Upcoming Events

TAKE NOTICE that the Town of Fort Frances invites all interested persons to attend a Special Meeting of Council for the purpose of discussing the revisions that may be required as part of a proposed update to the Town’s Official Plan, as documented in the Community Background Report, pursuant to the requirements of 26(3) of the Planning Act, RSO 1990, as amended.

The Special Meeting of Council will be held: Thursday, May 4, 2023 – 5:30 PM

See the formal notice here: Notice of Special Meeting of Council - May 4, 2023

Public Open House #1 and Visioning Survey

Thank you to those who participated in our first Public Open House for the project, which was held on October 13, 2022! At the open house, Town staff and WSP presented an overview of the project process, timelines, and the Draft Community Background Report (September 2022).

The presentation and display boards from the open house are available to view below:

In addition to the Public Open House, a Visioning Survey was launched October - November 2022. Responses assisted in the preparation of the Final Background Report and the New Official Plan and Comprehensive Zoning By-law.

An 'As We Heard It' summary detailing the input from the Visioning Survey is included in the Final Community Background Report (December 2022).

Official Plan and Zoning By-law Review

The Town of Fort Frances has started the review of its Official Plan and Zoning By-law. The review process will result in a new Official Plan and a new Zoning By-law. If you wish to be notified of project updates, please see the Stay up-to-date section.

How does this project affect me

Since the Official Plan and Zoning By-law guide and regulate where and how future growth and development in the Town will occur, it is important to have a wide variety of input into the review of these documents to help establish a common vision.  Residents, business owners, and organizations have valuable information to share in this process.

  • Do you think there is a need for more diverse housing options?
  • Would you like to see more greenspaces and trails in your community?
  • Are you concerned about protecting natural areas?
  • Are you concerned about where and how new growth and development occurs?
  • Do you have ideas for how to mitigate land use conflicts?
  • What areas are valued community resources, and what could be improved?

These are just a few examples of the many ways in which your community’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law affects you.  Please take every opportunity to be involved in the process.

Stay up-to-date

Stay tuned for future community engagement opportunities and keep updated on the project progress by monitoring this website or directing any questions or information inquiries to the project team at the following:

Email: planning@fortfrances.ca.

Phone: 807-274-5323 ext. 1312


The objectives and policies of the Official Plan and the requirements of the Zoning By-law attempt to achieve a balanced approach to economic development, land development, land use, infrastructure, and resource management issues affecting the Town.

The Town’s current Official Plan was approved in 2012 and Town’s current Zoning By-law as adopted in 2014. Council must undertake a review and update of its Official Plan periodically, to ensure that the objectives and policies of the Plan remain current and relevant, and meet the requirements of the Planning Act, the Provincial Policy Statement, and other provincial policies and regulations. The Zoning By-law must be updated to conform with the new Official Plan.

Throughout the review process, there will be many opportunities to provide input and participate in online and in-person engagement events. 

The new Official Plan and Zoning By-law will be adopted by Council, and the Official Plan will be submitted to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.

What is an Official Plan

The Official Plan sets out the vision, goals, objectives, and policies for growth and development within the City for the next 25 years. An Official Plan is the cornerstone for decision-making related to land use and development, and must be kept current to reflect the vision and goals the community is trying to achieve.   

An Official Plan helps to ensure:

  • Compatibility of neighbouring land uses (e.g. residential, commercial, employment, parks and open space);
  • An appropriate mix and amount of development;
  • Effective management and/or protection of natural resources;
  • Protection and preservation of natural and cultural heritage resources;
  • Cost-effective and timely delivery of infrastructure and municipal services;
  • Protection of surface and groundwater; and
  • Sustainable economic and community growth.

Specific policies in each of these areas provide direction on how development should occur. The Official Plan also includes a series of Schedules (maps) that identify a series of land use designations where specific existing and future land uses are permitted.

What is a Zoning By-law

A Zoning By-law is a legal document and planning tool which implements the policies of the Official Plan by establishing various zones and standards that regulate land uses and how a property may be developed within each zone in the Town.

A Zoning By-law establishes:

  • A series of zones, which are illustrated on Schedules (maps) and the different types of uses that are permitted on a property in each Zone;
  • Standards such as lot size, lot coverage, and setbacks which determine where buildings and structures can be located on a property; and
  • Other development requirements, such as those related to building height, parking and landscaping.

Zoning helps to reduce land use conflicts between incompatible land uses by prescribing the types of uses that are permitted in specific areas. Zoning can also be used to protect or enhance the character of a community or area through development standards.

Community Background Report

The Final Community Background Report has been prepared to direct the Town of Fort Frances New Official Plan and Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review and includes the current community profile and identifies policies and provisions that may be missing or require updating. The planning horizon for the Official Plan must conform to the 25-year planning horizon set out in the Provincial Policy Statement, 2020.