Meridian Brick, Canada’s largest manufacturer of clay brick, is preparing to open the eastern section of its Aldershot Quarry complex.
This project will help to sustain and support existing investments in brickmaking in Burlington as Meridian opens up this section of the quarry, the third and final of three quarry cells in Aldershot. The project is expected to support upwards of 70 existing manufacturing jobs. Across Meridian’s operations, the company employs 164 people and has an investment of $150 million in the city.
Today, Meridian Brick manufactures 55% of Canada’s entire output of clay brick. About 45% of that Canadian clay brick is manufactured at Meridian’s Burlington facilities.
Opening up the East cell of the Aldershot Quarry is vital to the continued operation of Meridian’s Burlington 2 and Aldershot plants. Currently, Meridian extracts shale for clay brick from two other cells in the same quarry complex – the West Cell and the Centre Cell, also part of the Aldershot Quarry. However, the West Cell has just three to five years of shale left, while the Centre Cell has six to eight years left. The East cell site is the largest reserve of useful shale left in the quarry: When Meridian’s Aldershot plant was built, the East cell site was estimated to hold 38% of the entire quarry’s supply of Queenston shale.
In the years since the quarry was licensed in 1972, the city of Burlington has grown up around the quarry, and Westhaven Drive in the Tyandaga neighbourhood now comes close to the East part of the quarry. During the planning stages in the late 1990s, Meridian took part in studies to ensure the quarry and the subdivision could fit together compatibly, side by side.
Now, as Meridian plans to open the East site, the company is revisiting many of those studies – and conducting new ones as pre-excavation due diligence – to assure residents and demonstrate our respect for the nearby neighbourhood and those living within it. Those studies include: Dust modeling; Air Quality & Human Health Assessment; Species at Risk – Mitigation Plan; Archaeological Study; and a Noise Control Study.
The recent public meeting – as well as this newsletter, our new aldershotquarry.ca website, a number of face-to-face meetings with neighbours, ongoing engagement with regulators and elected officials at all levels, and a prior public meeting in late 2015 – form part of Meridian’s effort to maintain an open line of communication with all those interested in this important project.