A Place to Grow: Growth plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, requires upper and lower tier municipalities across the region to submit new draft official plans for approval by the Province by July 2, 2022, and for these draft plans to address projected population and density targets to 2051.
Some municipalities have decided to pursue more intensive urban development within existing boundaries, with very little expansion of those boundaries into adjacent natural and agricultural land, while others have proposed massive urban expansion, usually with less density. The proposed expansion of urban boundaries would occur in the Contested Countryside, lands that fall between the existing urban boundaries and the boundary of the Greenbelt.
Urban expansion into the Contested Countryside, sometimes call the white belt, could threaten water and hydrologic integrity, regional biodiversity, natural areas that can bolster climate resilience, and local food security while lower densities amount to sprawl with no ability to provide mass transit at reasonable costs.
The mapping done in this project demonstrates key aspects of the Contested Countryside and suggests three development scenarios to inform public discussion as municipalities move from the new official plans to more detailed plans between now and 2051.
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