The Province sought preliminary feedback on approaches to growing the Greenbelt during the initial round of consultation on the Coordinated Review in 2015 (EBR Registry Number 012-3256). Input received from the public, municipalities, stakeholders, Indigenous communities and an expert Advisory Panel established to review the four plans helped shape specific changes, which the province consulted on as part of two separate EBR postings.
There were 310 submissions received with comments on the proposal notice for the Proposed Amendment to the Greenbelt Area Boundary Regulation and Proposed Amendments to the Greenbelt Plan – Greenbelt Area Mapping either submitted through the Environmental Registry or referencing the Environmental Registry Proposal Notice.
EBR Registry Number 012-7198
As part of Phase 2 of the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review, the Province consulted on proposed changes to the Greenbelt Area boundary regulation for 174 days from May 10 to October 31, 2016. As a result of public consultation on Phase 2 of the Coordinated Review, including proposed changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Province received a total of 23,393 comments (2,430 individual submissions were received and another 20,963 comments were received as part of letter-writing campaigns), including those that were submitted through the EBR Registry or that referenced the EBR regulation notice.
EBR Registry Number 012-9247
Public consultation on the proposal for additional minor Greenbelt boundary changes was posted for 47 days, from January 11, 2017 to February 27, 2017. As a result of the public consultation on this proposal, the ministry received 300 submissions from landowners, municipalities, ENGOs, and industry groups. This included 100 submissions received electronically through a letter-writing campaign.
All comments that were submitted relating to the Greenbelt Area boundary consultation process have been reviewed and considered in the final changes listed in this posting.
The original proposals would have removed approximately 300 ha, but with the changes outlined below, this number has been reduced to approximately 150 ha.
Summary of Comments Received
During initial consultation (Phase 1) of the Coordinated Review, the Province received general comments on approaches to growing the Greenbelt:
- General support for growing the Greenbelt through urban river valleys, including strong support from the environmental community.
- Significant numbers of landowners called for removal of lands from the Greenbelt and some requested land exchanges.
- The Advisory Panel’s recommendations included a process to designate urban river valleys, including connections to lakeshore wetlands, under the Greenbelt Plan.
EBR Registry Number 012-7198
The following feedback was received during consultation as part of Phase 2 of the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review, in response to specific proposed changes to the Greenbelt Area boundary regulation (EBR Number: 012-7198):
- The Province heard broad public support for the proposed urban river valley additions, including strong support from the environmental community.
- Municipalities expressed general support for adding publicly owned lands in urban river valleys to the Greenbelt, and some municipalities and environmental groups identified additional urban river valleys for inclusion in the Greenbelt.
- Municipalities expressed support for proposed Protected Countryside parcel additions in their jurisdictions. The City of Thorold requested adjustments to mapping of the Lake Gibson parcel to better reflect current land uses and to match the urban area boundary.
- Some landowners expressed opposition to the Book Road parcel addition in the City of Hamilton.
Final changes to the Greenbelt boundary include the 21 new urban river valleys and associated coastal wetland areas as proposed. These lands within the main corridors of river valleys connect the rest of the Greenbelt to the Great Lakes and inland lakes and will help expand and integrate the Greenbelt and its systems into the broader Southern Ontario landscape.
Final changes also include the following amendments, based on feedback received through consultation:
- The Lake Gibson Protected Countryside parcel boundary has been adjusted to reflect municipal mapping.
- The changes outlined in EBR Registry Number 012-7198 included the removal of land in the City of Vaughan, to the south-west of Teston Road and Pine Valley Drive (139 ha), from the Greenbelt. As a result of further information obtained through subsequent consultation (EBR Registry Number 012-9247), the Province has decided not to proceed with this removal.
EBR Registry Number 012-9247
The Province received mixed feedback in response to the early-2017 consultation on additional minor boundary changes:
- Most municipalities did not express concern with the proposed changes in their jurisdiction, but there was some opposition from municipalities where the proposed boundary changes did not include a boundary change they had requested.
- Where the proposed boundary changes did not include a boundary change requested by a landowner, or the exact change they requested, some landowners asked for reconsideration of their requests.
- The general public and ENGOs, while somewhat supportive that only minor changes were proposed, preferred that any change to the Greenbelt Area result in its growth.
- The development sector and some landowners requested that the Province establish an additional process for reviewing boundary and designation requests.
Feedback on specific boundary changes led to three amendments to the changes as originally proposed. The effect of the amendments is a reduction in the total area to be removed from the Greenbelt Area, as outlined below:
- Amendment No 1: Land in the Town of East Gwillimbury to the southwest of Queensville Sideroad and 2nd Concession Road (part of 511 and 641 Queensville Sideroad East). This change will retain the property located at 511 Queensville Sideroad East in the Greenbelt (1.4 ha to be retained within the Greenbelt Area).
- Amendment No 2: Land in the City of Markham to the southeast of Major MacKenzie Drive East and Donald Cousens Parkway. This change will retain lands along the Little Rouge Creek watercourse that runs through the area that was proposed to be removed (2.7 ha to be retained within the Greenbelt Area).
- Amendment No 3: Land in the City of Pickering on the east side of the Rouge Park. This change will retain a portion of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority land in the northern part of the area that was proposed to be removed (6.6 ha to be retained within the Greenbelt Area).
Coordinated Plan Review
The Province recently completed the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review and released the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2017), Greenbelt Plan (2017), Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (2017) and Niagara Escarpment Plan (2017). A decision notice containing information about the outcomes of the Coordinated Review can be found on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs website at: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page15360.aspx
The Greenbelt Area boundary regulation, O. Reg. 59/05 as amended can be viewed at: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/050059
Mapping information on the amendments to the Greenbelt Area boundary regulation is available on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs website at: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page15295.aspx
The updated Greenbelt Plan (2017) and supporting materials related to land use planning can be found on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs website at: http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page13783.aspx
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs can be reached during regular business hours from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday to Friday, at (416) 325-7377, toll free at 1 (800) 665-1120 or by fax at (416) 325-7403.