This website is sponsored by a group of action-oriented Toronto citizens who intend to stop Toronto Hydro’s and the Ontario Liberal government’s plan to industrialize the Eastern Toronto waterfront, in particular the environmentally sensitive Scarborough Bluffs (an Ontario Heritage Site), The Beach, and the North Shore of Lake Ontario from Leslieville to Ajax. We are also opposed to any industrialization of the Great Lakes, and are seeking affiliated communities who share our vision.
Included on this website is information related to the impact of potential wind turbine development in Lake Ontario, including environmental and economic impacts, and information about the negative health effects often associated with wind turbine development close to populated areas.
Although the North Shore is under attack with this proposal, Toronto Hydro has selected the sensitive Bluffs as the beachhead. For those of you not familiar with the beauty and fragility of the Scarborough Bluffs, we have also included a photo gallery of the Bluffs – the last natural shoreline in the Toronto area.
We are a group of concerned citizens across the GTA (Greater Toronto and Area) and beyond who are protesting the proliferation of Industrial Wind Turbines across the province and country. Following the members’ widespread research and study, it is our view that there is insufficient energy production from IWTs to warrant the huge and subsidized outlays that are ultimately a false tax on unwilling hydro consumers. It is also our view that there are insufficient noise and infrasound studies, epidemiological studies, habitat and migration, bird, animal, bat, and aquatic studies to warrant any such massive intrusion on landscapes and populations. To further industrialize the Great Lakes with turbines 40-60 stories tall is not within the realm of possibility for us.
It is our further expression of belief that as families are being forced from their homes and reporting ill health as a result of IWTs being placed too closely, that those offending turbines should be immediately disengaged and dismantled and that families who have suffered financial hardship or loss of enjoyment of their homes should be faithfully and sensitively compensated. In the immediate and long run, we are calling for a complete moratorium on Industrial Wind Turbines in the Province of Ontario, and encouraging other provinces to do the same.
We hope you will enjoy our website, and will take the time to study the various facts and studied opinions from experts as well as people living in and around turbines, and that you will be able to join us in our efforts to rid the province of this expensive and environmentally damaging source of energy. We need YOU to tell your political leaders what you know about IWTs and the direction you do expect them to take with respect to Ontario’s power production. There is much more low hanging fruit, and the longer we pretend that turbines will save the planet, the worse we will be for forgetting the promises we make every day to conserve, protect, and nurture our relationships with the Earth and each other.
To conserve and protect Toronto’s eastern beaches and the Scarborough Bluffs from being unnecessarily desecrated.
To enlighten the general public of the pros and cons of industrial size wind turbines.
To unravel the politics behind the industrialization of Toronto’s waterfront.
To educate and lobby for the protection of the Great Lakes from unnecessary and costly industrialization.
Wind Turbines The Hidden Costs
Gartner Lee engineering firrm, in conjunction with Toronto Hydro and the Ministry of Natural Resources, is considering the feasibility of putting an industrial wind farm, extending from 2 kilometres to 4 kilometres, on Toronto’s eastern shore. If wind speeds prove favourable, the proposed plan would see 400 foot wind turbines, with flashing beacons in Lake Ontario. The 60 turbines proposed for this area would require a 52 square kilometre area. This would span a 25 km stretch of prime beach, parkland, and residential areas. The turbines will encompass an area from Woodbine Ave. to Ajax. Although it is important that we develop new ways to harvest green energy, it must be proven to reduce CO2 emissions, to be economically viable and environmentally prudent. more…
WHY WIND TURBINES ARE THE PROBLEM, NOT THE ANSWER
1. FOLLOW THE MONEY: There’s so little wind and so little electricity: yet developers rush to claim sites for their turbines. Why? Because there’s so much money to be made for private shareholders that it doesn’t really matter whether the turbines run efficiently or not. Where does the money come from? Do you really have to ask? Check your property tax bill. Check your income tax bill. Check your Hydro bill. Yes, it comes from you. And you never get it back: it goes to the developers.
Developers and proponents of wind power claim that it is a “mature industry”: it is just as mature as a university graduate who lives in his parents’ basement. The wind industry depends on taxpayer money to make profits in the same way the basement-dwelling ‘mature’ adult uses parental subsidies in the form of room, board and even laundry service to live and accumulate money. This is not the accepted definition of maturity nor is it an acceptable argument on behalf of tax-sucking wind developers.
