Ballantrae, Ontario

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Coordinates: 44°2′17″N 79°17′51″W / 44.03806°N 79.29750°W / 44.03806; -79.29750
Country Canada
Province Ontario
Regional municipality York Region
Town Whitchurch–Stouffville
Amalgamation (With Town of Stouffville)
1 January 1971
 • Type Municipality
 • Mayor Justin Altmann
 • Councillor Maurice Smith (Ward 2)
 • Land 2.15 km2 (0.83 sq mi)
Elevation 334 m (1,096 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 1,382
 • Density 643.6/km2 (1,667/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Forward sortation area L4A
Area code(s) 905 and 289
NTS Map 031D03

Ballantrae, Ontario (2011 population 1,382) is a hamlet in the Town of Whitchurch–Stouffville. Named after the village of Ballantrae in South Ayrshire, Scotland, the community is centred on the intersection of Aurora Road (York Regional Road 15) and Highway 48. The hamlet was first settled in the early nineteenth century, and by 1895 it had a population of 300.[3] The settlement was located on the edge of a vast lumber industry centred in the hamlet of Vivian; a spur-line of the Toronto and Nipissing Railway built in 1877 ran through Ballantrae from Stouffville to Jackson's Point on Lake Simcoe. In the early twentieth century, Ballantrae's population declined dramatically. Large-scale deforestation and erosion of the thin soil of northern Whitchurch Township created virtual sand deserts.[4] With the passage of the Reforestation Act (1911), the process of reclaiming these areas slowly began. The Vivian Forest, a large conservation area on the edge of Ballantrae, was established in 1924 for this purpose.

Ballantrae experienced 300% growth between 2001 and 2006 to 1,278 people, and 8% growth between 2006 and 2011 with a total population of 1,382 people.[5] In 2011, Ballantrae had 105 children age 17 and under, and has one public school of the same name (Ballantrae Public School) with 259 pupils.[6] The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville forecasts the population of Ballantrae to decline slightly between 2012 and 2031.[7]

A significant issue facing Ballantrae in the coming years is the federal government's proposed development of an international airport directly south-east of Whitchurch-Stouffville (the Pickering Airport lands); under the current plan, an approach for one of the three landing strips would be directly above the communities of Ballantrae and Musselman's Lake, with planes descending (or ascending) from 535 to 500 metres. The 2004 plan calls for 11.9 million passengers per year (or 32,600 per day) by 2032.[8] A "Needs Assessment Study" was completed by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority for the federal government in May 2010. After a "due diligence review," Transport Canada released the report in July 2011, and on June 11, 2013 announced a decision to proceed.[9] The 2013 announcement was not challenged by the community's municipal leadership.[10]

Managing growth has been a key issue for this area of Whitchurch-Stouffville. In 2010 Ballantrae experienced a significant rise in water table levels—-a normal result of deforestation on small watersheds[11]—and residents expressed concerns about wet basements and frequent operation of their sump pumps.[12] Already in 1993, the Whitchurch Historical Committee warned a new generation of "Whitchurch-Stouffville residents" to be ever "vigilant to treat trees and forests with respect ... . In the 1990s care must be taken so that urbanization and concrete road-building do not repeat the destruction to our forest heritage."[13]



  1. ^ Statistics Canada: 2012
  2. ^ Statistics Canada: 2012
  3. ^ Cf. a thorough account of Ballantrae's history in Jean Barkey et al., Whitchurch Township (Erin, ON: Boston Mills, 1993), 87-90. See also the detailed 1878 map, Township of Whitchurch, Illustrated historical atlas of the county of York and the township of West Gwillimbury & town of Bradford in the county of Simcoe, Ont. (Toronto: Miles & Co., 1878).
  4. ^ Barkey et al., Whitchurch Township, 89; 30f. In 1910, its population was 250; cf. Province of Ontario, Gazetteer and Directory, 1910-1911 (Ingersoll: Union, 1910), 46.
  5. ^ "Population and Dwelling Counts of Urban Areas 2006, listed according to the amount of growth". Statistics Canada. March 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-17. ; H. Volpe, Growing Pains for Stouffville?, Whitchurch-Stouffville Sun Tribune, Feb. 1, 2007; also Warren Smith, "Ballantrae Golf and Country Club - Not always thus ..."; Statistics Canada, Ballantrae 2011 Census Profile.
  6. ^ Statistics Canada, Ballantrae 2011 Census Profile; York Region District School Board, Ballantrae Public School.
  7. ^ Town of Whitchurh-Stouffville, "Growth Management Strategy: Alternative Growth Options Discussion Paper" (March 15, 2013), 3-2, Fig. 13.
  8. ^ Cf. Transport Canada, Plan Showing Pickering Airport Site; also Pickering Airport Draft Plan Report, 6.3.
  9. ^ Transport Canada, "Press Release," June 11, 2013; "News Release: Transport Canada releases findings of the 2010 Pickering Lands Needs Assessment Study," July 11, 2011.
  10. ^ Sandra Bolan, "Pickering Airport Good for Stouffville," Stouffville Sun-Tribune (June 12, 2013).
  11. ^ Trees both transpire water and their deep-root system draw down water levels (biodrainage); cf., for example, A. Heuperman et al., Biodrainage: principles, experiences and applications (Rome: UN Food and Agriculture, 2002), 12ff.; Mingteh Chang, Forest hydrology: an introduction to water and forests (CRC, 2003), 193, 203; also Peter E. Black Watershed hydrology (CRC, 1996), 161.
  12. ^ Cf. Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ballantrae High Water Table Investigation.
  13. ^ Barkey et al, Whitchurch Township, 33; 30f.

Coordinates: 44°02′17″N 79°17′51″W / 44.03806°N 79.29750°W / 44.03806; -79.29750