Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Is Yellow The New Green

Posted by auroracitizen on May 6, 2012

Yesterday, I had the occasion to drive around Aurora running a number of errands. I was shocked by the volume of dandelions .

It seems like every square inch of town owned boulevard is covered in yellow dandelions — which will soon turn to white seedlings and spread across Aurora.

Residents are fighting a losing battle against these plants in spite of the fact that everywhere I turned people were out digging these pests from their lawns. Trying to hold back their assault.

Since the ban on pesticides, the state of green has diminished.

There are now more environmentally and people friendly methods available of dealing with these weeds, but it looks like to town has thrown in the towel. Resultant, if you are unlucky enough to live near any town owned land, you are going to soon be overrun with the weeds moving onto your property no matter what efforts you make to maintain a healthy green lawn.

If Aurora doesn’t want to be overrun by these weeds — then something needs to be done.

Posted in Community Corner, Environment | 8 Comments »

Does Aurora Smell?

Posted by auroracitizen on November 19, 2010

Has anyone noticed that disgusting smell that’s been permeating throughout Aurora?

No, nothing to do with the residue left over from the municipal elections. This smell is real.

Whenever the wind blows up from the south side of town, that awful stink from the yard waste drop off site on Bloomington completely covers the town. It incredible how this has continued on and off again for a few years now.

Can’t something be done about this? I can’t possibly be the only one to find the smell nauseous.

Kevin in Aurora

Posted in Community Corner, Environment, Waste | 18 Comments »

A Failure of Leadership and Responsibility

Posted by auroracitizen on August 24, 2010

The following is reprinted from the Aug 18 edition, Volume 13 no 33, of NovæResUrbis – Greater Toronto Area Edition ( this weekly magazine focuses on municipal politics and urban planning issues in Toronto and in the GTA).

Aurora appeals consolidated
In a prehearing decision issued August 12, board member Reid Rossi provided an update on an appeal by Aurora 2C West Landowners Group Inc. against failure of the Town of Aurora to approve an official plan amendment to establish a secondary plan for the Bayview Northeast Area 2C West lands, located on Concession 2, east of Yonge Street, bringing the lands into the designated future urban expansion area.

Rossi also provided an update on an appeal by Elhara Investments Limited and Aurora-Leslie Developments Limited (collectively known as Aurora-Leslie Developments Inc.) against the town’s failure to approve an official plan amendment for lands bounded by Leslie Street, Highway 404, Wellington Street and St. John’s Sideroad to permit development of a new community.

The board consolidated the appeal of Aurora-Leslie Developments Inc. with that of Aurora 2C West Landowners Group. The board set aside November 15 for a further prehearing conference, noting that at that time the town’s position would be known and the parties would be able to engage in more substantive discussions. A full hearing is expected to be scheduled for 2011.

So what’s an ordinary citizen to think?

How about Council has failed to do the job they were elected to do and look after the best interests of this community?

When the decision-making process is removed from their hands and turned over to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to make decisions on our behalf — then Council has failed in their elected duties.

The hoopla — just prior to the election — about things like the Promenade Study is just smoke and mirrors to divert our attention from the fact that they failed to deal with official plan amendments as required.

Posted in Election 2010, Environment, Growth, Leadership, Town Council | 35 Comments »

Why No Evening or Weekends Trains for GO Transit

Posted by auroracitizen on July 21, 2010

Thank  you for hosting this blog to allow residents to voice their opinions and concerns.

Here’s something I can’t figure out: why does the GO train run all day long from east to west but not north to south? And why no north-south weekend service?

The north-south trains are certainly full during commuter hours and the GO buses are often packed on weekends. As an Aurora resident who enjoys dining downtown, theatre and sightseeing, I would LOVE to have the same service as the people in Pickering or Burlington. I don’t get it. The tracks are there. The trains exist. The demand is likely there. But the service is not.

Personally, I would eagerly take advantage of a mid-day train to Barrie or downtown. I often take the GO bus downtown on Saturdays when I go to see shows or shopping. The bus, however, is NOT the train. The ride is uncomfortable — stuffy air, bumpy roads, sometimes stop-and-go traffic. I recently took the train from Toronto to Niagara and wow, what a difference. It was a lovely ride — and there were hardly any people on the train in the middle of a summer Saturday.

