Friends  of  the  Cawthra  Bush


Greater  Mississauga  Area

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  General notes:

*  Material taken from submission made to the Region of Peel Planning           dept., in regards to the City of Mississauga Official plan for the Cawthra Bush.

* Items in round brackets () with numbers, refer to enclosed items with my submission to Peel, not this web-page.

* Items in square [] brackets are my comments.



A CHRONOLOGY -  this chronology is far from complete.

 For years Cawthra has been zoned R3 (residential) and Environmental Policy Area A and B.  Still the City went in and started to log and tree farm Cawthra (3 & 13.1).  Residents want much stronger measures to ensure we will not have to fight this battle every other year.  The FCB is asking Peel to recommend to the City, zoning of the highest order, so Cawthra will be an special environmental site, with its special features well protected; protected as Peel defines the word (the City doesn't even have that word in its glossary); protected as the CRRA has stated in goals for the site; protected to reflect the shifting human priorities from recreation to education for preservation.

 It would also be wise to work into the Official Plan Policies for Cawthra a way to easily add land to the Cawthra Bush.  The lots are deep down Northmount and landowners could sell or will land to the forest if it was allowed. City O.P.- - s. Where the Open Space network consisting of City, community and neighbourhood parkland and greenbelt areas contains or abuts the Natural Areas System the policies for the Natural Areas System will apply.  The potential to expand or connect natural forms, functions, and linkages will be encouraged.

 Other matters to consider, as the lots are deep in some cases, the back parts of the lots are sold off and more house go up, increasing the density in the area.  Some people say there is an unopened road allowance going down the east side of Cawthra.  There was a similar case in Ward 1 not too long ago involving an old Toronto Township unopened road allowance, that got residents really upset.  Best we close the door on this kind of thing right now.

The restrictive covenants (27 & 28), in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale between the City of Mississauga and Ontario Realty Corporation, involves the Credit Valley Conservation in a very meaningful way.  In the past, two letters written by their biologist have largely gone ignored (see academic letters).  The Management Board Secretariat in its memo, dated Nov. 4/98 to Stan Krauze from W. M. C. Wilson, RE: Sale of environmentally significant area to city of Mississauga, makes it clear the Province expects the City tobehave as the conservation body at Cawthra (23).

A chronology (from Management Board Secretariat documents), of some of the events that took place over almost 15 years highlight events that put Cawthra at risk from development.  I have spoken to representatives of the Management Board Secretariat and it was made clear the only reason that the land transfer took so long was the City of  Mississauga's refusal to rezone to a park from residential and MBS wanted the higher price for land that was zoned for development.  Some who have read this say the City was
blocking everyone's else's use of Cawthra but not theirs while keeping the residential zoning intact, for some reason.

July 20, 1979
The M.T.C. advised the City that the subject property is surplus to the requirements of the Ministry, and enquired whether the City wishes to purchase the lands.

May 7, 1980
The M.T.C. indicated that it is prepared to sell the subject property to the City for the sum of $1,160,000.  This was an appraised market value, based on development potential under the existing R3 zoning.

July 15, 1980
The Planning Department prepared an environmental assessment of the property which concluded that:

 - the entire site is affected by a high, 'perched' watertable, and central and eastern portions contain depressed, poorly-drained areas (Figure 1);

 - although the forest is healthy under existing conditions, it is very sensitive to site disturbances which may alter subsurface drainage conditions and/or increase susceptibility to windthrow;

 - the elevated, better-drained portions on the western and southern perimeter contain better quality, less sensitive forest cover, and should be protected to preserve the visual continuity and ecological integrity of the balance of the forest.

December 23, 1980
Letter received from the M.T.C. advising the City that the Ministry will proceed with public auction of the property if a City response to previous requests is not received by February 3, 1981.

February 4, 1981
The City Manager, the Commissioner of Planning, and the Commissioner of Recreation and Parks discussed the M.T.C. request and concluded that the M.T.C. should be advised that:

 - the City is not interested in purchasing the property;

 - the M.T.C. can proceed to dispose of the lands;

 - the City will deal with any subsequent owner/proponent with respect to
preservation of  the western and southern portions of the woodlot.

February 18, 1981
General Committee considered a staff report which recommended that the M.T.C. be advised that the City has no interest in acquiring the subject property.

February 23. 1981
City Council approved the following recommendation:

 "(a) That the Ministry of Transportation and Communications be requested to withhold the sale of surplus M.T.C.  lands.....and that the City of Mississauga review the use and ultimate disposition of these lands with the Ministry.

