Planning Basics



When undertaking planning activities, the Town of Whitby strives to develop, support, and maintain healthy, vibrant, and complete communities.


What is Planning?

Like the concept of sustainability, planning means different things to different people.

The Canadian Institute of Planners defines planning as "the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities, and services with a view to securing the physical, economic and social efficiency, health, and well-being of urban and rural communities."


Land Use Planning

In a municipal setting, "planning" generally means land use planning.

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing defines land use planning as "managing our land and resources. It helps each community to set goals about how it will grow and develop and to work out ways of reaching those goals while keeping important social, economic, and environmental concerns in mind. It balances the interests of individual property owners with the wider interests and objectives of the whole community."

Official Plans, Zoning By-Laws, and similar documents are tools of the land use planning system in Ontario.


Planning in Ontario

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing supervises land use planning matters in the province of Ontario. To support public understanding of the planning system, the Ministry has prepared a series of information guides to help the public understand how the land use planning process works in Ontario. These guides include information on the Planning Act and planning processes in a plain language format.

The following Citizens' Guides to Land Use Planning can be accessed on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing website:


Planning Links


Province of Ontario

Region of Durham

Think Tanks, Institutes, Associations and Research Centres

Local Links