Ontario’s Greenbelt could soon be stretching to include Mississauga’s Credit River valley.
The Greenbelt program was created in 2005 to help designate a permanently protected band of green space across the province.
This is the first time the government has considered expanding the boundaries of the program, designed to slow urban sprawl, since its initial launch.
“It’s going to mean many more people in the province are going to be directly connected to the Greenbelt,” Erin Shapero of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance told CBC News. “Places like Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton. Places that have said we want to grow the Greenbelt into urban areas.”
Other locations being considered include Oakville’s Gleorchy Conservation Area, as well as the Don and Humber river valleys in Toronto.
The provincial government is expected to make an official decision next year.  
The Greenbelt program is the largest of its kind in the world, and currently encompasses 1.8 million acres of land, including 7,000 farms and vineyards and 535,000 acres of waterways. The David Suzuki Foundation released a study in August that found that the Greenbelt helps to absorb hundreds of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to the emissions of 33 million cars a year — a key tool to slowing climate change and improving air quality. The study pegs the economic value of the Greenbelt as a carbon storehouse at $2.4 billion a year.