Serson Creek: Reconnecting a Lost River

Aerial view of Sersen Creek connecting to Lake Ontario

What was once a forgotten creek is now the realization of a dream. On a sunny morning in mid-December 2021, the first trickles of water began to fill the newly constructed path of Serson Creek. For the first time in 60 years, Serson Creek was connected to Lake Ontario and fish were able to swim freely between the creek and the lake.

Serson Creek was disconnected from Lake Ontario in the mid-1960s when it was buried and piped underground, becoming one of Mississauga’s ‘lost rivers’. Lost rivers are waterways that have been buried underground due to development.

Serson Creek’s incredible success story starts with the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area (JTLCA) . In 2016, CVC, the Region of Peel and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) began work on a new conservation area along the Mississauga waterfront. From the start, one of our goals was bringing Serson Creek back to life.

Aerial view of the newly restored Serson Creek
Serson Creek is reconnected to Lake Ontario

Together with the Lakeview Community Partners (who are building a new mixed-use community called Lakeview Village next to the conservation area) we carefully planned and designed the process to restore Serson Creek to its former glory. This was a rare opportunity – and may be the first lost river to be reconnected to Lake Ontario.

We spoke with Brian Sutherland, Vice President, Development, ARGO Development Corporation and development lead for Lakeview Village to get his perspective:

“The restoration of Serson Creek is the first in a number of meaningful ways that Lakeview Village will transform Mississauga’s waterfront, and we’re so proud to have seen our collective efforts culminate with the reconnection of the creek to the lake late last year. It has been a privilege working with the CVC, the Region of Peel and the City to bring this beautiful creek back to life. It’s the first step of many we’re taking to restore the area’s natural habitat that has suffered through years of industrial use. Serson Creek is just the first tangible example of our commitment to bringing a green oasis to Mississauga’s waterfront, which will finally connect residents and visitors to Lake Ontario and the surrounding greenspace for years to come.”

So, what happens now? Well, fish can now live in the creek and swim up and down its length. In the spring, we will begin monitoring the stream to see if fish are travelling upstream. Fish aren’t the only wildlife that will benefit from this transformation. The new Serson Creek valley has been planted with trees and shrubs that will provide new homes to many species including birds, mammals and amphibians. The creek will also help build resiliency to local flooding. The creek is now connected to the newly created Serson Creek wetland that will soak up extra water during heavy storms.

Aerial photo of Serson Creek with new plantings
Serson Creek with new plantings

Serson creek flows into Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area, which will offer 26 hectares of new greenspace for you to enjoy when it opens in 2025. Trails will run alongside the creek and connect with the Waterfront Trail.

See the progress in the September 2021 flyover of the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area under construction.

To receive periodic updates about the progress at Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation area, sign up to our mailing list. Watch a video to learn more about another buried stream we brought back to life.

By: CVC’s Nicole Di Cintio, Specialist, Marketing and Communications

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