Stretching over 725 kilometres, the Niagara Escarpment is one of southern Ontario’s most
precious landscapes. It is home to over 300 bird species, 55 mammal species, 40 percent
of Ontario’s rare plant species and the oldest old-growth forest east of the Rocky Mountains –
the eastern white cedar forest of the Escarpment cliff face. For over 30 years, the
provincial government has sought to protect the Escarpment through
special legislation. Today, from Niagara Falls to Tobermory,
we can see the fruits of that effort.
Niagara Escarpment –
The Success Story of the Niagara
A World of Natural Wonders
A t its southern end, the special soils and climates of the Niagara Escarpment produce world-famous wines and Canada’s richest fruit
orchards. Near its northern tip, off Tobermory, lies Flowerpot Island. In between is a world of natural wonders.
Historically, because of the barrier presented by its cliffs, human settlement of the Niagara Escarpment area did not happen as quickly as
settlement of the surrounding countryside. In the past century, physical restrictions have not hindered development on the Escarpment
nearly as much. The result has been the loss of many special environmental features and natural areas. The threat to the Escarpment
environment from development is cause for concern. The challenge for environmentally conscious citizens and organizations is to ensure
that development is controlled so that the Escarpment’s natural features and functions remain intact.
30 Years of Protection
S ince the early 1970s, the Ontario government has had in place a program that aims to protect the Niagara Escarpment from environmentally
inappropriate land use and development. The centrepiece of this program is the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP). Adopted in 1985, it
is Canada's first large-scale environmentally based land use plan. It was created under the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act
(NEPDA), passed by the Ontario Legislature with all-party support in 1973.
The purpose of the Act and the Plan is to protect the natural environment of the Niagara Escarpment and land in its vicinity. Only those
land uses or developments which are compatible with the protection of the Escarpment environment are supposed to be permitted within
the 183,694-hectare (453,724-acre) Niagara Escarpment Plan Area (see map on page 2).
The NEPDA and NEP take precedence over all other provincial and municipal laws and regulations. They are administered primarily by
the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC), a provincial agency whose responsibilities include issuing or refusing permits for development
on the Escarpment.
“The escarpment legislation, the plan and the commission represent one of the first
efforts anywhere to tackle the issue of urban sprawl, long before it became an issue in
many other parts of the province. Together, they constitute the first real ‘smart growth‘
plan in the province.“ — NEC Chair Don Scott at the 30th anniversary of the Commission, November 6, 2003
Your Niagara Escarpment. Get to know it. Learn to love it. Decide to protect it.
T he province’s program to protect the Niagara Escarpment was a
bold and ambitious initiative. Now, 30 years after the passage of
the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, we can gaze
across the Escarpment landscape and see many examples of the
Escarpment program’s success.
The Niagara Escarpment stands out as a unique feature of the
Ontario landscape – but not just because of its cliff face and rocky
slopes. Urban sprawl, which has rolled across much of the rest of
southern Ontario, has not taken over the Niagara Escarpment.
The Escarpment is a place where you can still gaze across a
landscape of cliffs, waterfalls, rolling hills, farms and countryside, and
visit quaint villages and hamlets. At night, the rim of the Escarpment
in the rural area is marked by darkness – a sharp contrast to the
assault of light that emanates from the streetlights and houses of our
suburbs and cities.
The boundary of the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area has become
more than just a line on a map. It has created an opportunity for
planners and residents to learn how best to live with the nature and
rural countryside that we want to protect – a true model for smart
In 1990, the Niagara Escarpment – thanks in large part to the
protective policies of the Niagara Escarpment Plan – was designated
a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), joining such
distinguished company as the Florida Everglades, the Galapagos
Islands and the Serengeti Plains.
