Port Lands Flood Protection & Enabling Infrastructure

Port Land picture

  • Client

    Waterfront Toronto

  • Region

    Central Canada

  • City

    Toronto

  • Budget

    $1.25 Billion

  • Year Completed

    Ongoing

  • Size

    400 Hectares

  • Sector

    Civil

  • Sub-Sector

    Water & Wastewater

The Story

The Port Lands Flood Protection & Enabling Infrastructure (“PLFPEI”) project consists of flood protection construction and naturalization features for the new river valley, as well as the construction of major municipal infrastructure to maintain functional transportation and service networks. The project includes two new Don River outlets: a 0.6 mile river valley with a naturalized river mouth and the Don Greenway, which manages floodwater excess capacity. The new channel will be approximately 65’ wide and 22’ deep, with a wetland on either side, and will wrap around the newly created Villiers Island. The Keating Channel will also be improved as a means to address floodwater; wetlands, meadows, forested valley slopes to provide habitats for fish, birds, reptiles and other wildlife; park lands and trails; and open public space.

The Port Lands Flood Protection Program consists of two separate projects: the completed Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling Project and the Port Lands Flood Protection and Enabling Infrastructure Project.

Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling Project

The Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project included the creation of new land that will form the foundation of the future Promontory Park. This took place in several stages, beginning with the construction of a CORE Stone Revetment Berm and Combi Dock Wall. The new dock wall including concrete cap, tie backs, and sheet piles form the border for the lake filling process, which will place 436,000 cubic metres of locally sourced clean fill into the water, creating a new land mass adjacent to the new Cherry Street Bridge and edge of Promontory Park North.

EllisDon maximized the reuse of excavated materials that met environmental standards to source clean fill for the new landmass. In addition, fill was imported from multiple adjacent project sites in operation throughout the duration of construction.

Landscaping was added, both in water to create a fish habitat, and on the new park land. Geotechnical monitoring measures were also set in place to ensure future preservation of the site. The primary purpose of the new land created by the lake filling work is the relocation of Cherry Street and the existing bridge crossing the Keating Channel, however it also provides public use space, with an active recreation area, public garden, playground, and event space, as well as a wooded area and wetlands preserve.

One of the challenges of the lake filling and revetment scope was dealing with the abundance of sediment at the bottom of Lake Ontario. To minimize risk, the team dredged the outside of the revetment, ensuring that the core stone would rest on the lake bed. To remove the sediment, the project partnered with Ports Toronto to transport the removed soil to where it could be used as lakefill on the nearby Toronto Island.

Port Lands Flood Protection Project

The PLFPEI Project includes flood protection and naturalization features, as well as major municipal infrastructure to maintain functional transportation and service networks. The project site is also categorized as one of the most industrialized lands in Toronto. Due to the size and scope of the project, extensive coordination with multiple trade subcontractors is required. As part of the early works package, demolition of existing buildings on the site were completed, with the preservation of Fire Hall 30, a designated heritage building, which will be relocated and serve as an information centre.

The Port Lands is approximately 81 hectares with the river valley spanning 1.2 km within the site, and excavation of roughly 1.5 million cubic metres of fill creating 25 hectares of green space. By methods of bioremediation and combustible process, roughly 70% of soil will be repurposed and reused back into the Port Lands area. Excess soil management protocols have been put in place that include the testing and tracking of soil in and out of the job site. Once the project is complete it will provide 300 hectares of flood protection.

Port Lands enhancements include:

  • Two new outlets for the Don River: a kilometre-long river valley ending in a naturalized river mouth, and the Don Greenway, which provides excess capacity to manage flood water;
  • The Keating Channel will also be improved as a means to address floodwater;
  • Wetlands, meadows, forested valley slopes to provide habitats for fish, birds, reptiles and other wildlife;
  • Park lands and trails; and
  • Open public space.

 

The civil/infrastructure work consists of:

  • Raising the elevation grades by an average of 2 metres;
  • Creation of Villiers Island;
  • Three new bridges;
  • A new, realigned Cherry Street and re-built Commissioners Street;
  • Transit rights-of-way; and
  • Critical servicing (water mains, storm and sanitary sewers).