The Town of Smiths Falls is in the process of updating the Town’s Official Plan. An updated Official Plan will guide how Smiths Falls will grow and develop for the next 25 years. An Official Plan is a policy-led planning document that guides the growth and development of our community. It describes the long-term vision for our Town, identifies where and under what circumstances specific types of land use can be located, and includes policies that support environmental sustainability, economic vitality, and good quality of life for residents.

In early September, Planning staff brought Council Report #2023-116 to Council requesting direction on defining the scope of the Official Plan Update project. With the Lands Needs Study complete, the document provides valuable land assessment data to inform policy direction for the Town's with respect to growth and development. In preparation for the Official Plan Update, Staff conducted a public survey and internal Town department interviews which identified numerous areas and opportunities for growth and development within the Town that could be supported by the update of the Town's Official Plan.

The Council Report #2023-116 recommended Council direct staff to develop a Request for Proposal for qualified consultants to undertake the update to the Town's Official Plan that included the following elements:

  • Hosting five theme-specific workshops: Downtown Revitalization, Housing, Sustainability, Community Spaces and Transportation & Connections;
  • Incorporate Transportation Master Planning, Commercial Sector Analysis and Housing Needs Study into the scope of this Official Plan Update; and,
  • Plans for a 25-year growth horizon as envisioned by the Town's Land Needs Study

Please stay tuned for further information on the Official Plan update by subscribing to this page. To read Council Report #2023-116, locate the "Applicable Documents" tab at the bottom of this page.

Why is the Official Plan being updated?

Per the requirements of the Planning Act, the Official Plan is to be revised, as required, every 5 years. Periodic updates to the Official Plan ensure that we remain consistent with any changes made to any provincial policies. Additionally, an update to the Official Plan ensures that it accurately reflects the current goals and needs of the community and appropriately balances public and community interests.

The current Town of Smiths Falls Official Plan was adopted in 2014 and guides development through to 2034. A lot has happened since then, with more to come! Since our last Official Plan Update, we have approved several plans such as the Active Transportation Master Plan, and the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, as well as several new subdivisions.  The 2014 Plan forecast that about 500 new homes would be built by 2034 but as of early this year, we have actually seen over 750 new units. 

To support a review of our Official Plan, the Town initiated a Land Needs Study, which shows we need to designate new land to accommodate the growth and development we expect to see over the next 25 years. An updated Official Plan will determine where this new development will go and how it will be done.

The Smiths Falls Official Plan update will:

  • Carry forward recommendations from recent Town plans such as the Active Transportation Plan and Parks and Recreation Master Plan;
  • Align with current provincial growth policies and legislation; 
  • Be informed by an engaged community to ensure their interests and feedback is considered; and,
  • Identify how and where development will occur over the next 25 years and what we want to see. 
What is the purpose? 

In understanding how much land will be required to meet the needs of the population of Smiths Falls, the Town can determine if its current land capacity will be sufficient or if the Town should expand the municipal boundary.

This project will consider all lands located within the municipal boundary of the Town, with two specific study areas identified for future development: The East End Development Reserves (~250 ha/ 620 acres) and Ferrara Drive Lands (~7.5 ha / 19 acres).

Applicable Documents


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I stay up to date and be involved?

This Official Plan Update project page will be regularly updated. If you would like to receive updates, please subscribe to this page. You may also join our digital mailing list by sending a request to

By agreeing to join our stakeholder list you will receive periodic emails or letters related to the Smiths Falls Official Plan Update. You can be taken off this list at any time by emailing with the subject line "unsubscribe". All comments may become part of the public record of the review process to assist in deciding on this planning matter. Questions may be directed to Planning Clerk Mary Remmig at

What is in an Official Plan?

An Official Plan is a long-range planning policy that functions as a blueprint for how the Town will grow containing both written policy documents and maps. Being a single-tier municipality, the Town of Smiths Falls has approval authority under the Planning Act, to make changes to our Official Plan. Our current Official Plan is organized into 7 sections that address different aspects of life in Smiths Falls, from the development of our Downtown Core to our commitment to environmental leadership. The goals and policies in each section are established to provide direction to the Town on a wide range of topics related to land use, infrastructure and the delivery of municipal services. 


What can I expect to see with an Official Plan Update?

An update to the Official Plan provides opportunity to address growth-related challenges and opportunities facing Smiths Falls. These challenges include housing affordability, economic development, sustainability and responding to climate change. The Official Plan’s policies are limited to what is within the Town's jurisdiction. For example, through the Official Plan the Town can plan where institutional uses such as schools can go. However, we cannot determine if a new school is needed.


How will the Official Plan Update Affect Me?

The Official Plan update affects every resident in the Town of Smiths Falls. The Official Plan informs where new homes, industries, parks, and other land uses will be located, and the allocation of infrastructure services such as watermains, sewers, and roads. For example, an update to the Town’s housing policies could impact how affordable housing is defined and implemented in the Town.


How will my feedback be used?

The feedback gathered through public engagement will be considered in the review of the Official Plan. Feedback gives staff important insight into the needs and wants of our community. With your support, your feedback will be used to guide the plans and policies comprised within the Official Plan.


Who's Listening

Karl Grenke, MCIP, RPP

Senior Planner

Town of Smiths Falls

Phone: 613-283-4124 Ext. 1116



Richard Grant

Planner I

Town of Smiths Falls

Phone: 613-283-4124 Ext. 1123



Contact Us

Subscribe to this page