About – R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant
Where does the water come from?
One of four City water treatment plants, the R.C. Harris takes raw water from Lake Ontario, then cleans, disinfects and converts it into safe potable/drinking water for pumping into the City’s distribution system.
Fast facts about the R.C. Harris
- Located at the foot of Victoria Park Ave.
- Constructed in the 1930s
- Named for Rowland Caldwell Harris, Commissioner of Works from 1912 to his death in 1945
- Began operating on November 1, 1941
- Declared a national historic civil engineering site in 1992
- Remains Toronto’s largest water treatment facility
- Operates 24/7 in an environmentally responsible and cost-efficient manner
Total annual water production
Percentage of total water produced
Number of days operated in 2005
Average daily production
Maximum daily production
Maximum water production date
166,500 million litres
456 million litres
761 million litres
February 11, 2011
Part of the east end community
Similar to Toronto Water’s other treatment plants, the R.C. Harris is built along the shoreline of Lake Ontario and integrated into the local neighborhood.
One way the City and the neighborhood stay in touch is through the Public Advisory Committee (PAC). Committee members play an important role in the community and advise City staff on plant issues.
The City also publishes a community newsletter called R.C. Harris Times, featuring current and local topics related to the plant. Public meetings on proposed changes to the site provide other opportunities for the City to connect with community issues.
The R. C. Harris is a much-anticipated feature of the 2011 Doors Open, taking place on May 28 and 29, across the City. Here's a guide to the event and an article about the Harris written by Toronto Star architectural columnist Christopher Hume.