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Greenway

Please urge the government to take an ambitious approach to Greenbelt expansion that will enhance the resiliency of ecological, hydrological and local food systems.

© Peter Pomykacz

About

Our Greenway vision for southern and eastern Ontario is simple: a connected landscape made livable through the protection, restoration and enhancement of its biodiversity and natural features.

To achieve this, we’re working with Indigenous communities, farmers, conservation organizations, communities, businesses, land-use planners and governments to:

Niagara Region Farm © Tim Hagen

Grow the Greenbelt

Good news – After years of Ontario Nature and our partners calling for Greenbelt expansion, it looks like it may finally happen. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has pledged to grow the Greenbelt. So far, the Ministry is considering adding the Paris Galt Moraine and public lands within urban river valleys. While these suggestions are welcome, a much more ambitious approach is needed to protect precious farmland, groundwater and natural areas across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) and build the region’s resilience to climate change.

Please urge the government to take a more ambitious approach to Greenbelt expansion that will protect and enhance the resiliency of ecological, hydrological and local food systems.

© Peter Pomykacz

Benefits

  • Healthier wildlife populations and habitats
  • Cleaner water and healthier water systems
  • Greater ability to respond to drought, flooding, extreme weather events and other anticipated impacts of climate change
  • Improved human health
  • Enhanced recreational opportunities
© Keith Levit

What We Are Doing

ALUS Canada – Working with farmers to maintain a healthy environment

Conservation Offsetting –  Compensating for the negative impacts of development on biodiversity

Natural heritage systems planning – Advocating for a stronger, more connected landscape

Voluntary certification of pits and quarries – Balancing aggregate extraction with the need to enhance ecological integrity

Oak Ridges Moraine © Isabel Veldhuis

Why it Matters

Towns, cities, farms, roads, dams, quarries and other forms of development dominate the landscape of southern Ontario. Such intensive development has come at a cost to human and ecosystem health.

The fertile soils, temperate climate and abundant freshwater that define this corner of the province offer vital habitat for many of Canada’s most rare and vulnerable plants and animals.

The area has been home to Indigenous peoples for thousands of years and now hosts 92 percent of Ontario’s population.

Nature’s benefits are valued at more than $84 billion per year in southern and eastern Ontario. Benefits include water filtration, pollination, soil formation, erosion control and carbon storage.

Halton © Margonaut

Thanks to the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation for their support of this program. You can also visit the Greenbeltfresh food website.Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation logo