Air quality OK for development near a GO Station in Mississauga: study


Published May 29, 2023 at 3:40 pm

air quality clarkson
Photo via City of Mississauga submission

The results of a Mississauga air quality study are in and, although it’s not always smog-free, researchers gave the go-ahead for intensification around a GO Station.

A large development, which would see the popular Scooter’s Roller Palace demolished, is part of a plan to intensify the area around Clarkson GO Station.

In January, Slate Asset Management announced its proposal to build four residential buildings at 29, 27, 25 and 23 storeys high with 1,237 residential units and 2,386 square metres of commercial space replacing Clarkson Gateway Plaza at 2077 Royal Windsor Dr.

And now, it seems, an air quality study won’t stand in the way of the development.

WSP Canada Inc. conducted the Clarkson Air Quality Study (CAQS) on behalf of Slate Asset Management, and found the air quality to be the same as much of the GTA, according to a report to the Planning and Development Committee.

“The CAQS has determined that although there are periods of poor air quality, this is not unique to the Clarkson MTSA (Clarkson GO Major Transit Station Area) and any potential risks to human health are no different than similar urban environments across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and beyond,” the report notes.

“The study concluded, air quality would not prohibit residential uses being introduced adjacent the Clarkson GO station.”

2077 royal windsor drive mississauga

A rendering of the proposal for 2077 Royal Windsor Dr.

The ambient air monitoring program began in July 2020 and captured data by collecting air samples during various times of day including during the summer months when pollution levels can be the highest.

Of the 18 air contaminants assessed, six contaminants (benzene, acrolein, PM2.5, PM10, NOx, and benzo(a)pyrene) exceeded the relevant air quality thresholds. These contaminants are primarily related to transportation, and similar findings are recorded in comparable urban areas.

In a public meeting, residents asked if the pandemic lockdowns during this period could impact the results. But the analysis used historical (pre-pandemic) data and corrections were made to select contaminants to account for potential emission reductions due to the pandemic, according to the report.

Another resident raised concerns that the air quality study was completed by the developer, and could be skewed in their favour. City staff said they established an expert review committee to set the terms of reference and “diligently guided the execution of the study.”

With the air quality results in, the city’s master planning work for the area will continue.

A study to intensify the area around the Clarkson GO Station started in 2018.

The City of Mississauga, with a consultant team, is developing a vision and guiding principles for intensification around the Clarkson GO station.

Along with more recent housing goals from the province, the city’s Growth Plan 2020 and the new Peel 2051 Official Plan set out plans for a minimum density of 150 residents and jobs combined per hectare around GO Transit rail stations.

This means a minimum of approximately 6,000 additional residents and/or jobs to meet the minimum density target for the area around Clarkson GO.

For the full air quality study, click here. The Planning and Development Committee report is here.

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