Green Spaces News


Ontario’s Greenbelt


The Greenbelt was introduced in 2005 to help shape the future of the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region of Ontario.


The GGH is located in the heart of the Great Lakes region. It contains many of Canada’s most ecologically and hydrologically significant natural environments and scenic landscapes, including the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment. These natural areas clean the air, provide drinking water, provide diverse flora and fauna habitats, including pollinators, and they provide opportunities for recreational activities that benefit public health and overall quality of life.


The GGH is one of the most dynamic and fast-growing regions in North America – it is currently home to over two-thirds of Ontario’s and more than one-quarter of Canada’s population.


The Greenbelt is the cornerstone of Ontario's Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan (Growth Plan) which is an overarching strategy that provides clarity and certainty about urban structure, where and how future growth should be accommodated and what must be protected for current and future generations.


The Greenbelt Plan together with the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP) and the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP), identifies where urbanization should not occur in order to provide permanent protection to the agricultural land base and the ecological and hydrological features, areas and functions occurring on this landscape.


The Greenbelt Plan was prepared and approved under the Greenbelt Act, 2005 and took effect on December 16, 2004.


Greenbelt Plan (2017) was approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, Order in Council No. 1025/2017, as an amendment to the Greenbelt Plan effective July 1, 2017.


The Greenbelt Plan, together with the Growth Plan, the NEP and the ORMCP, builds on the Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) to establish a land use planning framework for the GGH that supports a thriving economy, a clean and healthy environment and social equity.







According to the Niagara Region’s review of the original Greenbelt plan, the plan presented the following benefits:  (.pdf)





According to the Niagara Region’s review of the original Greenbelt plan, there was a strong opposition to the plan from the agricultural community. The plan was deemed to present the following challenges:  (.pdf)





There are always good reasons for development:  roads, schools, hospitals, homes, businesses.  Municipalities have a tendency to be pro-development because growth brings in new property tax dollars; development charge fees; and provincial/federal funding is generally population driven.  In the end though, all new growth/population needs to be serviced with fresh food and clean water too.





Ontario’s Greenbelt permanently protects roughly 810,000 hectares of green space, farmland, vibrant communities, forests, wetlands and watersheds.  Approximately 10,000 hectares were added to the Greenbelt in 2017, including 21 new urban river valleys and associated coastal wetland areas that connect to Lake Ontario.  The Greater Golden Horseshoe is one of the fastest growing regions in North America, with a population projected to reach about 13.5 million by 2041.  The government accepted input on a study area for potential Greenbelt expansion.  Comments were submitted online through the Environmental Registry (#013-1661) until March 7, 2018 or at open houses held throughout January-February 2018.


Victor Doyle, architect of the Greenbelt, defends Ontario’s anti-sprawl policies (11-May-2017)


Oakville Mayor says developing greenbelt won't cool housing market



Specific Issues


Doug Ford’s Ontario Bill 66 (December 2018)


“We learned that he [Doug Ford] makes stuff up on the fly and is willing to say things to pander to whatever audience he’s talking to.”  The Star, Editorial, May 1, 2018



NEWS (reverse chronological order)







Environmental Defence

Why Dufferin County Needs Greenbelt Protection

Anuja Kapoor

- Carl Cosack


Globe and Mail

Ontario reverses course on bill that could have opened Greenbelt for development

Jeff Gray

AO Info - Ontario Bill 66



ON Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing Steve Clark tweeted that Schedule 10 is out Bill66 (.jpg)

[policy by tweet]


Looking ahead at Ontario’s Greenbelt

Lauren Arva

AO Info - Farmland Development


Tories’ bill could punch factory-sized holes in the Greenbelt

John Michael McGrath

AO Info - Ontario Bill 66


Globe and Mail

Planner behind Ontario’s Greenbelt wins discipline case

Jeff Gray

AO Whistleblowers


Scugog green with envy for those who can grow

Chris Hall

- Mayor Tom Rowett


The Star

Opinion:  Greenbelt about-face speaks volumes about Doug Ford



Globe and Mail

Doug Ford recants vow to allow Greenbelt development

Jeff Gray


CBC News

Doug Ford plans to open up 'big chunk' of Greenbelt for development

Kate Bueckert


Youtube / PressProgress

Doug Ford’s secret deal to sell the greenbelt to developers



Government of Ontario

News Release: Ontario Ensuring Greener Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

Ministry of Municipal Affairs


Growing Greenbelt could have unintended negative outcomes for agriculture: Paoli



Greenbelt expansion could kill new development in Adj-Tos, planner


2018-02-13 / Orangeville Banner

Greenbelt plan would hurt Dufferin County’s ability to meet province’s growth targets: report

Chris Halliday


Public forum explores possible expansion of greenbelt into Waterloo Region

Johanna Weidner

2018-02-01 / Orangeville Banner

Province comes to Orangeville for input on water resource protection

James Matthews


Barrie Today

Farmers say proposed Greenbelt expansion ‘another level of legislation we don’t need’