How well has the province’s Niagara Escarpment program fulfilled
its objectives over the past 30 years? To begin to answer this question,
the Niagara Escarpment Foundation, in partnership with the
Smart Growth Features of the Niagara Escarpment Plan Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment, commissioned five studies to
examine the on-the-ground impact of the Niagara Escarpment Plan
Smart growth is urban development that is contained within firm urban in five key areas: the preservation of natural shorelines; the protection
boundaries, with compact, livable neighbourhoods that provide access of farmland; the protection of forests and ecological corridors; the
to greenspaces, affordable housing and convenient public transit. It is curbing of urban sprawl; and the enhancement of property values.
the solution to urban sprawl, which is low-density, car-dependent urban This report highlights the findings.
development that expands urban boundaries out into the countryside,
consuming forests, wetlands and farmlands.
The Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) promotes smart growth in many of
its policies and provisions. For example: In 2001, the Coalition on the
• The very purpose of the NEP is to protect a continuous natural
Niagara Escarpment (CONE)
launched a program to celebrate
corridor and allow development only when it is compatible with the
the Niagara Escarpment’s status
Escarpment’s natural environment.
as a UNESCO World Biosphere
• Through its hierarchy of seven land use designations, each more
Reserve by erecting dozens of
environmentally protective than the one before, the NEP establishes as a
road signs at key entrance points
top priority the protection of the most environmentally sensitive lands.
to the Escarpment, welcoming
• The NEP protects rural areas from urban uses through strict polices for visitors and residents alike.
the creation of new residential lots and through its prohibition on
residential subdivisions in the countryside. It also restricts rural commercial
91.7% of residents living in
land uses to those that primarily serve the rural community, especially
agriculture. the southern portion of the
• The NEP specifically directs new urban-type land uses such as new Niagara Escarpment feel
homes and most new commercial enterprises and institutions to existing that it is important or very
urban areas of the Escarpment. important to them that the
• The NEP encourages and fosters interconnectivity of natural areas
Niagara Escarpment be
through the Escarpment Parks and Open Space System and the Bruce Trail.
• Implementation of the NEP by a single agency – the Niagara
Escarpment Commission (NEC) – is smart because it means consistent (April 2003 Oracle Poll, conducted for
environmental protection across a long stretch of land covering many Citizens Opposed to Paving the
Escarpment, of 1,200 voting-age residents
residing in the 11 provincial electoral
• There are good opportunities for public involvement in implementing ridings from Halton to Niagara Falls. The
the NEP, such as people being allowed to speak for or against a poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.9%,
particular development at the NEC or before a hearing officer. 19/20 times).
Preserving Natural Shorelines
rom the tip of the Bruce Peninsula south to Wiarton, the Area, while only 3.6 km (3.3%) of shoreline inside the Plan Area
F Niagara Escarpment Plan Area includes the shoreline of
Georgian Bay, one of the most beautiful shorelines anywhere on the
had been developed (see Figures 1 and 2).
There are reasons other than the existence of the Niagara
Great Lakes. Escarpment Plan (NEP) to expect a higher percentage of new
Undeveloped shoreline in the southern part of the Great Lakes development since 1974 outside the Plan Area. The shorelines inside
was already becoming rare by the time the Niagara Escarpment the Plan Area have a higher percentage of land owned by public
Planning and Development Act was passed in 1973, and development agencies; there is more shoreline located within provincially
pressures have continued since. More shoreline areas have been significant Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSIs); and
developed for cottages, permanent residences and commercial uses. there is more shoreline that is undevelopable due to physical
In recent years, awareness has increased about the ecological characteristics. When public lands, ANSIs and undevelopable lands
significance of undeveloped Great Lakes shorelines and the special on both the Lake Huron and Georgian Bay shorelines are excluded,
natural habitats associated with them. The importance of protecting 8.5% of the remaining shoreline inside the Plan Area has been
as much as possible of the remaining shoreline areas is now obvious. developed since 1974, compared with 36.8% outside the Plan Area.
