McGuinty government protects greenspace for parkland in Southern Ontario

Archived Release

McGuinty government protects greenspace for parkland in Southern Ontario

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Plan Expands Bronte Creek Provincial Park BRONTE CREEK, ON, Nov. 5 - The McGuinty government is creating more open spaces and parkland in Oakville and Burlington by protecting 1,286 acres of provincially owned lands, roughly the size of Bronte Creek Provincial Park, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced today. "As the Premier said recently in unveiling our plan to halt urban sprawl, our greenbelt initiative includes the creation of parklands and open spaces to ensure future generations will be able to access and enjoy these natural areas," said Ramsay. "Today's announcement will give area residents greater access to natural park space and ensures the long-term protection of vital watersheds, while striking a balance for growth opportunities in the Town of Oakville," said Oakville MPP Kevin Flynn. The province is protecting two-thirds, or 750 acres, of the government- owned lands known as the Oakville Land Assembly, bounded by Dundas Street West, Highway 407, Bronte Road and Sixteen Mile Creek valley. This will create natural corridors and linkages that will further protect wildlife habitat and significant vegetation. To build on these corridors, these lands will link with a 368-acre parcel north of Highway 407 that contains important forest and creek valley features, and includes the Sixteen Mile Creek Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI). "The protection of greenspace is an issue that is very important to the residents of Oakville," said Mayor Ann Mulvale. "Today's announcement moves us a step closer toward our goal of establishing a natural heritage system in North Oakville." Another 168 acres of lands in the Bronte Creek valley north of Bronte Creek Provincial Park will be added to the park, creating an important link between the Niagara Escarpment and the park. "Protecting more land in the Bronte Creek valley will benefit the residents of Burlington and support the government's commitment to establish a permanent greenbelt in this region," said Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac. "As long-time stewards of environmental preservation, Halton Region embraces the province's initiative to protect greenspace," said Chair of Halton Region, Joyce Savoline. "This investment supports Halton's practice of maintaining our natural environment and will ensure the legacy remains intact for generations in the future." Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- PROTECTING MORE PARKLANDS IN SOUTHERN ONTARIO The Oakville Land Assembly -------------------------- The Oakville Land Assembly (OLA) is an area of 1,115 acres of provincially owned land bounded by Highway 407 to the north, Dundas Street to the south, Sixteen Mile Creek to the east and Bronte Road to the west. The province bought the OLA in the late 1970s and early 1980s but no longer requires all of the lands for delivery of government services or programs. Today's announcement protects 750 acres of these lands as public open spaces. Of the remaining OLA lands, 50 acres have been designated for a potential future hospital site in discussion with the Town of Oakville, 38 acres have been set aside for a potential rapid transit system along Highway 407, and 277 acres will be made available for sale. Sixteen Mile Creek North Lands ------------------------------ In addition to the lands from the OLA, the province is protecting a further 368 acres of provincially owned valley lands and environmentally significant lands along the Sixteen Mile Creek system, primarily north of Highway 407. These lands are part of the Sixteen Mile Creek Life Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI). Bronte Creek Provincial Park Extension Lands -------------------------------------------- The province is also expanding Bronte Creek Provincial Park by about 168 acres of provincially owned lands in the City of Burlington. These include 75 acres that the Ministry of Natural Resources has identified as an ANSI and another 70 acres that have been designated as an Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) by the City of Burlington. These lands are a critical link in connecting the park to the Niagara Escarpment. Disponible en fran├žais www.mnr.gov.on.caFor further information: Contacts: Media calls only, Ginette Albert, Minister's Office, (416) 314-2212; Steve Payne, Ministry of Natural Resources, (416) 314-2103; Tom Farrell, Ministry of Natural Resources, (905) 713-7367