A structured region
The memorable, permeating presence of the Greenbelt in the region will establish a broad distinction between city and country in its organization.
A system of natural heritage features
Wetlands, woods, and creeks within the proposed Greenbelt, some of which are quite small, form part of a larger system of greenlands. The Greenbelt Plan would protect this system by embedding individual features in a continuous swath of countryside. The Greenbelt Plan would also protect the valleys of rivers that flow south from the Oak Ridges Moraine to the edge of the land designated for future urban expansion.
A landscape of working farms
The Toronto Metropolitan Region contains some of Canada's best agricultural land. Much of this land, however, is threatened by land speculation. Prohibiting urban expansion onto farmland while ensuring that farmers have the freedom to expand or alter their operations -- which the Plan does do -- would insulate working farms from development pressure and better allow them to manage and expand their operations.
Living rural communities
While the Greenbelt Plan seeks to protect rural life, it does not propose to fossilize it. The plan recognizes that for communities to be sustainable, certain commercial and institutional activities used by the local population must continue in the countryside and hamlets within the Greenbelt.