District Municipality of Muskoka
The District Municipality of Muskoka, more referred to as the District of Muskoka or Muskoka, is a regional municipality in Central Ontario, Canada. Muskoka extends from Georgian Bay in the west, to the northern tip of Lake Couchiching in the south, to the western border of Algonquin Provincial Park in the east. A two-hour drive north of Toronto, Muskoka spans 6,475 km2. Muskoka has some 1,600 lakes; this region, along with Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough County is referred to as "cottage country", sees over 2.1 million visitors annually. Muskoka is an area populated with several villages and towns, farming communities, lakeside vacation hotels and resorts near to golf courses, country clubs, marinas; the regional government seat is Bracebridge and the largest population centre is Huntsville. Muskoka is a summer destination for Toronto residents and was the #1 most searched Canadian destination for vacation rentals in 2017; the Muskoka region was ranked #1 for best trips of 2011 by National Geographic, was a finalist for the same distinction in 2012.
The name of the municipality derives from a First Nations chief of the 1850s. Lake Muskoka was the hunting grounds of a troop led by Chief Yellowhead or Mesqua Ukie or Musquakie, he was revered by the government, who built a home for him in Orillia where he lived until his death at the age of 95. Muskoka has 60,000 permanent residents, but an additional 100,000 seasonal property owners spend their summers in the region every year, making this a major summer colony. Due to the regions' popularity and high property costs, hundreds of Muskoka properties are available to rent short-term through platforms like CanadaStays. Many of Muskoka's seasonal properties are large mansion-like summer estates, some of which have been passed down through families from generation to generation. Most of these expensive properties can be found along the shores of Muskoka's three major lakes: Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, Lake Joseph. In recent years, various Hollywood and sports stars have built retreats in Muskoka, including Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Mike Weir, Martin Short, Harry Hamlin, Cindy Crawford, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
The soap opera Paradise Falls, about a fictitious cottage community, was shot on location here, to take advantage of the scenic background. Many summer camps are in the region to take advantage of the lakes, which offer opportunities for canoeing, windsurfing, kayaking and other water activities; the area provides a refuge from hot cities during the summer months. The animated TV show Total Drama Island aired on Teletoon and was said to take place in an unspecified area in Muskoka. There are six municipalities in Muskoka: Town of Huntsville Town of Bracebridge Town of Gravenhurst Township of Muskoka Lakes Township of Lake of Bays Township of Georgian BayThe aboriginal reserves Wahta Mohawk Territory and Moose Point 79 are in the Muskoka census division but are independent of the District Municipality. Geography drove history in the Muskoka region. Studded with lakes and rocks, the good land offered an abundance of fishing and trapping, but was poorly suited to farming; the land of the Ojibwa people, European inhabitants ignored it while settling what they thought were the more promising area south of the Severn River.
The Ojibwa leader associated with the area was "Mesqua Ukie", for whom the land is believed named, as he was liked by the European Canadians. The tribe lived south of the region, near present-day Orillia, they used Muskoka as their hunting grounds. Another Ojibwa tribe lived in the area of Port Carling called "Obajewanung"; the tribe moved to Parry Sound around 1866. In the present day, Muskoka contains four First Nations reserves: Wahta Mohawk Territory - an area used for hunting and fishing by Mohawk from the independentKanesatake and Kahnewake reserves. Indian River - shared between the Wahta and the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Moose Point 79 Chippewa Island - shared between the Beausoleil First Nation, the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation and the Chippewas of Rama First Nation Until the late 1760s, the European presence in the region was limited to seasonal fur trappers, but no significant trading settlements were established. Following the American War of Independence, the British North America government feared invasion from its new neighbour to the south.
The authorities began exploring the region, hoping to develop a settled population and find travel lanes between Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay. In 1826, Lieutenant Henry Briscoe became the first European man known to have crossed the middle of Muskoka; the explorer David Thompson drew the first maps of the area in 1837 and camped near present-day Beaumaris. Canada experienced heavy immigration from Europe in the 19th century, Muskoka was no different. Large numbers of settlers from the United Kingdom, to a lesser extent, Germany began to arrive; as the land south of the Severn was settled, the government planned to open the Muskoka region further north to settlement. Logging licences were issued in 1866; the lumber industry expanded denuding huge tracts of the area. Road and water transportation was developed and used to facilitate town settlement. Road transportation took the form of the Muskoka Colonization Road, begun in 1858 and reaching Bracebridge in 1861; the road was cut through from the woods and was of corduroy construction.
