Development Charges By-law

The City of St. Catharines approved a Development Charges By-law and Background Study at its Sept. 13, 2021, meeting. See the City's public notice.

Council approved the decision after the City engaged Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. to undertake an in-depth Development Charges Background Study, followed by extensive engagement with the community and stakeholders, including the development industry and the City’s Development Studies task force. An addendum report was also completed on Sept. 3. The development charge by-law will come into effect January 1, 2022.

What are Development Charges?

Development Charges (DCs) are a fee charged when a building permit is issued to recover growth costs, as an alternative to growth costs being paid for by existing taxpayers through property taxes, water and wastewater bills. Fees are used to help pay for the cost of infrastructure required to provide municipal services to new development, such as roads; transit; water and sewer infrastructure; fire services infrastructure; and park amenities and community centres.

Development Charges Rates

Residential - Per Dwelling Unit Urban Rural
Single and Semi-detached  $     10,132  $     9,856
Other Multiples  $       7,432  $     7,229
Apartments (2+ Bedrooms)  $       7,355  $     7,155
Apartments (Bachelor/1 Bedroom)  $       5,028  $     4,891
Special Care/Special Dwelling Units  $       3,802  $     3,698
  Urban Rural
Non Residential - Per Square Foot  $        2.04  $       1.80
Non Residential - Per Square Metre  $       21.90  $     19.32


The charges – which will be applied to both residential and non-residential projects - will be city wide, allowing for more efficient use of funds and ensuring all growth that may benefit from the service has contributed towards it. The City’s charges, once they come into effect, will be lower than many municipal comparators and opportunities will exist for exemptions and grant programs to support projects such as affordable housing, employment creation and development in the urban core.    

Regional Development Charges

New land developments in the Niagara Region create a demand on the Regional government to offer services to those buildings. The purpose of Regional development charges is to recover the growth-related costs associated with capital infrastructure needed to service new development. 

Any person or business who is planning a construction project must consult with their local building official to obtain a building permit. Regional development charges are paid to the local municipality as part of the building permit fee process. 



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