Located on the south-east shore of Lake Simcoe in a low sand plain, on the geomorphic lake bottom of glacial Lake Algonquin, drained by the Pefferlaw River through the historic community of Pefferlaw. Biodiversity includes a diverse complex of forests, grassland meadows, wetlands, streams/river courses, and abundant wildlife and plants.
Designated as a large developable Secondary Plan area when the Greenbelt was first established, by 2015 local naturalists proposed shrinking it to “Grow the Greenbelt”. During Official Plan, Town of Georgina reviews, Council with consultant recommendations from mapping & planning analysis, considered and supported a 59% reduction of unprotected lands approximately 1,500 hectares for protection, for the Greenbelt expansion, still yet to be realized in 2021.
Wildland ecology conservation connections of existing corridors from Duclos Pt. Provincial Nature Reserve with new proposed Greenbelt lands, to adjacent York Region Forests (Cronsberry, Godfrey and Pefferlaw Tracts) would create a large, protected country-side reserve.
Pefferlaw Wildlands Complex
The Zephyr Society of Lake Simcoe, Research Organization. A Conservation Partner of the South Lake Simcoe Naturalists (Ontario Nature).
”Growing the Greenbelt” by “Shrinking the Pefferlaw Secondary Plan Area” in the Town of Georgina.
The Pefferlaw Wildlands Complex is located at the southeast shore of Lake Simcoe in low undulating sand plain community, the geomorphic lake bottom of glacial Lake Algonquin. Connected naturally to bogs and marshes through the Pefferlaw River and watershed from Lake Simcoe at its mouth, south to the north slope of the Oak Ridges Moraine, where its headwaters originate. Where the river reaches the shores of Lake Simcoe the historic community of Pefferlaw was founded in the late 1820’s and developed along the river. Today the town, a cultural gem, remains intimately connected to the river and the surrounding natural habitats. Here are biodiverse mature and early to mid-successional forest, grassland meadows, various wetlands, clear streams and river courses and attendant abundant wildlife and plants (of diverse taxa, including habitat sensitive species).
The area was designated as a large developable Secondary Plan area when the Greenbelt was first established. But, by 2015 local naturalists proposed shrinking this urban envelope to “Grow the Greenbelt” surroundings. At that time, during Official Plan Review and Provincial Coordinated Land Use Planning Review, the Council of the Town of Georgina in York Region supported Secondary Plan contraction, of consultant recommendations from mapping, planning analysis and conceptual operational implementation to the area. This recommendation detailed a 59% reduction of unprotected lands that would liberate 1,496 hectares of these significant natural heritage landscapes that would be protected in the Greenbelt expansion, possibly the last such opportunity remaining in the entire G.T.A. The recommendation plan has still not been advanced by responsible levels of government by 2021. The hope is that provincial consultation process of “Growing the Greenbelt” will lead to implementation and establishment of this very important conservation opportunity.
Key in the plan and design is a major landscape ecology connection of an essential natural heritage corridor. Extending from the Duclos Point Provincial Nature Reserve (one of the last large natural Lake Simcoe shoreline protected areas) with new Greenbelt lands to adjacent York Region Forest areas (Cronsberry, Godfrey and Pefferlaw Tracts) to the south clustered around the high quality Pefferlaw River up-stream of the urban town area.
In light of the direct relationship between the Pefferlaw Secondary Plan and the Provincial Greenbelt, the Georgina Official Plan specifically be amended to increase the Greenbelt area and reduce the Pefferlaw Secondary Plan areaas it exists now. Therefore, it is our recommendation that the province shrink the Pefferlaw Secondary Plan area in the Georgina Official Plan. This makes excellent design logic and sense and is good planning, and is,
- Consistent focus on Growing the Greenbelt and managing growth in a controlled, planned and consistent manner.
- Good planning and in the public interest
- In the interest and action of supporting natural heritage conservation of natural heritage and wildlife.
- In the interest of the hamlet of Pefferlaw and the Town of Georgina as per Georgina Report N. 2015-0026.
- Is a geographically defined and identified area that can be represented in an Official Plan.
- In the Lake Simcoe act and Plan there is no provision for future large municipal sewage plant service to the community of Pefferlaw, so development will be limited over many years.
- In the Ontario Growth Plan consultations and Plans, minimal development of infill etc. is projected for the 20-30 year time frame.at the community of Pefferlaw.
- The required planning operational arrangements are primarily Zoning change and administrative and local consultation. Compared to other areas in the existing Greenbelt in the G.T.A., this Growing the Greenbelt at Pefferlaw can be readily achieved now!
- There are existing York Region Forests (Cronsberry, Godfrey and Pefferlaw Tracts) in and adjacent to the proposed contraction area of the shrinking of the Secondary Plan area. Also, the significant Duclos Point Provincial Nature Reserve (Adjunct to Sibbald Point Provincial Park) in the area provides an incredible linkage in landscape ecology, and fulfilment a major goal of the Lake Simcoe Act and Plan.
- Natural corridors connect the river/streams and the surrounding natural habitats. Here are biodiverse mature and early to mid-successional forest, grassland meadows, various wetlands, clear streams and river courses and attendant abundant wildlife and plants (of diverse taxa, including habitat sensitive species).
Key Report: Town of Georgina, Council Agenda, Wed. May 13, 2015. Item 35. Page 16 of Report No. PB-2015-0026.
Two key Maps to the Town of Georgina Report No. PB-2015-0026, of the 2015 Provincial Coordinated Land Use Planning Review for visual documentation of shrinking the Pefferlaw Secondary Plan (Maps below, 5 and 6 of the Georgina Report) are key to implementation of this conservation initiative of creation of the conservation reserve.
