Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Environmental Studies (MES)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Jerry Hall

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The Township of North Dumfries is located in the rapidly expanding Municipality of Waterloo. This Township is in close proximity to Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Hamilton, and is halfway between London and Toronto, with the primary east-west Highway 401 running through the Township. It is an unique area in that it is characterized by an abundance of prime agricultural lands, Environmentally Sensitive Policy Areas, and wetlands. In addition, the Township is underlain with a large quantity of good quality glacially derived aggregate materials. Land use conflicts have increased as a result of aggregate developers’ pressures on the resources of this Township to obtain licences for sand and gravel pits. Area residents and environmentalists are protesting the expansion of this industry any further. They are deeply concerned about the degradation of unique ecosystems, and effects to their quality of life. Little consideration is being given to the long term effects of extensive extraction on the regional landscape of this Township. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate stakeholder attitudes toward the aggregate industry, including factors that influence the move toward proactive long term landscape planning and design, within the limits of a community based landscape. In this regard, the objectives were threefold: i) to investigate the existing role, dimension and impact of the aggregate industry; ii) to investigate the attitudes of aggregate producers, Township councillors, in addition to residents who live within different proximities of an aggregate site; and iii) to gain an appreciation of the wishes of the rural community concerning the Township’s future landscape design Research methods included the use of historical records, on-site visits, interviews and questionnaires with the aggregate developers, members of the Township Council and Township residents. Additional methods included analysis of existing geological and surficial maps, air photos and Township records. It was found that each of the interviewed groups felt strongly about the aggregate industry in the Township of North Dumfries. The aggregate producers were certain part of the solution to the conflicting attitudes between the public and the industry is the need for education, illustrating to the public the importance of the aggregate industry. The Township councilors felt they were in a difficult position. The aggregate industry brings revenue and jobs to the community, concern is raised among residents as to the number and operation of aggregate sites in the Township. Interviewed residents of the Township expressed their concern toward the effects that the number of aggregate sites were having socially and environmentally.

Convocation Year


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