TRCA 2022 Annual Report

Stronger Together - TRCA 2022 Annual Report



Message from the Chair, Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer   ·   Progress on Strategic Accomplishments (2013-2022)

STRATEGIC PLAN OBJECTIVES: 1. Green the Toronto region’s economy   ·   2. Manage our regional water resources for current and future generations
3. Rethink greenspace to maximize its value   ·   4. Create complete communities that integrate nature and the built environment   ·   5. Foster sustainable citizenship
6. Tell the story of the Toronto region   ·   7. Build partnerships and new business models   ·   8. Gather and share the best sustainability knowledge   ·   9. Measure performance
10. Accelerate innovation   ·   11. Invest in our staff   ·   12. Facilitate a region-wide approach to sustainability

Looking Forward  ·   Leadership   ·   Vision, Mission & Core Values

community members participate in planting event

Message from the chair of the TRCA board of directors and the chief executive officer

Safe and resilient communities can only be achieved as a collaborative effort – Conservation is a team sport. As the provincial leader in conserving, restoring, and managing natural resources to advance safe and sustainable development, TRCA works with all levels of government and the communities we serve to achieve collective impact and advance shared goals.

2022 marked the conclusion of TRCA’s 2013-2022 Strategic Plan and the approval of our 2023-2034 Strategic Plan, which provided an opportunity to reflect on the last decade of accomplishments for the organization and our path forward. The strategic pillars developed for the new Strategic Plan reflect the principles of our partner municipalities. At the heart of every past achievement and planned future outcome is clear alignment and defined linkages to supporting the efforts of our stakeholders, partners and communities we serve. We do this while constantly adapting to changes in our external operating environment.

In the face of the ongoing climate change emergencies declared by our partner municipalities and the need to advance sustainable development to address Ontario’s housing crisis, the theme of the 2022 annual report, Stronger Together, reflects our complex reality.

As the first line of defence in preventing and reducing the impacts of flooding, TRCA provides the best available science and guidance on how to strengthen environmental protections to better safeguard our watersheds. TRCA plays a major role in supporting our municipalities in protecting the natural environment, especially considering the intensifying impacts of climate change. Our work in 2022 helped to mitigate extreme weather events, flooding and counter biodiversity losses across our jurisdiction through restoration, monitoring, and education
programs and infrastructure projects.

We once again thank our stakeholders for their continued support of our mission, vision, and core values. TRCA will always work with our partners to ensure that they have the best information available to make crucial decisions and offer programs and services that advance mutually beneficial initiatives because we are, and will always be, Stronger Together.


During 2022, TRCA successfully worked with our partners to advance our Erosion and Hazard Management Strategy, TRCA Trail Strategy, and several other strategic initiatives. We maximized opportunities offered by federal funding programs and combined these with investments by municipal, philanthropic, corporate, and non-government partners to flood protect infrastructure, upgrade aging facilities, restore habitats, and achieve new trail linkages to serve our growing population.

We continued to work in partnership with all levels of government to protect municipal infrastructure in ravines and across the waterfront. This work included addressing failing slopes, the construction of flood protection projects, and measures to address erosion impacts all while improving natural habitats and creating upgraded trail linkages where possible.

With federal investments, we have added new picnic facilities in our conservation areas, developed new significant trail networks on conservation lands in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, and Vaughan, while upgrading existing trails across our jurisdiction.

For example, on The Meadoway, a 16 km long, $40M award-winning initiative to restore a hydro corridor in Scarborough, TRCA levered the strong support of the Weston Family Foundation to attract investment from senior levels of government and the City of Toronto. These investments allow us to continue our leading-edge work to create community connections and restore meadow habitats involving students, researchers, and community members with benefits to stormwater management, biodiversity, and water quality.

Our work to protect areas from the impacts of flooding and extreme weather events continued at an even higher pace in 2022. TRCA advanced work on the protection of key Urban Growth Centres and transit hubs through our work with Waterfront Toronto, Metrolinx, and municipal and industry partners in Toronto, Vaughan, Brampton, Markham, and Pickering. This collaborative effort to future proof and flood protect new communities enables new safer developments while addressing historic flooding issues.

We also continued to make progress on major flood protection works on the Toronto Islands and across the Lake Ontario shoreline from Mississauga to Ajax while upgrading our warning systems, flood modeling, and mapping across the jurisdiction.


In October 2022, the provincial government posted a series of legislative, regulatory, and policy changes on the Environmental Registry of Ontario to achieve its goal of building 1.5 million homes over the next 10 years as part of More Homes Built Faster: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan: 2022-2023. On October 25, 2022, the Province introduced Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, which was passed on November 28, 2022.

Proposals outside of Bill 23 but related to the Province’s objective to build more homes – including amendments to the Greenbelt Plan, Greenbelt Area boundary regulation, and the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System – were also proposed, and many were later enacted in December 2022.

TRCA staff submitted letter responses, attended Standing Committee, and met with provincial government officials on many of their initiatives highlighting the major implications they posed for the roles of CAs and their municipal partners. We continued to focus on working with our municipal and government agency partners to establish or update memorandums of understanding/agreements for the delivery of requested services. In addition, TRCA’s municipal partners engaged TRCA in establishing complete application checklists and pre-consultation requirements to help conform to new Provincial Bill 109 Planning Act timelines.

We also played a role as a valued member of the Province’s multi-stakeholder, solutions-oriented Conservation Authorities Working Group (CAWG). Now that Bill 23 has passed and with further legislative and policy changes anticipated in 2023, TRCA and its stakeholders will continue to work with our partners to ensure the safe and sustainable development of communities in a way that leverages our insights, science and solutions-oriented approach to mitigate risks while advancing our strategic goals.

John MacKenzie

John MacKenzie
Chief Executive Officer

Paul Ainslie

Paul Ainslie
Chair, TRCA Board of Directors


community members take part in water quality monitoring

Progress on Strategic Accomplishments (2013-2022)

The following outlines TRCA’s progress in 2022 (outside) and 2021 (inside) on achieving the objectives of the 2013-2022 Strategic Plan. The accomplishments could not have happened without fulsome collaboration of staff, partner municipalities, industry, communities, and many diverse stakeholders.

Progress toward strategic goals from 2021 to 2022

Select each of the strategic plan objectives below to view the projected 2013-2022 accomplishments and 2022 results.

1 60% complete: Delays due to inequitable funding capacity, a growing State of Good Repair backlog, costs of meeting regulatory requirements. Strategic funding appeals and Asset Management Program address this gap.
2 67% complete: Funding constraints and limited private partnership uptake impacted progress of certain initiatives. Strategic funding appeals and more targeted priorities addresses gaps.
3 86% complete: Delay related to pandemic supply chain issues for the new Head Office construction.


local residents take part in community litter pick-up

TRCA Strategic Goal 1 Green the Toronto region economy

Supporting the transition to a strong, green economy continues to be a critical priority for TRCA’s partners. Long-term prosperity in the jurisdiction and global sustainability requires industries, businesses and consumers to achieve planned employment and economic objectives while reducing the environmental footprint of the economy. It is also important to recognize that the green infrastructure industry and restoration economy, of which TRCA is a part, makes major contributions to regional economic development and community wellbeing.


2021-2022 progress status

Project or Program is started and on track Be at the forefront of providing input into the development of provincial and municipal policies and guidelines relating to land use and environmental planning and sustainable development related to TRCA’s core objectives. Project or Program is started and on track Seize opportunities for integrating more sustainable technologies and sustainable development certifications in the design and construction of new development and in retrofits of existing communities in the jurisdiction.
Project or Program is started and on track Expand TRCA’s fee-for-service work for governmental, private sector and not-for-profit stakeholders, to facilitate the efficient delivery of green infrastructure and sustainability projects in areas of TRCA expertise. Project or Program is started and on track Expand the Partners in Project Green Eco-Zone program to include emerging employment areas across the jurisdiction subject to partner funding.


Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Program (SNAP)
SNAP worked with 156 implementation partners to achieve neighbourhood-based solutions for urban renewal and climate action across 5 active SNAPs. These include municipalities, local businesses and agencies, community organizations and universities. 73 collaborative events engaged 2,286 residents and stakeholders.