Logs were placed perpendicular to the route of travel to keep carriages from sinking in the mud and swamps. This made for rugged travel; the railroad pushed north to support the industry, reaching Gravenhurst in 1875 an
Municipal government in Canada
In Canada, municipal government is a type of local council authority that provides local services, facilities and infrastructure for communities. Canada has three levels of government. According to Section 92 of the Constitution Act, 1867, "In each Province the Legislature may make Laws in relation to... Municipal Institutions in the Province." There are about 3,700 municipal governments in Canada. Municipal governments are established under provincial/territorial authority. Like many Canadian political institutions, municipal government has its roots in the medieval system of government in England. Famously, the city of Winchester was given its charter in 1185, the granting of freedoms became endorsed in Magna Carta, signed in 1215; the first formal municipality in Canada was the city of Saint John in New Brunswick, which received royal approval in 1785. For municipal government, this began an 50-year hiatus of receiving approval from the government, ending in the 1830s when the issue was placed on the agenda once again.
In 1835, the British parliament passed the Municipal Corporations Act, which specified how municipalities were to function and be elected. The ideas from this law were transferred to Canada by Lord Durham, who submitted a report to then-Governor-General, Lord Sydenham. In late 1840 to early 1841 the governments of what was Canada at the time enacted various acts which established municipal government in all areas of the country. In 1849, the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada approved a Canadian version of the Municipal Corporations Act referred to as the Baldwin Act in honour of its creator, Robert Baldwin, it delegated authority to the municipal governments so they could enact by-laws. It established a hierarchy of types of municipal governments, starting at the top with cities and continued down past towns and townships. Changes to the boundaries of these new governments could be made by petitioning the provincial Municipal Board or by requesting a change through the legislature.
By the early 20th century, Canada was involved in a period of municipal reform. An attempt to distinguish municipal government from the provincial legislature occurred, the municipal governments were compared with a board of directors – this form of government was not for advancing a certain political party's view, it was for sitting down and running it'like a business'; as such, the idea that a larger municipality should have more councillors was the same as having a large board of directors for a larger company. Between the 1920s and the 1960s the municipalities received increased funding from their provincial government parents; this was due to the Great Depression, but further discussion about reform reared its head in the 1970s. In many cities, the system of having a few large wards encompassing many different walks of life was replaced with one ward for every area with different demographics; the arguments over municipal government reform continue, seen in the recent City of Toronto Act 1997 dispute.
Municipal governments are subdivisions of their province. While the municipality has autonomy on most decisions, all by-laws passed by that municipal government are subject to change by the provincial government at any time. An example of a typical municipal government structure can be found in New Brunswick, which played host to the first municipal government in Canada in 1785 at Saint John. In some provinces, several municipalities in a particular area are part of an upper tier of municipal government, which provides more regionally oriented services. Depending on the province, this second tier may be called a county, regional municipality, regional district or regional county municipality. In Nova Scotia, three municipalities are designated as "regional municipalities". A regional municipality is a single municipal government covering an entire historical county including all incorporated towns and cities within the county. Within the three regional municipalities, designations such as "city" and "town" exist only as informal signifiers for chartered towns and cities that used to exist prior to the establishment of the regional municipality.
In Canada the types of municipal government vary between provinces, although they all perform the same functions. The general hierarchy was established in 1849 with the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act; the largest municipalities are called cities, their governments city councils. Smaller governments are called towns, parishes, rural municipalities, townships or hamlets; some may be directly designated as municipalities rather than as a particular type of municipality, but this term is still considered inclusive of all local governments regardless of their status. The term "borough" was used in Metropolitan Toronto, Ontario, to denote suburban municipalities; the Borough of East York was the last municipality to hold this status, relinquishing it upon becoming part of the City of Toronto on January 1, 1998. In Quebec, there is no legal distinction between cities and towns – although an informal and subjective distinction may be observed by English speakers all "cities" and "towns" in Quebec have the same status of ville.
