Downtown Brampton Special Policy Area

Provincial Approval of Revised Special Policy Area Received on April 30, 2014

The Ministers of Natural Resources (MNR) and Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) have approved the City of Brampton’s revised strategy for development within the floodplain of the downtown, which will facilitate new development while mitigating risk.
This significant milestone will help pave the way for the revitalization of Brampton’s downtown. Brampton welcomes new investment to help realize our full potential.
Brampton is one of the first municipalities to receive Provincial approval of modifications to its Special Policy Area since the new Provincial guidelines were released in 2009. Close cooperation and partnership between the City and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) staff contributed to a technically sound, comprehensive and successful study. MNR and MMAH staff worked closely with the City and TRCA staff through the process – a good model of multi-government partnership.

Key outcomes of the strategy:

  • Clarity around development permissions in the downtown core - robust enough to spur economic development and create a healthy, vibrant downtown.
  • City Council will be able to approve development applications that conform to the revised Secondary Plan and Zoning By-law without the need for further Provincial review and approval.
  • The potential risk associated with a flood event is mitigated through special planning policies that govern the amount and location of development and require the flood proofing of buildings.
  • The City’s Emergency Management Office received Provincial approval of a specific Standard Operating Procedure for the downtown. The City wants to ensure public safety and is confident in its preparedness in the event of a flood.

What is a Special Policy Area? (SPA)

The Downtown Brampton By-pass channel was built along the Etobicoke Creek in 1952. In extreme weather events, water may leave the channel and flow into parts of the historic downtown. The Provincial Policy Statement prevents new development within a floodplain unless it is within an SPA approved by the Province.

The Province approves SPAs to address the significant social and economic hardship that the City would experience if strict adherence to the natural hazard policies were required. In 1986, the Province approved the Downtown Brampton Special Policy Area.Downtown Brampton Special Policy Area

Review of Downtown Brampton SPA   

A review of the Downtown Brampton SPA policies has been undertaken to allow revitalization and redevelopment within the historic downtown while appropriately mitigating the flood risks.

In 2009, the Province established procedures for amending Special Policy Areas. In January 2011, Council directed staff to submit to the Province in accordance with the provincial requirements. A submission was made to the Province, entitled "Downtown Brampton Special Policy Area: Comprehensive Flood Risk and Management Analysis", dated July 2011. Brampton Council endorsed final changes to the amendment and zoning by-law on February 12, 2014. Approval by the Province is required.
The new boundaries of the SPA are shown here

Approved SPA Submission

Executive Summary

For more information, please contact Janice Given, Manager, Growth Management and Special Policy, at 905-874-3459 or