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.

 

News and Events

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE

The virtual Open House for the Scarborough Waterfront Project’s Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail went live to the public the week of December 6-13, 2021, with a live Q&A session hosted by the Project Team the evening of December 8.

Please visit getinvolvedtrca.ca/brimley to view the information presented as part of the event and learn more about the detailed design of Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail.

We continue to welcome any questions you may have about the project. Please reach out to the Project Team directly at ScarboughWaterfrontProject@trca.ca.

Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming event for the West Segment Shoreline and Multi-Use Trail Project in the coming months.


Project Status Update

DETAILED DESIGN

Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail Project – Currently at the 60% Design Phase

The Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail Project involves the design and construction of a 3.6 metre (m) to 4.1m wide paved and illuminated trail along the east side of Brimley Road South, starting at Barkdene Hills.

Throughout the detailed design refinements and review, it was determined that the design of the multi-use trail with a fully curbed shoulder and no swale on the east side of Brimley Road South would best permit an unobstructed clearance area for required trail lighting and maximize space for trail users, while reducing the impact on the natural environment to the extent possible.

A shared cycling lane with southbound vehicular traffic will also be integrated as part of the design for downhill cyclists.

Select the image below to view the full-sized design drawing.

architectural design drawing for Brimley Road South Multi-use Trail project

As identified during the EA, Brimley Road South sits on and adjacent to an old landfill and the potential to encounter and manage old waste materials must also be considered.

Construction timing will continue to be refined as the detailed design progresses. Implementation phasing will seek to balance access to Bluffer’s Park during the peak use season with minimizing construction related effects such as noise and dust on area residents.

West Segment Shoreline and Multi-Use Trail Project – Currently at the 30% Design Phase

The West Segment Shoreline and Multi-Use Trail Project is currently moving through the draft 30% design phase. The design will include:

  • An expanded headland off of both Bluffer’s Park and Meadowcliffe
  • A significantly larger sand beach
  • A paved, separated 3.6m wide recreational multi-use trail to accommodate both pedestrian and cyclist usage along the shoreline, along with a 2.1m wide pedestrian trail along the new Bluffer’s Park headland
  • Enhanced aquatic and terrestrial habitat
  • Enhanced fish habitat

At this stage, physical modelling work is being undertaken to confirm and optimize the shoreline design developed through the EA process.

Select the image below to view the full-sized shoreline design.

map of Scarborough Waterfront Project west segement

This includes the construction of scaled models of the proposed headland, groyne and berm features, which are then put to the test through wave simulations mimicking Lake Ontario storm events.

This work is being completed in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada’s Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre in Ottawa.

Scarborough Waterfront Project - West Segment Shoreline and Multi-Use Trail Project
Scaled model of the expanded Bluffer’s Park Headland. Photo courtesy of NRC-OCRE.
Scarborough Waterfront Project - West Segment Shoreline and Multi-Use Trail Project
Headland model undergoing wave simulation testing. Photo courtesy of NRC-OCRE

To date, modelling work for the expanded Bluffer’s Park headland design has been completed, with the east end of the expanded sand beach, interim groyne and new Meadowcliffe headland scaled models anticipated to be constructed and tested by the end of 2021.

At present, the construction of the West Segment Shoreline is unfunded. It is expected that construction would occur following the completion of the Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail, should funding be secured.


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.