Welcome to the Niagara Escarpment Commission

An agency of Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources, the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) works on behalf of the people of Ontario to preserve the Niagara Escarpment as a continuous natural landscape – a vital corridor of green space through south-central Ontario.  

The NEC is comprised of 17 members and a Chair; 8 representing municipalities and 8 representing the public-at-large. The Commission meets on the third Thursday of the month to consider Development Permit Applications, Plan Amendments and comments on development proposals. Please contact the Commission secretary for meeting information.

The Niagara Escarpment is a protected area under the Province of Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, 1973,and the Niagara Escarpment Plan (NEP) Canada’s first large-scale environmental land use plan. 

The Niagara Escarpment Plan - Canada's first green planThe Niagara Escarpment Plan outlines land use designations, development criteria and related permitted uses, including farming, forestry and mineral resource extraction. It also provides the framework for a string of 141 Niagara Escarpment Parks and Open Spaces (NEPOSS) linked by the Bruce Trail, Canada’s oldest and longest continuous footpath.

Designated a UNESCO World Biosphere,Reserve
Désignation des réserves de biosphère de l’UNESCO in 1990, the Niagara Escarpment is an internationally recognized landform and is the cornerstone of Ontario’s Greenbelt. A landscape of rich biodiversity, home to hundreds of Ontario's Species at Risk, vital watersheds, agricultural areas and 450-million year old geological history, the Niagara Escarpment is a treasure to protect for future generations of Ontarians.

NEC Strategic Plan

Click to view the NEC's Strategic PlanThe NEC's Strategic Plan 2012-2016 has been approved by the Ministry of Natural Resources

NEC Review of the Draft Provincial Policy Statement (PPS)


Dark Skies over the Niagara Escarpment

Dark Skies over the Niagara EscarpmentView our Dark Skies Brochure (Francais) learn how to be "Dark Sky Friendly" like our friends in the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula.

The preservation of our natural night sky helps maintain healthy habitats for the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve's unique species.

As well as decreasing energy wastage and expenditures, this initiative enhances the night sky for astronomical viewing.


Doing business with the NEC?

View or subscribe to our newsletters to learn more about the NEC's work:

Giant's Rib Discovery CentreOur friends at theGiant's Rib Discovery Centrehave produced a stunning video of the Niagara Escarpment's history, geology and unique features - click to view.

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232 GUELPH STREET, GEORGETOWN, ON L7G 4B1 TEL 905.877.5191 FAX 905.873.7452