Black Creek Tributary Behind Appletree Court and Seeley Drive – Phase 2

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), in partnership with the City of Toronto, is undertaking erosion control and slope stabilization works behind Appletree Court and Seeley Drive to protect at-risk essential structures located adjacent to and within the Seeley Greenbelt.

Project Location

The project site encompasses a City of Toronto owned valley corridor known as the Seeley Greenbelt. The site is located southwest of Sheppard Avenue West and Keele Street, in the City of Toronto. A tributary of Black Creek is located within the valley which conveys stormwater from the surrounding area into Black Creek.

The project limits outlining the Phase 1 & Phase 2 work areas. Erosion control and slope stabilization works for Phase 1 were completed in 2018. TRCA intends to undertake work in the remainder of the channel for Phase 2.

Learn More About the Project

Project Background

Concerns regarding riverine and valley slope erosion behind Appletree Court were first identified to TRCA following the July 8th, 2013 severe weather event. This storm resulted in a major slope failure below Appletree Court as well as damage to private residential properties at the top of the slope. Further inspection of the site revealed ongoing erosion issues within the channel including exposure of municipal sanitary infrastructure.

Slope failure below Appletree Court. Source: TRCA, 2013.
Exposed sanitary manhole within the Seeley Greenbelt. Source: TRCA, 2015.

TRCA undertook various investigations to determine the extent of risk to essential infrastructure in the Seeley Greenbelt over the long term. Based on the results of these investigations, it was determined that several private residential dwellings, as well as City of Toronto sanitary infrastructure, were at risk from the hazards of erosion and slope instability should no remedial works be undertaken.

In order to address this risk, TRCA initiated the Black Creek Tributary Behind Appletree Court and Seeley Drive Erosion Control & Slope Stabilization Project (the “Project”) to provide long-term, low maintenance protection to at-risk essential structures adjacent to and within the Seeley Greenbelt. In an effort to address the highest risk areas first, work was divided into two phases.

TRCA completed Phase 1 works in May 2018. Phase 1 works included the construction of a rubble-fill buttress with bank protections to stabilize the valley slope below Appletree Court. The scope of work also included erosion control measures within the channel in the form of bank and bed protections to protect nearby municipal sanitary sewer infrastructure. TRCA completed post-construction monitoring of the Phase 1 limits and undertook repairs for any minor post-construction deficiencies through 2019 and 2020.

Phase 1 rubble-fill buttress slope stabilization solution mid-construction. Source: TRCA, 2018.
Phase 1 site and access road mid-construction. Source: TRCA, 2018.

Phase 1 and Phase 2 have been planned in accordance with Conservation Ontario’s flood-and-erosion-control-projects”>Class Environmental Assessment for Remedial Flood and Erosion Control Projects (amended 2013) (Class EA), the approved planning process for this type of undertaking. The following diagram provides an overview of the Class EA process.

An overview of the planning process for Conservation Ontario’s Class Environmental Assessment for Remedial Flood and Erosion Control Projects (amended 2013). Source: TRCA, 2018.

The following alternative solutions were developed and evaluated by TRCA as part of the Class EA process for Phase 2 of the Project:

Alternative 1 – ‘Do Nothing”

Alternative 2 – Sewer Realignment

Alternative 3 – Repair and Protect In-Place

Alternative 4 – Channel Relocation and Modification

The results of the Class EA evaluation indicate that Alternative 2 – Sewer Realignment is the preferred alternative solution to address erosion and slope stability hazards within Phase 2 project limits. TRCA intends to file the Class EA Project Plan for Phase 2 for the 30 day review period in 2021.

*Please note the public review period has been extended from 30 days to 60 days given the disruption to many sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TRCA will make every effort to provide alternative means of distributing reports for public review given the closure of public libraries.

Scope of Work

The objective of Phase 2 is to relocate at-risk sanitary sewer infrastructure outside of the erosion hazard limits, with a secondary benefit of providing protection to private properties on Seeley Drive. TRCA will prioritize approaches that will provide aquatic habitat benefits to the tributary once the old sanitary sewer and maintenance holes within and adjacent to the channel are decommissioned. Full Project site restoration will be carried out upon completion of Phase 2 works. The 2021-2022 scope of work for this project includes:

  1. Filing the Phase 2 Class EA Project Plan for a public review period *
  2. Developing detailed designs for Phase 2 works
  3. Securing necessary permits and approvals required to proceed to Phase 2 construction

Construction Information

Construction for Phase 2 works is anticipated to commence in 2023, pending receipt of all necessary permits and approvals. The machine access route and stockpiling area south of Sunfield Road which was used for Phase 1 has been left in place to support construction access for Phase 2.

Public Notices

PHASE 1:

  • Notice of Intent (NOI) – TRCA formally initiated this phase of the project in 2015.
  • Community Liaison Committee (CLC):
    • CLC Meeting #1 – TRCA held the first CLC meeting on January 21, 2016 to present the results of the investigations completed to date. Staff discussed the preliminary alternative erosion control and slope stabilization solutions for Phase 1.
    • CLC Meeting #2 – TRCA held the second CLC meeting on September 27, 2016 to present the preferred alternative solution for erosion control and slope stabilization works to remediate the Phase 1 area.
  • Notice of Filing (NOF) – TRCA issued a NOF on June 19, 2017 to notify interested stakeholders that the Class EA Project Plan, which outlined the evaluation of alternative solutions and identified the preferred solution, had been submitted for the 30-day public review period.
  • Notice of Project Approval (NOA) – TRCA issued an NOA on August 4, 2017 to notify interested stakeholders that no concerns were received during the review period.
  • Notice of Construction (NOC) – TRCA issued a NOC on August 15, 2017 to notify interested stakeholders of construction activities for Phase 1
  • Notice of Project Completion (NOPC) – TRCA published a NOPC on July 23, 2020 to notify interested stakeholders of the completion of Phase 1 activities and the intention to move forward with Phase 2 works.

PHASE 2:

  • NOI – TRCA published an NOI in 2019 to formally initiate Phase 2 of the Project.
  • Technical Steering Committee (TSC) – Due to limited expressed community interest in Phase 2 works, TRCA opted to hold a TSC Meeting in lieu of a CLC to discuss the range of preliminary alternative solutions and select the preferred alternative solution. Attendees at the TSC included technical reviewers from TRCA, City of Toronto, and TRCA’s engineering consultant, Ecosystem Recovery Inc.
  • NOF – TRCA will publish a NOF to notify interested stakeholders that the Class EA Project Plan has been submitted for the 60-day public review period. TRCA intends to file the Project Plan in 2021.
  • NOC – Following the completion of planning activities, TRCA will distribute a NOC to notify the local community and project stakeholders of the Project’s construction timeline.

Progress Updates

March 2021

TRCA is working towards finalizing the Project Plan to file for the 60 day public review period.

Contact Us

For more information regarding this project, please contact:

Courtney Rennie, Senior Project Manager 
Erosion Risk Management
Restoration & Infrastructure
101 Exchange Avenue, Vaughan, Ontario L4K 5R6
Email: courtney.rennie@trca.ca
Phone: 416-661-6600 ext. 5523