Provincial Land Use Advisory Panel releases recommendations

** Update (Jan 2016)The Government of Ontario is currently reviewing the recommendations laid out in the Land Use Advisory Panel's report as well as all comments submitted for the co-ordinated review.

We expect the government to release the proposed amendments to the land use plans in the coming months. These proposed amendments will be open for public input. We don't yet know the form this public input process will take but we will be updating this page as we learn more!

Scroll to the bottom of the page to find out you can show your support for the Greenbelt leading up to these important conversations.

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Grow the Greenbelt, protect natural heritage, invest in transit and infrastructure, and create liveable communities – these are just some of the findings of the 6-person Advisory Panel that has spend just under a year reviewing Ontario’s four land plans

After months spent going over the research, consulting with experts and stakeholders, and reviewing public feedback, the Advisory Panel has presented their much-anticipated recommendations to the provincial government.

Led by former Toronto Mayor David Crombie, the Advisory Panel has spent nearly 10-months reviewing Ontario’s four land-use plans—the Greenbelt Plan, the Growth Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan—plans whose implementation will significantly influence the quality of life of the over nine million who will call the GGH home by 2041.

The panel’s final report—Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015 - 2041'—contains 87 recommendations for "responsible growth" and covers everything from how to strengthen our food and farming sector, to why it’s so important for municipalities to grow up and in, instead of outward into farmland and greenspace.

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 PDF - 25 MB

Download Report


The Government of Ontario appointed an Advisory Panel of six advisers, chaired by David Crombie, to develop recommendations on how to amend and improve the plans as part of an the ongoing Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review. 

The Panel has completed its work and submitted the report on December 7, 2015.

View the report’s Executive Summary.

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It’s a landmark moment in the Greenbelt's and Greater Golden Horseshoe's history.

And here at the Greenbelt Foundation we're certainly feeling energized! 

Why? Because the release of the panel's recommendations marks an important milestone in an ongoing and vitally important conversation about the future of our Greenbelt and our region.

The Province is committed to updating and refining Ontario's landuse plans and the panel's findings will guide that important project. We're excited to be part of the conversation about how to best implement Crombie and team's recommendations, about how and where to expand the Greenbelt, and about how to support it as a permanent feature of Ontario's landscape. 

   Highlights of the report include recommendations for the Province to:

  • Grow the Greenbelt "by adding areas of critical hydrological significance, such as headwaters of major rivers, moraines, groundwater recharge areas, important surface water features and urban river valleys."
  • Encourage the development of the kinds of "complete" communities that the majority of Ontarians want to live in;
    communities characterized by "a diverse mix of land uses and
    housing types, a range of employment opportunities, high-quality public open space, a variety of transportation choices, and easy
    access to stores and services."
  • Increase support for agriculture by, among other initiatives, making sure all the plans recognize the importance of agriculture, applying a food and farming lens to other provincial initiatives, and continuing
    to support the local food sector.

  • Face climate change head on by building compact,
    low-carbon communities and improving the alignment of transportation planning and investment with growth forecasting and development.

The scale of participation in the land-use review process to-date speaks to how important these issues are to Ontarians. An estimated 3,000 residents participated in the Town Hall meetings and over 19,000 people submitted written feedback.

In the coming months, we can expect to hear a lot of debate around these recommendations and the government's response. 

Care about strong Greenbelt protection? Clean water? Efficient transit? Walkable communities? Access to food and green space? Then these are debates you'll want to pay attention to! 

The Ontario government is currently reviewing the Advisory Panel's report and will be seeking public input on any proposed plan amendments; public sessions are expected to be announced for the winter of 2016.

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Want to be part of the conversation on the Greenbelt’s future? Here are some ways to get started! 

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On Tuesday January 26 we hosted our Greenbelt Review Telephone Town Hall with special guests Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and David Crombie, Chair of the Land Use Advisory Panel.

Listen to a full recording and the inside scoop on the Greenbelt review process. 

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Take the Greenbelt Pledge and become a Friend of the Greenbelt. We'll keep you informed on how and when you can take part in the second phase of the discussion on the future of the Greenbelt! 

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The expert panel recommends growing the Greenbelt to protect key "hydrological features"  - a view shared by a vast network of community and environmental groups across the province. Just last month, a coalition of over 100 organizations released a proposal to grow the Greenbelt to protect vital water systems. By growing the Greenbelt into these areas, we can safeguard southern Ontario’s sources of clean drinking water. Check out the map of proposed expansion areas and be part of the movement - use #‎GrowOurGB on social media to follow the conversation and share your thoughts!

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See research from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation to find out more about Ontario's almost 2 million acres of protected agricultural and environmentally sensitive lands.

 

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