• Southern Ontario Hiking Resources


The Greenbelt Plan

The Golden Horseshoe is one of the fastest growing regions in North America.

The Greenbelt is a cornerstone of Ontario‚Äôs proposed  Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan which is an overarching strategy that will provide clarity and certainty about urban structure, where and how future growth should be accommodated, and what must be protected for current and future generations.

The Greenbelt Plan identifies where urbanization should not occur in order to provide permanent protection to the agricultural land base and the ecological features and functions occurring on this landscape.


The Greenbelt Plan includes lands within, and builds upon the ecological protections provided by, the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP).  It also complements and supports other provincial level initiatives such as the Parkway Belt West Plan and the Rouge North Management Plan.

The Protected Countryside lands identified in this Greenbelt Plan are intended to enhance the spatial extent of agriculturally and environmentally protected lands currently covered by the NEP and the ORMCP while at the same time improving linkages between these areas and the surrounding major lake systems and watersheds. Collectively, the lands in these three plans form the Greenbelt. The Protected Countryside is made up of an Agricultural System and a Natural System, together with a series of settlement areas.

The Agricultural System is made up of specialty crop, prime agricultural and rural areas.  The Natural System identifies lands that support both natural heritage and hydrologic features and functions.  Both systems maintain connections to the broader agricultural and natural systems of southern Ontario.




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