In Quebec, the term borough is used as the English translation of arrondissement, referring to an administrative division of a municipality. Only eight municipalities in Quebec are divided into boroughs; some areas in Canada are unincorporated, meaning that they do not have a municipal government at al
Regional Municipality of Sudbury
The Regional Municipality of Sudbury was a regional municipality in Ontario, which existed from 1973 to 2000, centred on the city of Sudbury. It served as an upper tier of municipal government, aggregating municipal services of region-wide interest like the counties and regional municipalities of Southern Ontario, was the only upper tier municipal government created in Northern Ontario; the regional municipality was dissolved with the creation of the amalgamated city of Greater Sudbury on January 1, 2001. The regional municipality expanded the boundaries of the city of Sudbury to annex the community of Copper Cliff, the unincorporated geographic township of Broder and half of the unincorporated geographic township of Dill; the other half of Dill Township — including the community of Wanup — remained unincorporated, although it was subsequently annexed into Greater Sudbury in 2001. The existing town of Capreol expanded its boundaries in 1973 to annex the unincorporated communities of Selwood and Milnet.
However, despite its status as part of the Regional Municipality, Statistics Canada did not include the town in Sudbury's Census Metropolitan Area for census purposes. The towns of Nickel Centre, Onaping Falls, Rayside-Balfour, Valley East and Walden were all newly created by the amalgamation of several smaller towns and townships. Valley East, the largest and fastest-growing of the smaller towns, was granted city status in 1997. All of the municipalities were dissolved into the city of Greater Sudbury in 2001; each town and city in the regional municipality had its own mayor and council, provided many of its own municipal services. The regional municipality had a regional council and chairman of its own, provided certain services of region-wide interest, such as the regional road network and social services. One notable fact was that this was the only regional municipality in Ontario not to originate from a former county government. Unlike the counties and regional municipalities of Southern Ontario, the more sparsely populated north is divided into unincorporated districts which do not serve as governing bodies.
The Regional Municipality of Sudbury was — and the current city of Greater Sudbury still is — the only census division in Northern Ontario which has the structure and function of a Southern Ontario census division. The regional offices were located at Civic Square, the home of Sudbury's city council. Civic Square was renamed Tom Davies Square in 1997 following the retirement of longtime regional chairman Tom Davies. In the 1976 municipal election, the first municipal elections held after the creation of the regional municipality, voters in three of the suburban towns rejected the new level of government; the strongest opposition was in Onaping Falls, with the vote running against regional government by a margin of 20 to one. Despite the opposition, none of the towns was released from the regional government structure. On January 1, 2001, all of the seven incorporated municipalities, as well as the regional municipality itself, were amalgamated into the united city of Greater Sudbury; the former municipal names remain in informal use to designate the different areas of the city.
The name "Sudbury" itself may be ambiguous, however — depending on the context, it may denote either the old city in isolation, or a shorthand name for the entire amalgamated city. In addition to the former towns and cities of the Regional Municipality of Sudbury, the unincorporated townships of Dill, Fraleck, Aylmer, Mackelcan and Scadding were annexed into the new city; the townships of Cleland and Dill encompass the communities of Wanup and St. Cloud, while the townships of Fraleck, Aylmer, Mackelcan and Scadding comprise a wilderness area on the northeast side of Lake Wanapitei which contains only a few recreational properties. However, the annexation of this latter area into the city resulted in Lake Wanapitei supplanting Lake Ramsey, near downtown Sudbury, as the world's largest lake contained within the boundaries of a single city. Prior to the 1997 municipal elections, the regional chairman was elected to the position from within the regional council — in that year, the position became elected by all voters in the regional municipality.
