The Region of Peel and Credit Valley Conservation have a plan: Naturalize a degraded section of the waterfront. This plan is going through an environmental assessment and may be a reality in the next few years.
The transformation on the Mississauga-Toronto border, in front of the G.E. Booth Waste Water Treatment Plant, is called the Lakeview Waterfront Connection. The project will create a naturalized park to connect Mississauga and Toronto along the kilometres-long Waterfront Trail. At present, the trail is redirected away from the waterfront in this area.
The spirit of connection is seen in the way the project is led. It’s a joint effort of the Region of Peel and Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). The project is supported by the Cities of Mississauga and Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation and the local and regional communities.
The new park will provide recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat. The park’s design and mix of features is the result of a lot of public consultation.
Public consultation is an important component of any environmental assessment (EA). This process is a bit different. This EA is for a public green space, making public input so much more important to the success of the project.
EAs are usually done to reduce a project’s impact on the environment. This project is doing the opposite. It’s assessing a degraded shoreline and choosing the design that restores and naturalizes the land the most.
A number of park design options were presented to the public. Each offered waterfront trail access and other recreational opportunities, but differed in their general layouts. With public consultation and environmental modeling, the project team is working with a design that is beautiful, functional and ties into the surrounding landscape.
Up to two million cubic metres of clean fill material will fill an area extending south-east into the lake. There will be a larger, connected stretch of beach that will provide habitat for birds and fish, as well as more recreational opportunities for visitors. Three rocky islands will be built offshore of the beach to absorb the heavy wave action from the lake, and to provide habitat for fish.
The streams that currently feed directly into the lake, Applewood Creek and Serson Creek, will feed into constructed wetlands before they enter the lake. Wetlands provide wildlife habitat and naturally filter water.
The north shore of Lake Ontario is a hotspot for migratory birds and butterflies making their way up and down the Americas. This area is our local connection to a continental migration continuing uninterrupted for millennia.
Most of the new park will consist of rolling meadow habitat, with pockets of forest and wooded wetland. The park’s western portion will include a hill that juts out into the lake, providing breathtaking views of both cities.
Opportunities for public input are still open. To be added to the project mailing list or if you have project-related questions, please contact:
Michael Charendoff, Coordinator, Watershed Projects, Toronto and Region Conservation
70 Canuck Ave, Toronto ON, M3K 2C5
Phone: 416 661 6600 ext 5280
Email: [email protected]
More information on the Lakeview Waterfront Connection is available at www.creditvalleyca.ca/lwc.