City’s new zoning bylaw

By Wes Smiderle

Signs like this one, at 263 St. Laurent Blvd., will likely become more commong once the new municipal zoning bylaw is finalized, likely sometime in 2025. Photo: Doug Banks

The City of Ottawa has been working on a new zoning bylaw since early 2021.

What is a zoning bylaw?

It’s a group of regulations that control how an area of land can be developed, i.e. what size and type of buildings can be built there. Industrial, commercial and residential are all types of zoning that govern land use. Zoning bylaws also dictate a development’s size, density, parking requirements and characteristics.

The city’s new zoning bylaw is intended to meet the residential intensification and growth targets identified in its Official Plan, a document designed to govern the city’s growth until 2046.

The city is also working to qualify for substantial federal funding to help pay for new housing, while also meeting the standards set by the Ontario government’s Bill 23 More Homes Built Faster Act, which was enacted in 2022.

The precise density and height of new housing has been debated. Denser and taller developments are expected to be permitted in inner urban communities and those near transit hubs.

The city’s new zoning bylaw isn’t expected to be approved until the end of 2025.

A first draft of the new bylaw is expected in March.

For more and updated information about the ongoing process, visit