Rural non-farm development: An assessment of the creation and impact of non-farm lots on Ontario's agricultural industry



Weir, Claire Josephine

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University of Guelph


Prior to this research, a count of rural non-farm lots created in Ontario during the 1990s did not exist. Nor were the implications of these rural non-farm lots on the viability of Ontario's agricultural community understood. Thirty-four counties/regions were surveyed and five case studies were conducted to identify the creation and impact of the non-farm lots in Ontario's agricultural land during the 1990s. As agriculture has become increasingly intensified, there has been a cumulative increase in rural non-farm lots. The creation of rural non-farm lots within agricultural land means that not only is physical farmland being lost, but the restrictions that accompany the introduction of non-farm uses also pose a threat to agricultural production. The viability of agriculture in Ontario is dependent on a farmer's ability to identify changing trends in agriculture and respond accordingly. The ability to respond, however, is increasingly affected by the cumulative presence of non-farm development.



rural non-farm lots, non-farm lots, Ontario, agricultural land, development