Design Projects & Guidelines

Nested Applications


Content - City Hall - Strategies Studies Plans - urban design projects

The City is committed to a high standard of urban design. Urban design involves the shaping, appearance and function of buildings, the street, and the spaces in between.

Urban design is about creating pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, vibrant places and safe and attractive neighbourhoods. Each new building contributes to the urban design of a city – and a city's streets, parks and public spaces are key shared spaces that require special design attention.

The City's Official Plan establishes design objectives, which are implemented through more detailed urban design guidelines. The City may use these guidelines for specific types of development, for specific areas of the City, or for the entire City.

Residential design guidelines

What are the guidelines?

The residential design guidelines are separated into the following:

The guidelines do the following:

  • Describe the City's general urban design objectives;
  • Recommend best practices for new residential development in both new and existing neighbourhoods;
  • Clarify the Official Plan's strategic intent and design objectives; and
  • Enhance development applications by clarifying the expectations of the City.

They guidelines are designed to assist applicants in preparing plans, and staff, committees and the public in assessing proposals. They apply to residential development within the urban area of the City of Kingston.

How to use the guidelines

The revised design guidelines are formatted to make the City's design objectives user-friendly and accessible. The key part of each guideline is in bold so readers can quickly scan the document to check for relevant policies. A checklist in the document also provides a quick summary of design objectives.

Applicants are expected to review their development proposal against the guidelines. Where relevant guidelines are not met, applicants should be prepared to explain why this is the case.

While the guidelines are not regulations, they are meant to give guidance and to allow flexible design responses. The guidelines are not intended to take precedence in all situations. They are supplemental when a more area-specific set of guidelines is in force (e.g. Heritage Conservation District, Secondary Plan Area, etc.).

The guidelines have been created in consultation with a broad range of stakeholders, including the public, the development community and industry professionals such as planners, architects and engineers. They were approved by Council in October 2015.

Contact Chris Wicke, Senior Planner at 613-546-4291, ext. 3242 or

Links to various urban design guidelines are below and other related links of interest are to the right.

The guidelines for the following projects have been completed:

Links - City Hall - Strategies Studies Plans - urban design projects guidelines

Contact - Bus - Planning & Development GENERAL