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Official Plan Review

Public Notice: The Official Plan is currently undergoing a review process.

Official Plan

The Township of Lake of Bays is undertaking a review and update of its Official Plan. Municipalities review their Official Plans on a regular basis to ensure they remain up-to-date, reflect current provincial policy, and represent the long-term vision of the municipality.

Since the current Official Plan was adopted, there have been a range of initiatives, investments, and projects to contribute to the growth, quality of life, and vibrancy of our community. The new Official Plan is meant to build on the goals, objectives, and policies of the current Official Plan, while also adapting to the changing needs of the Lake of Bays community.

What is an Official Plan?

An Official Plan describes the Township’s policies on how land in your community should be used and is prepared with input from your community to ensure it meets your specific needs. An Official Plan deals with land use planning issues such as:

Cottage on Dotty Lake

When, where, and in what order growth will occur

School Bus

Services needed to accommodate future growth

Bench at Centennial Park in Dorset

Community improvement initiatives

Aerial view of residential buildings

Location of new housing, shops, industry and offices

The Process

Project timeline: Currently at phase 1. Project Initiation

The intent of this update is to review the existing planning framework to reflect new policy direction with recent changes to provincial legislation and align with the updated District of Muskoka Official Plan.

  • Notice of Project Commencement – project initiation presentation at July 30th Council (Planning Matters) meeting
  • Presentation of project overview to Council and general public

  • Review of background reports, studies, plans to inform the new Official Plan
  • Preparation and presentation of a series of discussion papers consolidating the findings of background research:
    • Climate Change Adaptation
    • Shoreline Development and Water Quality
    • Policy Changes
    • Natural Heritage and Natural Hazard Features
    • Provincial and District Land Use Planning Framework Changes
  • Initial public engagement activities – public information session, stakeholder focus groups, Council presentation

Preparation and presentation of recommended directions for new Official Plan for Council’s consideration and direction

  • Preparation and presentation of draft Official Plan
  • Ongoing public engagement activities – public open house
  • Circulation of Draft Official Plan to the public, agencies, and stakeholders

  • Incorporation of public, agency, and stakeholder feedback into draft Official Plan
  • Presentation of final draft Official Plan for Council’s consideration of adoption
  • Final public engagement activities – public meeting
  • Approval of adopted Official Plan by District of Muskoka

Opportunities for Public Engagement

Council Presentation: Project Overview

The project team will introduce the project to Council and members of the public, highlight future opportunities for public engagement, and outline the high-level timeline for tasks involved with preparing the new Official Plan. Members of the public are invited to attend the regularly scheduled meeting of Council (Planning Matters) on July 30th, 2024 to view the presentation

Public Information Session

The Township will host a public information session to provide information to the public about the project, and to provide an overview of the background research which will inform the new Official Plan. Members of the public will be invited to view a presentation and engage with the project team to ask questions and provide feedback on the background research presented.

Council Presentation: Discussion Papers

The project team will present the results of the background research and key findings of the discussion papers to Council for feedback as to the direction for the new Official Plan. Members of the public will be invited to attend the regularly scheduled meeting of Council (Planning Matters) to view the presentation.

Council Presentation: Policy Directions Report

The project team will present specific recommendations as to the content and format for the new Official Plan, based on the feedback received from the public and key stakeholders, as well as the findings from background research. Members of the public will be invited to attend the regularly scheduled meeting of Council (Planning Matters) to view the presentation.

Public Open House

The Township will host a public open house to seek input from members of the public on the draft Official Plan. The open house will consist of a short presentation outlining the content and format of the new Official Plan followed by a question and answer and commenting period.

Public Meeting

The Township will host a public meeting to present the final draft Official Plan for Council’s consideration and for Council to formally receive any written or oral comments from members of the public. Based on the input at the meeting, Council may choose to formally adopt the new Official Plan, or defer adoption to a subsequent meeting based upon a request for additional information. 


April Best-Sararas, RPP, MCIP
Director of Planning Services
Township of Lake of Bays
T: (705) 635-2272 ext.1252

David Welwood, RPP, MCIP
Senior Planner and Project Manager
J.L. Richards & Associates Limited
T. 705-806-1440


🔵 Phase 1 - Project Initiation
Spring 2024

Phase 2 - Background Research
Spring/Summer 2024

Phase 3 - Proposed Policy Direction
Fall 2024/Winter 2025

Phase 4 - Draft Official Plan 
Winter/Spring 2025

Phase 5 - Final Official Plan 
Spring/Summer 2025


Electronic copies of reports and presentations completed as part of the preparation of the new Official Plan.

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