Ashbridges Bay Park East Headlands Major Maintenance Project

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), in partnership with the City of Toronto, is undertaking major maintenance works on three existing shoreline erosion control structures along Lake Ontario within Ashbridges Bay Park in order to protect against the hazards of shoreline erosion and address public safety concerns.

Project Location

The Project Area is located within Ashbridges Bay Park, in the City of Toronto. The closest major intersection is Coxwell Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East. The area of concern includes three existing shoreline erosion control structures (two headlands and a beach), located at the eastern limit of the park, south of Woodbine Beach.

Map of the project area within Ashbridges Bay Park
Map of the project area within Ashbridges Bay Park. Source: TRCA, 2022.

Learn More About the Project

Project Background

Aerial view of the project area in Ashbridges Bay Park
2023-05-10_Aerial view of the project area in Ashbridges Bay Park. Source: TRCA, 2023.

Ashbridges Bay Park is a unique artificial landform that was created as part of a lakefill project to expand lands east of Coatsworth Cut, following the development of the Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant.

After development, the park was opened to the public in 1977. Today, the park is used for its many amenities including an intricate trail system, marina, fishing boardwalks and picnic areas.

Erosion control structures along the shoreline of Ashbridges Bay Park have been subjected to constant wave action, ice effects and flooding since its construction.

The structures within the Project Area include two headlands and a beach. These structures and the other nearby erosion control structures have been monitored annually since 2006 as part of TRCA’s Erosion Risk Management Program (ERMP).

In the spring of 2017, Lake Ontario experienced record high water levels, which exacerbated erosion issues along the entire Toronto shoreline. On April 14-15, 2018, a severe ice storm caused high wave conditions resulting in heavy damage to many shoreline erosion control structures.

The structures within the Project Area experienced damage during both severe weather events and were inspected under the ERMP in 2019. The beach was identified to be in a failing condition with displacement of rip rap material and scouring evident throughout the structure. This structure was listed as the highest priority for major maintenance works due to proximity of backshore erosion to the park trail. Both headlands were identified as at-risk with displacement of armourstone material evident along both structures.

Due to the continuing instability of the area and deficiencies observed along the erosion control structures, major maintenance works must be undertaken in the Project Area in order to mitigate the risk to public safety.

In 2022, TRCA retained Shoreplan, a coastal engineering consulting firm, to develop detailed designs for maintenance of the two headlands and beach within the Project Area to address the ongoing shoreline erosion and public safety hazards. Detailed designs are currently being developed.

Backshore erosion along the beach
Backshore erosion along the beach. Source: TRCA, 2022.

Backshore erosion and displacement of material on the north headland
Backshore erosion and displacement of material on the north headland. Source: TRCA, 2022.

Scope of Work

The goal of the project is to restore and enhance the erosion control capabilities of the headlands and beach by repairing the existing structures.

The general scope/sequence of work for this project includes the following:

  • Complete a baseline inventory of the Project Area
  • Detailed design development to reinforce the existing shoreline erosion control structures, increase resiliency to wave effects and impacts of changing lake levels, as well as promoting aquatic habitat enhancement in Lake Ontario
  • Acquire necessary permits and approvals required to proceed to construction
  • Site setup, including tree removals, installation of Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) measures and construction fencing, installation of tree protection, and the establishment of staging/stockpiling areas.
  • Excavation of the existing structures and implementation of a new structures through construction of two armourstone headlands and a cobble beach
  • Placement of habitat stones to promote aquatic habitat development
  • Site restoration and demobilization

Construction Information

The project is currently in the detailed design phase. More details will be available once the final designs are developed. Work is tentatively scheduled to commence in 2025, pending receipt of all permits and approvals.

To ensure public safety, the project area will remain closed for the duration of construction activities. Further information on any trail closures will be provided once access routes and staging areas are established following design development.

Public Notices

Prior to implementation, Notices of Construction will be placed at various locations surrounding the project area. Stakeholders and members of the community will also be notified prior to construction.

Project Updates

Progress updates will be posted regularly upon commencement of construction activities.

Contact Us

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

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

For more information regarding this project, please contact the Project Manager:

Danielle Dellandrea, Project Manager
Erosion Risk Management
Restoration & Infrastructure
(416) 786-5064