 (b) That a by-law be enacted placing the (subject property) in a holding zone."

February 23, 1981
By-law 115-81 was enacted, placing the subject property in a "holding" zone category (H-R3).

March 26. 1981
The M.T.C. filed with the O.M.B. a formal objection to approval of By-law 115-81.

[ The Province of Ontario clearly believes that the City of Mississauga mislead them.  The difference between what was said and what is done. ]

April 9, 1981
Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications forwarded a letter to the City Manager expressing concern over the City proposal to place the M.T.C. property in a holding zone and requesting a meeting with City officials.

June 9. 1981
City staff met with the Deputy Minister and the Executive Director of the M.T.C., who indicated that the lands could only be sold to the City at market value.  It was agreed that the City would examine alternative schemes for development of the property which would permit preservation of the western and southern perimeter.  The M.T.C. agreed to request deferral of any hearing before the O.M.B. with respect to their objection to By-law

July 28. 1981
The Planning Department prepared a further environmental assessment of the site and concluded that, due to the sensitivity of the forest to disturbances, the M.T.C. proposal to develop the entire site and to attempt preservation of trees on individual lots is Simply not practicable.  The report emphasized that:
better-drained areas along the western and southern perimeters contain higher quality forest cover and should be preserved to maintain the visual continuity of the forest and to protect the City-owned portion of the forest;

depressed, poorly-drained areas in the eastern half of the property have little recreational or ecological value and could be developed.  Accordingly, the report recommended that the Dixie-Shorefront Secondary Plan be amended to retain the Environmental Protection Area classification of the western portion of the site and to reclassify the eastern portion Environmental Policy Area 'B'(Figure 2).

November 27. 1981
The M.T.C. responded to the above and stated that retaining the Environmental Protection Area classification on approximately half of the property will preclude development of such lands, would reduce the market value of the property by approximately $1,000.000, and is therefore not acceptable to the Ministry.

January 18, 1982
The City Manager responded to the above and indicated to the M.T.C. that the Planning Department report proposes reclassification of approximately half of the property to permit development, whereas the entire site is currently proposed to be classified Environmental Protection Area which precludes any development.  The letter concludeswith an invitation to the M.T.C. to submit a concept plan showing their preferreddevelopment of the site.

June 2, 1982
The M.T.C. presented to the City two conceptual schemes for development.  Both schemes would limit effective tree reservation to a 30 m (100 ft.) wide border at the south boundary of the property.

July 13, 1982
City staff met with M.T.C. officials and encouraged the Ministry to consider a form of development based on a transfer of density from that half of the property which the City wishes to remain undeveloped, to the balance of the site which is more suitable for development (Figure 2).  It was agreed that the M.T.C. would consider this strategy in their formulation of a proper development application which could subsequently form the basis for the preparation of a zoning by-law.

December 8,  1982
The M.T.C. advised that the suggestion by the City to consider a simple, transfer of density and to restrict development to the easterly half of the site is not acceptable to the Ministry.

January 25, 1983
City staff met with M.T.C. officials and discussed options for development of the subject property.  It was agreed that the City would consider certain Ministerial modifications of relevant Official Plan deferrals, whereby the developable portion of the site would be designated "medium density" or "high density".

February 21, 1983
Counsel for the M.T.C. submitted a letter to the City indicating that the Ministry is prepared to withdraw its objection to the Dixie-Shorefront Secondary Plan if the City agrees to either of two proposed Ministerial modifications:

 - designate the easterly half of the site "Multiple Family High I";

 - designate 1.25 ha (3.1 ac.) "Multiple Family High II" and retain the remaining 3.2 ha (8.0 ac.) as  "District Park".

March 26, 1984
City Council adopted the following recommendation:
"That the City, of Mississauga request the Ministry of Transportation and
Communications to defer any action on the property located at the south-east quadrant of  Cawthra Road and the Queen Elizabeth Way pending a complete review by the City of  Mississauga of the recreational uses and/or development potential of their lands in conjunction with the City owned lands known as the Cawthra-Elliot Estate locatedimmediately south of the M.T.C. lands."

August 8, 1984
The Recreation and Parks Department recommended to L.A.C.A.C. the designation of the Cawthra Elliot house, Council referred the recommendation back to staff for a report on the planned use of the house and property.

