What is a watershed?

What is watershed planning?

  • Watershed planning provides a framework for establishing goals, objectives, and direction for the protection of water resources, the management of human activities, land, water, aquatic life, and resources within a watershed.
  • Watershed planning is required by Provincial Plans, including the Provincial Policy Statement, the Greenbelt Plan and the Growth Plan, to identify and protect natural resources and areas, and to help inform future land use planning decisions.

Where is the Etobicoke Creek watershed located?

  • The Etobicoke Creek watershed is located at the western edge of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) jurisdiction. It begins in the Greenbelt in the Town of Caledon before passing through the cities of Brampton, Mississauga, and Toronto where it enters Lake Ontario. The watershed is just over 220 square kilometres in size.

Is this the first watershed plan for Etobicoke Creek?

  • No, a watershed plan for Etobicoke and Mimico Creeks was completed in 2002, with a Technical Update based on new information completed in 2010.

What is the timeline of this Watershed Plan?

  • It is expected the watershed plan will take three years to complete, expected sometime in 2023.
  • This plan is intended to be in effect for 10 years from when it is finalized and approved.
  • Through regular reporting and adaptive management, the plan may be modified to address changing circumstances.


Who is responsible for the development of the Etobicoke Creek Watershed Plan?

  • The development of the Etobicoke Creek Watershed Plan is a collaborative effort between TRCA, City of Toronto, Region of Peel, City of Mississauga, City of Brampton, Town of Caledon, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and the Greater Toronto Airport Authority.
  • As outlined in the Growth Plan, upper and single-tier municipalities (in partnership with lower-tier municipalities and Conservation Authorities) are responsible for watershed planning.  

Does the Etobicoke Creek Watershed Plan decide on future land use?

  • Watershed plans are not land use plans, nor do they constitute a land use planning decision. The data, scientific analysis, modelling, scenario analysis and management framework generated through a watershed planning process is used by municipalities to inform land use and infrastructure planning decisions.