The 16th annual Farmland Forum was held on March 25, 2021. This was the first time that the Forum was held virtually. Over 200 guests joined us from all areas across Ontario and across Canada, including Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta.

The day kicked off with a keynote presentation by Kevin Eby, former Director of Community Planning with the Region of Waterloo outlining Competing Provincial Growth Forecasts and Changing Housing Preferences, which examined the need for urban expansions in the GGH and Ontario. Kevin’s presentation sparked many questions and dialogue which set the tone for the day! This informative presentation was followed by a panel discussion on Building a Successful Province-Wide Agricultural System, exploring what the Agricultural System is and how it can help support farmland protection in Ontario and create a sustainable local food system.

We then continued the deep dive with a panel discussion exploring The Shifting Landscapes of Farming and Farmland Protection, and tried to determine if the emerging trends in farm businesses, ownership models, niche markets, farm holdings and agri-businesses are being adequately served by the historic 100-acre planning control. The panel, made up of farmers and farmer representatives from across Ontario, provided much food for thought when planning for the agricultural sector. Victor Doyle wrapped up the day with a recap and reflection on Agricultural Sustainability in Post-Covid Ontario. He provided an overview of the planning tools currently being used to protect the land base for agriculture, and added some thoughts on how those tools could be improved, as well as thoughts on whether planning is market driven or land supply driven. He concluded with the statement that “protecting the land base is the most critical and fundamental step” to supporting agriculture in Ontario.

Thank you to everyone who attended!

Thank you to our 2021 Farmland Forum Supporters