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Measuring Farmland Availability

Status: In Progress

This project seeks to evaluate the current state of Ontario's farmland in terms of land availability and policies regarding farmland preservation. The goal of this study is to develop a methodology that can be replicated across communities throughout Ontario that will measure both the availability of farmland and amount lost.


Healthy Rural Communities: Strategies and Models of Practice

Status: In Progress

This purpose of this project is to identify evidence-informed strategies and models of practice for land use planning policies, procedures and designs for the built environment to improve population health outcomes in rural communities. This project will result in the development and distribution of a toolkit to advise public health professionals, land use planners, municipal staff and elected officials of effective strategies and models of practice.


Strategic Directions for Agricultural Development in Northeastern Ontario

Cochrane District in Northeastern Ontario has a long history of agriculture which continues to have an important presence in the area. However, this sector faces several obstacles, such as aging farm operators with limited succession planning. With this in mind, this study undertook to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats inherent for agriculture in this part of Cochrane District as well as present strategic actions which could be undertaken in order to expand agriculture in the area.


Lot Creation in Ontario's Agricultural Landscape: Trends, Impacts, Policy Implications

Status: Completed in November 2011

This research provides a province wide summary of the extent and nature of rural non-farm development across Southern Ontario for the period 2000-2010. The research identifies implications for agricultural production, and will contribute to the imminent review of the Provincial Policy Statement.


Regional Development: Planning for Resiliency In the 21st Century  - A Methodology and Approach for Communities Dealing with Climate Change and Rising Oil Prices

Status: In Progress

Climate change and anticipated changes in oil pricing are likely to significantly impact rural Ontario.  The research will provide practical strategies that will help ensure that rural Ontario is prepared to respond to the related issues of climate change and rising oil prices.  Both of these issues stress the need for strategies of resilience and policy that reflect the diversity of rural Ontario.


Doing Democracy with Circles: Workshops for Public Sector Professionals

Status: In Progress

This proposed project will move the resources developed in the book into a practical learning context for public sector professionals. The main objective is to improve public consultation process through the adoption of innovative techniques that ensure meaningful dialogue and effective avenues for conflict resolution. The nature of the circle process lends itself particularly well to sensitive and potentially controversial issues.


Best Practices in Rural Economic Development and Planning: A Learning Series for Municipal Councillors and Practitioners

Status: In Progress

After determining how a number of rural communities are planning successfully for economic development, this project will now put this information into the hands of key stakeholders as a way to build local planning and development capacity. It also has the potential to impact municipal policy decisions, particularly in terms of the process of community economic development.


Perspectives on Planning for Agriculture and Food Security in the Commonwealth

Status: Completed 2014

Planning for food security in the Commonwealth is a unique task that covers many subjects, faces many challenges, and has many inspiring opportunities for success. A number of perspectives on these challenges and opportunities are covered in this document. These topics are evolving and represent a snap-shot in time.


Identifying Rural Research Priorities through Community Engagement

Status: Completed in March 2010

Rural regions are often limited in their capacity to conduct research. This proposed research will implement a methodology that engages community and organizational representatives in a systematic dialogue that will help to identify rural research needs from a community and organization perspective.


Prospering with a Stable or Declining Population: Best Community Economic Development and Planning Practices for Rural Communities

Status: Completed in March 2010

Amongst municipalities losing population, there are those who have developed an integrated and innovative community-based approach to planning and economic development. These "best" practices offers hope and solutions that can be transferred to other communities with limited potential for population growth. This research identifies innovative practices to help communities prosper even where there is a stable or declining population.


Rural Development and Horse Farms: Understanding the Economic and Social Impacts of Horse Farms in the Urban-Rural Fringe Regions of Ontario

Status: Completed in December 2007

Horse farms are one of the least understood forms of agriculture in Southern Ontario and yet from an economic development perspective, they bring a multitude of economic benefits and spin-offs that create employment, encourage investment and protect the rural landscape. This project is aimed at understanding the impact that horse farms may bring to the rural-urban fringe of urban centres in Southern Ontario.


Environmental Planning & Innovation: Best Practices for Rural Communities

Status: Completed in 2010

Rural Municipalities are trying to respond to many environmental issues such as water clarity, air quality and climate change. The success of their respond vows from municipality to municipality reflecting their resources, but also the approach that they adopt. This research identities best practice that can contribute to an effective response.


Lake Huron Shoreline: a Community Based Approach to Solving Water Quality Issues

Status: Completed in 2007

Water Quality Issue along the Lake Huron shoreline have been the source of much controversy. This record takes a multi stakeholder approach to emerging residents in positive action towards a Coordinating response.


Finding the Balance: Evolving Provincial & Municipal Governance of Nutrient Management

Status: Completed in May 2006

This research relates to the changing nature of Provincial & Municipal Governance of Nutrient Management. It has two key objectives: the identification of on-going issues between the province and municipalities (including the monitoring of municipal acceptance or rejection of provincial authority) and the development of policy options and recommendations to improve the municipal/provincial relationship.



Community-Based Strategies for Resolving Agricultural and Land-Use Conflicts

Status: Completed in February 2004

Increasingly there is a recognition that conflict resolution strategies offer the potential to resolve conflict related to agriculture. At its best it can offer workable solutions, enhance communication and foster understanding. Despite this potential, however there is an absence of materials to help develop and implement local strategies...



Livestock and Agricultural Intensification: Community Perceptions of Environmental, Economic and Social Impacts as an Impediment to Agricultural Production

Status: Completed in November 2000

In many areas of Ontario livestock production has reached a crossroads. Community antagonism often translates into municipal by-laws which can be an impediment to agricultural production.



Planning for the Future: Development of Ontario's Wine Industry

Status: Completed in November 2000

The purpose of this research is to understand the dynamics of the "on-farm" wine industry and to evaluate the appropriateness of related provincial, regional, and local planning policy. This policy is directly related to the future growth and development of the Niagara "on-farm" wine industry with numerous related rural economic development opportunities.



Rural Non-Farm Development: Its Impact on the Viability and Sustainability of Agricultural and Rural Communities

Status: Completed in October 2003

Ontario's agricultural industry is the most intensive and diversified in Canada. At the same time as agriculture has become increasingly intensified, however, there has been a significant increase in rural non-farm lots within the countryside. Unfortunately, an accurate count of new rural lots created since the early 1990's does not exist.