Transportation Policy Paper


Download the Transportation Policy Paper.


The province, county, and township cooperate to provide for the development of an integrated multimodal transportation network which efficiently moves people and goods, and also supports active transportation. The road network and hierarchy are important structural elements of the township, since they provide a framework for corridor functions and right-of-way design. Currently in the township, roads are classified by jurisdiction, function, and level of service. Provincial highways are intended to facilitate movement of a high volume of traffic, and are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation. Arterial roads are medium to high traffic volume roads under the jurisdiction of the county, intended to move people and goods inter-municipally. Collector roads are township collector roads which provide for movement and access to a variety of land uses. Township roads are local roads maintained year-round and local roads maintained seasonally which carry low traffic volumes.

Encouraging the use of alternative transportation modes and reducing automotive congestion and one-passenger trips contributes to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved public health. Development of Complete Streets policies can support planning and design for all users, including pedestrians, cyclists, public transit, and vehicles. Public streets and streetscapes have a significant effect on the public realm in settlement areas, so the design of transportation facilities should contribute to quality built form, meet the needs of pedestrians, and facilitate community connectivity. Pedestrian-oriented, human-scale streetscapes can encourage more people to choose walking or cycling.

The County of Simcoe Official Plan outlines a number of steps being implemented to support effective multimodal transportation. The County of Simcoe Transportation Master Plan (TMP) provides more specific strategies to improve transportation, including road network improvements, support for alternative travel modes, and transportation demand management (e.g. carpooling/ridesharing; parking management; site design and on-site facilities that support transit and walking; bicycle facilities and programs; initiatives to discourage single vehicle occupant trips). The TMP directs local municipalities to develop active transportation plans, and encourages connections between local streets and neighbourhood parks, schools, natural areas, and other open spaces in new subdivision plans. The TMP also provided the impetus for development of the Simcoe County Trails Strategy.

Significant work has also been undertaken at the provincial level to promote active transportation, including the development of #CycleON Ontario’s Cycling Strategy, which calls for improved commuter cycling facilities and networks. It is clear that the province and the county are encouraging municipalities to shift away from accommodating single occupant vehicles towards to provide a more comprehensive, sustainable, and efficient transportation system.

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 coordinate long-term transportation system planning, land use planning, and transportation investment

To provide a safe, efficient multimodal transportation system to facilitate the movement of people and goods

To protect major goods movement facilities and corridors for long term use

To reduce traffic congestion and minimize the length and number of vehicle trips through Transportation Demand Management (TDM) strategies, and through designation of higher-density and mixed-use areas

To encourage the use of active transportation as a mode of transportation that supports healthy living, economic development, and tourism, and to support cycling

To promote development of complete communities with an interconnected cycling and pedestrian system

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 municipal 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 Road Access

Direct public year round maintained road access is required for all uses in the Township, with the exception of forestry or agricultural uses. (Township OP 5.2.1)

No development is permitted on private roads or on seasonally maintained public roads. (Township OP 5.2.1)

The Township will require permit applications for new entrances and for the upgrading of existing entrances to all local roads. (Township OP 5.2.1)

Transportation Systems

Transportation systems should be provided which are safe, energy efficient, facilitate the movement of people and goods, and are appropriate to address projected needs. (PPS 2014

As part of a multimodal transportation system, connectivity within and among transportation systems and modes should be maintained and, where possible, improved including connections which cross jurisdictional boundaries. (PPS 2014

A land use pattern, density and mix of uses should be promoted that minimizes the length and number of vehicle trips and supports current and future use of active transportation. (PPS 2014

Transportation and land use considerations shall be integrated at all stages of the planning process. (PPS 2014

Transportation systems will be planned and managed to:

(a) provide connectivity among transportation modes for moving people and for moving goods;

(b) offer a balance of transportation choices that reduces reliance upon the automobile and promotes active transportation;

(c) be sustainable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the most financially and environmentally appropriate mode for trip-making;

(d) offer multimodal access to jobs, housing, schools, cultural and recreational opportunities, and goods and services; and

(e) provide for the safety of system users. (Proposed Growth Plan

In the design, refurbishment or reconstruction of the existing and planned street network, a complete streets approach will be adopted that ensures the needs and safety of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers of cars and trucks are considered and appropriately accommodated. (Proposed Growth Plan

In addition to Section X of this Plan, in the consideration of new roads and related infrastructure, lands located on Schedules ‘X to X’ on the Oak Ridges Moraine shall be subject to the provisions of Section X.X.X of this Plan. (Township OP 5.3.7)

Road Hierarchy and Network

The Township will consult with the Ministry of Transportation and the County of Simcoe as appropriate. (Township OP 5.3.4)


The principal function of Provincial Highways and County Roads is to carry traffic into, out of and through the Township. This important purpose will be protected by the Township. Any application leading to the intensification of existing land uses or the establishment of new ones along these corridors will be considered in conjunction with Provincial and County policies and guidelines. (Township OP 5.3.3)

Provincial Highways are designed to carry large volumes of traffic at high speed. Therefore, access to these roads is restricted. (Township OP 5.4.1)

