Construction Projects

Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation

The City of Toronto will be carrying out waterproofing and structure rehabilitation work on the Rosehill Reservoir at David Balfour Park. These necessary upgrades will help to ensure the structural integrity of the reservoir, extend its service life, and bring the infrastructure to a state of good repair.

News and Updates

Public Meeting Presentation Slides

Thank you to all who attended the Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation public meeting on September 13th at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church.

If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can view the presentation slides.

If you would like to receive email updates on the project, please contact Kate Nelischer ( 

Site Work: August 2nd, 2017

The Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation team will be completing site work in washroom area on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017, between 10am and 3pm.

A small work crew will be on site to collect samples of the washroom building materials, including from within the washroom and from the roof. To complete this work, the washroom will be temporarily closed during this time. There will be no noise or construction equipment associated with this work, and every effort will be made to reduce any inconvenience. The City appreciates your understanding and co-operation.

Notice from Urban Forestry:

The City of Toronto's Urban Forestry Branch removed trees infected with Emerald Ash Borer in the ravine portion of David A. Balfour Park in August 2016. Additionally, a small number of trees in the Rosehill Reservoir area were removed. Please see the notice prepared by Urban Forestry for further information.

September 13, 2017 Public Meeting

Thank you to all who attended the Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation public meeting on September 13th, 2017 at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church.

If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can view the presentation slides.

Previous Consultation

Starting in 2015, the project team has met with local stakeholders, permit holders, schools, and other groups that use the green roof of the reservoir regularly. Notices have been distributed to area residents and signs have been posted on site.

Summerhill Residents Association Meeting, October 13th, 2016

On October 13, 2016 the project team was invited to give a presentation to the Summerhill Residents Association on the preliminary state of the project. You can view the presentation slides below. Please note that the timelines in this presentation are outdated. The most updated timelines are included in the May 31, 2017 Rosehill Vision Committee Meeting Presentation (below).

Rosehill Vision Committee Meeting, May 31st, 2017

On May 31st, 2017 the Rosehill Vision Committee (comprised of neighbourhood residents) held a community meeting to discuss their proposed plans for the green roof of the reservoir and Little Park. The Committee kindly invited City staff to attend the meeting and give a brief presentation that outlines the revised project schedule. You can view the presentation slides below:  



On October 26, 2015 the City distributed a notice to properties adjacent to David A Balfour Park regarding a tree inventory to be completed in the first few weeks of November. You can view this notice here:

October 26 Notice of Site Work

On November 10, 2015 the City distributed a notice to properties adjacent to David A Balfour Park regarding survey work to be completed from mid-November to mid-December. You can view this notice here:

November 10 Notice of Survey Work

Frequently Asked Questions

ExpandWhat is a reservoir and what does it do?

The Rosehill Reservoir is a ground level structure used for storing drinking water. It is vital in managing water supply and demand, ensuring a constant supply of water during emergencies such as fires, water main breaks, power outages and pumpage failures.

ExpandWhy is the Rosehill Reservoir in need of rehabilitation?

The Rosehill Reservoir is the oldest and largest of 10 ground level reservoirs located across the City, originally built in 1873. It is an enclosed concrete structure that is built into the ground. The roof is sloped and covered with earth and grass. 

The current concrete structure was built in 1966 and has not been rehabilitated since. A condition assessment confirmed that the Rosehill Reservoir now requires upgrades to ensure it remains waterproof and structurally sound. This work will extend the reservoir's service life and bring the infrastructure to a state of good repair.

ExpandWhat is the project timeline?

The City is currently working on the design drawings for the rehabilitation work and a phasing plan. In fall 2017 we plan to hold a public meeting where the City will review the planned work with the community. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2018 and last approximately three years. 

ExpandWill the public be able to access the park during construction?

Public safety throughout construction is the City's priority. We are making efforts to keep parts of the top of reservoir accessible to the public, which will be accomplished by phasing the construction. Waterproofing work will require the entire top of the reservoir to be closed.

The Vale of Avoca and Little Park will remain open and accessible throughout construction. 

ExpandWill the construction work be noisy and disruptive?

With any construction project, some dust and noise is inevitable. The contractor will be responsible for ensuring the work area is kept cleaned with weekly sweeping and wetting of the site and roads. Every effort will be made to reduce inconveniences to the community.

ExpandWhere will construction vehicles enter and exit the site?

Trucks will be required to dispose of some of the soil from the top of the reservoir and bring new soil when the work is done. All trucks will be required to follow a route from the reservoir to the disposal site that is designed to minimize disturbance on the local community and to the areas surrounding the Rosehill Reservoir. Additional details will be available later on in the project process.

ExpandWill there be any changes to the park after construction?

The casual enjoyment of the portion of the David A. Balfour Park on top of the Rosehill Reservoir will not change after upgrades are completed.

The existing reflecting pools will not be reinstated as they could damage the new waterproofing membrane. Additionally, the washroom building will be rebuilt in a slightly different location to protect the reservoir.

A Heritage Impact Assessment of Rosehill Reservoir was completed and includes an assessment of the heritage value of the Centennial Monument, water features, the washroom building, and other elements and offers recommendations on their preservation or replacement. The project team is aware of the significance of the Centennial Monument and will preserve the sculpture at a new location within the reservoir site. The results of the Heritage Impact Assessment will be shared at a fall public open house.

More details of the design will be available at the public open house.

ExpandWill the Rosehill Garden be affected?

Due to the waterproofing requirements of the rehabilitation work, the Rosehill Garden must be removed during construction and reinstated post-construction.

More information on the future of the Garden and other features will be available at the public open house.

ExpandWill trees be removed?

The Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation is a major infrastructure project that will require tree removals due to the excavation work required to expose the reservoir structure below ground. All trees located on top of the reservoir and some of those around the perimeter will unfortunately require removal as they are directly within the work zone. 

An arborist report has identified that there are 258 trees within the area around the reservoir. The City's Forestry staff have identified 13 trees that will be removed later this year as part of a separate Hazardous Tree Abatement Program.  These hazardous trees have either been infested with Emerald Ash Borer or have significantly compromised structural integrity.  Of the remaining 245 trees, 55 trees will require removal due to the Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation construction works.  Two of the trees have been noted to be in poor health.

The project team is working closely with an arborist, landscape architect, and the City's Forestry staff to develop a plan for tree replacement and planting. Each tree that is removed will be replaced in accordance with the City's Tree By-laws. Tree planting on top of the reservoir will not be permitted in order to protect the reservoir's roof structure and new waterproofing membrane. 

ExpandHow can I stay updated?

If you are interested in the Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation project, you can sign up to the project email list to receive updates and notices. To register, please send a request to Kate Nelischer, Sr. Public Consultation Coordinator, at

ExpandWill the public be able to comment on the landscape plans at the September public meeting?

Yes. In order to start construction work in early 2018, the contract tender must go out in August (please see the project timeline question above). We are currently developing a draft landscape plan, which is informed by the many comments we have received from the public, meetings with local schools, and collaboration with the Rosehill Vision Committee. The landscape plan will include both the reservoir green roof and Little Park. Please feel free to contact us at any time with comments or questions. We look forward to receiving additional feedback from others on the landscape plan at the September public meeting. Although the initial tender will have already gone out at that point, there will be time for the public to provide  input during the tendering process.