Friends  of  the  Cawthra  Bush


Greater  Mississauga  Area

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Historical Cawthra House
The Cawthra-Elliot Estate House in the Cawthra Bush

Smiling Jefferson Salamander

The Friends of the Cawthra Bush & Greater Mississauga Area - FCB

The FCB was established in 1994 when the City of Mississauga was moving ahead with its plans to selectively log and tree farm all its parks & forests, starting with the Cawthra Bush.  Our main goal has been to ensure that the community is meaningfully involved in any government decision making process by supplying the facts to the community, reviewing them and finding alternatives to proposed plans.  We discovered and assisted the community in supporting these alternatives plans, many of which were ultimately approved and blocked those too unwise to implement. 

In most cases, the best choices are the most environmentally responsible but those facts to are not presented to the taxpayers/public - it is up to us to do that.  Old saying - City hall presents you with 3 choices, 2 of which it knows are unacceptable and the third is the one it wants you to choose. 

To aid in our meaningfully involvement we have a small library and many years of experience dealing with government at all levels. Our efforts have addressed green space, parks urban sprawl and other environmental issues, City wide, over the years.  Our efforts have resulted in great recognition outside of Mississauga and have made a contributions to science, but in our City we are abused and greatly harassed by all those who serve the Queen of Sprawl & the Mayor of Mississauga - Hazel McCallion.

Currently an effort is being made to address the issue of the end of cheap oil which means the end of our current economy and the lifestyle it supports - by showing the documentary End of Suburbia and presenting the model for a New Urban Development Economy.

By Donald Barber.

The Ecologist Ode

Beauty buds from mire
and I,
a singer in season,
observe Death is a name for beauty not in use.

By Irving Layton



Main Table of  Contents

Check above first,
 for the pages that have the UP-TO-DATE happenings, meetings ETC.,

YouTube  site
where my videos are posted

Flowers with Wings

For the past couple years I have been doing
Monarch Butterfly Rescue!

In the years 2006 and 2007 I have had great success in rising Monarch Butterflies to raise their population levels to help off-set the massive killing of them further south.  The above will take you to the index page for my efforts and it is hoped that many more in the community will join in as we all share the beautiful results and
filling the air with winged flowers.

A  Public  Service  Announcement;
As the end of cheap oil will mean the end of our current economy and life style,
it would be very important to start doing things to prevent the
mass homelessness that will likely happen with the
"End of Suburbia".

Would you like to see the
"End of Suburbia"
before it happens to you?

!!!! ATTENTION !!!!
Due to the on going legal assaults against my person

the likelihood that Hazel McCallion supporters
(including her bullies with guns Peel police),
will do everything in their power to destroy me, my reputation and my work since 1994 for the community - it is recommended that you make a copy of this web-site before it is destroyed by Law & Order.

I am sorry to inform you of this but when you take on the Queen of Sprawl
(Hazel McCallion), even if it is at the request the community, she will do all she can to hurt you and no act of evil is out-of-bounds.

Who is Donald Barber



[The newsletter of the Adopt-A-Pond, Wetland Conservation Programme,
at the Toronto Zoo
on this web-page with colour pictures]

Sorry that this web-site has not been fully updated with all the details and pictures from this springs Vernal pond work.
If you would like to be informed when the web-site is updated then send us an e-mail and you will be added to the list.
Thank you very much for your interest.

[complete with audio clips!!!]

The Cawthra Bush is located in the City of Mississauga, in the province of Ontario, Canada.  It is on the north shore of Lake Ontario ( just west of the city of Toronto), in the Golden Horseshoe. The politicians in Mississauga have been keeping taxes down by overdeveloping Mississauga, so threatened areas like the Cawthra Bush are our great concern.

Mississauga, the boom town, is running out of places to build -- and Cawthra is at a major intersection. The City of Mississauga will not respect the residents' request to rezone their our beloved community's natural heritage treasure, from residential { this is an old-growth/wetlands urban forest, with rare and threatened species, which also contains an historical site in it}, from residential. Among many other things.