With federal and municipal government support, SNAP launched the Growing Healthy Towers initiative to collectively support healthy built environments in 2 low-income tower communities with over 20 organizations across 2 regions and 12 sectors.

Implementation initiatives were delivered to achieve 1,128 retrofit actions, 57 green infrastructure projects supporting the planting of 2,148 trees, shrubs, and native plants on public and private land. These include expanded urban forests, rain gardens, pollinator and vegetable gardens, eco landscaping, and stormwater pond and park naturalization.

Stormwater Pond Training
4 inspection and maintenance field training events and 2 virtual events were delivered by the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program (STEP) in 2022, with more than 300 municipal staff participating. Host cities included Barrie, Richmond Hill, Aurora, and London, marking the first time this workshop has been offered outside of the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Partners in Project Green (PPG)
71 members, along with community participants, came together through TRCA and Toronto Pearson’s Partners in Project Green to advance environmental action and economic prosperity across the Greater Toronto Area. Together, participants gained 1,627 learner hours through 38 events.

The Circular Economy Leaders Consortium was launched with 12 member organizations. Members diverted 52 t of waste, avoided 3.9 t of eC02 and saved over $1.8M through the Materials Exchange Program and the Recycling Collection Drive. They saved 8.2 eGWh, 210M Litres of water, 502 t of eC02 and $1.5M through the Energy Leaders Consortium. That’s enough energy to power 6M homes and enough eC02 to offset emissions from 675 round trip flights from Toronto to Vancouver!

Policy Recommendations
TRCA staff provided detailed responses to 32 Environmental Registry of Ontario postings and 51 municipal documents to advocate for sustainable development and the protection of the environment.

TRCA continued its role as a valued member of the Province’s multi-stakeholder, solutions-oriented Conservation Authorities Working Group (CAWG). The CAWG brought together representatives from municipalities, the development industry, agricultural sector, Association of Municipalities of Ontario, Conservation Ontario and conservation authorities (CAs) to help inform the development of the Phase 2 regulations and policy guidance in support of the amended Conservation Authorities Act.

New Tech Evaluation
16 technologies were evaluated including a review and assessment of snow and ice control practices for parking lots and walkways as well as testing a monobloc air source heat pump. This heat pump has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and demand on the electricity grid, improve occupant well-being, and cut utility bills associated with heating and cooling multi-unit residential buildings.

Stormwater Software
Co-developed by TRCA, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority and Credit Valley Conservation, the Low Impact Development (LID) Treatment Train Tool is an easy-to-use stormwater modeling software for site planning at the conceptual stage. It evaluates the effectiveness of various LID measures on stormwater quantity and quality control and has been updated to provide cost estimates for LIDs and evaluate the stormwater benefits of trees. To date it has been downloaded 3,749 times and has been integrated into academic courses on sustainable development.

Low Impact Development (LID) Guidance
The LID Stormwater Management Planning and Design Wiki was expanded and enhanced with funding support from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks. The LID Wiki is becoming a one-stop shop for LID guidance in Ontario, with 75 new pages developed including new hubs on construction, inspection and maintenance best practices for these innovative stormwater practices.


TRCA Strategic Goal 2 Manage our regional water resources for current and future generations

Clean water is a precious and limited resource that needs to be valued and protected. Flooding, urban development and unsustainable agricultural and industrial practices continue to negatively impact rivers, streams and Lake Ontario. To safeguard drinking water supply, the health of aquatic ecosystems, and to protect communities from flooding, TRCA must continue working with its municipal partners to prioritize the protection, restoration, and safe management of water resources.


2021-2022 progress status

Project or Program is started and on track Develop a bold work plan that includes TRCA’s Erosion and Hazard Mitigation Strategy comprising over $500 million in projects to address known erosion, flooding and required infrastructure upgrades at over 250 sites. Project or Program is started and on track Work with municipal partners to implement flood remediation, erosion monitoring, maintenance work, stormwater system retrofits, low impact developments, green infrastructure, and water quality and habitat restoration projects to realize more sustainable developments (e.g. The Port Lands, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Brampton Riverwalk, Markham Centre).
Project or Program is started and on track Engage with local communities to increase awareness about issues facing water resources and their importance to the health and well-being of the jurisdiction.
Project or Program is started and on track Monitor the health of the watersheds through the Regional Watershed Monitoring Program and through work with academic institutions. Project or Program is started and on track Reduce flood risks and protect communities through continuous improvements to TRCA’s flood forecasting and warning program.


Erosion Risk Management Program
Erosion Risk Management staff inspected 4,611 hazard sites and erosion control structures. 282 of these inspections were erosion hazard sites on privately-owned land. 1,846 m of valley and shoreline have been stabilized at 11 high priority sites.

Peacham Crescent Slope Stabilization Project
Peacham Crescent Slope Stabilization Project

Reducing Flood Risk
Conducted vegetation and sediment removal operations on approximately 4 km of flood control channels. This maintenance makes it easier for water to flow and reduces the risk of flooding in the Stouffville and Black Creek Channels.

Invasive Species
3,907 invasive Sea Lamprey were caught and removed from 2 traps in the Humber River and Duffin’s Creek in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. A total of 3,778 were caught at the Humber River trap and just 129 at the Duffin’s Creek trap.

Waterfront Restoration
A new interactive website showcases the 18-year long efforts of the Toronto Waterfront Aquatic Habitat Restoration Strategy. Highly visual maps, photos, and graphics animate the story of the techniques used and results achieved for Toronto’s improved shoreline – an interesting and accessible way to learn about the findings from the 2020 assessment report.

Mapping TRCA’s Water Resource System
Provincial policies require municipalities to identify and provide adequate protection to the Water Resource System (WRS) in their Official Plans. TRCA generated a comprehensive WRS map comprised of 8 spatial data layers that identifies key hydrological features and areas important for the long-term resilience of our water resources and ecosystem health. The WRS mapping was approved by TRCA’s Board of Directors in October and has been shared with partner municipalities to inform multiple initiatives, including Municipal Comprehensive Review and Official Plan Review processes.

Timely Data
The Deltares Flood Early Warning System (FEWS), launching in 2023, is a next generation integrated decision support system for daily use to support the delivery of timely flood warning messages. The foundation to enable this launch included integrating weather forecasts, radar products and stream and precipitation monitoring systems that support flood forecasting and warning operations.

Automated River Data
Initiated the Toronto Wet Weather Flow Tributary Monitoring Project. Through the program, staff installed 21 automated water quality sampling stations in rivers and creeks across the City of Toronto to measure improvements to the City’s stormwater management systems. The network of water quality samplers will be in place until 2026.

Bolton Dike Camera
Installed a flood monitoring camera at Bolton Dike to help forecast ice jams and flooding in the Bolton community. TRCA now has 7 cameras installed in flood vulnerable locations to inform flood forecasting and warning efforts.

Broadview Eastern Flood Protection Project
Following completion of the Broadview Eastern Flood Protection Environmental Assessment in 2021, TRCA continued to provide technical support to the City and Province on the detailed design phase, a precursor to the development of 8 ha of downtown Toronto.

Humber River Watershed Plan Prep
This past spring, the Ecosystem Science team completed valley and stream crossing surveys at culverts and bridges throughout the Humber River watershed. TRCA collected data on the physical size and state of the different structures, including fish and wildlife passage suitability, stream temperature, flow conditions, and headwater stream locations. This baseline data informs the next iteration of the Humber River watershed plan.

Brampton Riverwalk
Project planning and procurement process support is ongoing for the City of Brampton as they undertake the detailed design for this important project which will support safe redevelopment.


TRCA Strategic Goal 3 Rethink greenspace to maximize its value

The extensive ravine network and greenspace system of the Toronto region, which provides linkages through communities and nature experiences within minutes of Toronto’s downtown and Urban Growth Centres throughout the jurisdiction, is key to the region’s appeal and prosperity. Evidence from around the world increasingly demonstrates a clear connection between greenspace and the health and well-being of communities. As the population of the region continues to grow rapidly, TRCA needs to sustain, improve, expand, and program the system of protected greenspace in order to meet the needs of communities while protecting natural heritage.


