Four projects were identified by the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation (TWRC) to jumpstart the transformation of Toronto's unattractive and underdeveloped central waterfront into a vibrant residential, economic and recreational centre. This vision for a revitalized waterfront consists of prominent cultural institutions, attractive parks and open spaces, and diverse and dynamic commercial and residential communities. One of these mandated projects identified that an environmental assessment would be conducted to develop the best option to re-naturalize the mouth of the Don River and to provide flood protection for the city's downtown core.
Flood protection for the lower Don River is a key component of Toronto's waterfront revitalization. What's more, Toronto and Region Conservation has identified the lower Don River as our number one priority for flood protection since 1980, due to the large population and extensive infrastructure currently at risk to flooding.
TRCA is carrying out this priority project on behalf of the TWRC. Two undertakings, each requiring a separate environmental assessment process, will be conducted (one in progress, one completed) to meet the objectives for the Don Mouth Priority Project.
The Lower Don River West Remedial Flood Protection Project (LDRW) serves to remove approximately 210 hectares of land west of the Don River from the regulatory flood plain. The natural, cultural, social and economic conditions of the study area have been taken into account in eliminating the risk of flooding to this area. The study for this project began May 2003 and received EA approval October 6, 2005. Construction began in May 2006 and will be completed in mid to late 2008.
The Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project (DMNP), will require detailed land-use planning and environmental studies to devise the best solution to reestablish a natural, functioning wetland at the mouth of the Don River, while providing flood protection to approximately 230 hectares of land south and east of the existing Keating Channel.