February 20, 1985
The M.T.C. requested to be informed of the status of the staff report requested by Council on March 26, 1984.  The M.T.C. also inquired whether the "holding" By-law 115-81 could be rescinded, since the Ministry wishes to dispose of the property in the spring of 1985.

December 1, 1986
Ministry of Transportation and Communications wrote to the Region of Peel advising of  potential disposition of 11.072 acres of vacant land in the southeast quadrant of the Q.E.W. and Cawthra Road in the City of Mississauga, shown as Part 6 on Plan 43R-1 1614 (P-1857-381), M.T.C.'s Land Management File T-1213.  M.T.C. requested indication of interest by January 12, 1987.

December 9, 1986
The Region of Peel expressed interest in the M.T.C. site.  The Region of Peel advised M.T.C. of their interest and requested that M.T.C. hold off on any decision until Council's meeting of January 15, 1987.

January 15, 1987
Region of Peel received consent of Council to indicate formal interest in acquiring the site, pursuant to adoption by the Board of Directors of the Peel Non-Profit HousingCorporation (PNPHC) of a recommendation to the same effect.

March 27, 1987
M.T.C. wrote to the Region of Peel to advise that site is expected to be sold in the summer of 1987, that an appraisal was under way, and that approval was anticipated in two months.

June 30, 1987
The City of Mississauga wrote to the Ministry of Housing to urge transfer of M.T.C. site to PNPHC.  MOH wrote to PNPHC's Director of- Policy and Development toacknowledge PNPHC's interest in site and to advise as to the status of "HULC", indicating'Ministry of Housing support for Housing First policy.

In July, 1987
M.T.C. advised PNPHC that disposal of site is planned for within two months and that MOH had indicated interest on PNPHC's behalf, accordingly, PNPHC should continue to work through MOH, MOH advised that M.T.C.'s appraisal was approximately $2,000,000, approximately.

PNPHC had indicated that about one-half of the site would be developed with 50 townhouse units and 82 senior citizen units.  The balance of the site would remain as natural forest and be utilized as a park by the City of Mississauga.

Since 1990, several new issues have surfaced.  The local resident's opposition to any new development has very much become apparent.  A recent example to prove this point is a proposed major development on the east side of Cawthra Road between Atwater Street and the CNR; south of the subject site, which met considerable local opposition and was not approved.

The City of Mississauga continually undertakes a program of preparing and revising secondary plans for all residential districts.  The existing Secondary Plan designates the subject lands as Public open Space which is deferred under Section 14(3) of the PlanningAct. the designation limits the use of the site for public recreational facilities in relation to local needs.

In addition to the above, two regulatory controls impact the subject.  They are the Credit Valley Conservation Authority regulations and the Ministry of Government Services "Class Environmental Assessment Process for MGS Realty Group Activities".

The CVCA in carrying out its objectives of conservation, restoration, development, and management of natural resources in the Credit River Watershed, in 1985, established the Authority's policy for Environmentally Significant Areas in the Watershed (Resolution No. 409EC84).  The subject site is part of an Environmentally Significant Area.  The CVCA has comprehensive policies which apply to such areas, including the requirement of an Environmental Impact Study by an owner prior to development of an Environmentally Significant Area.  The CVCA policies in this regard are more particularly discussed under the heading "Land Use Controls".

[ In regards to the Province's attempts at protecting the Cawthra lands, after their sale to the City of Mississauga: In the documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act, there is an ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, signed by Robert K. Johnston - Director of Realty Services, City of Mississauga, March 29/1994, stating that it acknowledges that the Cawthra lands are a
CVC ESA.  What is noteworthy is what is left out.  The Cawthra Bush is listed by the Ministryof Natural as a regional ANSI since Sept. 1984.  But the City doesn't tell the province this factand doesn't tell the crew marking the trees for logging this fact either.  If the fact that Cawthrais an ANSI was known by Management Board Secretariat that the province of Ontario had a stake in the Cawthra lands, then it no doubt would have added that to the restrictive
covenants.  The CVC is a local to the City of Mississauga organization, receives funding directly from the City and four City Councillors sit on the CVC Board of directors.  To date the CVC has not commented on the City's Lakeview District Policies, which they should.  ]

March 31, 1994
City of Mississauga purchase and takes title of the M.T.C. lands for $1,100,000.00 with a cheque date March 28/98, #98817.  The sale was made to coinciding with the end of the City's fiscal year.

It will make a difference!
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