The City of Toronto will be starting construction in the East Don Parkland to replace and install sewer connections, remove an existing concrete weir (similar to a dam), install an underground storage tank and pumping station and stabilize the river. Construction will be carried out in phases and is expected to take four to five years to complete.

The washroom and parking lot in East Don Parkland will be closed to the public during the construction period and will be replaced after the work is completed.

The City is required to notify the community under the Canadian Navigable Waterways Act. Please see the public notice issued to the community and send your questions or comments on marine navigation regarding the sewers crossing the river by May 31, 2021:

Map of work for sewer connections, weir removal and channel improvements in East Don River
Map of work for sewer connections, weir removal and channel improvements in East Don River, as well as an underground storage tank and pumping station building in East Don Parkland.
Map Description
Red dashed line icon Sewer Replacement
Purple dashed line icon Forcemains and Sewer Connections
Pink circle icon Weir Removal
Blue line icon Channel Improvements
Square icon Underground Tank & Pumping Station Building

Note: This  map will be updated when the relocation of the public washroom is confirmed.

Public Notice: April 28, 2021 to May 31, 2021

This segment of the Don River is a “non-scheduled” waterway following Transport Canada’s Canadian Navigable Waterways Act which requires a 30-day public notification and consultation on the sewer crossings, weir removal and channel improvements related to navigation. To learn about these plans, please see:

Please provide your comments by May 31, 2021 with any questions or comments regarding navigation at the Common Project Search.

Purpose of this Project

The connection sewer between Sheppard Avenue and the Trunk sewer on Leslie Street needs to be replaced and increased in size to service the growing neighbourhoods.

The location and scope of the sewer replacement was combined with a similar project to construct an underground storage tank to improve the capacity in the sewer network. The removal of the concrete weir was also required and integrated into the plans. The benefit of combining these projects into a single construction program avoids future construction impacts to the park and river.

Key Construction Components

Sewer Replacement

The new sewer will replace the existing undersized sewer connection located closer to the Leslie Street and Sheppard Avenue intersection. This sewer replacement will extend from Sheppard Avenue through the East Don Parkland parking lot, across the East Don River to the location of the Trunk Sewer near the park trail next to Leslie Street.

Concrete Weir Removal

The river has moved around the existing concrete weir located just east of the parking lot. The weir no longer serves its purpose to help control flows and and the river has created an erosion scar along the east banks of the river. This erosion scar needs to be addressed and repaired to protect City infrastructure.

Photo of concrete weir in East Don River
Photo of concrete weir in East Don River
Aerial photo showing location of erosion scar around the existing weir in East Don River
Aerial photo showing location of erosion scar around the existing weir in East Don River

Channel Improvements

A 250 metre segment (approximate) of the river from the north-west corner of Leslie Street and Sheppard Avenue East has been impacted by erosion due to high/fluctuating flows and severe storms. Improvements to this segment of the river will address erosion, reduce the risk of exposing the four new sewers and existing trunk sewer, and provide enhanced river stabilization. River stabilization will include additional trees and native plantings, vegetated boulder revetments along the river banks, and construction of alternating riffles, ribs, and shallow pools along the river bed following natural channelization design guidelines and principles.

Underground Storage Tank

The underground storage tank will be located below the park parking lot. To move the flows between the tank and the trunk sewer, a pumping station, two forcemain connections and a sewer connection will be built. The location of the pumping station will require the existing washroom to be demolished. It will be replaced on the south side of the parking lot near the end of the project.

Construction Schedule

Construction is anticipated to start in late 2021 and require four to five years to complete. It will be carried out in phases which will be provided in a construction notice to the community and will also include additional information and dates.

Please sign up to receive Construction Notices and updates by email eastdonriver@toronto.ca

Construction Method

An open-cut construction method will expose sections of the river bed to allow the sewer lines to be installed across the river. This is a common practice used internationally and locally.

The river will continue to flow and be diverted around the open-cut sections. Both upstream and downstream of the work site, pea gravel bags will direct the water flows around temporary cofferdams. These temporary cofferdams will be built with sheet piles inserted about four metres deep and extend two metres above the river bed. The temporary cofferdams and pea gravel bags will be removed after the sewer connections are installed.

Photo of cofferdam
River can continue to flow around the cofferdam.

Public Notification

 Pre-construction and construction notices will be sent to the community and include further details such as:

  • construction impacts
  • tree removals and replacement
  • trail impacts
  • site restoration and creek improvements
  • plans for the new washroom

Please sign up to receive Construction Notices and updates by email eastdonriver@toronto.ca

The short URL to this webpage is toronto.ca/eastdonriver