Residential Development Threats in The Land Between

Funding provided by the Kawartha Heritage Conservancy through a grant from the Metcalf Foundation


The Land Between is a mosaic transition zone between two distinct biomes, the Mixed wood Forests in the South and the Boreal Forest in the North. It is within commuting distance of two major urban centers (Toronto to the South and Ottawa to the East), and is a popular cottage country area rich in natural amenities. The Land Between is important ecologically because ecotones act as zones of control that facilitate or impede flows of material and wildlife. In this area, increasing exurban development is threatening these processes through landscape fragmentation and increased barrier effects.

More information on the Land Between can be found on the Couchiching Conservancy website.


For this particular research, the area of interest provides an ideal opportunity to examine the exurban development across a range of biophysical conditions at different levels of human activities from west to east and from south to north. The goal of the project is to a assess development threats from land conversion or intensification in The Land Between through research and understanding of land use dynamics in exurban landscapes using remotely sensed, census, and other spatial data.

Specific objectives include:

1. Calculate accessibility to population centres, transportation corridors and natural amenity features

2. Determine the relationship between accessibility variables, socio-economic conditions, biophysical characteristics and residential expansion

3. Identify protected open space and other constraints on residential development including seasonal home construction

4. Map potential future development threat levels based on recent changes and constraints



1. Poster Presentation, 2007 AAG: Alternative geomatic approaches to developing spatially disaggregate data on exurban development (24 MB)

2. Presentation, Land Between Reserach Meeting, 2007:: Residenital development threats in the Land Between