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Planning and Development

The Planning Department helps to manage growth in administering and making recommendations on land development matters. 

Planning staff process development applications and provide recommendations to Council on development proposals made under the Ontario Planning Act. These applications include new lot creation (via Consent, Subdivision or Condominium applications), Zoning Amendments, Minor Variances and Site Plan Agreements. Planning staff also administer Community Improvement Plans, development policy and built heritage.

Please Note: The Town has a pre-consultation by-law for planning applications. Prior to submission, applicants are to prepare a site plan illustrating their proposal for review with staff. Please contact planning staff to make an appointment. The following links will assist in preparation of a site plan: MappingZoningOfficial Plan.

The Town of Parry Sound is currently undergoing an Official Plan Review. This is a town-wide initiative and your input is critical! Please visit our OP Review webpage for more information and how you can get involved - this is YOUR Official Plan. 

Official Plan Review Webpage

The Official Plan contains policies which guide development in the Town of Parry Sound. It is also a guiding document for Council when making land use decisions. Land use decisions (such as zoning by-law amendments, and minor variances) must conform to the Official Plan.

The current Official plan includes the following sections:

Official Plan Amendments

An Official Plan Amendment is required when a land use proposal does not conform to the Official Plan policies. An Amendment changes the policies to cater to a specific development proposal. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing considers Official Plan Amendments for the Town of Parry Sound.

The following links will assist in preparation of a site plan: 

More information on Official Plans in Ontario is available here:

The Town of Parry Sound Zoning By-law 2004-4653 implements the land use policies of the Town of Parry Sound Official Plan. It regulates land use on all lands within the Town of Parry Sound boundaries.

The Zoning By-law contains a number of zones which regulate:

  • Permitted land use
  • Building setbacks and heights
  • Lot sizes and dimensions
  • Parking requirements
  • Densities

See the interactive zoning map for a current zoning of specific properties. For interactive mapping of the Town without the zoning mapping layers, visit

Zoning By-law Amendment

Zoning By-law Amendment is a public application process that is used to change the use of land or the way it can be developed (such as heights or setbacks). Council considers proposals for Zoning By-law amendments.

You may apply for a Zoning Amendment if you have a development proposal that does not comply with the Zoning By-law. All applications must conform to the Town's Official Plan, otherwise an Official Plan Amendment will be necessary.

Official Plan amendments may require studies or information to support a proposal in order to deem the application complete. These required studies will be identified through the pre-consultation process. 

Please see the detailed process summary for additional information.

More information on Zoning By-laws and Zoning Amendments in Ontario is available here:

Plans of Subdivision/Condominium

Like consents, plans of subdivision applications are required in order to divide land into separate ownership. Typically, plans of subdivision are required when there are a large number of lots being created and/or the development requires the provision of new public roads or other municipal infrastructure, or where it is necessary to ensure that the land holdings are developed in an orderly and efficient manner.

Condominiums are a form of property ownership in which title to a unit, such as an individual apartment in a high-rise building, is held by an individual together with a share of the rest of the property, which is common to all owners. Condominiums can involve a brand new development, or an existing rental building or complex which is converted to condominium ownership. They can apply to any type of residential building as well as commercial and industrial buildings.

Plans of subdivision and condominium are considered by Council. They also must be surveyed by an Ontario Land Surveyor and be in conformity with the Town's Official Plan. 

Deeming By-Law

A deeming by-law deems areas of land to no longer be part of a registered plan of subdivision. This type of by-law allows certain lots, or parts of lots, on a plan of subdivision to merge. There is an application and fee for this process.

This process has similar results to a lot addition. The Planning Act requires a deeming by-law for plans of subdivision registered at least eight years before the application.


Site Plan Control is a process that applies to commercial, industrial and institutional development.  It also applies to residential development of 10 or more dwelling units.

The site plan control process enables municipalities to review the detailed design of a property over and above the requirements of the zoning by-law. The process also allows for the implementation of technical recommendations from supporting studies (such as engineering or environmental). Site plan agreements can also implement measures to mitigate impacts of development on neighbouring properties as well as require development to meet certain design standards.

