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Designed by Polly Ko

The Oak Ridges Moraine

is a landform unique to southern Ontario. One of Ontario's largest moraines, the Oak Ridges Moraine extends 160 kilometres from the Niagara Escarpment in the west to the Trent River system in the east, and is on average 13 kilometres wide. One-hundred-and-fifty metres deep, the moraine stands out as a distinct landscape and is the "rain barrel of southern Ontario".

The Oak Ridges Moraine



Save The Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) Coalition is focused on protecting the ecological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Since 1989, STORM has been working at the local and regional levels to ensure that municipalities make good planning decisions that respect the environmental significance of the moraine and that take into account its ecological and hydrological functions.

Monitoring the Moraine



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Press Release:
The Province’s coordinated land use review is on the right track, but questions remain

Bolder action needed to grow the Greenbelt, protect species at risk and halt urban sprawl for good

TORONTO—May 18, 2017
After a 26 month review, the Government of Ontario is generally heading in the right direction with updated policies that govern the Oak Ridges Moraine, Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment and growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), but some key missteps indicate a questionable commitment to the long-term protection of the region’s water, nature and communities.

Click here to download the entire release [95 kb PDF]

Victor Doyle, Ontario’s Greenbelt architect, launches defence of anti-sprawl policies
"The chief architect of Ontario’s farmland-protecting Greenbelt is speaking out against what he calls a “misleading” campaign being waged by the development industry and aimed at blaming the province’s anti-sprawl policies for the Toronto area’s skyrocketing house prices."

Click here to read the Globe and Mail article.
Click here to read or download his report Setting the Record Straight May 8 2017 [2.8 mb PDF]

Celebrating 15 years of Oak Ridges Moraine protection: Join us at Queen’s Park for a Tribute Speech
On Monday April 24th, Julia Munro MPP for York Simcoe will be acknowledging the 15th anniversary of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan in the Legislature. It is thanks to the dedication and hard work of countless people and organizations, that we’re able to celebrate a decade and a half of protection for the rain barrel of the GTA. Your contribution to the protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine was pivotal and it is important that we celebrate this achievement together.

We have been working throughout the Coordinated Review along with long time partners at Ontario Nature, EcoSpark and Earthroots to raise the profile of the moraine and make sure that protection is strengthened. This anniversary is an important moment to take stock of how far we’ve come and where we need to go to protect all vulnerable water supply areas across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Please continue to support our efforts to protect other moraine systems across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. You can take action today by signing our letter calling on the province to grow our Greenbelt and not let sprawl pave over some of the province’s most valuable farmland, water sources and natural habitats.

If you’d like to join us at Queen’s Park, please email Debbe at for more information.

ORM Partnership submission to the government's Proposed Amendments of the Green Plans
The Oak Ridges Moraine Partnership for the Coordinated Review, comprising STORM, Ontario Nature, EcoSpark and Earthroots is pleased to share our submission to the government's Proposed Amendments of the Green Plans (Oak Ridges Moraine, Niagara Escarpment and Greenbelt) and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The report is structured under our Stronger Landscape, Stronger Laws and Stronger Legacy theme. Please share with your network; if you or others in your group have questions about specific recommendations, please contact STORM though We'd be happy to come out to your community to talk about any of these issues.

Click here to download the submission [2.3 mb]

Greenbelt is hanging in the balance and needs you to take action. It's up to all of us...
Sign the petition to protect our water, nature and communities of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Add your voice to grow the Greenbelt and stop decades-old sprawl.

Petition Link

Sign the Petition

Media Release: Province announces strong intentions for Greater Golden Horseshoe:
Strong follow-through now needed 
Mississauga, May 10, 2016 – The Ontario government released its draft amendments to the plans that protect the Greenbelt, Oak Ridges Moraine, and Niagara Escarpment, and guide growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). These amendments are a promising move towards building ecological resiliency and healthy communities in an area under tremendous pressure from sprawling urban development. Bold leadership is now needed from the Province to quickly and decisively act on these good intentions.
In the face of climate change and a rapidly growing population, the government must defend water, nature and communities in the GGH so it remains ecologically viable and a great place to live.

Click here to read the entire release [508 kb PDF].

Vaughan blasted for ‘troubling’ environment record
Critics say “Vaughan council is actively promoting the removal of land from the Greenbelt.”