2021-2022 progress status

project or program has an issue identified Achieve the most appropriate use of TRCA’s inventory of lands and facilities while respecting cultural heritage and environmental values. Project or Program is started and on track Update TRCA’s Terrestrial Natural Heritage System Strategy, the Regional Trail System Strategy, TRCA’s Living City Policies and their associated technical guidelines to inform reviews of projects and the timely execution of projects.
Project or Program is started and on track Invest in aging infrastructure across TRCA’s Conservation Areas and public spaces in order to provide safe, accessible, and functional facilities to the public. project or program has an issue identified Advance priority greenspace and community initiatives of Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation (TRCF), member municipalities, and partners on priority projects such as The Meadoway, Tommy Thompson Park, Bolton Camp Redevelopment, and Black Creek Pioneer Village revitalization.
Project or Program is started and on track Secure, restore, and where appropriate, provide more accessible greenspace as part of the technical review of proposed projects and plans.


TRCA installs a new permanent bridge in The Meadoway
TRCA installs a new permanent bridge in The Meadoway designed to take users over the East Highland Creek to an elevated boardwalk.

More Nature, More Connection
The Meadoway is TRCA’s flagship and award-winning restoration project. Accomplishments for 2022 include the completion of: 21 ha of site prep for new meadow habitat, 17 ha of native meadow seeding, 104 ha of maintenance and adaptive management, 37 ha of existing meadow maintenance mowing, 30 ha of buffer mowing around the existing meadow, 9.3 ha of infill seeding, 67 monitoring plots and 13 bird and butterfly transects.

Completion of a new bridge (see photo above) and boardwalk advanced work on an important gap this year – a project milestone. The Highland Creek portion of The Meadoway now connects Military Trail at Ellesmere Road, across the ravine, east to Neilson Road. It also opens up access in the south to the Highland Creek trail and Pan Am Path while creating a connection to the Lake Ontario Waterfront Trail and new beautiful recreation possibilities for the residents and visitors of Scarborough.

Based on the lessons learned through implementation, TRCA released A Blueprint for Naturalizing Infrastructure Corridors – an industry leading science-based “how-to guide” on right of way restoration.

Urban Wilderness
Recognized as a globally significant “Key Biodiversity Area” by the Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada, Tommy Thompson Park (TTP) exemplifies decades of cutting-edge restoration work. Within 16 ha of quality habitat at TTP, new invasive species management is keeping Dog Strangling Vine and Phragmites under control with benefits for local biodiversity and for over 100K annual visitors.

Right Lands, Right Place
To effectively manage its landholdings, TRCA addresses legacy properties within its real estate portfolio and carefully considers new purchases. Two critical frameworks facilitate this work. TRCA’s Greenspace Securement Management Plan analyzed 1M parcels for environmentally sensitive features to transparently inform new purchases. The first ever Real Property Surplus Land Strategy identifies non environmentally significant properties without TRCA obligatory protection. These lands could be reused or help to fund more strategic future acquisitions.

1.67 ha of land was disposed to municipalities, and 18.06 ha was gained via the Greenspace Acquisition Project (2021-2030).

Trail Users
1,065,941 visitors were counted at 22 locations of TRCA trails and City of Toronto trails through TRCA’s Trail Counter Program, an increase of 6% over 2021. 97,062 visitors were counted at 8 benchmark TRCA sites, a 27% decrease over 2021. 70 trail counters were implemented on TRCA managed lands, plus 18 more on behalf of the City of Toronto. With the support of community partners, maintained access to 450 km of TRCA managed trails.

Improving Access to Large Parks
In partnership with the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition, Re:Public Urbanism, and the Ontario Parks Association, the Greenbelt Foundation released a report, Improving Access to Large Parks in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe: Policy, Planning, and Funding Strategies. TRCA provided valuable input into the analysis and recommendations.

Data Trend: Nature in Decline
The Terrestrial Long-Term Monitoring Plot Program: Spatial Patterns and Temporal Trends in Terrestrial Biodiversity (2011-2020) report summarizes changes in vegetation and bird and frog communities in regional forests, wetlands, and meadows between 2011 and 2020. Capturing data from a total of 143 monitoring sites across the jurisdiction, scientifically-defensible results were obtained. Forest vegetation changed significantly over the past 10 years, reflecting the impact of regional disturbances. Species communities in all habitat types continue to indicate the strong negative effects of urbanization on these ecosystems.

Significant Wildlife Habitat Mapping
Under the Provincial Policy Statement, wildlife habitat is considered an important natural heritage feature. TRCA used defined criteria to develop screening layers for Significant Wildlife Habitat. Through consultation with municipalities, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, three different agricultural groups, the Building Industry and Land Development Association, and the Regional Watershed Alliance a report has been completed and online tools will be developed.

Fish Rescue
Residents living around the Lake Wilcox neighborhood reached out to TRCA’s aquatic monitoring team to help rescue fish stranded in a tributary of the Humber River. The team rescued approximately 1K fish and moved them to deeper waters!


TRCA Strategic Goal 4 - Create complete communities that integrate nature and the built environment

Complete communities support the well-being of each resident by providing a full range of housing, transportation, community infrastructure and open space opportunities. In order to create complete communities, TRCA needs to incorporate livability and sustainability into new developments, while supporting the transformation and retrofitting of existing neighbourhoods to reduce their environmental footprint and increase their resilience.


2021-2022 progress status

Project or Program is started and on track Assist landowners and government partners to realize complete communities and environmental best practices in new developments and existing neighborhoods. Project or Program is started and on track Work with industry, private businesses and municipal partners to integrate natural heritage, elements of the Trail Strategy for The Greater Toronto Region, and green infrastructure into the design of new communities, and the redevelopment of older communities, at the earliest stage of the planning process in order to achieve vibrant award winning public spaces and multiple community benefits.
Project or Program is started and on track Assess TRCA’s development review process with member municipalities, industry and other stakeholders to identify opportunities to facilitate more timely reviews.
Project or Program is started and on track Provide value-added advice to protect natural heritage, reduce risk from flooding and erosion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and restore habitats in the design of new communities and redeveloping areas. Project or Program is started and on track Engage with member municipalities, academic institutions, the development industry, and professional associations to deliver professional development programs, and conduct design charrettes and forums to achieve integrated sustainable community design in projects and plans.


Building Tomorrow’s Communities
TRCA contributes to the Province’s important goal of addressing the housing crisis through expediting development approvals and by working with industry and governmental partners to flood protect and enable redevelopment of mixed-use communities in flood vulnerable areas of the Greater Toronto Area.

Bill 109
To conform to Bill 109 Planning Act timelines, TRCA focused on working with partner municipalities to establish complete application checklists and pre-consultation requirements and establish and update memorandums of understanding.

Trail Strategy
TRCA on behalf of our partner municipalities advanced 20 trail and amenity capital projects through planning, design and construction phases. 3.5 km of trail were constructed, of which 1.13 km were regional-level trail connections and 2.37 km were local-level trail connections. These trails linked communities and supported many more connections of families and tourists to outdoor experiences.

Urban Forest Excellence
In partnership with Peel Region, the City of Mississauga, the City of Brampton, the Town of Caledon, and Credit Valley Conservation, 5 urban forest best practice guides were created to inform climate-resilient and healthy urban forests in Peel Region.

City of Toronto Parks Ecosystem Services
In partnership with the City of Toronto and the University of Waterloo, TRCA has completed a study quantifying and mapping several of the ecosystem services provided by the Toronto parks system. This is one of the most comprehensive studies of its kind using locally derived data. It will be used to help inform and guide resource allocation and management of the Toronto parks system.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure
Developed with Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition, the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Asset Management Resources Toolkit provides guidance, case studies, and lessons learned for 3 different asset types: streams, bioretention features, and permeable pavement.

Right Tool for the Carbon Job
The Natural Assets Carbon Assessment Guide and Toolbox guide the correct use of methods, tools, and resources to standardize carbon sequestration and storage estimations for natural assets within Southern Ontario. This Guide and Toolbox, developed in partnership with Credit Valley Conservation and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, is intended to help stakeholders coordinate climate change mitigation strategies.

