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.Read more
In February 2015, Ontario embarked on a review of four land use plans, including the Greenbelt Plan and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). The 18-month review period included town hall meetings and open houses, an advisory panel report, and an updated vision for the future of our region. The feedback period drew to a close on Monday, October 31. The Province will now review the thousands of letters you've sent and announce final amendments in spring 2017. Here are our top five highlights of the 2015 Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review.Read more
On Saturday, October 22, issues around housing affordability and growth in the GTA were front and centre in a two-page feature in the Toronto Star. If you missed the print edition, catch up on your weekend reading with this in-depth look at how our region is growing.
The second story, "Home sweet, costly home - a pricey debate," looks at the variety of factors contributing to the GTA's hot real estate market, and makes international comparisons.
View a PDF of the article
Photo courtesy of the City of Vaughan via Ryerson report
The GTHA is having a moment – that’s the finding of a new report out from the Ryerson City Building Institute. The report, “Suburbs on Track”, argues that with $32 billion in new transit spending planned as part of the Big Move, planning policies need to adapt to encourage smart growth along these corridors, especially in suburban communities.Read more
Land-use policies and growth forecasts are subjects that often lead to yawning, bewilderment and deep sleep. But they’re also central to determining the future of our neighbourhoods, our towns and cities, and our rural areas. It’s a bit like going to the dentist. You may not like it but have to do it.Read more
Photo by Michael Gil via Flickr
Recently Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca suspended the Environmental Assessment for a highway known as the GTA West or “The 413.” The 413 would curve south-west from the 400 at King-Vaughan Road and meet the 407 and 401 roughly at Winston Churchill Blvd. It would have to cross the Greenbelt several times to get there.Read more
One thing you’ll notice about the Greenbelt – whether you’re walking, cycling or driving – is the immense numbers of trees. In fact the Greenbelt is home to an estimated 200 million trees, and they do a lot more than provide a shady place to rest.
The Greenbelt’s forests capture and filter water, absorb air pollution, support crop pollination, and store and sequester carbon. These ‘eco-services’ are worth an estimated $1 billion – and the trees provide them for free.Read more
On May 10th, 2016 the province announced its recommendations for changes to the Growth and Greenbelt Plans.
We are encouraged by the proposal to grow the Greenbelt to include 21 urban river valleys and seven coastal wetlands, bringing the Greenbelt into cities and towns with over 6 million residents.
The province also added four parcels of protected countryside in the City of Hamilton and Niagara Region.
But...the widely supported grassroots initiative to expand the Greenbelt and protect a ‘Bluebelt’ of vulnerable water resources was left out of the amendments. We hear that the province plans to start a process to identify such areas in the coming months - let's hold them to their word!
The grassroots 'bluebelt' proposal, put together by a coalition of over 100 environmental and community groups, calls for an ambitious expansion of the Greenbelt in order to protect critical drinking water sources and to ensure an abundant supply of clean water.