The City of Vaughan is facing widespread criticism over its environmental record, following a recent pattern of council decisions that suggest a lack of commitment to protecting green space — and in particular land within the Greenbelt.

Click here to read entire article in The Toronto Star

Wells in ‘protected’ Oak Ridges Moraine polluted 
Local residents worry that a massive Hydro One transformer project will contaminate their drinking water in what is supposed to be a government-protected watershed.

Click here to read entire article in The Toronto Star

The Ministry of Transportation has suspended its work on the environmental assessment of the Greater Toronto Area West Highway Corridor (GTA West). The project will be reviewed and an update will be provided in spring 2016.
Click here for more information.

Media Release: Crombie report hits the mark: Protect Ontario’s most vulnerable water resources 
Environmental groups applaud Advisory Panel for strong stance on protecting the region’s water

Toronto – Growing the Greenbelt into areas of critical ecological and hydrological significance were among key recommendations put forward by David Crombie, Chair of the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review Advisory Panel, this afternoon in their report “Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015-2041.”

Click here to read the entire release [545 kb PDF].

Co-ordinated Review Advisory Panel Report 
In the spring of 2015, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry initiated a co-ordinated review of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Greenbelt Plan. To support the co-ordinated review, an Advisory Panel  attended public meetings, reviewed the plans and relied upon their knowledge of the region and issues at stake to provide input and recommendations.

Click here for the Panel’s report: Planning for Health, Prosperity and Growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe: 2015 – 2041
Click here for a summary of the main themes that emerged during the 17 town hall consultation meetings.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will seek input on the proposed amendments in winter 2016. Please visit the co-ordinated review website for updated information on the co-ordinated review.

Indigenous Statement on Climate Change for COP21
On October 21st and 22nd, 2015, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, with the support of the Chiefs of Ontario and Assembly of First Nations, hosted “Climate Change: An Indigenous Discussion on the Road to Paris”. The purpose of this event was to bring together a panel of experts on mitigating and adapting to climate change through Indigenous knowledge. 

Click here to download the statement [3 mb PDF] that reflects the outcomes of this event and is intended to ensure that the grassroots voices of the Indigenous Peoples living in Ontario, Canada are conveyed through the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change and heard at the COP21.

Environmental groups hope to nearly double size of the Greenbelt 
Proposal for a “Bluebelt” — which also guards waterways — would see 1.5 million acres added to the protected area, which is already the bigger than P.E.I.
Click here to read entire article in The Toronto Star

Announcement from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change:
Ontario Strengthens Environmental Protections for the Great Lakes 
New Legislation Passes to Keep the Great Lakes Clean, Swimmable and Fishable
October 7, 2015 12:20 P.M.
Today Ontario passed the Great Lakes Protection Act which will strengthen the province's ability to keep the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River clean, as well as to protect and restore the waterways that flow into them.
Click here to read the news release

29 Recipients Receive Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition 25th Anniversary Award 
On September 27, 2015, nearly 150 people from across the province of Ontario joined Save The Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition (STORM) in Aurora on Sunday to celebrate 25 years of protecting and preserving Ontario’s environmentally sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM) including the Oak Ridges Moraine Partnership for 2015 (Earthroots, EcoSpark, Ontario Nature and STORM).
Click here for more info

Media Release: 25 Recipients to Receive STORM Coalition 25th anniversary award
Aurora, ON -- September 8, 2015 -- Save The Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition (STORM) has hit a quarter-century milestone of protecting and preserving Ontario’s environmentally sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine (ORM) and the Oak Ridges Moraine Partnership for 2015 (Earthroots, EcoSpark, Ontario Nature and STORM) will be hosting a 25th Anniversary Award Ceremony to celebrate.

Click here to read entire release
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Neptis Foundation has released two short papers to help inform the Co-ordinated Review

  • Understanding the Fundamentals of the Growth Plan
  • The Land Supply Question in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

Urgent notice! Government announces review of three major conservation plans
On February 27, 2015, the provincial government announced the start of the much anticipated review of plans that protect the Oak Ridges Moraine, Niagara Escarpment and Greenbelt.

To protect these embattled landscapes forever, we must unequivocally tell the government that we want: stronger laws, a stronger landscape and a stronger legacy!

Click here for more information
Click here for our media response
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Have Your Say
As mentioned above, the Government of Ontario launched a co-ordinated review of the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Greenbelt Plan, as required under their respective legislation. These four plans are now being reviewed. They want to hear your ideas on how to make the plans stronger and work better together.

