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Media Release | Ontario

Media Release: Public Meeting on Growing the Greenbelt in Waterloo Region

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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. Media Release (02/09/2018) ONTARIO - 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 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 also includes valuable water resources that are near our community:

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).

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 February 2018. The dates and locations for the open houses will also be posted at The deadline for submitting your feedback is March 7, 2018.

The Waterloo Region public consultation will be held:

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

5:30pm to 8:00pm

Tannery Event Centre

151 Charles Street West, Kitchener

This is a free event, drop-in format, and all are welcome.


"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."

- Bill Mauro, Minister of Municipal Affairs

"Waterloo Region's water source is critical for our health and prosperity. We need to seriously consider how we can protect our ecological and hydrological areas. Caring for this valuable resource will benefit our community now and for generations to come."

- Daiene Vernile, MPP Kitchener Centre

"This region will continue to experience a lot of growth in the coming years, so we need to be wise about the way we plan and build our communities. By hearing directly from the people in our communities, our government can create a plan that works for everyone, and protects our important groundwater resources."

- Kathryn McGarry, MPP Cambridge


§ 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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