Town of Caledon, Ontario: Striving Toward Sustainability

The Town of Caledon, Ontario is truly a leader in sustainability. In 2003, the town was a co-recipient of the “the Greenest Town in Ontario” award for their progressive movement, and extensive list of initiative taken toward sustainability. These initiatives include: excellent countryside planning, the Healthy Horticultural Landscapes Bylaw, strong community involvement, membership in the Partners for Climate Protection Program and extensive waste diversion programs. In 2004, an Environmental Progress Officer (EPO) was appointed and in 2005 an Environmental Progress Action Plan was prepared.  Caledon’s 2009 Environmental Action Report  attests to the impressive progress being made in the seven priority areas contained within the 2005 plan.

Over  the past year, Caledon has been reviewing its Official Plan for conformity with a range of provincial policy directives, including the Provincial Policy Statement  , the Greenbelt Plan  , the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Bill 51 (the Planning and Conservation Land Statute Law Amendment Act) . Continuing the sustainability momentum  Caledon, engaged The Natural Step to prepare a discussion paper reviewing Caledon’s Official Plan relative to the following sustainability aspects contained within these provincial policy directives: Alternative and Renewable Energy Systems; Air Quality; Climate Change; Conservation of Water; Adaptive Environmental Management; Sustainability Indicators and Monitoring; and Sustainable Development Patterns and Urban Design.

Mike Purcell, a TNS advisor working with the Town of Caledon felt that “this was an interesting project for TNS as it provided an opportunity to use the framework as a lens to highlight how provincial policy is supporting a transition towards sustainability.” He shared that “this is an application of TNS Framework that has never been used before”, which truly makes the Town of Caledon’s approach unique. 

The purpose of the review was to identify policy gaps so as to inform the strengthening of existing sustainability policies and to propose newer policies to bring the current Official Plan into conformity with Provincial Policies.