What are Development Charges?

    Municipalities in Ontario use Development Charges (DCs) to recover growth related capital costs associated with residential and non-residential growth. 

    In accordance with the Development Charges Act, 1997, DCs are collected at the building permit stage to help the Town pay for the capital related costs of municipal services needed to support the new development. These services include, roads, storm water, fire emergency services, roads, parks, recreation, libraries and by-law enforcement.  

    When are Development Charges Applied?

    Under the Development Charges Act, 1997 (DCA) section 2, development charges are charged for development that requires approval under the: 

    • Planning Act for a zoning by-law amendment, a minor variance, a conveyance of land, approval of a plan of subdivision or consent under section 53. 
    • Condominium Act for the approval of a description under section 9, or 
    • Building Code Act for the issuing of a permit in relation to a building or structure.  

    The DCA has also specified that the following development does not incur development charges. 

    • The enlargement of an existing dwelling unit (i.e. adding additional gross floor area to a residential home, as long as additional dwelling units are not created), 
    • The creation of additional dwelling units (depending on the number created) in existing residential buildings, when no additional gross floor area is added. 
    • Expansion of existing industrial development, for enlargements where the gross floor area is expanded by 50% or less. 
    • Municipalities or a board as defined in subsection 1(1) of the Education Act. 

    Development charges are also not applicable to interior renovation building permits unless the renovation is for the purpose of a change of use (between development types) or additional non-residential gross floor area is added.

    Who collects/charges Development Charges?

    For residential development, the Town of Whitby, the Region of Durham and the School Board apply their own development charges rates per their individual by-laws.

    For non-residential development, the Town of Whitby and the Region of Durham apply their own development charge rates as per their individual by-laws.  The School Board does not apply development charges to non-residential development.

    The total amount due will be coordinated and collected by the Town of Whitby.

    When are Development Charges Calculated?

    Development Charges (DC) are calculated at the time of building permit request/issuance. Please refer to the  staff report CS 17-20 for more information on the timing of the DC calculation and the applicable DC rate used.

    How much are Development Charges?

    Please refer to the Town of Whitby Development Charge web page for information on the current rates.


    Based on recent legislated changes to the Development Charges Act, 1997  the current posted development charge (DC) rate may not be DC rate charged for that development. If applicable, the submission and approval dates of the Site Plan application and Zoning By-law Amendment application, pertaining to the property, may effect the base DC rate.  Staff report CS 17-20 outlines when a different DC rate shall be used, and Town policy pertaining to the development charge calculation, including when/how interest is applied.

    When are Development Charges Paid?

    For most types of development, development charges are paid in full just prior to the issuance of the building permit.

    Recent legislated changes to section 26.1 of the Development Charges Act (DCA) and O.Reg 454-19 specify three types of development  (Institutional Development, Non-Profit Housing Development and Rental Housing Development) that shall pay their development charges on an installment basis.   These changes were outlined in staff report CS 17-20.

    Where is the Town's Current Development Charge By-Law?

    The Town's most recent Development Charge By-Law(s) can be found at https://www.whitby.ca/en/townhall/developmentcharges.asp 

    Why can't the Town charge a much higher development charge fee to ensure there is $0 cost to the taxpayer for growth?

    Under the Development Charges Act, 1997, the development charge rate a municipality applies to new development must be substantiated through a Development Charge Background Study.  

    The preparation of the study includes mandatory requirements such as the calculation of a service level cap for each eligible service area (i.e. Parks, Recreation, Roads, Libraries, By-Law Enforcement, Waste Management etc.).  This service level cap is based on the municipalities average service level of the past 10 years.   When determining the DC charge for each service the calculated service level cap cannot be exceeded.

    Legislation also does not allow all municipal services to be funded from development charges (i.e. parking, cultural, tourism, cemeteries, general administration, hospitals, etc.).  Costs for those services must be paid from the tax base.

    The cost of growth includes not only the cost to construct the capital infrastructure required, but the operating budget pressure to operate and maintain those assets every year.  Per legislation, development charges can only be used for the initial cost to construct the capital assets.

    Who to contact for additional Development Charge questions?

    Please e-mail treasury@whitby.ca or post a question in the Q&A section if you have any further questions.