Ontario’s Greenbelt will be six years old today.
Encompassing 1.8 million acres of working countryside, Ontario’s Greenbelt, arcing around the Greater Golden Horseshoe and also extending to the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, is the world’s largest greenbelt. Boasting some of the best agricultural land in Canada, valuable natural resources and significant environmental features, the Greenbelt is also home to vibrant rural communities engaged in diverse economic activities.
Oak Ridges-Markham has greatly benefited from the establishment of Ontario’s Greenbelt. Included in the Greenbelt is the Oak Ridges Moraine, 190,000 acres of environmentally sensitive lands, a 12,000 year old remnant of the last ice age, it is the source of 65 major streams and rivers. On the Northern edge of the Oak Ridges-Moraine lies the Holland Marsh, 22,000 acres of wetland and agricultural lands, home to some of the finest farming lands in Ontario. Rouge Park includes many of the best examples of forests, meadows, ponds and wetlands in the highly populated area near Canada's largest city.
Many citizens, municipalities and community groups have been enthusiastic proponents for expanding the Greenbelt in their communities. These supporters recognize the Greenbelt’s benefits as a source of healthy local food, recreational and tourism opportunities, and the protection it affords to our watersheds, streams and rivers.
The provincial government welcomes requests from municipalities interested in growing the Greenbelt in their jurisdictions.
The Greenbelt is a key part of the government’s plan to manage growth, build a sustainable green economy and protect the environment, which will help build prosperous and more livable communities.
"Within Oak Ridges-Markham lies the Oak Ridges Moraine, The Holland Marsh and the Rouge Park, some of the finest protected green spaces in Ontario."
— Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges-Markham
"The Greenbelt is preserving a healthy working countryside that contributes to a higher quality of life for both residents and visitors. The Greenbelt is great news for our food security, our environment, our health and our tourism industry."
— Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
"The Greenbelt is working. It has unwavering public support and is internationally recognized as a model for the world."
— Burkhard Mausberg, President, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Read the Growing the Greenbelt criteria for municipal requests to grow the Greenbelt.
Download Greenbelt Maps.
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