a pop-up to inform residents of the various ways to learn more about the planning process and how to get involved.


Navigating Local Planning and Development - Watch now!


Spotlight: Catherine Rose, Chief Planner

Pickering is growing. Our population is expected to grow to over 150,000 by 2036. To proactively and effectively make Pickering a place we are all proud to call home, we rely on the help of our City staff, municipal partners, and you - get informed and get involved!

The process of approving new housing, commercial, industrial, and mixed-use projects is rigorous. We reference the existing provincial, regional, and local policies to determine if a proposed project is permissible. We also rely on you, the public, to provide input and comments. The more you participate in this process, the more we are able to build a city that reflects our collective vision.

Current Development Applications

Did you know that each development proposal has its own information page on pickering.ca/devapp where members of the public can view supporting documents and opportunities for public engagement?

Get informed and get involved!

Snapshot of High-Density Development Activity

View PDF or click on the following images to enlarge.

Let's Talk Pickering Speaker Series

The City hosts an educational series on where we hear from Canadian experts on the best ways our city can accommodate urban growth & new development. Learn more and get involved - watch now!

June 2023 - Watch Video

The City of Pickering hosted a discussion on community growth and housing, featuring a presentation by Karen Chapple, School of Cities, followed by an audience Q&A period. The School of Cities, based out of the University of Toronto, is a solutions incubator for urban-focused researchers, educators, students, practitioners, and the general public to explore and address the complex global challenges facing urban centres.

April 2022 - Watch Video

By now, many of you have seen the ‘75 Towers Video’ by Fahad Rehman, Real Estate Broker and Founder of The NextGen Team.

Well, the City’s very own Manager of Development Review & Urban Design, Nilesh Surti, recently caught up with Fahad to have a thoughtful discussion on growth, the planning process behind development proposals, what the future of Pickering looks like, and other pressing questions that have been on your mind. Watch video.

November 17, 2021 - Watch Video

November 24, 2021 - Watch Video


Street team pop-up - Summer 2022

We recently hosted a pop-up to inform residents of the various ways to learn more about the planning process and how to get involved.


Navigating Local Planning and Development - Watch now!


Spotlight: Catherine Rose, Chief Planner

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

City Development Department staff will review and respond to questions. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Hello, My question centers around the extreme number of proposals and the doubling of Pickering's population in a very short period of time. I have lived in Pickering since 1997 and loved that it was a small bedroom community, one you could safely raise a family in. This proposed population explosion will ruin that dream for many residents. I chose to live in a neighbourhood, not in a downtown core. I have read through several of the questions on this site and there are many residents who feel the same that I do. The responses provided by the city do not really answer these concerns. Why does the city have to grow so rapidly, who is dictating that? Why does it seem that the only option for development is multiple high-rise buildings? One question/comment posted by a resident asks about holding a referendum for all residents to have the chance to chime in on all developments. I know for me, the only notice I have received regarding a development is the one coming to my back yard. I have not seen anything come from the city regarding the multitude of other proposals for Pickering (that will have an impact on me merely because I live in Pickering). Why is a referendum not an option? I am also very interested to know how the city is going to mitigate the need for more police, more firefighters, more schools, and most importantly more hospital beds. All these services will need to be doubled in the timeframe that the population doubles, or the residents will be in trouble. How about highway access to the 401? Brock and Whites are the only on/off access points, and they are currently very busy. If the population doubles so will the traffic. Thank you in advance

    Pattay27 asked over 1 year ago

    Why does the city have to grow so rapidly, who is dictating that?

    The Provincial Government of Ontario forecast that the Region of Durham needs to plan for a population increase to 1,300 000 and an employment base of 460,000 jobs by 2051, which represents an increase of approximately 634,000 residents and 236,400 jobs between 2016 and 2051.  A proportionate share of Durham’s population and job growth is allocated to Pickering (36% and 29%, respectively).  The Provincial Growth Plan mandates that 50% of new homes (to accommodate the forecasted growth) needs to be accommodated each year until 2051 within the existing built-up areas of municipalities in Durham. This means that Pickering and the other local municipalities in Durham are required to intensify within their built-up areas. The key reasons behind the Province mandating 50% of new growth be accommodated within the existing built-up area is to curb urban sprawl, protect farmland and key natural heritage resources, efficiently utilize existing and planning infrastructure and to reduce the impacts of climate change (to reduce the urban and carbon footprint).

