Proposed Minor Changes to the Greenbelt Boundary
In 2005, the Ontario government established the world’s largest permanently protected Greenbelt. It covers 8,000 square kilometres (nearly two million acres) — an area larger than Prince Edward Island — and runs from the Niagara River in southwestern Ontario to Rice Lake in the east.
When it was created, the government identified four key goals for the Greenbelt:
- sustain the environment by prohibiting new urban development on areas where it will endanger the greenbelt’s natural systems, including its water systems
- encourage growth in existing urban areas, while supporting vibrant rural communities within the greenbelt
- support agriculture as a source of commerce, employment, and domestic food production
- provide opportunities for recreational and other leisure opportunities to support the needs of our rapidly expanding population.
Legislation requires that the Greenbelt Plan be reviewed every 10 years to ensure it is meeting and continues to meet the above goals. The current review began February 28, 2015 as part of the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review.
Since the creation of the Greenbelt and during the nearly-two-year public consultation of the Co-ordinated Review, the government received requests from landowners and municipalities to remove some sites from the Greenbelt.
The government considered these requests, and proposed a number of policy changes to the plans and four minor boundary changes in May 2016.
Since then, with related technical information and data from municipalities and conservation authorities, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has identified additional sites for which it is proposing minor boundary changes to the Greenbelt. The proposed boundary changes are shown on these maps.
Requests related to the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area were not considered as part of this exercise because those requests are subject to a separate review process led by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
The government sought input from the public and stakeholders on the proposed changes.
The types of changes proposed included:
- planning projects in progress before the Greenbelt Plan came into effect
- changes where an existing road forms the logical Greenbelt boundary
- changes that would make the Greenbelt boundary the same as the Oak Ridges Moraine boundary
- sites where the existing boundary cuts across major institutional, commercial or industrial structures.