• BIG NEWS: The wait is over! The province has announced its proposed changes to the Greenbelt Plan, as part of the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review.


Watch growth in the Golden Horseshoe!

Watch the growth in the Golden Horseshoe! Our 40 second animation shows changes in urban development and protected areas in the Golden Horseshoe from 1945 to 2014.


Agriculture Profile Brochure


Agriculture by the Numbers Web Brochure

Download the two page brochure of our latest agriculture study to get the 101 on farming in the Greenbelt.

Released in October 2014, the Greenbelt Foundation study Agriculture by the Numbers captures the changes in agriculture from 2001 to 2011 and highlights the natural and locational advantages of farming in Ontario’s Greenbelt


Guest Blog: Nature Conservancy of Canada annouces launch of new trail


On a crisp fall day in early October twenty donors, volunteers, and neighbours gathered at the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC) Hazel Bird Nature Reserve to celebrate the opening of brand new trail.

It was a big day. With support from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, the NCC and the Oak Ridges Trail Association had spent the last month getting the trail ready, blazing paths and creating and installing signs to guide visitors.


Friend of the Greenbelt Award 2014

The 2014 winners of the Friend of the Greenbelt Award. From Left to right: Glenn De Baeremaeker from Save the Rouge Valley System; Debbe Crandall from STORM Coalition; Caroline Schultz from Ontario Nature; Amber Ellis from EarthRoots; and Steve Gilchrist, former Cabinet Minister.

Last week, at an award ceremony held at the University of Toronto’s Hart House, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation announced the 2014 winners of the Friend of the Greenbelt Award.

At high noon on a beautiful November day, close to a hundred Ontarians gathered at Hart House’s Great Hall to acknowledge the significant contribution that five individuals have made to the protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine.


Celebrating the protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine


 November 6, 2014


Award Recognizes Those Who Have Gone the Distance to Protect Vital Landscape

Today, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation announced the 2014 winners of the Friend of the Greenbelt Award. Recognizing those who have worked hard to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine, part of Ontario’s Greenbelt, this year’s award was shared among five individuals representing a number of organizations: Glenn De Baeremaeker, Save the Rouge Valley System; Debbe Crandall, Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition; Amber Ellis, Earthroots; Steve Gilchrist, former Cabinet Minister; and Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature.

“The Oak Ridges Moraine is an integral part of Ontario’s Greenbelt,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “By honouring those who have worked so hard to protect it, we’re ensuring the protection of Ontario’s most precious water resources for generations to come.”

Stretching more than 160 kilometres across the most populated area of Ontario, the Oak Ridges Moraine is the source of 64 major streams or rivers, providing clean, safe drinking water to over a quarter of a million people. A contentious issue in its early days, the Oak Ridges Conservation Act, 2001 was recognized and supported by all political parties when passed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.


Listen to a recording of our Telephone Town Hall


On Monday October 20th we hosted our second annual Telephone Town Hall.

From 7pm to 8pm we had a live conversation and answered questions about the Greenbelt's watersheds and the importance of protecting urban river valleys, with more than 8,000 people joining us!

This year's Town Hall was hosted by our Program Director, Shelley Petrie, our Director of Public Affairs, Sarah Petrevan and two special guests -- Deborah Martin-Downs, Chief Administrative Officer of Credit Valley Conservation and Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

It was an lively and informative conversation. Listen to it in full below.




October 2014 Newsletter

October 2014 Newsletter

October was a big month for us.

This month's newsletter features:

  • Our new Niagara Office
  • Our CEO's thoughts on our Annual Report
  • Tips for the last days of fall
  • And more... !

The Greenbelt Foundation's new Niagara office



The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has a new Niagara office.

It’s an exciting time. We’re tapped into a great community and we’re here on the ground in one of the Greenbelt’s most specialized agricultural regions.