Click here for more info

Former Toronto mayor David Crombie to lead Greenbelt panel
Premier Kathleen Wynne has chosen the former mayor to revisit the decade-old Greenbelt Plan that curbs urban sprawl from Niagara Falls to Peterborough.
link to story [links to an external webiste]


Ontario Releases Climate Change Strategy Discussion Paper
Province Engaging Public, Businesses and Communities on Climate Change Strategy

Ontario has released a climate change discussion paper and invites citizens, businesses and communities to share ideas about how to successfully fight climate change while fostering economic growth and keeping our businesses competitive.

Click here to read entire media release|
Click here to find out how to get involved
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Oak Ridges Moraine as you’ve never seen it before
Wed, Feb 18, 2015
Bill Lishman, environmentalist and photographer of Fly Away Home fame, captures the beauty of an imperiled jewel of Ontario’s landscape in a coffee table book.
[links to an external webiste]


A yes shouldn’t last forever in Ontario’s urban planning
Sun, Feb 15, 2015
Projects approved long ago take years to start — but that might provide an opportunity to truly protect our environment, writes the Toronto Star's Christopher Hume.
[links to an external webiste]


Subdivision to be built on Oak Ridges Moraine
Thu, Feb 12, 2015
Developer revives 16-year-old application to build 28 luxury estates on protected moraine lands in Caledon.
[links to an external webiste]


Packed house at Brougham Greenbelt meeting hears more required to protect open space
PICKERING -- The Greenbelt legislation is working, but stronger laws are needed to deal with threats to the open space.

That’s the message delivered during a town hall meeting hosted by the anti-airport group Land Over Landings at the Brougham Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 28. The packed house of about 150 people heard from experts and activists who are fighting to protect the Greenbelt.


Marvellous Moraine logo
Marvellous Moraine website launches!
The provincial government is going to review the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan in 2015. Together we can make sure that this legislation protects, enhances and restores the moraine.

link to article


Click here for more info about the issue [668 kb PDF]

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Everyone Agrees - the Moraine is Marvellous!
Click here to view photos from our Marvellous Moraine Event.

Big Win at the Board!
On January 27, 2014 Ontario Municipal Board Member S. Sutherland dismissed the appeal of Peter Eliopoulos to allow a wedding banquet and children’s camp on Oak Ridges Moraine lands in King Township. On ‘trial’ was the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan’s major recreational policy and more broadly what kinds of land uses fit with the vision of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Congratulations to King Township and the Stewards of the Moraine!
Click here to download a copy of the decision
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Save the Oak Ridges Moraine...Yet Again
STORM (Save the Oak Ridges Moraine) Coalition is approaching its 25th year of defending the Oak Ridges Moraine — the rain barrel of clean drinking water for over 250,000 people and 65 river and streams, green fields that grow food, trees that bind carbon dioxide and rural communities where people live and work. And we need your help.

A receipt for your donation is only tax deductible if an official charitable receipt is issued by one of our project partners we do outreach education special projects with.
Please contact us for details.
Phone: 905.841.9200

*Please substitute the @ symbol for "at" - This helps avoid spam bombardment.

Click here if you prefer to donate by cheque.

In 2015, the Province of Ontario will review three major pieces of environmental policy – the Oak Ridges Moraine Plan, Niagara Escarpment Plan and Greenbelt plan. Leading up to 2015, we will continue to work together with citizens and stakeholders to ensure that the Oak Ridges Moraine remains protected for generations to come. We have been preparing for the review for over a decade by monitoring and recording data from emerging and old issues that threaten the hydrological and ecological integrity of the moraine. 
Direct donations allow us the ability to continue being the strong voice for the moraine as we have since 1989. We can accept payment through PayPal.
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Oak Ridges Moraine Protection Policies Subverted for Solar Project Approval
The first Renewal Energy Approval (REA) on the Oak Ridges Moraine and Protected Countryside of the Greenbelt Plan areas has been granted to Canadian Solar. While supportive of the Green Energy Act (GEA) and associated Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program, concerned residents are outraged that approval was contingent on a significant reduction of setbacks from natural features such as significant woodlands,headwater streams and groundwater discharge areas.
link to article [147 kb pdf]




Copyright 2007 Save the Oak Ridges Moraine (STORM) Coalition