One Ontario: Streamlining the Development Approvals Process

The construction industry has long been frustrated by the lack of visibility, consistency and transparency into permitting processes. While the Ontario government issued a standard Application for a Permit to Construct or Demolish form in 2014, which all municipalities are required to use, it is only the first step in the submission process. Uncertainty on submission requirements due to varying jurisdictional rules and timelines has led to delayed or cancelled projects and subsequently higher operational costs for development.

The core issue is that the development approval and permitting process is complex, requiring the involvement of multiple applicable law agencies and organizations on a single application. The absence of data exchange standards and lack of a central review platform makes the process onerous and time consuming.

One Ontario is a collaborative initiative established by AECO Innovation Lab, that brings together all interested stakeholders – including the OGCA – to help build a solution. This coalition will establish a set of provincial guidelines for data and information exchange throughout the development approval process.

With data standards in place, a central review platform can then be implemented to enable applicable law agencies to much more efficiently review and approve requests, and communicate with municipalities and other agencies. It would also enable analytics and reporting functionality to identify opportunities to improve the process.

The deliverables of the One Ontario program will benefit general contractors and the AEC industry by providing:

  • A consistent application process
  • Faster development and building approvals
  • Increased visibility and certainty
  • Improved industry productivity

One Ontario is just getting started, so there is still time to demonstrate leadership in this area by becoming a sponsor or supporting organization. Visit to learn more and get involved.