Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

C. Grant Head

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The term “sensitive area” is a product of planning initiatives which have developed within the province of Ontario since the early nineteen seventies. As there are a number of closely related terms utilized the sensitive areas concept generally is defined as the creation of a reserve or the removal of land from unfettered commercial development or intense human use. The concept has been associated with a broad range of environmental concerns such as, the protection of wildlife habitat, maintenance of ecological function, retention of scenic areas and preservation of historic sites. Similar initiatives across North America are surveyed and the historic precedence for land reservation in Ontario is examined. The author concludes that there is widespread concern for this concept and that it is pockets of vested interest in traditional conservation modes which prevents a unified co-ordinated approach to sensitive areas planning in Ontario.

Convocation Year