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Last updated
24 August 2012


Studies, Documents on Sensitivity of OUR AREA done by professionals:

Prior to the first study on this area it was decided in 70's that this area is suitable for the development. This decision was made without knowing how significant this area is to the relation of streams with spawning grounds for trout and salmon, Second Marsh in Oshawa and QUALITY OF WATER in general. Extensive forest (swamp) covered this area and helped to hold and slowly release the cool underground water called groundwater to the streams. This area is located within the Lake Iroquois (glacier lake) Beach and its soil composition and forest cover functions as groundwater recharge for streams. Harmony Creek in Oshawa was described in 1977 as having poor fisheries and poor water quality due to the effect of urbanization. It shouldn't have happened but it did. Is this the fate in store for Farewell and Black Creeks, and others in our municipality? For this reason we are trying to protect the remaining creeks and with your help maybe even Harmony could become healthy again.

***See the new MNR Wetland Mapping Evaluation***
August 1999

For your information here are some opinions from different studies:

"... proposed development will represent a significant loss in the supply of clean water to these streams" Studies differ on composition of soil, on underground water flow. Some say that whole area is a common water basin; others that a number of underground springs and seepage zones are found throughout the area. "Even with stormwater management ("ponds"), " the hydrological regime will be altered by development" "Large forested areas were cleared prior to approval of official plan amendment"

CLOCA 1994: "This area is not suitable for this degree of urbanization."

CLOCA 1996: "Woodlots should be designated "Greenspace". Ecological function should be considered when assessing the quality of a woodlot. Woodlots larger than 30 ha and 300 m deep should be protected, and development setbacks should be provided for smaller woodlots to promote the regeneration of the forest core."

Environmental Impact Study, Region,1994

All of us were hopeful that this study will become a benchmark for further development because of the damage to the ecosystem done by previous development.

"The planning agencies in the Courtice Urban Area are strongly recommended to consider the protection of existing north-south linkages and the establishment of east-west linkages and corridors in order to connect the fragmented habitats that exist within the Study Area...The planning of a network of east-west corridors linking the presently fragmented woodlots should take place prior to the future approval of proposed developments within the Study Area. Approval of development proposals should be dependent on the incorporation of greenspaces consisting of local native species."

Some of the wooded areas were identified as provincially significant wetland. Black/Farewell Wetland Complex still exists but is threatened by future development. It will be a great loss. Hopefully, Harmony Conservation Area will be preserved. "While we recognized that some of the sensitive forest has been cleared, we feel that there are other sensitive attributes ...they perform a hydrological function in feeding baseflow to Farewell Creek" "...there are still important linkages...Harmony Creek Valley, Farewell Creek Valley ...Trulls/Courtice Woods and Black/Farewell Wetland Complex..."

Provincial policy and local and regional Official Plans all conclude that groundwater recharge areas should be protected and provincial policy is even asking for the demonstration that the development is not going to affect these sensitive lands. There is no proof of that in any studies because we know very little on groundwater issues and because it is hidden underground it is overlooked, undermined. Only the watershed/subwatershed study could let us know how much and what kind of development should be allowed here. "...there is no way that an individual development plan can explicitly address cumulative impacts." "...development planning in the absence of subwatershed planning cannot address cumulative impacts. These impacts relate to: flooding, erosion, temperature, baseflow, nutrient enrichment in a lake, bacteria loading to a beach". "...municipal plans require stormwater management and erosion and sedimentation control plans be prepared in the context of subwatershed plans..."

Only the provincial government can see a clear picture and the OMB decided that a comprehensive watershed study has to be done, but there is no money for the study and development is continuing regardless. That is another reason why we have to try to do as much as we can for our own protection. There is much more documentation (about a 3m high pileof it) and it is with our town or Region.

Stormwater Management
(retaining ponds, stormwater, outfalls,…)

Marshal Macklin Monaghan Ltd.: Stormwater Management Practices Planning (SMPP), 1994, pg. iii: " We have recognized that single objective-oriented solutions usually cause more problems than they solve. This recognition has led us to the ecosystem approach"

Taking into consideration the whole area, and not just single applications as it is done for Courtice North "...for development through Watershed and Subwatershed Planning. The degradation of our water resources is not the result of one influence, such as stormwater, but it is the result of the lifestyle which we have chosen."

"Stormwater Management"- water quality control practices (Best Management Practices- BMP), pg. 166: "…development planning with the absence of watershed planning (in our case) cannot address cumulative impacts: flooding, erosion, temperature, baseflow, nutrient enrichment, bacteria loading,…"

"Stormwater Management, approved in 1980, (which is going to be used in Courtice North) …a reexamination …concluded that both flooding and erosion …have been actually agravated by the Courtice Stormwater Management Plans.", Report No.: PD-17-95, pg. 9, CLOCA comments.

"Opportunities to retrofit the existing uncontrolled strormwater outfalls should be investigated. Otherwise, the cycle of channel erosion, sediment deposition, lateral channel widening, loss of bank vegetation and subsequent debris obstruction will continue." , ECOPLANS, E.I.S. 1996, pg. 50.

Statement in E.I.S 1994 for Region that Harmony Creek was already damaged, the water quality and fishery is poor due to the urbanization , pg 33 should give us a hint that we should be cautious in developing Courtice North. Nothing concrete has been done so far by any government. Everybody agrees that there are concerns, but…? Does anybody care about our health by improving the water quality in Lake Ontario - our source of drinking water?

"Level 1 Protection", pg. 171: "Example of type 1 habitat, include (in our case)

  • spawning areas for brook trout
  • groundwater recharge areas in coldwater streams

It should be noted that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will not accept compensation for Type 1 habitat. Therefore, development will be restricted if Level 1 Protection can not be provided."

It would be interesting to find out what was done or what can be done for this area by the Federal government. The fisheries in Courtice North were already damaged (as per E.I.S. 1994 for Region). You can contact our MP Alex Shepherd or Ivan Grose who until last year resided in Courtice North.

It was agreed by all that the Watershed study should be done, but there is no money for it and without it further development and especially Water Management Plans (retaining ponds which will become the responsibility of our municipality) should be carefully considered.


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