Natural heritage systems planning is about maintaining, restoring and enhancing ecologically sustainable and resilient landscapes. It is a strategic approach to addressing biodiversity loss, land use change and the uncertainties of climate change so that we always have clean air, clean water and a rich diversity of plant and animal life to sustain present and future generations. Natural heritage systems planning seeks to engage communities and educate citizens about the many benefits that nature provides and about nature's fundamental place in supporting social and economic health.
Royal Bank of Canada and the Pembina Institute’s Home Location Study released in 2012 found that over 80 per cent of Greater Toronto Area residents would give up a large home and yard to live in a "location-efficient"neighbourhood that is transit-friendly, walkable and offers shorter commute times. However, more than 70 per cent of residents in the GTA live where they do because of affordability rather than preference.
Priced Out is a follow-up study researched and written by the Pembina Institute, co-published by RBC, that explores the factors contributing to rising home prices in the GTA, and how homebuyers are being "priced out" of location-efficient options.
Co-authoured by professor Wayne Caldwell, of the University of Guelph, and recognized expert on agricultural and rural planning issues, Farming in Ontario’s Greenbelt: Possibility Grows Here, provides recommendations to ensure economic prosperity and viability of farming in Ontario.
The purpose of this study is to estimate the economic value of the ecosystem services and benefits provided by various types of ecosystem and land uses found within the region.
This report is the sixth in a series in a series that studies natural capital and ecosystem services in Canada's major urban centres. It highlights the important role that the Ontario Greenbelt's forests, wetlands, and agricultural soils play in capturing and storing vast amounts of carbon. A principle goal of the report is to bring the importance of the Greenbelt as an instrument of climate change mitigation into relief by translating these essential ecosystem services into economic values. The report also examines a number of threats to the long-term ability of the Greenbelt to serve this climate regulation function and argues that Ontario's climate change policy framework should be revised to strengthen its ability to protect essential functions and even enhance the Greenbelt's natural capacities as a carbon sink.
Produced by Econometric Research Limited, this study identifies, quantifies and showcases the economic contributions of the Greenbelt on the provincial economy and local areas dependent on its resource base. It provides objective, meaningful and sound estimates of the economic contributions of the main economic activities in, or based on, the natural capital base of the Greenbelt.
This year’s Ontario’s Local Food Champions represent the dynamic changes happening across foodservice. Here are the highlights:
This report presents the findings of a two-year study that investigated the extent to which new legislation, policy and stronger legal standards are serving to protect and restore wetlands in Ontario's Greenbelt.
Undertaken by Ducks Unlimited Canada, Earthroots, Ecojustice and Ontario Nature, the study comprised four components: a comprehensive analysis of the legal and policy framework, a planners survey, nine case studies and an analysis of the cumulative impact of water takings. The report examines the strengths and weaknesses of the three provincial land-use plans in effect across the Greenbelt - the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conversation Plan and the Greenbelt Plan, and their intersection with other law and policies relevant to wetland protection.
Biodiversity in Ontario's Greenbelt – 2.97 MB
In 2008, The David Suzuki Foundation released Ontario's Wealth, Canada's Future: Appreciating the Value of the Greenbelt's Ecological Services. Building on that research, this subsequent report, Biodiversity in Ontario's Greenbelt, showcases the significance of the Greenbelt for the diversity of life in Ontario and emphasizes the importance of system-based planning.
The Living Greenbelt – 2.73 MB
In 2005, the Province established the Greenbelt as a legacy for generations of Ontarians to come. Adding more than 1 million acres of farmland and environmentally sensitive lands to the already protected Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve and the Oak Ridges Moraine, the 1.8 million acre Greenbelt is intended to support multiple objectives including: (i) sustaining and nurturing the agricultural sector; (ii) protecting natural heritage systems; (iii) providing cultural, recreational and tourism opportunities; (iv) supporting viable rural communities; and, (v) ensuring sustainable infrastructure and natural resource practices. This report provides an overview of what is being done by the provincial and municipal governments to advance these objectives.