In 2003, the Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition Therefore, the overall record of the Niagara Escarpment
on the Niagara Escarpment commissioned a study to evaluate the Commission and the Niagara Escarpment Plan in protecting and
effectiveness of the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) in protecting conserving the natural environment of the Georgian Bay shoreline is
increasingly rare undeveloped Great Lakes shoreline. The study good. Inside the Plan Area, only two isolated cottages have been
compared and contrasted shoreline development in the Municipality of permitted outside the Escarpment Recreation Area (where the Plan
Northern Bruce Peninsula along Georgian Bay, which lies inside the directs cottage development to occur) and within provincially
NEP Area, and along Lake Huron, which lies outside the NEP Area. significant ANSIs since 1974. By comparison, outside the Plan Area,
Shoreline development existing in 1974 was determined through over 4.3 km of shoreline within provincially significant ANSIs has
analysis of aerial photos, while the extent of shoreline development been developed, much of it with shoreline cottage subdivisions, and
in 2003 was determined through aerial photos, on-site inspections another five isolated developments have been permitted. Clearly, the
and municipal information. Niagara Escarpment Plan has been a much stronger tool for protecting
The results showed that since 1974, 44.4 km (24.6%) of ecologically significant shoreline areas than municipal official plans
shoreline has been developed outside the Niagara Escarpment Plan and planning decisions have provided outside the Plan Area.
FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 Bruce Peninsula shoreline
Increase in Great Lakes Developed Shoreline in the Percentage of Shoreline Developed in the Municipality
Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula, 1974 - 2003 of Northern Bruce Peninsula, 1974 - 2003
Inside the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area
Outside the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area Percentage of shoreline developed, 1974-2003
KILOMETRES OF SHORELINE DEVELOPED
Inside the Outside the
3.6 km Niagara Escarpment Niagara Escarpment
Plan Area Plan Area
Source: "An Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Niagara Escarpment Plan in Protecting Georgian Bay Shoreline within the Municipality of Northern Bruce
Peninsula Bruce County, Ontario" by Alan Ernest for the Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment, September 2003.
Halfway Dump, Bruce Peninsula National Park RICHARD A. ARMSTRONG
he Niagara Escarpment Plan and the Niagara Escarpment
T Planning and Development Act are not only about protecting
forests and other natural areas. Protecting farmland from
created per 1,000 acres outside the Plan Area versus 0.86 per 1,000
acres inside. In the Town of Caledon, the rate was more than double
at 2.43 new lots created per 1,000 acres outside the Plan Area as
development is also a primary objective. compared to 1.09 per 1,000 acres inside. And in Lincoln, where
The Escarpment boasts a vibrant agricultural industry. In the there were no new lots created inside the Plan Area, the rate of lot
south, special soils and climates support a vibrant grape and wine creation outside was a staggering 21.3 per 1,000 acres.
industry. Further north, the Beaver Valley grows more than one-quarter These data demonstrate that the NEP and NEC have been more
of all of the apples in Ontario. Grey County is the second largest successful than local planning controls in preventing the introduction
producer of beef in the province. of non-farm residential uses and other urban uses into agricultural
To keep these industries thriving, the Niagara Escarpment Plan areas, thereby preserving the agricultural land base and protecting
contains several policies for protecting farmland. One of the most the viability of the agricultural economy.
important is the restriction on lot severances.
Lot severances are the primary way in which new homes are built Jersey Cow, Inglewood, Caledon
in rural areas. Inevitably, conflicts arise between new, non-farm
residents and the farmers trying to make a living off the land.
Complaints about noise, odours and other nuisances can make the
continuation of farming seem more and more difficult.
Lot severances also carve up farmland into smaller and smaller
parcels, threatening the very land base on which the farming
The Niagara Escarpment Plan places tight restrictions on the NIAGARA ESCARPMENT COMMISSION SUSAN POWELL
creation of new lots in rural areas in order to protect farmland – and
it has been very successful.
Total lot severances on agricultural land, 1990 – 2000
A 2002 study by Professor Wayne Caldwell of the University of
Guelph titled “Ontario’s Countryside: A Resource to Preserve or an Inside the Escarpment Rural Area of the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area*
Urban Area in Waiting?” found that there were 15,000 new lots Total across the municipality**
created in agricultural areas in 34 counties in southern Ontario
between 1990 and 2000. 218
NUMBER OF LOT SEVERANCES
The Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition on the
Niagara Escarpment examined Professor Caldwell’s results for three 173
municipalities with lands located partially within the Niagara
Escarpment Plan Area – the Town of Lincoln in Niagara Region, the
Town of Halton Hills in Halton Region, and the Town of Caledon
in Peel Region.
