Ontario Proposing To Grow the Greenbelt

Ontario is proposing changes to four provincial plans that shape how land is used in the Greater Golden Horseshoe — Canada’s fastest-growing urban region, the province’s economic engine and the home of the Greenbelt.

David Crombie

Ontario is responding to input from the public and addressing the recommendations of the report “Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015- 2041” from the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review advisory panel, chaired by former mayor of Toronto David Crombie.  “I am happy to see the province has embraced the advisory panel’s recommendations to do-ordinate land use planning with transit planning and infrastructure investments, Crombie said

The proposed changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan would:

  • Protect clean water by adding the lands within 21 major urban river valleys to the Greenbelt, along with seven coastal wetlands, and establish a process for further expanding the Greenbelt to protect key water features
  • Require zoning along transit corridors to provide adequate density to support transit
  • Establish Greenbelt-level protections for natural heritage systems – such as wetlands, woodlands and rivers – beyond the Greenbelt, with the provincial government taking a lead in mapping those areas
  • Support agricultural viability and preserve farmland by setting strict requirements for the expansion of urban areas and allowing more flexibility for agricultural use in the Greenbelt
  • Require municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to integrate climate change policies into municipal official plans and to conduct climate change vulnerability risk assessments when they are planning or replacing infrastructure.

Stakeholders and the public now have a chance to comment on the proposed changes.  Changes to greenfield density, and clarifying the rules for development on rural lands.