A street in the Town of Minto.

The urban-rural Town of Minto developed an integrated sustainable community plan to help it meet the challenges of slow population growth and a shortage of jobs. Leaders were also concerned about high energy consumption and the car-oriented way of life. The project team created a plan that would grow the population to an optimum size, make agriculture practices more sustainable, keep retailers in the downtown, diversify businesses into sustainable products, and make the community more walkable. The sustainability plan will strengthen the local economy, improve community health, reduce energy consumption and minimize the town's environmental footprint.


Environmental Economic Social
  • Uses agricultural abundance to feed the town's land, people, and economy.
  • Builds main streets that support business and civic life.
  • Creates and retain enterprises that have low environmental impact and provide fulfilling jobs.
  • Grows to a manageable and sustainable size.
  • Supports the health and recreational well-being of residents.


  • Provincial funding fell through, resulting in two false starts and the loss of the initial consulting team.
  • Farming commitments limited participation in the initial community consultation, held in summer.
  • Shortened project schedule reduced opportunities for community engagement and input.

Lessons learned

  • Building awareness and community engagement takes time. Make use of social media to build support.
  • To avoid delays and complications, secure funding before beginning work
  • Focus groups provided richer information than online surveys.

Partners and collaborators 

Project contact 

Gordon Duff 
Town of Minto, ON
T. 519-338-2511, ext. 35

© 2019 Federation of Canadian Municipalities