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New Toronto waterfront community needs flood protection

Toronto's dreary waterfront east of the downtown is starting to see long-promised new development at last. Work to ...


Toronto’s dreary waterfront east of the downtown is starting to see long-promised new development at last. Work to develop a new waterfront community of 6,000 residences, schools, offices, a recreation centre and parks on a 32-hectare site known as the West Don Lands started this month with the demolition of existing industrial buildings.
The site, which runs south of King Street to the rail corridor across the waterfront, running between Parliament Street and the Don River, is on former industrial land that requires environmental remediation before construction can begin. Another major part of the preparatory work is providing a flood barrier, since the land lies in a floodplain that would be endangered in the event of a storm the size of Hurricane Hazel.
Plans are to protect the lands from such floods through the construction of a wide, low-lying berm, to begin this summer, and the widening of the CN Kingston rail bridge. A team of engineering firms working on the flood protection aspects includes Dillon Consulting, Acres International, URS Canada, Envision/Hough Group, FIScH Engineering, Parish Geomorphic and Greenberg Consultants.
The urban design team for the site includes Earth Tech Canada, LEA Consulting, GHK International, DuToit Allsopp Hiller and Urban Design Associates.
The West Don Lands are close to downtown, next to the recently developed Gooderham and Worts Distillery District. They are being developed by the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation in partnership with the Ontario Realty Corporation, Toronto and Region Conservation and Toronto Community Housing.
The development is one of a dozen new initiatives strung along the city’s waterfront. They include waterfront parks, sports facilities. Already under construction, for example, is the Western Beaches Watercourse facility, west of the city’s core.
See www.towaterfront.ca