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Measuring the performance of the land use and growth planning policy in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

 Performance Indicators - At a glance Performance Indicators at a Glance
Performance Indicators for the Greenbelt Plan 2005, Part I

Performance Indicators for the Greenbelt Plan 2005, Part I


Performance Indicators for the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006

The Greenbelt Plan, 2005 and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006 marked a historic approach to land use planning in Ontario. Together, they aim to curb urban sprawl and protect prime farmland, sensitive watersheds and greenspaces.

These performance indicators help us to see the impact the plans are having in our neighbourhoods, in both urban and rural communities. 

The indicators generally tell us that the plans are directing new housing developments towards existing settlement areas — and away from agricultural and environmentally sensitive lands.  We are also beginning to see more compact communities, vibrant downtowns and a more diversified mix of housing.

It is still early days in the implementation of the plans, which will guide growth for decades to come.  That is why it is important to use indicators at this early stage to help inform our discussions about how the plans could be improved. 

  • For example, less than 10 per cent of the lands designated for new greenfield development (commonly thought of as “new suburbs”) are under development.  We need to think now about what we can do to ensure that these lands develop in ways that meet or exceed the goals of the plans.

That is why, as we undertake the co-ordinated review of the four provincial plans, we are asking questions such as: how can the plans better support the long-term protection of agricultural lands, and water and natural areas; and how can the plans continue to foster healthy, livable and inclusive communities.

These indicators provide us with a framework to examine the future of the four plans and it is our hope that they will help inform the comments we receive.


The performance indicators were developed with input from municipalities, stakeholders and the public. The ministry consulted on a draft Greenbelt Performance Monitoring Framework and sample indicators in 2009 and 2010. Preliminary performance indicators for the Growth Plan were released for comment in early 2014. The two sets of performance indicators have been refined to reflect feedback and to make use of the best available data.

Learn More

There are many other performance monitoring programs, reports and tools that contribute to an understanding of how the plans’ policies are being implemented. Some are carried out by the province, and some by municipalities and other organizations.

These other programs include both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Their perspective varies from regional and system-wide levels down to local, grassroots levels.

Other Ontario Government Performance Monitoring Programs and Tools

MMAH Provincial Policy Statement, 2005 Performance Monitoring Indicators

Niagara Escarpment Commission – Co-ordinated Plan Review

Metrolinx – The Big Move

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – Make a Map Natural Heritage Areas Interactive Web Map

Other Performance Measurement Reports and Tools

Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation – Reports and Infographics

Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation/Monitoring the Moraine – Measuring Success Reports

Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance – Food and Farming Action Plan and Agri-Food Economic Profile

Conservation Ontario – Source Water Protection Plans and Background Reports

Conservation Authorities Moraine Coalition

Ecospark – Monitoring the Moraine, resources and reports

Ducks Unlimited – Southern Ontario Wetland Conversion Analysis report

Ecojustice - Protecting Greenbelt Wetlands, How Effective is Policy?

NEPTIS – Geoweb Interactive Map