• Hunter Cresswell

Developer eyes Morrison Quarry

Development idea in ‘pre-embryonic stage’

Morrison Quarry has piqued the interest of development agency Theia Partners, which is behind the Zibi development in Hull and Ottawa.


Morrison Quarry on the border between the municipalities of Chelsea and La Pêche is home to a popular picnic, scuba diving, and swim spot, Great Canadian Bungee, and an industrial quarry business. In recent months, Theia Partners, a company behind the Zibi development in Hull and Ottawa, met with the municipalities to inquire about the quarry and possible development options there. Hunter Cresswell photo
Morrison Quarry on the border between the municipalities of Chelsea and La Pêche is home to a popular picnic, scuba diving, and swim spot, Great Canadian Bungee, and an industrial quarry business. In recent months, Theia Partners, a company behind the Zibi development in Hull and Ottawa, met with the municipalities to inquire about the quarry and possible development options there. Hunter Cresswell photo

When asked about the project, Theia Partners co-founder and partner Rodney Wilts wrote in an email to The Low Down that no plan has been made yet, and that the company has only had a few preliminary conversations about the site to better understand it.


When asked about what stage the plan is currently in, he replied the “pre-embryonic stage.”


Chelsea Mayor Caryl Green and La Pêche Mayor Guillaume Lamoureux both said that Theia Partners in recent months presented to their respective municipalities possible development options, which included residences, businesses, and recreation and cultural spaces. No plan has been submitted or presented to either municipality with an estimated number of residential units.


“There’s been nothing specific because they want to consult and reflect something the community wants,” Green said.


“The group is asking about the approval process because the project could be located on two different municipal jurisdictions, which adds complexity, but none of the many steps required to obtain municipal approval has been completed at this point. I am told they are currently presenting their concept to local organizations,” Lamoureux wrote in an email to The Low Down.


Wilts committed to consulting with the communities, if the company does decide to move forward with a project.


“We love consulting and collaborating with the community on any project that we do. If we do anything, it will be in conversation with the community,” he wrote.


Dave Morrison owns the quarry, which is just under 200 acres. He said he heard rumours going around the community this past weekend, which included an estimated number of residential units.


“I don’t know who started the rumour, but that’s all it is, a rumour,” he said.


When asked, Wilts, Lamoureux, and Green all denied that an estimated number of residential units was included in the presentations to the municipalities.


Morrison said that if any development does happen, it will be years down the line. He said that about 40 per cent of the quarry is considered wetlands, which would be difficult to get approval for building; a lot of the soil is contaminated by the limestone quarry and would need to be decontaminated; and that only about 50 acres on the hill above the quarry may be fit for residential development, but it would be difficult to get approval for a municipal road up to that area because it’s steep.


Theia Partners is no stranger to cross-jurisdiction development — its waterfront development Zibi spans the Ottawa River between Quebec and Ontario.


This isn’t the first time that development of the quarry has popped up. In 2017 the Moose Consortium Inc. proposed a 200 acre, $200 million residential, commercial, and recreational development in the quarry, which included a railway terminal, but that plan hasn’t made headlines since late 2017.