Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ontario government has launched a 60-day consultation to grow the Greenbelt and help protect more of the province’s natural environment — including farmlands, forests, wetlands and watersheds — from future development. The consultations could result in the largest expansion of the greenbelt since its creation in 2005.
“This is truly a unique opportunity to grow the Greenbelt and protect Ontario’s environmental, groundwater and agricultural resources for future generations,” said Steve Clark, minister of municipal affairs and housing. “The Premier has been steadfast in his commitment to protect the greenbelt and our government will not consider any proposals to remove or develop any part of it.”
Clark called the consultation a “once in a generation opportunity to protect some of the most ecologically important lands in our country.”
“We want to hear directly from Ontarians about how we can best protect more environmental, ground water and agricultural resources from development.”
The consultation will lay the foundation for the largest expansion of greenbelt since its creation.
The government is seeking public input on how best to grow the size and quality of the Greenbelt, including:
- Paris Galt Moraine
- adding, expanding and further protecting urban river valleys, and increasing the Greenbelt’s footprint into high density urban areas including the areas around the Don River in Toronto and land around Duffins Creek in Ajax and Pickering.
Established under the Greenbelt Act, 2005, the Greenbelt is a broad band of protected land that currently includes over 800,000 hectares of land in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
The Paris Galt Moraine is a glacial deposit of loose sediment and rock extending from Caledon to north of Paris and Brantford and is home to critical groundwater resources.
The Greenbelt currently contains 21 urban river valleys and associated wetlands. These are the valleys of rivers that pass through cities or towns and act as urban gateways to the Greenbelt.