Nature-Based Climate Solutions Tool
Nature-based climate solutions (NBCS) offer ecosystem-based approaches to address societal challenges, while improving environmental health and addressing the threat of climate change. NBCS can include the protection or restoration of natural features and areas such as forests, wetlands, and meadows, as well as the implementation of other green infrastructure such as street and backyard trees, green roofs, and rain gardens. A proof of concept development for this type of tool was completed for the Humber River Watershed and the work is presented through an online platform and technical report.

TRCA implemented over 432 restoration, resource management,
and stewardship projects across our jurisdiction.

25 hectares of riparian restoration
7.24 kilometres of stream restoration
10 hectares of wetland restoration
1271 hazard trees abated
229 hectares of invasive species management
52 hectares of forest and woodland restoration
4958 pounds of community garbage collected
59 hectares of meadow restoration


TRCA Strategic Goal 5 Foster Sustainable Citizenship

To foster engagement of community members, TRCA needs to build civic capacity by providing the tools and opportunities needed for community members to transition from participants into advocates and leaders. TRCA can also facilitate a two-way dialogue with community members to ensure that local knowledge, ideas and concerns are integrated into decision-making by governments and agencies.


2021-2022 progress status

Project or Program is started and on track Provide increased engagement opportunities for stakeholders of all ages that build environmental, sustainability and climate awareness and promote leadership within communities including training and capacity building. Project or Program is started and on track Work with Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation (TRCF) to secure funding, community awareness and involvement around TRCA and TRCF priority projects including The Meadoway, Tommy Thompson Park, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Bolton Camp redevelopment and the Look After Where You Live program.
Project or Program is started and on track Develop a greater diversity of nature-based programs to attract a wider range of community participants in TRCA programs. Project or Program is started and on track Engage school boards and governments in discussions on how to achieve cost efficient and equitable access for students to curriculum out of class nature – science based education activities.


Education Programs
Over 118,500 participants were engaged through virtual and in-person education programs.

333 Community Learning events in Durham, Peel, Toronto and York engaged 85 partners and 31,650 participants.

Unforgettable Camp Fun
7 TRCA locations with summer camps provided employment for 46 youth as day camp counsellors. 8,550 campers spent over 76K hrs exploring nature.

summer campers at Claremont Nature Centre use binoculars to search for wildlife
TRCA summer camps once again provided outdoor adventure to youngsters across the Toronto region.

Peel EcoSchools Program
The Peel EcoSchools program supported 202 public schools during the 2021-22 school year. 74% of these schools achieved either Gold or Platinum certification status through EcoSchools Canada.

TRCA support included climate change and certification related grants to 34 Peel EcoSchools, 9 professional development workshops and 5 certification support sessions for 274 educators.

visitors connected with nature by accessing Conservation Parks and Golf programs in 2022

TRCA conservation parks and golf programs welcomed 1.2 million visitors in 2021

Professional Access into Employment (PAIE)
PAIE provided fully virtual job search and corporate culture training as well as hybrid coaching, employment, and mentoring opportunities. Over 145 hrs of profession-specific training, including field trips, was delivered virtually and in-person, by 25 instructors during the 9 month program. 14 PAIE participants received 17 interviews and 11 mentor connections were made with clients to further their career journeys.

Multicultural Connections
The Multicultural Connections Program (MCP) delivered online and in-person presentations to English as a Second Language (ESL), Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) classes, and newcomer groups across the Greater Toronto Area, reaching 2,367 participants.

MCP staff hosted 1 Learn to Canoe Event at the Lake St George Field Centre, 2 half-day Learn to Fish Events at Heart Lake CA, 1 Discovery Walk at Mississauga Valley Park, and 1 Discovery Walk at Black Creek Pioneer Village which engaged 119 newcomer participants across the Greater Toronto Area.

Newcomer Youth Green Economy Program (NYGEP)
NYGEP delivered 48 virtual and in-person workshops, field trips, events and coaching to 77 clients and 2 cohorts. 5 employers mentored participants through real world projects to gain hands on experience. 100% of participants would recommend the program to a friend and 21% reported a salary increase post program.

NYGEP participants take part in turtle release at Heart Lake Conservation Park
NYGEP supports newcomers aged 18-35 interested in exploring career pathways in ecological restoration, water management, green energy/green building, and environmental education

The Meadoway
The Weston Family Foundation continued its generous support for The Meadoway project this year with over $2.4M in donations, supporting an excellent field season and inspiring others to donate to the cause as well. Several individual donors supported the project after interacting with Meadoway staff either on-site or virtually. Multiple site visits were held including ones involving Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation, City of Toronto staff, and elected officials to increase awareness of the project.

Garnering worldwide distinction, The Meadoway won an award for Global Model of Ecological Restoration and Protection, presented by the Global Forum on Human Settlements for Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards


TRCA strategic goal 6 - Tell the story of the Toronto region

Equipped with a strong sense of place, community members are more likely to be champions for their communities, for their local environment, and for conservation. TRCA will help to tell the story of the region’s rich history through a range of voices and perspectives that fully represent the region’s cultural diversity and rich heritage. By engaging communities in this conversation, TRCA will remember, teach and celebrate the experiences that form individual and shared identities.


2021-2022 progress status

Project or Program is started and on track Develop a clear and consistent identity and corporate brand for TRCA and build TRCA’s visibility through formal and informal communication channels. project or program has an issue identified Update TRCA’s Master Plans including our Archaeological Master Plan and Master Plans for specific Conservation Areas with new information obtained from relevant reviews and studies.
project or program has an issue identified Integrate cultural heritage broadly throughout TRCA programming with a focus on fun, learning, and personal stories including those of Indigenous community members. project or program has an issue identified Seek historic designations for TRCA’s buildings, as well as new sources of funding for their restoration, re-use, and maintenance, where applicable.
project or program has an issue identified Continue to engage the region’s diverse communities to tell their stories and recognize their contributions, and develop community events that celebrate cultural heritage. Project or Program is started and on track Focus on developing information that is accessible and engaging using a variety of mediums, including digital technology.


Know Better, Do Better
Through the guidance and consultation of Indigenous Elders, groups and organizations, TRCA continued to expand and strengthen its Indigenous partnerships, working together to raise awareness, knowledge and understanding of Indigenous Treaties, culture, customs, traditional knowledge, and ceremonies. TRCA hosted a series of events in the week leading up to and including the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, providing staff with opportunities to participate both in-person and online in a sacred fire, sharing circle, discussion with a residential school survivor, a sunrise ceremony, a water ceremony, and a community drumming circle.

The Education and Training division organized a well received Professional Development Day with Conservation Halton staff and Indigenous consultants at Crawford Lake, focusing on land acknowledgement and including an introduction to Anishnaabe science and education, a medicine walk, long house tour, and settler engagement with Indigenous peoples and organizations.

Humber River, Heritage Advocacy
As part of the administration team for the Humber River’s Canadian Heritage Rivers System (CHRS) designation, staff continued to work with Indigenous and community partners to promote the cultural heritage and recreational values of the Humber River, including advocating for the protection and recognition of the Carrying Place Trail, an ancient transportation route which traversed the Humber watershed and was first used by First Nations and early settlers to the region. Staff also worked closely with the CHRS Secretariat on updates to the CHRS reporting frameworks for annual and decadal reporting which will be implemented in 2023.

Wiigiwaam Builds
Education staff worked alongside Dr. Hopi Martin to build traditional Ojibwe Wiigiwaams at Claireville Conservation Area and Black Creek Pioneer Village to create space for traditional ceremonies and to connect people with the land. A Wiigiwaam is a Ceremonial shelter, home or teaching lodge that is built with Traditional Ojibwe Teachings. The building process of these structures includes traditional knowledge, ceremony, protocol and teachings.

the building of a traditional Ojibwe Wiigiwaam at Claireville Conservation Area
The building of a traditional Ojibwe Wiigiwaam at Claireville Conservation Area

National Indigenous History Month
Black Creek Pioneer Village hosted Walking Together in June 2022, an educational event for students, recognizing National Indigenous History Month. With participation from the Moccasin Identifier Project, Edge of the Bush, and Jumblies Theatre with Mohawk artist Ange Loft, students were encouraged to learn, reflect, and “walk together” into the future. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, the event provided free participation for 500 students in grades 3–6.

