Section 37 - Policies and Implementation Guidelines

Section 37 of the Planning Act is a planning tool that allows municipalities to permit increased height and/or density in exchange for community benefits.

Study Description


The Planning Act permits a municipality, through a zoning by-law, to approve increases in height and/or density beyond what the Official Plan/Zoning by-law would otherwise permit, in return for facilities, services or matters (community benefits) as are set out in the by-law.


The Official Plan must first contain provisions authorizing the use of Section 37, and that community benefits may be secured in an agreement that may be registered on title.


Section 37 benefits may be provided in several forms, ranging from facilities to services to cash contributions. In any form, the benefits serve to compensate the community for the increased height and/or density approved over and above the base height and/or density permitted for a particular area.  


The purpose of the Section 37 Study is to refine the city-wide S.37 Policies and to develop implementation guidelines for the application of this tool.


Public Consultation


The public consultation process regarding the use of Section 37 began at the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Sub-Committee of Council meeting on June 28th, 2012. At this meeting, Policy Planning provided a report and presentation outlining the planning principles and potential use of Section 37.


A second public consultation meeting took place on June 24, 2013, attended by external stakeholders as well as Vaughan Councillors and staff. The purpose of the meeting was to present draft S.37 Policies and Implementation Guidelines and receive input from participants.


> view Presentation


On November 4, 2014, a consultation meeting was held with all S.37 stakeholders to review the proposed addition of the valuation methodology to the Guidelines document. This meeting was intended to further explain the valuation methodology. The meeting also permitted another opportunity for feedback on other aspects of the draft Implementation Guidelines.


> view Notice


Draft Section 37 Implementation Guidelines


> view Guidelines


Section 37 Policy (as Approved by the Ontario Municipal Board on September 30, 2014)


> view Policy


Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Secondary Plan, S.37 Policy


> view Policy





On September 10, 2013, Policy Planning submitted a report to the Committee of the Whole (Working Session) to present modified Section 37 Policies and Implementation Guidelines. At the following Council Meeting held September 17, 2013, Council received the modified Policy and Guidelines as well as all communications and deputation items, and directed Policy staff to address these concerns.  


Policy Planning presented modified Section 37 Policies and Guidelines to Committee of the Whole on Nov. 26th 2013. Council adopted the modified Section 37 Policies and received the draft Implementation Guidelines on Dec. 10, 2013.


Council Report - December 10, 2013 (Item # 12, Report No. 52)


> view Extract


The modified Section 37 Policies were approved by the Ontario Municipal Board on September 30, 2014.


On February 3, 2015, Policy Planning Staff presented the second draft of the Section 37 Implementation Guidelines, including the proposed formula for determining the land valuation for Section 37 contributions, to Committee of the Whole.


> view Notice  > view Report (Item # 18, Report No. 7)


Vaughan Council approved the Implementation Guidelines as Corporate Policy for the review of development applications involving Section 37 bonusing requests, February 17, 2015.


> view Staff Report


Vaughan Council approved an update of the Implementation Guidelines on December 13, 2016.


> view Report