Ontario proposes to cut Greenbelt land for homes, add land elsewhere

TORONTO — Ontario is proposing to remove land from the Greenbelt, an area created to protect environmentally sensitive lands from development, in order to build at least 50,000 new homes, while adding new land to it elsewhere.

Last year, Housing Minister Steve Clark said the government "will not in any way entertain any proposals that will move lands in the Greenbelt, or open the Greenbelt lands to any kind of development.''

Today, Clark is announcing a 30-day consultation on removing about 7,400 acres from the Greenbelt over 15 different areas and if that proceeds, landowners will be expected to develop housing plans quickly.

The aim is to build at least 50,000 homes on those lands in service of the government's target of building 1.5 million homes in 10 years.

Clark says he is also proposing to add 9,400 acres to the Greenbelt elsewhere, so when factoring in the land that would be removed, the Greenbelt would grow in size by 2,000 acres.

Ontario created the Greenbelt in 2005 to protect agricultural and environmentally sensitive lands in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area from development.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press