Patterson Creek Sanitary Infrastructure Protection Project

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), in partnership with the Regional Municipality of York, is implementing infrastructure protection works along Patterson Creek, in the City of Richmond Hill, in order to provide long-term protection to at-risk sanitary sewer infrastructure.
Project Location

The Patterson Creek Sanitary Infrastructure Protection Project is located along two distinct sections of the Patterson Creek watercourse, situated within the Don River watershed.

Both project areas are located northeast of Bathurst Street and Carrville Road, in the City of Richmond Hill. Sites I-075 and P-1005 are located within private and municipally owned property at the rear of Grist Mills Park. Sites I-070 and P-107 are situated within municipally owned property at the rear of the Richvale Community Centre and Athletic Park and St. Charles Garnier Catholic School. The areas will be referred to as Grist Mill and Richvale sites respectively.

map showing the location of the project
Figure 1. Project location map. Source: TRCA, 2020.
Learn More About This Project

Project Background

In 2011, TRCA developed the Infrastructure Hazard Monitoring Program (IHMP). The purpose of the IHMP is to ensure timely identification of risk to infrastructure due to watercourse activity (i.e. channel migration, widening, etc.) and efficient prioritization and mitigation of such risks in collaboration with stakeholders.

The IHMP broadly divides watercourse erosion risks into two types of sites: intersection sites to assess the risk of bed erosion where the sewer crosses a watercourse, and proximity sites to assess the risk of bank erosion and lateral channel adjustments in close vicinity to the infrastructure. Intersection sites are categorized using an “I-” identifier, while proximity sites are categorized using a “P-” identifier.

In regards to this particular project, the infrastructure at risk includes a 525 mm diameter sanitary main, owned by the Regional Municipality of York, which was installed in October 1971. Over the past 49 years, Patterson Creek naturally migrated within the flood plain and has shifted over or in close proximity to the sanitary main and associated maintenance holes. As such, the IHMP identified Sites I-075, P-1005, I-070, and P-107 as requiring remedial works where sanitary infrastructure is exposed or at the immediate risk of exposure within Patterson Creek. Remediation works are necessary at these sites to protect the infrastructure and the environment from sewer exposure.

Exposed maintenance hole chimney on the east bank of Patterson Creek at Site I-075
Figure 2. Exposed maintenance hole chimney on the east bank of Patterson Creek at Site I-075. Source: TRCA, 2018.
Exposed maintenance hole chimney on the east bank of Patterson Creek at Site P-1005.
Figure 3. Exposed maintenance hole chimney on the east bank of Patterson Creek at Site P-1005. Source: TRCA, 2018.
Displaced concrete weir (proposed to be removed) at the upstream portion of Site P-107 where the sanitary line is at risk of exposure.
Figure 4. Displaced concrete weir (proposed to be removed) at the upstream portion of Site P-107 where the sanitary line is at risk of exposure. Source: TRCA, 2018.
Erosion at Site I-070 where the sanitary line crosses the watercourse and is at risk of exposure.
Figure 5. Erosion at Site I-070 where the sanitary line crosses the watercourse and is at risk of exposure. Source: TRCA, 2018.

In 2017, TRCA retained Palmer to conduct a scoped geomorphic and environmental impact assessment of the proposed project area. Following completion of the study, detailed designs utilizing natural channel design principles were developed throughout 2018.

The remedial designs have been refined through consultation with multiple Regulatory agencies to provide adequate protection to sanitary infrastructure, while at the same time providing an overall ecological benefit to the area. Implementation will be completed in two phases as described the following sections.

Funding for the geomorphic study and detailed design development of these remedial works has been provided through the Clean Water and Wastewater Funding (CWWF) Grant Program from Infrastructure Canada and Infrastructure Ontario. For more information regarding the CWWF program, please click here.

