Ontario's Greenbelt is an Asset for Ontario

Mar 24, 2021   •   Research

Understanding public awareness of the purpose and benefits of Ontario’s Greenbelt, as well as support for the Greenbelt as public policy, is crucial to guiding strategic planning for all program areas, including communication and engagement with Ontarians. Since 2005, the Greenbelt Foundation has engaged an external agency to conduct biannual public opinion polls to establish trends in understanding of and support for the Greenbelt. 

Over the years, aided support for the Greenbelt has remained largely above 90%.

84% of Ontarians consider the Greenbelt to be a source of pride"

In 2020, the Greenbelt Foundation worked with Innovation Research Group to conduct an online survey to identify opinions and attitudes towards the Greenbelt and the Foundation. The survey received 2,623 valid survey responses among the general population, 18 years or older (a representative sample). The sample has been weighted by age, gender, and region using Statistics Canada’s 2016 Census data to reflect the actual demographic composition of the adult populations residing in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area. Targets were set to ensure a proper reflection of key regional and demographic distribution and then weighting was applied to ensure an accurate reflection of the target populations.

By monitoring trends, the Greenbelt Foundation can effectively align program and communications activities with strategic areas of focus.

High level results:

     9/10 Ontarians support the Greenbelt 

 84% of Ontarians consider the Greenbelt a source of pride

    86% of Ontarians agree that the Greenbelt is one of the most important contributions of our generations to the future of Ontario

COVID-19 has made local food increasingly important to 60% of Greater Golden Horseshoe consumers

Top three most important benefits of the Greenbelt:

  Protecting the natural water systems that support clean and sufficient water supply

  Preserving agricultural lands and green spaces

 Ensuring we have a local source for food

Top reasons for visiting the Greenbelt:


   Shopping in towns and villages

   Visiting farm markets

"INNOVATIVE’s polling research provides the Greenbelt Foundation with a better understanding of the motivations, barriers, and overall persona of their supporters, visitors and potential visitors to the Greenbelt. Our research helps enable the Foundation to communicate the importance and benefits of the Greenbelt more effectively, and continue their vital work across much of Ontario. With these insights, we hope to enable the Foundation with the tools it needs to encourage people to further engage with the Greenbelt and all it has to offer.

Working with the Greenbelt Foundation was a great experience! Being able to provide insights which will help preserve and develop an important piece of our natural environment, is of course very rewarding."

- Jason Lockhart, Vice President, Innovative Research Group Inc.

Interested in learning more? Check out Stories from the Greenbelt! Each month, we feature a new Ontario Greenbelt story from our team, partners, and community members. Starting off the series is Petronilla Ndebele, Director of Strategic Communications at the Greenbelt Foundation with Your Greenbelt: A Source Of Pride.