Markham Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)


New Zoning By-law Project

Markham Zoning By-Law Project

The City of Markham is undertaking a comprehensive review of its zoning by-laws and existing zoning framework. As part of Markham’s New Comprehensive Zoning By-law Project, the City’s primary zoning by-laws will be reviewed, consolidated and updated, where appropriate, to implement the policies of the City’s new Official Plan.

The end result will be a new and interactive web-based comprehensive zoning by-law, to regulate land use and development in the City.

Project Status - Fall 2016

Phase 1 - Zoning Issues Analysis and Phase 2 - Strategic Direction are now complete. Work on Phase 3A (review of potential new zoning and licensing regulations for secondary suites, rooming houses and short-term accommodations) is currently underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 or early 2017.

Why a Comprehensive Review?

The Planning Act requires that municipalities review and update their municipal zoning by-laws to conform with their Official Plan within three years after the Official Plan comes into effect.

Markham’s new Official Plan was adopted by Council on December 10, 2013, and was partially approved on October 30, 2015 and May 26, 2016. Markham’s zoning by-laws were adopted between the 1950’s, and again in 2004. They now require updating to be consistent with the new Official Plan and also need reviewing due to their age and large number of changes and minor variances that have been approved over the years.

Objective of the Review

Develop a new comprehensive zoning by-law that:

  • is user-friendly, interactive & web-based;
  • guides land use and development in Markham;
  • responds to emerging planning and development trends; and
  • implements the policies of the new Official Plan.

What parts of the bylaw will be reviewed?

  • Zoning By-law definitions, general provisions, zone categories/zones and associated permissions and standards, etc.
  • Zoning By-law layout, format, structure, zoning method, etc.
  • Existing zoning permissions, including site specific zoning by-law amendments and minor variance approvals, to determine best approach for recognizing existing permissions in the new comprehensive zoning by-law.

New Zoning By-laws Project Phases

About Zoning By-laws

A zoning by-law is a legal document that regulates the use of land and buildings and provides standards for how development and construction can occur on a property. Municipalities are granted the authority to pass zoning by-laws by Section 34 of the Planning Act. Zoning by-laws regulate:

  • How land and buildings may be used.
  • Where buildings and other structures can be located and how they should be built (example: Setbacks from property lines, gross floor area/density, height/number of storeys, etc.).
  • Required lot sizes and dimensions, parking requirements, etc.

The purpose of zoning by-laws is to implement the policies of the Official Plan in a legally enforceable manner, and to protect people from conflicting and possibly dangerous land uses.

Below are examples of common zoning by-law terminology and standards within a residential context:

An example of common zoning by-law terminology and standards within a residential context

An example of common zoning by-law terminology and standards within a residential context

Common zoning terminology and standards in a mixed-use context:

An example of common zoning terminology and standards in a mixed-use context
Source: Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing,

Upcoming Meetings

Public Meeting - Phase 3a (Secondary Suites, Rooming Houses & Short-Term Accommodations)

Tuesday, December 5, 2016 ( 7:00 PM)
Markham Civic Centre - Council Chamber


You are encouraged to provide input to assist with the preparation of a new comprehensive zoning by-law for the City. There are a few ways to get involved:

Receive Notifications by Email:

Send your name and contact information to the Clerks Department, attention Kitty Bavington at, to receive information on upcoming meetings and events.

Attend Meetings and Events:

Attend meetings and events to learn more about the project and provide input. Meetings and events will be posted on this page once scheduled.

Provide Your Feedback Online:

Provide Your Feedback Online


Contact the City's Planning Department at 905-477-7000 extension 4861.

Send your comments to:

New Zoning Project
Markham Civic Centre
101 Town Centre Boulevard
Markham, Ontario, L3R 9W3

View information in person at the Markham Civic Centre

Back to Top