Indigenous “Hope & Healing” Art Installation
Métis sculptor Tracey-Mae Chambers created a temporary large-scale art project inside the home of a settler family located at Black Creek Pioneer Village, where it was viewed by over 10K people over a two-month period. Making a powerful statement on the impact of colonization, Chambers asked visitors to consider how our society can remain hopeful in the face of global unrest.

Spotting Salmon
There are many places in the Toronto Region where you can observe Chinook, Coho, Atlantic Salmon, and Brown Trout migrating up streams and rivers to spawn between September and November. For the last two years, the aquatic monitoring team has engaged the public in reporting their migrating salmon observations. As public salmon observations are received and verified, they appear on our interactive StoryMap and enrich TRCA’s long-term fisheries monitoring records. Approximately 100 public observations were received. Thank you to everyone who contributed!

Migrating salmon at Etienne Brule Park
Migrating salmon at Etienne Brule Park.

Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands Webinar Series and Story Map
Through its Great Lakes Protection Initiative, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) partnered with TRCA to complete a novel climate change vulnerability assessment of coastal wetlands between 2017 and 2022. A total of 20 coastal wetland sites were assessed across the Canadian shores of the Great Lakes, covering a range of wetland types and conditions. The results of this assessment were shared in a five-part webinar series that featured 26 speakers, and was attended by more than 400 people in Canada and the U.S. An interactive StoryMap was created to communicate the results of ECCC’s climate change vulnerability assessment and provide resource managers with solutions to enhance the resilience of Great Lakes coastal wetlands.


TRCA strategic goal 7 - Build partnerships and new business models

Securing stable funding and resources to carry out TRCA’s mandate remains an ongoing priority for the organization. New opportunities for funding and collaborative arrangements are emerging, but at the same time, competition for funding and resources is increasing. The economic landscape that supports TRCA and its work is shifting, and TRCA must continually assess and respond to changes affecting funding and resources.


2021-2022 progress status

project or program has an issue identified Continue to diversify TRCA’s financial capacity by leveraging government funding to attract private sector funding through Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation (TRCF). Project or Program is started and on track Develop a clear and consistent identity and leadership voice for TRCA and build TRCA’s visibility through the Corporate Branding Strategy, media exposure, events, conferences and partnerships.
Project or Program is started and on track Raise the profile of TRCF, by working together to advance priority initiatives. Project or Program is started and on track Establish service rates consistent with other service providers as part of the plan for growing TRCA’s fee-for-service work.
Project or Program is started and on track Advance new business models to maintain assets and ensure efficient program delivery.


Sourcing Solutions
Over $7.3M in partnership funding and grants was received to advance park and trail access and state of good repair projects. The Government of Canada provided over $5.5M for 10 projects through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, representing the single largest investment in TRCA parks and lands infrastructure in decades.

Successful Private Partnerships
Fun draws a crowd and new revenue to Black Creek Pioneer Village. Ell’Events lit the February night skies with walking and driving trails. For a successful 3rd year, Canadian Tire Corporation offered Christmas Trail, a re-imagined North Pole with hundreds of twinkling lights. Together these privately run events brought over 30K guests to the Village.

Marketplace Match, Operational Growth
Albion Hills Field Centre hosted a 3-week immersive experiential learning arrangement. 15 high-schoolers enjoyed land-based teaching to earn credit courses through daily workshops from Indigenous Elders at the Gathering of Nations Summer Camp organized and run by the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s Indigenous Education Department. The Albion Hills food service team and an Indigenous chef enhanced the experience through a curated menu celebrating cultural traditions.

Hollywood in Nature
288 days of film production occurred across the jurisdiction, with long term film shoots hosted at Black Creek Pioneer Village and Claireville Conservation Park. 54 individual filming agreements were executed resulting in $843K in revenue.

Inclusive Recognition
The new Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area, being achieved in partnership by TRCA, Credit Valley Conservation, Peel Region and the City of Mississauga, was honoured with a “Reach Out” Brownie Award celebrating excellence in communications, marketing and public engagement. The award acknowledged the close partnership with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation which has ensured the new area reflects Indigenous traditional knowledge in environmental restoration and creates a sense of place at the City of Mississauga’s newest section of the waterfront. Our commitment to engagement was also demonstrated through local community outreach. TRCA hosted Public Information Centres, managed a direct email channel and provided regular project updates to convey information, capture feedback, respond to questions and encourage involvement.

A rendering of the future Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area in Mississauga
A rendering of the future Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area in Mississauga.

Collaborating in Canada’s Trail Capital
Enhanced trails and amenities were made possible in Uxbridge through funds generated at 4 select trailhead permit parking lots. Funds generated are being directed to state of good repair and service improvement projects through this collaboration with the Township of Uxbridge and the Regional Municipality of Durham.


Funding and Grants program facilitated a total of 82 submissions, with a total request value of over $24.5M.

total request value of 82 grant submissions - 24.5 million dollars  14 million dollars awarded through grant approval  8 million dollars in grant applications awaiting review

TRCA continues to partner with municipalities to leverage our expertise in submitting joint grant applications and implementing shared priority projects.

Student Interest Grows for TRCA Green Training
Enrollment increased by 30% in this second year of the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program’s (STEP) collaboration with McMaster University’s W. Booth School of Engineering to offer a Professional Certificate program centered around low impact development and climate resilience. STEP developed the curriculum and led the delivery of the Low-Impact Development & Climate Resilience program, which is comprised of 8 online (livestream) courses and was completed by over 80 professionals.


TRCA strategic goal 8 - Gather and share the best sustainability knowledge

TRCA is part of a network of thought leaders striving to address a range of urban sustainability issues, including watershed management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and ecosystem conservation. TRCA is recognized for its expertise by researchers, practitioners and community members, and is well positioned to help generate and mobilize the knowledge needed to answer urgent environmental challenges.


2021-2022 progress status

Project or Program is started and on track Deliver knowledge sharing events to professionals in the fields of environmental engineering, restoration ecology and climate change resilience. Project or Program is started and on track Increase collaboration with senior levels of government, academic institutions, private sector and not-for-profit stakeholders to develop leading-edge sustainability knowledge.
Project or Program is started and on track Undertake pilot collaborations with industry, academic institutions and partners to determine and demonstrate which TRCA data are most useful in supporting sustainable practices, and how best to provide access to that data to achieve more sustainable development. Project or Program is started and on track Continue to demonstrate leading-edge community energy efficiency and sustainable design practices in TRCA facilities, including at the Living City Campus at Kortright.
Project or Program is started and on track Bring together agencies, professional organizations, and academic institutions working on protection and restoration in the jurisdiction to maximize efficiencies and to ensure the best science and data is leveraged in the delivery of programs and projects.


TRCA ecosystem and climate science team member conducts urban forestry monitoring
TRCA monitoring program efforts collected more than 2.1M land and water data records in 2022.

Knowledge Sharing and Engagement
Ecosystem and Climate Science Team participated in 71 knowledge sharing events and produced and published 58 reports and articles this year.

Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program (STEP) published 6 articles and blog posts in online media to educate and raise awareness about heat pumps and their role in reducing climate impacts associated with home heating and cooling.

Updated Floodplain Data Matters
98% of flood plain data (1,877 km of watercourse) currently meets the service delivery standard of ensuring that data is no more than 10 years old, which is an improvement over the 95% achieved in 2021.

Land and Water Data
Monitoring program efforts collected over 21M data records this year including more than 170K biodiversity records from approximately 2K monitoring sites. Data and information were presented in more than 65 documents including reports and technical memos to share this knowledge.

Meet the Monitoring Team!
Aquatic Monitoring and Management team hosted a ‘Meet the Monitoring’ team booth at the Adventures of Salmon Festival at Morningside Park on Sunday October 2nd. The festival was well attended with 1.9K+ participants. We promoted the citizen science Spotting Salmon StoryMap, and shared our local fisheries knowledge about salmon and other fish species found in Highland Creek.

