Toronto Star looks at Meaford mega power storage project
Plans for a massive hydro plant on the shores of Georgian Bay have residents ‘devastated’
By Sandro Contenta Toronto Star
Bob Baranski and his wife Kathy spent a decade planning their retirement dream home. They saved money, canvassed home shows and pored over designs. Never in doubt was its location — on the pristine shores of Georgian Bay, where they have owned land for 40 years.
Last summer, after spending most of their retirement savings, only finishing touches remained to fully realize their dream — a spacious two-storey home with large windows facing the turquoise expanse of the bay.
The couple looked forward to moving to their Meaford bayside property full time from their home in Fergus, Ont.
“It’s a gorgeous spot,” says Baranski, an energetic 70-year-old watching snowfall turn his property into a winter postcard on a February morning.
The first ominous sign came at the end of last summer, when he found a neighbour’s handwritten note taped to his front door: “It said, ‘Did you know there’s going to be a power plant next door?’ ” Baranski recalls. “That got my attention.”
When he learned the size and general design of the project, he felt his retirement dream shatter, and feared for the shoreline’s environment and natural beauty.
“We’re devastated,” says Baranski, who co-owns a company that makes pallets and crates. He estimates the main section of the proposed plant will be 500 metres from his home, and its large transformer station and high-tension wires much closer.