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Wind Turbines for Toronto Waterfront?


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Feb 20, 2008
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Wind farm would be another ugly mistake
Urban Compass by April Lindgren

Toronto is unique in its diversity, abundant in talent and full of people who care about the quality of urban life. But even ardent fans admit the city is a bit of an Ugly Betty and unlikely to win any beauty contests.

So why is Toronto Hydro flirting with the idea of spoiling one the few truly beautiful natural features we have left?The utility is considering installing as many as 60 wind power turbines off Toronto’s eastern shoreline. If tests show there is sufficient wind to justify the project, a string of turbines could soon dominate the waterscape from Leslie Street eastward to Ajax.Scarborough residents are raising questions about noise, the impact of the turbines on bird populations and whether the project could alter wind patterns and affect the Scarborough Bluffs.

Expensive consultants’ reports and competing scientific opinions are clearly on the horizon. Also on the horizon, if the project goes ahead, is a collection of ugly industrial clutter destined to haunt generations to come. The wind farm would be located two to four kilometres off shore. That may sound like quite a distance, but wind turbines are huge so we’re not talking about a few little specks off in the distance.

Balance of Article And Some comments

The Truth, Please
Ms. Lindgren writes that “A wind farm glistening on a ridge of land in rural Ontario or southern Alberta can be a beautiful sight...” Sadly, too often, near to those glistening turbines, live people – in some cases, people with 10 turbines within 1 km of their home. Many of those people are suffering from the effects caused by the turbines placed too near to them by those who would profit, and the suffering people are dismayed that no one listens. Comments like we need wind turbines to “save the world” by those who do not understand the truth of the situation are particularly hurtful. Some who think that turbines 2 km away will be tiny specks on the horizon should come to rural Ontario, and see that rows of turbines more than 2 km away dominate the landscape, and become the only thing seen. Let’s set aside the mindless rhetoric and look at the truth, please

EarthedJan 30, 2009 2:03P
Clean air should trump aesthetics
These turbines, if found a suitable investment after the wind speed tests, would bring jobs to Toronto, provide pollution free power, and help the City of Toronto become a sustainable city. If these turbines are placed 2 to 4 km off-shore, how much visual and audible impact would they actually have? It would appear the author is attempting to spread misinformation rather than truly attempting to speak for future generations.

HogtownheroJan 30, 2009 A Toronto with turbines
This article continues the campaign of misinformation about the current proposal and offers no options for how Toronto is going to do its part to protect our species and our special part of the world. The proposal that is being considered is not for a wind farm (we are too far behind for that kind of forward thinking, thanks Mel!). It is for a two meter tall testing facility to look at wind speeds in the lower atmosphere. The proposal and the potential turbines are going to be barely visible. The “Scarborough residents”, only represent a small proportion of people living in the area. “Haunting generations to come”. Maybe you should look at the potential effects climate change will have on the region. Lower water levels in the Great Lakes, destroyed habitat, invasive plants and animals and decreasing water quality, these are the problems we will face if we don’t act. I would rather Toronto do its part for the next generation instead of worrying about our view.

What are your views?

How would you respond to seeing the wind turbines from your condo along the water? Is the Hydro greening Project the way to go? I want clean energy sources,... but

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both are viable arguments. I don't see problems with a wind farm. It might even look pretty if there's a lot of grass around and rolling hills. It might even be a good filming site or attraction for photographers. However it needs to be placed far away from homes. The shorelines are long I'm sure there must be some unoccupied space around. Actually wasn't there a discussion thread for this awhile ago? I'm feeling deja vu
I read these comments and all I hear is blah blah blah. Noise? How much noise comes from the generator at the Ex? Bird migration? Oh noes what about all those tall buildings that people live and work in? Dozens of birds are hurt or killed by them, so lets all live underground! Finally the wind turbine disease sounds like pseudo science bunk.

Fact is I would line up to buy a unit in a condo building that included some form of wind and/or solar generating capacity.
I agree with your post WH! I'm all for wind turbines and feel as if a lot of individuals complain irrationally regarding them. Not only do I find them esthetically pleasing, but the whole concept of obtaining natural energy from wind is amazing. Also, if they're placed in the water, I find they decorate the lakes tastefully.

As for the citizens complaining about birds being struck, give me a break! Don't feel sympathy for the birds and then become a hypocrite by enjoying your chicken or turkey dinner. I'm a vegetarian, who owns animals, and unless you're one as well, then that's when you have the right to complain.

Unless they've solved the problem of birds flying into every building in Toronto, I think wind turbines are hardly Jack Miner's highest priority. Same with noise; if you're living in what's probably the noisiest city in all of Canada, noise is an occupational hazard. The bat problem I'll believe, but I imagine that can be solved with little trouble.

And wind turbines aren't that ugly. They're a lot prettier than Bruce Nuclear or Nanticoke.
If they came up with a slightly different design and perhaps colour than the generic white wind turbine found all over the world, the turbines could even become icons for the city.
These complainers take the concept of NIMBY-ism to a whole new level - I had no idea their backyards extended 2-4km into Lake Ontario! At 2-4 km out in the water, they'd be barely noticeable or audible.
We could offer a coal-fired power-plant built right on the bluff instead of the turbines to the NIMBYs. Let's see how they'd like that. It's the noise issue that bothers me the most. Even from the minimum of 2 km you would not hear the turbines at all.
Condo's Should invest in Solar

If condos invested in solar they could be truly green energy and provide more than the residents / owners needs. (as a part of the initial renderings)

Are there any solar green buildings in Toronto?

I would love a chance to make money from Hydro instead of paying for maintenance fees.
I actually like the wind farms. I saw huge ones in Texas this summer. They were slender and graceful. It's better than the alternatives.
It comes down to the lesser of evils for some.

Which would you prefer?

Offshore Wind Turbines


Nuclear Reactor


Coal Generator