Connecting the Growth Plan and Greenbelt will Improve Quality of Life for Ontarians

OHBA looking forward to creating a "Smart Greenbelt"

TORONTO, Dec. 7, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Home Builders' Association (OHBA) welcomes future discussions with the Ontario government, municipalities, residents, farmers, environmental groups and other stakeholders to improve our quality of life with amendments to the Growth Plan and Greenbelt.

OHBA congratulates the Expert Advisory Panel and Chair David Crombie for their comprehensive review of the Greenbelt Plan, the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan released today.

In particular, OHBA supports the panel's recommendations to:

  • Increase focused investment in transit initiatives to support complete communities;
  • Address barriers to intensification and the development of affordable housing by encouraging use of tools such as up-to-date zoning, the development permit system, community improvement plans and reduced residential parking requirements where transit and active transportation options exist; and
  • Clarify policies in the Growth Plan to better identify strategic areas within the region's planned and existing transit network that should be a focal point for intensification efforts, in collaboration with municipalities and stakeholders.

"From the beginning of this review, our goal was to ensure that a future Growth Plan would connect all the dots that will improve our quality of life," said OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro. "The province and municipalities are investing in transit and we need to have a workable plan in place to make sure new communities are built where infrastructure and zoning can accommodate them, and reflect our desire to build livable complete communities."

"The bottom line is that three million new residents are moving to the Greater Golden Horseshoe in the next 25 years – an average of 100,000 new people a year. To improve our quality of life, new communities must have diverse housing and access to green space, good public transit and jobs."

OHBA supports the Greenbelt and is committed to working with government, environmental groups, farmers and civic leaders to create a "Smart Greenbelt" to better achieve Ontario's environmental goals.

A "Smart Greenbelt" would utilize innovation and partnerships to enhance the Greenbelt's ecological and environmental assets.  OHBA believes by pursuing initiatives such as establishing climate-fighting zones, expanding animal habitats, and increasing public access, Ontarians will get more enjoyment from the Greenbelt.

Over the course of the Review, OHBA released a series of reports to support complete investment-ready communities including:

  • Make Way for Mid-Rise: How to build more homes in walkable, transit-connected neighbourhoods (co-authored with Pembina Institute)
  • Make Way for Laneway: Providing more housing options for the Greater Toronto Area (co-authored with Pembina Institute)
  • Review and Strategic Assessment of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Conducted by Deloitte Canada)
  • Improving the Growth Plan – Commentary (By University of Toronto Fellow Brad Graham and former provincial Smart Growth Strategy panelist Tom McCormack)

These reports are available at

The Ontario Home Builders' Association is the voice of the building, land development and professional renovation industry in Ontario representing 4,000 member companies organized into 30 local associations across the province. Our members have built over 700,000 homes in the last 10 years in over 500 Ontario communities. The industry contributes over $45 billion to Ontario's economy and employs over 325,000 people across the province.

SOURCE Ontario Home Builders' Association

For further information: To arrange an interview with OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro please contact Kathryn Segal at or by phone at 647-255-3875


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