Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project
Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) is proceeding with the Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project (DMNP) in cooperation with the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation (TWRC). Ultimately this project will develop a preferred alternative that will transform the existing mouth of the Don River including the Keating Channel, into a healthier, more naturalized river outlet to the lake, while at the same time, removing the risk of flooding to 230 hectares of urban land to the east and south of the river. This project is included in TWRC's current 10 year business plan to renew and revitalize Toronto's waterfront and is funded by the three levels of government (federal, provincial and the City of Toronto).
This project is subject to the requirements of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act (EA Act) as an Individual Environmental Assessment (EA). The Terms of Reference (ToR), the first step of an Individual EA, sets out TRCA's work plan for preparing the EA and carrying out the required public consultation. The ToR for the DMNP was approved by the Ministry of the Environment on August 17, 2006.
In 2001, the TRCA was identified by the three levels of government as the eligible recipient for funding to naturalize the mouth of the Don River (Don Mouth) and provide flood protection for the entire 440 hectare floodplain surrounding the lower Don River and Keating Channel. This work is being undertaken as two separate projects; the first to remove the risk of flooding to 230 ha of land and to naturalize the Don Mouth (the subject of this EA process), and the second, the Lower Don River West Remedial Flood Protection Project Class EA, to remove the remaining 210 ha of land from risk of flooding. This second EA has already been completed and construction of the key components of the preferred alternative will occur between May 2006 and fall 2008.
The goal of the DMNP is to establish and sustain the form, features, and functions of a natural river mouth within the context of a revitalized City environment while providing flood protection up to the Regulatory Flood.
The objectives are to:
- Naturalize and rehabilitate the mouth of the Don River utilizing an ecosystem based approach
- Provide flood protection for Spill Zones 1 and 2
- Maintain the provision for navigation and existing flood protection through sediment, debris and ice management
- Integrate existing infrastructure functions that could not be reasonably moved or removed (including road, rails, utilities, trails, and power)
- Encourage additional compatible recreation, cultural heritage opportunities and public/handicap accessibility
- Contribute to the revitalization and sustainability of the waterfront and coordinate with and inform other planning and development efforts and associated certain and foreseeable infrastructure
- Design and implement this project in a manner consistent with TWRC's Sustainability Framework and applicable provincial legislation