After months of Lake Ontario’s water levels nearing dangerous flood levels, the City of Toronto and the Government of Canada have committed nearly $30 million to protect the city’s shoreline against future flooding and major storm events.
On Monday, Mayor John Tory announced the investment, which includes $11.9 million from the federal government and $18 million from the city, for the Toronto tree canopy and waterfront shoreline project.
According to the government, the funding will go toward 35 different projects to protect the shoreline across different areas in the city.
- Lake Ontario now matching extreme 2017 water levels that flooded Toronto Islands
- City making efforts to keep water levels at bay on Toronto Islands (PHOTOS)
- Shoreline hazard warning still in effect for Toronto following Thursday’s intense rainfall
In recent years, the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events have caused significant erosion and damage to shoreline protection infrastructure along Toronto’s waterfront, as well as substantial damage to the tree canopy.
In response, the city has proposed the rehabilitation of shoreline infrastructures, waterfront parks, beaches, embankments, trails, and pathways.
“The City of Toronto is proud to invest with the Government of Canada in protecting our shoreline and growing our tree canopy,” said Mayor John Tory in a statement.
“We know this work will help keep our communities safe and better prepared for extreme weather. This project is another example of what can be accomplished when governments work together for the good of our residents and our city.”
By taking these preventative measures along Toronto’s shoreline now, will help protect families and businesses during storms and the spring thaw, said James Maloney, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke–Lakeshore.
“Investing in natural infrastructure will create good, well-paying jobs and set the stage for long-term economic growth that benefits everyone.”
“The City of Toronto Tree Canopy Project will allow TRCA to work with the city to make repairs and shoreline enhancements to numerous waterfront parks and communities including the Toronto Islands to make them more resilient to erosion and flooding,” said John MacKenzie, President of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).
“We look forward to working with the city and community partners to implement this important project thanks to the Government of Canada’s generous contribution.”
This announcement follows a spring that saw Lake Ontario’s water levels reach those of 2017, which caused serious flooding on the Toronto Islands and resulted in devastating damage.
City crews set up 30 pumps on the Islands, which were “critical” in removing water from breached areas, said City Councillor, Joe Cressy.
Additionally, there were over 20,000 sandbags placed around the Islands, including 30-metre bags that were deployed in residential areas that were more vulnerable to waves.