Jane's Walk is back!
The festival of free, citizen-led walking tours runs May 6th, 7th, and 8th.
We love Jane's Walk (we even helped plan a series of Greenbelt-inspired walks for last year's festival)! It's a not-to-be-missed chance to learn, from experts and civic champions, more about the region, and the communities, we inhabit.
And this year this year's two important Jane's Walk anniversaries are giving us even added incentive to take part. Not only is it the 10th year of the festival, this week also marks what would have been the 100th Birthday of Jane Jacobs - famed urbanist and activist and Jane's Walk namesake.
We're so excited that we combed through the Jane's Walk listings looking for walks that touch on issues Greenbelt champions care about the most - from the history of our protected natural landscapes, to the importance of spending time outside, to the need to build smart livable communities.
Want to be on the first public tour of the MacMillan Nature Reserve? Find out more about the tenets of Toronto's Complete Streets program? Better understand the health benefits of spending time outdoors?
Check out our team's top picks below!See all events
"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."
– Dorothea Lange
On November 15, 2015, we had the pleasure of announcing the 20 winners of the Greenbelt’s 10th Anniversary Photo Contest. You can see all the winning photos here but I encourage everyone to visit the McMichael Canadian Art Collection to see them in person, framed and hanging in the gallery.
The photos are on display until March 2016.
The exhibition would not have been possible without the support of our partners at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the Professional Photographers of Canada – Ontario (PPOC-ON).
The McMichael's Anna Stanisz, Associate Director, Creative Learning & Programs, and Rachel D'Oliveira, Art and Special Programs Coordinator, found us a home in the gallery. PPOC-ON, provided a team of master photographers and judges--including Kamini Le Capelain, Deb Deville, Brad Kelly and lead judge Jay Terry--who deliberated for hours over the final selections.
Grantee Spotlight is a blog series highlighting the experiences and successes of the Foundation’s grantees, as they work with communities and other Greenbelt partners to keep our province’s farmlands, forests, and wetlands safe and sustainable for future generations.
It’s our Greenbelt too!
Youth speak out about the future of our Greenbelt
Guest post from Julia Martini, Environmental Education Coordinator, EcoSpark
The first round of public consultations for the 2015 Coordinated Review may be over, but we were reminded that we haven’t yet heard from everyone.
On November 5th 2015, 150 students, teachers, scouts, local organizations and community members joined EcoSpark and Dunbarton High School in Pickering for a memorable student-led Greenbelt community forum. The night may have been about the Greenbelt, but the spotlight was on youth!
The Greenbelt forum provided youth with the much-needed opportunity to share their ideas, information and experiences on this beautiful and important landscape. Youth reminded us that they are the future voters and stewards of the environment and they had a lot to say to those making the decisions about the future of the Greenbelt.Read more
Funding to support the development of a master plan for the Credit Valley Trail was announced on the Culham Trail near Credit Valley Conservation’s administration office in Mississauga, on September 11, 2015. Project lead Susan Robertson (far right) and Greenbelt Foundation Vice-President Susan Murray (sixth from the right) attended the announcement with local councillors and provincial politicians.
On September 11, 2015 the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and Credit Valley Conversation announced a plan to develop a 110-kilometre hiking trail along the Credit River.
With a $100,000 grant from the Foundation, Credit Valley Conservation, partnering with the Credit Valley Heritage Society, will bring to life a 60-year old vision of a connected pedestrian corridor. The new 110-km trail will allow walkers and cyclists to travel from the Credit River headwaters in Orangeville to the mouth of the river at Port Credit on Lake Ontario.
The full trail is expected to be finished in 10-15 years.
The first step is to engage members of the public in the four municipalities along the river to develop the preferred route, identify the cultural and natural highlights along the way, and assess land securement priorities.
To kick-start the process, we asked our Greenbelt Friends living along or near the proposed route to complete a short survey about what they’d like to see as part of the new Credit Valley Trail.
We received almost 200 responses!
Below, project-lead Susan Robertson gives us the scoop on what people want from the new Credit Valley Trail.Read more
For the past three months the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, the Professional Photographers of Canada, and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection held a photography contest to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Ontario’s Greenbelt. The top 20 submissions will be exhibited at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Two of those 20 will be "People's Choice" winners. You can vote for your People's Choice pick on the Greenbelt Facebook Page. Voting ends October 29th at 4:59pm ET.
