Official Statement - Durham Live Project Gets the Green Light

Posted on Wednesday November 04, 2020

Pickering, ON, November 4, 2020

“Durham Region’s economy, and in particular the City of Pickering, have been hard hit in recent years. Not only are we now battling the ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis, but also the wind down of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station and the regional impact of the GM closures. And an additional 2,500 local jobs have been put on hold at Durham Live, because of the pandemic. It is in response to these economic and social challenges that the City of Pickering, with the support of the Region of Durham, requested a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) to accelerate the Durham Live project.

The City of Pickering is pleased to support a project that will bring 10,000+ full-time, well-paying jobs to the region. And while we focus on local jobs and the economy, that focus does not come at the expense of the environment.

The City of Pickering’s commitment to sustainable placemaking has been clearly demonstrated and we believe our considerations about the environment have been unfairly characterized.

Our intentions to request the MZO were publicly stated at a City Council meeting on May 13, 2020: https://corporate.pickering.ca/weblink/1/edoc/229469/May%2013,%202020%20-%20Special.pdf

Contrary to images that are being circulated online, the City of Pickering has absolutely no intention of disturbing the Lower Duffins Creek valley and the wetlands near the coast.

The lands that have been earmarked for this investment are on the western edge of the Durham Live site and are functionally disconnected from the Lower Duffins Creek valley. Duffins Creek does not run through these lands and there are no established hiking trails.


A recent ecological study on these lands indicate that these wetlands generally provide limited ecological functions for flora, fish, and wildlife. This area is bordered by Highway 401 and Bayly Street, and is surrounded by industrial and commercial uses that combined with the presence of invasive plant life have contributed to an ongoing decline in the wetland.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the developer signed a Memorandum of Agreement that sets a framework for the enhancement of ecological benefits to the natural system that will achieve a 1:1 ratio of wetland compensation. The developer, the City, and TRCA are in the process of pulling that plan together, and development on this site cannot, and will not, move forward without satisfying a number of key requirements.

We’re proud of the support that we were able to secure in order to bring 10,000+ new jobs to our region, while ensuring we improve the quality of our wetlands and our roadways.

We’re also pleased that the developer worked with the City and the Region to ensure we improve the flow of traffic in the area. An agreement between the three parties requires the developer to conduct traffic and servicing studies, identify and construct required works, as well as complete the relevant intersection improvements in 2021 at their cost. Further, the developer is paying 40 per cent of the Notion Road overpass.

We will continue to work with the Region of Durham, Province of Ontario, and the developer to create more than 10,000+ new jobs, protect our watersheds, and help our region on our path to recovery.”

Mayor Dave Ryan

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As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.

Mark Guinto
Manager, Public Affairs & Corporate Communications | Office of the Mayor
905.420.4660 ext. 2013 | 416.409.0559 (mobile)
mguinto@pickering.ca