Residential Development in River Terrace

THUNDER BAY – River Terrace residents have received notice that there will be people working on Larch plantation behind their homes over the next couple of weeks. The forest buffer between the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and River Terrace is about to be thinned.

The Larch plantation was started thirty years ago. “The plantation trial will likely not remain in its current form or size so we would like to utilize the trees rather than have them wasted and also the University has invested time and money into these trials so we would like to extract as much information from the trial as possible,” according to Dr. Mathew Leitch, an associate professor in Wood Science and Technology at LU.

The land is being sold by the University despite the efforts of a determined group of students and residents. One of the issues raised is that apparently, the land was donated to the University on the condition it could not be sold.

Residents in River Terrace have been concerned over a proposed development that would put an additional street of homes, removing the natural buffer, and the trees from the area.

The residents have appealed to Council, but were turned down in their efforts.

Sources tell NetNewsledger.com that the move to expand residential lots in the lands surrounding the hospital could cause problems for any expansion plans at the Regional Hospital.

Considering that the facility is in a perpetual state of gridlock an expansion plan would likely make sense. The decision by City Council to allow more housing in River Terrace that would be closer to the TBRHSC would likely restrict the ability of the facility to expand as residents would be seeking a noise assessment survey to be completed.

Reportedly such an assessment was not completed before City Council approved a proposed development in River Terrace while a noise assessment was required in the Grandview area prior to development process at the former Sir John A. MacDonald School can go forward.

The hospital because of its size and the helicopters for the air ambulance would likely be far noisier than the development proposed for the Grandview site.

One would think that the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, and future expansion of the facility would be a bigger priority for City Council and Administration over residential development. It may be, but for the incoming Council as opposed to the current Council. Time will tell.

James Murray