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Whitebelt Visioning Exercise

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In an important step for the future growth of the Town of Caledon, Council directed planning staff on October 20, 2015 to initiate a visioning exercise for the "Whitebelt".

"This exercise will help to build a truly Caledon plan, designed by our community, "said Town of Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson. "I am hoping this will also provide for a better understanding of Provincial Planning Policy and its local impacts."

The "Whitebelt" is the area outside the Greenbelt Plan and existing settlement areas in south Caledon (see Figure 1 below).

This area forms about 15% of the Town of Caledon and contains approximately 10,500 hectares of developable land.  It is designated Prime Agricultural Area and Environmental Policy Area in the Town's Official Plan.  A 400-series highway is being planned to go across this area by the province.  Under the provincial Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2017), the "Whitebelt" is eligible for future growth.

Figure 1: The Whitebelt Study Area


The "Whitebelt" Visioning Exercise will look at all land uses, such as residential, commercial, institutional, agriculture and environmental protection in addition to employment lands across the entire "Whitebelt".  The public will have ample opportunities to participate and contribute to a long term vision for the "Whitebelt". 


Open House (November 19, 2015)

The purpose of the Public Open House was to introduce the project and obtain initial public input regarding the location of land uses in the Whitebelt.  Approximately 223 people attended.  The project consultants, Meridian Planning, made a presentation.  Those in attendance were provided with coloured sticky dots representing residential, commercial, industrial, green space and agricultural land uses which they put on large-scale maps to indicate their priority locations for these uses.  The resulting composite map is shown below.  A questionnaire was  also distributed.  A compilation of the responses received to June 19, 2016 is available here.

View the Open House presentation here.

  • Map (see below) 


 View larger version of the map

Presentation to Planning and Development Committee (March 8, 2016)

The project consultant, Nick McDonald updated Planning and Development Committee with a presentation on March 8,2016.  The presentation explained the status of the project, what we heard at the Public Open House on November 19, 2015 and from the Peel Federation of Agriculture and Chamber of Commerce at meetings in January 2016.  The Factors for Consideration in Phase 2 of the Study were reviewed with the Committee.

Open House (June 27, 2016)

The purpose of the Open House was to obtain public input on the building blocks for a long-term vision.  These building blocks will be used in developing land use options for consideration in the next phase of the project.  This was a highly interactive session in which the attendees were asked a series of questions on their preferences regarding the planning time frame, development components, agricultural land protection, locational priorities, employment land and other matters. Participants used hand-held clickers to indicate their preferences. The results were instantly tabulated and shown on the screen.

The Open House presentation and question results are available here.

Open House (April 20, 2017)

The focus of the Open House was on industrial lands. Potential locations for strategic employment lands were presented, based on technical studies and public feedback received to date.  The feedback collected will help contribute to a final land use concept for the Caledon Whitebelt. Participants were able to provide feedback in person at the open house, through a paper survey distributed at the event, by email, or through an online survey on the town's website.

View the Open House Presentation.

The November 1, 2017 Open House was postponed to allow for consideration of the Region of Peel Growth Management reports released on October 26, 2017 to Regional Council. 

About the Whitebelt 

What is the 'Whitebelt'?

  • Caledon land area
     - 687 sq. km. (Toronto is 630 sq. km.)
  • 85% of Town subject to Niagara Escarpment Plan, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and Greenbelt Plan
    (583 sq. km.)
  • Remaining 15% (or 105 sq. km.)
     - urban development may be permitted

This is called the 'Whitebelt'.

The Importance of this Project to Caledon

  1. The new GTA West highway will have significant impacts on how, where and when development will occur in Caledon in the future.
  2. Three alternative routes have been shortlisted.
  3. MTO has indicated that a decision will be made on a preferred route in December 2015.
  4. The MTO plans to meet with stakeholders in early 2016 and confirm the preferred route in Spring 2016.

The Town of Caledon has determined that now is the time to plan ahead and develop a long term land use and infrastructure plan for future growth areas in the Whitebelt

Location of the Three Preferred Routes for the new Highway

On August 11, 2015 Caledon Council endorsed a Preferred Route (shown in green).

Figure 1: Preferred Routes for the new Highway



Why is Caledon Studying the Future Now?

  • Need for a comprehensive vision for the Town's existing and future communities.
  • The new highway could impact environmental and agricultural features, connectivity between local communities and future flexibility on how the Town may grow and manage that growth. 
  • In addition, a considerable opportunity exists for the Town to capitalize on the location of the new highway to support the potential development of new employment uses along the corridor that provide jobs for Caledon residents.  
  • The assessment generated from potential employment lands will allow the Town to benefit considerably from the additional revenue. 

It will be important to understand the relationship between all these factors and discuss the transitions between different land uses in the Whitebelt.

Focus of the Whitebelt Visioning Exercise

Original mandate was to focus only on where strategic employment areas should be located

It is now planned as part of the Whitebelt Visioning Exercise to develop a LONG TERM LAND USE PLAN THAT WILL:

  1. Identify the major natural and cultural heritage features that should be protected;
  2. Identify major concentrations of agricultural activity that should be protected;
  3. Identify strategic employment areas for long term protection;
  4. Identify the long term community structure;
  5. Identify major Regional and local transportation corridors (existing and new) and preferred locations for additional interchanges (if needed);
  6. Identify the location of major residential and community use areas; and,
  7. Identify preferred sequencing of development, but not the specific timing of development.

Details of Work Plan

Phase 1 - Review of Background and Existing Conditions

  • Review plans, policies and studies (ongoing)
  • Meet with the farming community and Chamber of Commerce
  • Meet with Council to review the Study process
  • Review and assess the preferred route for the new highway

Phase 2 - Preparation of Land Use Alternatives

  • Assess the need and locational requirements for all land uses
  • Review infrastructure and transportation requirements
  • Hold an interactive design-focused public workshop to establish alternatives and review factors to be considered
  • Develop a comprehensive list of factors to be considered
  • Meet with Council to discuss the alternatives

Phase 3 - Impact Assessment

  • Assess impacts of land use alternatives and refine them
  • Hold a public open house to review impacts of land use alternatives
  • Meet with Council to review the impacts

Phase 4 - Evaluation of Land Use Alternatives

  • Evaluate the alternatives against the factors that have been developed
  • Hold a public open house to assess alternatives
  • Meet with Council to review evaluation

Phase 5 - Final Land Use Concept

  • Refine the preferred alternative
  • Present the preferred alternative it to the public
  • Present the preferred alternative to Council

Official Plan Amendment

  • OPA to identify and protect strategic employment lands