Today, the City of Kitchener once again led the way both locally and nationally with the adoption of two major tools to address the housing crisis – the new Growing Together policy framework and the phased introduction of inclusionary zoning within major transit areas.

Last night and into the early hours of this morning, Kitchener Council unanimously approved the Growing Together plan, a policy framework that builds on Kitchener’s role as a national leader in addressing the housing crisis. Growing Together enables more than 100,000 new homes in all shapes and sizes, and at least 20,000 new homes in “missing middle” forms. Council also approved an inclusionary zoning policy, which allows cities to require private developers to include a certain percentage of affordable units within new, multi-unit housing developments. This includes as many as 4,500 affordable units secured through inclusionary zoning.

“The action we’re taking on the housing crisis is innovative, bold, balanced and forward-looking,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “Growing Together is the most ambitious plan for transit-oriented design in Canada. Leading the way nationally with this first of its kind planning framework builds on the planning leadership continually shown by Kitchener Council. The issues of housing supply, housing affordability and climate change are so critical that the time is now to take the leap and establish a new set of rules for growth and change that will see us build a city for everyone where, together, we take care of the world around us – and each other.”

The Growing Together and Inclusionary Zoning plans feature new zoning rules that enables all housing types through:

  • Full range of building types, including missing middle forms
  • No density maximums
  • No parking minimums
  • Requirements for a minimum amount of affordable housing units through Inclusionary zoning
  • Full mix of uses
  • Flexible built form regulations, including a zone without height limits

These fundamental changes to Kitchener’s planning framework are game-changing and visionary; they will allow a lot more housing to be built, more affordably, on a lot less land.  

This project’s four-time award-winning community engagement includes two major international awards. Throughout the process, staff held community and industry engagements totalling well over 100 hours and have spoken in-person with approximately 1,400 people.

“Growing Together and inclusionary zoning are a one-two punch to get more of the right kind of housing built in the right places,” said Ward 10 Councillor Stephanie Stretch. “I’m proud of the fact that Kitchener is adopting these top-notch housing policies – we’re setting a high standard that other communities can follow.”

More information about the new inclusionary zoning bylaw can be found on the project’s Engage Kitchener page. More information about Growing Together can be found on its page.


For more information, contact 

Bethany Rowland
Director, Corporate Communications
City of Kitchener