This spring, we were thrilled with the release of a new book, The Greenbelt: Protecting and Cultivating a Great Ontario Treasure by Burkhard Mausberg. To celebrate, we hit the road for a book tour across the Greenbelt. We launched at Ben McNally Books in Toronto on April 25, and visited Hamilton, Newmarket, Niagara, Guelph, Ajax, Uxbridge, Burlington and Waterloo.
Panellists along the way represented a broad spectrum of voices in the Greenbelt. They ranged from activists and musicians—including Burlington's Sarah Harmer—to farmers and leaders in the agricultural sector, and local representatives. At the first launch in Toronto, we were joined by David Crombie, former Mayor of Toronto and Chair of the 2015 Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review Advisory Panel. We heard stories from the very beginning of the movement to create Ontario's permanently protected Greenbelt, and shared aspirations for what is to come.
Author Burkhard Mausberg at the Toronto launch event
One of the most common and significant observations was the power of the Greenbelt to build bridges and connections between urban and rural communities; and to mutually support other projects and strategies for the long term sustainability of our region, like public transit and smart community building. Another highlight was discussion of the different but compatible approaches to environmental protection—from legislative and legal advocacy to on-the-ground activism, like the movement to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine from development.
In Toronto, Rick Smith—panellist and Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute—pointed to the stories captured by the book as an expression of the multi-partisan creation and implementation of the Greenbelt, while David Crombie recalled that greenbelts could be seen in pre-1950s illustrations and plans for the city.
L to R: David Crombie, Burkhard Mausberg, David Donnelly, Judy Pfiefer and Rick Smith
Other events focused on Ontario's growing local food and craft beverage sectors, highlighting the 2017 Brewery Discovery Routes and the significant contributions Ontario's farmers, brewers and distillers are making to our region's economy. In Hamilton, the conversation turned to protecting water and Growing Our Greenbelt, with panellists Dr. David A. Galbraith, Head of Science at Royal Botanical Gardens; and Alan Hansell, Founder and Executive Director of Stewards of Cootes Watershed.
Grow Our Greenbelt advocate Ella Haley in Hamilton
Burkhard Mausberg in conversation with Bill Redelmeier, Owner of Southbrook Vineyards, and Jon Downing, Brewmaster Professor at Niagara College Teaching Brewery
We are thrilled to have engaged with so many Greenbelt supporters and sustainability enthusiasts these past few weeks. If you haven't had a chance to see the book yet, read an excerpt here and visit greenbelt.ca/book to purchase your copy. Proceeds go towards protecting and growing the Greenbelt.