top of page


City of Kawartha Lakes: Community Design and Land Use Planning

Population: 73,214

Rural communities achieving walkability through community design and land use planning. 


The City of Kawartha Lakes has recently developed a variety of policy documents that focus on creating active and healthy rural communities:

  • The City of Kawartha Lakes Official Plan (2012);

  • Five Community-based Secondary Plans (one for eachpopulation centre);

  • The Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP);

  • A Growth Management Strategy and a Food Charter. 

Official Plan Amendment Policy

18.13.1. “It is the policy of this plan to consider urban and community design as an integral component of new development and redevelopment in the settlement areas. The preparation of a set of community design guidelines for settlement areas to ensure that new development is attractive and consistent with the policies of this Plan is encouraged”. 

Innovative Features 

Activating Kawartha Lakes

  • This initiative consisted of walking audits with Dan Burden, who is considered an expert in pedestrian and bicycle design; he is a consultant that focuses on walkability.

  • Community members and stakeholders were invited to take part in scheduled walks with Dan Burden that took place in downtown Lindsay and Fenelon Falls.

  • The goal was to create awareness about issues for both pedestrians and cyclists relating to the built environment and walkability, as well as to explore potential solutions. 

Key Lessons and Tools
  • Develop Community-based Secondary Plans for individual towns and hamlets.

  • Encourage collaboration between the municipality and health unit.

  • Gain the support of Council.

  • Have the goal to be vibrant and encourage community involvement in the process of policy development.

  • Educate community members and work together.

  • Don’t ‘plan in a box’ and be open to new and innovative ideas. 


City of Kawartha Lakes Michael Benner -
Manager of Policy Planning mbenner@city.kawarthalakes.

(705) 324-9411 Ext. 1330

HKPR District Health Unit Lisa Kaldeway -
Health Promoter (705) 324-3569 Ext. 2207 

bottom of page