Ontario Proposing To Grow the Greenbelt
Province Suggesting Changes to Adopt Recommendations of Crombie Panel
Ontario is proposing changes to four provincial plans that shape how land is used in the Greater Golden Horseshoe -- Canada's fastest-growing urban region, the province's economic engine and the home of the Greenbelt.
Ontario is responding to input from the public and addressing the recommendations of the report "Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015- 2041" from the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review advisory panel, chaired by former mayor of Toronto David Crombie.
The proposed changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan would:
- Protect clean water by adding the lands within 21 major urban river valleys to the Greenbelt, along with seven coastal wetlands, and establish a process for further expanding the Greenbelt to protect key water features
- Require zoning along transit corridors to provide adequate density to support transit
- Establish Greenbelt-level protections for natural heritage systems - such as wetlands, woodlands and rivers - beyond the Greenbelt, with the provincial government taking a lead in mapping those areas
- Support agricultural viability and preserve farmland by setting strict requirements for the expansion of urban areas and allowing more flexibility for agricultural use in the Greenbelt
- Require municipalities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe to integrate climate change policies into municipal official plans and to conduct climate change vulnerability risk assessments when they are planning or replacing infrastructure.
Stakeholders and the public now have a chance to comment on the proposed changes.
Building complete communities and protecting the Greenbelt is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- The Greater Golden Horseshoe is forecasted to grow by around 4 million more people over the next 25 years and will be home to more than 13.5 million people, working in 6.3 million jobs by 2041.
- Open houses will be held in May and June of 2016 to gather public feedback on the amendments.
“The changes we are proposing would promote compact, vibrant communities that support jobs and public transit, and reward us with an expanded Greenbelt. Together, these would be major steps in boosting our economy, furthering smart, sustainable living, protecting our environment and addressing climate change.”
“People want to live in well-planned areas that meet their needs in a thoughtful way. I thank all who have taken part in this review for helping to shape the balanced changes we are now proposing and I look forward to hearing your views on the proposed changes to the plans.”
“I am happy to see the province has embraced the advisory panel’s recommendations to co-ordinate land use planning with transit planning and infrastructure investments. The pace and growth of the Greater Golden Horseshoe could be sustained for decades to come with the adoption of the proposed land use plans.”
“The proposed changes would support our already unprecedented transit investments, would better connect people with jobs and would increase their options for getting around the region.”
“The enhanced planning and protection of employment areas across Ontario is an important part of protecting and strengthening the economic prosperity of local communities. These significant changes will support the conditions investors and businesses need to create jobs and facilitate economic growth in communities that need it most.”
“The proposed changes will foster the development of complete and liveable communities across Ontario where people can live, work and play wherever they call home. In Mississauga, it will also help protect our Credit River and precious waterfront so that families are able to enjoy our enhanced natural habitat for generations to come.”