Many provincial, municipal and other policies apply to the licensing and regulation of aggregate operations in Ontario. These include, but are not limited to:

Aggregate Resources Act (ARA)

Aggregate Resources Act (ARA)

The purposes of this Act are:

(a) to provide for the management of the aggregate resources of Ontario;

(b) to control and regulate aggregate operations on Crown and private lands;

(c) to require the rehabilitation of land from which aggregate has been excavated; and

(d) to minimize adverse impact on the environment in respect of aggregate operations.

 You can access the Aggregate Resources Act at

The most recent review of the ARA, undertaken by the provincial government in 2012, was enacted by the previous government in 2017 The current government, altered it as part of the Better for People, Smarter for Business Act, 2019 and has been rolling out the regulations around it. See also

For a history of Ontario’s legislation and regulation of aggregate resources see

Aggregate Resources Policies and Procedures Manual

The Aggregate Resources Policies and Procedures Manual provides guidance on how to implement the Aggregate Resources Act. This includes supporting regulations, including the Aggregate Resources of Ontario Provincial Standards. The policies assist aggregate operators, members of the public, municipalities, consultants, stakeholders and government staff. You can access the Aggregate Resources Policies and Procedures Manual at

Provincial Policy Statement

Administered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH), the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) is the statement of the government’s policies on land use planning. It applies province-wide and provides “direction on land use planning to promote strong communities, a strong economy, and a clean and healthy environment.” According to the government website “the PPS works with other changes to land use planning systems like the changes to the Planning Act through More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 and A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe” which “support the government’s goals related to increasing housing, supporting jobs, reducing red tape”.  It includes policies on key issues that affect communities, such as:

  • the efficient use and management of land and infrastructure
  • protection of the environment and resources
  • ensuring appropriate opportunities for employment and residential development, including support for a mix of uses

Municipalities are required to use the PPS to develop their official plans and to guide and inform decisions on other planning matters.

The PPS 2020 is issued under section 3 of the Planning Act and all decisions affecting land use planning matters “shall be consistent with” the Provincial Policy Statement. You can access the PPS 2020 at

Environmental Bill of Rights

The purposes of this Act are:

  • to protect, conserve and, where reasonable, restore the integrity of the environment by the means provided in the Act;
  • to provide sustainability of the environment by the means provided in the Act; and
  • to protect the right to a healthful environment by the means provided in the Act.
    You can access the bill of rights here.
Environmental Registry

The purpose of the registry is to provide a means of giving information about the environment to the public, including proposals, decisions and events that could affect the environment. In addition, it is one means to comment and share your thoughts on actions the government proposes to take or to allow that affect the environment. You can access the Environmental Registry at

Municipal Official Plans

The Official Plans (OPs) and Official Plan Amendments (OPAs) of Ontario municipalities contain sections and references related to aggregate matters such as zoning, designated areas, regulations, required reports, etc.  You can access these resources through the municipality’s website, by contacting the municipality’s planning department, or by doing a web search, e.g., Google, for the municipality using “official plan” as a search term. You might also want to refine your search by adding “aggregates” or “aggregate extraction”. Many municipalities’ web pages have means for you to receive alerts about various topics and are useful tools to community groups.

Conservation Authorities

Most conservation authorities have policies, best practices, reports and recommendations regarding aggregate extraction within their boundaries. You can access these resources through the authority’s website, or by doing a web search, e.g.,  Google for the watershed and “aggregates” or “aggregate extraction”. Since 2018, the right and ability of Conservation Authorities to effectively control, comment or regulate has vastly diminished. You can locate your Conservation Authority and find other information at .