Think about this: Our Saturday GO buses are quite full and the Toronto-to-Niagara train is nearly empty. But the Toronto-Niagara Saturday riders have a wide-open schedule and we have only a few, crowded buses. We are constantly told that people should take transit rather than drive, but if the service is not convenient, how can we do so?

I would love to read what others have to say about this. How can we get all-day and weekend GO train service to take us north and south — downtown and to Barrie — the same way that the east-west service runs?

Or am I the only one who feels this way?


Posted in Community Corner, Community Input, Environment, Growth, Traffic/Parking, Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

What is the Downside of Not Fighting Westhill?

Posted by auroracitizen on July 21, 2010

Out of the chaff being spread between Mr. Poppe and other posters including yours truly, I did find one grain of wheat that might do with some clarification.

Guy Poppe responded to my earlier post regarding Westhill.

“If you think it is expensive to fight legal battles (brought by others) wait until you find out the cost of having to remedy water issues for neighboring properties.

The Town has a choice: ensure proper water and sewage resources from the developer or face further litigation for negligent approval.”

If I’m reading correctly, GP believes the Mayor’s ‘spend now-save later’ strategy is an example of far-sighted wisdom. ie; Aurora should spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to kill a previously approved development because said development MAY damage the water and sewage works of neighbouring properties and IF that damage occurs Aurora MIGHT be on the hook for the costs of repairs and POSSIBLE litigation.

Since most of us seem to have the more cynical view that this is simply a case of blatant pandering to a special interest group perhaps our more informed readers/posters could enlighten us (at a See Spot Run level please) on the consequences of the worst case scenario.

If it all goes wrong as some fear is Aurora actually left holding the bag?

What about Westhill? the Region? the Province?

Tim the Enchanter

Posted in Community Corner, Community Input, Environment, Growth | 2 Comments »

Guest Post: Further Info on $500,000 Trail Addition Requested

Posted by auroracitizen on June 19, 2010

I do a lot of hiking on a weekly basis in town & in Newmarket and thoroughly enjoy Sheppard’s Bush and the Nokiidaa Trail north of Green Lane in Newmarket.

I just read the article at, Trail link project set to start this winter (–trail-link-project-set-to-start-this-winter )

At the General Committee meeting Aurora Council  approved going ahead with linking the Nokiidaa trail in Aurora to Newmarket section, but would still need final approval. I have followed bits & pieces of this topic from various sources but don’t have the whole picture. I do see that this does not include the “other planned enhancements, such as turtle ponds and snake hibernacula” and the project is going to cost $500,000 (1/2 million) and that’s without the already spent consultant’s fees, etc.

Fair enough, you don’t get anything for free and I’m all for trails since I am a user, but I on these trails, weekday evenings, mornings and weekend mornings and I don’t see heavy use. You pass by a few hikers, runners, a couple of families sometimes.

Yes, trails are great, but here’s the kicker $500,000 and its less than ½ kilometer of trail. Less than 500 metres ( 283 metres of trail and 185 metres of board walk – so it’s an average of $1,000 per metre.

There’s already a great boardwalk already there on St. John’s Sideroad, why is another boardwalk needed at that cost? I hope they plan on putting parking in somewhere there because I have always seen that area to hike as a problem since you have to park down on Industrial Drive at the dog park or further south at the Leisure complex.

Anyone have a quick summary as to what they are getting at $1,000/metre?

Posted in Community Corner, Community Input, Environment, Guest Post, Recreation | 5 Comments »

Mayor Morris Continues to Spend Good Money After Bad — With No Real Hope of Success

