Places to Grow plan is a revision of the 2006 plan by the Ontario Government to intensify the greening of the province. The intention of the plan is to identify where people can live and work in the most populated areas in south western Ontario. Like the 2006 plan, the latest document takes time to read. It includes a lot of detail and information expressing the intent and eventual implementation of the plan.
The new Places to Grow plan expands and identifies green belt areas. This plan, referred to as the GGH, has huge implications to all of us including your kids and your grand kids. If you take a drive around Barrie, you will see the 2006 plan has already taken hold with considerably more of the higher density developments. Get used to this - it's not a trend. It is the future.
The Ontario Goverment has identified areas where growth can take place and where it can not. Maintainng farm land for the purpose of food production seems obvious, but the real initiative of the plan is to protect the ground water source and supply for the villages, towns and cities. No longer will you see large tracts of land development in areas that are not already identified as an established urban growth area. By 2031, the GGH will have a population of 6,000,000+ citizens; an almost 40% increase to today’s population. The expected population increase will put a high strain on the eco system that is presently already under pressure. Advance planning for future growth makes sense. Areas like Barrie are expected to have a population density of 150 people per hectare - almost doubling today’s density. In Toronto, this density will be 400 people per hectare.
The goverment has implemented a road show to give the public the opportunity to have their say. Simcoe County will have a presentation open to the public on February 21, 2018. It is expected almost 60% of Simcoe County will be ear-marked to be included in the green belt. Residents should not expect any new highways to be built to elievate the current traffic volume on hwy 400. The Ontario Goverment is pouring billions into transportation networks and infrastructure to align with the identified Places to Grow. In the not too distant future, more and more Ontarions will live in higher density areas and buildings. The ability to own a single detached home will become a privilage of the few and an exception of the many if you can afford it.
Change is always imminent. The GGH will change how and where people live in ways that we cannot imagine. The growth trend toward people wanting to live, work, and play without ownership of personal transportation and housing is already under way in large urban areas. Currently this is a demographically driven evolution that will eventually be the norm as people get older. The trend is not new in the sense that people in Europe have been living this way since the 60’s. Despite living in the second biggest country in the world, the resources we rely on daily are limited. The collection and transportation of these resources come at a huge cost financially and ecologically.
Changing the way we live is proactive and a responsible way to pay forward a planet we all occupy for a temporary period to future generations. Click to view details map and more information