Building better is about building complete and compact communities that meet the demand for more housing while considering the needs, health and well-being of residents. Ontario’s Places to Grow Act requires communities to properly plan to support more people living here (intensification) and complete communities give residents more options to live, work, learn and play.
Complete communities offer diverse housing options, walkable neighbourhoods and more options to live close to work, schools, shops, parks, services and more. Designing complete communities considers how a neighbourhood currently looks and feels, who lives there now, who will live there in the future, the growing need for housing, services and amenities, how to best use under-utilized areas and the health and happiness of residents.
Building better complete communities is an important growth strategy that:
- Supports healthier and more active living.
- Curbs urban sprawl, preserving farmlands and slowing the rate of climate change impacts.
- Fosters social connections and a vibrant neighbourhood life.
- Attracts local investment and helps local businesses thrive.
Let’s build better active and healthy communities
How neighbourhoods are planned, developed and maintained can provide opportunities for active living by making active transportation (i.e., walking, cycling, skateboarding, etc.) a priority. Building better means:
- Living closer to workplaces, schools, local stores, parks and community amenities, making walking or biking, rather than driving, more convenient.
- Daily opportunities to be active in your neighbourhood.
- Support for residents, especially older adults, to maintain higher levels of physical activity and overall mobility.
Did you know?
In 2022, the number of students in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph who were physically active five or more days a week decreased by 7% from 2019. (WHY Survey, 2022) Walking, biking, skateboarding or rollerblading to school are all fun and enjoyable ways for your children to fit physical activity into their day. For more information on how your children can safely and actively travel to school, visit Ontario Active School Travel.
Let’s build better climate-friendly communities
Meeting our region’s housing demands by building over green spaces and farmland promotes urban sprawl and increases our reliance on cars, driving up carbon emissions. Building better complete communities by increasing density in urban areas and building up under-utilized areas means:
- Helping to preserve precious farmlands and green spaces that benefit the environment.
- More opportunities to leave the car at home, reducing carbon emissions.
Did you know?
In 2021, transportation was the second largest portion of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, at 22%. (ECCC, 2023) When more people bike or walk to places like work, the park or the local market, there is less traffic, which can lead to cleaner air for the community and safer roads for pedestrians and cyclists. To learn how to be safe when riding your bike on the road, visit Share the Road.
Let’s build better connected communities
The design of a community can impact residents’ participation in community life. Complete communities encourage in-person social connections by improving accessibility and walkability to local shops, greenspaces and community spaces and making it safer for pedestrians to get around. Building better means:
- Creating vibrant green spaces and community hubs where people can interact
- Daily opportunities to connect to more people in the neighbourhood.
- Ensuring safer conditions for cyclists and pedestrians to travel.
Did you know?
The presence of heavy traffic can create a sense of unease and can be associated with less community interaction. (PHSA, 2018) Complete and compact communities create more opportunities for all residents to live, learn, work and play safely. To learn more about community safety and health, visit Safe Communities Wellington.
Let’s build better to support our local economy
When residents drive less distance to work or school, they stay in their community and spend more in local shops and businesses, helping businesses succeed financially and creating more local jobs. Also, positive health and economic benefits are linked to complete communities that offer a variety of housing types and affordable housing options. Building better means:
- Supporting local businesses to help increase their revenues.
- Creating new local jobs and filling existing one.
Increased confidence in the local community and its economy to attract new businesses and residents.
Did you know?
When residents find it easier to walk to local stores and services, they are more likely to use them more often. In fact, active transportation infrastructure (such as bike lanes) can increase customer visits and spending intentions at local business by 48%. (Infrastructure Canada, 2022) Your neighbourhood’s Walk Score represents how easy it is for you to walk to the great events and amenities in your community.
Learn more about your communities’ plans to Build Better
- Wellington County
Wellington County Municipalities:
- Township of Centre Wellington Planning and Permits
- Town of Erin Planning
- Guelph/Eramosa Township Planning and Development
- Township of Mapleton Official Plan
- Town of Minto Building and Planning
- Township of Puslinch Planning and Development
- Township of Wellington North Building, Planning & Development
- Dufferin County
Dufferin County Municipalities:
- Township of Amaranth Planning and Development
- Township of East Garafraxa Planning and Development
- Town of Grand Valley Official Plan, Zoning and Planning Documents
- Township of Melancthon Planning
- Town of Mono Planning
- Township of Mulmur Official Plan
- Town of Orangeville Official Plan
- Town of Shelburne Development and Land Use
- City of Guelph
Building better resources
- Government of Canada’s Active Transportation webpage
- Government of Canada National Active Transportation Strategy 2021-2026
- BC CDC Healthy Built Environment Linkages toolkit