Ontario moves to allow more urban development in Milton and Halton Hills


Published November 10, 2022 at 8:44 pm

The Ontario government will allow more land in Halton Hills and Milton to be used for development.

New measures presented by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing show the majority of land will come from the east and southeast of Halton Hills, and the east and south part of Milton.

Specifically, in Halton Hills, 1,040 net hectares (2,570 acres) will be used for housing while 480 net hectares (1,186 acres) will go to employment development such as warehouses and factories.

In Milton, 730 net hectares (1,804 acres) will be for housing development and 903 net hectares (2,298 acres) will be for employment uses.

The measures effectively overrule plans made by Halton Region to control growth and curb urbanization. Queen’s Park issued 45 changes to Halton’s plans with the new measures.

Ironically, the plans somewhat restore those originally envisioned by Halton Region that earlier this year called for the expansion of urban spaces in Halton Hills and Milton by allowing development on agricultural land, greenspaces and other belt areas that had been set aside.

Several politicians, especially those in Oakville and Burlington, opposed Halton’s plan at the time and, combined with the lobbying efforts of environmentalists, put the brakes on urban growth until well into the future. The urban boundary will now expand further with Queen’s Park stepping in.

Under the new rules, which Ontario says cannot be altered or appealed, 3,200 hectares of existing farmland will now be open to development in Halton Region, roughly 10 per cent of the agricultural stock.

Further, the new potential for increased development will see the population grow larger than previously planned.

With expectations in the new guidelines, Milton will grow by more than twice the current population in 30 years, to 350,870 from 137,980. Halton Hills will grow to 132,050 in 2051, up from 66,010 where it currently stands.

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