Development adjacent to Provincial Highways is subject to the requirements and permits of the Ministry of Transportation. (Township OP 5.4.2)


Entrances onto County Roads shall be in conformity with the roads policies and by-laws of the County of Simcoe. (Township OP 5.5.1)

Development adjacent to County Roads is subject to the requirements and permits of the County of Simcoe. (Township OP 5.5.2)


Schedules <<>> and <<>> indicate the minimum rights-of-way width for roads in the Township. Where existing rights-of-way do not meet the standard established in the Township Official Plan, road widening may be acquired through various means, including through approval of consents and registered plans of subdivision and site plan control. (Township OP 5.6.1)

Unopened Road Allowances

Some road allowances shown on Schedules <<>> and <<>> have not been “opened” by the Township in accordance with the provisions of the Municipal Act. The Township will not upgrade, maintain or repair such roads for vehicular traffic unless and until a by-law has been enacted and passed by the Council to open any one of the roads so designated for public vehicular use, the road is upgraded to the standards of the Township, and meets the requirements of Section 4.12.16 for those lands on the Oak Ridges Moraine as shown on Schedules <<>>to this Plan. Upgrading of unopened road allowances is the responsibility of the proponent of the development (Township OP 5.7.1)

Traffic Impact Study

Development applications may require a Traffic Impact Study (TIS) to address safe access/egress, turning lanes and other issues identified by the Township, the County or by the Ministry of Transportation. (Township OP 5.8.1)

Transportation Demand Management

Efficient use shall be made of existing and planned infrastructure, including through the use of transportation demand management strategies, where feasible. (PPS 2014

The Township will develop and implement transportation demand management policies to:

a) reduce trip distance and time;

b) increase the modal share of alternatives to the automobile, which may include setting modal share targets;

c) prioritize active transportation, transit and goods movement over single-occupant automobiles; and

d) target significant trip generators. (Proposed Growth Plan

Transportation and Infrastructure Corridors

The Township shall plan for and protect corridors and rights-of-way for infrastructure, including transportation, and electricity generation facilities and transmission systems to meet current and projected needs. (PPS 2014

The Township shall protect major goods movement facilities and corridors for the long term. (PPS 2014

The Township will plan for and protect corridors and rights-of-way for infrastructure, including major goods movement facilities and corridors, transportation, active transportation and electricity generation and utility facilities and transmission systems to meet current and projected needs. (PPS 2014 & County of Simcoe OP4.8.7)

The Township shall not permit development in planned corridors that could preclude or negatively affect the use of the corridor for the purpose(s) for which it was identified. New development proposed on adjacent lands to existing or planned corridors and transportation facilities should be compatible with, and supportive of, the long-term purposes of the corridor and should be designed to avoid, mitigate or minimize negative impacts on and from the corridor and transportation facilities. (PPS 2014

The preservation and reuse of abandoned corridors for purposes that maintain the corridor’s integrity and continuous linear characteristics should be encouraged, wherever feasible. (PPS 2014

Abandoned rail right-of-ways, utility corridors, and waterways for transportation, recreation and trails purposes should be examined for opportunities that would facilitate active transportation. The Township may promote the facilitation of trails as an interim use in abandoned rail corridors and will consider combination of active transportation and rail facilities for the long term (Simcoe County OP 4.8.51)

Active Transportation

The Township will ensure that active transportation networks are comprehensive and integrated into transportation planning to provide:

a) safe, comfortable travel for pedestrians, bicyclists and other users of active transportation; and

b) continuous linkages between strategic growth areas, adjacent neighbourhoods and key trip generators, including dedicated lane space for bicyclists on the major street network, where feasible, or other safe and convenient alternatives. (Proposed Growth Plan

The Township will consider development and implementation of a Complete Streets policy, and consider opportunities for accommodating all road users

In the design and provision of active transportation facilities, the Township will consider provincial guidelines outlined in Ontario Traffic Manual Book 18 (OTM 18)

The Township will ensure, whenever feasible, the provision of facilities to encourage active transportation, and to address the needs, safety and convenience of pedestrians and cyclists when constructing or reconstructing public facilities (County Official Plan 4.8.46)

The Township may consider development of a municipal Active Transportation Plan, which should include: (County Official Plan 4.8.47)

(1) An active transportation system map identifying existing and proposed sidewalks, bicycle facilities, multi-use trails, and associated facilities, including proposed connection to the County Trail System;

(2) Policies requiring the provision of sidewalks and/or multi-use trails through all new development areas and standards outlining a minimum number of development units for application of this policy;

(3) Policies outlining the requirements and conditions related to the dedication of lands in new development areas to complete future trail and sidewalk connections identified in the Official Plan;

(4) Policies outlining cycling and pedestrian safety measures to reduce injuries and fatalities associated with motor vehicle collisions (i.e. traffic calming, narrower streets, signage, cycling lanes, etc.);

(5) Policies and plans that identify where new sidewalks and trails should be provided through existing built up areas;

(6) Policies and standards specifying the design parameters that should be used for new trails and sidewalks that reflect Ontario Provincial Standards, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requirements, and best practices; and

(7) Policies requiring the provision of secure bicycle racks and shelters, showers and change rooms, and sidewalk connections between buildings and municipal sidewalks for all new community centres, schools and other public use buildings, meeting halls, and major employment land uses that meet a minimum floor space threshold to be established by the Township.