West Nile Hotspot Detection
Data collected for TRCA’s West Nile Virus Surveillance and Monitoring Program are used to identify wetlands or stormwater ponds that contain large populations of larval mosquitoes capable of transmitting the virus as biting adults. Similar to previous years, monitoring results showed that most wetlands posed minimal risk for harbouring West Nile Virus vector mosquitoes. However, we did observe occasional larval mosquito hotspots in 3 wetlands and 1 stormwater management pond. With assistance from our regional health partners, control measures were taken to reduce the presence of larvae at these sites.

TRCA staff conduct West Nile Virus surveillance and monitoring in wetlands and stormwater ponds
TRCA staff conduct West Nile Virus surveillance and monitoring in wetlands and stormwater ponds.

Climate Projections for Niagara Region
One of TRCA’s many climate services involves the analysis of complex data to understand what the future climate may look like. TRCA recently partnered with Niagara Region and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority to develop updated regional climate modeling projections to the end of the century. The data and modelling presented in this report will be a useful tool for policy development in the new Niagara Regional Official Plan. It will serve as the foundational dataset and driver for setting climate change adaptation goals.

Climate Leadership
Asset Management Ontario retained TRCA’s services to develop a training course on how to integrate climate change into municipal asset management planning. This course has been incorporated into Asset Management Ontario’s learning management system.

Climate Change Symposium
TRCA’s Climate Change Symposium held in November with 230 participants, featured a multi-disciplinary panel discussion about the impact of climate change on health inequities. The purpose of the symposium was to identify the actions needed – including research, policy, and grassroots mobilization – to address health inequities made worse by climate change in the Greater Toronto Area.

Latornell Lectures
Watershed Planning and Ecosystem Science team staff presented the following 5 topics at the 2022 Latornell Conservation Symposium:

  • Integrating Climate Change into Watershed Plans
  • Natural Heritage System Update
  • Conducting Carbon Calculations with Clarity and Consistency: Using the Natural Asset Carbon Assessment Guide and Toolbox (with Credit Valley Conservation)
  • Co-developing Watershed Plans for Effective Implementation: Case Studies From Toronto and Region
  • Breaking the Mold: Replacing Traditional Stormwater Management Infrastructure with Nature-Based Low Impact Development Designs (with GEI Consultants)


TRCA strategic goal 9 - Measure performance

Measuring Performance at TRCA and in the jurisdiction helps the organization understand what it is doing well and what still needs to be done in order to achieve its goals. TRCA must use what it learns from progress measurement to adjust its policies and priorities, achieve its mandate, improve programs and projects, and reallocate resources to where they will deliver the greatest impact for its stakeholders.


2021-2022 progress status

Project or Program is started and on track Invest in digital technologies which will allow the organization to better measure and communicate TRCA’s value proposition. Project or Program is started and on track Produce updated Watershed and Living City Report Cards on a regular basis and support community-led reporting to ensure stakeholders and community members understand the environmental health of TRCA watersheds.
project or program has an issue identified Improve and enhance the Centralized Planning and Reporting (CPR) database by developing consistent reporting measures including key performance indicators and targets to measure progress towards strategic outcomes and to report on the impact of TRCA work. Project or Program is started and on track Work with industry, government, academic institutions and partners to highlight successful and innovative projects in journals and publications.


Planning and Permit Applications
1,422 permit applications were issued, 87% of them meeting or exceeding the minimum mandated timelines – this despite an 8% increase over permits issued in 2021. TRCA also reviewed and commented on 1,039 planning and concept applications. Positive feedback from quarterly meetings with the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) indicate support for TRCA’s commitment to service delivery excellence.

Project Permits
Reviewed 40 Environmental Assessments (EAs) in 2022 and issued 482 permits for projects approved through the EA process.

Map Tool Helps Users Answer “Is It Regulated?”
38.4% of all Planning and Development webpage views engaged the Regulated Area Search tool to determine if a property is located within TRCA’s Regulated Area.

Ontario Lands Tribunal
Involved in 33 Ontario Land Tribunal cases and 16 appeals were settled by the end of the year, reducing the caseload from 33 to 17.

Updated By-Law
The Administrative By-Law was updated to reflect changes in the Conservation Authorities Act and streamlined to allow for hybrid meetings and electronic participation. A number of updates were made to align with the Municipal Elections Act and Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.

Enforcement and Compliance
Enforcement Officers conducted 5,181 permit compliance inspections related to development and infrastructure permit plans and conditions. An additional 956 property inspections were conducted to address stakeholder complaints and violation sites. A total of 597 complaints were received and addressed. Officers issued 143 violation notices on 130 properties, and successfully resolved 68 violations through negotiations, discussions, removal, restoration, and/or the permit process.

Asset Management
Board approval was obtained for the first Capital Plan for Administration and Public Facing Facilities. The Plan will implement a long-term financial planning framework to safeguard existing service levels by ensuring that state of good repair projects are appropriately tracked for budget requests to TRCA’s municipal funding partners and other stakeholders.

Freedom of Information
Received 42 Freedom of Information Requests in 2022, and worked on 57 requests including those carried over from 2021. 47 requests were closed in 2022, with work on the remainder of requests ongoing.

Annual Audit
TRCA’s 2021 audited financial statements were issued with a clean auditor’s report.

Peel Climate Change KPI Project
In partnership with Credit Valley Conservation and through expert guidance, performance measures have been developed to track, monitor and report on the impacts and effectiveness of projects that receive Region of Peel climate change funding. The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) created were used in an initial assessment involving 40+ reviewers and culminated in the inaugural report. This work enhances collective alignment and accountability, and improves the Region of Peel’s ability to evaluate progress towards their Climate Change Master Plan objectives.

Durham Water Data
Knowledge of water quality in Western Durham is made possible through an expanded monitoring partnership with Durham and York Region, 3 Ontario universities and the federal and provincial governments. 4 ongoing collaborative projects, 15 years of data through 16 maintenance surveys and 76 regional surveys ensure a fulsome understanding of the state of water quality to inform decision making. This year 2 scientific papers were submitted and 3 were published in peer reviewed journals, with another 2 drafted.

Digital System Upgrade
With the procurement process complete, a new web-based cloud platform will transform processes and gain efficiencies through modernized tracking and reporting. The Planning Application Review and Enforcement System (PARES) being developed seeks to significantly improve user and client experience.


TRCA Strategic Goal 10 - Accelerate Innovation

To address the urgent and complex growth and sustainability challenges of the region, TRCA must accelerate the pace of innovation. TRCA must purposefully create the conditions for innovation and continuous improvement and share these innovations with its member municipalities throughout the region to advance shared objectives in sustainability.


2021-2022 progress status

project or program has an issue identified Open TRCA’s head office by 2022, which will demonstrate innovative green building practices. Project or Program is started and on track Seek input from TRCA staff and support their efforts to develop innovations that improve program delivery.
Project or Program is started and on track Expand TRCA’s fee-for-service consulting work to help address member municipality and partner objectives in a financially sustainable way. Project or Program is started and on track Conduct a staff survey on a regular basis to highlight progress on staff related initiatives and to determine opportunities for continuous improvement.
Project or Program is started and on track Develop user-friendly planning tools that identify how flood risks can be reduced and how ecosystems can be protected and restored, recognizing urban growth and climate change. Project or Program is started and on track Work closely with member municipalities, academic institutions and private industry to monitor, evaluate, and pilot new innovative technologies in TRCA’s work.
Project or Program is started and on track Continue to host knowledge sharing events such as the TRCA and International Erosion Control Association (TRIECA) Conference.


construction of new TRCA administrative head office
construction of new TRCA administrative head office
construction of new TRCA administrative head office
construction of new TRCA administrative head office

Office Construction Progress
Construction progressed on the new TRCA administrative office building (see photos above) with finalization of the timber structure and most internal components nearing completion. Exterior landscaping, including grading and sustainability features such as storm water retention and EV charging infrastructure, also advanced. The highly anticipated occupancy for this 4-story industry-leading building centered on user wellbeing criteria is scheduled for late 2023.

