Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Judy Bates

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Urban sprawl continues to advance further and further into the countryside, as individuals trade cramped urban spaces for much larger rural lots and longer commutes to work. This increased sprawl permanently converts productive agricultural land to urban uses, especially in regions surrounding rapidly expanding cities. It is for this reason that farmland preservation has become a significant issue for policy officials in recent decades. According to the literature, there are numerous methods of protecting prime agricultural land in the face of urbanization; however there are few studies that focus on how these different policy techniques affect farmers. The Ontario government recently impelemented a Greenbelt Plan in an attempt to ‘protect environmentally sensitive lands from development’ (MMAH, 2005), in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario. This study uncovers farmers’ perceptions of both the processes and implications of the recent legislation. Farmers in this region feel that they have been left out of the decision making process and they do not believe that the Greenbelt Plan will effecitvely maintain agricultural viability or control urban expansion.

Convocation Year