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Background

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picture of waterfall The Greenbelt contains important natural and agricultural areas and supports a wide range of recreational and cultural opportunities. Protecting these agricultural lands and natural areas supports the quality of life and health of the region’s communities.

The Greenbelt Act, 2005 provides the authority for the creation of the Greenbelt Area and the Greenbelt Plan.  The Greenbelt Plan builds on the protection provided by the Niagara Escarpment Plan and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and establishes the Protected Countryside, which supports permanent agricultural and environmental protection.

The Greenbelt has a defined boundary that precisely maps its geography and includes areas protected by the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan. These plans were established to protect the ecological and hydrological integrity of these two important geologic features in perpetuity.

The Greenbelt Act, 2005 requires that decisions made under the Ontario Planning and Development Act, 1994, the Planning Act and the Condominium Act, 1998 conform to the Greenbelt Plan.

The policies of the Niagara Escarpment Plan and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan continue to apply to their respective areas

Previous Amendments to the Greenbelt Plan (2005)

The Greenbelt Plan has been amended once since its release in 2005. The amendment was released in 2013 and introduced a new Urban River Valley designation to the Plan. It also amended the Plan to add the Glenorchy lands in Oakville as the first expansion to the Greenbelt since it was created in 2005.

Growing the Greenbelt Criteria (2008)

In 2008, the province released criteria to help guide municipalities in bringing forward proposals to grow the Greenbelt

The Greenbelt Council

The Greenbelt Council is an advisory body, established under teh Greenbelt Act, 2005, that provides advice to the minister on the Greenbelt

Archived Information

  • Building a Greenbelt (2004-05) This information provides a basic outline of the key elements and research that were used to formulate the government's approach to the greenbelt protection in the Golden Horseshoe
  • Greenbelt Protection Act, 2004 The Greenbelt Protection Act, 2005 was the first step toward permanent greenbelt protection in the Golden Horseshoe