Development charges

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

On this page

  1. About development charges
  2. Fees
  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 (PDF) applies to all new development and some changes in land use.

2019 development charge bylaw update

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

In accordance with the Development Charges Act (DCA) and recent amendments to the DCA via Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act 2019, 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, rental housing and non-profit housing, all other developments must pay prior to the issuance of a building permit
  • institutional and rental housing developments are on a deferred payment plan in 6 payments over 5 years starting at occupancy, and 21 payments over 20 years starting at occupancy for non-profit housing

Interest may apply to specific development charges. The interest rate used will be prime + 2%, with prime being the annual interest rate posted on the Bank of Canada's website. 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.


On October 21, 2019, city council received the following for review:

On November 18, 2019 council held a formal public meeting and approved the background study with the draft bylaw to be reviewed by council for approval on December 16, 2019.

The following documents were presented and reviewed during the November 18, 2019 meeting:

On December 16, 2019 council approved a new development charge bylaw with new rates to take effect on December 31, 2019. The below documents were presented to council for approval:

If you require a document in a different format, contact our finance team at 519-747-8774, TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941 or email development charges info.









Single and semi-detached units






Multiple units (including townhouses, masionettes and terrace dwellings)






Apartments with up to one bedroom




 $8,886 $9,935

Apartments with two-three bedrooms






Apartments with four or more bedrooms






Lodging houses per bedroom






Per square metre of floor area  $72.73  $76.49 $71.58 $73.22 $81.85

*Note that 2022 charges are effective December 1, 2021.

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


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 completely exempt from development charges under bylaw 2019-064:

land owned by and used for a municipality or local board, board of education, or the Crown in right of Ontario or Canada. 

added accommodation to existing residential buildings, construction of second residential units in new buildings--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 commercial and industrial/research development, and development beyond land designated as "academic")

accessory use buildings and temporary uses

A credit against development charges may 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:

Region of Waterloo

Waterloo Region District School Board

Waterloo Catholic District School Board

Annual statement of the treasurer

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

services covered

development charge collections

interest earnings

funding transfers


landowner credit transactions (if applicable)

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