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Don Watershed Projects and Plans

Projects, initiatives and actions on the Don are guided by the following three principles - Protect what is Healthy, Regenerate what is degraded and Take responsibility for the Don.

Don Watershed Plan

Efforts continue to implement the recommendations outlined in the Don Watershed Plan, Beyond Forty Steps (2009). This is the most recent comprehensive report on the health of the watershed and plots a clear path for future action. Click here to download Beyond Forty Steps.


Current Projects and Initiatives

Don Watershed Report Card

The 2013 Don Watershed Report Card has been released! For more information on the state of the Don Watershed, and to download a copy of the Report Card, please Click Here.

This new report provides the first updates and evaluations of the health of the watershed since the release of Beyond Forty Steps in 2009.

Watercourse Identification Signs

In 2009 river crossing signs were installed along major roadways identifying the Don River and its tributaries in the City of Toronto.  In the summer of 2011 the project continued upstream in the Town of Markham.  This important undertaking will heighten people's recognition of the river within the community and encourage greater public awareness of local water resources.  We are working towards carrying out this project in the remaining Don watershed municipalities.

Walk the Don Trail Guides

The Don watershed offers many opportunities for long and short walks away from the city traffic. Walk the Don is a series of self-guided interpretive walks located throughout the watershed in Toronto and York Region.  Five walks are complete, and we are anticipating adding five more guides and an audio walk to the series in 2012.

Restoration of Historic Milne House

Built in 1871, this small heritage house is located in the Charles Sauriol Conservation Reserve. In 2010, initial work was undertaken to survey and secure the site and to stabilize the house.  Work continued in 2011 with structural repairs and stabilization to the foundation and interior of the house.  An adaptive re-use is being sought.

Baker's Woods Forest Management Plan

Baker's Woods is recognized as a provincially significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI). The woodlot is owned and managed through a tri-party partnership with The City of Vaughan, York Region and Toronto and Region Conservation. Together, the partners are dedicated to the protection and promotion of this rare remnant of old-growth forest for conservation and environmental education.  Forest management activities on this site began in 2011 and included the removal of hazardous trees.  The woodlot was officially opened in October 2011 to the public.  A plan for the long-term management of the woodlot is currently underway.

East Don Parklands Wetland Enhancement Project

Since 2007, two wetland projects have been completed in the East Don Parklands as a part of TRCA's Habitat Implementation Plan for the Don River Watershed.  The plan is part of an ongoing series of initiatives to increase wetland, riparian and forest habitat in the Don River watershed.  In 2012, work will continue in the East Don Parklands with a wetland enhancement and planting project.


Environmental Assessment Projects

Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project

Ultimately this project 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. Read more >>

Ladies' Golf Club of Toronto Slope Stabilization Project

This project will identify and implement a preferred measure of stabilization that will provide long-term protection for life and property, while preserving and enhancing the ecological health and integrity of valley corridor. Read more >>

Lower Don River West Remedial Flood Protection Project

The Lower Don River West Remedial Flood Protection Project will protect human life and infrastructure from flooding by permanently removing approximately 210 hectares of Toronto from the Regulatory Floodplain, west and north of the Don River Mouth. Read more >>

Mud Creek Restoration - Reach 1

TRCA, in partnership with Toronto Water, and Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation, is  addressing ongoing erosion and woody debris blockages along a section of Mud Creek, a tributary of the Don River, located adjacent to the Evergreen Brick Works. 

Wilket Creek Rehabilitation Project

This project will develop a long-term plan for the rehabilitation of the Wilket Creek Tributary of the Don watershed, while focusing on enhancing the ecological integrity of the system in an economical and sustainable manner. Read more >>

Signature Watershed Events

Manulife Paddle the Don

Paddle the Don is held annually on the first Sunday in May. It is about fun, enjoying nature, raising funds and celebrating the Don River watershed. Read more >>

Richmond Hill Mill Pond Splash

Richmond Hill Mill Pond Splash is held each year at the end of May or beginning of June. This event celebrates community, the environment and the headwaters of the East Don River. Read more >>


Beyond Forty Steps:The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority approved the Don River Watershed Plan, Beyond Forty Steps at Authority Meeting #7/09, held on September 25, 2009.