Once an application is approved, the developer and the Town enter into a Development Agreement (also known as a Site Plan Agreement). These agreements are registered on title and often securities are held to ensure development works proceed in accordance with the submitted plans and studies. Once these works are completed, securities are released back to the applicant.

For more information please see the Site Plan Control By-law 2022-7257.


Consent applications are required to create interest in or conveyances of lands. These can include dividing a property into a number of smaller lots, adding land from one lot to another (lot addition), create easements or right-of-way or to mortgage, charge or enter into any agreement longer than 21 years for a portion of your land.
If lot creation requires new public roads or other municipal infrastructure then a plan of subdivision may be required. Plans of subdivision may also be used where it is deemed necessary to ensure that the land holdings are developed in an orderly and efficient manner.

More information on the land consent process is available here:


The Zoning By-law regulates all lands within the Town boundaries. When a development proposal does not comply with the Zoning By-law, a minor variance may be required in order to provide relief from certain provisions of the Zoning By-law. These may include matters such as:

  • Building locations and setbacks;
  • Construction; and
  • Lot size.

A minor variance provides relief from a specific requirement in the Zoning Bylaw, but does not change the zone of the property.

The Committee of Adjustment is the approval authority for a minor variance. The Committee can determine if an application is desirable/appropriate, and if the general intent and purpose of the Zoning Bylaw and the Official Plan is maintained. If these criteria are not met the Committee may refuse an application. Please see the process summary for more information.

The Town of Parry Sound promotes the conservation of heritage buildings. It is important to protect heritage buildings and lands as they are pieces of our past.

Ontario Regulation 9/06 sets the criteria for when to designate a property under the Heritage Act.

Appendix 2 of the Official Plan identifies current heritage properties in the Town. Please contact the Planning and Building Services Department if you would like to inquire about designating a property.

Encroachments can be items of personal property, vehicles, buildings, structures, vegetation or landscaping that is wholly upon, or extends from a person's premises onto, public lands such as parks, beaches, boulevards, sidewalks, road allowances, pumping stations or parking lots.  

These encroachments can have many unintended consequences.  They may cause a public safety concern, environmental damage, result in restoration costs if the Town needs to remove and/or restore public property and they restrict or inhibit the use and enjoyment of public property by all residents.

Encroachments on public lands are not permitted as outlined in the Encroachment By-law 2021-7201, unless specifically authorized by the Town of Parry Sound.  For further information about encroachments please contact By-law Enforcement.

A road allowance closure is land where a public road could be constructed if needed. The Town owns numerous road allowances which have not been developed with a road. 

The Municipal Act allows municipalities to stop and close some road allowances, or some portions of road allowances. This involves Council approval, and all costs are to be covered by the applicant.

To close a road allowance, an application must be submitted. Any application is considered and evaluated by the Town. Please see the detailed process summary for further information.

Cash In Lieu of Parking

Where site configuration or other constraints prevent a proposed development from meeting the minimum parking requirements of the zoning by-law, cash-in-lieu of parking may be provided by the applicant.

The applicant is required to enter into an agreement with the municipality and pay a fee per space being exempted. The fee for cash-in-lieu of parking will be determined as per the Planning Fees Schedule

Development Charges allow municipalities to recover growth-related capital costs from new development. They are imposed on new growth, including new buildings, additions to existing buildings, redevelopment, and intensification and assist in providing infrastructure required to service future development in the Town of Parry Sound. 

For further information, please contact Stephanie Phillips, Director of Finance & Treasurer 

Development Charges Information Pamphlet

Development Charges Application

Related Planning Tasks

  • Municipal Records Search
    • Building or Zoning compliance letters
    • Comprehensive Municipal Record Searches (building, planning, fire, public works, & by-law record searches) for properties in the Town of Parry Sound
    • All record search requests require a minimum 7 day lead time
  • Facade Improvement Program