MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration


Political Science


Zack Taylor

Geographical Areas

Ontario, Greater Golden Horseshoe


Municipal official plans are important tools in the Province of Ontario’s land use planning system. As documents that guide how communities manage change, they are a central element of planning practice and important objects of research. Official plans are not static – they are updated regularly as part of a plan-making cycle that includes issue identification, policy development, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. This research paper is focussed on the monitoring and evaluation aspect of the plan-making cycle, and specifically, the content in municipal official plans that addresses and guides these practices. It builds on the existing plan quality and evaluation in planning literature through a review of municipal official plan documents from a sample of municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario. It reviews these plan documents over two periods of time (1984-2005 and 2008-2018) to investigate changes in the quality of their content related to monitoring and evaluation. It also explores potential explanations for differing levels of plan quality as well as the connection between the monitoring and evaluation content in official plans and monitoring and evaluation actions undertaken by municipalities in practice.