A recent map posted on the Environmental Defence website here shows the negative impact sprawl is having on valuable farmland. As the map illustrates, from 2002-2014, an overwhelming 75 percent of the land developed was on Class 1 and 2 farmland with the majority (71 percent) being Class 1.
As Class 1 and 2 soils are our most valuable farmland – having the least restrictions for growing food and agricultural commodities – this loss of farmland is detrimental to Ontario’s agricultural sector, and our ability to produce local food for Ontarians.
Only 5% of Ontario’s land area has soil that can support agricultural production. These agricultural soils are a non-renewable and irreplaceable resource. Unfortunately farmland is too often seen as development land in waiting instead of being valued for its fundamental contribution to sustaining Ontario’s economy. The agriculture and agri-food sector generates $34 billion in GDP and provides 1 in every 9 jobs in Ontario.
Are we doing enough to protect this vital asset?
Click here to read the full commentary on the impact of urban sprawl on farmland in Ontario, posted by Environmental Defense along with this striking new map.