Scarborough Waterfront Project

NOTICE OF CAUTION

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) cautions members of the public who walk along or up/down the Scarborough Bluffs and shoreline, trails (formal and informal), and edges of the Scarborough Bluffs.

The Bluffs are comprised of various sediments, including silt, sand and clay and are therefore very unstable and susceptible to collapsing at any moment.

The Bluffs are unstable due to several natural processes, including wave action from Lake Ontario, surface water runoff and over-steepening of the slope face to precipitation, wind, and freeze-thaw cycle. The Bluffs are affected by these natural processes all year long.

Members of the public must proceed with caution when visiting the Bluffs, stay back from the edge of the Bluffs, and respect all barriers and signage in the area for your safety.

 

PROJECT STATUS UPDATE

Scarborough Waterfront Project:
Detailed Design

Detailed design works for the Scarborough Waterfront Project’s (SWP) West Segment were initiated in October 2020. The design will include:

  • Development of an at-grade multi-use trail along the east side of Brimley Road South, starting at Barkdene Hills and continuing into Bluffer’s Park
  • Expansion of the Bluffer’s Park and Meadowcliffe headlands
  • Extension of the Bluffer’s Park sand beach
  • Creation of a shoreline multi-use trail from Bluffer’s Park to Meadowcliffe (connecting to the SWP’s Central Segment)
map of Scarborough Waterfront Project west segement
Scarborough Waterfront Project West Segment. Select image above to view the full-sized map.

Since initiation of the detailed design phase in fall 2020, the focus to date has been the collection of necessary existing conditions data required to support refinement of the conceptual designs developed during the Environmental Assessment (EA) phase and further advance the design process.

A number of field surveys and investigations were completed between December 2020 and May 2021:

  • Topographic surveying
  • Tree inventorying
  • Bathymetric surveying
  • Geotechnical studies
  • Bat maternity roosting surveys
  • Stage 2 Archaeological Assessment

Design Status

The West Segment shoreline and multi-use trail (between the east side of Bluffer’s Park to Meadowcliffe) is currently undergoing the 30% design phase, while the Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail is progressing through the 60% design phase.

Due to the complex nature of the site, TRCA in continued partnership with the City of Toronto is exploring two sub-options for the Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail:

  • The first option (Option 1A) is most similar to the concept presented in the SWP EA; however, in order to meet the City’s multi-use trail guidelines to facilitate both pedestrian and cyclist usage, while also maintaining the existing roadside swale, a higher degree of slope cuts and retaining walls along the east side of the trail would be required.
  • Given the existing geotechnical conditions, and to minimize environmental impacts to the extent possible, a second option (Option 1B) is also being evaluated, which would see removal of the existing swale with a curbed trail for the full length. Option 1B would reduce the extent of slope cuts and necessary retaining walls, but additional challenges related to the location of underground utilities and infrastructure will need to be considered as this design option advances.
comparison of sub-options for the Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail
Comparison of sub-options for the Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail. Select image above to view the full-sized design snapshots.

Construction timelines for both the Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail and West Segment Shoreline and Multi-Use continue to be refined through the detailed design process.

Public Engagement

Stay tuned for information on the upcoming Public Open House events for both the Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail and the SWP West Segment Shoreline and Multi-Use Trail in the coming months.


EXPLORE THE
SCARBOROUGH WATERFRONT PROJECT

Project Overview

THE SCARBOROUGH BLUFFS | THE CHALLENGE | THE VISION |
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT | DETAILED DESIGN

THE SCARBOROUGH BLUFFS

The Scarborough Bluffs are an iconic natural wonder located at the doorstep of Canada’s largest city. Towering above Toronto’s Lake Ontario waterfront, they offer strikingly beautiful natural greenspaces and support increasingly rare habitats for a wide variety of fish, birds, and other wildlife.

Scarborough Bluffs

THE CHALLENGE

As experience has shown in cities worldwide, nature in the city needs to be effectively managed or it will decline.

