Bluffer’s Park Southwest Headland and Beach Major Maintenance

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is undertaking repair and remediation works on two erosion control structures in Bluffer’s Park in order to provide long-term protection to Bluffer’s Park Marina and the park interior.

Project Location

The Project Area is located in Bluffer’s Park at the base of Brimley Road South on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in the City of Toronto. The area of concern includes the southwest headland and adjacent beach located near Bluffer’s Park Marina.

Bluffer’s Park Southwest Headland and Beach Major Maintenance Project Area. Source: TRCA, 2017

Learn More About the Project

Project Background

Erosion control structures along the shoreline of Bluffer’s Park include a series of headlands, beaches, and revetments. The southwest headland and adjacent beach were constructed in the late 1970’s as part of the development of Bluffer’s Park. Over the past 45 years, these structures have deteriorated through the displacement of armourstone, the loss of beach material due to abrasion, the erosion of backshore material, wave overtopping, and ice effects. TRCA annual monitoring records show that the southwest headland and beach have been listed as in fair/poor condition and recommended for major maintenance since 2009.

Southwest Headland

In 2010, TRCA retained Shoreplan Engineering to undertake a Shoreline Conditions Review. The report revealed that the instability of the headland was likely caused by a combination of toe instability, lack of a consistent double layer placement of armourstone in various areas, lack of sufficient filter layering below the primary armourstone, oversteepened structure slope, and wave overtopping.

Bluffer's Park Headland
Condition of headland, showing displacement of stone material. Source: TRCA, 2017.

The beach has experienced significant erosion along its sandy backshore resulting in an oversteepened bank. The 2010 Shoreline Conditions Review attributed this erosion to a lack of coarse material to provide stability as well as a limited beach width to dissipate waves before reaching the back portion of the bank. In May of 2017, Lake Ontario experienced record high lake levels, impacting many areas of the shoreline and causing further erosion to occur along the backshore of the beach.

erosion on Bluffer's Park shoreline
Erosion along the backshore area of the beach. Source: TRCA, 2017.

Scope of Work

The goal of the project is to restore and enhance the original erosion protection capabilities of the headland and beach by repairing the structures. The headland will be repaired by adding another layer of armourstone over top of the existing structure. This will strengthen the structure to better allow it to absorb the energy of wave impacts.

Example of an armourstone headland in good repair. Source: TRCA, 2018.

The beach will be repaired by the addition of a large amount of cobbles, which will extend into the lake. The cobbles will provide dynamic protection by dissipating the wave energy and by allowing the wave action to naturally reshape the beach.

Example of a cobble beach. Source: TRCA, 2018.

Completed steps:

  • Construction of Phase I (Interim Repairs): Completed in December 2016
  • Construction of Phase II (Beach): Completed in October 2018

Next steps include:

  • Construction of Phase III (Headland): Date – Summer of 2020

Construction Information

Construction details will be updated when Phase III of the project begins. This phase is currently scheduled for summer of 2020, but timelines may be subject to change.

Public Consultation

Construction Notices

To view the construction notices, follow the links below:

Notice of Construction (Phase II)

Class Environmental Assessment

In 2017, TRCA initiated a Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA), planned in accordance with Conservation Ontario’s Class Environmental Assessment for Remedial Flood and Erosion Control Projects (amended 2013). A Notice of Intent initiating the project was published in the Scarborough Mirror on October 26, 2017 and in the Bluffs Monitor on October 31, 2017.

As part of the Class EA process, TRCA retained Shoreplan Engineering to review existing conditions, complete a wave hindcasting analysis, and develop alternative concepts for the repair of the structures within the Project Area.

To assist with the evaluation of the alternative options and provide input into the planning and design process, a Community Liaison Committee (CLC) was formed. The CLC was an integral part of the Class EA process as it allowed community members the opportunity to participate in the evaluation of alternative options. A CLC meeting was held on December 7, 2017 where interested community members were invited to attend and comment on the presented preferred alternatives.

Through the Class EA process, the preferred solution for the headland was identified as the “Repair” option, which will include repair of the headland by filling existing voids with appropriate materials and capping the existing structure with a second layer of armourstone. The preferred alternative for the beach was identified as the “Cobble Beach with Optional Shoal” option, which will include recharging the beach with cobble material to create a stable beach profile; a shoal extending outward from the headland is recommended to help contain the beach.

Upon identifying the preferred solutions, TRCA completed an environmental analysis and has worked with partner organizations to inform the design process. TRCA has prepared a Class EA Project Plan which outlines the process utilized in selecting the preferred alternatives and evaluates the environmental impacts of the selected approach. A Notice of Completion was published in the Scarborough Mirror on May 3, 2018 inviting interested community members, as well as regulatory agencies, to review and comment on the Class EA Project Plan. No community or regulatory comments were received during this period.

The Class EA public documents can be read using the links below.

Class EA Project Plan 
Notice of Intent 
CLC Meeting #1
Notice of Completion 

Progress Updates

Update: August 9, 2018

Construction of Phase II of the project, which includes the repair of the cobble beach, began in July 2018. The material is being delivered using a barge, allowing trucks to place the material directly on the beach. The material is being distributed and spread using excavators.

Delivery of cobble material by barge. Source: TRCA, 2018.
Delivery of cobble material by barge. Source: TRCA, 2018.

Update: September 19, 2018

Most of the cobble material has been placed and much of it has been shaped. The eastern portion of the beach is almost complete.

View of beach from eastern limit showing the shaped material. Source: TRCA, 2018.

Update: October 16, 2018

Phase II has been completed. All of the cobble material has been placed on the beach and soil has been added to the backshore and seeded. Construction fencing has been removed and the site is accessible to members of the public once again.

Completed cobble beach structure at near Bluffer’s Park Marina. Source: TRCA, 2018
Open access road and newly-seeded area covered with straw matting. Source: TRCA, 2018.

Contact Us

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

Restoration and Infrastructure Division, Engineering Projects
9755 Canada Company Avenue
Vaughan, Ontario
L4H 0A3

For more information regarding this project, please contact Jet Taylor, Senior Project Manager:

Jet Taylor, Senior Project Manager 
Engineering Projects
Restoration & Infrastructure Division