Established Neighbourhoods Compatibility Study

A cut out picture of the Zoning By-law


Municipal Office

395 Mulock Drive P.O. Box 328 Station Main, Newmarket, Ontario
L3Y 4X7

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As the Town of Newmarket continues to grow, we are trying to keep the character of your neighbourhood.

In the past, some neighbourhoods have seen older homes replaced with newer homes, and there may be times where the home does not seem to fit with the overall character of the neighbourhood.

As a result, the Town is taking a closer look at all established neighbourhoods in Newmarket in order to identify and characterize them. Help us find out what makes your neighbourhood unique, exciting, and special to you. With this information gathered, we will work with the community to create policies and guidelines to preserve these special aspects of your neighbourhood. 


Policy Options and Best Practices Report

Process Recommendation Report

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What exactly is this study?

In order to achieve greater compatibility for new builds and redevelopments within an established residential neighbourhood, the Town will be looking to amend the Official Plan by defining Newmarket's existing neighbourhoods and develop specific policies based on the community characteristics.

  1. First, we will be defining existing community characteristics. We anticipate that a few methods would be utilized to do so, such as using existing GIS data on housing coverage, lot area and frontages among other available information, to provide quick neighbourhood statistics that can act as a benchmark for zone standards for that particular area.
  2. Once neighbourhoods are identified, much of the character will be defined through community visits and neighbourhood walkabouts as well as surveys aimed at gaining an understanding of what the residents within existing community's hold as important to the defining character of where they live. With this information, the consultants will be in a position to develop Official Plan policies to protect these identified characteristics for each neighbourhood category.
  3. Once the Official Plan policies have been developed, an implementing zoning bylaw is required. Existing and recently modified zone standards will be reviewed for appropriateness for each neighbourhood to ensure the built form is compatible with the adjacent dwellings and the neighbourhood as a whole.


Why is this study being conducted?

Residential trends in Newmarket are shifting from suburban growth to urban intensification and redevelopment. Concerns have been raised regarding the compatibility of new homes or additions to existing homes that comply with the current zoning by-law regulations but are considered to be out of character with the built form of the established neighbourhoods in which they are located.

One of the fundamental objectives of planning and zoning is to ensure compatibility between properties and land uses. Compatibility is achieved in part by regulating land use and built form. 

As such, Council directed staff to initiate a study of existing established neighbourhoods to examine the regulatory framework of the Town's Zoning By-law and Official Plan and propose recommendations for amendments that will assist in maintaining the existing character of the mature neighbourhood.

As an interim protection, Council enacted Interim Control By-law 2019-04 on January 21, 2019, to restrict the level of change in the Town's established neighbourhoods until new directions have been established through completion of the study.

Interim Control By-law 2019-04 temporarily prohibits the following in many areas of the town: 

  • Increasing the height of residential dwellings
  • Building new residential dwellings on vacant lots
  • Expanding the floor area of existing residential dwellings by 25% or more
  • Rebuilding a residential dwelling with 25% or more floor area

Interim Control By-law 2019-04 applies to:

  • Stable and Emerging Residential lands in the Town's Official Plan
  • Residential lands in the Oak Ridges Moraine
  • Residential land adjacent to historic Main Street South

Find more information on the Interim Control By-law 2019-04 online here.


Who is conducting this study?

The Town has awarded SvN Architects + Planners the Planning Consultant contract for this project which means they will be working with the Town to lead the process and develop the necessary policies.


How long will this study take?

Currently, the anticipated timeframe for implementation is approximately 12 months.


What about public engagement?

On May 16, 2019, the Town of Newmarket and SvN held a Public Open House and Design Workshop for the Neighbourhoods Official Plan Amendment. At this event, participants were given the opportunity to view display boards and after a brief overview, participate in a rotating series of individual and group-based exercises. These aimed to identify neighbourhoods by name, extents, organizational structure, amenities and key destinations, while defining their key elements and characteristics.

The materials provided at the Public Open House and Design Workshop for the Neighbourhoods Official Plan Amendment are linked below:

Please continue to check back for more information on the next public engagement session and for updates on the Established Neighbourhoods Compatibility Study.

For the all the latest information on the Established Neighbourhoods Compatibility Study, be sure to check out our digital engagement platform HeyNewmarket and our Instagram page @townofnewmarket.


Who can I contact for more information or to leave a comment?

For more information, please contact Dave Ruggle, Senior Planner – Community Planning, at