In each of these areas, there were significantly more new building
lots created on agriculturally designated lands outside the Niagara 50 34
Escarpment Plan Area than on lands designated Escarpment Rural 6 15
Area inside the Plan Area (see Figure 3). The larger number outside 0
Town of Lincoln Town of Halton Hills Town of Caledon
the Plan Area is expected, given the greater amount of agricultural
land. However, when the number of building lots on a per hectare * Source: Review of lot severance files in municipal offices by CONE staff in the summer and fall
basis is calculated, the same trend holds true. In the Town of Halton ** Source: “Ontario’s Countryside: A Resource to Preserve or an Urban Area in Waiting?“ by
Hills, the rate of lot creation was almost double, at 1.6 new lots Wayne Caldwell, University of Guelph, 2002.
Beaver Valley Jordan Valley
WILLY WATERTON NIAGARA ESCARPMENT COMMISSION NIAGARA ESCARPMENT COMMISSION
Protecting Forests and Ecological Corridors
he Niagara Escarpment is famous for its large, intact forests. The results show a net increase in forest cover throughout the
T Protecting these forests is critical to retaining the diversity of entire study area between 1974 and 2000. However, proportional
plant and animal species on the Escarpment. But protecting the gains in forest cover were much higher inside the Plan Area (21.5%)
forests themselves is only half the battle. To maintain healthy, viable than outside it (9.4%) (see Figure 4).
wildlife populations, the natural FIGURE 4 FIGURE 5 Also, only four hectares of
corridors between these forested Net percentage gain in forest cover, Percentage forest cover, forest was lost between 1974 and
areas must also be protected. Township of Mulmur, Dufferin County Township of Mulmur, Dufferin County 2000 in the corridors and
The Niagara Escarpment and surrounding land, 1974-2000 and surrounding land, 1974-2000 linkages areas inside the Plan
Plan was one of the first land Inside the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area Inside the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area Area, compared to 95.5 hectares
use plans to recognize the Outside the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area Outside the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area
(roughly the size of 200 football
importance not only of large, fields) outside the Plan Area.
natural areas but also of natural Due to the higher proportion
corridors between them. 21.4% / 793 hectares of good agricultural land and the
In 2003, the Niagara larger number of settlement areas
Escarpment Foundation and the 38.8% outside the Plan Area, it was not
Coalition on the Niagara unexpected that the percentage of
Escarpment commissioned a the landscape that was forested in
study to examine how effective 1974 was higher inside the Plan
the NEP has been in maintaining 9.4% / 707 hectares 20.1% Area (31.9%) than outside
and enhancing forests and (18.1%). What is significant is the
ecological corridors. much higher rate of reforestation
To provide a valid basis for that occurred inside the Plan Area
comparison between lands within between 1974 and 2000. The
and outside the Niagara percentage of forested lands
Escarpment Plan Area, it was Source: "An Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Niagara Escarpment Plan in Maintaining and Enhancing inside the Plan Area increased by
necessary to identify a study Natural Corridors and Linkages in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, Ontario" by Alan Ernest for the 6.9% from 31.9% to 38.8%,
area where lands inside and Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment, December 2003. while amounts outside the Plan
outside the Plan Area had similar landscape characteristics, land uses Area increased by only 2.0% from 18.1% to 20.1% (See Figure 5).
and levels of urbanization and/or development densities. Along most Much of the reforested areas have reduced gaps and forest
of the Escarpment, lands within the Plan Area tend to be fragmentation within both the Boyne River and Pine River corridors,
topographically distinct from surrounding areas, due in large part to strengthening and widening the linkages from these corridors to
the presence of the Escarpment slope. One exception is in the other natural areas. This is ecologically important as continuous or
central portion of the Escarpment in the Region of Peel and County almost continuous forested corridors are required for the movement
of Dufferin. There, the landscape both within and outside the Plan of many wildlife species. Likewise, some species need large blocks of
Area is characterized by rolling hills with frequent vistas and broad forest without gaps to survive. For example, in order to breed,
river valleys and very few exposed Escarpment outcroppings. several bird species require forest interior habitat located a minimum
The Township of Mulmur in Dufferin County, and a small of 100 metres from the forest edge. Other species refuse to travel
portion of the immediate neighbouring municipalities, was selected across gaps in the forest and have a strong preference for wider
as the study area because it met forested corridors.
