Commentary


Newspaper source: March 1 and 4, 1972 editions of The Globe and Mail.
Image copyright 2006, Peter Shatalow. Used with permission.

LAST STANDOn March 2, 1972, the federal and Ontario governments jointly announced a plan to build an airport and adjoining city in North Pickering. Part of Thistle Ha’ farm was inside the planned airport boundary.

The announcement was a badly kept secret. The Globe and Mail published the details of the scheme the day prior to the announcement, and sent reporter John Scott along the 7th Concession to gauge public reaction. On March 1, he reported that “Very few people in the area are overly enthused about the idea.” “‘The whole idea of an airport destroys the vibrations of the way I live,’ said William Lishman, [who] says he plans to form an action committee among the residents who are opposed to the development to fight the proposal.”

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Thistle Ha’ is a farm located in Pickering Township, Ontario, Canada. It was settled by Scottish immigrant John Miller in 1839.

John Miller of Thistle Ha' John Miller (pictured) and his descendants had a tremendous influence on the purebred livestock industry in Canada and the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Millers were renowned innovators, importers, breeders, exhibitors, judges and promoters of Shorthorn cattle, Clydesdale horses, Berkshire and Yorkshire pigs, and Shropshire, Leicester and Cotswold sheep.

In recognition of the contributions of the Millers to Canadian agriculture, Thistle Ha’ farm was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1973 and a Province of Ontario Heritage Property in 1977. The honours awarded to individual family members – including those related to the Millers by marriage – for their contributions to the purebred livestock industry are too numerous to list here.

Thistle Ha’ is currently owned and operated by the fourth generation of Millers in Canada.

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