Tyandaga residents become aware of just how much noise they will have to put up with if shale mining ever takes place in their back yards.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 6th, 2017



You live in a nice part of town. The homes are in the million dollar price range. Traffic is just local – the view out over the lake is pleasant.

Life is good – the neighbours get along with each other quite well.

The Tyandaga West Subdivision was registered in 1999.  The original developer ran into problems and sold their interest to another developer who completed the project.

The development is very close to a quarry that mines shale for the manufacturing of brick. The brick company has gone through a number of mergers and acquisitions and is now known as Meridian Brick. The corporate organization has had a license from the province to quarry for shale since 1972.

Aldershot has been home to brick manufacturing sine the 1900’s.

Westhaven looking toward lakeThe people on West Haven, which run west off Kerns Road, are not opposed to the manufacturing of brick – but they do wonder if a quarry that was approved forty years ago is appropriate in what is now a built up neighbourhood.

For the most part the residents were really aware of the brick making operation – until they were told that the mining for shale was going to take place less than 100 yards from their homes,

All was well until the neighbourhood got a letter from the brick manufacturer that they were going to begin mining for shale in the eastern section of the property. There are three sections that are marked for shale mining with a hydro line running through the property.

When the community got the letters they met, organized and started to make their views and concerns known to their elected officials and to the brick company.

Graphic of TEC quarryThe residents got even less than lip service from the politicians – “they have a license” said both the Mayor and the ward Councillor Rick Craven.

Indeed they do said the residents – it was issued in 1972 and a lot of things have changed since then. In a very smart piece of community organizing they pointed out just how much things have changed in the 40 plus years since the license was issued.

The community reached out to the Mayor and the ward Councillor as well as the MPP and Cabinet Minister  Eleanor.  In a prepared statement TEC said:

“Ms McMahon (local MPP) and members of her local team were made aware of the health and ecological concerns of the community with respect to the proposed quarry extension in September 2015.

“Since that time there have been ongoing discussions and meetings, and specific requests from TEC of  Ms McMahon’s office.  TEC had requested her to take the lead in organizing meetings for TEC,  with the MOECC and MNRF and to assist TEC in a process to obtain a Ministerial Zoning Order that would enable a review of the quarry  to be conducted. Ms. McMahon has voiced TEC ‘s concerns and objections to Meridian’s plans but to date the group are unaware if she has facilitated a meeting with the various ministers as there has been minimal communication although that has requested many times.

“In May 2017, her office acknowledged that Meridian does have to carry out endangered species studies.  To date Meridian nor Minister McMahon have provided any information with respect to the studies.”

You can see where that’s going.

At this point – the community and the corporation are each holding their own meetings.

TEC stop quarry expansion Jul17The West Haven residents incorporated a not for profit with the name Tyandaga Environmental Coalition (TEC) was the kind of community that could raise funds quite easily – they asked residents to pony up $500 per household. That gave TEC a war chest and they hired one of the better (perhaps the best) environmental lawyers – David Donnelly, one of the lawyers on the winning side of the fight to block the expansion of a quarry in the Escarpment.

David Donnelly

David Donnelly, environmental lawyer representing TEC

Donnelly is a bit of a “pit bull” – he is a tough cookie and not shy about stepping into a battle for the environment.  He looks for solutions that will keep everyone happy.

The TEC people are vigilant – they recently spotted some equipment that was working the property. Hiding in some bushes a resident filmed the work crew – listen to what was recorded on a cell phone.

Note the graphic that set out the sound that the residents will hear every day that the mine is being quarried for shale.

TEC bull dozer sounds

The illustration sets out what the residents are going to have to deal with. 102 decibels is louder than a food blender (80 db) on a kitchen counter.

Is the city going to allow that much noise?

There is a solution that is being put forward by the TEC people.  Their counsel David Donnelly, in conservation with Mayoralty candidate Mike Wallace on Cogeco’s The Issue with Mark Carr sets out one approcach but as Donnelly points out “there is no point going to city hall if they don’t want to listen.”

It was pretty clear that Wallace was listening.

Related articles:
The residents put the license issued in 1972 in perspective.
Brick manufacturer claim they have to cut down 9000 tress to get at the shale.

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3 comments to Tyandaga residents become aware of just how much noise they will have to put up with if shale mining ever takes place in their back yards.

  • Barbara

    This is not just about shale and business. This is about loss of green-space, loss of wildlife life, some endangered, loss of protected flora and the negative impact on human health. Do people not have the right to live in a healthy environment. Cancer rates are on the rise in many regions, southwest ontario being one of those regions. There are proven carcinogens in shale dust. When easterly winds blow, this dust can spread over a kilometre or more. Currently there is a buffer between the residential area (9000 trees approximately) and the current quarry. That buffer will be removed. Forty years ago when this expansion was approved, the closest home was almost a kilometre away.

    You also have to ask yourselves, how does just a metal fence divide protected escarpment (Cootes to Escarpment) from disposable forest. Just because of an outdated license. Are we not Burlington Green and is it not our role, as adults to protect the environment for our children and grandchildren.

  • BurlingtonLocal

    Because they already have shale bought and paid for in Burlington. Right beside the factory.


    I don’t understand why brick makers in southern Ontario are not using the enormous amount of Queenston Shale that was excavated by Ontario Power Generation to construct to long water diversion tunnel at Niagara. This project, completed in 2013, involved the removal of huge quantities of Queenston Shale along the 10 kilometre long, 12.7 metre diameter tunnel route. Most of this excavated shale is now stored in Queenston – about a one hour drive from Burlington.