Our roads and cities live on gravel — but where does it come from?
Aggregates is the lifeblood of development, and the closer the source is to the development, the cheaper it is. That’s why there is tremendous pressure to dig new pits and quarries on sensitive land close to urban centres.
The general consensus is that Ontario needs a good aggregates strategy, and that aggregate conservation needs to be the foremost priority.
In the meantime, the battle between aggregate extraction and preservation plays out through individual battles.
“Rebalancing the Load: The Need for an Aggregate Conservation Strategy for Ontario“, 2005, Pembina Institute.
“Aggregate Extraction in Ontario: a Strategy for the Future“, 2011, Canadian Institute on Environmental Law and Policy (now merged with CELA)
Stop the Mega Quarry (NDACT)
In 2011, The Highland Companies filed an application with the province for the largest quarry in Canadian history on the best farmland in Ontario and at the headwaters of five river systems. The mega Quarry would have sprawled across 2,316 acres and would have plunged 200 feet below the water table on a 15,000 acre plateau of Class 1 farmland. A large and diverse group of rural and urban residents launched a Stop the Mega Quarry movement.In support of the campaign, Soupstock was born, bringing over 200 chefs out to a fundraiser event.
The campaign was a success, and the quarry proposal was withdrawn.
The Niagara Escarpment
It’s a world biosphere reserve protected by a regional plan and a huge pile of rocks. No wonder folks want to build quarries there.