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Southern Ontario Outdoors
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Toronto and Western
Toronto and Western Lake Ontario - Destinations Overview
The GTA (Greater Toronto Area) consists of the City of Toronto and the regional municipalities of Peel, Durham, Halton and York. With a combined population of over 5.5 million people this is the urban hub of Southern Ontario. The GTA sprawls over an area of more than 7,000 sq. km. But far from being a brick, mortar, and asphalt landscape green spaces, trails, and waterways abound.
Vast parts of the GTA remain farmland and forests, including protected sections of the Oak Ridges Moraine, Rouge Park and the Niagara Escarpment. All of these areas are protected by the “Greenbelt”. The “Greenbelt” is a permanently protected area of green space, farmland, forests, wetlands, and watersheds, located in Southern Ontario. It surrounds a significant portion of Canada's most populated and fastest-growing area around the western end of Lake Ontario. Created by legislation passed by the Ontario Government in 2005, the Greenbelt is considered a major step in the prevention of urban development and sprawl on environmentally-sensitive land in the province.
The protection of the Greenbelt is significant for the following reasons:
1. It provides fresh air and clean water for people, animals and plants.
2. It preserves prime agricultural and forested land.
3. It provides residents of the region with access to parks, hiking trails, rivers, lakes and other recreational lands.
4. It preserves many historic communities, villages, towns and hamlets.
At over 1.8 million acres the Greenbelt is larger than Canada's smallest province, Prince Edward Island.
Major waterways in this region include Lake Ontario, Credit River, Humber River, Rouge River, Ganaraska River, and Trent River.
The climate in the Toronto and Western Lake Ontario region of Southwestern Ontario is mild with warm - often hot - humid summers and winters that hover close to the freezing point. It is uncommon to see extended winter temperatures below to -10 c; while summer temperatures can soar to over +30 c for extended periods.
Toronto & Western Lake Ontario Points of Interest