In 2017, the Greenbelt protection extended to 21 major urban river valleys and 7 coastal wetlands across the Greater Golden Horseshoe!
River valleys connect the suburban and rural lands of the Greenbelt to Lake Ontario, and provide our communities with greenspace to explore, they clean and filter our water and air, reduce our flood risks, and provide a home to wildlife.
The addition of these waterways to the Greenbelt is an important recognition of the vital role the Greenbelt plays in protecting the hydrological features we rely on for clean drinking water, flood protection, and healthy ecosystems. The Greenbelt provides $3.2B annually in ecosystem services to the region, including $224M per year in flood protection for private property and $52M per year in carbon sequestration.
Protecting the urban river valleys is the first step to ensure these system remain healthy for generations to come. Right now, we are working with community groups, municipalities and organizations across the Greenbelt to ensure the long term health of the urban river valleys and the Greenbelt.
Interested in learning more? We've pulled together some resources to get you started:
Where the Greenbelt grew
Find out more about the local rivers that where included in the Greenbelt:
Why natural systems matter
The river valleys are part of a much larger ecosystem, what happens in the headwaters and along the course of the rivers, impacts the quality of water that flows into Lake Ontario. Protecting the whole natural system matters. Find out more:
How the Greenbelt protects
The Greenbelt protects vital natural and hydrological features that ensure we have clean water, fresh air, and supports our rural economic vitality and prosperous local food system. Find out more:
Explore the rivers
Our partners have organized numerous events across the Greenbelt. Find out all the events and consultations that are happening in the newly protected Urban River Valleys: