OMB/LPAT/ERT/OLT decisions and outcomes
Rockwood/James Dick Construction Limited
James Dick Construction Limited (JDCL) has owned a 39-hectare property at the northeast corner of Highway
7 and 6th Line, south of Rockwood, since 1989. The company first applied for a bylaw amendment to allow
aggregate extraction on the site in 2012. In 2015, after the Guelph-Eramosa Township failed to make a decision
in the required two-year window, the company appealed to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) (J.
Rockwood’s Concerned Residents Coalition (CRC) – a citizen organization formed in 2013 which represented the
interests of communities affected by operations of the proposed quarry, including Guelph-Eramosa Township,
the Village of Rockwood, Halton Hills, Milton and Halton Region – was extremely opposed to the quarry
proposal throughout the entire process. The CRC provided numerous presentations to Guelph-Eramosa council
indicating opposition to the quarry. The group also fundraised for years to pay for experts and a lawyer to fight
the quarry at the LPAT hearing (awareontario.com).
Objectors identified numerous reasons for concern, including air and water quality, impacts of blasting, flyrock,
decreased property values, destruction of wetlands and potential haul routes, among others. They also noted
that Highway 7 is not built for a large quantity of dump trucks (R. Williams).
Despite the loud opposition, on February 11, 2020 the LPAT decided that the proposed JDCL quarry could
proceed. However, the go ahead came with two pages of conditions, including the creation of a community
liaison committee funded by JDCL that would meet regularly with residents to explain what the company is
doing (J. Myslik).
The dolostone bedrock extracted from the quarry will be used to build high-quality structures throughout
Ontario. The rock will be extracted at a rate of 700,000 tonnes annually, with the quarry expected to operate
for 20 years (J. Myslik).
JDCL officials are pleased with the outcome, while members of the CRC and residents of Guelph-Eramosa
Township who have fought against this project for years, are disappointed.
“Bottom line is (the) township’s been opposed to this; we don’t think it’s good for the community, we’re
disappointed in the ruling and we’ll be looking to our legal team to reveal … what the ruling requires the
municipality to do,” said Guelph-Eramosa Mayor Chris White just after the final decision was released (J.
“This is a devastating decision for citizens in Halton Hills and Wellington County who have worked so hard
to defend a precious resource – the water we drink,” said Guelph MPP Mike Schriener, who supported area
residents in their fight to stop the Hidden Quarry (A. Donaldson).
“Nothing is more important than protecting the long-term supply of our drinking water, and yet Ontario’s weak
aggregate and water-taking rules continue to put private profits first,” Schreiner added. “I want to thank the
local governments and citizens who spent time and money opposing this quarry and protecting our water and
communities,” (A. Donaldson).