May 10, 2016
By Michael Kramer
Ontario is proposing to expand the Greenbelt – which is presently in the area of 800,000 hectares of protected land – bordering the Greater Golden Horseshoe area that surrounds Lake Ontario.
The proposed changes come after a review by former Toronto mayor David Crombie – a decade after the Greenbelt was established.
Four parcels of land identified by Hamilton and Niagara Region would be given “protected countryside” designation – and 21 major river valleys – and seven associated coastal wetlands – would be designated “urban river valley.”
Ontario is also looking at the “possible expansion of the Greenbelt outside of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, where important water resources are under pressure from urban growth.”
The new plan also proposes to increase density targets for communities – and require zoning along transit corridors – to have enough density to support that transit.
There’s also a proposal to establish Greenbelt-level protections for wetlands, woodlands and rivers – beyond the Greenbelt.