TRCA Responds to Planned Development of 50,000 New Homes on Protected Greenbelt Land

November 8, 2022, Toronto, Ontario — On Friday, the provincial government announced a proposal to remove 15 areas of protected land totalling 7,400 acres from the edge of the Greenbelt to build 50,000 new homes. TRCA was not consulted prior to Friday’s announcement and this proposal is inconsistent with our prior guidance from the Province.

The irreplaceable value of the Greenbelt is well-established, for the vital ecosystem services it provides through the nature, water, and farmland it protects.

aerial view of a portion of the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve
An aerial view of a portion of the Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve. The Oak Ridges Moraine is a vital part of the Greenbelt.

Earlier this year, the province unveiled a Housing Affordability Task Force report introducing 55 recommendations to increase the supply of market housing in Ontario. The report noted the following regarding the Greenbelt in the context of “Making land available to build”:

“The Greater Toronto Area is bordered on one side by Lake Ontario and on the other by the protected Greenbelt. Similarly, the Ottawa River and another Greenbelt constrain land supply in Ottawa, the province’s second-largest city. But a shortage of land isn’t the cause of the problem. Land is available, both inside the existing built-up areas and on undeveloped land outside greenbelts. We need to make better use of land … Greenbelts and other environmentally sensitive areas must be protected, and farms provide food and food security. Relying too heavily on undeveloped land would whittle away too much of the already small share of land devoted to agriculture.”

TRCA supports the findings of the Task Force related to Greenbelts and is asking the province to work with our partner municipalities, conservation authorities, and the development industry to support responsible development in approved urban areas within our watersheds while providing access to nature in urban areas.

TRCA regularly provides guidance to The Greenbelt Council, our partner municipalities, and the Province regarding how environmental protections for the Greenbelt could be strengthened to better protect our watersheds.

TRCA, while not supportive of changes to reduce the size of the Greenbelt, is prepared to work with our partner municipalities and the Province to leverage our independent scientific advice to inform their review of Greenbelt sites being considered for removal within TRCA’s watersheds.


About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
Since 1957, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), as enabled through the provincial Conservation Authorities Act, has taken action to enhance our region’s natural environment and protect our land, water, and communities from the impacts of flooding and increasingly extreme weather events – Ontario’s leading cause of public emergencies.

As the region’s first line of defence against natural hazards, TRCA maintains vital infrastructure and provides programs and services that promote public health and safety, protecting people and property.

TRCA mobilizes a science-based approach to provide sound policy advice, leveraging its position as a not-for-profit operating in the broader public sector to achieve collective impacts within our communities and across all levels of government.

TRCA’s jurisdiction includes nine watersheds and their Lake Ontario shorelines, spanning six upper-tier and fifteen lower-tier municipalities and representing almost five million people, approximately 10% of Canada’s population.

To learn more about TRCA, visit


Media Contact

Michael Tolensky
Chief Financial and Operating Officer
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)