For the Bluffs, that means balancing the realities of being located among millions of people, building and maintaining infrastructure that offers a high quality of life to all, protecting natural features and wildlife habitats, and ensuring that future generations will be able to enjoy the Bluffs and the Scarborough waterfront as well.

Scarborough Bluffs

THE VISION

As Toronto continues to grow and evolve, the Scarborough Waterfront is a place for safe and enjoyable waterfront experiences accessible to all who want them.

These experiences are supported by a system of greenspaces along the Lake Ontario shoreline that respects and protects the significant natural and cultural features of the Bluffs, and enhances wildlife habitats on the shore and in the water.

trail on Scarborough Bluffs

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), in partnership with the City of Toronto, initiated a study in 2014 under the Environmental Assessment Act (EA Act), with a vision of creating a system of public greenspaces along the Lake Ontario shoreline between Bluffer’s Park and East Point Park, that will respect and protect the significant natural and cultural features of the Bluffs, enhance terrestrial and aquatic habitat, and provide a safe and enjoyable waterfront experience.

aerial view of the Scarborough Waterfront from Bluffers Park to Cudia Park
Bluffer’s Park to Cudia Park

While the Scarborough Bluffs are an iconic feature of the Lake Ontario shoreline, due to limited public access and existing public safety hazards, the water’s edge along this section of the waterfront is not formally accessible to the public.

The Scarborough Waterfront Project has the potential to provide formal public access along a currently inaccessible area of the Scarborough waterfront between Bluffer’s Park and East Point Park, while comprehensively addressing the risks to public safety and public property and enhancing the natural heritage system.

East Point Park
East Point Park

The study was undertaken in accordance with the Provincial EA Act (1990), as an objectives-based Individual EA, where the Project Vision and Objectives were established early in the planning process through extensive public and stakeholder consultation, and were used to describe the Project and structure the development and evaluation of Alternatives.

Ultimately, a “Preferred Alternative” was identified that best meets the Vision and Objectives of the Project.

Select image to view full-sized map.

Scarborough Waterfront Project preferred alternative map

The EA was completed in two stages, as required by the EA Act:

  • Stage one included the completion and approval of a Terms of Reference (ToR), which was approved by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) on December 15, 2015.
  • Stage two of the Project included the completion of the EA and preparation of the EA Report in accordance with the approved ToR. TRCA received approval for the Final EA Report from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) on November 5, 2019.

View the Final EA Report

TRCA, in partnership with the City of Toronto, will proceed with the initiation of detailed design works for the SWP starting in 2020.

DETAILED DESIGN

In Fall 2020 the Detailed Design of the West Segment of the Scarborough Waterfront Project will commence. The West Segment design focuses on safe access to Bluffer’s Park via Brimley Road South, as well as shoreline erosion protection features and a separated multi-use trail between Bluffer’s Park and Meadowcliffe.

The first phase of the West Segment work will be Detailed Design of a separated multi-use trail for Brimley Road South. This component will address concerns for pedestrian and cyclist safety that currently exist along Brimley Road South, through the design of a new paved trail proposed on the east side of the existing roadway from Barkdene Hills to access Bluffer’s Park.

In addition, the West Segment shoreline works include enhancements to the east end of Bluffer’s Park. Two expanded headlands, a temporary groyne, and a raised berm will be designed to facilitate the expansion of the Bluffer’s Park sand beach.

Bluffers Park beach
Bluffer’s Park beach

This will provide a sufficient land base for the implementation of a new separated multi-use shoreline trail along the base of the bluffs through Bluffer’s Park. This multi-use trail will be extended to connect to the proposed Central Segment of the SWP.

Once the implementation of the West Segment is underway, Detailed Design of the Central Segment is expected to commence.

For more information on the Preferred Alternative, please see the Refined Preferred Alternative mapping and the Final EA Report in the Documents Library.

Contact Us

We invite you to contact our project staff with comments, questions and feedback. Public engagement opportunities will be advertised on the project website and through the project mailing list.