Population & Employment Growth
Introduction: 2016 Simcoe County Land Budget Update
The County is expected to continue to experience population and employment growth over the next twenty years. Wise growth management practices will assist municipalities balance growth in a sustainable and coordinated manner. The County Official Plan, is in part the County's growth management strategy which is closely linked with its strategies for conservation, natural, and cultural resources, and economic development.
To support the County's growth management and conservation strategies, the County of Simcoe is working with its municipal and provincial partners to update the Simcoe County Land Budget. The Simcoe County Land Budget is a planning tool used to assist the County and its member municipalities to sustainably accommodate population and employment growth in the County until 2031. The County Land Budget has been in development since 2008, and has evolved to accommodate changes in relevant policy and adopt new data collection techniques.
A Land Budget can consist of three phases. The first phase focuses on population growth and residential development. The second phase focuses on employment growth and economic development. The results of Phases 1 & 2 are available below. The third phase, referred to as harmonization, is done if it has been determined that a municipality does not have enough land to accommodate the 2031 population or employment forecasts, or both. In other words, harmonization is only completed on an as-needed basis.
The County Land Budget was updated in January 2017 to incorporate the 2016 Census population figures. In June 2017 the Ministry of Municipal Affairs released a new Growth Plan 2017. The policies of the new Growth Plan state that Upper-Tier municipalities shall undertake land budget work as part of Municipal Comprehensive Review (MCR). In addition, all land budget work must be done in accordance with the Province's Land Needs Assessment Methodology which is to be released by the end of 2017. Due to these policy-related changes, the results of the County Land budget can be used to inform decisions, but further updates will not be issued until the Land Needs Assessment Methodology has been finalized by the Province.
Data Collection & Analysis
Data used for the Residential and Employment County Land Budgets was sourced from, and in partnership with, the County's municipal partners. The data gathered is a compilation of planning applications as well as an analysis of lands designated for population and employment growth. Each land budget is accompanied by a document - referred to as a methodology - which provides a detailed explanation of the process and assumptions involved in Land Budget data collection and analysis. These methodology documents, and the data which underpin each Land Budget, will be reviewed periodically to incorporate that may be necessary.
The Residential Land Budget methodology is titled Simcoe County Land Budget Data Collection and Analysis - Phase 1: Population Growth (Updated December 2015). This document should be read in conjunction with relevant Municipal and Provincial planning documents.
The Employment Land Budget methodology, titled Simcoe County Land Budget Data Collection and Analysis - Phase 2: Employment Growth (updated June 20, 2017), compliments, and should be read in conjunction with, the Residential Land Budget methodology.
Together, the Land Budget information is intended to assist the County, local municipalities, provincial agencies, and stakeholders in the following:
- Accommodate residential and employment growth forecasts provided in Schedule 7 of the
Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Growth Plan);
- Identify growth committed to approved development;
- Track pending and unapproved applications for new development;
- Quantify available land supply;
- Encourage and monitor achievement of density and intensification targets, and;
- Analyze growth and development trends.
Land Budget Analysis & Results
Simcoe Area Growth Plan May 2008
Expanded Land Budget February 2010
Additional Population: The 20,000 Population Program
Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan (2012) allocated population and employment figures to each of the sixteen local municipalities within the County of Simcoe up to 2031 and included policies allowing municipalities to exceed their population allocations up to a County-wide total of 20,000 persons.
As per Policy 22.214.171.124 of the Growth Plan, the County approved adopted local Official Plans or adopted Official Plan Amendments to redesignate Lands Not For Urban Uses to Lands For Urban Uses in excess of what is needed to meet the 2031 Provincial population allocation. The distribution of the additional 20,000 population expired on January 19, 2017. A total of 6,560 in population was allocated through the program. The allocated population will be deducted from the County's 2041 Provincial population allocation as per Amendment 2 to the Growth Plan.
The final Population Ledger summarizes the specific details and locations of the population requests.
Phase 3 – Land Budget Harmonization
Land Budget harmonization occurs where it has been demonstrated that a municipality is in need of additional settlement area lands to accommodate forecast population or employment growth under Schedule 7 of the Growth Plan. The need for additional settlement area lands will be determined through a County MCR, and using a Land Needs Methodology which is to be drafted and released by the Province in late 2017.