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Guild Inn Shoreline Regeneration Project

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is interested in undertaking remedial erosion control works along a portion of the Lake Ontario shoreline known as the Guild Inn Sector, located at the base of the Scarborough Bluffs in the City of Toronto.

The Project

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is interested in undertaking remedial erosion control works along a portion of the Lake Ontario shoreline known as the Guild Inn Sector, located at the base of the Scarborough Bluffs in the City of Toronto. The project site is approximately 1,100 metres along the shoreline from Livingston Road in the west to Galloway Road in the east.

Project Objectives

Currently, the waterfront along the Guild Inn sector is provided with temporary shoreline protection. For more than 25 years, the TRCA has maintained the temporary shoreline protection in an effort to protect the adjacent Guild Inn tablelands and to sustain an access road which is utilized as an informal spur of the Waterfront Trail as well as a means to maintain past shoreline works. Geotechnical studies and past experience along this sector suggest that certain portions of the access road continue to be subject to periodic mass wasting from the adjacent bluffs, resulting in a risk to public safety and losses to essential infrastructure.

The project objective is to provide long-term protection against erosion by reducing wave energy, protecting the shore from wave energy, stabilizing slopes and enhancing natural processes. As a consequence, risk to public safety and infrastructure will be reduced, passive recreational opportunities will be increased, aquatic and terrestrial habitat conditions as well as aesthetics will be improved. TRCA has examined a number of alternatives to achieve these objectives including headland beach systems, revetments, island and shoals and improving internal/surface drainage.

In considering alternative methods, specific considerations were given to the advantages and disadvantages of each method. The preferred alternative for the project is a shoreline treatment consisting of headlands and beaches of varying shapes and sizes with short sections of revetment at the east and west ends of the site. The preferred alternative offers public access to the water's edge, habitat improvements and protects public safety and property. Habitat would be enhanced via the creation of beach cells which emulate natural shoreline conditions, while the headlands will anchor the beaches to provide shoreline stability. Further, the headland-beach alternative was considered more aesthetically pleasing and found to provide improved access to the water's edge as well as opportunities for enhanced aquatic habitat over the existing conditions than other alternatives examined.

Planning Mechanism for the Undertaking

TRCA must conduct its remedial flood and erosion control projects in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA). Recognizing that common elements exist in addressing flood and erosion problems, a coordinated approach to environmental assessment was developed by Conservation Ontario for all conservation authorities known as the Class Environmental Assessment for Remedial Flood and Erosion Control Projects (Class EA). As part of the Class EA process, TRCA has documented the decision making process and the value judgments made in selecting the preferred course of action in an Environmental Study Report, including detailing potential effects of the project, description of alternative designs for the undertaking and determining whether further assessment is necessary.

In addition to the Class EA process, The Guild Inn Shoreline Regeneration Project also underwent an environmental screening under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA), a process triggered in response to the potential environmental impacts that the project would produce pursuant to subsection 35(2) under the federal Fisheries Act and section 5(1) of the federal Navigable Waters Protection Act. Under CEAA, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO-FHM) was identified as the Responsible Authority who have determined that the impacts of the project are not likely to cause significant environmental effects, taking into account mitigation measures.

Public and Agency Consultation

TRCA received Approval to Proceed with the Guild Inn Shoreline Regeneration Project from the Ministry of the Environment under subsection 7(1) of the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) in August 2004 and subsequently received approval from all other required provincial and federal agencies to proceed with construction of the project in the summer of 2006.

Current Status

Ubfortunately due to limited available funding for construction of the approved works, only 80 m of the 1,100 m treatment has been constructed since 2006. 

TRCA continues to pursue additional funds to complete the remaining shoreline stabilization work, and intends to re-commence work immediately upon receipt of the required funding.

For more information, please contact Moranne McDonnell, Senior Manager, at 416-392-9725 or mmcdonnell@trca.on.ca.