Urban Sprawl

Urban sprawl is gobbling up green space in southern Ontario at an unprecedented rate.

At the current rate, an additional 260,000 acres (1,070 km2) of rural land will be urbanized by 2021, almost double the size of the City of Toronto. About 92% of the land is Ontario's best farmland.

Sprawling patterns of growth unnecessarily destroy green space and farmland, pollute rivers, streams and other waterways and force us to be overly dependent on vehicles, which in turn fuel air pollution and global climate change.

Urban Sprawl Facts:

• The Golden Horseshoe area of Ontario is growing by more than 115,000 people per year. In 15 years, it will be the third largest urban region in North America behind only New York and Los Angeles

• The Greater Toronto Area has approved or developed 128,000 acres since 1989, a rate of 9,100 acres per year. In comparison, the City of Portland, Oregon, set an urban growth boundary in 1980 and has consumed land at a rate of only 1,700 acres per year

• Passenger cars and trucks account for nearly half of personal greenhouse gas emissions which lead to global climate change, and vehicles in Ontario contribute about 40% of the pollutants that cause smog

• The Ontario Medical Association estimates 1,900 people die prematurely every year in Ontario because of air pollution

• A groundbreaking U.S. study has found a clear link between obesity, chronic disease, and sprawl. People who live in spread-out, car-dependent neighbourhoods are likely to walk less, weigh more, and suffer from high blood pressure, compared to people who live in less sprawling areas

• The Toronto Board of Trade estimates gridlock costs the Greater Toronto Area $2 billion each year in truck and delivery vehicle delays

• By 2031, the hours of delay experienced by auto drivers on a typical weekday surrounding the Greater Toronto Area are projected to rise by 300%

The Toronto Region Conservation Authority has identified habitat loss as the leading reason for the rapid decline of species diversity in southern Ontario. Of the 180 animal species found in the Greater Toronto Area, 110 are at risk and listed as Species of Concern

Courtesy of Ontario Greenbelt Alliance.



  Toronto-based Filmmaker Greg Greene, a good friend of Earthroots, recently released "The End of Suburbia," a feature-length documentary about "oil depletion and the collapse of the American dream."

Click the poster to the left to visit the film's official site. Keep an eye out for local showings, or buy a DVD copy off the web!