Stormwater Management

The Don River and Central Waterfront Project: Cleaning up our waterways

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There are two key objectives addressed by the Don River and Central Waterfront Project 

  1. Improve water quality in the Don River and Central Waterfront
  2. Provide redundancy(or an alternative sewage route) to the City's most important sanitary trunk sewer -the CoxwellSanitary Trunk Sewer.

Read more about the benefits of the project

In 1987, the International Joint Commission identified the City of Toronto's waterfront as one of 43 polluted Areas of Concern in the Great Lakes Basin, largely due to poor water quality conditions in the Don River and the Inner Harbour.

In 2006, Toronto City Council approved the start of the Don River and Central Waterfront Project – A Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) study to look for solutions to improve water quality.

A main source of water pollution is stormwater runoff and combined sewer overflows, which contain a mixture of stormwater and untreated sewage, and are released from outfalls into Toronto's waterways after heavy rains or snowmelts.

The Class EA study is now complete. Carrying forward the recommendations in the City's Wet Weather Flow Master Plan and based on extensive consultation with the public and other stakeholders, the study has recommended solutions to address the problem of stormwater and combined sewer overflow discharges.

The recommendations include a series of integrated underground tunnels and storage shafts that will capture, store, and transport stormwater and combined sewer overflows for treatment.