Peter Wong, a former mayor of Sudbury, became the region's first elected chair, but died after just seven months in office. Following Wong's death, councillor Doug Craig served as interim chair until he was succeeded by Frank Mazzuca, a former mayor of Capreol, in a 1998 by-election. Don Collins, 1973–1975 Joe Fabbro, 1975–1977 Doug Frith, 1977–1980 Delki Dozzi, 1980 George Lund, 1980–1981 Tom Davies, 1981–1997 Peter Wong, 1997–1998 Doug Craig, 1998 Frank Mazzuca, 1998–2000 Greater Sudbury Heritage Museums
Regional Municipality of Durham
The Regional Municipality of Durham, informally referred to as Durham Region, is a regional municipality in Southern Ontario, Canada. Located east of Toronto and the Regional Municipality of York, Durham forms the east-end of the Greater Toronto Area and the core part of the Golden Horseshoe region, it has an area of 2,500 square kilometres. The regional government is headquartered in Whitby; the southern portion of the region, on Lake Ontario is suburban in nature, forming the eastern end of the 905 belt of suburbs around Toronto. The northern area comprises small towns; the city of Pickering, town of Ajax and the township of Uxbridge are considered part of Toronto's Census Metropolitan Area, while the communities of Oshawa and Clarington are part of the Oshawa's Census Metropolitan Area. Durham Region consists of the following municipalities: It contains one First Nations reserve: Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. See Durham Regional Council The Region of Durham was established in 1974 as one of several new regional governments in the Province of Ontario in fast-growing urban and suburban areas.
It encompasses areas, part of Ontario County and the United Counties of Northumberland and Durham, was the culmination of a series of studies into municipal governance in the "Oshawa-Centred Region" that had begun in the late 1960s. The boundaries of the region were different than had been anticipated and from those announced in late 1972. In addition, the region was proposed to extend further east to include Hope Township and the town of Port Hope, did not include the northern townships of Scott and Thorah. Under the Köppen climate classification, the Durham Region has a humid continental climate; the Regional Municipality of Durham is predominately white representing 70.1% of the population. There is a large population of South Asians totaling 8.6% of the population and Black Canadians totaling 8.0% of the population. Smaller ethnic groups include Filipino with 2.3% of the population, Aboriginal with 2.0%, Chinese with 1.9%, Mixed visible minority with 1.3%, Latin American with 1.0% and West Asian with 1.0%.
The regional government, within its geographic area, has sole responsibility for the following: Durham Regional Police Service provides local policing for all municipalities. The Ontario Provincial Police patrol provincial highways Durham Region Transit provides public transit service Main roads, traffic lights and controls Strategic land use planning Subdivision and condominium approval Water supply and distribution Sewage collection and treatment Collection of recyclable materials Waste collection, except in Whitby and Oshawa Waste disposal Public health and social servicesThe region provides services in: Economic development TourismLocal municipalities have responsibility for: Local planning Local streets and sidewalks Fire protection Parks and recreation Tax collection Building inspection and permits Public libraries Licensing Waste collection in Whitby and Oshawa Youth unemployment is a major issue in the region: at 23% by the Durham Workforce Authority in 2013, it is 17% higher than the provincial average.
Major employers include General Motors of Canada, Ontario Power Generation, Lakeridge Health, Durham District School Board, Durham College, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, many smaller component and transportation firms supplying the automotive industry. Durham Region is a major centre of the Canadian automobile industry. Oshawa is the Canadian headquarters of General Motors and home of what was once GM's largest plant in North America. In addition, the Canadian headquarters of Volkswagen is located in the region, BMW was located in the region until moving to Richmond Hill in 2010; the worldwide recession and spike in oil prices resulted in large-scale layoffs at GM beginning in 2008, along with the closure of the Oshawa Truck plant in 2009. This reduced employment levels at GM, resulted in significant employment losses and closures in the auto parts industry. On November 26, 2018, General Motors announced that no future product would be allotted to Oshawa beyond 2019 and that manufacturing operations would cease in December 2019.
Ontario Power Generation is the largest employer in the region. OPG is Canada's largest owner of nuclear power plants with responsibility for operating the Pickering A, Pickering B, Darlington nuclear generating stations, all of which are located in Durham Region. Major shopping centres located in Durham Region include: First Pickering Place Oshawa Power Centre Oshawa Centre Pickering Town Centre Thickson Centre Rio-Can Durham Centre The Bowmanville Mall Highway 401 traverses the region from west to east, entering in the Rouge Valley and exiting east of Newtonville. Highway 407, a owned toll freeway, enters the region south of Highway 7 and travels east to Durham Regional Road 1 before transitioning to a provincially owned highway, Highway 407E; this route travels parallel to Highway 7, with a temporary terminus at Durham Regional Road 4 west of Hampton at the future location of Highway 418. Highway 412, part of the Highway 407E project, connects south to Highway 401 parallel and east of Durham Regional Road 23.