Nonetheless, that didn't stop the City of Mississauga from going into the Cawthra Bush in 1994 to start  logging and tree farming it.  This was all done without public input or involvement before it was approved by City Councillors.

The urban forestry sectionmore pictures.

The City of Mississauga targeted the large old trees in the Cawthra Bush as they had the largest dollar value.  The City stated that they should be cut before they lost their value with age, which the City says starts (about), after 100 years.  In effect, the City wanted to make sure that the Cawthra Bush would not have a significant number of trees over 100 years, which would make it environmentally significant enough to afford protection from development of all kinds.  Including by the City as a park with too much in the way of recreational opportunities.  Interesting how well the mindset of foresters and politicians works, together.
Want to see the paper work behind this ?????

There were two ways in which the logged trees from the Cawthra Bush were to be sold.  The picture above this one shows a pile of high priced saw logs and, this picture shows the fate of most trees, which was being cut up into firewood.  Remember that the City wanted to do this in all our parks with stands of trees to "improve" them.  Filling Mississauga's forests with stumps, is what the City believed the public would want to see.  It was proof that the City "cared" about its forests as the public could see they were being "managed".

When the residents tried to be fully involved, using the Freedom of Information Act to try to find out how factual the statements from the City staff and our elected politicians were, guess what happened?  Mayor Hazel McCallion personally stepped in, and in open violation of the Freedom of Information Act and City By-law 53-91, promised I would not get the records that Canadians have a legal right to!  This is a promise her staff keeps to this day.   *** Listen  ***   to the recorded words of Mississauga's Mayor as she begins the process that would see all Ontarians lose some of their human and democratic rights.   Later this is how she deals with it, *** Listen ***,  just like a true politician.


For three years in a row, concerned residents have outperformed the City's paid consultants and City staff  to finding three important wetlands species -- one per-year.   Proof  that  you SHOULD NOT should believe what  government says, blindly.

and the City is trying to undone this victory!

The Cawthra Bush Wetlands Evaluation has been reviewed by Steve Varga (Inventory Biologist), of the Ministry of Natural Resources.  He states that the Cawthra Bush "is a Provincially Significant Wetland Complex."  It took years of pressuring the City, but it was well worth it.  After three years of drought, it looked bleak indeed that the Cawthra Bush would ever be declared a wetlands.  The Cawthra Bush, however, came through.  It is so significant, enough to be Provincially significant.  Mother Nature must be on our side.  You can also click here.

Threatened Crayfish ........ Fairy Shrimp
Rare & THREATENED Salamander

The  Jefferson   Salamander

Photo by Paul Creighton

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has declared

(Nov. 2000)  the  Jefferson  Salamander   as  a   THREATENED SPECIES

 The Salamander shown is either a Jefferson Salamander or one of the hybrid complex (all female), that uses the male Jefferson to breed.  It is all but impossible to tell them apart,  just looking them over.  These salamanders are mole salamanders and they live deep in the ground, which is one reason why they have survived in the Cawthra Bush.  This is also, why they are so understudied.  Most of the material about these salamanders is in the letters from the academic community, where I have tried to get something about everything living in the Cawthra Bush.

Jefferson Salamanders are very rare in Ontario, and exist only in that province, in Canada. Their range is larger in the USA, but they are still  considered to be a special species that is uncommon.  In Canada, the Jefferson Salamander  is included as a Threatened species in the present Schedule 1 of Bill C-5, the federal Species at Risk Act.  There are only two listed locations in Mississauga for the Jefferson Salamander, and the other appears to no longer have them.  The Cawthra Bush is very likely the LAST PLACE in Mississauga where the Jefferson Salamanders can be found.

