Saturday, May 08, 2010

Don Council Tour

Kortright Centre

A couple of weeks ago I went on a bus tour of around the Don watershed. Actually one location was in the Humber watershed at the Kortright Centre where we stopped for lunch. The tour was prepared on behalf of the Don Watershed Regeneration Council which has been recently reconstituted with a new group of members. The current council consists of a mix of new and returning members and a mix of young and old, male and female. The council which was created by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority is made up of representatives of non-profit groups interested in Don Watershed restoration efforts and private citizens who are interested in the environment. I sit on the council as a representative of Friends of the Don East.

The current mandate of the Don Council is to press forward with the implementation of the Don Watershed Plan created by the TRCA.

The tour started at Yonge and York Mills and looked at the West Don River where it runs through a flood control channel. There is a project that will clean out part of the river basin that has become clogged with debris. The project is somewhat controversial because the debris and silt have been there for so long that substantial trees have since grown there.

G. Ross Lord reservoir

The second stop was the G. Ross Lord Dam up by Dufferin and Finch. The dam which was built in the 1970s by the TRCA is used for flood control on the west Don. The reservoir is big enough to hold 5 million cubic metres of water. This may sound like a lot but it filled up during the August 2005 storm. This was the storm that washed out Finch Avenue where it crosses Black Creek.

For lunch we stopped at the Kortright Centre where we were given a tour of some sustainable living features that the TRCA is showcasing for local developers. All of the features use current technologies to help reduce the footprint buildings have in the watershed.

Richmond Hill stormwater pond

The 4th stop was a stormwater pond in Richmond Hill and the 5th stop was at the East Don Parklands wetland which I previously wrote about. The last stop was at Earl Bales Park. This featured a tour of a new stormwater pond due to be built in the southeast corner of the park.

Council members mucking about in East Don Parklands

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