Ashbridges Bay Landform Project

Ashbridges Bay on the north shore of Lake Ontario is a vibrant community with a host of land and water-based recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.

The purpose of the Ashbridges Bay Landform Project is to address the existing navigation risk caused by sediment accumulation at the harbour entrance of Coatsworth Cut, while considering approved projects and waterfront planning initiatives in the area, managing shoreline erosion along the northeast shore of Tommy Thompson Park, and providing enhancements to the aquatic habitat.

STATUS REPORT

The first phase (Step 1) in the Ashbridges Bay Landform Project involved the completion and approval of the Ashbridges Bay Erosion and Sediment Control Class Environmental Assessment (EA) in 2015.

The EA was initiated by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), in partnership with the City of Toronto, in 2013 and sought to address the existing navigation risk caused by sediment disposition at the harbour entrance at Coatsworth Cut, while additionally considering approved projects and waterfront planning initiatives in the area.

The detailed design phase of the Project (Step 2) was undertaken and completed between 2017 and 2018, with the completion of permitting requirements still underway through early 2019.

Step 3 is the initiation of the implementation phase in 2019 (pending City Council approval and acquisition of the appropriate permits). Implementation is expected to take place from 2019 through to 2024.

Aerial view of Ashbridges Bay
Aerial view of Ashbridges Bay

Project Update

TRCA and the City of Toronto have completed the detailed design phase of the Ashbridges Bay Landform Project, with the completion of permitting requirements still in progress.

It is anticipated that the implementation phase will be initiated mid-2019, pending City Council approval and acquisition of all appropriate permits.

Site preparatory works, such as tree removals and access road construction along the shoreline in Tommy Thompson Park, are scheduled to start in March 2019.

A preferred alternative was identified through the Ashbridges Bay Erosion and Sediment Control Conservation Ontario Class EA process (April 2013–December 2014), consisting of erosion and sediment control structures to be integrated with the lakefill area required for the City’s planned stormwater and CSO treatment facilities that will form the Ashbridges Bay Landform.

This preferred alternative was subsequently refined through detailed design to remove any impacts to the existing outfall right-of-way.

As part of the refined preferred alternative, a series of aquatic habitat enhancements are proposed. These include:

  • Four submerged rock shoals within the headland-beach system
  • Submerged rock piles, anchored log tangles and tree wads in the cobble beaches
  • A shoreline naturalization area near the opening of Coatsworth Cut along the Central Breakwater
  • Gravel fill along the inner bend of the Central Breakwater
  • A vertical sunken tree field at the inner bend of the Central Breakwater
  • Submerged rock berms along the Eastern Breakwater

The final design and proposed habitat enhancements are available for review below.


FINAL DESIGN
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Ashbridges Bay landform project final design


HABITAT ENHANCEMENT PLAN
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Ashbridges Bay Landform Project habitat enhancement plan


Project Background

TRCA, in partnership with the City of Toronto, re-initiated a Conservation Ontario Class EA to address erosion and sedimentation issues within Coatsworth Cut and Ashbridges Bay Park.

The 2013 EA picked up where the 2009 Class EA left off and identified the design alternatives that still remain valid given the change in project scope.

Two Public Information Centres were held to present and receive input on alternative solutions (June 19, 2013) and the recommended solution (February 6, 2014).

An Environmental Study Report (ESR) was completed (link below) and submitted for a 45-day public review period in December 2014. The ESR was subsequently approved in February 2015.

Study Area

Ashbridges Bay is located on the north shore of Lake Ontario in Toronto, Ontario. Within the local study area, Coatsworth Cut serves as an access route to the lake for several boat clubs, and a public boat launch, and offers sheltered water for sailing, kayaking, and canoeing.

Lands surrounding the local study area include Woodbine Beach, Ashbridge’s Bay Park, Tommy Thompson Park, and Toronto Water’s Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Map of Ashbridges Bay study area

Baseline Environmental Inventory

A draft Baseline Environmental Inventory (BEI)  was prepared and was reviewed by Community Liaison Committee members in November 2013.

The project BEI consists of the examination and documentation of existing project site conditions: physical, biological, cultural and socio-economic environments. The physical environment description includes an account of previous measures (dredging) implemented in the area and technical and engineering aspects to be considered.

The report provides the baseline conditions information needed to evaluate alternative methods of addressing the problem situation. In addition, the inventory provides a baseline from which to monitor the effectiveness of the action, once taken, as well as the types and levels of environmental impacts.

Public and Agency Consultation

The Class EA process provides that all views respecting a proposed remedial flood or erosion control project be taken into consideration during the planning and design of remedial flood and erosion control projects.

A Community Liaison Committee (CLC) was formed to provide a venue to allow concerned citizens, local interest groups and non-governmental organizations to voice issues of public concern as well as assist in the planning and design process of the project.

Public Information Centres (PICs) were also held to seek feedback on the study from a broad audience.

Community Liaison Committee

A Community Liaison Committee (CLC) was established subsequently to publishing the project Notice of Intent. The CLC met three times throughout the course of the EA. Presentations and minutes associated with these meetings are available below.

CLC Meeting #1 – May 15, 2013

CLC Meeting #2 – September 5, 2013

CLC Meeting #3 – November 28, 2013

Public Information Centres

Two Public Information Centres (PICs) were held to allow for public comment on the EA. These public meetings provided opportunities for the community to be made aware of the project and provide feedback as the study progressed.

Both PICs were advertised in the Beach Mirror newspaper prior to the meeting and notices were sent to project stakeholders (CLC members, politicians and others who expressed interest in the project) electronically.

Public Information Centre #1
The first Public Information Centre (PIC) was held on Wednesday June 19, 2013 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Toronto Fire Academy (895 Eastern Ave, Toronto). Background information on the project was provided and the public were asked to provide feedback on the draft evaluation criteria that will be used to assess remedial alternatives.

24 Panels were featured at the PIC outlining the project process, existing conditions, screening of previous remedial alternatives, draft evaluation criteria and next steps. A comment form (workbook) was provided at the PIC and also made available online. Comments and feedback were requested to be submitted during the two weeks following the meeting.

Public Information Centre #2
The second PIC was held on February 6, 2014 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Toronto Fire Academy (895 Eastern Ave, Toronto). The purpose of this PIC was to review the results of alternatives evaluation and present the recommended preferred alternative.

Similar to the first PIC, a comment form (workbook) was provided at the PIC and also made available online. Comments and feedback were requested to be submitted during the two weeks following the meeting.

Project Contact

Jet Taylor, Project Manager
Engineering Projects
Restoration & Infrastructure Division
Tel: 416.688.7627
Email: jtaylor@trca.on.ca