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Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling Project

Creating new land around Essroc Quay – a critical part of flood protecting the Port Lands

The Cherry Street Lakefilling Project (CSLF) is located at Essroc Quay on the south side of the Keating Channel, where it meets Toronto’s Inner Harbour. This project is the first step in protecting much of the Port Lands from flooding in the event of a major storm. 

Cherry Street Lakefilling Project area outlined in purple

Lakefilling will create new land around the existing Essroc Quay. This is important for a few reasons. Creating new land around Essroc Quay will stabilize the aging dockwalls so that they don’t collapse in the event of surging water. Creating this new land will also make it possible to realign Cherry Street and build a new, higher bridge over the Keating Channel. Right now, the Cherry Street Bridge creates a narrow point in the Keating Channel, so when storms bring higher and more powerful waters through the channel, it gets overwhelmed and can flood. Creating space to realign Cherry Street and rebuild the Cherry Street Bridge will make it possible for stormwater to flow through the Keating Channel without flooding the surrounding land.


As part of this project, we will build wetlands, aquatic shoal and cove habitat, and natural coastline features. By building the kinds of places where fish like to live, and growing the kind of plants that fish like to eat, we will increase the number and type of fish in the area.


CSLF is one of 21 components of the $1.25-billion Port Lands Flood Protection project, which is being funded by the municipal, provincial and federal governments. The land we’re creating as part of CSLF is an important part of Port Lands Flood Protection – and it will form the foundation for the future Promontory Park North.


The work has been a highly collaborative process. Waterfront Toronto and the City worked closely with Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and sought input from other agencies such as the Toronto Port Lands Company and PortsToronto (Toronto Port Authority). Stakeholders such as land owners, tenants, port users and sector specific groups were engaged throughout the process.



public engagement


Public consultation played a central role in the creation of the go forward plan for the Port Lands and included traditional in-person public meetings, interactive social media and web enabled consultations, workshops, tours, and design charrette. A Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) consisting of a broad range of representatives from interested and affected stakeholder organizations was formed along with a Landowner and User Advisory Committee.


To view project information including summary reports, presentations, videos and other meeting materials please visit the consultation website at

community-based risk assessment (CBRA)

Consultation related to CSLF has also been done through a CBRA – a process guided by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). The CBRA helps to evaluate soil and groundwater quality over a large area and assess potential health concerns for people and ecological systems (wildlife and aquatic habitat). The result includes soil and groundwater management procedures to be followed during construction, as well as long-term environmental protection requirements. The Terms of Reference provides the detailed outline, direction and scope for the CBRA. 

Examples of public input to this process include details about how people are currently using the area, history and stories about animals, wildlife and aquatic receptors and plants in the area and concerns or suggestions for soil and groundwater reuse. 


Updates on the CBRA process were made to the SAC in December 2016 and in March 2017.  An updated report will be presented to the public in spring 2018.


environmental assessment


Find out more about the DMNP EA here.


project status

Present day looking east across Port Lands / Conceptual future vision looking east across Port Lands

The project has received the approval of City of Toronto Council, and will start construction in fall 2017 and will be completed in March 2019. 


CONSTRUCTION NOTICE - December 13, 2017

CONSTRUCTION NOTICE - October 26, 2017

Apply to join the Construction Liaison Committee


We’re looking for community representatives to join the Construction Liaison Committee (CLC) for the Cherry Street Stormwater & Lakefilling project. Port Lands Flood Protection is a seven-year project – it’s been broken into 21 components. Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling is one of those components. 


CLC members are required to participate in regular meetings with the construction manager and project team. The frequency of these meetings will be determined based on need. The project team will provide construction updates and members are asked to provide feedback, advice and recommendations. CLC members will bring forward advice, issues and/or comments on behalf of the organization or community they represent, and communicate back to those groups.


If you would like to apply to join the Cherry Street Stormwater & Lakefilling CLC, please email and tell us which group you represent. Please note that the CLC is designed to be a small, focused committee. Members will be selected based on their ability to liaise with the communities/constituencies and project team.




video: Fly-through of the New Don River

This 30-second fly-through animation shows what the naturalized mouth of the Don River and nearby neighbourhoods might look like in a decade's time.



video: The Port Lands Explained

This two-minute video describes some of the challenges and the unfulfilled potential of the Port Lands as well as the vision for a new Don River channel and reimagined waterfront community. The solution for providing needed flood protection is to make more room for the Don River to flow – a green approach to vital infrastructure that will improve Toronto’s resiliency.



learn more


blog post:  Don Mouth Naturalization Becomes a Reality


related news

project status

Approved Budget:

quick facts

Site boundaries: 

Essroc Quay is located on the south side of the Keating Channel, where it meets Toronto’s Inner Harbour. 


Key Project features:

  • Confinement berm structures  
  • Rock dock wall structures  
  • Lakefilling
  • Aquatic habitat structures and features 
  • Diversion of an existing storm sewer 


Construction Manager: EllisDon


Lead Engineer: CH2M


Landscape Architect:  Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc.


related events

December 8, 2016
Port Lands Due Diligence and Community Based Risk Assessment
Stakeholder Advisory Committee and Landowner and User Advisory Committee Meeting

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