It’s Time To Make Building New Superhighways In Ontario’s Greenbelt Illegal

“These highways would also increase pressure to allow new industrial, commercial and residential development along them, while also crossing and polluting hundreds of waterways, fragmenting forests and farms, filling in wetlands and creating a death trap for many wildlife species.”

A Message from Environmental Defence, Ontario Nature, Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition, Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, and the Wilderness Committee

Posted May 2nd, 2022 on Niagara At Large

Environmental Groups say: Enough is Enough. It’s time to make building new Superhighways in the Greenbelt illegal

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – New multi-lane superhighways threaten the farms, forests and wetlands of the Greenbelt and need to be banned to protect Ontario’s water, air, food, wildlife, access to nature and our climate.

This is why five organizations are calling on all political parties in Ontario’s June 2nd election to commit to making a legislative amendment to the Greenbelt Act to ban new multi-lane highways from being built through the Greenbelt.

A new map (see below) shows that the planned Highways 413, Bradford Bypass (Holland Marsh Highway) and 404 extension northward up the east side of Lake Simcoe would directly destroy over 2000 acres of Greenbelt.

These highways would also increase pressure to allow new industrial, commercial and residential development along them, while also crossing and polluting hundreds of waterways, fragmenting forests and farms, filling in wetlands and creating a death trap for many wildlife species.

“The Ontario government’s current push to build Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass underscores the need to ban forever these 1950s style developments,” said Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence.

A Premier who promotes a 1950s, baby boomer era vision of Ontario’s future.

“The newly revealed plans for the Highway 404 extension make clear the stark choices we face in Ontario between a livable future and a devastated landscape dominated by gridlocked highways,” added Katie Krelove of the Wilderness Committee.

The Greenbelt Act currently allows for corridors for “infrastructure” which include highways.

This needs to be changed to make clear that new destructive multi-lane highways are permanently prohibited in the Greenbelt.

“All available research shows that building more highways increases traffic through a process called induced demand and attracts sprawl,” said Margaret Prophet, Executive Director of the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition. “Allowing these types of projects in the Greenbelt is a death by a thousand cuts and will change the Greenbelt from something that is supposed to be permanently protected to a land bank for developers and corporate interests.”

Paving more paradise, even in a time of climate crisis

“The Greenbelt is helping to keep Lake Simcoe cleaner by protecting the land on the east side of the lake from development,” said Claire Malcolmson, Executive Director of the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition. “Punching highways through it weakens its ability to do that, and will add more salt to our delicate freshwater lake.”

“It is time for our political leaders to step up and commit to stopping these proposed highways forever. Investing in public transit would have a far lighter impact on farmland, water systems, natural areas and wildlife,” said Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature’s Executive Director.


Map of the three proposed highways in the Greenbelt[]

Chart comparing the three proposed highways in the Greenbelt []

More about Highway 413 []

More about the Bradford Bypass[] (Holland Marsh Highway)

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

About the SIMCOE COUNTY GREENBELT COALITION ( ) : The Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition is a diverse coalition of 35 organizations from across Simcoe County and the province calling on local and provincial leaders to better protect our water resources, green spaces and farmland through smart growth and sustainable policies including expansion of the Greenbelt into Simcoe County.

About the RESCUE LAKE SIMCOE COALITION ( [] ) is a lake-wide member-based organization that provides leadership and inspires people to take action to protect Lake Simcoe.

About ONTARIO NATURE ( [] ): Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education, and public engagement. A charitable organization, Ontario Nature represents more than 30,000 members and supporters, and more than 155 member groups across Ontario.

About WILDERNESS COMMITTEE ( ): Wilderness Committee is a charitable organization dedicated to protecting nature, defending wildlife and fighting for a healthy climate

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders


2 responses to “It’s Time To Make Building New Superhighways In Ontario’s Greenbelt Illegal

  1. It is very sad that continued support for Ford exists at all with the complete disrespect he and his entire party has shown towards environmental conservation. It clearly is a sign of how little people in general know about climate change even with so many sighs occurring in real time EVERYWHERE IN CANADA and across our planet. Ford has decimated environmental regulations to accommodate his sprawl agenda without allowing public input and discussion right from the beginning of his “reign”. For the millions of people who are extremely concerned about our loss of wetlands, forests, impact on our waters resource and natural heritage systems, the extreme loss of bioiversity, displaced wildlife, loss of endangered species this is heartbreaking and very worrisome for the Health of our Communities and and for our own and our grandchildren’s future. PROGRESS and growth can be accomplished easily respecting our environment and if 21st century planning and climate change best practices are applied….but we have a Premier and Conservative Party who are out of date, totally out of touch with 21st century issues and concern for our environment and our future and we will pay deeply for this lack of basic climate change science. Many many places in Canada and across the globe are respecting mother nature and continuing to grow and progress without such an assault on our environment. Ford is destroying so much of what is ‘So Beautiful about our Province’. All other parties have much better environmental policies and also offer job growth and moving Ontario forward with progress that respects mother nature.


  2. Sheila Joan Muir

    I want to see people out protesting this Highway. Add to that Doug’s 45 MZO’s (fast-track development orders)
    he is planning in the Greenbelt.


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