Safeguarding the Greenbelt

Sprawl and Leapfrogging

The Greater Golden Horseshoe area is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in North America, home to 9 million people. By the year 2041, the population of this region is expected to grow to 13.5 million people!

To keep urban sprawl in check and to protect southern Ontario's fragile natural landscapes and agricultural land, the Ontario government has created a plan for growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario. While the Greenbelt is an essential part of this plan, threats still remain both inside and outside of the Greenbelt boundaries.

As members of the Greenbelt Alliance, we work to ensure that the integrity of Ontario's Greenbelt is not undermined by inappropriate development. We also keep a watchdog eye on development pressures happening in nearby communities outside borders of the Greenbelt, in order to advocate for a smarter, healthier and more sustainable region.

Highways, Generators and Unnecessary Infrastructure

Highways and power generators are both examples of infrastructure that can jeopardize the health of the Greenbelt, particularly when they are poorly planned. These projects are threatening the health of forests and wetlands in the Greenbelt and some of the province’s most productive agricultural land.

We work to encourage sustainable methods of transportation such as transit and rail. More highways won’t solve our transportation problems. Investing in public transit and improving rail systems is a more sustainable approach to tackling gridlock.


The Greenbelt Alliance understands that aggregates are important to our communities – we use them to build our homes, schools, hospitals, businesses and roads.

At the same time, the ongoing extraction of sand and gravel represents a truck-sized loophole in Greenbelt protection. The often massive open pits used to feed a steady stream of trucks carrying sand and gravel away from the Greenbelt and adjacent areas have a wide range of effects, including destroying wildlife habitat, consuming vast amounts of water, and releasing harmful air emissions. The Greenbelt Alliance continues to monitor aggregate operations that can threaten the integrity of the Greenbelt.