    The growth of the City over the next 30 years is therefore inevitable. However, it is very important to manage that growth properly.  To that end, the City, through Phase 1 of the South Pickering Intensification Study, identified the City Centre as the primary, and the lands within the Kingston Road Corridor Mixed Corridor as the secondary strategic growth areas to accommodate intensification over time.  The City are using key planning tools such as Official Plan policies (Official Plan Amendment 38), Zoning By-law regulations, Urban Design Guidelines, and other relevant municipal by-laws to facilitate and manage that growth, which includes community participation in the planning review process at key intervals.

    The City is currently reviewing several proposals for high density residential developments in Pickering, but the vast majority have not received any planning approvals. The City is obligated to accept and review new development proposals, but City Council decides to whether to approve or refuse the applications based a comprehensive review of the proposal that involves many months and key opportunities for public review and input. It’s important to note that Council’s decision can be appealed to the Ontario Land Tribunal. 

    Why does it seem that the only option for development is multiple high-rise buildings?

    Developers typically conduct their own land use analysis to determine the feasibility of a development proposal on a particular site, and the outcome of that analysis would determine the form, scale, and density of what is proposed.  The City is responsible to review each proposal to the development constitutes “good planning” by considering matters such as Provincial, Regional and local land use policies and best practices on land use and built form compatibility, shadow and wind impacts, infrastructure and transit availability, site functionality, and the general health and safety of the community, so that what may be approved are both feasible and desirable. 

    To facilitate the development of a broader mix of housing forms, other than high-rise apartments, e.g. stacked townhouses, mid-rise buildings, staff has been encouraging developers to provide a greater mix of housing types and tenure within their development proposals, and to submit a housing brief on matters such as housing affordability and accessibility. 

    Why is a referendum not an option?

    The planning process for the review of development applications, including public notification, is prescribed by the Ontario Planning Act. There are various opportunities during the development application process, whereby members of the public can express their concerns or opposition at open house events, statutory public meetings, and at the stage when Council considers the staff recommendation on an application.

    How is the City going to mitigate the need for more police, more firefighters, more schools, and most importantly more hospital beds? Newly proposed Official Plan policies prepared by the City, as well as site-specific development applications are circulated to public agencies for comments, which is a requirement under the Planning Act.  Those agencies therefore have the opportunity to then review those proposals, provide comments, and make provision in their capital/budgetary planning for any facility/service/staff that may be needed in support of the growing population.  Quite often those facilities, e.g. a new school or fire station, are not built concurrently with residential development(s), due to various reasons (e.g. competing priorities, budgetary constraints, land securement challenges).  However, through discussions and collaboration internally and with outside agencies, the City would impress upon those public agencies to plan and budget for the timely provision of facilities/service/staff in support of population growth.

    It is also important to point out that the delivery of certain facilities/services falls outside the City’s jurisdiction, such as hospitals, which is the responsibility of the Provincial Government. A decision as to when and where that hospital may be built, therefore rests with the Province.  On that note, the Province has recently approved a site for a new hospital in Northwest Whitby – part of its catchment area falls within Pickering.

    How about highway access to the 401?

    All City-initiated Official Plan amendments in relation to the city’s road infrastructure, as well as site-specific development applications within a certain distance of Highway 401, are circulated to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) for review and comments.  Any conditions or requirements imposed by MTO, whether it relates to new or revised policy language in the City’s Official Plan, or to required improvements or revisions to road infrastructure, need to be complied with.  Conditions of development may require certain improvements to the road infrastructure prior to the final planning approvals and building permit issuance.  Furthermore, proponents of site-specific development applications, such as high density residential proposals, are required to prepare and submit traffic impact studies.  If the traffic study is in relation to a development proposal that may impact Highway 401, that traffic study would also be circulated to MTO for review and comments.

    If you have any further questions or need further clarification regarding the above response, please contact Déan Jacobs at djacobs@pickering.ca or Nilesh Surti at nsurti@pickering.ca.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Hello With all the new housing developments expected in the next few years, is the City of Pickering looking at new rental development opportunities for residents who are just that…. renters! The last rental property built was Rougemount Co-Op apartment buildings. Approximately 20 years ago. Residents of Pickering who are renters, renting condos, homes etc are always having to worry about owners selling the property.

    Rosechant asked over 1 year ago

    Hi there,

    Applications for new residential projects are submitted to the City regularly, and the City is required to review each one. 

    Private landowners are responsible for preparing and submitting these applications, which then undergo a rigorous review process by staff, partners, and the public (during the various opportunities for public review and input). Unfortunately, the City cannot mandate a developer to build rental apartment buildings, but we do however, strongly encourage them to consider doing so.    

