Green Infrastructure Guide for Small Cities, Towns and Rural Communities


Click here to view the report

The Guide can support small cities, towns and rural settlements with the integration of green infrastructure into their communities. Much of the current green infrastructure research and guidance focuses on densely populated urban centres. Smaller and rural settlements are often overlooked despite the many benefits that green infrastructure can provide in these settings.

This Guide aims to fill that gap by providing an overview of the types of green infrastructure that make the most sense for these communities and by outlining a strategic zoning approach for implementation.


Response to the TRCA's "Draft Protocol for Loss of Ecosystem Services"


The Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) recently conducted a consultation on a ‘Draft Protocol for Loss of Ecosystem Services’. The protocol sets out a framework for how to evaluate the ecosystem services lost because of development in natural features and appropriate compensation (in the form of replicating natural features in other locations or enhancing existing features) for those losses. The protocol triggers as a last resort when all other options to avoid and mitigate losses are exhausted. It will not apply in the Greenbelt’s protected natural features. It will apply in lands adjoining the Greenbelt and could potentially affect its natural features, and therefore it is relevant to our work.

You can read our response to the consultation here.


GLOBAL CITIES: Housing Prices in Major Urban Centres (One in a Series)

The first in a new series, Housing Affordability in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, this report places housing prices in the GGH in a global context.

"Understanding the factors contributing to upward pressure on housing prices in the GGH provides the necessary context for policy and planning tools to address concerns of affordability, access and equity in the housing market, in order to create the sustainable and prosperous communities of the future."

Read the full report below.

pdf-icon.png  Download PDF

Stay tuned for the next report in the series!


New Report! Ontario's Good Fortune: Appreciating the Greenbelt's Natural Capital

A new report, Ontario’s Good Fortune: Appreciating the Greenbelt’s Natural Capital from Green Analytics and Sustainable Prosperity finds that in addition to storing over $11.17B of carbon, the Greenbelt provides $3.2B annually in ecosystem services to the region. The report, commissioned by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, assessed the value of final services provided by the Greenbelt that Ontario residents benefit from.



Natural Capital 101

Understanding the value of our natural capital is vital to making informed, responsible decisions. This primer explains what natural capital valuation is and how it works.



Plan to Achieve - A Review of the Land Needs Assessment Process and the Implementation of the Growth Plan


A new report in the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation Occasional Papers reviews the Growth Plan and other land use policies, and finds that a flawed approach to Land Needs Assessments (LNA) is leading to continued sprawl which is undermining the Growth Plan.


Natural Heritage Features Mapping: Challenges and Best Practice


pdf-icon.pngNatural Heritage Features Mapping: Challenges and Best Practices (480KB)

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation completed a study to understand the process by which natural heritage features (NHF) are mapped and communicated to the public by municipalities in Ontario. This was in response to issues raised by Greenbelt stakeholders, mainly within the agricultural sector, who are affected by inaccuracies in Official Plan mapping schedules for natural heritage features. 


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.


Farmland at Risk


pdf-icon.pngFarmland At Risk (4 MB)

Farming in the Greater Golden Horseshoe has important economic and ecological benefits. Farmland at Risk, co-produced by Environmental Defence and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, calls for improved land-use planning that views farmland as essential to the region – not as development land-in-waiting. The report outlines that Ontario needs to do a better job protecting farmland and helping farmers thrive.


Greenbelt Farmers: Sowing the Seeds of Success


The latest research from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation focuses on nine successful farming operations within Ontario’s nearly two million acres of permanently protected Greenbelt.


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