Tyandaga residents listen to report after report and learn that the brick company plans to begin cutting trees this winter.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 4th, 2017



TEC stop quarry expansion Jul17It was a meeting where no one got what they wanted – the gap between the Meridian Brick company and the TEC  – Tyandaga Environmental Coalition was far too wide.

Meridian Brick was not giving an inch and the residents remained steadfast; they wanted their homes protected from what they were certain was going to be environmental and health damage.

It was a lengthy meeting – more than two and a half hours during which the brick company went through report after report on the progress of various issues – noise, human health, PM and silica monitoring, a species at risk report, an Archaeological study and a Salamander study. Most, but not all, delivered by people who could not have been more boring.

The evening was moderated by a brick company representative who would not let the microphone out if his hands. It was humiliating to those people who stood to speak.

The company continually talks of “ Being a good neighbour” which they say means “doing our part to keep you informed about what’s happening with Aldershot East, the third phase of the Aldershot Quarry.” Drives the residents crazy.

Aerial of the site with house location shown

The red line is the boundary for the third quarry that Meridian Brick wants to prepare for excavation work – which will require the clearing of all the trees.

During the meeting the company let it be known that they were very close to doing a clear cut of the wooded area in the eastern part of the property – which is yards away from the homes on West Haven Drive.

The residents pressed for a date – not a word from the company – who are just issuing reports that are mind numbing while city and provincial elected officials stand by muttering but doing nothing.

The MPP, doesn’t seem to be able to get the meeting the TEC people want with the Minister of NAtural Resources and Forestry and the Mayor has yet to realize that he can actually do something.

It was a depressing meeting.

Excavation equipment 1

How do you lesson the noise from a piece of equipment like this?

Excavation equipment 2

Expect a lot of noise from this equipment.

There was a report on managing the noise – the audience was assured that there was a plan for that as well.  How they are going to manage noise from the heavy duty excavation equipment will be interesting.

In one of the presentations the audience was told that two documents govern pits and quarry operations: the license and a site plan.

Many feel that the license issued in 1972 doesn’t reflect the environmental changes that have taken place since 1972.

The requirement for a site plan put this right smack in the middle of the city’s domain. The whole Air Park mess was about the need to file a site plan.

The city hasn’t said a word about whether or not Meridian Brick is in compliance with the site plan requirement. Watch for some push from the environmental lawyer representing the West Haven residents.

Meridian Brick has set out a timeline for the excavation work they plan to do. There was the hint that they were saying to the residents that they didn’t have to worry – a lot of the work was 10, 12, 15 and 20 years out.

Most of the residents will have moved on – this isn’t a young family community.

Westhaven looking toward lake

West Haven looking toward lake.

And while that may be true – the value of any homes that are put on the market is going to be a lot less than the value today. An appraiser report suggests that values decline by between 10% to as high as 40% when a quarry is opened close by. The maps in this story show just how close that quarry is to the high end homes.

Activities in the north corner will not take place until late in the site’s life – approximately 15 to 20 years in the future.

The entire east quarry site will be progressively rehabilitated and reforested as the site is extracted.

Meridian Brick said the complete initial mitigation plan will be completed in the fall of 2017.

An access corridor to the west area of the site and initial tree clearing is to begin in 2017/2018 winter.

In 2019 to 2023 site preparation stripping of stage 1 and continuing rehabilitation of the center quarry.

2023-2033 – Stage 2 preparation and excavation.

2033-2038— Stage 3preparation and excavation.

East and center quarrysa linked

Map shows the link between the center quarry that is being worked now and the eastern site that the company wants to begin working in 2018.

The Archeological study that was done to determine if there was any land that was used by the aboriginal community. There was some evidence found, enough to call for further study – but not enough to be able to say that there actually was an aboriginal community on the property.

Interesting however is the mention that the report has t6o be sent to the Minister of Tourism and Culture and Sport who happens to be none of the than Burlington’s MPP Eleanor McMahon. The rport read out to the audience says: “This report is submitted to the Minister of Tourism and Culture and Sport as a condition of licensing in accordance with Part VI of the Ontario Heritage Act, RSO1990, c 0.18.

McMahon - First public as Minister

Minister McMahon has a duty to approve at least one of the reports that Meridian Brick issued. No comment from her office so far.

“The report is reviewed to ensure that it complies with the standards and guidelines that are issued by the Minister, and that the archaeological field work and report recommendations ensure the conservation, preservation and protection of the cultural heritage of Ontario. When all matters relating to archaeological sites within the project area of a development proposal have been addressed to the satisfaction of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and Sport, a letter will be issued by the ministry stating that there are no further concerns with regard to alterations to archaeological sites by the proposed development.”

Is the Minister going to issue such a letter – without meeting with the TEC people?

There are issues that the TEC people can follow up on – but they do so at their expense. So far the city hasn’t lifted a finger in the way of support for the residents.

They are hoeing rough ground over on West Haven Drive.

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4 comments to Tyandaga residents listen to report after report and learn that the brick company plans to begin cutting trees this winter.

  • Lynn

    Well Eleanor McMahon? What are you going to do for your city? We already know Craven and Goldring are doing nothing. But now the archaeological report is going to land in your lap. Avoiding the issue and the people who want to speak to you might not work this time.

  • Michael S. Wilson

    The Press have been slamming all of City Council for not supporting the Tyandaga Community. That is not a true Statement.
    Marianne Meed Ward and Jack Taylor (neither our Ward Representative) have both publicly expressed their concern and support of measures the community are pursuing and appear to be taking action on the residents behalf.
    The real disappointment has been our Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven, whom has provided no support to his constituents on the issues.

  • Hans

    I’m saddened to read that “..the city hasn’t lifted a finger in the way of support for the residents.”

    Surely the residents will be appealing their tax assessments so that there will be a loss of revenue to the city and that should be an incentive to get involved.

    Based on events from the last few years, that Moneysense magazine rating doesn’t seem valid anymore.

  • Phillip

    Look at McMahon’s record in representing this community–a no-show during the PAR process, including several opportunities to get involved and now a no-show on this environmental issue. Apparently, rubber ducks are a priority. Question: why do we need her as our MPP? This question will be answered in June, 2018.