Boyne River, Dufferin Mills RICHARD A. ARMSTRONG
these conditions, and it also Generally speaking, larger
contains two broad ecological forested core areas, wider corridors,
corridors – the Boyne River more interconnections between
valley and the Pine River valley forested areas, fewer gaps in the
– which cross the study area. forest canopy, and less fragmentation
Using 1974 aerial photography are all desirable characteristics for
and 2000 satellite imagery, enhancing habitat for many
changes in forest cover in the species-at-risk and for improving
study area were measured for the long-term health of the
lands inside and outside the ecosystem as a whole. The results
Niagara Escarpment Plan Area. of this study show that in the
Other factors that affect the Township of Mulmur, the
ecological health and habitat In the study area, Niagara Escarpment Plan is
quality of natural areas and as a percentage helping to achieve such an envi-
corridors – such as fragmentation ronment on the Escarpment to a
by other land uses, gaps in forest of 1974 forest cover, higher degree than are local
cover and encroachment of the forested area inside the Plan Area has planning controls.
development – were also examined.
increased at more than double the rate found
outside the Plan Area.
Stopping Urban Sprawl
cross much of southern Ontario, land in the countryside is
A gradually being paved over as urban areas spread outwards.
This is urban sprawl.
policies and provisions of the
Niagara Escarpment Plan, and
the Commission itself opposed
Several rapidly expanding communities are on or near the seven of them. In contrast, all
Escarpment: Grimsby, Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Milton, but two of the 14 applications
Georgetown and Orangeville, to name just a few. had support from at least one
The Niagara Escarpment Plan recognizes two types of urban areas municipal government.
within its boundaries: Minor Urban Centres and Urban Areas. The review also found 13 JASON THORNE
Urban Areas are primarily established, larger urban centres such applications that sought to expand urban boundaries or introduce
as St. Catharines, Hamilton and Owen Sound. urban uses onto one or both of the two most protective land use
Minor Urban Centres are rural settlements, villages and hamlets. designations in the Niagara Escarpment Plan – the Escarpment
Thirty-three Minor Urban Centres were identified when the NEP Natural Area and the Escarpment Protection Area. Six were withdrawn.
was approved in 1985, and three more have been added since then. All of the remaining seven applications were opposed by the NEC
The boundaries of Minor Urban Centres are established through the and ultimately refused. However, six of the seven applications were
municipal planning process. The NEC is involved in this process supported by the lower-tier municipality and five of seven were
and can appeal the municipal establishment of a Minor Urban supported by the upper-tier municipality.
Centre’s boundary to the Ontario Municipal Board, if it believes the From the history of applications to urbanize Escarpment lands
proposed boundary violates the purpose and objectives of the emerges an important conclusion – it takes more than just the strong
Niagara Escarpment Plan. policies of the Niagara Escarpment Plan to protect the Escarpment
Once established, the boundary of either an Urban Area or a over the long term. It also requires an agency dedicated to
Minor Urban Centre can be expanded only through an amendment implementing those policies. That function is served well by the
to the NEP. Some of the most intense development pressures Niagara Escarpment Commission. Municipal governments, appeal
within the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area have involved proposals to tribunals and even Cabinet have deviated from the policies of the
expand Urban Areas and Minor Urban Centres. Niagara Escarpment Plan when it comes to controlling the incursion
In 2003, the Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition of urban land uses into the Escarpment countryside. As the results
on the Niagara Escarpment commissioned a study to examine how of this study show, the NEC’s track record has been much more
proposals to expand Urban Areas and Minor Urban Centres have consistent, although not infallible.
