The Greenbelt Foundation Supports the Expansion of the Greenbelt to Include Additional Urban River Valleys
TORONTO, March 25, 2022—On February 17, 2021, the Government of Ontario announced its intention to grow the quantity and quality of the Greenbelt to include additional water systems. Yesterday, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) launched the next phase in its consultation on Growing the Greenbelt.
Urban River Valleys are essential connectivity corridors between the suburban and rural lands of the Greenbelt and Lake Ontario, providing our communities with greenspaces to explore, clean water and air, and reduced flood risks."
This phase of the consultation (Phase 2) will seek feedback on the addition of 13 new and expanded Urban River Valleys and ideas for adding more Urban River Valleys to the Greenbelt, which could include tributaries or parcels of publicly owned land. Details are available on the Environmental Registry of Ontario’s website here.
The Greenbelt Foundation supports these proposed additions to the Greenbelt. Urban River Valleys are essential connectivity corridors between the suburban and rural lands of the Greenbelt and Lake Ontario, providing our communities with greenspaces to explore, clean water and air, and reduced flood risks.
The permanence of the Greenbelt is critical to its success. Therefore, the Foundation welcomes Minister Clark’s statement that “This proposal is about growing the size and quality of the Greenbelt, and the government will not consider the removal of any lands from the existing Greenbelt, nor will it consider any changes that reduce existing policy protections in the Greenbelt.” Maintaining the integrity of the Greenbelt boundaries is essential to environmental sustainability, economic vitality and smart growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region.
We appreciate the government’s commitment to protecting the existing Greenbelt area and, to this end, will continue to advise the Government of Ontario to reject proposals from municipal governments that undermine its policies and integrity, including York Region (in relation to ROPA 7) and Whitchurch-Stouffville (in relation to including sensitive Oak Ridge's Moraine lands in settlement area).
The Foundation would also like to emphasize the Greenbelt Plan works in tandem with the Growth Plan to provide clarity and certainty about what needs to be permanently protected for current and future generations. In an era of increasing climate disruptions and rapid population growth, we believe there are additional agricultural areas and nature features that should be considered for inclusion in an expanded Greenbelt. For example, the Paris-Galt Moraine and critical headwaters such as the Carruthers Creek. We welcome the government’s commitment to an ongoing process to Grow the Greenbelt that is so vital for the region’s continued health, prosperity, and resilience.
To learn more about Growing the Greenbelt, click here.
About Greenbelt Foundation:
Greenbelt Foundation is a charitable organization, solely dedicated to ensuring the Greenbelt remains permanent, protected and prosperous. We make the right investments in its interconnected natural, agricultural, and economic systems, to ensure a working, thriving Greenbelt for all. Ontario's Greenbelt is the world's largest, with over two million acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and rivers working together to provide clean air, fresh water, and a reliable local food source.
Greenbelt Foundation Media Contact:
Petronilla Ndebele, Director of Strategic Communications
(416) 960-0001 Extension 311
Greenbelt Foundation Social Media:
Facebook: Ontario Greenbelt