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Brock Lands V0


Project Update

Public Consultation Meeting Brock North and South Lands Restoration and Master Plan                

Please be advised that the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) held Public Information Meetings on May 25, 2011 in the City of Pickering and May 26, 2011 in the Town of Ajax. 

Please take the opportunity to review the presentation provided at these meetings and provide your comments by completing a workbook.

Learn more about the plans for habitat restoration and help share the future of this property.

Background of Project

On January 18, 2011, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) acquired the former Brock North and South Landfill sites from the City of Toronto. These lands are located north and south of the 5th Concession Road, in Town of Ajax and City of Pickering. The property is 392 ha (969 acres) and located adjacent to two major natural corridors that offer critical wildlife habitat and connectivity to other important habitats within the Duffins Creek watershed. From a regional hydrogeological perspective, these properties play a unique role as both recharge and discharge areas of regional groundwater.

Brock Road Property Map
Click to view the map in detail

Vision

The Brock North and South lands will be restored to support functioning, diverse and self-sustaining communities of native plants, fish and wildlife. Through careful planning, ongoing monitoring, and site management, these lands will become a public destination, offering a variety of recreational and cultural experiences that are appropriately integrated on the landscape to ensure natural and human heritage resources are protected. These lands will also facilitate important regional trail linkages and provide connectivity to the planned Seaton Natural Heritage System, west of the property and the Greenwood Conservation Area to the east, resulting in 3,313 ha (8,187acres) of connected natural green space.

Challenges to Restoration:

Horsetail
Invasive Species TRCA, 2010

Altered Hydrology TRCA, 2010
Altered Hydrology TRCA, 2010

Stream bank Erosion TRCA, 2010
Stream bank Erosion TRCA, 2010

Barrier to fish migration Trca, 2010
Barrier to fish migration TRCA, 2010

 

Restoration Plan

The terrestrial landscape and hydrologic functions of the Brock Road North and South properties have been significantly altered through previous aggregate extraction and landfill operations. TRCA estimates that 138 hectares (341 acres) or 35% of the lands have been disturbed through previous land use activities that have altered the topography, drainage and ability to support historic vegetation. TRCA is currently undertaking a restoration planning exercise to transform the property into the most significant natural heritage parcels and recreational destinations in Durham Region.

TRCA's current planning practice gives priority to restoring altered and degraded sites for each habitat. For terrestrial opportunities, priority will be directed at re-vegetation to promote connections between existing forest patches, and other habitat types and to increase forest patch size. Some unique habitat features have resulted due to the dramatic land alterations, and some of these will remain to increase diversity, while others will be restored to more natural historic conditions.

The aquatic restoration target for all stream reaches is to maintain high quality continuous habitat that is consistent with a natural coldwater system. In relation to fish management, target species include Redside dace, Atlantic salmon and Brook trout. Removal of obstructions to fish passage is needed, including old infrastructure, such as a dam removal.

Planning undertaken to date has identified the following habitat opportunities:

  • Repair degraded wetlands and restore hydrologic function resulting in the restoration of 26 ha of wetland habitat;
  • Link the natural system and provide connectivity with the planned Seaton Natural Heritage System to the west and the Greenwood Conservation Area to the east;
  • Promote diversity of habitats including thicket swamp, cattail marsh and meadow marsh, and provide habitat for species of concern within our jurisdiction including Virginia Rail, Swamp Sparrow, wood frog, and spring peeper;
  • Conduct both large and small scale reforestation initiatives and install structural habitat features to connect existing habitat cover which will result in 139 ha of forest restoration; and
  • Restore the hydrology of the site, day-light streams, remove barriers and utilize natural channel design principles, and stream-side (riparian) plantings to improve 14.7 km (142 ha) of cold water fisheries habitat and riparian corridors.

 

Master Plan

Once restored these lands have the potential to provide numerous recreational opportunities including hiking, cross country skiing, angling and nature viewing experiences. This tract of land will facilitate important regional trail linkages to the Trans Canada Trail, Seaton Trail, Oak Ridges Moraine Trail and Rouge Park Trail systems, as well as connections to the planned communities of Seaton, Duffins Heights and north Ajax.  Public amenities that support municipal recreational and cultural objectives will also be carefully evaluated through the master plan process.

Following preparation of the restoration plan, TRCA will work with the City of Pickering, the Town of Ajax and Durham Region to ensure that integration of planned recreational facilities and public use areas are in harmony with the ecosystems of the property. Through the master planning process, TRCA will work with our partners and consult with the community to introduce public use, provide interpretation of natural and cultural heritage features, and  prepare necessary management and operation agreements.  City of Toronto representatives will also be consulted to ensure that any financial implications tied to the purchase agreements are defined and understood by TRCA and its partners.

City of PickeringTown of AjaxDurham Region

For more information, please contact Laura Stephenson, Manager at (416) 661-6600 ext. 5296 or lstephenson@trca.on.ca.