Trucking company’s plan sparks opposition in Ontario town

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A carrier’s application for a zoning amendment to relocate its trucking hub in a small Ontario town unleashed opposition from neighboring residents worried about noise, traffic, water and wastewater issues.

Puslinch approved the amendment at a council meeting on July 12, but only after the property owner agreed to a number of changes proposed by the township’s staff. Dozens of residents opposed to the development were present as local lawmakers unanimously approved the rezoning.

Picture of a housing sub-division next to the planned trucking hub
The housing subdivision that sits across the road from a planned trucking hub in Puslinch, Ont. (Photo: Leo Barros)

A few months ago, Wellington Motor Freight had applied to rezone a property in the township that lies in the southcentral part of the province, surrounding the south end of Guelph, where the carrier is based.

Wellington does not own the property but was seeking permission for a three-storey office building and warehouse with a large parking area of 21 loading spaces, 170 employee parking spots, and 123 tractor and trailer parking spaces.  

NIMBY issue

Wellington representatives were not present at the council meeting and reached out to the company seeking details on the situation. Derek Koza, president and CEO of Wellington Group of Companies, told, “We are tied to confidential items which we cannot disclose.”

Cam McConnell, president of the Meadows of Aberfoyle Association said it is a NIMBY (not in my back yard) issue. “Nobody that works at Wellington lives here, none of the consultants live here, nobody in the planning department or town council live here. This isn’t in their backyard, but it is in our backyard,” he said.

Map of Puslinch where Wellington's trucking hub is planned
(Photo: Township of Puslinch)

The area south of the proposed hub, off Highway 401, is filled with industrial and trucking operations. Residents were eyeing the adjoining property as a buffer between them and industrial land use. They have concerns about traffic and noise generated by trucking, McConnell said.

Resident Alastair McCluskey said the water from the neighboring property flows toward the aquifer. Wastewater from an industrial operation would contaminate the wells around it and the aquifer, he said.

Owner agrees to changes

These concerns spurred the township to introduce changes to the application that included operation hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and noise abatement infrastructure that included putting back-up beepers on tractor-trailers that are quieter than regular ones.

Council also got the property owner to agree to construct a building on the site with a minimum area of 12,500 square meters, in a bid to prevent it from becoming a massive truck yard.

But the fight is not over as residents plan their next move. “We haven’t given up,” McConnell said. “We are disappointed in the process, the transparency and the outcome.”

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Leo Barros is the associate editor of Today’s Trucking. He has been a journalist for more than two decades, holds a CDL and has worked as a longhaul truck driver. Reach him at

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  • Rich companies and the rich people that own them can do whatever they want with very little give especially when a conservative government is in power

    • All I have to say industry’s were in that area before homes of a massive scale were built.
      When someone buys a home it is up to them to decide if they want to move next to an industrial area. You can’t move in then decide that you don’t like the industry beside or near you and expect them to hault business. You knew what you were getting into whe you moved and if you did not well then you didn’t scope out the area of it’s Cons and Pros.I am in 100 support of the trucking companies and others in that area.

  • The nerve of Wellington, trying to build a business facility in an area full of… Business facilities!

    Take a look at the area on Google Maps. Across the road from the proposed facility is a large aggregate quarry. Beside the proposed sight is a built up industrial area full of truck-dependent businesses.

    Someone built a very small subdivision – one street – kitty corner from an active quarry, and a few hundred feet from an industrial park, and now the residents feel entitled to decide that other properties in the area should be restricted from further development.

    I’m inclined to wonder if it’s just industrial use they oppose. Might they oppose a 500 home development, because of traffic or whatever?

    The municipality made the right decision in approving the zoning changes. NIMBYs can deal with it.

  • Oh my. Just wondering if these people who think that these trucks are such a nuisance would mind if they would like no trucks in their town altogether? Oh yes. A truck free town. No noise or dust.
    And, also, no deliveries for gas, food, essential items like furniture. How many stores would be shut down? Jobs lost and a soon to be a ghost town. Albeit a very quiet one. That’s life. Farmers would not be able to move their products.
    Very much needed for us to support our drivers who work everyday and in some of the worst weather to keep us alive. Carry on bringing us things that we take for granted.

  • People hate change as we are humans but come on folks let people work this will most likely bring jobs to the comunity btw think of the tax dollars it will generate