Toronto’s green waterfront makeover designed to mitigate extreme flooding - National Tree Day Blog

Toronto’s green waterfront makeover designed to mitigate extreme flooding


Toronto’s waterfront Port Lands district will be transformed from an industrial wasteland into 600 acres of residence, parks, rivers and wild space in an ambitious urban resilience project.

Back in 2007 the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation ran a global competition to attract designs for the Lower Don Lands area of the city. The main aim of the redesign was to shift the existing river mouth to create a new entrance to open onto a flowing lake and system of parkland and coastal wetlands.

Although primarily assessed as a flood protection project to protect Toronto from large volumes of stormwater, the winning submission by landscape architecture organisation Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. (MVVA), also identified an opportunity to beautify the area, create new parklands and restore environments.

Herb Sweeney principal at MVVA, told Bloomberg a seven-metre hill made from remediated soil built in Promontory Park South will open to the public in 2024.

“We’ll have commanding views that you can look upriver, you can look to the harbour islands, and you can look back to the skyline,” Sweeney said.

To achieve the desired urban greening outcome the city has planned construction of earthworks and flood protection measures with consideration for wildlife. Coves will be created along the new shoreline where fish can find food and shelter, 40 hectares of greenspace will be turned into parkland including wetlands and adequate water flows will be designed for a healthy ecological system

“We’re building something that’s very natural and environmental, but its location and its plan are integrated completely with the urban renewal plans for the area,” Christopher Glaisek, chief planning and design officer for Waterfront Toronto, the tri-government body overseeing the project, told Bloomberg.

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Pamela Jolly

Pamela is a Marketing Communications professional with over 10 years experience working for both agencies and organisations in communications, travel, finance and retail industries. Pamela loves to be in nature riding a bike, skiing, appreciating the trees at her local park or exploring wild places abroad with her family.