satelite image - by Barbara Fletcher

When I was a kid back in the Iron Age, I took the Grade 12 law class when I was in grade ten.

I remember the part about expropriation, and we all thought it was a gross injustice.

I still do.

This is relevant to my decision to move out here 11 years ago (one year after the tornado hit); I had lived on a property abutting a conservation area that was a protected fish and bird sanctuary.

It was in East Gwillimbury, about five minutes north of Newmarket.
It was a beautiful spot!

Lush with green and wildlife , the kids and I would hop the fence and go on adventures in the Rogers Reservoir. I would hunt for my fiddleheads there. It had a concrete lock and swing bridge which are leftovers of the 'Ghost' Canal System, built and abandoned just after the turn of the last century, having never been used.

The first thing I remember happening was the farmer's roadside stands disappearing. It was my Egg Man (guess what I got from HIM?) who told me what was going on, and that he, too, had been bought out by a developer.

He was given an offer he couldn't refuse, as were the other farmers; ALL the farms surrounding us were bought up.

The thing was, while the developer had the land, they couldn't build because the infrastructure wasn't there...that is, sewers. They were going to put a main line right up our road, and a gravity line...through the conservation area.

My Father-in-law fought, causing them to have to do more environmental assessments. When he died, I took up the cause.

At the last meeting, we all fought, but I knew it was all for nought.

At the end of the meeting, I stood up and looked at everyone, while everyone looked at me.

"You do realize this is all for show, that the deal is done. They just hold these meetings so they can say they 'consulted with the public'.
No one said anything.

When I had to go back five years ago to sign papers for the house, I was immensely saddened by what I saw: the glorious old farmhouses razed under. The black earth ruined with gravel and sand. Monstrous behemoths of hastily-built houses on postage stamp-sized lots. And the conservation area...

They didn't ruin the whole thing; just the parts my kids and I played in. And the giant maples that had been on the front of what had been our property: gone, every one.


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