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.
Stay tuned for the next report in the series!
Farmland 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.Read more
The latest research from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation looks at a mix of initiatives and tools 30 municipalities are using to enhance Ontario’s Greenbelt.
The report, Local Leadership Matters: Ontario Municipalities Taking Action to Strengthen the Greenbelt, surveyed dozens of municipal officials. The results emphasize the many ways communities are directly and indirectly helping to achieve the objectives of the Greenbelt—enhancing valuable natural heritage sites, supporting agriculture, increasing tourism, and strengthening local economies.
Examples of municipal projects include:
The County of Northumberland established a 15,000 square foot local food processing and training facility to help farmers diversify and expand their businesses.
The Town of Aurora calculated that the total economic value of its natural assets, such as woodlands and wetlands, are worth about $7.4 million annually.
The Region of Peel offers funding of up to 50 per cent to assist conservation partners in securing additional natural areas for environmental and recreational purposes—with nearly 900 acres purchased since 2005.
The Municipality of Clarington launched the Trees for Rural Roads program to restore tree-lined rural roads by planting Maples throughout the community. Since 2012, the municipality and property owners have planted 2,300 trees.
An Explore the Bruce Adventure Passport, created by Bruce County, involves an annual scavenger hunt that encourages residents and cottagers to visit the scenic natural features and other tourist attractions across the County. To date, nearly 70,000 people have participated in exploring the Bruce.
- The Town of Lincoln is becoming a Centre of Excellence for Agriculture
For more background see our 2011 report, The Living Greenbelt
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.
Sustaining Ontario's Greenbelt – 3.06 MB
Developers, planners and environmentalists can all wave their "whitebelt" flag. A new study shows that the area between the Greenbelt and urban growth boundaries, nicknamed the "whitebelt", contains enough land to accommodate development for several generations.
In fact, expansion plans for the next 20 years in the regions of Durham, York, Peel, Halton, and the City of Hamilton only allow use of approximately 17 per cent of the "whitebelt" for development. This leaves nearly 83 per cent of the "whitebelt", or 120,000 acres of land, untouched until 2031 providing decades of land for housing, industrial and commercial development.Read more
The goal of permanently protecting Ontario’s Greenbelt is central to the vision articulated in the Greenbelt Plan.This report documents the experience of greenbelts around the globe and identifies lessons applicable to ensuring the permanence of Ontario’s Greenbelt, which this year achieves a five-year milestone. [The eleventh installment in the Occasional Paper Series presented by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.]
"Ontario's Greenbelt in an International Context" authored by Maureen Carter-WhitneyRead more
Ontario's Greenbelt in an International Context: Comparing Ontario's Greenbelt to its Counterparts in Europe and North America
Ontario’s Greenbelt is positioned to be the most successful and most useful Greenbelt in the world. This study outlines and explores six international areas in Europe and North America that have established greenbelts near rapidly growing urban areas. What can be learned from the policies and activities resulting in successes or proven challenges within these jurisdictions? [The fifth installment in the Occasional Paper Series presented by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.]
"Ontario's Greenbelt in an International Context: Comparing Ontario’s Greenbelt to its Counterparts in Europe and North America" by Maureen Carter-Whitney of the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP).
An Ontario College of Family Physicians public education campaign provides tips to Ontarians on how to avoid the serious health problems which can occur when living in the suburbs.
"Moving to the suburbs doesn't necessarily mean you're moving to a sanctuary from the stresses of life," says Dr. Riina Bray, Chair of the Environmental Health Committee of the OCFP and a physician at Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre. "Urban sprawl can pose significant health risks to a person's physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being. Ontarians need to take precautions if living in or considering a move to suburban areas.