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Protecting water for future generations: Growing the Greenbelt in the outer ring

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We want your thoughts on the proposal to protect important water resources, such as moraines, cold water streams and wetlands, by growing the Greenbelt in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

How to participate

Step 1

Read our proposed plan for protecting water resources in the outer ring by Growing the Greenbelt:

Step 2

There are 4 ways to give us your feedback:

  1. Fill out our online form 
  2. Email us at 
  3. Respond to the Environmental Registry posting
  4. Write to us at:
    Protecting Water
    Ministry of Municipal Affairs
    Provincial Planning Policy Branch
    777 Bay Street, 13th Floor
    Toronto, ON M5G 2E5

The deadline for providing feedback is March 7, 2018

Step 3

Participate at a public open house being held in the Greater Golden Horseshoe study area. More information will be available here soon.

Contact us

If you have any questions on how to participate in this review, please call 1-877-711-8208 or email us.


All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record and could be released.

Any collection of personal information is in accordance with subsection 39(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. It is collected under the authority of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Act for the purpose of obtaining input on this initiative. If you have questions about this collection, use and disclosure of this information, please contact:

Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Senior Information and Privacy Advisor
777 Bay Street, 17th Floor
Toronto, ON M5G 2E5
(416) 585-7094

Executive summary

In the next 25 years, the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s population is forecasted to grow by approximately 50% or more than 4 million people. This growth will place tremendous pressure on our water resources. We know that our lakes, rivers, wetlands and aquifers are essential for clean drinking water, agricultural viability, ecosystem health and climate change mitigation, including reducing flood risks. Urbanization and human activities can negatively impact these water features, affecting their functions, and causing water quality and quantity issues. Making sure we have the right protections in place for our water resources can help ensure the long-term success of our region.

That is why the Province is proposing a potential expansion of the Greenbelt - to better protect important water features as the region continues to grow. We are seeking input on a study area in the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s ‘outer ring’ - the portion of the GGH on the outer edge of the current Greenbelt.  

Ontario’s Greenbelt, established in 2005, provides permanent protection to roughly 810,000 hectares of green space, farmland, vibrant communities, forests, wetlands, and watersheds.  

The study area is based on the locations in the outer ring with the highest concentrations of important water resources under pressure from current or forecasted urban growth. The study area was identified based on the locations of important “building blocks” features: moraines and other sand and gravel areas, coldwater streams and wetlands.  It is made up of the following seven features and areas:

  1. The Waterloo and Paris/Galt moraine complex in Waterloo Region, and Brant and Wellington counties.
  2. The Orangeville Moraine in Wellington and Dufferin counties.
  3. Several small moraines, including the Gibraltar and Singhampton moraines, along the brow of the Niagara Escarpment in Dufferin and Simcoe counties.
  4. The Oro Moraine in northeast Simcoe County.
  5. The Nottawasaga River corridor in Dufferin and Simcoe counties.
  6. Important surface water and recharge features in southeast Simcoe County.
  7. Catchment areas and wetlands west of Minesing in Dufferin and Simcoe counties.

The focus of this consultation is to seek input on:

  • the Province’s approach to identifying moraines, coldwater streams and wetlands as important features for protecting water in the outer ring
  • the process followed for mapping a study area based on the locations of these features
  • other factors to be considered when mapping a proposed Greenbelt boundary, such as accommodating forecasted population and employment growth, and other provincial interests including agriculture, natural heritage, mineral aggregates and infrastructure, and any other local considerations

The consultation document describes this proposal in more detail and includes discussion questions related to each of these topics.

Input received through this consultation will help inform decisions on how to move from a study area to a proposed Greenbelt boundary. 

We are not consulting on a proposed Greenbelt boundary at this time, and will consult further on a proposed boundary before making any boundary changes.  

Your opinion is important. Please read the consultation document to learn more and share your thoughts. The deadline is March 7, 2018.

Information on public open houses

Participate at a public open house being held in the Greater Golden Horseshoe study area. The dates, times and venue locations listed below are subject to change and periodic updates may occur. Please check back often to review the most current information.

Open House Date and Time Location
Barrie Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Southshore Community Centre
205 Lakeshore Drive

Guelph Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Italian Canadian Club
135 Ferguson Street

Orangeville Thursday, February 8, 2018
Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre
6 Northmen Way

Note: Additional free parking is available after 6pm at Orangeville District Secondary School (22 Faulkner Street).
Alliston Thursday, February 15, 2018
Alliston Memorial Arena
49 Nelson Street West
New Tecumseth

Brantford Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Branlyn Community Centre
238 Brantwood Park Road

Kitchener Thursday, February 22, 2018
Communitech - Cafeteria (2nd Floor)
151 Charles Street West

Learn more

See more information on the Greenbelt and Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.