Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

About Planning


Planners in Canada

There are approximately 8,500 planning professionals in Canada.

Meet some Canadian planners in our Planner Portraits:

What is planning?

Planning means the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities, and services with a view to securing the physical, economic, and social efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities.

Responsible planning has always been vital to the sustainability of safe, healthy, and secure urban environments. As Canada's population grows, the planning profession must deal with pressures and impacts of urbanization: for instance, the conversion of land from natural habitats to urban built areas, the maintenance and use of natural resources and habitats, environmental protection, and the development and renewal of major infrastructure.


What are planning employment prospects?

Currently, there are employment opportunities for graduates of planning schools in the public and private sectors of many municipalities across Canada. Please view current employment opportunities and read the National Compensation and Benefits Survey for an idea of what compensation you can expect in your province or territory. 

Articles of Interest

Canadian Business
"Urban Planner: Canada's Best Jobs 2016"


What do planners do?

A planner's activities include designating land use, designing social and community services, managing cultural and heritage resources, creating economic capacity in local communities, and addressing transportation and infrastructure.

Planners may work for the public or the private sector—but ultimately their work always touches on public policy. They balance various private interests with the public interest and identify viable options.

Planners work for the public good, taking health, aesthetics, equity, and efficiency into consideration. Planning respects the land as a community resource, contributing to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, and promoting healthy communities and improvements to the quality of life.

To meet increasingly complex urban and rural challenges, planners need to know about land, air and water resources, employment trends, cultural diversity and associated issues, new technologies, and conflict resolution.

As a planner, you may:

  • recommend policy and guidelines on land use, environmental conservation, housing, and transportation;
  • prepare reports on demographic, economic, cultural, social, and environmental issues;
  • review proposals for development to ensure that they follow regulations and generally accepted planning practice;
  • prepare plans for developing private lands, providing public spaces and services, and maintaining and improving the environment; and
  • consult with landowners, interest groups, and citizens.