Ontario is taking action to protect important water resources in the Greater Golden Horseshoe by launching a public consultation on expanding the province’s Greenbelt.
The province is considering expanding the Greenbelt to include areas in the outer ring of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, an area that is experiencing significant growth and is under pressure from urban development.
“The waters in our area are critical for our health and our prosperity. We need to seriously consider how we can potentially further protect these key ecological and hydrological areas.I encourage everyone to participate in this important discussion, either in person at one of the local public open house meetings, or online,” said Kathryn McGarry, MPP Cambridge.
Public meetings are planned in Brantford, Guelph and Kitchener.
The public, municipalities, conservation authorities, stakeholders and Indigenous communities and organizations are invited to provide input on a study area for potential Greenbelt expansion. The consultation comprises seven areas most in need of protection, including moraines, cold water streams and wetlands located in the outer ring of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This area includes valuable water resources in Waterloo Region, Brant and Wellington counties.
The Waterloo Moraine, which is a formation of sand and gravel—in some locations capped by silt and clay—that was deposited by receding glaciers after the last ice age. The sand and gravel filters rainwater and groundwater that seeps into aquifers (underground water reservoirs).
Click here for background information
Aquifers below the Waterloo moraine are important for municipal water supplies and are essential water sources for the area’s coldwater streams. The southern portion of the moraine also supplies water to the Nith and Grand rivers and to Whiteman’s Creek.
The Paris and Galt moraines act as one feature and extend from Guelph to Cambridge and Brant County. These moraines supply water to the Grand River.
Comments may be submitted online, through the Environmental Registry or at an open house in January-February 2018. The dates and locations for the open houses will also be posted at Ontario.ca/Greenbelt. The deadline for submitting your feedback is March 7, 2018.
“Our lakes, rivers and wetlands are essential to the high quality of life enjoyed by people living in the Greater Golden Horseshoe’s outer ring — today and in the future. We all have an important role to play in preserving these vital water resources. I look forward to hearing your views on the proposed protected areas,” said Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs.
PUBLIC OPEN HOUSES WATERLOO-WELLINGTON-BRANT
Kitchener -- Thursday, February 22, 2018 | 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Tannery Event Centre, 151 Charles Street West, Suite 100
Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6
Guelph -- Tuesday, February 6, 2018 | 5:30pm to 8:00pm
Italian Canadian Club of Guelph, 135 Ferguson Street
Guelph, ON N1E 2Y7
Brantford -- Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 6:00pm to 8:30pm
Branlyn Community Centre, 238 Brantwood Park Rd
Brantford, ON N3P 1N9
- The hydrological systems under consideration provide high-quality drinking water, manage wastewater and stormwater, sustain plants and animals, and support climate change mitigation including reducing flood risks. They also provide a competitive advantage for industries, such as agriculture and the agri-food sectors.
- The recent review of four land use plans for the Greater Golden Horseshoe highlighted the importance of protecting water resources in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
- The Advisory Panel for the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review recommended that the province lead a process to grow Ontario’s Greenbelt to protect areas of ecological and hydrological significance where urbanization should not occur.
- Ontario’s Greenbelt permanently protects roughly 810,000 hectares of green space, farmland, vibrant communities, forests, wetlands and watersheds.
- Approximately 10,000 hectares were added to the Greenbelt in 2017, including 21 new urban river valleys and associated coastal wetland areas that connect to Lake Ontario.
- The Greater Golden Horseshoe is one of the fastest growing regions in North America, with a population projected to reach about 13.5 million by 2041.
About the consultation
Protecting Water for Future Generations consultation document
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