Growing Our Greenbelt: The Humber River Headwaters



Growing our Greenbelt is a blog series focusing on "areas of critical ecological and hydrological significance" recently flagged by more than 100 environmental and community group as requiring Greenbelt protection. Over the next several months, we'll be highlighting the headwaters, ground water recharge areas, surface water features and urban river valleys that, if added to the Greenbelt Plan, would be part of protected and connected clean water system. 

Want to see your Greenbelt grow? Follow our series and use #GrowOurGB on social media to join the movement!


Did you know….

Significant portions of the headwater catchment area for the Humber River are not currently protected under the Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine Plans?

But here’s the good news, more than 100 community and environmental groups are recommending that the provincial government fix this protection gap before we lose these critical headwater areas to the pressures of urbanization.

It’s all part of a recently released "Bluebelt" proposal that calls for a 1.5 million acre Greenbelt expansion into Ontario's sensitive water systems (Find out more about the proposal here).  


The “Bluebelt” proposal identifies three specific Humber River headwater catchment areas in Peel and York vulnerable to urban development. These areas, circled on the map above, are adjacent to and surrounded by Greenbelt protected lands.


What Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders teach us about municipal elections in Ontario


The U.S. Republican primary election is the best entertainment in town. The extreme statements by Donald Trump provide media fodder that is reminiscent of those by former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford‎. The fighting on debate stages is better than any reality TV show.‎ And now GOP elders entertain us with colourful language about the front runner.

But what's really interesting is the commonality between the rise of the unexpected candidates in both parties. Before you think me as crazy as the Donald, hear me out.

On the Democratic Party side, there is Bernie Sanders saying the other candidate is owned by Wall Street and its millions of donation dollars. ‎Sanders is financing his campaign with small donations.That message is playing well for him and has propelled him as a serious threat to Clinton. Young people in particular like that message.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump often reminds his audiences that his campaign is self-financed and that his opponents are in the pockets of lobbyists. That makes him appealing to a large portion of his supporters.

So on both sides of the aisle American voters have tired of the influence of corporate donations. They believe them to be too dominant.


Top 11 Greenbelt stories to look forward to in the years ahead!

February 28, 2016 marks 11 years since the Greenbelt Act established the largest greenbelt in the world. 

A lot has happened since, and at the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation we’re fortunate to be a part of it. 

The tireless efforts of our friends, partners, and grantees over the last 11 years have shown Ontarians that the Greenbelt is one of the most important contributions to the future of the province and has ensured that the Greenbelt is a great place to live, work, play and grow. 

And here’s the best part – after 11 great years, there’s still more to come!

In honour of 11 years of the Greenbelt, here are the top 11 things we’re looking forward to in the years ahead. 

  1. A greener, more robust Greenbelt
  2. An opportunity to grow our Greenbelt 
  3. An 110-km Credit Valley Trail
  4. More varieties of Tender Fruit
  5. More Cycling Infrastructure
  6. A growing local food sector
  7. Improving the Greenbelt’s ecological health
  8. Preparing for climate change
  9. Partnerships and knowledge-sharing with Ontario’s planners
  10. Leveraging green infrastructure and natural capital in Ontario’s Greenbelt
  11. The voices and innovation of Greenbelt youth 

Farmers' Market: Tracking Market Farmer and Vendor Performance 2009-2015


 pdf-icon.pngFarmers' Market: Tracking Market Farmer and Vendor Performance 2009-2015
 (1 MB)


In 2015, the Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network (GBFMN) collaborated with Informa Market Research, visiting 30 network markets and interviewing 82 farmers, as well as 26 other market vendors. Results were compared with GBFMN’s 2009 survey to learn about growth and change in the sector. This study is intended to assist farmers’ market vendors and organizers, and inspire the interest and support of market shoppers and funders.


Celebrating 11 years of Haiku


The Greenbelt turns 11 on February 28, 2016!

To celebrate we're sharing Haikus all about what makes the Greenbelt great.

Submit your own to join the fun! 

To say "Thank you" and help you celebrate 11 year of the Greenbelt, we'll send you a free Greenbelt T-shirt for your efforts!

Join the fun on our Facebook Haiku Portal!

Don't have Facebook? Click here to submit your Haiku on


What's a Haiku?

Based on the Japanese model, an English Haiku, at its most basic, is a three-line poem that follows a very distinct syllable patter; line one has 5 syllables, line 2 has 7 syllables and line three has 5 syllables.

Haikus are often used to evoke fleeting moments or observations about our natural world. They generally don't rhyme and use little punctuation.


Environmentalists go head to head on gridlock


If you like a little fight, you might really love a Sprawl Brawl. The event, held on February 18th in Toronto by Environmental Defence, is a lively discussion that questions: What’s the cure for gridlock in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)? 


We're Hiring!


We're hiring! 

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is looking to fill two positions on our communications team.

If you're looking to work with a great team for a good cause, this might just be the career move for you! 


Job Posting: Communications Manager

Job Posting: Communications Manager 
Job ID #38905
Application Deadline: February 22, 2016, 5pm

Are media relations, writing, and event planning the three things you need to help create your dream job? Are you driven to support meaningful causes and taking a leadership role when it comes to driving content? Does executing that perfect media hit shoot a fantastic burst of adrenalin through your veins? If so, then joining the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Greenbelt Fund as our Communications Manager will give you just that and more.


Applications Open for Tender Fruit Tree Planting Program

February 9, 2016


Application Deadline for Niagara Region Growers is March 31, 2016

Applications are now being received for the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and Ontario Tender Fruit Growers’ pilot project to plant up to 130,000 tender fruit trees, such as peaches and pears, to provide a financial boost to Greenbelt growers, strengthen this key economic sector, and increase prosperity in the Niagara Region.

The deadline for applications is March 31, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Growers can access the guides and application forms at (click on the “Growers” button located at the top right) and the Tender Fruit Growers will also have a booth at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention on February 17 and 18, 2016, in Niagara Falls. 

Successful applicants will receive an estimated 25 per cent cost-share per tender fruit tree. Planting will take place this spring and fall, with the tender fruit varieties available to consumers in grocery stores, farmers’ markets, on-farm markets, and restaurants as soon as summer 2019. After three to four years, the harvest from 500 acres of tender fruit trees will provide an injection of about $4 million into Ontario’s economy. 


Job Posting: Designer & Program Coordinator

Job Posting: Designer & Program Coordinator
Job ID #27230
Application Deadline:  February 18, 2016, 5pm

Is great design and visual communications for a good cause your dream job?  Are you passionate about the environment, and a good typeface? Are you good at carrying out long-term strategies and projects? Can you create compelling and beautiful maps that tell a story? If so, then joining the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation as our Designer & Program Coordinator is the right career move for you! 


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