We know that we lose 319 acres of farmland every single day in Ontario, based off of the 2021 Census of Agriculture reports1, but what does that really mean?
When we hear about 319 acres, it can be really hard to visualize just how big that area is. In reality, 319 acres is similar in size to 58 whole city blocks2!
If this is still hard for you to imagine, try thinking about the area that would be taken up by 797 hockey rinks2. Laid side by side, these hockey rinks would be equal to the amount of farmland being lost to non-agricultural development every day in Ontario.
But what impacts will this have? Well, 319 acres is capable of producing a massive amount of food that could feed future generations. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture2 has worked to calculate just how much food could be produced on 319 acres, and the results are astounding. Here are some examples:
- 1,191,465 cereal boxes
- 1, 207, 096 wine bottles
- 23,500,000 apples
- 75,600,000 carrots
- 5,400,000 omelets
Now, Ontario’s farmland is diverse, and different soils are better suited to producing different products. But nonetheless losing farmland at the rate we are today will have significant impacts on Ontarians now, and in the future. We have a finite supply of farmland, and at this rate of loss, Ontario’s farmland will be entirely gone within the next 100 years.
It is crucial to protect Ontario’s farmland today. We cannot afford to wait to protect this precious resource.
This is why, in addition to our legally binding Farmland Easement Agreements that are capable of protecting farmland in perpetuity, Ontario Farmland Trust also engages in discussion around public policy that can affect farmland. In the past year alone, we have provided commentary on 10 different policy items, advocating for solutions to the housing crisis that will not exacerbate food insecurity by destroying massive amounts of farmland. We need policies that balance farmland protection with affordable, high-density housing, and climate change mitigation measures to protect the future for the next generations.
Want to help? Spread the word about farmland loss in Ontario to those you know! Many people are not aware of the extent of farmland loss in Ontario and it is crucial that public awareness increases. Check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and share our posts to help spread the word!