Skip to main content
True North Living » Live » Your Summer Bucket List » Ontario’s Greenbelt Is More than Just the Great Outdoors
Your Summer Bucket List

Ontario’s Greenbelt Is More than Just the Great Outdoors

Sponsored by:
Young boy playing in the water at the beach, Little Cove, Tobermory
Sponsored by:
Young boy playing in the water at the beach, Little Cove, Tobermory

Edward McDonnell 

CEO, Greenbelt Foundation

Mike Sehl

Board Member, EcoAdventures 

This summer, Ontario’s Greenbelt offers Canadians more than just access to greenspace, with activities perfect for a family escape.   

Ontario’s Greenbelt is the world’s largest greenbelt, encompassing over two million acres of protected land including farmland, forests, wetlands, rivers, and lakes. It is home to unique wildlife, acts as a primary source of local food and agriculture, and safeguards vital resources that keep Ontario’s air and water clean. It’s also a region ripe for adventure, with year-round opportunities for outdoor recreation and it’s on the doorstep of millions of Ontarians living around the Greater Golden Horseshoe. 


Since 2005, the Greenbelt Foundation has worked to ensure the Greenbelt remains permanent, protected, and prosperous. Through this mission, it encourages Ontarians to better understand and utilize the incredible benefits the Greenbelt has to offer — not just economically, but recreationally.  

“Access to greenspace has a positive impact on the health of a population,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation, “As Ontario continues to grow, accessible and equitable access to outdoor recreation only becomes more important.” 

Taking advantage of the season

Summer offers the perfect opportunity for Canadians to take advantage of the Greenbelt, especially as an accessible way to tap into the physical and mental health benefits afforded by nature. 

Beyond the clear physical benefits gained through common Greenbelt activities — hiking, swimming, cycling — a visit to the Greenbelt could also be considered a one-way ticket to a better mood overall. Studies have shown the incredible psychological advantages of spending time in nature, from improved sleep to reduced stress levels. Of course, when work feels all consuming, committing to spending time outdoors can also engineer a better work-life balance, further contributing to improved mental health.

Individual biking on a trail, Uxbridge, ON | Photo Credit: John Cavers

“Not only does the Greenbelt have iconic areas to explore, but it also happens to be next to the largest population center in the country,” says McDonnell. “There are opportunities to enjoy activities year round while supporting its many local communities.” 

Adventure awaits

For those looking to plan their own Ontario adventure, the Greenbelt’s many access points offer the perfect backdrop for some of the province’s most scenic hikes, biking trails, and beaches. For those who need a little extra guidance on how to utilize the area to its full potential, Greenbelt-based regional recreation operators offer guided activities perfect for individuals and families. 

EcoAdventures is just one example of this, offering a variety of seasonal ‘adventures’ like guided hiking tours, beach cave exploration, even outdoor escape rooms, all set amidst the forests, wetlands, and seascapes around the Bruce Peninsula. “Our tagline is play, learn, make a difference,” says Mike Sehl, EcoAdventures Board Member. “We want to make the community ambassadors for the area.” 

With so much to explore, the Greenbelt is the perfect summer escape for the entire family. With each visit comes a new chance to experience the magic of nature firsthand — all without having to pack an overnight bag. 

To get the adventure started this season and learn more about what awaits you in the Greenbelt, visit

Next article