Building Magazine


Construction underway for Toronto’s Port Lands re-naturalization


Today, representatives of all three levels of government — joined by Waterfront Toronto CEO Will Fleissig — gathered to  mark the start of construction on the Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project, a key part of Toronto’s Port Lands Flood Protection Project.

On September 14, 2016, the governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto announced $65 million in infrastructure funding under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund for the Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project. This project is advancing as a component of the $1.25 billion Port Lands Flood Protection project.

Core stone is beginning to be pumped into the Inner Harbour. Image via Waterfront Toronto / CNW Group

The Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project is designed to optimize water and stormwater infrastructure by stabilizing the shoreline under flood conditions, enhancing aquatic habitat, and ultimately, forming part of the proposed Promontory Park. The project will also allow for the re-alignment of Cherry Street, which is necessary for accommodating roads and transit into the Port Lands as part of the economic revitalization of these lands.

The larger Port Lands Flood Protection project will provide critical flood protection through the creation of a naturalized mouth for the Don River and a new river valley, and remediate contaminated soil, unlocking new land for development.

Toronto Mayor John Tory called the Port Lands revitalization “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform an underused resource in the heart of downtown. Flood protecting the Port Lands will make way for sustainable new communities that deliver affordable housing and job opportunities. This project will enhance Toronto’s resilience to extreme weather, while also restoring a natural environment for all Canadians to explore.”

The flood protection project will enable the long-term transformation of the Port Lands into new sustainable communities, including parks, residential and commercial development. The longterm development of the Port Lands will support innovation, deliver affordable housing and jobs, allowing Toronto to grow sustainably, and to meet the challenges associated with this growth.
Moreover, creating a naturalized mouth for the Don River, and establishing new aquatic habitats and functional wetlands, will contribute to Toronto’s environmental resiliency and help reconnect the city to its lake.

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