Fairbank Storm Sewer Construction – Virtual Public Information Event
Thursday, July 29, 2021 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Participate online (Webex) or by phone. See News & Updates accordion below for registration details.

The City of Toronto, with support from the Government of Canada, is moving forward with a major investment to help protect against basement flooding in the Fairbank-Silverthorn community. In the summer of 2021, the City will begin constructing a new three-km-long storm trunk sewer that will collect, store and convey stormwater (rainwater and melted snow) from the Fairbank-Silverthorn area to Black Creek. The City will also construct more than 17 km of new local storm sewers that will connect to the new storm trunk sewer. Once complete, the new sewer system will reduce the impacts of heavy rainfall and sewer backups for more than 4,645 homes and provide flood protection to a 140-hectare area. This work is part of the City of Toronto’s Basement Flooding Protection Program to help reduce the risk of future basement flooding.

Under the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF), the federal government is providing up to $73.2 million in funding for the Fairbank Silverthorn Storm System project. The City of Toronto will contribute the remainder of project costs.

While we aim to provide fully accessible content, there is no text alternative available for some of the content on this page. If you require alternative formats or need assistance understanding our maps, drawings, or any other content, please contact the staff on the side of this page.

Public Information Event

The City is holding a virtual Public Information Event to share information about the project and provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions.

Date: Thursday, July 29, 2021

Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

There are two ways to attend the event:

Online: Register to receive the meeting link and information on how to join via your device.

By phone (audio only): When the event starts, dial 416-915-6530 and key in meeting access code 177 960 4427.

Pre-Construction Notice and Project Newsletter #1

A Pre-Construction Notice and Project Newsletter were mailed to addresses in the project area to provide information about the project and the upcoming construction.

Fairbank Storm Trunk Sewer System Newsletter 1 June 2021

Pre-Construction Notice July 2021

The Fairbank Silverthorn Storm Trunk Sewer System project involves three key infrastructure improvements:

  • Installation of new local storm sewers
  • Construction of a large storm trunk sewer (main tunnel)
  • Installation of inlet control devices (ICDs) to manage stormwater flow to catch basins

This project is part of the Council-approved 2021 Basement Flooding Protection Program and partially funded by the Government of Canada through Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. When all construction is completed, the new infrastructure will help to reduce sewer backups and basement flooding.

New Local Storm Sewers

To help relieve pressure on the existing combined sewer system, more than 17 km of new local sewers will be added to improve drainage on local streets and help reduce basement flooding. These local storm sewers will connect to the new storm trunk sewer.

New Storm Trunk Sewer

During heavy rainstorms, excessive stormwater will be carried from the new local storm sewers to the new large storm trunk sewer. This new tunnel will be 4.5 meters in diameter and 2.4 km long, and will range in depth from 15 to 40 meters. The new storm sewer tunnel will pass below Fairbank Memorial Park, Kitchener Avenue, Bert Robinson Park, Dunvaven Drive, Nashville Avenue, Bicknell Avenue and Westbury Crescent and end at Black Creek near Keelesdale Park.

The new storm trunk sewer will be able to convey up to 9,500 litres of stormwater per second to Black Creek. This new trunk sewer is designed to also serve as temporary storage during heavy rainfall and will slow down the release of storm water to Black Creek. As part of its construction, a new stormwater outfall will be constructed at Keelesdale Park.

An underground storage tank located in Charles Caccia Park is currently in service and stores combined sewer flows during large storms from the area around the park.  This 6,000 cubic meter storage tank helps to relieve the combined sewer system during rainfall. Using pumps, the tank is drained when the downstream sewer system is able to safely accept the flows (after a large rainstorm is over) and carry the flow to the wastewater plant for treatment.

The tank provides storm protection to the immediate neighborhood surrounding the tank, however, the construction of the new Fairbank Silverthorn storm trunk sewer will provide enhanced protection to the entire area.

Inlet Control Devices

Inlet control devices (ICD) restrict rain water from entering the combined sewer system through catch basins, reducing combined sewer overflow and the risk of basement flooding. As a result, inlet control devices may increase temporary surface ponding on streets.

Between May and September 2020, 55 inlet control devices were installed  to review their performance before proceeding with installation for the larger area. Starting in 2022, an additional 330 ICDs will be installed to restrict storm water from entering combined sewers.

Phase 1 Construction

Construction will be carried out in two phases.

Phase 1 will begin in Summer 2021 is anticipated to take four years to complete. This phase will include construction of the new storm trunk sewer tunnel and a portion of the new local storm sewers.

The storm sewer tunnel and the new local storm sewers will be constructed using tunneling and micro-tunneling methods. Above ground work will be limited to shaft locations, which are identified on the Project Map with a star symbol.

To construct the new storm trunk sewer, a tunnel boring machine will be used to tunnel below
ground to a depth of 40 metres. A tunnel boring machine uses rotating disc-shaped cutting wheels that bore through soil and install pipe segments to create the tunnel walls. It typically excavates 8 to 10 metres per day.

Between Summer 2021 and Spring 2021, several shafts will be constructed to lower and retrieve the tunnel boring machine and construction crews, and to facilitate tunnel construction. The majority of tunneling activity will be carried out through a large shaft in Fairbank Memorial Park.

Photo of a large open circular shaft is surrounded by construction equipment
Example of a large vertical shaft during construction

The new local storm sewers will be constructed by micro-tunneling method along Silverthorn Avenue, Gilbert Avenue, Croham Road, Harvie Avenue and Chudleigh Road. Shallower and smaller shafts will be constructed for micro-tunneling at various locations. See the Project Map for details.

Updates will be provided by mail to residents in the construction area and on the project web page prior to and during Phase 1 construction.

Phase 2 Construction

Phase 2 is anticipated to begin in 2022 and continue to 2026. In this second phase the City will construct approximately 17 km of new storm sewers and install additional inlet control devices. More information will be provided in 2022, prior to commencement of this work.

When construction is completed, the contractor will restore local roads and all tunnel shaft locations.

Fairbank storm sewer system map
Fairbank storm sewer system map

Larger Fairbank Storm Sewer System Map

While we aim to provide fully accessible content, there is no text alternative available for some of the content on this site. If you require alternate formats or need assistance understanding our maps, drawings or any other content, please contact 416-392-2990 or tracy.manolakakis@toronto.ca

2010:  Investigation of chronic basement flooding (Study Area 3 Environmental Assessment completed)

2013-2017:  Sewer upgrades and storage tank constructed at Charles Caccia Park

2018:  Preliminary engineering design completed

2019:  Detailed design commenced

2020:  Some 55 inlet control devices (ICDs) installed in stormwater catch basins connected to combined sewers in the Keele Street and Beechborough Avenue area.