FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 18, 2017
TORONTO: This morning the Province officially added lands in Toronto’s ravines to Ontario’s world-famous Greenbelt successfully ending an 8-year campaign by the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) to grow the Greenbelt into Toronto’s ravines.
“Adding these lands to the Greenbelt makes this a good day for Toronto and for the millions of Ontarians who care about the future of the Greenbelt,” said Dr. Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of TEA. “Growing the Greenbelt into ravine lands in Toronto and across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) is an important step towards ensuring the Greenbelt, home to vital green infrastructure, is properly protected.”
The updated Greenbelt boundaries now include Etobicoke Creek, the Humber River, the Don River and the lands beside these rivers, along with 18 other rivers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. As a result, the headwaters of rivers in the Greenbelt are now connected to Lake Ontario, an important step towards ensuring these vital watersheds are properly protected. Greenbelt designation of these urban river valleys ensures the same level protection for the rivers, regardless of which municipality they flow through.
Today’s provincial announcement also included other changes to the Greenbelt Plan and to the Growth Plan, another important environmental and planning law in Ontario.
“The Province has promised to expand the Greenbelt into other important agricultural and natural areas that need protection from expensive and destructive urban sprawl,” said Hartmann. “And the Province wants to curb urban sprawl and ensure more affordable and livable communities are built throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe. But promises and actions aren’t the same. Until these promises are actually kept, we will keep pushing.”
TEA had been calling on the Province to add ravine lands along the Don River, Humber River and Etobicoke Creek to the Greenbelt since 2009. TEA has also worked closely with the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance (OGA) to ensure the Greenbelt remains protected and grows. Along with the OGA, TEA has called on the Province to curb destructive and expensive urban sprawl and replace it with affordable, sustainable complete communities.
For more information, contact: Franz Hartmann 416-606-8881
About the Toronto Environmental Alliance: TEA has been advocating for “a greener city for all” since 1988. TEA has a long history of success working with communities, businesses and labour groups to create better environmental laws at City Hall and the Province.