Highway 418, a future freeway, will travel between Durham Regional Road 34 and Road 57 from Highway 401, southwest of Bowmanville, north to near Hampton (north of Durham Regional Road 4
Regional Municipality of York
The Regional Municipality of York called York Region, is a regional municipality in Southern Ontario, between Lake Simcoe and Toronto. It replaced the former York County in 1971, is part of the Greater Toronto Area and the inner ring of the Golden Horseshoe; the regional government is headquartered in Newmarket. The 2016 census population was 1,109,909, with a growth rate of 7.5% from 2011 to 2016. The Government of Ontario expects its population to surpass 1.5 million residents by 2031. At a meeting in Richmond Hill on 6 May 1970, officials representing the municipalities of York County approved plans for the creation of a regional government entity to replace York County; the plan had been presented in 1969 by Darcy McKeough, the Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs, taking about a year to determine municipal boundaries within the new regional government. The Regional Municipality of York was created by Act of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1970, which took effect on January 1, 1971.
The creation of the regional municipality resulted in the consolidation of the fourteen former municipalities of York County into nine new municipalities: The township of Whitchurch was merged with the town of Stouffville to create the town of Whitchurch–Stouffville, ceding land to Aurora and Richmond Hill to the west of the proposed Highway 404 and annexing a northern strip of land from the township of Markham. The eastern boundary of the new town of Markham was defined to be at Yonge Street, where its northern boundary was formed with Richmond Hill and its western boundary with the new town Vaughan; the new town of Vaughan would consist of all communities in the area bounded by Markham and Richmond Hill in the east, Metro Toronto in the south, the periphery of the regional municipality in the west, the new township of King in the north. The townships of Georgina, North Gwillimbury, Sutton were merged into the township of Georgina, the East Gwillimbury neighbourhood of East Gwillimbury Heights was merged into Newmarket.
King formed the northwestern part of the new region, but the eastern lot from Bathurst Street to Yonge Street was ceded to Newmarket and Oak Ridges, the last of which became a part of Richmond Hill. The boundary between Aurora and Newmarket was defined to be St. John's Sideroad, Newmarket's northern boundary was defined to be Green Lane; the towns of Aurora and Richmond Hill were defined to be the growth centres for the regional municipality, to become a greenbelt between the denser urban areas of Toronto to the south and Barrie to the north. The growth centres were each restricted to grow to a maximum population of 25,000 by 2000, the regional municipality to 300,000; the municipal realignment merged 40% of East Gwillimbury's population into Newmarket. The council of East Gwillimbury voted to amalgamate with Newmarket, but Newmarket council opposed the amalgamation. In the plan presented by McKeough, the councils of the towns of Newmarket and Aurora were given ten years to decide whether or not to amalgamate.
The internal municipal realignments resulted in some politicians residing in a new municipality from that which they represented at the time of realignment. The reeve of Whitchurch Township resided in the western portion of the town, annexed by Aurora, three East Gwillimbury councillors resided in land annexed by Newmarket, including its future mayor Ray Twinney, King councillor Gordon Rowe was a resident of Oak Ridges, which became part of Richmond Hill; because of the mix of urban and rural areas in the Region, the provision of electricity was governed in a different manner from the rest of the regional services: the hydro-electric commissions and public utilities commissions that existed at the end of 1970 continued to provide electricity within their respective areas. Electric distribution was rationalized in 1978, when: hydro-electric commissions were established for all area municipalities except East Gwillimbury. York Region covers 1,762 square kilometres from Lake Simcoe in the north to the city of Toronto in the south.