Scope of Work 
  • Geomorphic study and Environmental Impact Statement (completed in 2017)
  • Development of detailed design (completed summer – winter 2018)
  • Obtain all necessary and approvals to proceed to construction (winter 2018 – spring 2019)
  • Phase 1: tree removals at Grist Mill and Richvale sites (late March 2020)
  • Phase 2: construction of remedial erosion control and infrastructure protection works at Grist Mill and Richvale sites (June to November 2020)
Construction Information

Phase 2 erosion control and infrastructure protection works began in June 2020.

What can you expect during Phase 2?
  • Phase 2 works will take place from June to November 2020. Construction crews and machinery will be working Monday to Friday at both the Grist Mill and Richvale sites during the day. Occasional work may take place during the day on Saturday or as required to maintain the site and equipment
  • At times, there may be construction related noise, dust and traffic
  • In-water construction works requires the work area and watercourse to be isolated for environmental protection and worker safety. As a result, the watercourse will be temporarily bypassed around the work area during in-water construction. Channel by-pass equipment will be required to operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week during in-water works
  • Some trails within the Richvale Athletic Park will be closed during Phase 2. The trail closure and detour routes are shown in the map linked below
  • The Grist Mill Park bocce court will be closed during Phase 2
  • Following completion of the project, the trails and the bocce court will be restored

Please see the maps below for information about work areas and trail closures:

For your safety, please respect all posted construction signs and stay clear of the work areas and equipment. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Public Consultation

The project has been developed under a Schedule A+ Municipal Class Environmental Assessment.

TRCA will notify all residential and commercial properties within the vicinity of the project area through a hand delivered Notice of Construction (NOC). Project information signs, which will include details regarding trail closures, will be installed at the adjacent park entrances and/or access route points.

Please see the link below to view the public consultation documents for this project:

Project Updates

Week of September 21, 2020

Construction equipment is now off-site at Richvale Athletic ParkThe fencing around the multi-use trail has been removed and the permanent trail is now open. The temporary trail and other areas disturbed by construction activities have been mechanically seeded with grass seed. Please stay off these areas to reduce creating ruts and imprints and to allow the grass to come in. There will be a temporary closure to complete minor repairs to the asphalt trail later in the fall.   

Site demobilization is ongoing at Grist Mill Park and fencing will remain in place until the new bocce court is built this fallThis website will be updated with the timing once this work has been scheduled. 

In OctoberTRCA Staff from the Restoration and Resource Management division will be completing major replanting efforts at each of the sites. Orange fencing has already been erected around some of the planting areas to reduce human and animal interference of the new plants once they’re in the ground. Please give these plants a chance to grow by staying out of the fenced areas. The fence will be removed in the fall of 2021 once plants have established. 

Thank you for your patience and cooperation throughout construction! 

Reopened trail at Richvale Athletic Park
Orange fence erected in advance of restoration plantings along the reopened multi-use trail at Richvale Athletic Park

Week of August 24, 2020

TRCA staff have successfully completed erosion control and infrastructure protection work at sites P-1005 and I-075 within the Grist Mill Park and Richvale Athletic Park project areas. Site restoration, including restoration of the Grist Mill Park bocce courts, is now underway and will be completed in the fall of 2020, as weather conditions permit. The Grist Mill Park bocce court and select trails within the Richvale Athletic Park will remain closed until construction equipment is off-site. Please see the project area maps linked above for more information.

Throughout the work week, Monday-Friday, there will continue to be minor construction activities. Construction equipment and delivery trucks will continue to travel to and from the site and along Avenue Road and Kersey Crescent.

For your safety, please respect all posted construction signs and stay clear of the work areas and equipment. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

completed channel work at Site P-1005
Figure 6. Site P-1005 within the Grist Mill Park project area with newly realigned channel.
Completed channel work at I-070
Figure 7. Site I-070 within the Richvale Athletic Park project area with newly realigned channel and revetment.

Week of August 3, 2020

TRCA construction staff have successfully completed work at sites I-075 and P-107 within the Grist Mill Park and Richvale Athletic Park project areas. Staff have commenced erosion control and infrastructure protection works at sites P-1005 and I-075.

