Greenbelt expansion holds some of the answers
By Mark Bisset
This article was previously published in the May, 2016 edition of The Villager, Washago Community Newspaper.
I was standing on Young Street near Vaughan recently feeling rotten.
There was nothing wrong with me physically. It was Young Street that I was reacting to. It feels as if Toronto has crept up that venerable old road without restraint, gobbling up some of Ontario's best farmland, rolling woodlands and even wetland.
Had I stood there a decade earlier, I would probably been looking at a family farmstead; maybe a forest.
The only thing that will restrain this juggernaut is Lake Simcoe itself. And even then, the development only skips to the west and continues up Highways 400 and 11 toward Washago, like a flash flood in slow motion.
I realize this feeling puts me in a certain subset of the population. And maybe on another day I would have had a different reaction ("Cool, a Starbucks.") But I was on my way to a meeting of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, which exists to protect a little bit of our province from this urban onslaught.
Across the decades, Ontario has done a very poor job when it comes to good planning that recognizes the importance of natural heritage and agricultural land. There are many reasons for that, from divided jurisdictions, to the honest desire its citizens feel to have a home of their own, to the relentless pursuit of growth to generate jobs and tax revenue.
But I think the biggest reason is abundance.Read more