This letter was sent to The Globe and Mail in response to the following article:
Thank you to John Lorinc for writing an excellent article about the fight to stop the development of a quarry near Skeleton Lake, Muskoka. I just want to elaborate on several of the issues that Mr Lorinc identified in his piece.
My grandfather, Harry Newman, built a cottage on the north shore of Skeleton Lake in 1934, and members of my extended family have been cottaging there ever since. I personally have been visiting this area for more than sixty years, and in this time have seen many changes.
While the water still appears to be exceptionally clear, large blooms of algae have become increasingly common in recent years. A significant increase in phosphorous levels if the quarry goes ahead, as predicted by Gord Miller, would cause this algae problem to escalate rapidly, and to get out of control.
Muskoka Road 3, is proposed as the principal haulage route for the trucks from the quarry, and it runs within 100 metres of the shoreline at Newman’s Bay, where the trucks must climb a steep hill. Truck noise is already a serious problem for permanent residents and cottagers in this area, and the sound travels unimpeded across the lake, and can be heard clearly by cottagers on the southern shore.
Muskoka Road 3 is also designated as a Scenic Corridor in the Official Plan of the Township of Muskoka Lakes. It is a popular route for tourists in cars and buses, on motorcycles, on bicycles, and on foot. The proposed quarry would increase traffic by over 100 trucks per day during the height of the tourist season, a recipe for disaster.
Tourism is a sustainable industry that creates jobs and wealth in Muskoka, and this quarry proposal has very little upside, and a whole lot of downside.