The Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance (OCTA) hosts the 2009 Summit, an event bringing together growers, chefs and proprietors, producers, community leaders, government, and other stakeholders from local food networks across the province, to share best practices in culinary tourism; to learn from each other; and, to plan and prioritize activities for the coming year. The Summit promotes business-to-business connections, creating and promoting culinary tourism in Ontario.
Through the inaugural “2009 Ontario Bike Summit,” the Share the Road Cycling Coalition builds capacity in the bicycling advocacy movement to grow cycling infrastructure, education and awareness initiatives in Ontario, making it safer and easier for cyclists to visit the Greenbelt areas by bike. The Foundation participates in the Summit, hosted by the Coalition, which includes key policy makers, speakers and workshops, aiming to establish a Provincial Bike Policy.
In search of a distribution system, the study incorporates a random phone survey to about 275 Hamilton and Niagara food producers and processors, to assess the need and demand for such a centre.
As a Canadian not-for-profit independent think tank, the George Morris Centre fosters excellence in the agri-products sector by provoking informed dialogue and providing industry decision makers with analyses of critical issues affecting this sector.
In order to thrive, vibrant local food systems and their small and medium producers require infrastructure facilities to store, process, pack, and ship their fare. In line with their mission to foster excellence in the agri-products sector, The George Morris Centre partners with the municipalities of Hamilton and Niagara and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation to perform a feasibility study on establishing a local food distribution mechanism in these regions.
The project offers farmers enhanced cost share opportunities to encourage adoption of energy-saving practices on their farms and promote green energy generation for farm use. The link with the Environmental Farm Plan and its associated cost share program brings immediate exposure and credibility to this project, offering up to a 75% contribution towards selected Best Management Practices.
Local food procurement guides are a much needed resources to help public institutions take the first step to integrate local food into their commercial kitchens and encourage the adoption of local food procurement policies by Ontario municipalities, educational institutions and hospitals.
The food sector is the second largest employer in Ontario after the auto industry, employing more than 700,000 people.
Committed to creating local sustainable food systems, Local Food Plus is stepping in to boost employment in the agricultural sectors of the Greenbelt, as many Ontarians reel from job losses in Ontario’s largest industry, the automotive sector.Local Food Plus (LFP) creates new, green employment built on the Greenbelt’s food and agriculture sector while enhancing agricultural protection. Targeting the Greenbelt regions hardest hit by the loss of auto-related jobs—Hamilton, St. Catharines, and Oshawa—LFP creates local food jobs by establishing local food procurement strategies in municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals.
Oshawa is the largest urban centre in the Durham Region, and hosts a weekly farmers’ market from May to October of every year.
The Regional Municipality of Durham seeks to foster relationships between producers, processors and consumers, through an innovative, centralized, year-round market for local food in a historic downtown Oshawa building. This work includes a feasibility study on the proposed location, a review of best management models, and cost determination associated with the proposed market.
According to a study by Farmers Markets Ontario, over 15 million people visited the 154 farmers’ markets in Ontario in 2008. From 1999-2008, the estimated annual growth in sales at farmers’ markets was 7.3%.
The Farmers’ Market Network helps to support local agriculture, and enhance public spaces, while making fresh food accessible for all.
The establishment of the Greenbelt Farmers’ Market Network enables market managers to run stronger markets, advocate for market-friendly policies at the municipal level, and to conduct consumer and policy research.
The Bike Train has already carried over 1,000 passengers, and now offers a trip route for bikers between Toronto and Montreal
Cycling is an excellent way to see and explore the immense landscapes of the Greenbelt and visit its vibrant communities, and the Bike Train makes it easier for Ontarians to jump on board and head out for a leisurely ride in our nearby Greenbelt areas.
The Greenbelt Express Toronto-Niagara Bike Train: After a successful pilot run, the Bike Train expands to create a model cycling tourism program for Niagara. The expanded program enables visitors to bring their bikes onto existing passenger trains, to encourage low impact Greenbelt tourism and healthy lifestyles.
Growth of the Greenbelt Express: This second expansion of the Toronto-Niagara Bike Train service allows cyclists of all levels more flexibility when planning their cycling adventures to the Greenbelt’s beautiful areas. The expanded program introduces increased service times, routes and destinations, aimed at increasing awareness of the Greenbelt and the diversity of cycling experiences available in Ontario.
The Greenbelt Express Toronto-Niagara Bike Train:
$25,000 November 29, 2007
Growth of the Greenbelt Express: $36,750 January 19, 2009
600,000 people live in the Credit River Watershed, and the population is growing at a rate of 2%. By 2020, 40% of the watershed will be developed, based on official municipal plans.
The Credit River Watershed sources water to its 10 neighboring municipalities, protects the habitats of a variety of species, serves as a central location for community-oriented environmental initiatives, and provides recreational space for local residents.
The Credit Valley Conservation Foundation study on the economic value of wetland ecosystems is the first of its kind, with a primary valuation of wetlands in Ontario. This builds on the work done by the David Suzuki Foundation in 2008 to estimate the economic value of all of the ecological goods and services provided by the Greenbelt, and lends input into a wetlands restoration strategy.