MMA Announces 2018 Consultation on Greenbelt Expansion


Ontario Consulting on Greenbelt Expansion

Province Seeking Public Input to Protect Important Water Resources

December 7, 2017 10:15 A.M.

Ontario is taking action to protect important water resources in the Greater Golden Horseshoe by launching a public consultation on expanding the province's Greenbelt.

The province is considering expanding the Greenbelt to include areas in the outer ring of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, an area that is experiencing significant growth and is under pressure from urban development.

The public, municipalities, conservation authorities, stakeholders, and Indigenous communities and organizations are invited to provide input on a study area for potential Greenbelt expansion. The consultation comprises seven areas most in need of protection, including moraines, cold water streams and wetlands located in the outer ring of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This area also includes valuable water resources that communities rely on for their water supply.

Comments may be submitted online, through the Environmental Registry or at an open house in January-February 2018. 

Protecting water resources by growing the Greenbelt is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.


" Our lakes, rivers and wetlands are essential to the high quality of life enjoyed by people living in the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s outer ring – today and in the future. We all have an important role to play in preserving these vital water resources. I look forward to hearing your views on the proposed protected areas."
- Bill Mauro
Minister of Municipal Affairs

" Water is critical to the health and prosperity of the Greater Golden Horseshoe and is under increasing pressure from growth. We are very pleased the government is taking this important step to grow the Greenbelt in order to protect the water systems we all depend on. Ontario’s Greenbelt is the solution for fresh air, clean water, healthy local food, active outdoor recreation and a thriving economy."
- Edward McDonnell
CEO, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation

" I commend the government for taking action to protect these important water systems that are facing increasing stress from urban expansion. I look forward to permanent protection for these critical ecological and hydrological areas so we may continue to enjoy the many important services they provide."
- David Crombie
Chair of Advisory Panel for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review, and former federal cabinet minister and Toronto mayor


  • The hydrological systems under consideration provide high-quality drinking water, manage wastewater and stormwater, sustain plants and animals, and support climate change mitigation including reducing flood risks. They also provide a competitive advantage for industries, such as agriculture and the agri-food sectors.
  • The recent review of four land use plans for the Greater Golden Horseshoe highlighted the importance of protecting water resources in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
  • The Advisory Panel for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review recommended that the province lead a process to grow Ontario’s Greenbelt to protect areas of ecological and hydrological significance where urbanization should not occur.
  • Ontario’s Greenbelt permanently protects roughly 810,000 hectares of green space, farmland, vibrant communities, forests, wetlands and watersheds.
  • Approximately 10,000 hectares were added to the Greenbelt in 2017, including 21 new urban river valleys and associated coastal wetland areas that connect to Lake Ontario.
  • The Greater Golden Horseshoe is one of the fastest growing regions in North America, with a population projected to reach about 13.5 million by 2041.

Learn more


Potential Greenbelt Expansion Consultation

Below is an announcement regarding a potential Greenbelt expansion.
We will keep you up to date with consultation open house dates, times etc. as information becomes available.


The Ministry of Municipal Affairs is undertaking a consultation on a study area for potential Greenbelt expansion to protect important water resources in the outer ring of the Greater Golden Horseshoe.  The study area is based on the locations with high concentrations of water resources that are under pressure from urban development.


The purpose 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.

As part of the consultation, the province would also like to invite you to attend a public open house.  The province will be holding the public open houses in several locations across the study area to get input from the public, municipalities, conservation authorities, Indigenous communities and organizations, and stakeholders.


For more information about the consultation, please visit where you will find: 

  • A consultation document which describes this proposal in more detail and includes discussion questions related to each of these topics

  • Maps of the study area

  • Information about the upcoming public open houses. 

We will accept input and feedback about the study area and the parameters for potential Greenbelt expansion until March 7, 2018.  Input received through this consultation will help inform decisions on how to move from a study area to a proposed Greenbelt boundary.  


If you have any questions about the consultation or the upcoming public open houses, please contact us by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or calling 1-877-711-8208.


We hope you will take the time to review the consultation document and share your opinions and insights with us.  



Bill Mauro



Food & Water First - Action for 2018

Volunteer Handbook

As the first snow arrives and we settle in for another winter, it's a good time to prepare for what will be a busy and significant 2018. Ontarians will vote in a provincial election next June and Food & Water First will be asking candidates for their positions on the protection of prime farmland and water resources. Our future depends on their answers and their actions.

Food & Water First's Executive Director, Donna Baylis, offers these thoughts as 2017 ends and a challenging election year is about to begin.

Food & Water First was born of the Stop the Mega Quarry movement. The opponent was a 2,400 acre proposed quarry bigger than 1,800 Canadian football fields. The reasons to object were clear – we wanted to protect our food land and source water.

Today the fight to protect water continues with bulk water-bottling companies taking on the role of Goliath.

However, fighting to protect farmland is not as easy. The agricultural industry is in transition. People can see family farms changing – becoming industrialized – and there seems to be little difference between one ugly, toxic industry and another so it's hard to champion the farmland cause.

Yet, we need to eat and we want our children to be healthy so we can't abdicate our responsibility. Now more than ever we need to have our say.

But what do we say and when? How do we defend an industry that pollutes? Uses pesticides and herbicides? Distributes GMOs? There are often more questions than answers.

So Food & Water First has tried to answer those questions and give you food for thought. We hope to give you compelling reasons to champion farmland in the next provincial election.

Take a look at the "Volunteer Handbook". If your questions are addressed then let us know. If you have another point of view, then tell us. Or if you have another question do not hesitate to ask. Help us to prepare our talking points for a Volunteer Action in 2018!

Donna Baylis
Executive Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Updated Land Use Plans Are Official

It is Official.

ontariologoOntario has released four updated land use plans to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan are the latest step in the government's reform of Ontario's land use planning system.

In a media presentation held on May 18, Municipal Affairs Minister, Bill Mauro announced the release of the Four Land Use Plans.

Quick Facts
 The Greater Golden Horseshoe is forecasted to grow by approximately 4 million 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.

 The updated plans are the result of almost two years of consultation and study.

 The updated plans build on the Provincial Policy Statement to establish a unique land-use planning framework for the GGH that supports complete communities, a thriving economy, a clean and healthy environment and social equity.

 Other reforms to the land use planning system include releasing an updated 2014 Provincial Policy Statement, reforming the Planning Act and Development Charges Act through the Smart Growth for Our Communities Act and proposed reforms to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Background Information.


You may have some questions such as:

What do these land use plans do?

When will the updated plans take effect?

Won't the updated plans place a greater burdern on municipalities?

Without the OMB how do you expect to implement these plans?

Answers to these questions and more.


 (The information above are excerpts from public documents released by The Province of Ontario.) 



Proposed Changes to Land Use Appeal System

May 16, 2017

Ontario Announces New Proposed Changes to the Land Use Planning and Appeal System