Monday, March 31, 2008

Mouth of the Don Plan Aired

Mark Wilson, chair of Waterfront TO speaks to the gathering

I attended the meeting held on Saturday at St. Lawrence Hall for the Mouth of the Don River EA. There were about 200 attendees which was more than what they expected because they quickly ran out of chairs. Presenters included Mark Wilson (see picture), City Councillor Paula Fletcher, and architect Michael Van Valkenburgh. Based on the presentation, they are pretty much headed toward using the MVVA design which translates to option 4WS in the EA planning process. Over the next six months the TRCA will be analyzing data and creating reports on technical details such as sediment entrapment and collection, flood modelling for the current channel design, soil remediation and impact on current buried utilities.

They expect to present these details some time this fall and then submit the completed EA late 2008 or early 2009.

The gathered crowd at St. Lawrence Hall

Diorama of Toronto's waterfront

Friday, March 28, 2008

Don Mouth EA Public Meeting

This Saturday, March 29, from 10 AM - 3 PM, there will be a public meeting and presentation about the Environmental Assessment of the restoration of the mouth of the Don River. The meeting will be held at the St. Lawrence Hall, 157 King Street East. There will be a presentation at 11 AM.

This meeting is a must for anyone interested in the Don River and its watershed. It's also one of the major projects underway that restores part of our waterfront. This meeting will show how the TRCA plans to marry the vision set forth by the winners of design competition a year ago and the mundane but necessary flood protection strategies that need to be addressed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Erosion Control Update 2

Site B: Work not started. The erosion here is much more serious as it has almost reached the toe of the embankment.

This just in from the TRCA project manager:

Please be advised that due to heavy snowfall and high water levels, construction of the CN Rail Embankment in Charles Sauriol Conservation Reserve Erosion Control Project will not be completed by March 31, 2008 as previously indicated.

Work at Site A (the upstream site near the pedestrian tunnel) has been completed, excluding site restoration activities. Work at Site B has not started, as the approved temporary stream crossings could not be installed due to high water levels and unsafe work conditions. With the fisheries window for in-water activities closing on March 31st, TRCA will re-commence with the construction of Site B after July 1, 2008 when the window re-opens.

Restoration work at Site A (seeding and riparian plantings) is scheduled for early April 2008 as weather conditions permit.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Erosion Control Project Update

I visited the erosion control project site on the East Don River today. I blogged about this last fall when the EA process was winding up. The project involves hardening an eroding riverbank adjacent to a CN railway embankment in two places.

There was clear evidence of construction with a muddy road and a staging area next to the DVP. The upstream site, named site A has already been completed. This was the easiest site to access. Site B further downstream is more difficult to access. So far no work has been done on site B. Access for this site involves building a ramp down to the riverbed and bridging the river in two places with a causeway. The causeway hasn't been built yet and I am not sure when this will start. I plan to contact the TRCA project manager for more information. Construction is scheduled to wrap up by the end of March but it looks like they might miss that deadline.

Site A: Before construction

Site A: After remediation. The snow covered CN railway embankment is visible in the upper left of the photo.

The bank has been embedded with layers of Red-osier Dogwood and Willow cuttings. The canvas cloth will serve to anchor the bank until the plants have sprouted roots. Eventually the cloth will decompose or be covered with soil.

Construction staging area beside the DVP

Deeply rutted access road. The TRCA pledged to remediate the construction access road and staging area once the project is complete. The rainbow tunnel can be seen in the middle background.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Solitude in the Don

Due to school commitments and the fact that it's darn hard to get down into the valley these days, I haven't had much to post. But I found someone who did venture into the Don Valley and wrote quite a nice photo essay about it. I direct you to her blog to read and enjoy.