The hybrid complex is very special, as it is capable of having extra sets of chromosomes in their bodies.  If you have one gene on one chromosome out of whack in your body, you can be in a lot of trouble.  But these salamanders have found some way to do what is impossible for almost every other living creature.  The hybrid complex has salamanders with the normal 2 sets of  chromosomes called diploids (which we all are), 3 sets of chromosomes called triploids, and 4 sets of chromosomes called tetraploids.  We are not talking about just one species here, as there are four in the mix. The hybrids found at the Cawthra Bush had three sets of chromosomes from two different species: one set from the Blue-spotted salamander and two sets from the Jefferson Salamander.  Dr. James Bogart from the University of Guelph, who is one of the world's foremost leaders in this kind of research,
did the work to discover this.  One day his work could gain us great insight into genetics.  He didn't find a pure Jefferson at the time, but he could tell the male doing the breeding was a Jefferson.

To see a graceful Jefferson Salamander, breaching.

The species of salamanders involved are of the genus Ambystoma or large mouth.  They are: Ambystoma laterale (Blue-spotted Salamander), Ambystoma jefferson (Jefferson Salamander), Ambystoma texanum (Small-mouthed Salamander) and Ambystoma tigrinum (Tiger Salamander ). An example has been documented of one hybrid having one chromosome from all four of the above species!!   This is even more special, because we know of no way to interbreed any of the above species!!!   These female hybrids often exist in greater numbers than the pure species they depend on for breeding. There is a lot more.......

Chimney  Building  Crayfish

Chimney Building Crayfish

The Chimney building crayfish (Fallicambarus fodiens) can walk on dry land and exists in areas that dry up for some of the year.   It can dig many feet down to the water table, so it survives deep underground, like the salamanders.  It is considered by Dr. Premek Hamr to be threatened in Ontario due to loss of habitat.  He noted that this was one of the few Crayfish populations remaining in the urbanized area around Toronto.  This was also (to his knowledge) the only population recorded to date within a forest ecosystem.  There is a lot more.......

Fairy  Shrimp

The Fairy Shrimp (Eubranchipus bundyi Forbes 1876), is a wetland creature that spends most of the year in an egg state.  Given the dry conditions this year, I had stopped looking for this interesting aquatic fauna.  Then, while showing the salamander pond to Mark Cranford (President of the South Peel Naturalists') and a journalist, I happened to see one.  When it was netted, there were two.

In the United States, temporary ponds or vernal ponds are regarded as being very necessary for amphibians' survival, and laws exist for their protection.  Canada is not as enlightened.   Salamanders and Fairy Shrimp are two of  the obligate species needed to found and, to generally indicate vernal pool "status", in the States.  Professor Williams of the University of Toronto writes that  the Fairy Shrimp, "In the Toronto Region it is becoming rare".   There is a lot more.......    Try this

The Ontario Vernal Pool Association
A website to raise the awareness about the significance of
vernal pool ecosystems and their associated wildlife
to the people of Ontario.

Beyond this point, the black shadow of politics falls over the issues......beware,
only for the brave and those wise in the ways of the world!!!

Example ...

As our Mayor (who is 83 years old in 2004), is personally involved in directing staff and Councillors on this issue, it is appropriate to review her comments to evaluate her powers of  judgment.  On March 29, 2000, during City Council (which was being broadcasted on Cable 10), I asked the Mayor for a number of records concerning her land deals (which she did not supply), and for details the media had overlooked.  This is what she had to say: "There is a coup going on, there is no question about it, Mr. Barber is a member of it and I hope no member of Council are involved."  Our dear old Mayor has an interesting perception of her position which was deleted, with my deputation, from the official record.  For more about and from our elected officials, check here (audio clips).

For more of the gory details

Who is Donald Barber?

This web-site is provided for review by all the
It will be added to over the coming days/weeks/months.
To discover the full story, this site will have to be visited a few times until the different sections have all the details filled in.

More about the Cawthra Bush web-site and contact information:


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Copyright © 1998 Donald Barber.
Page created    14   Oct.   1998
Last updated     17   Nov.  2008

{Or the last time I remembered to note an update }

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and Very Much Needed to
Ensure the Survival of the
Friends of the Cawthra Bush

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