Online Maps
Implemented a pilot with Avenza to provide online map resources for Kortright Centre for Conservation and Albion Hills Conservation Park. Users can locate themselves and navigate trails in real time using cell phones and no Internet connection.

TRCA began publishing Flood Plain Mapping data sets to Open Data. Anyone, anywhere, including municipal partners and external stakeholders, can now access this critical planning data.

Smarter Home Heating
Heat pumps have been identified as the primary technology for decarbonizing buildings in line with federal and municipal climate change targets. With a goal of influencing Heat Pump uptake, a communications campaign was led that targeted homeowners, government, contractors, energy auditors and industry practitioners. 10 educational webinars were delivered to 750 live participants and case studies have been downloaded 1.5K times.

Urban Invasives
TRCA partnered with University of Toronto Scarborough, with funding support from Mitacs, to develop and apply prioritization methods for invasive species management in urban areas. First, the research helped identify the priority sites for managing land-based invasive plant species based on 19 criteria using geographic information systems as a tool. Second, the research identified priority invasives species for management within the broader urban context. More than 50 invasive species were ranked and rated against 46 criteria encompassing ecological, economic, and social concerns. Together these 2 peer-reviewed publications outline priority species and priority locations to inform decision-making and help implement TRCA’s Invasive Species Management Strategy.

invasive giant hogweed
Invasive Giant Hogweed.

Eco-Accounting Helps Habitat
New research alert! The Lake Ontario nearshore area in the jurisdiction is being used as a case study to illustrate how an eco-accounting system for habitat banking and restoration can improve aquatic habitat across the Lake Ontario waterfront and Great Lakes as a whole.

Industry Partnership
In collaboration with ROMEX and Unilock, 4 pavement variations, jointing mortars and an industry-leading bedding material is being evaluated at the Kortright Centre for Conservation.

Educators Win Innovation Award

2 staff received the Watershed Interpreters’ Network’s (WIN) Innovation Award recognizing their original and inspiring work with the NatureHood Program. This year’s award recognizes programs that address eco-anxiety and support mental wellbeing through innovative programming and pedagogy. The NatureHood program is a partnership between Nature Canada and TRCA, along with other regional education providers across the country.

The program has engaged 475 people to date, with field trips customized for different demographics, ages and classes.

Webinar Series
The Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program Water Webinar Series saw excellent attendance, achieving enrollment of over 700 participants. The 21-webinar series offered to industry experts covered a range of compelling topics related to green stormwater infrastructure, natural heritage, and management of natural assets.

Infrared Cool Factor
A new article published in Remote Sensing of Environment provides evidence from thermal-based imaging on the cooling benefits of restored forests and other forest fragments and the role they play in moderating the surrounding landscape temperatures. Funded by TRCA and Mitacs, researchers used this innovative technology to study the health of Toronto regional forests over the last two years.


TRCA Strategic Goal 11 - Invest in Our Staff

TRCA employees build and deliver programs, provide service to clients and the public, and respond to the challenges and opportunities that allow TRCA to achieve its mandate. TRCA needs knowledgeable, talented, and motivated staff equipped with tools to undertake complex work efficiently and effectively. With talented workers being increasingly discerning, it is more important than ever for TRCA to invest in hiring, developing, supporting, and retaining high performing staff.


2021-2022 progress status

Project or Program is started and on track Prepare new policies, procedures, standards and guidelines for how TRCA employees interact with the organization and customers. Project or Program is started and on track Strengthen HR and Corporate Services teams to ensure necessary training for staff and to better support employee performance and wellness.
Project or Program is started and on track Introduce streamlined methods for communicating the organization’s key successes and areas for improvement, both internally and for stakeholders. Project or Program is started and on track Encourage interdisciplinary and interdepartmental teams on projects and plans.
Project or Program is started and on track Implement a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) to streamline human resources and payroll services. Project or Program is started and on track Create a TRCA Succession Plan that identifies future leaders and ensures business continuity.


More Strategic Together
TRCA’s new Strategic Plan 2023-2034 received Board of Directors endorsement after nearly two years of collaborative work by TRCA staff. Each of TRCA’s 29 business units had a chance to get involved in the development of our long-term guide. Dozens of meetings, 200+ written responses, 46 subthemes and over 150 indicators evidence this work. Staff engagement continues through the complementary Playbook – our operational manual.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
In March TRCA launched our first People First Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Playbook. Developed through staff participation and Senior Leadership endorsement, it serves as a road map to build a diverse and inclusive workplace. Achievements in each of the 5 DEI Playbook pillars advance the goal of creating a TRCA where all employees are able to reach their full potential and where we can continue to build inclusive programs and services that are reflective of the diverse communities we serve.

Safety is #1
In support of TRCA’s Health and Safety Management System, an annual review was conducted assessing and evaluating legislative changes, accident and injury statistics, training updates, Joint Health and Safety Committee work, violence risk assessments, streaming of processes, Certificate of Recognition certification progress and evaluation of 2022 health and safety objectives. 11 health and safety policies were developed and updated.

Time Well Spent
Employees spent 14,779 hrs growing their skills through internal learning and development training. That’s over 20 hrs per employee. Technical skills topped the category of choice.

The Ecosystem and Climate Science team hosted 9 Lunch and Learns to support internal knowledge sharing, featuring 11 speakers and recording a total of 711 person-hours.

TRCA biologists conducted 2 days of virtual training for staff on Ecological Land Classification, the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System and vegetation identification. 1 field day was also held for staff to implement the training provided. TRCA’s science and monitoring business units also took part in the sessions to increase skill level and capacity within their teams. A total of 30 staff took part in these training sessions.

Supporting Hybrid, Flexible Work
A new desk-booking system and ongoing Office 365 support enables TRCA staff flexible, work-from-anywhere hybrid solutions.

Succession Program
In support of TRCA’s first Succession Development Program (SDP), a fulsome and objective talent review was completed. Program participants were identified through robust talent assessment, with 11 active program participants entering TRCA’s first formal SDP cohort.

Corporate Policies
47 new and updated policies and guidelines were approved and went into effect, with others being advanced by the interdivisional Policy Committee.

Celebrating Staff
An in-person breakfast ceremony at Black Creek Pioneer Village recognized 106 staff for reaching service milestone years. 8 TRCA teams across diverse portfolios were recognized on a dedicated staff recognition page that celebrates tremendous contributions and dedication.

Staying Social
TRCA’s Social Committee engaged staff in 25 events such as games, book club, various contests, guided nature walks, paint night events, and sponsored a photo booth. There were over 300 registrations for social events and over 2.1K page views for social engagement activities.

Phone Systems Go Fully Virtual
TRCA modernized its phone systems in 2022, replacing its legacy services with Microsoft Teams Phone services. This migration leverages the platform’s collaboration features along with direct-dialing capabilities to support a mobile and hybrid workforce.

eSCRIBE Streamlining
TRCA’s Clerks Office undertook a review of our digitally-based meeting management software called eSCRIBE. This review has resulted in improved overall efficiency in disseminating reports to our board and committee members and staff, and boosts transparency and efficiency.


TRCA strategic goal 12 - Facilitate a region-wide approach to sustainability

Around the world, urban regions are becoming connected across their constituent municipal boundaries to tackle pressing sustainability challenges, including greenhouse emissions reduction, climate resilience, transit and transportation, food security, waste management and watershed conservation. TRCA plays an important coordination role on matters that cross municipal boundaries. To achieve shared goals of a green, sustainable, prosperous region, TRCA must build on its history of bringing stakeholders together from across watersheds in the jurisdiction to ensure regional-scale cross-boundary collaboration on today’s challenges.


2021-2022 progress status

Project or Program is started and on track Develop Master Service Agreements and Fee-For-Service Arrangements with member municipalities to help achieve their sustainability objectives. Project or Program is started and on track Ensure that updated TRCA plans and strategies are leveraged in amendments to municipal official plans and in provincial and regional infrastructure initiatives.
Project or Program is started and on track Publish the Living City Report Card and Watershed Report Cards to provide clear indicators of environmental health within the jurisdiction. Project or Program is started and on track Expand the Partners in Project Green Eco-Zone program to include emerging employment areas in the jurisdiction subject to partner funding.