Map 5, Report No. PB-2015-0026, Attachment 3, pp. 1 of 1. Town of Georgina document. “Shrinking Pefferlaw Secondary Plan to Grow the Greenbelt” Zephyr Society of Lake Simcoe.
Zephyr Society of Lake Simcoe Map (to be added)
Ontario Greenbelt – Pefferlaw Wildlands Complex.
Harpley, Paul (2021) Ontario Nature and Partners, StoryMap documents Pefferlaw Wildlands Complex, The Zephyr Society of Lake Simcoe, Canada Protected Areas Program.
Harpley, Paul (2021) Ontario Gov. Grow the Greenbelt 2021 Consultation Submission, The Zephyr Society of Lake Simcoe, Georgina, Ontario
Harpley, Paul (2019) The Zephyr Society of lake Simcoe, SLSN Comments: Proposed Amendment to the Growth Plan. ERO 013-4504, 6 pages. 2019-02-28. Georgina, Ontario.
Harpley, Paul (2018) The Zephyr Society of lake Simcoe (2018) Grow the Greenbelt Review Comments – EBR 013-1661. 5 pages, 2018-03-05, to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister Mauro, Government of Ontario, Georgina, Ontario.
Harpley, Paul (2016) SLSN “Growing the Greenbelt at Pefferlaw, South Lake Simcoe in northern York Region” – To the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance (O.G.A.). 2016-06-08, 6 pages. Georgina, Ontario.
Harpley, Paul (2016) SLSN, Greenbelt Review, Town of Georgina, Ontario Government Coordinated Land-use Review Process, EBR 012-7195 To: MMAH and MNRF – Proposed Greenbelt Plan. 2016-10-31: 012-7197. 6 pages. Georgina, Ontario.
Harpley, Paul (2016) SLSN, Greenbelt Review, Town of Georgina – Shrinking the Pefferlaw Secondary Plan to Grow the Greenbelt, and Urban Valleyland Designations for Maskinonge, Black and Pefferlaw Rivers in the Town of Georgina – To: York Simcoe M.P.P. Julia Munro. Georgina, Ontario.
Harpley, Paul (2015) Lake Simcoe Living, Growing the Greenbelt in South Lake Simcoe – Not yet to be. Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 11, Spring, 2015, Bradford, Ontario.
Harpley, Paul (2015) SLSN, Correspondence; Felix Whitton, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation – Pefferlaw Secondary Plan, unreasonably large, Georgina, Ontario.
Canada Protected Areas
The Pefferlaw Wildlands Complex is a prime candidate for a Protected Area in the Canada 30 x 30 17% protected area program. The first stage of planning is to get the entire area out of the ridiculously large current Pefferlaw Secondary Plan, and into the Greenbelt.
The Zephyr Society of Lake Simcoe and the South Lake Simcoe Naturalists have been working on the science-based program, planning operational arrangements and community conservation advocacy for over 7 years. Two past opportunities to act by the province in the past with the Wynne Government were not acted upon in spite of detailed submissions and action by our organization. The Town of Georgina on recommended “Shrinking the Pefferlaw Secondary Plan” to “Grow the Greenbelt” under science and community pressure by our organizations, but no substantive action by the municipality has been demonstrated in 7 years, to make this happen.
It is hoped the present Provincial government in their “Grow the Greenbelt” consultations presently will act to “Shrinking the Pefferlaw Secondary Plan” to “Grow the Greenbelt”.
Following success in getting the lands into the Greenbelt, the entire area could be considered for a “Protected Area” candidate Site in the Federal Government 30 x 30, 17% protected lands. This Pefferlaw Wildlands Complex with it’s tremendous corridor landscape ecological form and function from Lake Simcoe south to the wild Pefferlaw River is unique and large.
Canada Protected Areas Program – The People’s Summit Information Below.
Paul Harpley, Director
The Zephyr Society of Lake Simcoe
The People’s Summit
|Canada is not immune to the global biodiversity crisis. We are approaching almost 700 species at risk in this country. How do we turn the tide? Protect enough habitat. Science says nature needs half. |
Canada has pledged to protect 30% of our land and ocean by 2030 (the 30 x 30 commitment). US President Biden has also made this commitment. Québec and California are ahead in delivering on the promise of 30×30. Yet, Ontario sits at 10.7% with no pledge to do more.
The Peoples’ Summit, a virtual event, taking place June 15 – 17, will showcase Ontario’s special places needing protection.
Getting to 30% requires leadership from of all of us: Indigenous Nations, environmental organizations, communities, municipalities, conservation authorities, progressive industry, land trusts and more.
Join us to hear amazing speakers discuss: Indigenous leadership on protected areas Protected areas opportunities in every region of Ontario Urban protected areas National Marine Conservation Areas Ecological linkages and wildlife corridors Save the Date (click to add to Apple iCal, Google Calendar, our Outlook Calendar). Information on free registration to follow.
|Janet Sumner Executive Director|
Location: Pefferlaw Wildlands Complex Ontario
Pefferlaw River edge near walk Bridge 2021-05-14 P. Harpley
Pefferlaw River edge Wooded stream 2021-05-14 P. Harpley
Pefferlaw area Grassland meadow 2021-05-14 P. Harpley
Pefferlaw River White Pine Natural Regeneration 2021-05-14 P. Harpley
Pefferlaw River Wooded Wetland near Duclos Point P. N. Reserve 2021-05-14 P. Harpley