Urban Design

Urban design is the art of shaping places for people through the arrangement, appearance, and functions of buildings, streets and public spaces, neighborhoods and districts. It addresses both the natural and built environments and the relationship between them. Good urban design helps to create successful, vibrant places where people want to live, work, and play.

Milton is committed to achieving high standards in urban design. The high standards relate to overall quality, environmental sensitivity, sustainability, meeting needs, efficiency, affordability, achieving a strong and positive sense of place and identity, and providing for public safety and security.

The following information is key to understanding and implementing good urban design throughout Milton.

Studies and Reviews

The Planning and Development Department has a series of studies and initiatives either underway or completed. These studies are initiated to address various aspects of the community and may include site-specific or area specific planning and design opportunities. They provide short and long term visions and strategies for applying change within a site, a community or an area within the Town.

You may have an opportunity to get involved. Follow the link to learn more about the plans and studies that help guide Milton's future growth.

Current and Past Growth Studies

Design Guideline Documents

Design guidelines are a set of design statements to guide land development to achieve a desired level of design quality for the elements of the physical environment. They outline and illustrate how the Town's urban design goals and objectives will be achieved. Design guidelines may be developed for certain types of building forms, land uses, streetscapes, streets or specific areas in the Town. 

While the Zoning By-law  implements the objectives and policies of the Official Plans and provides a legal way of managing land use and future development, design guidelines assist with the interpretation of Official Plan policies and provide design direction for development proposals or Town-initiated projects and should be applied flexibly having regard to the specific site context.

Milton’s design guidelines reflect our commitment to a high standard of urban design.

 Built form design guidelines

Mid-rise and Tall Building Design Guidelines

In recognition of the Province’s emphasis on urban intensification, and increasing developer interest in pursuing mid-rise and tall buildings in Milton, the Town developed design guidelines to aid the integration of these developments into the community.

On May 7, 2018, Council endorsed Staff Report PD-022-18 regarding Urban Design Guidelines for mid-rise and tall buildings. 

The approved guidelines are posted below:

Urban design guidelines
Urban design brief

An Urban Design Brief is an illustrated explanation of how the overall design concept for an area responds to the physical context of the site and its surroundings, taking into account the intent of the policy context and any applicable urban design guidelines and studies.

The purpose of an Urban Design Brief is to allow for the urban design elements of development to be evaluated. It will also help coordinate and articulate how the elements of the public and private realm will work together. The Urban Design Brief is not intended to replace a Planning Justification Report.

Urban Design Brief Terms of Reference


Relevant local urban design links

Urban design links


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