Official Plan & Zoning By-law

Skyline of downtown Hamilton

Service at a Glance

What is an Official Plan?

An Official Plan is a land use planning document that guides and shapes development by identifying where and under what circumstances specific types of land uses can be located. It is used to ensure that future planning development appropriately balances social, economic and environmental interests of the community.

The City of Hamilton has two Official Plans:

What is a Zoning By-law?

A Zoning By-law regulates the use of land and controls how each property in the city can be used. More specifically, it regulates:

  • the types of buildings and uses that are permitted
  • where buildings and structures can locate on a property
  • the lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, building heights, setbacks from the street and other such regulations

At present the City of Hamilton has 7 Zoning By-laws currently in effect.

Zoning By-law 05-200

The Comprehensive Zoning By-law 05-200 is being implemented in stages. To date, this by-law contains:

  • Downtown Zones
  • Institutional Zones
  • Industrial Zones
  • Parks and Open Space Zones
  • Rural Zones
  • Transit Oriented Corridor Zones
  • Commercial and Mixed Use Zones
  • Utility Zones
  • Waterfront Zones

The next phase to be brought forward is the new Residential Zones.

Residential Zones for Zoning By-law 05-200

The final phase of implementing Zoning By-law 05-200 is focused on residential zones in the urban area. The purpose of this project is to implement the policies of the Urban Hamilton Official Plan to create consistent residential zones across the urban area of Hamilton.

Imagining New Communities

The City of Hamilton hosted a series of public open houses to talk about planning for future communities: what density looks like, how to plan for complete communities, and how zoning can contribute to making a great community. It was about imagining new communities and what that would look like for you – how you live now and how you want to live in the future.

Interactive Zoning Mapping

An interactive zoning map that allows you to find the zoning designation of a property in Hamilton.