Aggregate News


Mount Nemo Quarry, Burlington



Nelson Aggregate Co. Mount Nemo Quarry, Burlington (ALPS ID: 5499, 5657)


The existing quarry operates with two Aggregate Resources Act (ARA) Licences (5499 @ 202.1 acres, 5657 @ 16.2 acres) covering 218.3 acres with an extraction footprint of 210 acres. The existing quarry is bounded on the north by Colling Road, on the south by No. 2 Side Road, and on the east by Guelph Line with the exception of a small area at the northwest intersection of Guelph Line and No. 2 Side Road. Adjacent to the existing quarry on the west is the Burlington Springs Golf and Country Club. On the Colling Road edge of the existing quarry, Nelson has provided dedicated access along 1.5 km to the Bruce Trail Association.


Nelson’s existing limestone quarry has been in operation since 1953, initially under the former owner. Nelson has operated the quarry since 1983. The site is being progressively rehabilitated. Approximately 125 acres have already been rehabilitated, leaving approximately 85 acres that are used for active extraction, processing, and future extraction. Final rehabilitation is to be a 185-acre lake with an island, exposed cliff face, vegetated shoreline and shoreline wetlands. In addition to processing material mined at the site, the existing quarry receives concrete and asphalt from off-site for recycling with its asphalt plant. The asphalt plant is on the floor of the existing quarry and has been in operation since the 1970’s.


Licensed aggregate reserves at the existing quarry have approximately 7 million tonnes of material remaining [as at 2010].


Nelson intends to continue to operate the asphalt plant during the life of the existing quarry.



The First Expansion Proposal (2004-2012)


On October 8, 2004, Nelson submitted applications for a variety of approvals that were necessary for it to develop an extension to its existing quarry. The applications made under different statutes, amended various instruments, rested on a large number of highly technical studies, and engaged a number of government agencies. To facilitate the necessary technical review, a Joint Agency Review Team (JART) was established with representatives from the MNR, the NEC, the Region, the City, and Conservation Halton.


Nelson indicated that it would continue to extract and process the remaining reserves of aggregate at the existing quarry during and after the aggregate extraction operation in the extension, if approved.


Like the existing quarry, the proposed extension would extract the aggregate material below water.


At that time the extension site had some houses fronting on No. 2 Side Road, open farm fields in the middle, wetlands and some wooded areas. The wooded areas include deciduous and coniferous plantations as well as an old successional orchard. The cascading wetlands on the eastern side include some ponded areas.


The application was for a licensed area of 82.3 ha, with an extraction footprint of approximately half that size. The extension was expected to generate approximately 26,000,000 tonnes of aggregate. Nelson intended to process this aggregate in the processing plant at the existing quarry.


No. 2 Side Road was the northern boundary of the proposed extension. Adjacent to the west was the Camisle Golf Course. To the east were lands known as the Wong property. In agricultural use, Nelson proposed an ecological restoration plan for the Wong property to offset the proposed loss of some of the ecological features on the lands within the proposed extraction footprint. Further to the east was the Mount Nemo Christian Nursing Home. To the south were lands known as the Harmer property. The Harmer property included two known Jefferson Salamander breeding ponds near the boundary of the Nelson lands.


In general, the area around both the existing quarry and proposed extension can be described as a mix of commercial, institutional, residential, recreational, and agricultural uses.


Source:  Office of Consolidated Hearings Decision:  08-030


Local Grassroots Group:  Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL)


*** The application for Niagara Escarpment Plan amendment for the expansion was rejected in October 2012.



AO COMMENT:  There was substantial protest from Ontarians regarding Nelson Aggregates’ 2004 proposal to expand it’s quarry operation on Mount Nemo.  The quarry site is located in the protected Niagara Escarpment, which is part of Ontario’s Greenbelt.  Additionally, the endangered species Jefferson Salamander had a significant impact on the land-use planning decision.




The Latest Expansion Proposal (2019)


In 2019, Nelson Aggregates presented an expansion proposal.  Stating that they expected the lifetime of the entire quarry to be about 25 years, they stated that during that time their intention is to expand the operation to the south and in 2025, to the west into what is now known as Burlington Springs Golf Course.  (Link to technical documents.)


The expansion would encompass 180 acres.  The bulk of the proposed expansion is in a different location than the 2004 proposal, and a much smaller extraction footprint of 134 acres is proposed to protect the unique local environment.  In return, Nelson Aggregate promises to donate nearly 1,000 acres of rehabilitated land to the public, creating Burlington’s largest park.  The land transfer would happen in four phases.  There was no mention of the Jefferson Salamander in the new plan. (article)


A picture containing text, map


Source: Proposed Site Plan


NEWS – Mount Nemo Quarry







Government of Ontario Environment Registry

Application for Issuance of a licence to remove over 20,000 tonnes of aggregate annually from a pit or a quarry (ERO 019-2698)

Public comment period to Dec-28th


The Star

Sarah Harmer and friends won a long environmental fight. Now she has to do it again

Nick Krewen


Burlington Gazette

Nelson Aggregates clears the first of many hurdles to creating a large park on the quarry properties on Guelph Line

Pepper Parr


Burlington Gazette

Round 2 Another Assault on Rural Lands – Nelson Aggregates Plans to File a New Application

Pepper Parr


Big Plans Proposed for the Nelson Quarry in Burlington

Paige Petrovsky



Here we go again …



Council of Canadians

News: Nelson Quarry Proposal in Niagara Escarpment Denied!

Brent Patterson


Burlington Gazette

Elected types forget that it was a citizens group, PERL that led the fight that resulted in the hearing that resulted in no quarry on Mt. Nemo.

Pepper Parr



Joint Tribunal dismisses Nelson Aggregate application for expansion



Lake Ontario Waterkeeper

Why Nelson Aggregate’s quarry should be denied

Joanna Bull



For more information:


Nelson Aggregates – Mount Nemo Quarry


GravelWatch Ontario – Mount Nemo OMB Decision – Key Issue:  Species at risk




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Disclaimer: This information has been compiled through private amateur research for the purpose of allowing the reader to make an informed and educated decision.  However, while the information is believed to be reliable, accuracy cannot be guaranteed.