At nearly 2 million acres, Ontario’s Greenbelt is the largest in the world. A decade ago, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE played a key role in establishing Ontario’s Greenbelt, which protects rivers, streams, farmland, and environmentally sensitive areas from urban sprawl. The Greenbelt also safeguards millions of Ontarians’ drinking water by protecting the sources of rivers and streams that wind into Lake Ontario.

Today, we work with communities that want to preserve their green space and help grow the Greenbelt. Our report, Good Things are Growing in Ontario: Expanding Ontario’s Greenbelt Through Urban River Valleys, explained how municipalities could further protect their urban river valleys by adding them into the Greenbelt’s protective fold. This year, we worked with Oakville, Mississauga and Toronto who took steps towards making this a reality for the Don River, Humber River and Etobicoke Creek in Toronto; the Fourteen Mile Creek and the Credit River in Oakville; and Etobicoke Creek in Mississauga.

We also raised awareness about the continued risks of urban sprawl. Our report, The High Costs of Sprawl: Why Building More Sustainable Communities Will Save Us Time and Money, outlined how urban sprawl damages our quality of life, personal finances and health. And it discussed how greener development standards and public transit can result in more sustainable, efficient and integrated communities.

Next Steps:
We’ll continue to work with citizens who want to add their urban river valleys, farms or natural areas to the Greenbelt’s protective fold. We’ll highlight the areas that are threatened by proposed development and highways and we’ll work to show how these threats can be addressed and, we’ll provide more ways for Ontarians to show their support for the Greenbelt.

Back to the 2014 Annual Report