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Meet the Port Lands in 2024

Nov 28, 2018

By Mira Shenker

Would you like to hop of the streetcar and travel by kayak? How about losing yourself in a wooded ski trail on your lunchbreak? Or go for a paddle in the new river? Maybe you’d like to work with us to help plan for new homes and businesses on a new downtown island?

This will all be possible in 2024.

Today in the Port Lands, Waterfront Toronto and our government partners gathered to mark a critical step in making these dreams a reality.

A photo of elected officials, project partners and community members at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Port Lands Flood Protection project

From left: MP Adam Vaughan, Toronto Mayor John Tory, MP Julie Dabrusin, Toronto City Councillor Paula Fletcher, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities François-Philippe Champagne and Waterfront Toronto Board Chair Helen Burstyn are surrounded by project partners and community members as they mark the start of excavation on the new river as part of Port Lands Flood Protection.

This winter, we start excavation on a new kilometre-long river valley, a natural spillway and new mouth for the Don River – part of a $1.25-billion, seven-year construction project that will unlock 290 hectares of underused waterfront land for revitalization. Along with critical infrastructure and new parks and greenspaces, the Port Lands Flood Protection project will create the foundation for a future island community on the waterfront. Once developed, Villiers Island will provide homes to thousands of people and economic opportunities to thousands more.

In 2014, we completed a flood protection landform beneath Corktown Common that protected 210 hectares of Toronto’s downtown east end and a portion of Toronto’s financial district, from flooding.

This project is a game changer.

As a result of a first phase of flood protection, we were able to develop the West Don Lands, a now thriving community with new affordable housing, parks, community amenities like the new YMCA, and an extension of the 514 streetcar line.

This same kind of community can be created in the Port Lands, minutes from downtown Toronto. This 290-hectare area represents over one third of Toronto’s waterfront.

But that revitalization can’t begin unless the risk of flooding is removed and the legacy of contamination left by former industrial uses is addressed.

In 2017, governments announced a join commitment of $1.25-billion to do just that. This collaboration has allowed us to get started on our most ambitious city-building project yet.

To sign up to receive construction notices for this project, email info@waterfrontoronto.ca. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter to get updates on this and other projects. Or to learn more about how we’ll transform the Port Lands by 2024 visit the project website.  




post contributor

  • Mira Shenker

    Mira Shenker is a senior communications manager at Waterfront Toronto. She has previously worked as a journalist and executive editor at industry and business publications.