Halton Region has an area of 97,287 ha. The Niagara Escarpment cuts diagonally across Halton Region from southwest to northeast. Above the Escarpment the landscape is dominated by hundreds of small to medium-sized wetlands, all of which are part of provincially significant wetland complexes and thus are fully protected from development (Level 1). The face of the Escarpment and the deeply incised valleys of some of the major creeks that originate atop this height of land are Escarpment Natural Area woodlands with Level 2 protection (Figure 3).
At present, much of Halton's urban development is concentrated in the southern portion of the Region, along the Lake Ontario waterfront in the City of Burlington and Town of Oakville. Another major urban node is the Town of Milton, located in the central part of the Region, and to a lesser extent Georgetown (Town of Halton Hills) in the northeast corner. The Region has already designated a substantial area of land around Milton for urban uses to accommodate future growth, as well as along the north side of the Highway 407 corridor.
Lands situated between the south end of Milton and the north end of Oakville are predominantly agricultural at present but some are proposed for development. However, the presence of a feature known as the Trafalgar Moraine, as well as associated wetlands and woodlands in this area may result in a higher level of protection (Level 1 or Level 2 depending on the specific feature) being given to a portion of it. A proposal to dedicate 170 ha of the 445 ha Trafalgar Moraine area to the Town of Oakville as public parkland is currently being considered (see case studies for more information on the Trafalgar Moraine and its recent planning history).
There are relatively few unprotected Greenlands in Halton Region. Away from the Niagara Escarpment there are scattered tableland woodlots that are classified as either Level 3 (partial protection) or Level 4 (no protection), as well as a few unevaluated (Level 4) wetlands (Table 2).