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Ontario’s Greenbelt 

Originally established in 2005, Ontario’s Greenbelt is an area of green space, farmland, vibrant communities, forests, wetlands, and watersheds.

As of 2017, it contains over two million acres of land – an area larger than Prince Edward Island – and is the largest and most strongly protected greenbelt in the world.

It extends 325 km from the eastern end of the Oak Ridges Moraine, near Rice Lake, in the east, to the Niagara River in the west. The Greenbelt currently includes over 800,000 acres of land protected by the Niagara Escarpment Plan and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and over 1.2 million acres of land known as Protected Countryside and Urban River Valley established by the overarching Greenbelt Plan.

The Greenbelt protects environmentally sensitive land and farmlands in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe area from urban development. These lands will serve as a legacy for all Ontarians by preserving and enhancing our natural and cultural heritage.

The Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan together with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe are four provincial land use plans that work together to manage growth, build complete communities, curb sprawl and protect the natural environment. Revised Plans were released in 2017, following public consultations from 2015 and 2016 during the Co-ordinated Plan Review and draft Plan amendments.

The Greenbelt Plan and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (2017)

  • The Greenbelt - Background
    • More information on the Greenbelt, including the Greenbelt Council, Growing the Greenbelt Criteria (2008), Greenbelt Performance Indicators, Greenbelt Plan Technical Paper, the Greenbelt Plan and Maps (2005), etc.

  • The Oak Ridges Moraine - Background
    • More information on the Oak Ridges Moraine, including the Oak Ridges Moraine Technical Paper Series and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Maps (2002)

  • The Greater Golden Horseshoe Land Use Plans
    • More information on the four land use plans for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the Co-ordinated Plan Review.
  • Data Access - Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine 2017 Data

    • Users with GIS mapping software can access the 2017 Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine data by downloading the various data layers from Land Information Ontario
    • For users without access to GIS mapping software, the following link provides access to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Online "Make A Map" application for the Natural Heritage System which can be used to make custom maps with natural heritage layers in Ontario.