Are We Getting Any Closer to Greenbelting Toronto’s Ravines?

Toronto residents are still waiting to see if the Don and Humber River valleys will be designated as part of the Greenbelt. 

The Greenbelt review is part of the larger Coordinated Land Use Planning Review process. It began with town hall meetings held in the Spring of 2015 across the GTA by a special Panel set up by the province and chaired by David Crombie. In the Fall of 2015, the Crombie Panel made recommendations on how to change the Greenbelt Plan and Act in a report submitted to the Province.

One of the key recommendations from the Crombie Panel called for the Province to take the lead in designating the urban river valley lands that are in Toronto and other municipalities that have headwaters in the Greenbelt.

Province responds to letter writing campaign

Shortly after the report was released, TEA launched our letter writing campaign to the Premier and the Minister responsible for the review. The letter urged them to grow the Greenbelt into Toronto’s ravines as part of a Provincial review of the Greenbelt.

A couple of weeks ago, people who sent a letter to the Premier and Minister received email responses that included the following statement:

"At this time, no decisions have been made regarding changes to the Greenbelt Plan or the Greenbelt geographic boundary. Our initial view is that beyond growing the Greenbelt, there is little need to change its current boundaries."

You may have gotten an email with this letter attached

The good news is that the Province's response suggests Greenbelt boundaries might change as a result of growing the Greenbelt. Since the Crombie Panel explicitly called on growing the Greenbelt into urban river valleys, one could interpret this to mean the Province will be supporting growing the Greenbelt into urban river valleys.

But Torontonians will have to wait until the Province publicly releases its proposed changes which, according to Queen’s Park watchers, should be some time in April. Once the proposed changes are released, the public will have another opportunity to comment.

TEA will be ready with tools that make it easy for Torontonians to comment and to make it clear we support government action to grow the Greenbelt into Toronto. Stay tuned for how you can help.