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Halton Regional Council Update: Nelson Quarry’s Plans to Expand Operations

Quarry photo

Back in July 2019, Nelson Quarry in Burlington announced proposed plans to expand its operations to adjacent properties it owns. On a newly-launched website at the time, Nelson briefly mentioned its plans, and talked about its desire to turn the quarry over to the public once quarrying operations ceased.

On Jan. 15, 2020, Halton Regional Council received a public report updating council members on the proposed expansion to the Burlington Quarry (Nelson), pre-consultation meeting. Click this link for the full report:  LPS08-20 – Proposed Expansion to the Burlington Quarry (Nelson) Pre-consultation meeting.

The recommendation to Regional Council was to receive and file the report for information and forward a copy to the City of Burlington and Towns of Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills, the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).


  • Regional staff have been advised of Nelson Aggregate Co.’s (Nelson) intent to apply for an aggregate license from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to expand its Burlington Quarry. No applications have been submitted to Halton Region, the City of Burlington, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, or MNRF at the time of writing this report;
  • On Nov. 6, 2019, a pre-consultation meeting with staff from the Region, the City of Burlington, Conservation Halton, and NEC, as well as representatives and technical experts from Nelson was held to discuss application requirements and the basic framework for a Joint Agency Review Team approach and work plan for reviewing the anticipated proposal;
  • The proposed expansion to the Burlington Quarry will require approvals under the Aggregate Resources Act, the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, and the Planning Act. A Regional Official Plan Amendment and a City of Burlington Official Plan Amendment are required to permit the quarry expansion;
  • It is anticipated that the various applications will be filed in the first half of 2020;
  • An inter-agency Joint Agency Review Team approach will be used for reviewing the project;
  • This report is to update Council on the pre-consultation meeting, the complete application requirements, and the steps that follow upon receipt of a complete application for a Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA).

The anticipated ROPA application needed to permit the quarry expansion is expected to request that the lands shown as the proposed 2020 Burlington Quarry Extension (see photo above) be re-designated to permit the phased expansion of the existing Nelson Quarry.


JART (Joint Agency Review Team) membership is a team of staff focused on technical details. In this case, there are four different agencies involved (City of Burlington, Region of Halton, NEC and MNRF) and all of them will need to sign off in order for this to proceed. There are also appeal rights.

Regional council is approval body for the Regional OPA. Mineral aggregate extraction is not currently permitted in the Region’s plan.

City OP doesn’t have Thiessen permissions for expansion, so we will be the approval authority for that.

NEC will need to consider an NEC amendment — NEC does not permit expansion.

If any of the proposed quarry expansion property is near a watercourse governed by Conservation Halton, then the Conservation Authority (CA) Board would also need to approve the expansion — so there might be yet another approval authority.

The key is that the MNRF has carriage over the site plan authority and will need to make a decision. In all likelihood and typical of these applications, things will be referred by appeal to the “joint board” of the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) and Environment Lands Tribunal of Ontario (ELTO).

There is a sequence to these processes — the NEC must go first, then Region of Halton, then the City. JART allows us to coordinate reports.

JART doesn’t come to conclusions on the merit of the application. However, it looks at making sure the information is of a particular standard. It’s to ensure the studies are sufficient for the respective bodies to make an informed decision.

The Region will provide a review of what legislation has changed since the last JART (provincial policy statement, endangered species, etc.). Halton did a submission including more permissive statements that the City of Burlington is not supportive of (related to provincial policy statement).

JART and the Joint Board (LPAT and ELTO) are different bodies. The Joint Board only occurs if all four agencies refuse the application and Nelson appeals.

At the City Council level, we are working on keeping residents informed every step of the way in this process. Stay tuned for more on that.

— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward


*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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4 thoughts on “Halton Regional Council Update: Nelson Quarry’s Plans to Expand Operations”

  1. Thank you for the thorough explanation. I am not for the Quarry expanding and doubt there will be many rural residents that would disagree with me.

    1. Hi Mozelle,
      If you are referring to the Mount Nemo Christian Nursing Home, that is a little more than 2 km from the site of Nelson Aggregate quarry site. Thank you for commenting on the Mayor’s website.
      — John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist.

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