Toronto council sends Ontario’s Greenbelt a big birthday present
Toronto, ON – A week before the Greenbelt turns 9, Toronto city council sent the Greenbelt a big birthday present yesterday by taking a big step towards growing Ontario’s Greenbelt into publicly owned lands along the Don, Humber and Etobicoke Creek river valleys.
“City Council made it clear that Toronto wants to add more public lands to Ontario’s world renowned Greenbelt,” said Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA). “I can’t think of a nicer birthday present for the Greenbelt and for the people of Toronto.”
“We’re thrilled that Toronto is taking steps to connect its urban river valleys to the province’s larger Greenbelt. Toronto’s rivers and ravines are unique treasures, which deserve the highest level of protection possible,” said Erin Shapero, Land and Water Program Manager at Environmental Defence. “We’re glad to see Toronto joining Mississauga and Oakville which have taken steps to grow the Greenbelt into their municipalities.” 
Yesterday, council directed city staff to develop a plan about how to grow the Greenbelt into public lands in the Humber and Don River Valleys, and Etobicoke Creek. The plan will come back to council for approval in late spring.
“Toronto’s ravines are extremely precious places, like the other lands in the Greenbelt,” said Hartmann. “Having them become part of the Greenbelt will mean they are under another layer of protection and will give people a sense of how connected our ravines are to the Greenbelt that surrounds us.”
Ontario’s Greenbelt protects green space, farmland and local food sources, rivers, streams and environmentally sensitive areas from sprawl. The Greenbelt also prevents pollution and provides people with a better quality of life.
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For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Franz Hartmann, PhD, Executive Director, Toronto Environmental Alliance,
416-606-8881 (cell)
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 258; 416-570-2878 (cell) ncarniol@environmentaldefence.ca