Carruthers Protection May Be Lost With Swipe of Ministerial Zoning Order Pen

From usually reliable sources it appears that the provincial government is planning at the request of developers, to urbanize  2,200 hectares of Carruthers Creek. Carruthers flows into Lake Ontario in the City of Ajax, a community that has long opposed the flood of pollution such an action would bring.

Protect Carruthers Creek Headwaters

Earlier this decade, Sierra Club Ontario fought along with Elected Officials: Steve Parish, Mayor, Town of Ajax, Jennifer O'Connell, Pickering Regional Councillor Ward 1, and Deputy Mayor, Ian Cumming, Pickering City Councillor, Ward 2, Bill McLean, Pickering Regional Councillor, Ward 2; and Peter Rodrigues (former Pickering Regional Councillor, Ward 3) and community groups: Whitevale and District Residents Association, and Stop The Stink (so named for the noxious algal blooms suffered in Ajax due to polluted run-off). We tried to get Carruthers's headwaters land protected by adding it to the Ontario Greenbelt.

Surrounded by the Greenbelt, the headwaters of Carruthers Creek in northeast Pickering and northwest Whitby face the threat of urban sprawl. Without the strong protections Ontario’s Greenbelt provides, our region’s fertile farmland, lush forests, and water systems risk being swallowed up by development. These lands are irreplaceable and provide us with a secure food supply, fresh air and clean drinking water. 

If urbanized, Ajax homes and infrastructure downstream along Carruthers Creek face potential damage due to increased flooding. The health of Carruthers Creek will also deteriorate with greater erosion, loss of vegetation and degradation of fish habitat—threatening Redside Dace, an endangered species. 

Protecting Carruthers Creek headwaters will also curb urban sprawl, ensuring our communities are walkable, livable, and transit-friendly. While ensuring our farmland continues to produce food and that our watersheds remain healthy.  

Write the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Do not delay, since the Ministerial Zoning Order could come at any time. Tell them Protecting Carruthers Creek headwaters is necessary:

  • to curb urban sprawl ensuring our communities are walkable, livable, and transit-friendly, and
  • ensure our farmland continues to produce food and that our watersheds remain healthy. 

Please email the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, The Honourable Steve Clark, at

Photo from Carruthers Creek outflow to Lake Ontario during extreme low water in 2016. 

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