Its eastern border is shared with Durham Region, to the west is Peel Region, Simcoe County is to the northwest. A detailed map of the region showing its major roads and points of interest is available. Towns and cities in York Region include: Town of Aurora Town of East Gwillimbury Town of Georgina Township of King City of Markham Town of Newmarket City of Richmond Hill City of Vaughan Town of Whitchurch–StouffvilleThere is one First Nation with an Indian reserve, where the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation reside on Georgina Island, Fox Island and Snake Island. York Region's landscape includes farmlands and kettle lakes, the Oak Ridges Moraine and over 2,070 hectares of regional forest, in addition to the built-up areas of its municipalities. York Reg
Oxford County, Ontario
Oxford County is a regional municipality in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in the Southwestern portion of the province. Highway 401 runs east-west through the centre of the county, creating an urban industrial corridor with more than half the county's population, spanning twenty-five kilometres between the Toyota auto assembly plant in Woodstock and the CAMI General Motors auto assembly plant in Ingersoll; the local economy is otherwise dominated by agriculture the dairy industry. The Oxford County regional seat is in Woodstock. Oxford County has been a regional municipality since 2001, despite still having the word "county" in its name, it has a two-tier municipal government structure, with the lower-tier municipalities being the result of a merger in 1975 of a larger number of separate municipalities that existed before restructuring. It comprises a single Statistics Canada census division, a single electoral division for federal and provincial elections, for which the precise boundaries have been revised from time to time.
For part of its history, it was divided into two ridings, Oxford North, for federal and provincial elections, Oxford South, for federal and provincial elections, for each of which see their own pages. Oxford County had its own School Board until 1998, when it was merged into the Thames Valley District School Board, it had its own Health Unit until 2018. Oxford County consists of eight lower-tier municipalities: City of Woodstock Town of Tillsonburg Town of Ingersoll Township of Norwich Township of Zorra Township of South-West Oxford Township of Blandford-Blenheim Township of East Zorra-Tavistock Local municipal governments in Ontario exercise authority delegated to them by the provincial government, which may choose at any time to increase or decrease the powers given to them through enabling statutes. In the early days of Upper Canada the relevant legislation provided for convening an annual meeting of property owners in each township, who were obligated to choose such officers as a township clerk, a constable, property tax assessors and collectors, fence viewers and pound keepers.
It was a matter of pride in each township to keep track of population growth, several townships were divided as they grew, giving separate town meetings and local officers to East and North divisions of Oxford-on-the-Thames and West divisions of Nissouri, East and West divisions of Zorra. These individuals were responsible for the administrative work necessary to enforce the laws of the province and to carry out decisions made at the district level by the area's Justices of the Peace, appointed by the Governor, who met periodically at the designated district courthouse for deliberations known as Quarter Sessions; the paternalistic authority of the Governor and his chosen Justices of the Peace continued as the hierarchy for local government until 1841. From the earliest days of settlement the District Court was convened in the Long Point Settlement, first at Turkey Point at the village of Vittoria, it was moved to London in 1826. The Brock District, containing Oxford County's territory, was split off from the London District in 1840.
By the time a court house had been built for the Brock District at Woodstock, legislative changes were introduced by the province to provide for election of district council members from each township to take over the local government role from the Justices of the Peace, but appointment of the warden and senior administrative officers for each district council remained the responsibility of the provincial government. District councils were abolished and replaced with elected county councils through the implementation of the Baldwin Act in 1850, provincial legislation which defined the structure for elected local municipal government in Ontario for the next century. In addition to defining the powers of the county council, the legislation created authority for township councils and provided for creation of village and city councils. Woodstock, Ingersoll and other communities within Oxford County were in time incorporated under these provisions as separate municipalities. At around the same time as the Baldwin Act came into force, some of the townships, included in the Brock District were severed off to become parts of a new Brant County and a reconfigured Middlesex County.
Norwich township was divided into North and South in 1855. In the 1960s the Ontario government began simplifying the structure of local government in select parts of the province, this process reached Oxford County in 1975, when the number of separate township and village councils was reduced to the current five townships. Three urban municipalities remained, namely Ingersoll and Woodstock; the county boundaries were enlarged to include the entire urban areas of Tavistock in the north and of Tillsonburg in the south. The geographical area, now Oxford County was populated with Neutral/Attawandaron longhouse villages for many centuries but was abandoned to First Nations nomadic peoples by the 1650s as a result of warfare with Iroquois and epidemics resulting from European contact; the land was acquired by the Crown through three treaties, signed in 1792, in 1796 and 1827. These depended for their certainty on an earlier treaty known as the McKee Purchase of 1790, signed at Detroit with thirty-five chiefs from the Potawatomi, Wyandot and Odawa First Nations.
