Environmental Considerations for the Project
- Agricultural Lands
- Air Quality (greenhouse gases, traffic emissions)
- Archaeological Resources
- Built Heritage (Built Heritage Resources, Cultural Heritage Landscapes)
- Community Effects (agricultural, industrial, residential, commercial)
- Contamination (areas of medium or high potential contamination)
- Erosion and Sediment Control
- Fish and Fish Habitat (Species at Risk, specialized habitat)
- Groundwater (Highly Vulnerable Aquifers, Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas, Wellhead Protection Areas, water wells)
- Human Health
- Land Use (Designated Areas, Policy Areas)
- Landscape and Snowdrift (aesthetics, revegetation, highway safety)
- Noise (construction noise, traffic noise)
- Surface Water (drainage, fluvial geomorphology, watercourses/waterbodies)
- Terrestrial Ecosystem (Species at Risk, Areas of Natural Significance and Importance, wetlands, woodlots, deer wintering areas)
The following outline existing environmental conditions and considerations for the Natural Environment, Socio-Economic Environment, and Cultural Environment. These will be updated and assessed throughout the study.
Surface Water/Fish and Fish Habitat
- Watersheds for Nottawasaga Valley & Lake Simcoe.
- Twenty-eight (28) Watercourses (warmwater/coolwater).
- Habitat protection for the American Eel will be considered for future field work.
- Specialized habitat for Northern Pike exists within the Project Limits.
- Holland River Marsh Provincially Significant Life Science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).
- Provincially Significant Wetlands (Holland Marsh, Holland Marsh Wetland Complex, Maskinonge River Wetland Complex).
- Species at Risk and Species of Conservation Concern (Barn Swallow, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Louisiana Waterthrush, Bank Swallow, Chimney Swift, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Least Bittern, Little Brown Myotis, Eastern Small-footed Myotis, Northern Myotis, Tri-colored Bat, Jefferson Salamander, Blanding’s Turtle, Butternut, black ash, early-branching panicgrass, Houghton’s flatsedge, bristly buttercup).
- Higher risk areas within vulnerable areas including: Wellhead Protection Areas, Highly Vulnerable Aquifers, Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas, Intake Protection Zones and along the valleys of Holland River and Holland River East Branch.
- The surrounding area of the project is primarily within Greenbelt Plan Area and Prime Agricultural land.
- There are some businesses and industries operations within the corridor that the Bradford Bypass will impact (i.e., businesses on Artesian Industrial Parkway, etc.).
- The 2002 Approved EA recommend plan will impact property occupied by parts of Albert’s Marina and Silver Lakes Golf Club on either side of the Holland River East Branch.
- Anticipated direct impact on several residential properties within the Residential Built Up and Low-Density Residential lands alignment on the west side of County Road 4 in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury is also anticipated.
- 29 properties/facilities within the vicinity of the project have a high potential for environmental contamination; 14 properties/facilities with medium potential for environmental contamination.
- 6 significant spill locations were also identified as having a “high” potential to impact the soil and groundwater quality within the vicinity of the project.
- Navigability and maintaining proper access to the Holland River and Holland River East Branch will be taken into consideration during the preliminary design of the Bradford Bypass and bridge structures. The Project Team is actively engaging with Transport Canada to design the bridge structures to maintain compliance with the Canadian Navigable Waters Act.
- The Project Team is engaging the public and boaters to understand the vessel types and usage needs of the river with respect to navigation.
- 21 Archaeological sites were found in or within 50m of the study corridor during the Stage 1 Archaeological Assessment (AA) conducted in 2019. These include:
- 12 19th century Euro-Canadian historic sites and 1 post contact Indigenous site
- 4 precontact Indigenous sites
- 2 multi-component sites representing more than one period of occupation
- 2 sites which lack the information within the database to make an accurate cultural affiliation
- Undiscovered archaeological sites and resources may still be present with the corridor, which is undergoing additional archaeological investigations with participation by Indigenous Community monitors.
- 8 Built Heritage Resources (BHRs) and 13 Cultural Heritage Landscapes (CHLs) were identified within and immediately adjacent to the corridor. Most heritage resources identified are buildings associated with the agricultural economy of the region throughout the 19th and early-20th centuries.