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Conservation Authority to Transform Former Landfill Site into a Significant Natural Heritage and Recreational Destination in Durham Region

May 17, 2011

(Toronto, May 17) Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) today announced that significant restoration work is being planned on 392 hectares (969 acres) of former landfill and aggregate lands in Duffins Creek Watershed, located north and south of the 5th Concession Road, east of Brock Road, in the Town of Ajax and City of Pickering.  Four creeks can be found in this site and it is adjacent to two major natural corridors that offer critical wildlife habitat and connectivity to Greenwood Conservation Area.  Together with TRCA's adjoining Greenwood Conservation Area, this acquisition will result in the creation of greenspace measuring 3,313 hectares (8,187 acres).  TRCA acquired the property from the City of Toronto in January 2011 and will be working in partnership with the City of Pickering, Town of Ajax and Region of Durham to complete and implement the restoration plan.

"There is growing demand for recreational green spaces in Durham Region and we are excited to restore this land back to its natural form," said Gary Bowen, Duffins Carruthers Watershed Specialist, Toronto and Region Conservation "Together with our partners we hope to achieve a sustainable balance between meeting the demand for recreational opportunities and preserving the natural heritage function of our conservation lands."

TRCA estimates that 35 per cent of the lands have been disturbed through previous land use activities which have changed the site significantly.  Restoring the site back to its natural form will help to re-establish functional ecosystems that will provide habitat for a number of sensitive species including aquatic, avian and terrestrial species at risk.  Restoration work being planned includes: restoring wetlands, promoting diversity of habitats, large and small scale forest restoration and restoring hydrology of the site to improve cold water fisheries habitat. 

 TRCA staff are currently preparing a restoration plan that will ensure that lands contribute to TRCA's vision for The Living City®, with the hopes that the site will include functioning wetlands, diverse and self-sustaining communities of native plants, fish (redside dace, Atlantic salmon and brook trout) and wildlife (Virginia rail, swamp sparrow, wood frog and spring peeper), and where natural and human heritage features are protected and valued.

Following preparation of the restoration plan, TRCA will continue to work with municipal staff to ensure that integration of planned recreational facilities and public use areas are in harmony with the ecosystems of the property. Once restored the lands have the potential to provide numerous recreational opportunities including hiking, cross country skiing, angling and nature viewing experiences. The trails within this property will be linked to regional trails such as the Trans Canada Trail, Seaton Trail, Oak Ridges Moraine Trail and Rouge Park Trail.

A series of public meetings will commence this Spring, with initial focus on the planned site restoration activities.  Subsequent meetings in the Fall of 2011 will take place to discuss future recreational and cultural uses.  The Master Plan for this work is set to be completed by May, 2012, with restoration work tentatively set to begin in June 2011. TRCA hopes to complete restoration work by 2015.

What: Public Consultation Meeting Brock North and South Lands Restoration and Master Plan: Learn more about the plans for habitat restoration and help share the future of this property.


City of Pickering

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Civic Complex, Council Chambers

One The Esplanade

Town of Ajax

Thursday, May 26, 2011

6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Town Hall, Council Chambers

65 Harwood Avenue South



Toronto and Region Conservation

With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity.  For more information, call 416-661-6600 or visit us at;


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Media contact:

Elizabeth Oakley
Tel: 416-661-6600 ext 5856

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