Posted June 2013
Highland Creek Treatment Plant Update
Update from the CCRA and members of the Highland Creek Treatment Plant
As reported in November 2012, the City of
Toronto’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee received a report from
staff that recommended a new environmental assessment for the Highland
Creek Treatment Plant. This reset the process and put to close a previous
decision by City Council that authorized the trucking of sludge, which is
also known as the “beneficial use option”. The City’s decision to pursue
trucking of sludge went against a staff recommendation to upgrade the
incinerators at the Plant despite incineration being cheaper, having lower
emissions, and having lower community risk. The CCRA had helped gather
over a 1,000 signatures to a petition calling for a new environmental
assessment and opposing the trucking of sludge.
An unfortunate development has occurred. The CCRA has learned that in
June 2013, in response to interventions from councillors outside of Ward
44, the City put on hold the Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new
The RFP was issued in May 2013 for a consultant to assess all options,
with public consultation, on the plant's disposal of sewage.
Apparently, in early June, councillors in favour of trucking of sludge
met with city staff to advocate for the previous council-endorsed method
of trucking of sludge. These councillors asked why the council-endorsed
solution of trucking of sludge was not being implemented. Our local
councillor, Ron Moeser, was not invited to or made aware of this
meeting. As a result of this meeting, the City Manager ordered city
staff to withdraw the RFP for a new environmental assessment.
As a result, the CCRA and members of the Highland Creek
Treatment Plant Liaison Committee are circulating a
online petition that calls for the environmental assessment
and existing terms of reference (assessment of all options and health
and social impacts with full public consultation) proceed as previously
issued. You can drop off your paper petition at the CCRA's mailbox (near
the gym) at the Port Union Community Centre (5450
Lawrence Avenue East, Scarborough, Ontario, M1C 3B2). Please read
conservation report or a
about the issue for more information.
Follow the CCRA website
for more updates.
It is not certain what will happen next.
City staff noted in a report that our local community and the Ministry of
Environment had concerns about the City’s decision to pursue trucking of
sludge when the draft environmental assessment presented to the public
supported a different preferred solution. However, the City of Toronto has
not yet submitted the Biosolids Master Plan Environmental Assessment to
the Ministry for approval. It is possible that if an updated version of
the Biosolids Master Plan Environmental Assessment were to be submitted to
the Ministry, the Ministry could overturn the City’s decision and order a
new environmental assessment.
It is important that we advocate to city
councillors to support a new Schedule B Environmental Assessment with a
special health impact assessment and full community consultation. There is
a concern that the pro-trucking councillors may attempt to convince the
City to pursue a method that involves the least amount of community
consultation. Councillor Moeser is in favour of the new environmental
assessment and a solution that is supported by the community.
The CCRA will support an option that is
based on sound evidence-based research and decision making and is
supported by the community. Trucking of sludge goes squarely against this
as the costs for this method only keep getting higher and with worse
environmental and community impacts than other methods. Also, polling done
by the City shows that local residents support an improved method of
incineration with enhanced emission controls.
The CCRA and members of the HCTP liaison
committee will be circulating information at the Port Union Waterfront
Festival on June 22 (11am to 3pm) at the Port Union Village Common at Port
Union and Lawrence.
Check the CCRA website (www.ccranews.com)
for further updates and join the Facebook page “Don’t truck our poop” (www.facebook.com/donttruckourpoop)!
Posted June 2013
Centennial Subdivision Proposal
proposal for a new residential subdivision was submitted to the City of
Toronto on April 10th 2012. The proposal includes a total of 18
new dwelling units and a new 16.5 metre roadway.
property located at 222 Centennial Road 12 units are proposed, including 5
detached units fronting Centennial Road. The new roadway would accommodate
7 lots to house semi-detached dwelling units. Six lots are depicted on the
land parcel at 35 Atcheson Boulevard in the concept plan, each with a
detached dwelling unit with access to Atcheson.
