The Pickering Airport. 1. What’s happening?. In 1972 (almost 40 years ago) the federal government acquired 18600 acres of land. Families were moved, their lives uprooted.
In 1972 (almost 40 years ago) the federal government acquired 18600 acres of land.
Families were moved, their lives uprooted.
The plan was to build a second large Toronto hub for international travel, initially a Toronto version of Montreal’s ambitious but failed Mirabel airport.
The plan has been in limbo for 4 decades.
The government has leased (rented) the lands back to the families for the short-term, but the communities that were once there have been destroyed.
The families no longer own their family homes or land, and the contracts discourage them from investing in diverse crops.
They can’t even make repairs or improvements to their property.
If there is anywhere left to find extremely fertile land for farming (Class 1 soil) close to Toronto, it’s on the Pickering Airport Lands.
However, this summer, 2013, the plans for the airport were revived.
There is a strong community of activists and local residents that want to protect the rich soils for farmland that can feed residents of Toronto.
Charles Godfrey, the leader of the original protest, said, “We will in fact need a new airport someday, so as to fly in the fresh food we can no longer produce on our own land.”
As announced in June, 5,000 of the government-owned 18,600 acres is being given to Parks Canada for the Rouge National Urban Park.
Roughly 8,700 acres will then go for the airport.
The remaining land apparently going toward business development.