Design of Development

Entrances shall only be considered where adequate sight lines can be maintained. New entrances are discouraged on hills or curves. (Township OP 5.3.1)

Development shall only be permitted on roads that have the capacity to accommodate the increased traffic generated by that development. (Township OP 5.3.1)

On main streets, downtown areas and in the design of public facilities and streetscapes, development which generates an increase in pedestrian and vehicular traffic, the application of Complete Streets and Township design guidelines shall be incorporated, where appropriate. (County of Simcoe OP 4.8.40)

In the design of new subdivisions, the township will encourage the development of through roads and will avoid the creation of cul-de-sacs, except where the scale of development or the natural features of the site preclude the reasonable construction of a through road. (Township OP 5.3.6)

The Township will incorporate site plan design that promotes multimodal transportation and Complete Streets concepts along County Roads within settlement areas, in consultation with the County. (Simcoe County OP 4.8.14)

When considering secondary plans and development applications, the Township shall pursue the connection of trails and/or bicycle facilities among local municipalities and beyond County boundaries and require the dedication of land for such use in accordance with the Planning Act. (County Official Plan 4.8.45)

Proposed Definitions

Active Transportation: Human-powered travel, including but not limited to, walking, cycling, inline skating and travel with the use of mobility aids, including motorized wheelchairs and other power-assisted devices moving at a comparable speed. (PPS, 2014) (Proposed Growth Plan 2016) (County of Simcoe OP)

Compact Built Form: A land use pattern that encourages the efficient use of land, walkable neighbourhoods, mixed land uses (residential, retail, workplace and institutional) all within one neighbourhood, proximity to transit and reduced need for infrastructure. Compact built form can include detached and semi-detached houses on small lots as well as townhouses and walk-up apartments, multi-storey commercial developments, and apartments or offices above retail. Walkable neighbourhoods can be characterized by roads laid out in a well-connected network, destinations that are easily accessible by active transportation, sidewalks with minimal interruptions for vehicle access, and a pedestrian friendly environment along roads to encourage active transportation. (Proposed Growth Plan 2016)

Complete streets: means a public right-of-way where the transportation facilitates and adjacent land uses are planned, designed and constructed to accommodate users of all ages and abilities including pedestrians, cyclists, automobiles and freight traffic. (County of Simcoe OP)

Freight-supportive: In regard to land use patterns, means transportation systems and facilities that facilitate the movement of goods. This includes policies or programs intended to support efficient freight movement through the planning, design and operation of land use and transportation systems. Approaches may be recommended by the Province or based on municipal approaches that achieve the same objectives. (PPS, 2014) (Proposed Growth Plan 2016)

Grid Roads: refer to roads such as Concession and Sideroads which form part of the original rural road system of the Township, plus all arterial roads which now serve as Provincial Highways, County Roads, and local municipal arterial roads. (County of Simcoe OP)

Major Goods Movement Facilities and Corridors: The transportation facilities and corridors associated with the inter- and intra-provincial movement of goods. Examples include: inter-modal facilities, ports, airports, truck terminals, freight corridors, freight facilities, and haul routes and primary transportation corridors used for the movement of goods. Approaches that are freight-supportive may be recommended in guidelines developed by the Province or based on municipal approaches that achieve the same objectives. (PPS, 2014) (Proposed Growth Plan 2016) (County of Simcoe OP)

Modal Share: The percentage of person-trips or of freight movements made by one travel mode, relative to the total number of such trips made by all modes. (Proposed Growth Plan 2016)

Multimodal: Relating to the availability or use of more than one form of transportation, such as automobiles, walking, and cycling. (PPS, 2014) (Proposed Growth Plan 2016) (County of Simcoe OP)

Traffic Demand Management (TDM): means a set of strategies that result in more efficient use of the transportation system by influencing travel behaviour by mode, time of day, frequency, trip length, regulation, route or cost. (County of Simcoe OP)

Transportation Demand Management: A set of strategies that result in more efficient use of the transportation system by influencing travel behaviour by mode, time of day, frequency, trip length, regulation, route, or cost. (PPS, 2014) (Proposed Growth Plan 2016)

Transportation System: A system consisting of facilities, corridors and rights-of-way for the movement of people and goods, and associated transportation facilities including sidewalks, cycle lanes, parking facilities, park-and-ride lots, service centres, rest stops, vehicle inspection stations, inter-modal facilities, and associated facilities such as storage and maintenance. (PPS, 2014) (Proposed Growth Plan 2016) (County of Simcoe OP)

Trip Generators: Destinations with high population densities or concentrated activities which generate a large number of trips (e.g., urban growth centres and other downtowns, major office and office parks, major retail, employment areas, community hubs and other public service facilities and other mixed-use areas) (Proposed Growth Plan 2016)

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