Wendy King


Orangeville Today

Greenbelt Expansion Open House Scheduled for Orangeville



Ajax wants lands in Pickering included in Greenbelt

Keith Gilligan


CTV News

Potential Greenbelt expansion strikes a nerve with Innisfil

Mike Walker


Toronto Star

Ontario may expand Greenbelt to protect water supply

Tess Kalinowskic


Ontario Greenbelt Alliance

Province’s plan to expand Greenbelt protection to vulnerable water systems applauded but bigger area needed



Government of Ontario /

Ontario Consulting on Greenbelt Expansion –

Province Seeking Public Input to Protect Important Water Resources



Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Greenbelt Plan (2017)



Globe and Mail

Ontario’s Greenbelt architect launches defence of anti-sprawl policies

Jeff Gray

- Victor Doyle


CBC News

Oakville Mayor says developing greenbelt won't cool housing market

Amanda Grant

2017-02-17 / Orangeville Banner

Township urges Ontario address 'devastating' impact of tax incentive programs

Chris Halliday

[- is there a change to greenbelt tax assessments?]

- Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program


Global News

How developers are trying to build on Ontario’s protected Greenbelt land

Gil Shochat


Wellington Advertiser

Arnott supports greenbelt exclusion around 401

Mike Robinson

- Ted Arnott, MPP Wellington-Halton Hills


Financial Post

Greenbelt likely contributed to tighter housing market, Ontario bureaucrats told Ottawa in June

Garry Marr


Toronto Star

Land supply not to blame for rising home prices: Study

Tess Kalinowski



What’s Next for Ontario’s Greenbelt?

Andrew Reeves


Toronto Star

Ontario’s Greenbelt encourages smarter urban growth

David Suzuki, Faisal Moola


Niagara Region

Niagara Region’s Greenbelt Plan Review (.pdf)



Hamilton Spectator

Province pays SMC $15M to quash quarry proposal

Dianne Cornish

- 530 acres of agricultural land in GB

- AO Info: Flamborough Quarry proposal


Evaluating the Economic Benefits of Greenbelt Assets

Econometric Research Limited


How Ontario’s Greenbelt is failing farmers – and the local food movement

Chelsea Murray



More Information:


Ontario Greenbelt Alliance (


Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation (


-- OntarioGreenbelt Youtube channel


Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition (


Earthroots’ Southern Ontario Greenspaces Campaign (




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Disclaimer: This information has been compiled through private amateur research for the purpose of allowing the reader to make an informed and educated decision.  However, while the information is believed to be reliable, accuracy cannot be guaranteed.









#Greenbelt #ProtectOurWater #FoodAndWaterFirst #FarmersFeedCities





January 25 - Stakeholder Meeting

Toronto (Booked)

MORN (9:30 -11:30 am)

Ramada Plaza


January 31- Open House

Barrie (Booked)


Southshore Community Centre


February 6 - Open House

Guelph (Booked)


Italian Canadian Club


February 8 - Open House

Orangeville (Booked)


Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre


February 15 - Open House

Alliston (Booked)


Alliston Memorial Arena


February 20 - Open House

Brantford (Booked)


Branlyn Community Centre


February 22 - Open House

Kitchener (Booked)


Tannery Event Centre


FYI: Greenbelt Expansion – x Open House (date)


The Province of Ontario is proposing expansion of the Greenbelt.  They are seeking public input on a study area which includes Dufferin County.  A 90-day public consultation period ends on March 7, 2018 (EBR #013-1661).


Ontario’s Greenbelt permanently protects about 810,000 hectares of green space, farmland, vibrant communities, forests, wetlands and watersheds bordering the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH).  The GGH is one of the fastest growing regions in North America with a population projected to increase almost 50% to 13.5 million by 2041. 


How much food will 13.5 million people eat?  Enough to warrant protecting our food land and water.


#Greenbelt #ProtectOurWater #FoodAndWaterFirst #FarmersFeedCities


EBR #013-1661





WaterScape – Peel/Dufferin (6-Feb-2018)


Discussing the Greenbelt Expansion with a focus on Protecting Water for Future Generations


Whole Village, 20725 Shaws Creek Rd, Alton, L7K 1L7


Tue, 6 February 2018


5:30 PM – 8:00 PM EST




Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), Ontario Environment Network (OEN), and Ontario Headwaters Institute (OHI) have quickly put together community discussion groups to

brainstorm about the Greenbelt expansion with a special focus on protecting Ontario’s water.   


We are partners in Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 5:30pm at Whole Village Farm, south east of Orangeville.  If you are available, then I encourage you to attend.


Please pass on the information to whomever you think would participate.





Seven study areas:


  1. Waterloo and Paris/Galt Moraine complex (Waterloo Region, Brant County, Wellington County)
  2. Orangeville Moraine (Wellington County, Dufferin County)
  3. Escarpment Area Moraines (Dufferin County, Simcoe County)
  4. Oro Moraine (Simcoe County)
  5. Nottawasaga River Corridor (Dufferin County, Simcoe County)
  6. Important surface water and recharge features in southeast Simcoe County
  7. Catchment Areas and Wetlands West of Minesing (Dufferin County, Simcoe County)