Don River

Covering an area of approximately 36,000 hectares, the Don River stretches almost 38 km in length, flowing south from its headwaters on the Oak Ridges Moraine to the Keating Channel, where it empties into Lake Ontario.

Don River Watershed Features

With 1.4 million residents, the Don River watershed is one of the most urbanized in Canada.



Intense urbanization and the preponderance of paved surfaces throughout the Don River watershed means fewer opportunities for stormwater to seep into the soil or be taken up by vegetation.

As a result, much of the stormwater runs off the surface into the Don River, resulting in streambank erosion and increased flooding during storm events.

Combined sewers (carrying both stormwater and sanitary sewage) still exist in Toronto. Excessive runoff from large storm events can cause these sewers to overflow into the river, affecting water quality.

Nevertheless, despite the challenges of urbanization, the landscape of the Don River is slowly being regenerated and revitalized.

Today, the Don Valley and its network of trails provide people with a unique connection to nature in the heart of the city.