Toronto tax money is backing Toronto Hydro Energy Services’ misguided attempt to research wind 1.8 km from the shores of Lake Ontario. Provincial tax money is used to pay the developers. Federal money sweetens the pot.
Once a project is built, the developers sell the electricity, (under contracts guaranteed by the government and at a price guaranteed by the government at a rate twice the cost of other power) to the Ontario Power Authority which then factors the higher cost of this power into the price charged to consumers. It’s all our money that the OPA uses to buy the power. And then we pay for it again in our Hydro bills.
2. CHECK THE RELIABILITY: The winds blow erratically: high winds in winter; low in summer. When high winds in winter or at night produce power when it’s not needed by consumers, that power is still purchased at the inflated rate and is not used. When do we need power the most? When the air conditioners are running during hot summer days. Guess what? Because the wind is on vacation, power from all other sources (nuclear, hydro, coal) has to do the job that wind can’t.
And all this time, the other power-producing plants have to keep running, just to provide reliable power. That’s why Germany, despite all its wind turbines, continues to build new coal-fired plants. That’s why Denmark, with large numbers of turbines, has to import power from other countries to have a reliable source of power for its citizens. Nowhere in the world has a coal-fired plant stopped production and been decommissioned because finally wind power could take over the job. It just can’t happen. Why is our province ignoring the experience of other countries around the world? Why do we repeat the same expensive, inefficient development that other countries are now questioning?
3. FIRST, DO NO HARM: We all want to reduce the harm done to our air, ourselves and our planet by CO2 emissions. But do we really want to irrevocably damage people; our drinking water; the wild animals that live along the corridor of parks and natural landscape that line the shore; and the birds and bats that migrate along and across Lake Ontario by placing an industrial plant of at least 60 turbines, each over 100 metres high and bedecked with flashing lights, in a 24 km stretch of the Lake? We, the governed and those who govern, should adopt the physicians’ oath: First, do no harm.
And wind turbines can, and do, cause harm. People are harmed by the noise and vibration produced by the turbines (of course, it is worse at night, when people are trying to sleep and the ambient noise is low, because the wind blows more strongly at night). High sound levels are generated which can cause health problems. Low frequency sound travels further, especially over water, and has been detected as far away as 10 km. And low frequency sound can and does cause insidious health problems. That is why European countries have setbacks for projects and why Ontario should have a setback of at least 2 km on land and 10 km in water. It’s not just people who are affected by the different kinds of noise: household pets, wild animals, birds and other creatures are affected as well. Remember how sensitive a dog is to sounds we can’t hear? That’s the low frequency sound and it will strip our landscape of most sensible creatures. Bats who stray too close simply implode from the decompression around the turbines. Toronto Hydro’s plan would be the first near-shore wind turbine installation in the world to be located so close (2 -4 km) to a major residential area. The onus should be on the developers to prove, with peer-reviewed studies, that there would be absolutely no damage to humans and other animals from their inefficient, unreliable turbines.
Construction of a wind turbine installation in Lake Ontario would involve drilling into the lake bed, disrupting sediments that are best left like sleeping dogs, given our habit of polluting our water sources. Heavy metals and other toxins should be undisturbed instead of being stirred up mere kilometres upstream from the intake pipes at the Harris Filtration Plant. It would seem to an ordinary person to be a no-brainer: don’t mess with the drinking water. However, those in power and developers do not seem to be ordinary people and the planning goes on and the money flows and sensible people are reviled by our elected representatives for trying to protect what the government should be protecting.
4. JUST SAY NO! No to industrial wind turbines: the panacea of the green movement, the darling of politicians looking for a photo-op. The turbines can’t stop the CO2 emissions and cannot eliminate the burning of fossil fuels. Wind power can NOT provide large amounts of useful electricity; wind power is NOT green.
And we, the Toronto Wind Action group, say NO to an anemometer testing station in Lake Ontario and we say NO to a giant industrial turbine installation a mere 2 km from the beautiful heritage site of the Scarborough Bluffs.