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Urban & Regional Planning

Geospatial Data Access

Search and Download Geospatial Data Resources available through the Geospatial Map & Data Centre

Recommended Resources:

Visit the webpage dedicated to Toronto Data Resources for a list of frequently downloaded datasets used in Urban and Regional Planning applications including Property Data Maps, Land Parcels, Surface Contours, Aerial/orthophotography, and Building Heights data.

Scholars GeoPortal
Access and visualize geospatial data used in Urban & Regional Planning such as landuse data and the Ontario Road Network (ORN). Hint: Connect to Scholars GeoPortal and browse the following categories: Land use and planning, Transportation networks, Census and administrative boundaries, and Imagery, basemaps, and land cover.

Land Information Ontario (LIO) Inventory – Data Access

DMTI Spatial Inc – SMART Program Data Products (access via the GMDC Inventory and Scholars GeoPortal)

Census Data and Mapping Resources

Data Sources for Urban and Regional Planning – Public Access

Toronto Open Data – Search by Keyword or Browse by Subject Heading

Open Data in Canada – Provinicial & Municipal Data Portals – Canada’s provincial and municipal Open Data sites that have been created to release freely available open data in Canada.

Canadian GIS & Geomatics – Free Data – Includes links to National, Provincial, and Municipal Open Geospatial Data portals, Fee based Geospatial Data, and online web mapping applications.

City of Toronto Zoning Consultation Map

City of Toronto Building Construction Date Map

City of Toronto Zoning By-Law Maps (1156-2010) – PDF Format

Toronto Community Health Profiles

Toronto Neighbourhood Profiles – Demographics

Wellbeing Toronto (WbT)

City of Toronto Archives

Historical Maps of Toronto

USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer

ArcGIS Desktop Student Edition

Students and Faculty in the Department of Urban & Regional Planning may Request ONE copy of ArcGIS Desktop – Student Edition software for academic use (teaching, research, educational purposes). Commercial use of the software is prohibited.

ESRI Virtual Campus Course Access

Step 1: Select course(s) from the following list: ESRI Virtual Campus Courses

Step 2: Complete request form to access course codes:  Request ESRI Virtual Campus Courses

Recommended Courses for Urban & Regional Planning:

Learning ArcGIS Desktop (for ArcGIS 10)

Building Models for GIS Analysis Using ArcGIS

Network Analysis Using ArcGIS

Managing Parcel Data Using ArcGIS Desktop 10

Georeferencing Raster Data Using ArcGIS

Tutorials and Help Guides


The following tutorial shows you how to retrieve a property data map, retrieve zoning by-laws, open various data products in ArcMap 10, measure distances, create a layout, create a figure ground map, convert to PDF and export to Adobe Illustrator.
Link to tutorial

The following tutorial shows you how to co-display property data maps with City of Toronto 1 metre contous.
Link to tutorial



Access Ontario Soil Maps

Use Scholars GeoPortal to download soil maps in shapefile format.

Use the Library Catalogue to obtain digital soil maps.  Type the following in the search box ‘Soil Survey of (Your Region) County‘.
Example – Soil Survey of Peel County
Note – If you don’t know the county name, use this Government link to find out.

Use the following tutorial to Georeferencing Soil Images in ArcGIS 10.x

Access Ontario Base Maps

Ontario Base Map shapefiles can be downloaded here.  Zoom into the desired region using the + tool from the left column and turn on or off desired layers using the interactive map legend in the right column.  Note:  Don’t forget to click Refresh Map every time you turn on or off a layer. If you are a first time user of the Geography Network, you’ll be required to create a free ESRI Global Account at the following link.


GeoGratis is a portal provided by the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) which provides geospatial data such as satellite images, scanned topographic maps (National Topopgraphic System), the Atlas of Canada, Land Inventory and more.

National Topographic Series

Print version of NTS maps are available in the Toronto Metropolitan University Map Collection scaleS of 1:25,000, 1:50,000 or 1:250,000.

Connect to GeoGratis to access digital versions:

  • Index Maps of the National Topographic System of Canada
  • Vector Indexes of the National Topographic System of Canada
  • National Topographic Data Base (NTDB), Canada
  • CanMatrix – Georeferenced, Digital Topographic Maps of Canada
  • CanMatrix – Print Ready, Digital Topographic Maps of Caanada (PDF Format)


Toronto Metropolitan University Library and Archive’s Urban and Regional Planning research guide Note: Browse the Official Plans section under the ‘websites’ tab to access official plans of various Canadian cities.

Workshop Data

Intro to GIS Workshop Data