How the Greenbelt Protects

The Greenbelt Plan defines important agricultural land and natural systems that need to be protected for the long-term prosperity of the region. The addition of 21 urban river valley and 7 coastal wetlands to the Greenbelt in 2017 was a recognition of the vital role they play for the well-being and quality of life for people living in the towns and cities they pass through.

Highly urbanized environments are more complex in many ways than the rural areas more typically associated with Greenbelt lands. There is more variety in how the land is used, the types of business and industry that operates, denser housing and smaller land parcels in public and private ownership. 

When the Urban River Valleys where added to the Greenbelt, they where included as part of a special designation. Here's how the Greenbelt protects:


New Designation

The new designation allows municipalities to maintain their existing environmental controls.


It's a strong Provincial policy

The Greenbelt Plan is a provincial land use plan that permanently protects prime farmland, specialty cropland, and environmentally significant land from inappropriate development.


Strong track record with preventing degradation

Experience from the past 13 years shows that the Greenbelt is successful at protecting nature, water and farmland and preventing costly and inefficient sprawl. For more information, read the Report Card on the Environmental Health of the Greenbelt.


Provides a baseline of permanent protection

Municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe have different policies on water preservation and protection. This produces a patchwork of protections as water systems cross municipal boundaries.

Want to learn more?

We are working with community groups, municipalities and organizations across the Greenbelt to ensure the urban river valleys thrive.

Our partners have organized numerous events across the Greenbelt. Find out all the events and consultations that are happening in the Urban River Valleys.

Find out more about the 21 urban river valleys and 7 coastal wetlands that have been added to the Greenbelt.