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Housing Prices Causing Canadian Farmland Shrinkage

Housing Prices Causing Canadian Farmland Shrinkage

By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com

It’s not really new news, but urban sprawl continues to play into the shrinking landscape that is farmable land in Canada.

Despite being the second-largest country on the planet and only 40 million people to occupy it, Canada’s arable farmland is diminishing owing to continued demands for more housing—reigniting concerns of eventual food production shortages.

Recently, lower interest rates in Canada have helped fuel the desire to purchase property, and developers are keen to oblige—purchasing arable acreage close to urban populations to turn into new housing.

Usually, the larger the city the more expensive the housing is, becoming less expensive as one moves away from the urban centre. This causes more and more farmable land to be snatched up by developers looking to turn it into a new urban suburb.

In defense of the developers, many have sat on purchased property for decades, and make their money back by leasing it to farmers of every kind.

Along with the financial incentive of lower interest rates, the ongoing pandemic has also been pointed to as a reason for some wanting less to do with the urban with fewer “concerns” in a newly gentrified rural community. IE, they want to move out of the city and into a new suburb to avoid future contamination.

According to the advocacy group, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Ontario is losing 70 hectares of agricultural land every day. Every single day. And it’s due to the creation of new urban rural habitation.

But it’s not all bad—cities such as Toronto and Vancouver already have in place a Green Belt policy to protect agricultural farmland to prohibit further development.

Although provinces are the official arbiters of more expansive land-use planning regulations, the federal government has measures to ensure that the ag sector will have the necessary support to provide food for Canadian tables by monitoring the challenges farmers face.

And yet, for the many people willing to leave their urbanized surroundings, others continue to follow their own goal of owning and operating their own farm and agricultural business—and where better to seek out that dream than by perusing the Farms.com Real Estate section.


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