Welcome to Halton (video)

Whether you enjoy the rural backdrop of the Niagara Escarpment or the picturesque views of a charming downtown street, Halton Region maintains a diverse landscape for both residents and visitors looking for the perfect blend of urban and rural scenery.

Did you know that Halton has over 25 kilometres of waterfront property and is home to Canada’s largest botanical garden? Also, did you know that there are only 16 classified UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves in Canada and the Niagara Escarpment is one of them? Or, were you aware there are over 10 kilometres of natural footpaths to uncover at Bronte Creek Provincial Park? These are only some of the many offerings that contribute to Halton Region’s rich quality of life.

Located less than an hour’s drive from Toronto and Niagara, we are fortunate to experience the shift of the seasons and enjoy the many activities that go along with a new time of year. In Halton you can visit a local farm in the fall and go apple picking, enjoy exceptional winter skiing and snowboarding at Glen Eden, spend a spring afternoon shopping and dining along the lakeshore or take in a summer festival under the sun. No matter what your preference, there’s something for everyone in Halton.

I invite you to check out our recently updated Welcome to Halton video and see why Halton is such a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For more information on the many things to do and see in Halton, please visit www.halton.ca. Or follow Halton Tourism on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and get connected to discover more of what our dynamic community has to offer.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Taking a stand against a proposed highway through our escarpment

To view a larger image, please visit http://www.niagara-gta.com.

The Provincial Ministry of Transportation has been conducting the Niagara to Greater Toronto Area (NGTA) Corridor Planning and Environmental Assessment (EA) Study for the past number of years. The purpose of the study was to look at all transportation options (including rail, road, transit and marine) that might improve transportation between Niagara and the GTA. One of the options that is being considered as part of the study is the construction of a new Provincial highway that would cut across the escarpment in Burlington.

For almost 10 years, Halton Region and the City of Burlington have been advocating against Provincial plans to build a new highway that would cut through the Niagara Escarpment. In fact, in June 2011, Regional Council unanimously passed a resolution to advise the Province that we are opposed to a highway cutting though the Niagara Escarpment.

The Niagara Escarpment is the most significant natural landform in Ontario. It includes more than 100 sites of geologic significance, is the habitat for 300 species of birds, 53 mammals, 36 reptiles and amphibians and 90 kinds of fish; more than 1500 species of vascular plants, 50 ferns & 37 species of wild orchids. A highway would destroy our natural environment and rural quality of life. It is imperative to our community that we protect such a significant resource and landform. Together, we can make our unified voices heard.

Please join me, Mayor Rick Goldring, Burlington Councillors and members of the Stop the Escarpment Highway Coalition (SEHC) at a public meeting to learn more about the project and how you can provide your comments. Join us on:

Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: Mainway Recreation Centre, 4015 Mainway, Burlington (Auditorium)

Halton is home to an active and vibrant farming industry. With more and more people choosing to buy and eat locally produced food, it’s more important than ever to protect our made-in-Halton food sources. With some of the best agricultural land in the Greater Toronto Area, it’s critical that we protect it – not pave over it.

The proposed Provincial highway through Burlington would not only decimate our prime agricultural resource, it would also devastate the Niagara Escarpment and the Ontario Greenbelt.

As the most significant natural landform in Ontario, the Niagara Escarpment is one of only 12 UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves in all of Canada. This designation puts the Escarpment in the same class as the Galapagos Islands and the Serengetti Plains in Africa.

With more than 2,000 plant and animal species calling the Escarpment home, it’s a tourism attraction for people across the Province. And with six million people living within 90 minutes of the Escarpment, it not only contributes to the natural beauty of Halton, but financially as well. Recreation in and around the area contributes more than $100 million every year to local and regional economies from the tourism, winery and culinary industries it supports.

We need to protect our environmentally sensitive land and farmland from becoming a new highway. We need to preserve this area so it can filter pollution from our air; to retain our rural quality of life; so our farmland can continue to feed us; and so that plants and animals can stay in their natural habitat.

But we can’t do it alone. We know that protecting our environment and coming up with effective transportation solutions is an enormous task that can only truly succeed with the help of many partnerships and a lot of hard work. Let’s protect our valuable rural resources for today and tomorrow to ensure Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For more information, please dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/ngta.

Halton Region Museum launches Jeff’s Home – a virtual tour of the Escarpment in Halton

As Halton residents, we are fortunate to live in the path of the Niagara Escarpment. Stretching 725 km in length from Niagara to Tobermory, the Niagara Escarpment is classified as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. 24% of the total land area of the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area’s 480,000 acres is located here in Halton Region.

In fact, the Niagara Escarpment in Halton includes some of the most dramatic and picturesque Escarpment landscapes in Ontario.  There are impressive exposed dolostone cliffs at Rattlesnake Point External Link, Glen Eden External Link and Mount Nemo External Link. Hilton Falls Conservation Area External Link offers a beautiful waterfall and mill ruins and Crawford Lake External Link offers a reconstructed First Nations’ village.

While the Escarpment is instantly recognizable, it’s surprising how many people have never actually explored this wonderful natural landmark.

In the fall of 2009, staff at the Halton Region Museum began working in partnership with other organizations, on an interactive web exhibition on the Niagara Escarpment in Halton.

The goal of the project was to:

  • foster an appreciation and awareness of this significant natural heritage feature
  • further the conservation and preservation of Escarpment ecosystems
  • increase the viability of tourism on the Escarpment
  • promote organizations and sites conserving it

Jeff hanging onto a balloonOver the past year, the Museum worked with partners External Link to create an interactive, informative and easy to use experiential exhibition on the Escarpment in Halton. This ambitious project was undertaken in partnership with heritage and education groups in Halton to promote an understanding and respect for Escarpment heritage conservation. Jeff’s Home was made possible with the assistance of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s Museums and Technology Fund External Link.

The site is named after the Jefferson Salamander, one of the inhabitants of the Escarpment.  Jeff acts as a guide through the site’s virtual tour, educational and information resources.

Jeff’s Home provides an accessible way for people of all ages to take a virtual hike on the Escarpment in Halton. It reinforces the Museum’s position as a gateway to unique natural resource. I invite you to visit the site at jeffshome.halton.ca.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”