The total unbuilt supply of land to accommodate housing and employment to 2031 and beyond now stands at almost 125,600 hectares.
Most of that land is in the Designated Greenfield Area contiguous to existing built-up urban areas, where full municipal water and wastewater servicing is available or planned.
However, the second largest amount of land is in Undelineated Built-up Areas, areas that were never meant to be a focus of growth. Proposed changes to the Growth Plan would, however, allow municipalities to direct growth to these areas and count that growth as part of municipal intensification. Such a change would encourage leapfrog development and undermine the goals of the Growth Plan.
The third largest amount has been added to the total by way of urban boundary expansions near Barrie and Brantford.
The fourth and final amount is in the form of employment areas added to the County of Simcoe through Amendment 1 to the Growth Plan. Although at present residential growth is not permitted on these lands, there may be pressure to convert them to residential settlements, which would also undermine the goals of the Growth Plan.
The total inventory of land is sizable, and any future proposals for boundary expansions should take into account the amount of land already available for development.
Understanding the total amount of land available for development outside the built-up areas in the region is the question Neptis set out to answer in this Brief. But understanding the location of that land is equally important. Not all the land is equally appropriate as the focus of growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
It is equally important to understand and calculate the supply of land available for intensification in the built-up urban areas of the region. This is an essential element of the land supply that needs to be monitored in order to deliver on the intensification-first principle of the 2016 Growth Plan.