NEWS

Mimico residents say concrete plant clogging streets with traffic, dust

06/30/2015 07:57 EDT | Updated 06/30/2016 05:59 EDT
Mimico residents say a local concrete facility is clogging their neighbourhood with traffic jams and dust piles, and their complaints to city and provincial officials are failing to bring changes.

ML Ready Mix Co.'s concrete batch plant at Royal York Road and Judson Street in south Etobicoke has been causing headaches for local residents since it opened in 2007. As many as 384 trucks drive in and out of the facility's driveway each day, which is the maximum allowed by the province.

Residents say that trucks also come and go from the facility outside of its posted operating hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"It's hell. It's torture. I can't enjoy my home," resident Dan Irwin, who has lived in the neighbourhood since 1985, told CBC News.

He has filed complaints with the city and the province since the facility opened.

"It's frustrating. Everybody points fingers and says, 'That's not our job,' or, 'We're looking into it.' I can't get a straight answer."

The city has set up a camera outside the plant to monitor activities.

Over the past two years, city bylaw officers have laid charges for zoning violations and for building a structure without the appropriate permits.

Fines of $100K possible

Those charges are still before the courts. If found guilty, the company faces fines of more than $100,000.

Ontario's Ministry of the Environment has also laid numerous charges, from discharging contaminants to operating equipment outside hours of operation.

"We continue to monitor the situation and to visit the site to continue to assess compliance with the various conditions," said the ministry's Charlie Tajnay.

A lawyer for the company told CBC News that it's in the process of obtaining permits for some of the structures that were built at the facility.

"The use of the site as a concrete batching facility is legal and permitted – the continued allegations to the contrary, by some residents, are incorrect," lawyer John Alati said in a statement.

The court cases involving both the city and the province will continue in the coming months.

When the facility opened, the land was zoned for an industrial operation like a concrete batch plant. Since then, however, bylaws have changed, and so future uses of the property could not include this type of facility.

Meanwhile, residents continue to keep track of the goings on outside the plant. Norm Wood, 89, has lived in the area for 40 years. These days, he monitors what's going on at the facility with his tablet.

"Noisy, noisy, noisy. And dusty," Wood said.

"All I can do is watch and report what I see."

MORE:cbcNews