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York Region - Land Evaluation and Area Review (LEAR)
Project Date/Duration: 2009

View a sample of the official plan  LEAR Report  (3.12MB)

View a sample of the official plan  Map - SAMPLE  (422KB)

The purpose of this report is to provide background information and describe the approach that was developed for a Land Evaluation and Area Review for York Region.  The results of the LEAR are intended to inform the decision making process regarding current and future planning issues in York Region.

The LEAR System is a provincial evaluation process, developed to identify prime agricultural areas by inventorying lands with agricultural potential in contiguous areas.  The results of the analysis aid in the development of local and provincial agricultural policies.  This LEAR will identify prime agricultural areas in York Region, including lands inside the Greenbelt (including the Oak Ridges Moraine) and "White Belt", for consideration in the York Region Official Plan Update.  The LEAR evaluation does not assess muck or organic soils only mineral soils.  In York, the muck soils in the Holland Marsh have been identified by the Province as a Specialty Crop Area.  However no other specialty crop evaluation was done.  At the time this study was done, there was no "evaluation procedure established by the Province" to identify specialty crop areas and the addressing this requirement was outside the terms of reference for the study.

A LEAR Evaluation uses both physical and socio-economic factors to evaluate the protential for agriculture in a defined study area.  Typically, the Land Evaluation (LE) component of a LEAR uses soil capability conditions to assess the productivity of the land. Soil ratings are based on the Canada Land Inventory Soil Capability Classification for Agriculture (ARDA, 1965).  The Area Review (AR) component measures other important non-soil factors that may enhance or impeded agricultural activities such as installed infrastructure, fragmentation, adjacent lands currently in production and proximity to conflicting land uses.

All Maps can be found within the report.

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