    A 14-storey rental apartment building containing 227 units is currently under construction at 1473 Whites Road (on the east side of Whites Road, north of Kingston Road). 

    SmartCentres has recently advised Pickering Council that within their first phase of development, which contains 3 residential towers located at northeast corner of Brock Road and Pickering Parkway, one tower will be a rental building. The time for construction and occupancy is unknown at this time. View Development Application page here: https://www.pickering.ca/en/city-hall/first-simcha-scl-calloway-reit-pickering-inc.aspx 

    The Region of Durham funds and monitors all community housing properties in Durham. All of these housing properties have rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units, and some also have market rent units. You can view the list online: https://apps.durham.ca/applications/social/DASHExternalListing/?_mid_=29247

     Thank you. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Are there any plans to share and/or improve clarity of developments (number and status) on the Pickering website? I have heard of concerns they are difficult to follow and wondering if there have ever been considerations of a map and dashboard like one present on urbantoronto.ca website. Perhaps something simple illustrating pending/submitted/approved/next steps/due date to show residents at what stage each proposal is at along with an (expected) timeline.

    Coolibop asked almost 2 years ago

    Hi there,

    We do have a map interface to accompany the list view. I have included both links below. We acknowledge there may be room for improved navigation and have passed your comments along to the staff who handle this. Your feedback is helpful and will be considered if required resources are available. 

    Thank you.

    https://www.pickering.ca/en/city-hall/current-development-proposals.aspx

    https://cityofpickering.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=22feaf99031a48b1968a21ab4925ec05

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Has there been any evaluation/analysis/study about how traffic will be impacted by the densification? Is there a transit plan (including to make it to more walkable) accommodate densification, specially along Kingston, Baily and Liverpool? If so, where can I find it?

    Natkeeran asked about 2 years ago

    Hi Natkeeran,

    As part of the planning review process, a number of supporting plans and studies are required from each applicant when they submit a development proposal to the City. This includes traffic impact studies and in many instances, the developer will retain its own team of experts that includes architects, engineers, and professional planners to ensure that these elements are thoroughly addressed to the City’s satisfaction. All proposed developments undergo a rigorous review process after they are submitted to the City, and development must follow provincial, regional, and local frameworks to ensure that issues like traffic and transportation are reviewed through multiple lenses. 

    The City’s current intensification strategy, as set out in the Pickering Official Plan, is to maximize the efficiency of existing infrastructure. That means building where infrastructure such as municipal services and transportation already exist. The City and the Province have identified the City Centre, parts of the Kingston Road corridor, and other areas as places that can sustainably accommodate growth. This strategy ensures higher density developments produce walkable, transit-focused communities that are better for the environment, while maintaining Pickering’s stable neighbourhoods.

    Each development application has its own information page on pickering.ca/devapp where members of the public can view the supporting documents. 

    It should also be noted that the City’s Integrated Transportation Master Plan (ITMP) was recently completed and provides a long range plan for a framework and direction for transportation infrastructure needs across the City. View the documents at pickering.ca/ITMP

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I am an active member the community, my wife is a teacher, I have 2 young children in a variety of extra-curricular sports/activities. I’m dog owner, I coach. I speak to a lot of Pickering residents. Most people I speak to are unaware of the number and height of the towers coming to Pickering. Everyone who I’ve spoken to who is aware of them are against them. The residents of Pickering do not want these built. Ask anyone. Period. The public consultation process is a joke and quite frankly a waste of time. What would it take to get a City wide referendum regarding lining Hwy 2 with high rise condos? I can guarantee the result would be a hard NAY! thanks!

    Nick K asked almost 2 years ago

    Hi Nick,

    Thank you for connecting. 

    Our City’s population is forecast to grow to over 150,000 residents by 2036 (Speak to Dean. This number may have changed based on recent population allocation from the province). We require a variety of housing types to accommodate this growth, however, as Pickering grows, we must ensure it continues to be a place we’re all proud to call home, and that is why it is critical that residents understand and get involved in the planning process. 

    Applications for new residential, commercial, industrial and mixed use projects are submitted to the City all the time. The City is mandated to accept all applications for review, it can’t simply reject them. Each development application is listed on pickering.ca/devapp and may be in various stages of the review process. Opportunities for public feedback are posted on each project page as they arise, notices are also posted on properties subject to change and invitations to public meetings are circulated in the mail and promoted online to increase general awareness and promote public engagement. 

