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Excess Soil

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The Town is conducting a study for the purpose of developing appropriate Official Plan policies for the management of excess soil in Caledon.

What is Excess Soil?

In 2015, it was estimated that Ontario generated about 26 million cubic meters of excess soil transported and accommodated elsewhere. To manage the issues associated with excess soil, the Province released The Ontario Excess Soil Management Policy Framework, in 2016 which defined Excess Soil as:

Soil that has been excavated, typically as a result of construction activities, that cannot or will not be reused at the site where the soil was excavated and must be moved off site. In some cases, excess soil may be temporarily stored at another location before it is brought back to be used for a beneficial reuse at the site where the soil was originally excavated. It could include naturally occurring materials commonly known as earth, topsoil, loam, subsoil, clay, sand or gravel, or any combination thereof.
Excess soil does not refer to such materials as compost, engineered fill products, asphalt, concrete, reused or recycled aggregate product, mine tailings or other products, including soil mixed with debris such as garbage, shingles, painted wood, ashes, or other waste.

Provincial Directions

Excess Soil

The Province considers “excess soil as a resource and promotes a system which strives for environmental protection, local beneficial reuse, consistency, fairness, enforceability, and flexibility”. Accordingly, the Province has released the following policy documents and regulatory framework to assist Ontario municipalities:

  • 2015 - The Management of Excess Soil – A Guide for Best Management Practices
  • 2016 - Excess Soil Management Policy Framework
  • 2017 - Proposed Excess Soil Regulatory Package
  • May 1, 2019 - Revised Provincial policies and regulations posted on the Environmental Registrery of Ontario for comment

Caledon Initiatives

Caledon and similar near urban/rural communities are considered to be attractive destinations for excess soil from abutting GTA urban communities for a number of reasons, including their rural setting or countryside landscape and proximity to urban GTA centres where the majority of developments and re-developments take place.

The Town is currently investigating policies and regulatory framework to manage excess soil.

  • In December 2014, approved, as a stopgap measure, an amendment to the Fill By-law to provide for a maximum amount of fill (not more than 10,000 cubic metres) which may be imported onto a property only for the purpose of improving or enhancing agricultural land productivity.
  • An interim control by-law was passed in July 2016 to allow staff to study the issues and develop policies and regulatory framework for the management of Excess Soil.

Policy Development

In November 2016, the Town retained Canadian Urban Institute, to assist with this study. CUI has released the following report, and draft policies have been released for broad public consultation:

Community Involvement

Open House (March 22, 2017)

  • A Community Open House held to provide information about the study and obtain initial community input.

Public Meeting (May 1, 2018)

  • Public meeting held in accordance with the requirements of the Planning Act to obtain comments on proposed policies.

Next Steps

February 11, 2020: Staff recommendations report and draft excess soil policies to Council.

Propose Town of Caledon Regulatory By-law


For additional information, please contact:

Ohi Izirein, Senior Policy Planner
905.584.2272 x.4271