The Committee of Adjustment is a body appointed by City Council to consider requests for minor changes, or variance, to the City's Zoning By-laws. The Committee will consider matters of zoning variances, which are often not of sufficient magnitude to warrant the formal consideration of City Council.

 What is a minor variance?

A minor variance is a minor variation or change, from the specific requirements of a zoning by-law.

There are 2 specific types of zoning variances that the Committee of Adjustment may consider:

  1. The applicant seeks relief from a specific zoning by-law requirement, such as a reduction in minimum yard setback or an increase in maximum permitted building height.
  2. The applicant seeks to expand or change an existing lawful non-conforming use. A lawful non-conforming use is a use on a property which does not comply with the existing zoning by-laws, but which has been in existence prior to the by-law coming into effect. No change is permitted to a lawful non-conforming use other than complete removal and compliance with existing zoning unless a variance is granted.
Note:  As of July 1, 2016, changes to the Planning Act prohibit an applicant from making an application for a minor variance from the provision of a by-law passed within the last two years.
 Application Submission
Application form is available online or from the City Development Department. All relevant material, documentation and fees must be submitted with your application.

Submission requirements include:

  • a recent survey showing dimensions of the lands and the location of all buildings on the subject property including proposed additions and alterations
  • elevation drawing
  • proof of ownership of the land
  • application fee

Staff is available to assist you in making your submission and answer any questions you may have at any time in the process. Additional information may be required to review the application.  You can submit other relevant information that you feel might assist the Committee in their consideration of the application i.e. photographs.

To ensure the application is processed as quickly as possible, all forms, drawings and sketches should be neat and legible.  All information should be as accurate as possible and all dimensions must be in metric.

Applications may be viewed by the public in the City Development Department during business hours.

 The Process

Once the application form is completed and submitted to the satisfaction of the City, notice of the application, and the date, time and location of the public meeting is circulated for comments to adjacent residents and landowners within 65 metres of the subject property.

The notice is also circulated to various City departments, Members of Council, and other public agencies. Based on the information within the application and comments received, a report is prepared by City staff and is provided to the Committee of Adjustment members for consideration. The applicant or authorized agent must attend the public meeting to present the application. In addition other interested parties are welcome to attend and express their views, for or against the application.

The Committee will make a decision on the application by either granting approval or refusal.  The Committee may defer or table the application if additional information is required by the applicant and/or staff.

 Timeframe

Approximately 3 months is required from the time an application is filed to the completion of the 20 day appeal period. If you are considering any construction on your property, it is best to consult with the City Development Department early to ensure that your plans and drawings comply with all relevant zoning regulations. This avoids any disappointments and/or delays.

 Notice of Decision

Notice of the Committee's decision is mailed to the property owner and other interested parties who requested a copy of the decision.

The decision may be subject to the completion of certain conditions, which will be outlined in the decision. It is up to the applicant to satisfy these conditions by the required date to avoid the decision lapsing.

 Appeal Procedure

Regardless of whether the Committee of Adjustment decides in favour or not of the application, their decision is not final until 20 days after they have reached that decision. During this time period anyone who does not agree with the decision of the Committee of Adjustment may appeal the decision to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

The appeal must be made within 20 days of the decision and must outline your reasons for the appeal, together with a cheque in the amount of $300.00 payable to the Minister of Finance of Ontario.

Submit your appeal to:

Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment

City Development Department

Meeting Information:

View the 2019 Meeting Schedule

View Committee of Adjustment Agendas.

View Committee of Adjustment Minutes.