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May 17, 2001
A victory for City of Toronto, environmentalists and the Oak Ridges Moraine
  
The province's decision to freeze development on the environmentally-sensitive
Oak Ridges Moraine is a clear victory for the City of Toronto, conservation
groups and the environment, said Toronto Councillor David Miller, Chair of the
Oak Ridges Moraine Steering Committee.

Toronto City Council recognized the importance of preserving this valuable part
of the region's natural heritage and committed significant funding, resources
and support to groups opposing unchecked urban sprawl on the moraine.

"The province's decision to impose a development freeze is proof that the
people do have enormous influence and the ability to bring about powerful
change when they are united in their efforts," said Miller. "The City of
Toronto is to be congratulated for fighting development on the moraine, which
would have threatened the quality of our rivers and lake and put the natural
habitat of countless species of plants and animals at risk."

The moraine stretches from the Niagara Escarpment to Rice Lake and contains the
headwaters of 65 rivers and streams in the Greater Toronto Area, including the
Don, Humber and Rouge Rivers as well as thousands of wetlands and kettle lakes.
Development on the moraine threatens the region's overall health and quality of
life. The potential contamination of groundwater from street and yard runoff
would have a profound impact on water quality and on numerous species of
wildlife and plants.

In addition, development threatens the continuity of the moraine's green space.
The moraine is still 30 per cent forested and provides refuge to migratory
birds. The need for a co-ordinated planning approach is clearly demonstrated
with the moraine crossing 34 municipal boundaries in three regions.

"The moraine is one of the last natural areas in southern Ontario that we can
preserve for future generations," added Miller. "We look forward to assisting
in the development of new planning guidelines that protect one of the most
significant landforms in southern Ontario."


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