Expanding the Bluebelt
RiverSides champions the integration of the urban Bluebelt into the Greenbelt’s legislated protective envelope. We involve householders in lot-level solutions that enhance local water quality.
Ontario residents have made it clear: clean drinking water, sustainable agricultural industry, and environmental biodiversity continue to be important.
The Ontario Bluebelt (see map below) is a vision for almost doubling the size of the protective area known as the Ontario Greenbelt to protect even more vulnerable watersheds. The Greenbelt — a swath of agricultural and rural land around the Niagara’s Golden Horsehoe that is protected against suburban sprawl — already includes and protects the important watersheds. However, the Bluebelt concept highlights the idea that threatened hydrological areas — rivers, moraines, headwaters, and coastlines — need provincial protection.
The Bluebelt proposal was created by the GrowOurGreenbelt coalition in 2015 in consultation with environmental groups, scientists, and conservation officers. It would add 1.5 million acres to the current 1.8 million acre zone of the Greenbelt.
Here’s a close look at the headwaters of rivers that flow through Peel, York, Durham, Halton, Niagara, and Toronto. The headwaters of the GTA reduce flooding for millions of residents.