Staying Ahead of the Storm with Low Impact Development

The Greater Toronto Area has experienced three 100-year storms and five 50-year storms in the last eight years. In built-up urban areas, rain water runs off paved streets, driveways and parking lots; flooding and erosion are increasingly common, and ever more expensive.

To help address this problem, CVC and its municipal partners are leading the way with innovative stormwater management techniques such as rain gardens and permeable pavement. These approaches, known collectively as Low Impact Development (LID), help rain water filter into the ground, reducing polluted runoff and lessening the likelihood of erosion and flooding.

CVC and its partners, with the support of the Ontario Ministry of Environment’s Showcasing Water Innovation program in some cases, are implementing a series of leading-edge projects to demonstrate LID technologies in action. Projects include:

  • Elm Drive in Mississauga – CVC has partnered with the City of Mississauga and the Peel District School Board to install a bioswale* in the road right-of-way to help capture, filter and clean rain water from the surrounding road and parking lot, rather than have that water flow into nearby Cooksville Creek.
  • IMAX – A corporate leader in LID – A new permeable parking lot will serve as a model for businesses looking to green their workplaces. Permeable paving uses sustainable materials that allow the movement of stormwater through the surface. In addition to reducing runoff, the special underground material traps suspended solids and filters pollutants from the water.
  • Lakeview’s Green Streets – In a project that is among the first of its kind in Ontario, CVC and the City of Mississauga are helping to showcase streets of the future, where rain gardens and permeable drives take the place of the traditional curb-and-gutter streetscape in this Mississauga neighbourhood.

The payoff for communities that adopt LID practices comes in the form of lower infrastructure maintenance costs, reduced insurance losses, and of course a cleaner, greener environment into the future.

To learn more about Low Impact Development, check out the growing suite of resources at, or contact us to learn how you can get involved.

* A bioswale, sometimes also known as a rain garden, is a landscape feature that helps manage stormwater through the use of landscaped depressions engineered to collect, store, and infiltrate runoff.

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