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The Greenbelt - Background

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picture of waterfallThe Greenbelt Plan was originally established in 2005. The Greenbelt area contains important natural and agricultural areas and supports a wide range of recreational and cultural opportunities.

A co-ordinated review of the Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, Niagara Escarpment Plan and Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe was initiated in 2015. Revised Plans were released in 2017.

The Greenbelt Act, 2005 provides the authority for the creation of the Greenbelt Plan (2017) which applies to the Greenbelt Area. The Greenbelt Plan builds on the protection provided by the Niagara Escarpment Plan (2017) and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (2017) and establishes the Protected Countryside and Urban River Valley area, which support permanent agricultural and environmental protection.

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 with the Greenbelt Plan.

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

The Greenbelt Council

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

Performance Indicators

Performance indicators to measure the performance of the policies of the Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, Niagara Escarpment Plan and Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Growing the Greenbelt Criteria (2008)

In 2008, the province released criteria to help guide municipalities in bringing forward proposals to grow the Greenbelt. These criteria are referenced in Section 5.6.1 of the Greenbelt Plan (2017).

Greenbelt Plan Technical Paper

A technical paper to assist in the implementation of the Greenbelt Plan policies for the protection of key natural heritage features within the Natural Heritage System.

Greenbelt Plan and Maps (2005)

The Greenbelt Plan and Maps (2005) remain in effect until July 1, 2017, when amendments to the Greenbelt Plan and Maps (2017) come into effect.

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 Greenbelt protection in the Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2004 and 2005.
  • Greenbelt Protection Act, 2004 - The Greenbelt Protection Act, 2004 was the first step toward permanent greenbelt protection in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.