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Durham Live Project Gets the Green Light
Pickering, ON, November 4, 2020
“Durham Region’s economy, and in particular the City of Pickering, have been hard hit in recent years. Not only are we now battling the ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis, but also the wind down of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station and the regional impact of the GM closures. And an additional 2,500 local jobs have been put on hold at Durham Live, because of the pandemic. It is in response to these economic and social challenges that the City of Pickering, with the support of the Region of Durham, requested a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) to accelerate the Durham Live project.
The City of Pickering is pleased to support a project that will bring 10,000+ full-time, well-paying jobs to the region. And while we focus on local jobs and the economy, that focus does not come at the expense of the environment.
The City of Pickering’s commitment to sustainable placemaking has been clearly demonstrated and we believe our considerations about the environment have been unfairly characterized.
Our intentions to request the MZO were publicly stated at a City Council meeting on May 13, 2020: https://corporate.pickering.ca/weblink/1/edoc/229469/May%2013,%202020%20-%20Special.pdf.
Contrary to images that are being circulated online, the City of Pickering has absolutely no intention of disturbing the Lower Duffins Creek valley and the wetlands near the coast.
The lands that have been earmarked for this investment are on the western edge of the Durham Live site and are functionally disconnected from the Lower Duffins Creek valley. Duffins Creek does not run through these lands and there are no established hiking trails.
A recent ecological study on these lands indicate that these wetlands generally provide limited ecological functions for flora, fish, and wildlife. This area is bordered by Highway 401 and Bayly Street, and is surrounded by industrial and commercial uses that combined with the presence of invasive plant life have contributed to an ongoing decline in the wetland.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the developer signed an agreement where every acre of these wetlands will be replaced on a 1:1 basis and $3.5 million dollars will be further invested to strengthen another area of wetlands where it makes sense to expand, enhance, and strengthen. The developer, the City, the Region of Durham, and TRCA are in the process of pulling that plan together, and this project cannot, and will not, move forward without satisfying the requirements put forward by the TRCA.
We’re proud of the support that we were able to secure in order to bring 10,000+ new jobs to our region, while ensuring we improve the quality of our wetlands and our roadways.
We’re also pleased that the developer worked with the City of Pickering and the Region to ensure we improve the flow of traffic in the area. As a result of the agreement, the developer will conduct traffic studies, as well as complete the relevant intersection improvements in 2021 and the Notion Road overpass by 2024 at their cost.
We will continue to work with the Region of Durham, Province of Ontario, and the developer to create more than 10,000+ new jobs, protect our watersheds, and help our region on our path to recovery.”
Mayor Dave Ryan
As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.
Ontario Helps Boost Economy and Create Jobs in Durham Region
Province speeds up development of tourism and entertainment centre at the request of the City of Pickering
October 30, 2020
PICKERING ― The Ontario government is helping to promote economic growth and create more than 10,000 jobs by speeding up the development of Durham Live - a major tourist and entertainment destination located in Durham Region. Today, a Minister's Zoning Order was made at the request of the City of Pickering, and with the support of the Regional Municipality of Durham, to expedite construction of the project.
"Our government has been clear that we are going to bring shovel-ready projects online faster, to start us down the road to economic recovery during this very difficult period," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We are proud that this project - which will create more than 10,000 jobs - has the support of the City of Pickering and the Regional Government in Durham."
The 240-acre development will include a casino, performing arts centre, film studio, hotels, restaurants, convention centre, mixed employment zone and a warehousing and logistics zone.
"This is a game changer for residents of Pickering and Durham Region. This decision will help produce high quality, well-paying jobs including, once fully built out, the largest film studio in Canada," said Peter Bethlenfalvy, MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge. "I will continue to advocate for economic opportunities across Pickering and Durham Region in a responsible manner when the community needs it the most."
Through a development agreement, the City of Pickering, the Region of Durham and the proponent have rectified concerns related to traffic congestion and overpass issues. As a result, the proponent will undertake traffic studies and complete the required intersections and the Notion Road overpass.
"The Minister's decision to support the Durham Live development will be a great economic driver for Durham Region. Durham Live is expected to bring 10,000 jobs in total once completed. Intersection improvements, traffic studies and affordable housing components are just some of the other benefits of this development. We are excited to see this development come to fruition, with support from the Province," said John Henry, CEO & Regional Chair of Durham Region.
"The City of Pickering, Members of Council, and residents thank the Government of Ontario for its continued support of the Durham Live project. Now that the outstanding traffic and environmental concerns have been satisfactorily addressed, we are eager to move forward on this transformational project, which will become one of the province's most significant drivers of tourism, entertainment, economic development, and job creation," said Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan.
"Durham Live is a project that has created over 2500 jobs to date. Additionally, there will be 1500 new jobs be at Tribro Studios. This MZO lays the foundation for thousands of more jobs. Thank you to our Durham Regional partners and the Provincial government for providing the runway for us to create these opportunities to stimulate the economy," said Steve Apostolopoulos, Managing Partner for Triple Group of Companies.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the proponent have also signed an agreement for compensation that, pending the outcome of an assessment, would lead to the creation of ecological benefits that meet or exceed any loss to the natural system, with priority given to lands within the Frenchman's Bay and the Duffins Creek watershed.
The required intersections are on track to be completed by Fall 2021, and the Notion Road Overpass is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
The Planning Act authorizes the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to make zoning orders for regulating the use of land and the location, use, height, size and spacing of buildings and structures. This zoning order was requested by the City of Pickering and with the support of the Regional Municipality of Durham.
Thank you Ward One & Welcome to KevinAshe.ca
For once again placing your confidence in me. Representing my fellow neighbours, friends and taxpayers at Pickering and Durham Regional Council is not something I take lightly, I always have Ward One’s best interests at heart when voting at council.
I look forward to communicating with residents through various different outlets like email, website, phone and through social media. I am always available and look forward to hearing from YOU!
Over the coming term, I'm excited to work with council to bring more jobs to Pickering, keep taxes low and most importantly Move Pickering Forward!
Ward One, City of Pickering
"Councillor Kevin Ashe is a cordial presence on council, debating respectfully and asking thoughtful questions. He takes a keen interest in how issues impact residents in Ward 1 and is knowledgeable when it comes to his constituency.
He makes good use of social media to keep the public updated and gauge feedback on hot topics, such as a proposed casino. Councillor Ashe is accessible to residents and this year worked with police to host a seniors’ seminar on the danger of scams.
His civility and willingness to break with council’s 4-3 voting pattern are helpful."
2014 News Advertiser Report Card
"Councillor Kevin Ashe is adept at balancing residents’ needs with the good of the city. In a recent dispute over student enrolment at an area Montessori school, Coun. Ashe helped bring residents and school administration together in an attempt to compromise on the issue, which reflects his good sense and diplomatic qualities.
He also continued to champion the casino issue after his original motion to declare Pickering a host city failed. He frequently plays the peacemaker at council, championing civil debate over arguments and providing calm, logical input."
For these reasons his grade has improved this year."