So far I have received two responses to the query as to why the City would allow the discharging of firearms on the Essar property. Both seem to be quite plausible.
The first came from Jacob McEachern:
I don’t think they still use it, but the steel plant used to have an 8 gauge industrial slug gun with a Bushnell Holosite. It was mounted on chains (probably weighed close to 70 lbs, from what I recall) and was used to knock down accumulated crud from high places (maybe chimneys, I don’t recall).
Reg would tear it down, clean it, and sight it back in every year, about 10 years ago.
That’s my best guess.
The second was posted on the Algoma Rod and Gun Club Facebook page from Chris Francis:
So both of these explanations would explain why the city would have to allow the discharge of firearms on the Essar property. If any more answers come to light, I will post those as well.