Development charges

Learn about development charges, the updated development charges bylaw and how development charges are used for your municipal services.

Development charges for the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board are increasing June 1 2023. View their websites for details of current and future charges.

On this page

  1. About development charges
  2. Development charges
  3. 2019 bylaw update
  4. Services funded from development charges
  5. Developments exempt from charges
  6. Development charges for other agencies
  7. Annual statement of the treasurer

About development charges

Development charges pay for increased demand for municipal services resulting from growth. The development charge bylaw applies to all new development and some changes in land use.
Community benefits charges and parkland conveyance may also apply. Visit the web page to learn more and read the bylaws.

2019 bylaw update

City council approved a new development charge bylaw in December 2019.

In accordance with the Development Charges Act (DCA) development charges are now:

  • calculated at either the site plan application date, or zoning bylaw amendment application date, whichever is later - if neither apply the charge is calculated on the building permit issuance date
  • paid on a deferred schedule for institutional and rental housing, all other developments must pay prior to the issuance of a building permit except a non-profit housing development which is exempt from development charges
  • institutional and rental housing developments paid on a deferred payment plan in 6 payments over 5 years starting at occupancy

Interest may apply to specific development charges. The interest rate used will be prime + 1%, with prime being the average annual interest rate as posted by the 5 major Canadian banks. View the city's Development Charge Interest Policy for more information on interest charges. 

An early payment agreement may be created between the city and the payee to mitigate interest charges, subject to approval of the city as set out in the DCA.

When making a building permit application, take into consideration the regulated processing time for the scope of work proposed, and additional time to address any outstanding issues identified by a plans examiner.

Development charges

The 2019 Development Charges Background Study (PDF) explains how we set our fees. Note that other agencies rate changes may take effect on alternate dates.





2022 revised*




Single and semi-detached units







Multiple units (including townhouses, masionettes and terrace dwellings)







Apartments with up to one bedroom


 $8,886 $9,935 $9,193 $10,627 $11,326

Apartments with two-three bedrooms







Apartments with four or more bedrooms







Lodging houses per bedroom







Per square metre of floor area $71.58 $73.22 $81.85 $71.87 $83.08 $88.54

*Effective September 19 2022, new rates were charged as a result of changes to the Development Charges Act. These changes no longer permit municipalities to collect development charges for cemeteries or parking.

**2024 rates are effective on December 1, 2023. Discounts for rental apartment buildings will be deducted from the posted rates based on the number of bedrooms per unit.

For more information, request our development charges brochure from the city's Integrated Planning and Public Works service desk, located on the second floor of Waterloo City Centre, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or email development charges info for a digital copy.

Services funded from development charges

The following services are funded from development charges:

  • libraries
  • fire services
  • parks and major indoor recreation
  • growth and engineering studies
  • roads and related transportation
  • public works and fleet
  • water supply and wastewater
  • stormwater drainage and control

Developments exempt from charges

The following developments are exempt from development charges under bylaw 2019-064 as required by the DCA:

  • land owned by and used for a municipality or local board, board of education, or the Crown in right of Ontario or Canada
  • non-profit housing development
  • affordable housing resulting from inclusionary zoning by-laws
  • added accommodation to existing residential buildings (up to 1% of existing units), construction of second and third residential units in new and existing single detached/semi detached/row houses (subject to specified restrictions)
  • the enlargement of the gross floor area of an existing industrial building by 50% or less 
  • college or university uses (except for third party commercial and industrial/research development, and development beyond land designated as "academic")
  • accessory use buildings and temporary uses
  • a credit against development charges will be provided where development or redevelopment replaces or changes a former or existing development

Development charges from other agencies

Information for other applicable development charges is available from the:

Annual statement of the treasurer

The annual statement of the treasurer provides details on the development charge reserve fund activity which includes:

  • services covered
  • development charge collections
  • interest earnings
  • funding transfers
  • borrowing
  • landowner credit transactions (if applicable)

This annual statement is available for download or a hard copy is available upon request by visiting the Finance counter located on the first floor of Waterloo City Centre, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Download the annual statement (PDF)