    This rigorous review process can take a minimum of 8 to 12 months to complete. 

    Based on expert advice and stakeholder feedback, Pickering’s elected City Council approves or rejects development applications. Should the applicant disagree with Council’s decision, then an appeal can be filed with the Ontario Land Tribunal. This is why is it important to go through each stage of the planning review process to ensure that not only residents, but other impacted agencies like the conservation authority, the Region of Durham, utility providers and local school boards may also review and weigh in. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I have noticed recently that Developers are requesting height increases after their initial submission (Steele Development, Altona Group, Universal City, Tribute) to name a few. After the initial submission what correspondence occurs between the City and Developer to hash out the concerns raised by the City and public. Are minutes to meetings available for reviw?

    Georget asked about 2 years ago

    Great question! Following the public consultation period, City Development staff provide the applicant with a detailed letter, outlining all of the issues and comments identified by the various City Departments, external agencies and feedback received through the public consultation process. Through further discussions and resubmissions, the applicant is required to address all of these comments and concerns outlined in the City of Pickering’s letter. The applicant does this by resubmitting various revised plans and drawings to the City, which are then added to the development application page, available at pickering.ca/DevApp. Anyone can view a history of background documents and public meetings related to a specific Development Application, as well as subscribe to receive email updates each time the page is updated. A final recommendation report is then prepared by City staff for Council consideration. This report includes a summary of all public comments, and detailed responses to those comments, received throughout the application process. At this time, anyone can review the report and register to speak as a delegation at Council if they wish to provide further feedback or comments. No formal meeting minutes are taken when staff meet with the applicant to discuss their proposal.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How many of these 75 new condo buildings will be energy efficient? How many will have electric auto stations? How many will have self-generating power e.g. solar or wind energy? How will the ones that don’t, affect the power grid? Traffic?

    Cathy C asked about 2 years ago

    The active list of development application and subsequent details about proposed buildings can be found on the City’s website.

    As part of the City’s development review process, there are minimum Sustainable Building Guidelines which must be met. Additionally, Pickering is in the process of developing new Integrated Sustainable Design Standard. These standards will help guide sustainable growth over the years, detailing the types of energy efficient aspects new buildings must include. Click here to learn more about the initiative. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How do people protest and let the city know they don’t want an area developed?

    Cathy C asked about 2 years ago

    Pickering is mandated to accept and review all development applications submitted.

    The review process can involve various City departments and stakeholders as well as outside agencies like such as local school boards, the Region of Durham, conservation authorities, relevant Provincial ministries, and utility providers. This rigorous review process can take months to complete before applications are even considered by Council.

    Please keep in mind that the community is engaged every step of the way for all applications requiring Council approval.  Public notices are issued to affected neighbourhoods, and open houses are held to provide important information to residents, while also collecting valuable resident feedback.  These matters are all discussed in public meetings, such as Council, and Planning & Development Committee meetings. Each development application has its own information page on pickering.ca, where residents can stay informed on upcoming public meetings or use the feedback form to provide input directly to the planning staff involved. Visit pickering.ca/DevApp for a list of development applications and to provide your feedback. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What is the benefit of adding huge condo buildings and increasing traffic, pedestrians and creating high density, high pollution neighborhoods? Property tax revenue? That is not good enough or a long term sustainable vision.

    Readaholic asked over 2 years ago

    The City’s current intensification strategy, as set out in the Pickering Official Plan, is to maximize the efficiency of existing infrastructure. That means building where infrastructure such as municipal services and transportation already exist. The City and the Province have identified the City Centre, parts of the Kingston Road corridor, and other areas as places that can sustainably accommodate growth. This strategy ensures higher density developments produce walkable, transit-focused communities that are better for the environment, while maintaining Pickering’s stable neighbourhoods.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How many of the building applications presently submitted along the Kingston Rd corridor, including those on Liverpool Rd from Glenanna to Bayley have been approved

    Wheels asked over 2 years ago

    The City has received a number of development applications for high density mixed use development along the Kingston Road Corridor and along Liverpool Road, and as well as within our City Centre. Many of these applications are either in the rezoning stage or the City is currently reviewing site plan applications. No building permit applications have been issued for high density residential developments along the Kingston Road Corridor or along Liverpool Road.  The City has issued building permits for the first three buildings, which are presently under construction, within the Universal City development on the north side of Bayly Street east of the Pickering Go.

Page last updated: 21 Jul 2023, 02:21 PM