Public Service Facilities & Institutional Policy Paper


Download the Public Service Facilities and Institutional Policy Paper.


Public service facilities are the places where services such as social assistance, recreation, police and fire protection, health and educational programs, and cultural services are provided. Libraries and schools are important centres for community life, and are a vital component of complete communities, since they provide a public forum and meeting place. In a rural context, it is important to ensure that services and facilities are located and managed to ensure that everyone has equitable access. Also, facilities such as hospitals and long term care facilities must be planned to meet the growing needs of an aging population and changing demographic profile.

The province envisions that public services will be co-located in community hubs that are broadly accessible. According to Ontario’s Strategic Framework for Community Hubs, community hubs are vibrant centres of community life which provide a central access point for a range of health and social services, along with cultural, recreational, and green spaces to nourish community life and reflect local community needs. Community hubs can deliver necessary services to support population growth and healthy communities, while also reducing infrastructure costs for municipalities.

Proposed Objectives

The following objectives are those which are being considered for the new Township of Adjala-Tosorontio Official Plan. They have been developed through an examination of existing Official Plan objectives and principles, review of the Adjala-Tosorontio Community-Based Strategic Plan, and input received from council, the public, agencies, and Township staff.

To provide public service facilities in a coordinated, efficient, and cost effective manner, that is appropriate to the rural nature of the township

To provide an appropriate range and mix of public service facilities and institutional uses, including schools, places of worship, cemeteries, long term care facilities, and other uses, to meet long term needs and foster complete communities

To provide for appropriate location of public service facilities and institutional uses to promote access by active transportation

To support integration of land use planning with planning and investment in public service facilities, including integrated service delivery through community hubs, where appropriate

Proposed Policies

The following policies are those which are being considered for the new Township of Adjala-Tosorontio Official Plan. They have been developed through:

  • Reviewing existing Official Plan policies and updating them to comply with new provincial and county policy requirements
  • Input received from council, the public, agencies, and Tonwship staff

Policies that have been strictly mandated by the province or county appear in bold whereas those that have been municipally derived appear in plain text.

Public Service Facilities

Before consideration is given to developing new public service facilities, the use of existing public service facilities should be optimized, and opportunities for adaptive re-use should be considered by the township, wherever feasible. (PPS 1.6.3)

Public service facilities owned and operated by, or on behalf of, the federal or provincial governments, the county, a conservation authority with jurisdiction in the township, or the township may be permitted in any land use designation, unless otherwise limited by the policies of this Plan.

Public service facilities should be strategically located to support the effective and efficient delivery of emergency management services. (PPS 1.6.4)

In locating new public service facilities, including schools, preference should be given to sites that are easily accessible by active transportation. (Proposed Growth Plan 2016

Public service facilities should be co-located in community hubs, where appropriate, to promote cost-effectiveness and facilitate service integration and access to active transportation. (PPS 1.6.5 & Proposed Growth Plan 2016

Public service facilities and public services should be co-located in community hubs and integrated to promote cost-effectiveness. (Proposed Growth Plan 2016

Priority should be given to maintaining and adapting existing public service facilities and spaces as community hubs to meet the needs of the community and optimize the long-term viability of public investments. (Proposed Growth Plan 2016

The Township will collaborate and consult with service planning, funding and delivery sectors to facilitate the co-ordination and planning of community hubs and other public service facilities. (Proposed Growth Plan 2016

Planning for infrastructure and public service facilities may go beyond a 20-year time horizon. (County of Simcoe Official Plan 4.7.14)


It is the policy of this plan to promote the location and development of Institutional uses within settlement areas. (Township OP

Institutional uses should be located to minimize potential conflict with adjacent uses. Adequate buffer planting shall be provided between Institutional uses and any adjacent residential areas, and such buffer planting shall include the provision of grass strips and appropriate planting of trees and shrubs, and may include berms, screen fences or walls. (Township OP

Approval of Institutional uses will be subject to the availability of required infrastructure and services, including water and wastewater systems, and the provision of adequate vehicular access. Adequate parking and loading facilities shall be provided for all permitted uses. (Township OP

Access points to parking areas should be limited in number and designed in such a manner so as to minimize the danger to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. (Township OP

In regard to new development located adjacent to school sites, sidewalks are considered to be an integral design aspect for safety and Council will give consideration to the need for the installation of sidewalks as may be deemed appropriate. (Township OP

Permitted Uses – Institutional

Permitted uses within Institutional designation shall include: (Township OP with additions)

  • auditorium or banquet or community hall;
  • cemetery;
  • community centre;
  • convalescent or nursing home;
  • cultural facilities
  • day care centre;
  • hospitals and health clinics;
  • library;
  • municipal services and infrastructure;
  • place of worship;
  • private club;
  • public use;
  • recreational facilities;
  • school or educational establishment;
  • accessory dwelling unit in accordance with the applicable provisions of the zoning by-law;
  • accessory eating establishment in accordance with the applicable provisions of the zoning by-law

Proposed Definitions

Public service facilities: means land, buildings and structures for the provision of programs and services provided or subsidized by a government or other body, such as social assistance, recreation, police and fire protection, health and educational programs, and cultural services. Public service facilities do not include infrastructure. (PPS, 2014 & County of Simcoe Official Plan)

Community facilities: include emergency services, libraries, schools, health care facilities, municipal buildings, and public recreation facilities. (County of Simcoe Official Plan)

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