Oxford County was created by the legislature of the province of Upper Canada in 1798, by an
Land-use planning is the process of regulating the use of land in an effort to promote more desirable social and environmental outcomes as well as a more efficient use of resources. Goals of land-use planning may include environmental conservation, restraint of urban sprawl, minimization of transport costs, prevention of land-use conflicts, a reduction in exposure to pollutants. By and large, the uses of land determine the diverse socioeconomic activities that occur in a specific area, the patterns of human behavior they produce, their impact on the environment. In urban planning, land-use planning seeks to order and regulate land use in an efficient and ethical way, thus preventing land-use conflicts. Governments use land-use planning to manage the development of land within their jurisdictions. In doing so, the governmental unit can plan for the needs of the community while safeguarding natural resources. To this end, it is the systematic assessment of land and water potential, alternatives for land use, economic and social conditions in order to select and adopt the best land-use options.
One element of a comprehensive plan, a land-use plan provides a vision for the future possibilities of development in neighborhoods, cities, or any defined planning area. In the United States, the terms land-use planning, regional planning, urban planning, urban design are used interchangeably, will depend on the state, and/or project in question. Despite confusing nomenclature, the essential function of land-use planning remains the same whatever term is applied; the Canadian Institute of Planners offers a definition that land-use planning means the scientific and orderly disposition of land, resources and services with a view to securing the physical and social efficiency and well-being of urban and rural communities. The American Planning Association states that the goal of land-use planning is to further the welfare of people and their communities by creating convenient, healthful and attractive environments for present and future generations. Land-use planning leads to land-use regulation, which encompasses zoning.
Zoning regulates the types of activities that can be accommodated on a given piece of land, as well as the amount of space devoted to those activities, the ways that buildings may be situated and shaped. The ambiguous nature of the term “planning”, as it relates to land use, is tied to the practice of zoning. Zoning in the US came about in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to protect the interests of property owners; the practice was found to be constitutionally sound by the Supreme Court decision of Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co. in 1926. Soon after, the Standard State Zoning Enabling Act gave authority to the states to regulate land use. So, the practice remains controversial today; the “taking clause” of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from taking private property for public use without just compensation. The case of Dolan v. City of Tigard demonstrated the criteria that determine the threshold of what is considered taking. One interpretation of the taking clause is that any restriction on the development potential of land through zoning regulation is a “taking”.
A deep-rooted anti-zoning sentiment exists in America, that no one has the right to tell another what he can or cannot do with his land. Although people are averse to being told how to develop their own land, they tend to expect the government to intervene when a proposed land use is undesirable. Conventional zoning has not regarded the manner in which buildings relate to one another or the public spaces around them, but rather has provided a pragmatic system for mapping jurisdictions according to permitted land use; this system, combined with the interstate highway system, widespread availability of mortgage loans, growth in the automobile industry, the over-all post-World War II economic expansion, destroyed most of the character that gave distinctiveness to American cities. The urban sprawl that most US cities began to experience in the mid-twentieth century was, in part, created by a flat approach to land-use regulations. Zoning without planning created unnecessarily exclusive zones. Thoughtless mapping of these zones over large areas was a big part of the recipe for suburban sprawl.
It was from the deficiencies of this practice that land-use planning developed, to envision the changes that development would cause and mitigate the negative effects of such change. As America grew and sprawl was rampant, the much-loved America of the older towns, cities, or streetcar suburbs became illegal through zoning. Unparalleled growth and unregulated development changed the look and feel of landscapes and communities, they strained commercial corridors and affected housing prices, causing citizens to fear a decline in the social and environmental attributes that defined their quality of life. Zoning regulations became politically contentious as developers and citizens struggled over altering zoning maps in a way, acceptable to all parties. Land use planning practices evolved as an attempt to overcome these challenges, it engages citizens and policy-makers to plan for development with more intention and community focus than had been used. Land use planning is defined as: the process by which optimum forms of land use and management are indicated, considering the biophysical, social and political conditions of a particular territory.
The objective of planning land use is to influence, control or direct changes in the use of land, so that it is dedicated to the most beneficial use, while maintaining t