been addressed under the NEP and through the broader planning Source: “A Review and Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Niagara Escarpment Plan Regarding
Proposals to Expand Urban Areas and Minor Urban Centres“ by Alan Ernest for the Niagara
process. All 149 of the applications to amend the NEP that had been Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment, January 2004.
received by the NEC between the approval of the NEP in 1985 and
September 19, 2003 were reviewed. Are landowners paying the price or reaping the rewards
Twenty-eight applications were found that would directly or for Escarpment protection?
indirectly expand the boundaries of Urban Areas or Minor Urban
The Niagara Escarpment Plan has resulted in strong protection for the
Centres within the Plan Area. Of these applications, 14 proceeded
forests, streams, wetlands and wildlife habitat of the Escarpment. But
to a decision, eight were ultimately approved by the provincial what has been the impact on the people who live there?
Cabinet, and six were refused.
The Niagara Escarpment Commission has proven to be more In 2003, the Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition on the
Niagara Escarpment commissioned a study to examine the impact of the
consistent in seeking to prevent urbanization of Escarpment lands
Niagara Escarpment Plan on property values in one part of the
than have local municipalities. Escarpment in Dufferin County.
Of the 14 applications that proceeded to a decision, NEC staff
recommended against nine of them because they did not meet the Sales of vacant lots inside the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area and
outside the Plan Area were compared for the period January 1, 1999
Millcroft Housing Estate, Appleby Line KATHY MILLS to June 1, 2003. The study sample was controlled for differences in size
of lots and other attributes. The study found that vacant lots inside
the Plan Area sold for prices between 8% and 32% higher,
depending on size, than similar lots outside the Plan Area.
While not necessarily indicative of the effect of the Niagara Escarpment
Plan on values of all types of properties across the entire Escarpment, this
study provides an interesting new perspective on the true impact of the
Plan protections on property values.
Over 1/3 of all of the real estate listings within the Niagara
Escarpment Plan Area commented positively on the proximity to
the Bruce Trail or public parkland.
Source: “A Comparative Analysis of Land Values Within and Adjacent to the Niagara
Escarpment Plan Area, Dufferin County, Ontario“ by Alan Ernest for the Niagara Escarpment
Foundation and the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment, July 2003.
The Next 30 Years
he results of the studies described in this report provide a development pressure on the Niagara Escarpment is only going to
T glimpse of the success of the Ontario government’s program to
protect the Niagara Escarpment.
increase in the years to come.
More than seven million people live within 100 kilometres of the
The track record has been far from perfect. Every year, there are Escarpment. In many ways, the protection that the Escarpment has
instances of development applications being approved that violate enjoyed for the past 30 years has only made it more attractive for
the policies of the Niagara Escarpment Plan. Some violations are development. Its wide open spaces and
minor; some are significant. large natural areas make it a prime
The Niagara Escarpment Plan itself also contains several location for prospective new resorts,
shortcomings. The Plan still allows for aggregate operations (pits golf courses or urban expansions.
and quarries) and golf courses in the Escarpment Rural Area, and Fortunately, 30 years ago, the
policies to protect water resources are relatively weak. provincial government recognized the
But overall, the Niagara Escarpment Plan and the Niagara fragility of this natural corridor and
Escarpment Commission have been successful in protecting the took action by passing a law and then,
Niagara Escarpment. 12 years later, adopting a land use plan
This success can be seen through the studies described above. to protect it. Provincial governments
And, most importantly, it can be seen on the ground, as you hike the of every political stripe since then have
Bruce Trail, drive along a country road, or gaze out from one of the kept those protections in place.
Escarpment’s famous scenic lookout points. The Niagara Escarpment Plan and
Much more work needs to be done to quantify and monitor the the Niagara Escarpment Commission JASON THORNE
results of the Niagara Escarpment program. Unfortunately, little are the best hopes for protecting the Escarpment long into the
monitoring is being undertaken by the provincial government to future. We can look back now and celebrate 30 years of success. But
gauge the success of its own program. For example, there has been we must also prepare for many more years of ongoing vigilance to
little or no research to determine whether the protection that the make sure that those protections remain in place and that they are
Escarpment has enjoyed has resulted in healthier wildlife populations, implemented consistently. It is the only way we can be assured that
better water quality, or higher quality of life for its residents. the Escarpment we see and love today is still there for future
This monitoring is needed now more than ever, because generations to enjoy.