Scarborough Community Planning is in the process of scheduling a public
consultation meeting in the upcoming months. Once a date and time have
been confirmed, notices will go out to an expanded distribution area. The
details will also be found on Counsillor Ron Moeser’s website and the CCRA
Rouge Hill Dog Owners’ Association Update
application for an off-leash dog park in our community was submitted to
the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division on April 15
and is currently under review. Councillors Moeser and Berardinetti have
been informed of the submission and the Rouge Hill Dog Owners’ Association
met with Councillor Moeser and made a presentation to the executive of the
CCRA to discuss the plans and hopes for a successful request. We are now
waiting to hear from the City regarding the status of our application.
Assuming a positive outcome, there will be a local community meeting
allowing neighbours to have input on the proposed off-leash park. Any
questions or concerns can be directed to Cindy BruceBarrett at email@example.com
or Jennifer Fitzgerald-Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can find more
information on the Rouge Hill Dog Owners’ Association on Facebook at
Toronto Parks Plan Update
Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division has completed its 2013-2017 Parks
Plan which was submitted for consideration to the City of Toronto’s Parks
and Environmental Committee on Monday April 22nd.
plan is the result of public engagement, consultation, research and
development with the aim of connecting the community to our city parks.
The plan reflects the city’s goal is to improve the “greening”,
sustainability, quality and system of Toronto parks. The content of the
plan builds upon previous work to maintain and improve the park system.
The aim of the document is to aid and guide decision making, outline
priorities and define a program of investment.
of the Parks Plan and Staff Report can be found at:
Simply click on the links under Background Information.
posted May 2013
Combat Invasive Species by
Naturalizing Your Property: A Focus on Dog-Strangling Vine
Gardening season is upon us and
few realize how important the vegetation we select can be for the
environment in our community. Sometimes, by planting species that don’t
naturally grow in the area, we are hurting the chances for species of
native plants and animals to succeed.
What is “Dog-Strangling Vine”?
Dog-Strangling Vine, known to scientists as
Vincetoxicum rossicum, is a non-native invasive species of concern
in Ontario that has been growing in our community, particularly along
fences that line the lakeshore trails. There are two species of the vine
found in Ontario known by the same name.
Dog-Strangling Vine is a
successful strategist as it has two methods of reproduction. Not only can
it reproduce by seed but it can essentially “clone” itself by sprouting
new plants from the rhizomes on its extensive root system. It is
tremendously aggressive with a dense root system that makes it very
difficult to remove due to its ability to grow from root fragments. In
fact, if a rhizome section is cut, two new plants can grow as a result.
What are the negative impacts
of Dog-Strangling Vine? While it may not be
as violent as its name conveys, this species does pose a serious threat to
the natural environment as it can out compete plants that have valuable
roles in local ecosystems. It aggressively grows to form thick stands,
which crowd out native vegetation. One of the most serious impacts of
Dog-Strangling Vine in Ontario is its threat to the Monarch Butterfly, a
provincially designated species-at-risk. Monarchs will lay their eggs on
this species of milkweed, but once hatched, the caterpillars cannot
survive on Dog-Strangling Vine and their life cycles are cut short.
What can you do to help?
First and foremost, make sure you can identify Dog-Strangling Vine. Look
for a vine that grows 1-2 metres high by spiraling around other vegetation
or supporting structures (fences, gates, etc.). This plant has leaves that
are oval shaped with a pointed tip. These leaves can grow from 7 to 12 cm
in length and grow in pairs on opposite sides of the stem. In early summer
its small purple, star-shaped flowers will begin to bloom and in late
summer its bean-shaped pods develop. Each seed has a feathery white
appendage that help its travel by wind and these can be seen as the pods
2) If you find this species on
your property remove it immediately. Ensure you dig up the entire root
structure and do not leave any fragments behind. Dispose of the entire
plant in yard waste bags to ensure that they do not spread further.
3) The most important thing you
can do to combat non-native invasive species is to naturalize your
property with native vegetation.
Exclusively native nurseries are
the best place to obtain garden supplies that will enhance the natural
environment. We are lucky to be situated near “Native Plants in
Claremont”, a nursery in North Pickering who are part of the reputable
Society for Ecological Restoration. They have a variety of native species
of grasses, sedges, flowers, shrubs and vines available for purchase. They
even supply Common Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, which will attract
and support Monarch Butterfly populations if planted.