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'More cement, more concrete, more pavement': Read 8 comments about a proposed Aurora development

Developer looking to building 'exceptional' community in Aurora and Newmarket, consultant says

Lisa Queen
June 14, 2021

On June 8, Aurora held a planning meeting regarding a proposal by Shining Hill Estates Collection Inc. to build 88 homes and two eight-storey buildings with 200 units.

The bid, north of St. John’s Sideroad, west of Yonge Street, is part of a larger development in the works for northern Aurora and southern Newmarket, which also includes the new private girls’ St. Anne’s School in Aurora.

The developer’s planning consultant, Don Given, pointed out the area represents one of the last potential development projects of its size in this area of York Region.

The developer plans trails and enhancements of the natural heritage system, he said.

But residents complained this latest phase of the development would result in another 1,500 trees being cut down in addition to 700 already lost.

They're also concerned about increased traffic, the impact on wildlife and the height of the eight-storey buildings.

No decision on the 88 homes and two buildings has been made yet. That will come back to a future planning meeting.

Here are some of the comments heard at the June 8 meeting:

“We’re all looking forward to creating a community here that will be, because it is one of the last areas we’ve got to work with, an exceptional community for your community and Newmarket.”  -- Shining Hill planning consultant Don Given

I feel the apartment buildings are not going to fit in with the entire setting of this area, especially after seeing photos today. I feel like they belong more in downtown Toronto versus a beautiful residential area like this.”  -- resident Nella Mauceri

"The proposal looks very good and it looks like you (the developer) have put a lot of thought into maintaining nature trails and everything looks great but at the end of the day, we are still destroying a huge portion of trees.”  -- Resident Marie Loureiro

"This is a rich and vibrant ecosystem and that is what’s at stake here.”  -- resident and vice-president of the Henderson Forest Aurora Ratepayer Association Wendy Kenyon

“It’s sad to see these (700) trees gone, to be honest. I used to see (from my backyard) trees only. Now, I see the lights in the east part of Aurora across Yonge Street. It just tells you how many trees have been lost in the last month.”  -- resident Shawn Xiong

“The last little bit of green space that we have is basically where Shining Hill is planning to cut more trees and put up more cement and more concrete and more pavement.”  -- resident Pierre Geoffroy

“Overdevelopment, as suggested by the applicant, abuses our environment (and) causes destruction to our natural heritage features and immeasurable harm to wildlife.”  -- resident and president of the Henderson Forest Aurora Ratepayer Association George Skoulikas

“There has to be an understanding that eight storeys is not going to fly, it’s absolutely not going to fly in this area. We in Aurora do not even approve an eight-storey building along Yonge Street, let alone we’re going to approve an eight-storey building in the middle of a subdivision.”  -- Mayor Tom Mrakas