Statement by Environmental Defence’s Susan Swail on Toronto passing a historic motion to expand the Greenbelt; Don, Humber and Etobicoke Creek watersheds to be further protected

Toronto, ON – We applaud the City of Toronto for passing a historic motion to move forward with protecting the city’s urban river valleys as part of Ontario’s Greenbelt. This means the Don and Humber rivers and Etobicoke Creek will finally join the Rouge Watershed as protected areas under the Greenbelt Act.

The motion, which was passed on Friday, shows members of council see the value of adding public lands into the Greenbelt’s protective fold and connecting Toronto’s important rivers and valleys systems to the Greenbelt’s natural heritage system. Soon, millions of Torontonians will be directly connected to Ontario’s Greenbelt. We recognize the leadership of Councillors Glenn De Baeremaeker, Gord Perks, Josh Colle and former councillor Peter Milczyn (now MPP for Etobicoke—Lakeshore) in this achievement.

It’s great to see local efforts to grow the Greenbelt. Since 2010, Toronto has been looking to grow the Greenbelt. That goal is now becoming a reality, thanks to Ontario’s new urban river valley designation designed for municipalities. Other municipalities moving to further protect urban river valleys include Oakville, which is looking to add Fourteen Mile Creek to the Greenbelt, and Mississauga, which is moving forward with adding the Credit River and Etobicoke Creek to Ontario’s Greenbelt.

Ontario’s Greenbelt is 1.8 million acres of prime farmland and important natural heritage systems that protect species, habitat and local food production. The Greenbelt also protects the drinking water of millions of Ontarians by protecting the sources of our watersheds, and the valley and river systems as the water travels to Lake Ontario.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is Canada's most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 258416-570-2878 (cell)