Niagara is the core producer of the province’s tender fruit and the anchor of the VQA and Ontario wine industry. It's also one of only two designated specialty crop areas in the Greenbelt (the other is the Holland Marsh). Fun Fact: More than 80% of Ontario’s acreage in tender fruit is found in the Greenbelt - the vast majority of that acreage in Niagara.

Niagara's also home to some of Canada's most diverse natural landscapes. It's got a bit of everything - from wetlands, to waterfalls, to wildlife habitats.

A lot of work goes into to protecting and supporting Niagara's agricultural land and its ecologically sensitive areas. At the Greenbelt Foundation we know that many, many, Niagarans are engaged in that project. We want to make sure we're doing our best to support them - so we got ourselves an office space and moved on in!

It’s still early days for us here – but you’ll be hearing much more from the Niagara team in the weeks and months ahead.

In the meantime, Robin Garrett, director of the new regional office, has been busy setting up shop.

We asked her to give us the rundown of what she’s been up to so far.


Make the most of the last days of fall


It's almost November - have you been to a pumpkin patch yet?

Fall may be winding down, but it's not over yet. 

If you haven't packed in enough pumpkin patches, apple orchards, or corn mazes - don't fret. There's still time!

Here are some tips from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation for making the most of the Halloween weekend. 

The Halton Pumpkin Trail Guide

If you're anywhere in or around Halton check out the online Pumpkin Tail Guide

The Trail Guide, released by the Regional Municipality of Halton for the second year-in-a-row, is a cheat sheet of every autumn activity in the area. The self-guided map tells you what's going on and how to get there. 

"People should absolutely make the most of the season this weekend," Halton's Tourism Specialist Nancy Field told me when I called to ask about the Guide.

"Farmers' Markets and farms are still open and it's going to be a great weekend. Halloween weekend is such a great time to be exploring what the Trail Guide has to offer."

And while the pumpkin map is certainly full of pumpkin picking locals, it's also got a bunch of other great events listed. So even if your pumpkin's been picked and carved - there's still tons to do. Go apple picking at Chudleigh's Apple Farm, take a stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens, or catch a puppet show and wagon ride at Springridge Farm

But if Halton's too far, we've got you covered. Below are some great farms throughout the Greenbelt with events and activities planned for this weekend.


Toronto Star Series: A wrap up


This fall the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation launched an exciting partnership with the Toronto Star.

For 6 weeks, from September 13th to October 16th, veteran journalist John Barber penned a 6-part article series on all things Greenbelt.

Published weekly in the Saturday paper, Barber’s articles touched on everything from the Greenbelt's agricultural sector, to the state of its urban river valleys, to its ecological, political, and economic future.

Now that it's all wrapped up we wanted to make it easy for all friends to have access to each article in-full. Below we've included downloadable PDFs of each of Barber's 6 pieces. 

The Toronto Star articles have been great for generating conversation about the Greenbelt’s many roles and its ongoing importance to Ontario’s future. Not only have Barber’s stories resulted in surge of signatories to our Greenbelt Pledge they've also generated lively discussions in our ongoing “Tweet-ups”. 

The  “Tweet-ups”, weekly hour-long Twitter conversations we’ve been hosting every Wednesday evening since the series began, use Barber’s articles as a conversation catalyst. We’ve hosted six in total, and each one's been well-attended, face-paced, and a lot of fun.

Check out the Toronto Star pieces. They'll give you a lot to think about. Promise.

Saturday, Sept. 13

Food & Agriculture
Saturday, Sept. 20

Fun and Recreation
Saturday, Sept. 27

Water Resources
Saturday, Oct. 4

* PART 5
Ecology and Preservation
Saturday, Oct. 11

Assessing the Future
Saturday, Oct. 18

 *The current population of the community of Pefferlaw is 2,600 and is forecasted to grow to 3,000 by the year 2031. The October 11 article about wildlife in the Greenbelt mistakenly said the community will grow from 3,000 to 30,000. Current official forecasts estimate instead that Georgina, which contains Pefferlaw, will have a further 23,000 residents by the year 2031.

The Toronto Star issued a retraction to correct this mistake on October 29, 2014.