Press Release: Environmentalists say Stop Grinding Up Greenbelt for GTA Gravel

Toronto: Today, the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) released Dig Conservation, Not Holes: A Report on the GTA’s Thirst for Gravel and How to Quench it. The report shows the link between gravel demand in the GTA and destruction of the surrounding rural lands.

The report contains two eye-opening images showing the amount of land needed to meet the GTA’s projected gravel needs over the next 25 years.

“The Greater Toronto Area is on track to use 1.5 billion tonnes of gravel over the next 25 years to rebuild our roads, buildings and sidewalks says,” Jamie Kirkpatrick, a campaigner with TEA. “Unless we change the path we’re on, we will destroy precious land on the Niagara Escarpment and other parts of the Greenbelt.”

“This report is a wake up call to everyone in the GTA,” says Sarah Harmer, co-founder of Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL). “If we want to preserve our ecologically significant rural land, and our source water areas, GTA governments must start reducing their demand for virgin Greenbelt gravel.”

The report calls on GTA municipalities to immediately begin reducing virgin gravel demand by requiring the use of recycled gravel. The report also calls on municipalities to adopt policies that reduce the overall need for gravel.

GTA municipal leaders lauded the report.

"I think the recommendations in this report should be considered and adopted by every municipality in the GTA as soon as possible," said Councillor Erin Shapero from the Town of Markham.

"All our efforts to create a sustainable society will fail if we do not shift to sustainable treatment of aggregates through reduction and re-use and recycling," said Mayor Rob Burton of the Town of Oakville.

The report is available at


For more information, contact:
Jamie Kirkpatrick, Campaigner, Cell: 416-895-3406
Franz Hartmann, Executive Director, Cell: 416-606-8881.