Thread: Ancaster Update
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Old Posted Dec 18, 2013, 11:12 AM
thistleclub thistleclub is offline
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Canterbury Hills land sale possible
(Hamilton Spectator, Matthew Van Dongen, Dec 17 2013)

The beloved Canterbury Hills summer camps will continue if the Hamilton Conservation Authority buys up most of the Anglican diocese's land in the Dundas Valley, says a church official.

The watershed protection agency is negotiating to buy about 25 hectares of pristine natural lands surrounding the half-century-old camp and nearby conference centre.

The move comes as the conservation authority tries to figure out what to do with another former Anglican diocese property, nearby Maplewood Hall, which some vocal residents want razed and returned to nature.

HCA executive director Chris Firth-Eagland said he can't discuss land negotiations. But the Niagara Escarpment Commission, which regulates parts of the area, let the cat out of the bag by posting online comments on the proposed sale.

If the deal goes through, the church would retain about four hectares of land including the conference centre and several camp buildings. Campsites remaining on transferred land would still be used by the church under a separate agreement.

Canterbury Hills executive director Paddy Doran also said he couldn't discuss potential land transactions — but he emphasized any sale "would in no way impede our use of the property." ....

The sale would add about 25 hectares to what is already Hamilton's largest publicly protected natural area. The Dundas Valley Conservation Area covers more than 1,200 hectares of Carolinian forest and contains a variety of rare plants and animals.

Past efforts to introduce new development or even schools to the protected valley have met with fierce community opposition. The conservation authority board is already grappling with resident opposition to a pitch to use dilapidated Maplewood Hall as a Montessori school.
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