Funding for Don River Flood Protection Will Unlock Potential of Toronto’s Port Lands

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Waterfront for All, an umbrella organization for groups from across Toronto, welcomes the newly announced tri-level government funding for the Don River mouth naturalization.

“Today’s funding announcement will finally unlock the vast potential of Toronto’s Port Lands after decades of neglect,” Waterfront for All Chair Ed Hore said. “We are happy that all levels of government come together to renew this crucial piece of Toronto’s waterfront.”

The federal and provincial governments and the City of Toronto are committing almost $1.2 billion over the next seven years to flood-proof Toronto’s Port Lands and naturalize the mouth of the Don River.

“The joint funding for the Don River mouth project is the result of more than a quarter century of citizen-led advocacy”, Waterfront for All Vice-Chair Cindy Wilkey added. “With flood protection for the Port Lands in place, we can finally build the additional housing and green spaces our city so urgently needs. This development wouldn’t have been possible without community involvement and Waterfront Toronto’s leadership.”

The ten-year design process engaged thousands of residents, businesses, First Nations and community stakeholders throughout the region. Waterfront for All founding member CodeBlueTO mobilized residents across the city through public meetings and petitions. The naturalization project traces its roots to the 1992 report of the Royal Commission on the Future of Toronto’s Waterfront. Waterfront for All has been advocating for the flood-proofing measures since its inception in 2016.

“This exciting project will unlock opportunities for new housing, business centres and waterfront parklands – all within a short walk from downtown,” John Wilson, former chair of Bring Back the Don said. “As extreme weather and flooding becomes more frequent with climate change, flood-proofing the lower Don is more important than ever.”

About the Project

The proposed flood protection and naturalization of the Don River mouth elegantly combines beauty and function. About 30 hectares (75 acres) of natural habitat – wetlands, uplands and aquatic habitat – will be created, while 240 hectares (600 acres) of land will be removed from flood risk – including hundreds of homes and businesses in Toronto’s east end and a broad swath of underused land in the Port Lands.

About Waterfront for All

Waterfront for All (waterfrontforall.ca) is a recently founded umbrella organization for groups from across the city working together for a green, accessible and inclusive Toronto waterfront. Its 17 member organizations represent tens of thousands of citizens as well as waterfront businesses. Waterfront for All strives to be the voice of citizens in the ongoing push for waterfront renewal.

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For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: 

John Wilson,  416-432-2544, johnwilson338@gmail.com

Tim Ehlich, 647-468-3641; media@waterfrontforall.ca