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



Concern about Food Supply a Global Issue

Our food system has served us well until now but land use pressures and climate change will make it harder in future.

Cyclone Debbie, which lashed the Queensland coast a week ago, has hit farmers hard in the area around Bowen – a crucial supplier of vegetables to Sydney, Melbourne and much of eastern Australia.

With the Queensland Farmers’ Federation estimating the damage at more than $100m and winter crop losses at 20%, the event looks set to affect the cost and availability of fresh food for millions of Australians. Growers are reportedly forecasting a price spike in May, when the damaged crops were scheduled to have arrived on shelves.



Fresh food for growing cities

Australia’s cities are growing rapidly, along with those of many other countries. The United Nations has predicted that, by 2050, 87% of the world’s population will live in cities. This urban expansion is putting ever more pressure on peri-urban food bowls.

Food production is also under pressure from climate change, raising the risk of future food shocks and price spikes after disasters such as cyclones. Meanwhile, the desire for semi-rural lifestyles is also conflicting with the use of land for farming (see Sydney’s Food Futures and Foodprint Melbourne for more).

These pressures mean that Australia’s cities need to make their food systems more resilient, so that they can withstand food shocks more easily and recover more quickly.

Read full story.


Who should own Canadian farmland? And how can we best protect it?

On February 9, 2017, Bonnefield (who purchased proposed mega-quarry land from The Highland Companies) appeared before the Standing Senate Committee on Agriculture & Forestry.  The Committee is undertaking a "Study on the acquisition of farmland in Canada and its potential impact on the farming sector"

Exerpts of the presentation:

So our prime reason for meeting with you today is to ask this Committee to advocate for responsible, evidence-based regulations that protect our farmland, while ensuring that farmers have ample access to the capital they need to operate their businesses profitably – including institutional capital.

I would now like to turn to five key points we would like the Senate Committee to consider in its ongoing study.

POINT 1: Farmers, not investors, determine the price of farmland in Canada.

POINT 2: Recent increases in Farmland prices across Canada have, with very few exceptions, been driven by increases in farm profits and are in line with increased profit levels.

POINT 3: Farming is a capital-intensive business, and Canadian farmers need access to a broad range of capital sources – including institutional investors - to finance their businesses and to remain internationally competitive.

POINT 4: The biggest threat to Canadian farmland is not who owns it. The biggest threats are urbanization and re-zoning and the conversion of farmland for real estate development, quarries and industrial uses.

POINT 5: Foreign ownership of farmland is not a widespread problem in Canada

My bigger concern is not who owns Canadian farmland, but who farms Canadian farmland.  We believe that Canadian farmers should farm Canadian farmland. 

Read full details.

Greenbelt Boundary - Proposed Minor Changes

Proposed Minor Changes to Greenbelt Boundary 


To Co-ordinated Review stakeholders from Minister Mauro

I am writing to let you know that today the government opened a public consultation on proposed minor changes to the Greenbelt's boundary, as set out in O. Reg. 59/05 and the Greenbelt Plan and is interested in hearing input on this proposal.

The proposed boundary changes are shown on these maps.

The proposed changes are based on a review of requests for boundary changes submitted since the creation of the Greenbelt, including during the almost-two-year consultation period for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review, and a review of related technical information, as well as further information provided by municipalities, conservation authorities and land owners.

The government received over 700 site-specific requests related to the Greenbelt Plans. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs reviewed those requests that fall within the Greenbelt Plan Area and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan Area.

In undertaking this review, the government was guided by a number of overarching considerations, including:

  • avoiding boundary changes that would fragment farmland, including prime agricultural lands
  • maintaining a robust Natural Heritage System that can be supported despite urbanization occurring in proximity and downstream to the Greenbelt
  • respecting the functional connections in the Natural Heritage System
  • valuing the overall objectives of the Greenbelt as a landscape
  • avoiding a minimalist approach to defining the Natural Heritage System and
  • being responsive to landowner requests to evaluate site-specific situations.

Requests related to the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area were not considered as part of this exercise because those requests are subject to a separate review process led by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

The consultation runs from January 11 to February 27, 2017. Any boundary changes are expected to be finalized early this year as part of the completion of the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review.

Comments can be submitted at Ontario.ca/greenbelt or through the Environmental Registry. If you have any questions regarding the consultation or any of the proposed boundary changes, you can contact the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Greenbelt Site Specific Review at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you for your continued interest and engagement in the Greenbelt Plan.