Retirement lot severances in Ontario: an assessment of ownership patterns, location, and perceptions
The continual depletion of farmland is an increasing concern for reasons that range from food security to supporting local economies. Within the Province of Ontario the concern is enhanced with growing urban pressures and the fact that 52% of Canada's Class 1 agriculture land is located in Ontario. With the patterns of development growth on the rise in rural areas across Ontario, the responsibility of changing and updating planning policies that address agricultural land use needs to be acknowledged. This research examined retirement lot severances, one of the ways in which agricultural land is currently being depleted in Ontario. Among the three case studies completed, the data revealed that within five years of when a retirement lot severance was granted nearly 50% of these lots had been transferred from the original applicant. Additionally, the majority of these severances were located on prime agricultural land. From the data found, it is recommended that policies concerning retirement lot severances be re-evaluated to no longer permit these severances, especially on prime agricultural land.