New Regulations, New Municipal MOUs
In order to communicate the implications of the finalized Phase 2 Conservation Authorities Act regulations, TRCA reached out to the CAOs, City Managers and relevant staff of all 17 single-tier, upper-tier and lower-tier municipalities within TRCA’s jurisdiction through formal letters, as well as through staff-to-staff communciations. TRCA also circulated updated template Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and a draft inventory of programs and services to all participating and partner municipalities in order to move forward discussions and agreements on municipally-requested work and to comply with provincial requirements. An MOU was approved and executed with the Town of Stouffville and approved by Council by the Town of Uxbridge.

Lake Ontario Evenings
Nearly 400 public attendees and stakeholders tuned into Lake Ontario Evenings, a free speaker series put on by the Toronto and Region Remedial Action Plan. 2 virtual presentations were held: Lessons Learned in 30 years of Restoration and How Circulation Patterns Affect Water Quality Along the Toronto Waterfront.

Climate Change in the Great Lakes Basin
With an accompanying infographic and video, Climate Change in the Great Lakes Basin: Summary of Trends and Impacts characterizes historical and future climate trends and summarizes climate change impacts within the Great Lakes basin. The report aims to increase understanding of climate change impacts in the Great Lakes basin and share findings with resource managers to address these impacts.

Climate Change in the Great Lakes Basin - Summary of Trends and Impacts

By the end of the century, significant temperature, precipitation, water levels, and ice cover changes are anticipated across the Great Lakes under moderate and high-emissions climate scenarios. Similar climate and hydrological trends were found for all lakes, though each lake may experience these changes differently. The report was developed by members of the GLWQA Climate Impacts Annex Subcommittee, with significant contributions from the Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC) and TRCA.

Coordinating Collaboration
With support from Environment and Climate Change Canada, TRCA will play a coordinator role to advance the Western Lake Ontario Land to Lake (L2L) initiative by bringing stakeholders together to help manage impacts across Western Lake Ontario. An advisory committee will advance dialogue, contribute to strategic planning and identify priorities for actions to improve water quality and ecosystem health in the watersheds and nearshore of Lake Ontario. 40+ Golden Horseshoe resource managers kicked off the initiative in December through a virtual info session.

Enabling Canopy Care
Through partnerships and collaboration, trees and shrubs were surveyed and inventoried across numerous municipalities in the TRCA jurisdiction. Locations include: the Town of Ajax (200 plots), Aurora, King, and Vaughan in York Region (572 plots), and Region of Peel (regional road rights-of-way network, 934 km). The data collected is being analyzed to support regional asset management planning; forest health, maintenance, and management objectives; climate change vulnerability assessments; and ecosystem service and benefit valuation.


aerial view of Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area

Major accomplishments in the completion of the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area project include:

  • A new 142 m long North Island featuring a 100m fish shoal designed for cold water fish
  • The near completion (90%) of the Middle Island’s 121 m where we’re using root wads, boulders, and submerged rock reefs to create new habitat for fish and wildlife
  • Progress (50%) of the South Island’s 131 m of new habitat
  • A total of 3,247 trees and shrubs planted and 1,814 aquatic plants installed on location

Over the course of the project, TRCA has placed over 182,900 t of quarry materials, 34,750 truckloads of recycled concrete and brick/block rubble, and over 1.6M m3 of fill material.


teacher and students enjoy opportunity for learning in nature

Looking Forward

Advancing Sustainable Development – More Important Than Ever

In November, TRCA’s Strategic Plan 2023-2034 received Board of Directors endorsement. The new Strategic Plan is organized along the following four strategic pillars and 16 total outcomes.

TRCA Strategic Plan 2023-2034 Pillar 1 - Environmental Protection and Management

1.1   Deliver provincially mandated services pertaining to natural hazards including flood and erosion

1.2   Leadership in greenspace conservation

1.3   Maintain healthy and resilient watershed ecosystems in the face of a changing climate

1.4   Balance development and growth to protect the natural environment ensuring safe sustainable development

TRCA Strategic Plan 2023-2034 Pillar 2 - Knowledge Economy

2.1   Research and development that drives innovation and climate-based solutions

2.2   Collaboration to advance a green transition

2.3   Advocacy and adaptability in the face of policy pressures

2.4   Integrate environmental considerations and science into decision making

TRCA Strategic Plan 2023-2034 Pillar 3 - Community Prosperity

3.1   Connect communities to nature and greenspace

3.2   A culture of diversity, equity and inclusion contributing to community wellbeing

3.3   Informed citizens are conservation champions

3.4   Inspired communities take environmental action

TRCA Strategic Plan 2023-2034 Pillar 4 - Service Excellence

4.1   A strong and skilled workforce

4.2   Provide and manage an efficient and adaptable organization

4.3   Responsive relationships and a trusted brand with a reputation for excellence

4.4   Transparent decision making and accountable results



cyclists enjoy the benefits of active transportation


TRCA jurisdiction map with board members listed by regional municipality



Don Sinclair
Don Sinclair


Kevin Ashe
Kevin Ashe
Joanne Dies
Joanne Dies
Gord Highet
Gord Highet


Dipika Damerla
Dipika Damerla
Chris Fonseca
Chris Fonseca
Jennifer Innis
Jennifer Innis (Chair)
Michael Palleschi
Michael Palleschi
Rowena Santos
Rowena Santos


Paul Ainslie
Paul Ainslie
Shelley Carroll
Shelley Carroll
Ronald Chopowick
Ronald Chopowick
Jennifer Drake
Jennifer Drake
Paula Fletcher
Paula Fletcher
Mark Grimes
Mark Grimes
Xiao Han
Xiao Han
Maria Kelleher
Maria Kelleher
Mike Layton
Mike Layton
Nick Mantas
Nick Mantas
Josh Matlow
Josh Matlow
Basudeb Mukherjee
Basudeb Mukherjee
James Pasternak
James Pasternak
Anthony Perruzza
Anthony Perruzza
Connie Tang
Connie Tang
Estair Van Wagner
Estair Van Wagner


Joe DiPaola
Joe DiPaola
Jack Heath
Jack Heath (Vice Chair)
Linda Jackson
Linda Jackson
Steve Pellegrini
Steve Pellegrini
Gino Rosati
Gino Rosati




TRCA chief executive officer John MacKenzie
Chief Executive Officer
John MacKenzie
TRCA chief financial and operating officer Michael Tolensky
Corporate Services
Michael Tolensky – Chief Financial and Operating Officer
TRCA Director - Conservation Parks and Lands - Richard Ubbens
Conservation Parks and Lands
Richard Ubbens – Director
TRCA director - Development and Engineering Services - Sameer Dhalla
Development and Engineering Services
Sameer Dhalla – Director
TRCA education and training director Darryl Gray
Education and Training
Darryl Gray – Director
TRCA Policy Planning director Laurie Nelson
Policy Planning
Laurie Nelson – Director
TRCA Restoration and Infrastructure director Anil Wijesooriya
Restoration and Infrastructure
Anil Wijesooriya – Director
TRCA chief human resources officer Natalie Blake
Human Resources
Natalie Blake – Chief Human Resources Officer



The achievement of safe and resilient communities.


The provincial leader in conserving, restoring and managing natural resources
to advance safe and sustainable development.


Working with government and the communities we serve to achieve
collective impact and advance shared goals.

Core Behaviours

We are honest, ethical, and professional.

We achieve shared goals through a solution-oriented approach.

We are responsible for our actions, behaviours and results.

We recognize and value that our difference make us stronger and we commit to creating a
diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace that celebrates individual contributions to provide dignity for all.

We maintain a high standard of performance and customer service, consistently striving
to improve and produce quality work.



Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation

Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation raises funds for projects that protect and restore nature, preserve cultural heritage, and strengthen communities in the Toronto region. Your donation will support our dream of making the Toronto Region the most livable city in the world.

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