Humber River

The Greenbelt protection has extended to 21 major urban river valleys and 7 coastal wetlands across the Greater Golden Horseshoe - including Humber River! 

The addition of these waterways to the Greenbelt is an important recognition of the vital role the Greenbelt plays in protecting the hydrological features we rely on for clean drinking water, flood protection, and healthy ecosystems.

Humber River is 234 km long and flows Dufferin County through Peel Region, York region and Toronto into Lake Ontario. Every 5 years Toronto and Region Conservation Authority releases a report card to assess the health of the Humber River Watershed. Grades around urbanized areas typically decline because of reduced natural vegetation and hard surfaces, such as roads and roofs. Protecting the urban river valleys is very important for our communities health. 

Top facts about the Humber River:


Urbanization and population growth have placed the river's natural features and functions under stress. Hard surfaces have directed more stormwater into rivers and streams increasing flooding, bank erosion, water temperatures, and decreasing water quality.


Humber River is designated as a Canadian Heritage Rivers System in 1999. The designation is a recognition of the significant cultural history and recreational opportunities that the river provides!


Humber River is one of the oldest established transportation routes in Canada. The river provided an opportunity to travel from Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay.


Surface water and groundwater quality ranges from excellent to poor. The excellent grades can be found in areas that are less urbanized and have more natural cover. These areas are healthier and better suited to clean our water.


Forest cover is poor in the Humber River watershed. Ensuring consistent forest cover is very important since forests clean our air, store carbon and moderate temperatures. 

Want to learn more?

Right now, we are working with community groups, municipalities and organizations across the Greenbelt to ensure the urban river valleys and the Greenbelt remain healthy for generations to come.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has produced extensive research about the Humber River Watershed.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority organizes many events to help you learn more about the watershed, or you could check-out our events page.