Posted by auroracitizen on May 20, 2010

One has to wonder about the fiscal responsibility being shown by continuing to invest in this losing battle.
Council must work within the guidelines set out by the Official Plan. Every land owner or developer has the right to expect that Town Council will abide by the rules of law versus make up their own. When they don’t —  they have the legal remedy to appeal to the OMB. “In February, a divisional court dismissed the argument put forth by the town and residents…”
Making up her own rules may work for Mayor Phyllis Morris when she has the votes of 5 Councillors in her pocket, but when she steps outside these boundaries into the real world — one governed by rules not of her own making — we have seen how successful she has been thus far. Not very.
This is just one more example of her complete lack of real leadership experience.
Will Council provide a financial accounting for the legal and staff costs to fight this development rather than working to get Aurora the best deal possible? We doubt it. It would prove too costly for the incumbents re-election dreams.
Surely she wouldn’t have us believe that releasing the price being spent would be considered “exposing their legal strategy”? The amount spent on legal and the actual strategy are two different conversations.
The only strategy it might expose is their complete lack of fiscal accountability when it involves spending our money on pet projects — with no gain to the citizens of Aurora as a whole.
Perhaps Mayor Phyllis Morris is counting on people forgetting the waste of our tax dollars on the unwarranted legal bills when the election comes this October. We doubt that too!
By Sean Pearce, May 14, 2010 – 4:00 PM
Aurora hires experts for Westhill battle
In its ongoing efforts to halt the Westhill development, Aurora is enlisting the aid of a trio of experts.
The town opposes Lebovic Enterprises’ planned Westhill development, which would see 75 homes and an 18-hole golf course built on a slice of the Oak Ridges Moraine near Leslie Street and Bloomington Road.
Last week, the town retained a hydrogeologist, geoscientist and planner to bolster its case. However, because the decision to do so was made in closed session, town spokesperson Jason Ballantyne said he couldn’t disclose the reason behind the move or how much it will cost taxpayers.
Frustrated, Councillor Alison Collins-Mrakas said she could say very little on the matter except that council voted in favour of hiring the experts. All the other information is protected by closed session confidentiality, she said.
“I hope, in the very near future, we can speak about this issue,” she said. “I think the public deserves to know why council made the decision it did.”
Aurora council denied the developer’s application in 2008 and the company appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board soon after.
The case has gone back and forth between the OMB and divisional court ever since as the town and nearby residents, fearful for their well water, sought a joint board hearing to have a plethora of environmental concerns addressed.
In February, a divisional court dismissed the argument put forth by the town and residents stating the joint board would be the only way to address the many environmental concerns.
The town sought leave to appeal in March.
Mayor Phyllis Morris said she, too, was limited in what she could say.
She couldn’t release the details on price, she said, but noted the three experts are well-regarded and have been retained to give their opinions in the Westhill case as it moves forward, be it back to the OMB or if the town is successful in its push to obtain a joint board hearing.
“I certainly don’t want to expose our legal strategy,” Mrs. Morris said. “At some point, we’d like to release the opinion of our solicitor on this matter, but that would have to be a council resolution.”

Posted in Environment, Growth, Legal | 32 Comments »

Tear Down or Rebuild

Posted by auroracitizen on September 29, 2009

There were 2 articles in the Sunday Banner dealing with older buildings in Aurora.

The first dealt with the Petch log house and second Wells Street School.

A decision needs to be made about whether to invest in rebuilding the Petch log house structure, or to tear it down. Arguments for rebuilding are supported by the historical significance. While the tear down argument is that the building is well past its “best before date” and it will be too expensive to rebuild.

The same arguments to varying degrees apply to Wells Street School.

Regardless of whether it is a Town managed asset or a Board asset, the cost for rebuilding ultimately comes out of our wallets through our taxes.

So what’s your take?

Is the desire to preserve our heritage overstepping our fiscal abilities? Or should we re-build at any cost because it is preserving a piece of our heritage.

Posted in Community Input, Environment, Growth | 11 Comments »

Nokiidaa Trail Link Through Mackenzie Marsh Debated

Posted by auroracitizen on April 18, 2009

Concerns are being raised about the proposed link to the Nokiidaa trail system through the Mackenzie March north of St John’s Sideroad.

A permanent link is being considered because current users must cut through a series of informal trails and paths near Yonge Street between the Aurora and Newmarket sections.

The concern raised is that by building this trail we will see increased garbage and impact on wildlife through this important area.

The Town claims people are uninformed. The citizens claim that the proposal is too far along before seeking citizen input.

What do you think?

For more information you can attend a public meeting April 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Holland Room of the Aurora Town Hall. You can also contact Jim Tree at 905-727-3123 ext. 3222 or

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Posted in Community Input, Environment | Leave a Comment »