Greenbelt 101

Top Five Facts The Development Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know About Housing In The Greater Golden Horseshoe

Many in the development industry are perpetuating myths to justify their requests to take thousands of acres of prime farmland land and sensitive natural areas out of the Greenbelt and weaken Ontario’s Growth Plan.

Find out the top five facts about housing in the Greater Golden Horseshoe that some developers are trying to hide and the evidence that backs up these facts.

Download the PDF here.

Requests by developers and municipalities to remove land from the Greenbelt.

Developers and municipalities have made over 650 requests to take land out of the Greenbelt for development, even though they have access to over 100,000 hectares of land outside the Greenbelt that is ready to develop.

This map shows 200 of those requests. For more information and to take action visit

Download the JPG image of the map here.


The Greater Golden Horseshoe area is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in North America. By the year 2031, the population of this region is expected to grow to 11.7 million people. Urban development in recent decades in our region has been characterized by low-density, automobile-dependent construction on the far edges of city centres.


The Greenbelt is, in many ways, also a water belt. It protects the headwaters, valleys and tributaries of numerous streams and rivers and contains important groundwater reserves, particularly in the Oak Ridges Moraine. Developments and quarries can deplete or contaminate groundwater supplies. Protecting these water sources is one of the most important roles performed by the Greenbelt.


Nature shouldn’t be a distant place or even a long drive. The Ontario Greenbelt protects forests, wetlands and lakes and streams so that we can enjoy places to hike, picnic, swim and more. These places help us get away from the and bustle and provide places close to home where we can explore the wonderful natural heritage of Ontario.


Southern Ontario has lost much of its agricultural land, mostly due to urban sprawl. Over 2,000 farms and 150,000 acres (61,000 ha) of farmland in the GTA alone were lost to production in the two decades between 1976 and 1996. The Greenbelt protects our agricultural land base, essential to farming while sustaining a local food economy and ensuring Ontarians’ have access to fresh, local food.

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