We have all grown accustomed to a society of disposable, cheap goods. In this consumer economy, where materials are cheap relative to labour, we expect everything to wear out sooner rather than later. The perception is that sparse design and inexpensive materials somehow leave a smaller footprint on the environment. Yet our renewable resources cannot be sustained with the volumes we use, and recycling, while necessary, is also energy intensive.
So where does natural stone fit into this picture?
Quite simply, we offer a product that never wears out.
Buildings and monuments made from Credit Valley sandstone do last for centuries, individual blocks for far longer. The return on investment as well as the contribution to our building heritage covers lifespans.
What could be greener?
As for the extraction of the stone, the Hilltop quarry sits in the middle of a 300 acre working farm and tree plantation. The owners live and work on the property. We uncover a relatively small working area – roughly five acres – of the stone deposit at a time, and use the fresh overburden and rubble to fill in behind ourselves as we proceed. All the topsoil is saved and subsequently returned to the land, which is contoured to its original elevation, then reseeded and planted with grass and trees. Therefore rehabilitation goes on as we work. There will not be a gaping hole to deal with in the future. It is a beautiful property and we plan to keep it that way.
All of our products are initially drilled, sawn, then snapped and finished by hand. There are no toxic residues from any process in the operation. Dust and engine exhaust fumes are minimal. We have planted over 12,000 trees during our 30 years in operation and we greatly enjoy the animal and bird life that has flourished around the quarry.
Sandstone Quarry, Georgetown 1912