Downtown Whitby Secondary Plan Update



On This Page

Project Overview

Downtown Whitby is known for its historic commercial core, surrounded by residential neighborhoods, parks and open spaces, schools, and cultural institutions. It is home to an eclectic mix of businesses and services. All contribute to the area’s uniqueness and charm.

As Whitby’s population grows, Downtown Whitby is one of several areas identified in the Town of Whitby Official Plan that will share some of that population and job growth.  The Downtown Whitby Secondary Plan helps to manage growth in a manner that is specific and suitable to the downtown area.

The review and update of the Downtown Whitby Secondary Plan aims to:

  • guide future population and job growth, land use, and development in Downtown Whitby;
  • maintain and enhance the area’s unique cultural heritage, economic strengths and sense of place;
  • support a range of housing options and a mix of uses;
  • improve access to transit and active transportation options;
  • enhance public open space, walkability, and the natural environment; and
  • promote a healthy, vibrant and sustainable downtown core, providing a high quality of life for local residents, businesses, and visitors to the area.

Project Timeline

  • 2020 – Engage a consultant to lead the project; complete background studies, analysis and initiate public engagement.
  • 2021 to 2022 - Develop draft Secondary Plan options for community consultation and refinement.
  • 2022 – Final recommended Secondary Plan presented.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Official Plan?

 Official Plans, such as the Durham Region Official Plan, and the Town of Whitby Official Plan, contain a vision, objectives and policies adopted by Council that aim to create and sustain an attractive, livable community for all of its citizens. Official Plans aim to manage the long-term impacts of population and employment growth in a sustainable manner, including impacts on land use, housing, employment, transportation, the natural environment, and leisure opportunities.

What is a Secondary Plan?
  • Official Plans often contain Secondary Plans. A Secondary Plan helps to better understand the unique opportunities and issues related to population growth in a specific geographic area, like a downtown.
  • The policies of the Secondary Plan shape the vision for land use patterns and other key features of the local area. It can direct how land can be used, (e.g. housing, commercial and office uses, industrial uses, etc.), where buildings and roads would be located, the height and design of buildings, where parks, public spaces, and schools may be located, and what types of transportation options could be supported. 
  • The policies in a Secondary Plan are intended to build healthy, complete, and sustainable communities.
Why is the Downtown Whitby Secondary Plan being updated now?
  •  Whitby’s population is growing and is forecasted to reach approximately 193,000 by 2031. The Province provides legislation and policies that direct regional and local municipalities to help guide and manage this growth.
  • The Downtown Whitby Secondary Plan was adopted in 1989.  Not only have provincial and regional policies changed since then, but so have population growth dynamics.  An update is required to manage local growth and development in a sustainable manner that is appropriate for the unique downtown area.
How does the Secondary Plan update relate to the downtown and individual properties?
The update will look at neighbourhoods in the Downtown Whitby Study Area. The Study Area is bound by Canadian Pacific Rail line to the north, Garden Street to the east, Highway 401 to the south and Cochrane Street to the west.

Map of Downtown Whitby Secondary Plan Update study area 

How to Participate

  • A community engagement campaign will be launched in late fall of 2020 and communicated through the Town’s website, social media and other channels. Check back ( for details.
  • If you would like to become an Interested Party for this project, please visit: By becoming an Interested Party you are requesting ongoing project information for the Downtown Whitby Secondary Plan update, including notice of any public meetings.

Background Documents

Additional Information


Planning and Development