The Niagara Escarpment in the Greenbelt is a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve. The Bruce Peninsula, pictured here, serves as fish and wildlife habitat and is home to an abundance of rare and endangered species
Ontario’s Greenbelt is pretty popular. Whether you’re driving on the highway, cycling the Greenbelt Route, or out for a walk on the Bruce Trail, you’re bound to see one of our many signs. No matter who I meet, if they are unfamiliar with the Greenbelt, they’re often familiar with our signs. Considered a world leader at almost two million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt.
This representation has put us on the global scale as a leading example in preserving productive farmland, forests, and wetlands from urban development. With greenbelts in England, Brazil, Germany, and Australia, Ontario’s stands out—and we will ensure it continues to.
In 2011, the Foundation was the lead on facilitating the establishment of a Global Greenbelt Network, which emerged at the Global Greenbelts Conference in Toronto that year. The network advocates for new greenbelts and growth of existing ones. We also have ongoing conversations with countries around the world about challenges, including enhancement of rural communities, sustainable urban settlements, and protection of valuable water resources.
Some of these challenges are a crucial part of the equation in engaging people across the province. Ontario’s Greenbelt will continue to thrive on the world stage, showcasing its benefits, from local food to ecological services worth billions, and the equivalent of 161,000 full-time jobs.
The world’s greenbelts connect people and create value. As such they provide a significant contribution to our quality of life.