Ontario on Thursday scrapped plans to build on protected lands that ring Toronto after a huge backlash that saw two ministers resign over windfall deals for developers.
The horseshoe-shaped 810,000-hectare ring of fertile farmlands, forests and wetlands edge Toronto and nearby cities that hug the north and west shores of Lake Ontario — the most densely populated and industrialized region of Canada.
The greenbelt is a mix of private and public lands that have been protected since 2005 in an effort to limit urban sprawl.
Premier Doug Ford, citing a desperate need to build homes for a burgeoning population, last year opened up 3,000 hectares for new housing in the area conservationists describe as the world's largest greenbelt.
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