On August 11, 2015 we officially launched the Greenbelt 10th Anniversary Photo Contest, arguably our most ambitious contest to-date.
We invited photographers from across the province to submit their best Greenbelt shots - the winning photographs were to be displayed in special exhibit at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and, eventually, to tour various locations across the Greenbelt.
We'd secured two great partners--the Professional Photographers of Canada and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection--and we knew from experience that many talented photographers find inspiration in the Greenbelt's diverse landscapes. And yet, there was still that lingering worry - "Suppose we couldn't get enough entries?"Read more
There’s something motivating about a team of people working together towards a common future. At our annual retreat, staff came together for team-building, agenda-setting, and collaborative learning.Read more
Have you ever enjoyed the Don Valley ravines or the Credit River in beautiful weather? Do you take the opportunity to enjoy nature, walk with pets, friends, and family in Oakville’s Sixteen Mile Creek, experiencing an oasis away from your busy life? How about canoeing or kayaking along the Humber River, or feeling miles away protected under a tree canopy while birds chirp among you?
In January 2013, the Ontario Government announced the expansion of the Greenbelt for the first time since 2005. It included the Glenorchy Conservation Area expansion of 265 hectares of land, as well as a new "Urban River Valleys Designation". With moments that these natural areas provide, it’s no wonder we want the Greenbelt to keep expanding.
Did you know we've got a Greenbelt Activity Book? Crosswords, spot-the-difference, animal match-up games, and more!
The activities in this book are geared towards children ages 8 and older, but anyone is guaranteed to have fun!
Download your free copy.
Act natural: Paul Harpley, a Georgina resident and naturalist, stands among the trees in the Greenbelt near Lake Simcoe.
Every Sunday from September 14th to October 17th we'll be publishing a Greenbelt-focused article by veteran Toronto Star journalist John Barber. The articles, which will first run in the Toronto Star on the Saturdays preceding our posts, cover a range of topics relevant to the Greenbelt as it exists today, and to the challenges it may face in the future. On the Wednesdays following each of Barber's articles, we'll be using his pieces as a conversation catalyst in an evening Twitter Party from 8pm to 9pm.
Where will the wild things go?
Preserving room for wildlife in the shadow of Greater Toronto a constant struggle
Photo Credit: Aaron Vincent Elkaim
By: John Barber
Looking at most maps of Ontario's Greenbelt, the innocent observer will see a great bulge of protected countryside in its middle – a 4,000 square kilometre tract stretching from Scarborough all the way to the southern shores of Lake Simcoe.
But looking at the detailed map artist and naturalist Paul Harpley unfolds in his office in Georgina, near Simcoe's south shore, a whole new picture emerges. Here green gives way to gray – large blocs of forest and wetland set aside for major urban development. And this is the map that matters.
In *Georgina's Official Plan, the village of Pefferlaw, population 3,000, is slated to grow to the size of Orillia, population 30,000 – and virtually all of that growth will occur in the untouched forests and wetlands of the Greenbelt. Nearby Sutton is slated for similar expansion. Just to the west, residents are fighting a losing battle against the construction of a 500-acre, 1,000-home subdivision in a provincially significant wetland that is likewise part of the Greenbelt but exempt from protection. The barricade of green is riddled with loopholes.
The day dawned grey and overcast on September 20th, 2014 for the 8th Annual Prairie Day at Alderville Black Oak Savanna Ecology Centre, a 30-minute drive north of Cobourg. Despite the ominous weather, the event started off well with a smudging ceremony from the Alderville First Nation, as well as speeches carrying messages of hope and regeneration.
The savanna landscape visible now is a testament to the incredible efforts and collaboration of many groups working as part of the Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative: Alderville First Nation, Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation, Environment Canada, and more.
In 2002, the tallgrass prairie ecosystem was a remnant of a formerly thriving, 100,000 hectare vegetation community throughout Southern Ontario. Today, just 3 percent of the original tallgrass prairie and black oak savanna remains, with Alderville a gem in this crucial network of endangered ecosystems. With diligence, care, and cooperative work, the tallgrass prairie here has grown by 150 hectares in the past decade, with an additional 536 hectares secured for future restoration.
This year the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation was proud to join the efforts of the Rice Lake Plains partners through a $52,000 grant to NCC and Alderville First Nation. This grant supports a year’s worth of activities to connect hundreds of Northumberland residents with the Greenbelt in their backyards, including workshops, field trips, trail launches, and landowner stewardship.
The banner event is Prairie Day.