Comprehensive Zoning By-law Strategy

Project Description

The City of Markham is developing their first city-wide zoning by-law to implement the 2014 Official Plan and replace the 46 existing parent by-laws. GPA led a team to develop a strategy that delivered an innovative, user-friendly and web-based zoning by-law that supports sustainability, incorporating best development practices, and responding to the existing urban fabric while reflecting the City’s growth objectives.

In the initial phase of work 20 discussion papers were developed covering a broad range of zoning related issues including auto-related uses, minor variances, drive-through facilities, etc. Each paper included the City’s current approaches, best practices from across North American jurisdictions, and an in-depth examination of the pros and cons of each approach to best serve Markham’s objectives. In extensive consultation with City staff from various departments, recommendations and strategies were put forth to frame the new by-law. Our team was subsequently contracted to recommend zoning strategies for secondary suites, rooming houses and short-term accommodations (e.g., AirBnB) before the drafting of the new by-law.

The public consultation strategy included four open houses that presented the background review and recommendations.  The consultant team has also presented the findings to Council at each stage of the project.

GPA was also involved in the development of the 2014 Official Plan.

More Information


City of Markham




R.E. Millward and Associates (planning); Clarion Consulting (planning); Woodfield Consulting (gis strategy); Anthony Usher Planning Consultant (environmental planning); Davis LLP (legal)




Markham’s Zoning By-law Project Website


Planning Policy and Implementation