The Grist Mill Park bocce court and select trails within the Richvale Athletic Park will remain closed for the remainder of construction. Please see the project area maps linked above for more information.

Throughout the work week, Monday-Friday, there will be construction related noise and traffic within the parkland and along the watercourses. Material delivery trucks will also be travelling along Avenue Road and Kersey Crescent for the duration of construction.

For your safety, please respect all posted construction signs and stay clear of the work areas and equipment. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Figure 8. Site I-075 at Grist Mill Park with newly installed vegetated boulder revetment and cedar sweeps fish habitat treatment.
Figure 9. Constructed channel realignment at Site P-107 in Richvale Athletic Park with coarse woody debris fish habitat treatment, vegetated boulder revetment and riffle-pool sequences.

Week of June 29, 2020

TRCA construction crews are on site preparing to begin erosion control and infrastructure protection works at both the Grist Mill Park and the Richvale Athletic Park project areas.

The Grist Mill Park bocce court and select trails within the Richvale Athletic Park are now closed. A temporary pedestrian trail has been created off Avenue Road in Richvale Athletic Park as a detour trail route for park users. Please see the map below for temporary trail information at Richvale Athletic Park.

Throughout the work week, Monday-Friday, there will be construction related noise and traffic within the parkland and along the watercourses. Material delivery trucks will also be travelling along Avenue Road and Kersey Crescent for the duration of construction.

For your safety, please respect all posted construction signs and stay clear of the work areas and equipment. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

map showing trail closures in richvale athletic park
Figure 10. Location of temporary pedestrian trail at Richvale Athletic Park. Source: TRCA, 2020.

Week of May 25, 2020

Phase 2 of the project is scheduled to start in mid-June 2020, pending the receipt of final approvals. Phase 2 work includes the construction of remedial erosion control works to protect sanitary infrastructure at two sites near Grist Mill Park and Richvale Athletic Park. The project is expected to be completed in November 2020.

The Grist Mill Park bocce court and select trails within the Richvale Athletic Park will be closed for the duration of the Phase 2 works. Please refer to the maps linked above, in the Construction Information section, for more details.

A Phase 2 Notice of Construction flyer with information about the upcoming works has been mailed to community residents.

Week of April 20, 2020

Phase 1 of the project has now been completed. Phase 1 works included tree removals and access preparations.

Phase 2 of the project will commence in June 2020, pending the receipt of final approvals. Final site restoration is scheduled for fall 2020, as weather conditions permit. Restoration includes repaving of the local trails, restoring the bocce court and installing over 1000 native trees and shrubs within the community.

A Notice of Construction flyer will be sent out by mail, this spring, to provide community residents with more information regarding Phase 2 of the project. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.

TRCA crew member conducting tree removal work
Figure 11. TRCA crew performing tree removal work at the Grist Mill restoration site. Source: TRCA, 2020.

Week of March 9, 2020

Phase 1 of the project, which involves tree removals, will take place in late March 2020. The tree removals are required to facilitate Phase 2 remedial works, which are scheduled for summer 2020. These works are required to protect sanitary infrastructure and the environment from the risk of sewer exposure in Patterson Creek.

Phase 2 of the project includes the improvement of park amenities and local habitat following the construction of remedial works. Local improvements include the restoration of the Grist Mill Park bocce court, trail improvements and installation of 1000 native plants across the community.

Week of June 24, 2019

Implementation at I-070/P-107 and P-1005/I-075 has been postponed to summer 2020, pending the receipt of all permits and approvals. Please check back here for further updates closer to construction.

Contact Us

The Project Planning Team is located at TRCA’s Boyd Field Centre Office in Vaughan:

Restoration and Infrastructure Division, Erosion Risk Management
9755 Canada Company Avenue
Vaughan, Ontario
L4H 0A3

For more information regarding this project, please use the contact details outlined below:
Phil Wolfraim, Project Manager 
Erosion Risk Management
Engineering Projects, Restoration & Infrastructure Division
phil.wolfraim@trca.ca
416.661.6600