View of the Escarpment from the Pinnacle Lookout, Rattlesnake Point JASNA HOLJAK
Published by the Niagara Escarpment Foundation, Spring 2004.
The Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment would like to thank the
George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation and the McLean Foundation for their generous financial support
for this project.
We would also like to thank the following individuals for their contributions to preparing this report: Bob Barnett,
Robert Boraks, Alan Ernest, Linda Pim, Jason Thorne and the staff of the Niagara Escarpment Commission.
Additional Photo Credits:
p. 1, 3, 5, 7, Richard A. Armstrong; p. 2, Dirk Heinze; p. 4, 6, Niagara Escarpment Commission
Layout and design by Claire Christie
Printing by CJ Graphics
The following studies have provided source material for this report. They can be downloaded free of charge at
www.nefoundation.org (Niagara Escarpment Foundation) or www.niagaraescarpment.org (Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment).
• Ernest, Alan, July 2003. A Comparative Analysis of Land Values Within and Adjacent to the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area, Dufferin
County, Ontario. (Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment).
• Ernest, Alan, December 2003. An Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Niagara Escarpment Plan in Maintaining and Enhancing Natural
Corridors and Linkages in Mulmur Township, Dufferin County, Ontario. (Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition on the
• Ernest, Alan, September 2003. An Analysis of the Effectiveness of the Niagara Escarpment Plan in Protecting Georgian Bay Shoreline
within the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula Bruce County, Ontario. (Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition on the
• Ernest, Alan, January 2004. A Review and Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Niagara Escarpment Plan Regarding Proposals to
Expand Urban Areas and Minor Urban Centres. (Niagara Escarpment Foundation and the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment).
Old Baldy in Kimberley WILLY WATERTON
Find out how YOU can help protect the Escarpment. Order your copy Stay informed!
of CONE’s 104-page book, Protecting the Niagara Escarpment: A Citizen’s Sign up to receive CONE’s e-mail
Guide. It brings together in one place, for the first time, all the basic
Escarpment bulletins and/or quarterly
information about the Niagara Escarpment, describing the land use
planning controls in place to protect the Escarpment and how
On The Edge newsletter. Contact
landowners and citizens can get involved in its protection. Just CONE at (519) 853-4955 or visit
$10 including shipping and handling. To order, contact www.niagaraescarpment.org
CONE or order on-line at www.niagaraescarpment.org.
Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment
The Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment (CONE) was founded in 1978. It is an umbrella organization that brings together over 30
conservation groups and thousands of individuals. CONE acts as a watchdog for environmentally inappropriate land use on the
Niagara Escarpment, works to ensure the Escarpment is protected through legislation and other means, and undertakes educational
activities to heighten public understanding and appreciation of the Escarpment.
During its 25-year history, CONE has successfully blocked several attempts to open up Escarpment lands for urban development and
advocated for stronger protections and improvements in the Niagara Escarpment Plan. In 1995, CONE won the Lieutenant Governor
of Ontario’s conservation award, recognizing excellence in environmental protection and resource conservation. In 2003, CONE was
honoured by the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association with its first Spirit of the Biosphere award in recognition of CONE’s longstanding
commitment to the principles of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve.
Many people care deeply about the future of the Niagara Escarpment. Individually, it’s difficult for us to have an impact on land use
planning decisions. But by supporting CONE, we can work together, as one voice, to keep the Niagara Escarpment green and protected.
Contact CONE at P.O. Box 389, Acton, Ontario, L7J 2M6, (519)853-4955, email@example.com, www.niagaraescarpment.org.
The Niagara Escarpment Foundation
The Niagara Escarpment Foundation (NEF) was formed in 2002 by the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment to undertake research and
educational programs to promote awareness of the Niagara Escarpment. It is a registered charity.
Contact the NEF at P.O. Box 389, Acton, Ontario, L7J 2M6, (519) 853-4955, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nefoundation.org.