In Bracebridge, 442 acres of wetlands and environmentally sensitive lands are slated for extensive and destructive development. But we’re not giving up on our struggle to protect this important ecosystem. We have launched an appeal with the Ontario Land Tribunal to save the wetlands and its flora, fauna and function. We are up against the Bracebridge Town Council which is in favour of the development of Muskoka Royale College on this critical land.
If we don’t fight the proposal for Muskoka Royale College, these wetlands and forests will be lost to us and to all future generations – lost to multi-storey buildings, parking lots and paved roads. Lost to a sportsplex, soccer fields, a double arena – all private facilities. The ecologist for Muskoka Royale admitted in the first phase of the hearing that the schools, dormitories, driveways, parking lots and sports facilities will necessitate the destruction of 36,000 – 50,000 trees and destroy the vegetation on an area of 28 hectares (approx. 69 acres), equivalent to thirty-three CFL football fields. Marshes and waterways that support wildlife and prevent flooding will be destroyed. Furthermore, paving over wetlands is detrimental to spring run-off absorption. Muskoka has seen an increase in devastating flooding in the last 10 years and our homes, properties and the environment are in serious jeopardy. With serious climate change concerns at the forefront, we must protect Muskoka.
The environmental sensitivity of this property is not news. It’s home to 204 documented species on the subject lands, comprising 20 Species At Risk and 7 endangered and/or threatened species (Endangered Species Act of Ontario) including: Blanding’s Turtles, Eastern Hog-Nosed Snakes, Barn Swallows, Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, Least Bitterns and Bank Swallows. The destruction of these sensitive lands and identified species at risk will change the Muskoka landscape forever.
The Bracebridge Town Council and the District of Muskoka FAILED to ask for proper studies including an Economic Viability Study, Character and Compatibility Study, Ontario Wetlands Evaluation Systems Study, Species at Risk Study and Impact Study on Social Services.
Please join in our efforts to stop this development! We need funding for legal counsel, environmental experts and planning professionals to win this fight. We need to make sure that this development is stopped before Bracebridge’s wetlands and natural heritage are irreversibly destroyed.
Your donation will help us in our appeal to protect and preserve these wetlands, species at risk and the natural lands – Tax Deductible Charitable Receipts Provided.
YOU CAN VIEW ONLINE THE HEARING which now resumes on JANUARY 12, 2023
Access Code: 709-173-309