Oak Ridges Moraine

The Oak Ridges Moraine Plan is a Provincial planning document that aims to protect natural resources, agricultural resources, and key ecological features and functions.

The Township of Adjala-Tosorontio is subject to the policies of both the Oak Ridges Moraine and Greenbelt Plans, however, the policies of the Oak Ridges Moraine Plan are more protective of the natural environment and will be the predominant Plan to guide development. The Province is currently reviewing provincial Plans, including the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan.


Provincial & County Policy

The Provincial Policy Statement and the County of Simcoe Official Plan Policies provide direction on specific issues. The Township Official Plan policies must conform to the PPS and County Official Plan, which set out the following policies:

Protection & Identification

The Province has identified the boundaries of the Oak Ridges Moraine based on topographical, geomorphological, and geological attributes.

Protecting Ecological & Hydrological Integrity

The Oak Ridges Moraine Plan seeks to protect ecological and hydrological features and functions, ensuring that land and resource uses in the area maintain or restore natural functions and that all development is compatible with the ecological objectives.

Land Use Designations

In the Oak Ridges Moraine, land uses are divided into four categories, including: Natural Core Areas, Natural Linkage Areas, Countryside Areas, and Settlement Areas.

Existing Policy & Legislation

  • Provincial Policy Statement 2014
  • County of Simcoe Official Plan Policies
  • Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan

Current Township Policies

Official Plan Amendment #3 regarding the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan was adopted by Council on July 19th, 2004, and approved with modifications by the Province on December 6th, 2004, and March 9th, 2006.

Significant woodland, hydrological features, Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest, areas of aquifer vulnerability, and landform conservation areas have been identified and included in the Township’s Official Plan through OPA #3.

Section 4.12 of the current Official Plan contains policies for the Oak Ridges Moraine Area. Current Official Plan policies require:

  • That municipal planning decisions and public works improvements or other conform with the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (which prevails in the case of a conflict with an official plan, zoning by-law or a policy statement issued under Section 3 of The Planning Act).
  • Existing uses, structures, and buildings that lawfully existed prior to November 15, 2001 may continue; expansions of existing buildings or structures may be permitted as long as the use does not change and the ecological integrity of the feature is not impacted.
  • The purpose of the Natural Core Area is to maintain and, where possible, improve ecological integrity.
  • The purpose of the Natural Linkage Area is to maintain and improve regional-scale open space linkages between Natural Core Areas and along river valleys and stream corridors.
  • The purpose of the Countryside Area is to encourage agricultural or other rural uses which support the objectives of the Oak Ridges Moraine Plan.

New and revised Official Plan policies will aim ensure that the objectives of these Provincial Plans are integrated into the local Official Plan for the Township.

Your ideas and vision are important!

What changes would you like to see?

  • The Township must follow Provincial policies at a minimum.  Do you think the policies provide sufficient protection to the Moraine area?
  • Are there additional policies which could help maintain the character of the Moraine while allowing appropriate development?
  • Please provide any other comments you may have for consideration in the development of new policies.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s