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Ajax no to urban expansion to house population growth

Ajax Council on March 28 unanimously passed a motion brought forward by Mayor Collier and Regional Councillor Dies, supporting a ‘no urban expansion’ scenario for population growth.

This scenario is one of five being proposed by the Region of Durham as part of a planning exercise to accommodate an additional 600,000 people in the region by 2051. The scenarios range from zero hectares of urban expansion, to requiring a sprawling 5,400 hectares for primarily low-density housing, said a town statement.

Referred to as ‘Scenario Five’, the no urban expansion option demonstrates that the region can grow to 1.3 million within its current urban boundary without paving over thousands of hectares of arable farmland and sensitive natural areas that should be protected from unnecessary residential development. Scenario Five also reduces any imminent threat of urbanization to the Carruthers Creek Headwaters, ecological sensitive land which the town continues to advocate should be added to the greenbelt.

The town said Scenario Five:  

  • Requires 0 hectares of new land for population growth;
  • Establishes an intensification rate of 55%;
  • Emphasizes medium- and high-density housing forms;
  • Meets region’s objective to create healthy and complete, sustainable communities within Durham;
  • Protects the Carruthers Creek Headwaters, farmland and other natural spaces;
  • Prevents downstream flooding and erosion in Ajax;
  • Offers the most cost-effective action a municipality can take on climate change; and
  • Reduces financial burden on taxpayers for new infrastructure.

Residents can #BoostScenarioFive, a grassroots advocacy campaign initiated by local environmental groups and stewards, by completing the region’s survey and ranking Scenario Five on top. Survey responses and comments will be accepted until April 14.

“Durham Region can say no to urban expansion like Hamilton, Burlington and Oakville did. We too have the space to accommodate future population growth within our current boundary by emphasizing higher-density and sustainable communities. I urge everyone to fill out the region’s survey and rank Scenario Five on top. By doing so, not only do we save farmland, rivers, and wetlands from development, we will also encourage more walkable, transit-friendly communities,” said Ajax Mayor Shaun Collier.

 Quick Facts

  • A hectare is bigger than an acre (one hectare is equal to 2.47 acres) and about the size of most baseball fields, or two-and-a-half times the size of an average football field.
  • This planning exercise is part a review of the official plan which guides how and where our cities and town’s grow, and how best to protect the region’s rural and natural environment.
  • The town continues to support responsible expansion and intensification of Employment Areas along major highways and abutting existing Employment Areas, to support job growth in Durham Region.
  • April 14 is the last day to fill out the Region’s Land Need Scenarios Survey.


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