The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is a show like no other. Nothing compares with the multiple layers of sight, sound, smell and taste that make up The Royal Experience. It's a part of Canadian tradition. It's the place where entertainment meets education. Where the thrill of competition meets the pride of accomplishment. Where the country shows the city a thing or two. It is the largest indoor combined agricultural, horticultural, canine and equestrian event in the world. It's the show that puts November on the calendar, Toronto on the map, and Canada on the world stage. It's the one and only Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. It was back for its biggest year ever.
On Thursday, November 2, 2006, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation hosted a special evening to honour Sarah Harmer for her leadership in protecting the Greenbelt.Singer Sarah Harmer is inspiring in her new film Escarpment Blues. Delightful and thought-provoking, the film chronicles her “I Love the Escarpment Tour” as she hikes, paddles and sings along the Bruce Trail to stop a quarry expansion near her childhood home at the base of Mount Nemo on the Niagara Escarpment.
This is a sponsorship of the Planet In Focus Film Festival screens Sarah Harmer's film 'Escarpment Blues,' which is followed by a panel discussion. Escarpment Blues, directed by Andy Keen, chronicles the activist singer’s fight to stop the destruction of the Niagara Escarpment and preserve Ontario’s Greenbelt. Harmer’s I Love the Escarpment Tour was captured on film last summer as she and her band played in outdoor theaters and community halls along the escarpment’s Bruce Trail. Proceeds of the tour go to Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL), a local group Sarah co-founded to oppose a new quarry proposal near her home in North Burlington. The mine threatens to destroy the water table, habitat and the unique escarpment lands, designated as a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations. Sarah Harmer is this year’s recipient of The “Friend of the Greenbelt Award.”
Created in 1995 by the Province of Ontario to protect the Rouge River, Rouge Park is currently the largest urban park in North America at 47 square kilometers in size, housing 762 plant species, 225 bird species, 55 fish species, 27 mammal species, and 19 reptile and amphibian species.
Situated close to urban centers, Rouge Park is composed of a variety of natural landscapes, from rolling hills to vast wetlands and sandy beaches, serving as an important region of the Greenbelt to focus on for restoration of local biodiversity.
Rouge Park's Little Rouge Corridor Ecological Restoration Initiative Phase I involves developing detailed site prescriptions for restoration zones to maximize biodiversity, ensuring compatibility with the existing geography and protecting archaeological sites in the process.
The Greenbelt serves an important function as a natural air filter. The Ontario Medical Association estimates the costs of air pollution in Ontario to be 5,800 premature deaths, 17,000 hospital admittances, 60,000 emergency room visits, and a total of $7,800,000,000 in health care cost, lost work time, and productivity.
Raising awareness of the Greenbelt’s value is one of the most important steps in protecting it. Ontario Nature has led the way by performing outreach and education to local leaders and the public on the beneficial health values associated with the Greenbelt.
Showcasing the efforts of farmers and community volunteers to steward the land is a proud and productive opportunity. In partnership with the Ontario College of Family Physicians. Ontario Nature is creating booklets to highlight the significance of a farmer’s work to protecting the Greenbelt’s water resources, forests, and unique habitats, and to link rural and urban residents with the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle the Greenbelt has to offer.
The Caledon Countryside Alliance is working to raise awareness of the importance and value of the countryside. Its “Paint the Town Green through Community Mapping” project is a Caledon-wide community mapping undertaking that incorporates and shares the stories and knowledge of the local landscape. The map helps residents better understand and support these areas and make Caledon a more sustainable community. Closing the gap between people and their natural environment can build a spirit of pride and inspire responsibility for the natural landscape, which possesses valuable ecological good and services.
The Farm to School pilot project reconnects urban students and rural farmers in Peel Region through farm visits, local food celebrations and a local, healthy snack program for elementary schools. Food is sourced from Greenbelt farms, helping to strengthen linkages between schools and farmers. The pilot is expected to heighten awareness amongst students about local food and the Greenbelt
The project contributes to the development of three new seasonal farmers' markets in under-serviced neighbourhoods in Hamilton, by researching market models, local need and farmer interests. The research is expected to identify opportunities to expand consumer markets for area Greenbelt farmers to sell/deliver their produce in the Hamilton region, while consumers are encouraged to buy locally-farmed food.
This report highlights the importance of Greenbelt farmland. It highlights the pressures farmers face, particularly those utilizing farmers' markets, and offers suggestions for supporting peri-urban agriculture.
The Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP), a research not-for-profit organization, looked at greenbelts across North America as well as in international jurisdictions such as England, the Netherlands and Germany, producing a report on best practices and lessons learned of managing and sustaining greenbelts into the future.