The Escarpment Corridor Alliance is a group of community members who are alarmed by plans to turn some of the area’s most popular outdoor destinations into mega-developments.
The region’s top recreational sites like the Castle Glen and Talisman areas are at risk of being developed into large residential and commercial projects, with builders planning to create new mini-cities in some of our oldest forests.
The Escarpment Corridor Alliance was created to PROTECT the Niagara Escarpment’s celebrated landscapes, globally unique natural features & forests. And in doing so, form natural corridors from Beaver Valley to Castle Glen, from Devil’s Glen through Blue Mountain to Georgian Peaks.
The Castle Glen project would be the largest development of its kind along the brow of the Niagara Escarpment since the inception of the Niagara Escarpment Commission. The project is not aligned with the Town of the Blue Mountains nor the province’s goals for balancing needed housing with natural and rural land requirements. By replacing over 1,500 acres of forest with 1,600 new homes, the developer threatens to destroy the very reason people are drawn to our community.
The Municipality of Grey Highlands sold the 134-acre Talisman lands to a Toronto-based developer – signing away a huge swath of our region’s natural areas. Yet again, private interests are continuing to overtake our community’s vision for our future.
We need to ensure development in the region is responsible, preserves our existing green spaces, and is done in consultation with the community under current environmental regulations. We shouldn’t allow private interests to turn a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve into a monster development for financial gain.
That’s why we are working closely with leading environmental and conservation groups to bring awareness to the threats this sensitive escarpment area is facing and make strategic land acquisitions to protect the most sensitive areas for future generations:
- Blue Mountain Watershed Trust
- Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy
- Bruce Trail Conservancy
- Nature Conservancy of Canada
Together, we can build an interconnected system of natural spaces to support conservation in the area and create a protected series of trails for all to enjoy for decades to come.
Join South Georgian Bay residents, community groups, and small businesses in calling for the protection of our natural spaces and a long-term plan to ensure that future developments are consistent with the community’s vision for the region. Escarpment Corridor Alliance members value the region’s unparalleled natural beauty and understand the importance of preserving it for the community now – but we need your help to make it a reality!
Our Partner Organizations
We’re not in this alone! There are likeminded aligned organizations throughout the South Georgian Bay region that we’ve formed partnerships with to help with raising public awareness about the threats to the Escarpment, pressuring politicians to take action to stop inappropriate development, and combat the vast resources of Toronto developers looking to build mega-developments on our forests and wetlands.
On June 23, we gathered with nearly a dozen other groups to formalize our approach to conserving green spaces in our region – and this is just the beginning. We’ll continue expanding our partnerships to reach more people and have a greater impact on planning and conservation in the South Georgian Bay region. Check back for regular updates!
Our Board of Directors
Our board is comprised of some exceptionally talented, committed and passionate people from across the ECA geography. Our board members are well known and respected in their communities and by major land conservancies. They have held top corporate Canada financial, entrepreneurial and governance roles. The board is structured into more than a dozen ‘portfolios’ with each Director assuming clear mandates.
Some highlights from our founding board:
- The two principals who led the 2004 OMB battle against Castle Glen
- The CEO of the organization that led the buyout of the “Mega Quarry” lands in Dufferin County in 2013 – 6,500 acres of prime farmland that had been under threat of development as an aggregate quarry
- Former leader of marketing & economic development for the Town of Collingwood
- Founding Chairperson / Director of the Georgian Bay Land Trust
- Immediate past Chair of CREST, the Center for Responsible Travel, a unique non-profit with the mission to promote responsible tourism policies and practices so that local communities may thrive and steward their cultural resources and biodiversity
Since our inception, the board has continued to grow adding key members covering important portfolios. ECA’s board of directors is:
- Christina Eaton
- Tom Eisenhauer
- Stephen Griggs
- Bruce Harbinson
- George Knowles
- David Middleton
- Mike Robbins
- Martin Rydlo
- Annette Sandberg
- David Scoon