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Thank you for being willing to learn more about Stratford’s housing shortages and looking for opportunities to get involved and support attainable housing in our community.  ​

This is the first step to becoming part of the solution.

Get Involved

So, you’re probably wondering where to start.
We don’t blame you. Housing is a tricky topic. Luckily, we are here to help. Below we have outlined various ways that you can get involved. We encourage you to explore each section to find where you feel most comfortable contributing.
We can all do something.  

Get involved in City planning and policy development.
All citizens have a voice. This is your chance to use yours!

The first step is to ask yourself several questions about how you think Stratford could grow and expand. Don’t worry about finding the “right” answer. This stage is about brainstorming and getting the gears turning. Jot down your ideas.

Need some inspiration? Try these starter questions:

  • How do we support housing for a range of needs in our community?
  • How can Stratford grow sustainably while providing appropriate housing for everyone that lives—or wants to live—here?
  • Should the city consider building upwards (i.e. taller buildings) or outwards (i.e. expanding the city into the surrounding areas)?

Now that you have some ideas, we need to start thinking more critically because the answers to these questions have fundamental implications on municipal budgets for transportation, transit, municipal and community services, and city operations. But that does not mean it is impossible to implement ideas sourced from the community. The City needs to hear from citizens to make informed decisions for the betterment of our community.

For all new initiatives, the municipality conducts studies to determine the feasibility of a given development or by-law change. The examinations take considerable time, primarily due to the depth of community engagement and research required. The City wants to get this right, so they consult community members. This is where you come in: don’t miss your chance to have your input heard. It makes a difference!

These discussions often occur within the community through policy development initiatives in partnership with the City of Stratford. The greater the citizen participation in these critical discussions, the more we collectively share in the vision for Stratford.

Policy development can include:

  • Comprehensive Official Plan Review
  • Zoning By-law (Housekeeping Amendments and Comprehensive Review)
  • Master Servicing Planning
  • Master Transportation Planning

Don’t miss your chance to get involved in housing initiatives. Want to know when and where the next opportunity will be? Please check out:

  • Visit www.stratford.ca/planning to stay up to date on current initiatives.
  • Register for Engage Stratford, a public participation platform by the City at www.engagestratford.ca
  • ~Stay up to date: Click “Follow” on Engage Stratford to subscribe to the projects and receive e-mail updates.

Consider adding an accessory suite to your home.
Get going on a granny flat or second suite.

Building large-scale housing developments can take a great deal of time and money. But that does not mean you can’t help. Quite the opposite.

Do you have a space you’re not using? Adding a second or third dwelling unit to your property is a great way to create more housing in Stratford while bringing in more money for the things you care about.

Did you know that up to two (2) accessory suites are permitted on a property with a single detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, and townhouses?

Adding a second suite is an opportunity to add additional housing in the community. Additionally, rent can provide the homeowner with additional income, but it could also be a place for children or grandparents!

Recent policy changes in Ontario mean that homeowners can now develop their property to rent out up to three units on one property. Follow the link below for more information.  

When creating an accessory suite, it must meet specific requirements and approvals. But do not fret. We are here to help!

What is an accessory suite?

An accessory suite is legally a separate unit or dwelling on a single property.

Click here to learn more and get started!

Be informed on proposed housing projects in your community.

Knowledge is power. When you learn about the community’s housing needs, you start to see how it ties into the larger picture of our city, from community safety to employment, homelessness and well-being reports.

Want to know about what is going on?

Private property owners can submit applications to the City of Stratford to seek approval for new housing units.

Applications can include:

  • Official Plan Amendment
  • Zoning By-law Amendment
  • Plan of Subdivision and/or Condominium
  • Minor Variance Application
  • Consent Application

When reading through a particular housing application, consider the details and whether the proposal addresses community needs, such as attainable housing.

Keep the following questions in mind:

  • Does this create needed housing in the community?
  • Does it contribute to a range of housing types?
  • Will it limit the use of agricultural land?
  • What impact will it have on municipal service delivery (i.e. costs to the City to develop and maintain services, roads, etc., for the form of housing being considered)
  • How will the project look and feel in the community (height, building setbacks, landscaping, etc.)
  • Does the proposed parking support the housing, while encouraging transit use and walkability?
  • Are natural environment features protected (significant woodlots, etc.)?

Planning applications and the development process are prescribed under several municipal and provincial legislative directives. Interested? Want more technical details? Please visit:

These discussions often occur within the community through policy development initiatives in partnership with the City of Stratford. The greater the citizen participation in these critical discussions, the more we collectively share in the vision for Stratford.

Policy development can include:

The ‘Let’s Be Neighbours’ campaign is an initiative designed to inform, engage, inspire, and enable community action to address local attainable housing needs. The campaign is part of a larger effort supported/championed/initiated by the City of Stratford and investStratford with funding through the Provincial Rural Economic Development (RED) Fund.

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Ready to join the community?

Learn more about the Stratford Advantage. Make us your first point of contact.