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Previous owner of Rockfort Farm opposes quarry application

Wednesday, September 03, 2003
Lynne Dole

Good Evening Madam Mayor, Members of the Town of Caledon Council, Ladies and Gentlemen:

My name is Lynne Dole, and I am here tonight to explain my personal reasons for opposing the James Dick application.

The proposed Rockfort Quarry was once called Rockfort Farm, and it belonged to my family from 1963 until 1996.

During that 35 year period, the farm was a gathering place not just for our family but for many other residents and friends alike.  Over thirty years of fond memories are tied to the land and all it had to offer as part of the whole neighbourhood.  My Father, Major Charles Kindersley, was a veteran of both the First and Second World Wars, serving in the Royal Flying Corps during WW1 and then in The Royal Canadian Engineers during WW2.  He and my Mother considered the farm to be a heritage resource to be preserved not only for themselves but also for the whole community and for posterity.

We became very attached to the property in a way that only those who live and work on the land, raising livestock and growing crops, can come to know.  The historic stone barn was cherished by my family for its significance as a rare example of the expert masonry of the Scottish pioneers who first made their way to the property in 1829.  To us, the farm was a symbol of the hard work, ingenuity and dedication of the generations who had tilled the land and taken their part in community events.  An indication of Rockfort being an integral part of the community was that it was at one time the Post Office for the surrounding area.

Sadly, on my parents’ passing, it became necessary to consider putting the property up for sale. I did so, knowing that the property would continue to be farmed as it was designated on the official plan as agricultural land. This alleviated my worry that the property might become a housing development.  The For Sale sign was posted with a heavy heart, but also with hope for the future of our well-loved farm.

Along came a most attractive and charming young couple who showed great appreciation for the lovely old stone house, the historic barn and the gardens, along with a commitment to raising their growing family on such a beautiful property.  They planned to keep horses as well and it seemed to me that the farm would continue to be enjoyed in much the same way it was during my family’s stay there.

A closing date was set and I began the process of preparing to leave.

To my horror and dismay the real facts gradually came to light.  The property was registered not to the young couple who had come to view the land but to a numbered company.  On closer inspection it was determined that this numbered company was associated with James Dick Construction.

James Dick Construction planned to quarry Dolostone from the site and had purchased the property with that intent.

I was numb with shock and disbelief.  It then occurred to me that this young couple had merely played their role to enable James Dick Construction to acquire the property as inexpensively as possible and without any opposition to the transaction.  Their plan allowed them to secure the property by not alerting myself or the neighbourhood to their real intent.

For the record, I would like to state that if James Dick Construction had offered to purchase the land for the aggregate resource it contained, I would not have sold to them.  No amount of money would have induced me to sell this natural heritage property in this neighbourhood and in this beautiful countryside in order to be turned into a quarry.

I urge each and every one of you to carefully consider the potential impacts of the James Dick proposal.  I do not want anyone to suffer, as I have, as a consequence of their actions.

Lynne Dole