November 2, 2023: The City, in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority has issued a Notice of Commencement of the Terms of Reference phase on the Scarborough Bluffs West Revitalization Study.
The Scarborough Bluffs West Revitalization Study will explore the renewal of and improvements to approximately 4.5 km of Lake Ontario shoreline, from Balmy Beach at Silver Birch Avenue to Bluffer’s Park. The project will engage the public, Indigenous communities and technical experts to inform a plan to enhance the landscape and provide safe access to the waterfront while protecting sensitive shoreline and natural areas.
The project will consider opportunities to:
Improve how people access, move through and experience the waterfront
Provide a connected trail between Bluffer’s Park and the eastern edge of the Beaches, exploring the feasibility of a connected trail system along the shoreline
Preserve and enhance natural features and minimize hazards
Create connected naturalized systems along the Lake Ontario shoreline which respects and protects the significant natural and cultural features of the Bluffs
Enhance habitats on land and in the water
The map below shows the location of the area under study. The study area extends from Kingston Road to Lake Ontario, and from Silver Birch Avenue to Brimley Road.
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In 2021, City Council directed TRCA to initiate an Environmental Assessment to explore the viability of a shoreline connection for the public from Bluffer’s Park to Eastern Beaches (2021.EX28.6).
The Scarborough Bluffs West Revitalization Study will be informed by ongoing work to develop a renewed vision for Toronto’s waterfront with a focus on strategic economic development, truth, justice and reconciliation, equity, inclusion and access, and climate resilience and sustainability.
The project supports the following strategies and plans approved by the City of Toronto and TRCA:
The Trail Strategy for the Greater Toronto Region (2019) outlines Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) plan to work with partners to complete, expand, manage and celebrate the Greater Toronto Region Trail Network, a connected trail network in our regional greenspace system.
The City of Toronto’s Cycling Network Plan aims to connect the gaps in Toronto’s existing cycling network, grow the cycling network into new parts of the City, and renew existing cycling network routes to improve their quality. This section of shoreline has been identified in the Long-term Cycling Network Plan as an area for a future feasibility study.
The City of Toronto’s Official Plan is the blueprint that outlines how Toronto will grow and develop over the long term. Policies in Chapter 2, Section 2.3.2 direct staff to improve access to the water’s edge for the public while protecting, maintaining, enhancing and restoring natural heritage.
The City of Toronto Reconciliation Action Plan 2022-2032 guides City actions to advance truth, justice and reconciliation for the next 10 years. It includes actions that contribute to the visibility and overall well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Toronto through placemaking and place-keeping, supporting economic development and prosperity, increasing civic engagement, honouring Indigenous ways of knowing and being, and recognizing rights to self-determination and self-governance.
Scarborough Waterfront Project
TRCA, in partnership with the City, recently completed an Individual Environmental Assessment for the Scarborough Waterfront Project (SWP), which covered an 11 km stretch along Lake Ontario between Bluffer’s Park and East Point Park in Toronto. The SWP seeks to provide safe public access and an enjoyable waterfront experience, while also protecting and enhancing the natural environment. When complete, both projects will provide enhanced protection along the Scarborough shoreline, including improved access to and connectivity along the waterfront.
The SWP is currently in the detailed design stages. To learn more about the SWP, visit the project website.
The core objectives of the project, listed below, will be refined early in the consultation process:
protect and enhance terrestrial and aquatic natural features and linkages
manage public safety and property risk
provide an enjoyable waterfront experience
consistency and coordination with other initiatives, and
achieve value for cost.
The Scarborough Bluffs West Revitalization Study was initiated as an Individual Environmental Assessment in the Fall of 2023 and is expected to be complete in 2026. The project is currently in the early stages. The process includes the following steps:
Stage One – Terms of Reference
Study and review existing information about how the environment is likely to be affected by the project, including ecology, coastal processes, erosion, and different ways people are expected to use public spaces in the future
Draft a design brief that sets an overarching vision for the project
Undertake a problem and opportunity assessment and prepare project goals and objectives
Draft a Terms of Reference which outlines the approach that the project team will take to completing the Environmental Assessment, including the development of criteria and indicators to measure the achievement of project objectives
Conduct public, stakeholder and Indigenous consultation to inform the design brief and Terms of Reference
Submit the Terms of Reference to the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for approval, and post online for public review
Stage Two – Environmental Assessment
Develop a series of alternatives for the project area
Conduct technical studies to understand how the project area may be impacted by the alternatives
Narrow down the alternatives using a set of criteria and indicators and select a preferred alternative
Further develop the preferred alternative
Conduct public, stakeholder and Indigenous consultation throughout to inform the alternatives and final selection
Draft an Environmental Assessment Report that captures all of the findings and submit to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks for review and approval, and post online for public review
Detailed design and construction of the preferred alternative will proceed following Ministerial approval of the Individual Environmental Assessment, subject to available funding.
Consultation will start shortly, and take place throughout the project. Residents, stakeholders and Indigenous communities will have the opportunity to review information and provide input.
More information about upcoming consultation opportunities will be shared on this page in early 2024. To receive updates and notifications, please sign up for the mailing list.
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