The 2017 Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe is a long-term plan that works with the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan to provide a framework for growth management in the region. 

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The Greenbelt was established in 2005 to protect green space, farmland, communities, forests, wetlands, and watersheds in Ontario's Greater Golden Horseshoe. The Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan, together with the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, are four provincial land use plans that protect the natural environment and determine where and how growth should be accommodated in the region. 


Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (2017)

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The Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan is an ecological based plan that provides land use and resource management direction for the 190,000 hectares of land and water within the Moraine.


Canada’s first, large-scale environmental land use plan. Implementation of this Plan helps to balance protection, conservation and sustainable development to ensure that the Escarpment will remain as a natural environment for future generations. 

Climate Change Action Plan (2016)


Ontario’s five year plan to fight climate change, reduce greenhouse gas pollution and transition to a low-carbon economy.

Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2015)


This report features recommendations on how to build more complete communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area - Canada's fastest-growing urban region, the province's economic engine and the home of the Greenbelt. It provides 87 recommendations about how to build communities in this fast-growing region with changing land use and housing needs, better access to services such as transportation, and better public spaces. 

The High Costs of Sprawl: A Report on Why Building More Sustainable Communities Will Save Us Time and Money

This report outlines many of the policies that provide the foundation to create sprawl. We unveil the hidden costs paid by governments, businesses and residents when new sprawl developments are built. It offers recommendations to governments, residents and the development industry for how to help protect the economic, environmental and social health of our region for now and for generations to come.


Priced Out: Understanding the factors affecting home prices in the GTA

Priced Out explores the factors contributing to rising home prices in the GTA, and how homebuyers are being “priced out” of location-efficient options.


Good Things Are Growing in Ontario: Expanding Ontario's Greenbelt Through Urban River Valleys

In this report, the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance recommends that the municipalities of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville, Markham, Guelph and Hamilton use the new designation as a further layer of protection for their urban river valleys. The Alliance looks to municipalities listed in the report to be the first to employ the new designation, and hopes that others will follow.


Inside and Out: Sustaining Ontario's Greenbelt

Developers, planners and environmentalists can all wave their "whitebelt" flag. A new study shows that the area between the Greenbelt and urban growth boundaries, nicknamed the "whitebelt", contains enough land to accommodate development for several generations. This study indicates that there is no evidence that the Greenbelt has caused so-called “leap frog” development, that is, growth of communities north and west of the Greenbelt to accommodate people who might have otherwise settled in communities along Lake Ontario. 

Carbon in the Bank: Ontario's Greenbelt and its role in mitigating climate change

This report studies natural capital and ecosystem services in Canada's major urban centres. It highlights the important role that the Ontario Greenbelt's forests, wetlands, and agricultural soils play in capturing and storing vast amounts of carbon. A principle goal of the report is to bring the importance of the Greenbelt as an instrument of climate change mitigation into relief by translating these essential ecosystem services into economic values. 

Ontario's Wealth, Canada's Future: Appreciating the value of the Greenbelt's eco-services

Ontario's Wealth, Canada's Future: Appreciating the Value of the Greenbelt's Eco-Services quantifies the value of the ecosystem services provided by Ontario's Greenbelt — such as water filtration, flood control, climate stabilization (i.e., carbon storage), waste treatment, wildlife habitat, and recreation. The findings show that the Greenbelt offers $2.7 billion worth of non-market ecological services to the province each year, an average value of $3,571 per hectare annually.

Planning Regional Food Systems: A Guide for Municipal Planning and Development in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

This report highlights practices that planners are currently implementing to benefit local food systems and to provide recommendations for what municipal planners could be doing better in areas of policy, land use planning and economic development. The Planning Guide was used for the basis of five workshops held with planners across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area.

Evaluating the Economic Benefit of Greenbelt Assets

Produced by Econometric Research Limited, this study identifies, quantifies and showcases the economic contributions of the Greenbelt on the provincial economy and local areas dependent on its resource base. It provides objective, meaningful and sound estimates of the economic contributions of the main economic activities in, or based on, the natural capital base of the Greenbelt.

Protecting Greenbelt Wetlands: How Effective is Policy?

This report presents the findings of a two-year study that investigated the extent to which new legislation, policy and stronger legal standards are serving to protect and restore wetlands in Ontario's Greenbelt.