From Torontoist: Is This Year’s Spring Flooding a Sign of Things to Come?

With heavy rainfall in the forecast, there’s a Flood Watch in effect today for the Greater Toronto Area — an increasingly familiar state of affairs since spring began.

The cost to residents of this year’s high water levels has yet to be tallied. But evidence of the damage is clearly visible. The risk of landslides along the Scarborough Bluffs has prompted TRCA to prohibit access to the shoreline, in the interest of public safety. And flooding on the Toronto Islands means that this popular tourist destination may be closed to visitors until late August.

READ: TRCA Statement on Public Safety Due to High Water Levels on Lake Ontario

As this new article in Torontoist notes, the long-term impact of urbanization has compromised the ability of our ravine system to fulfill its natural drainage function. That, coupled with an aging infrastructure under-equipped to deal with extreme weather events related to climate change, has affected the GTA’s vulnerability to flooding.

The article examines why and how Conservation Authorities shoulder the responsibility for flood risk management, and investigates some of the ambitious, long-term solutions that TRCA is developing to protect neighbourhoods in flood-vulnerable areas.

“Moving into the future we’re looking for new solutions to provide flood remediation on a larger scale that not only offers flood protection, but multiple benefits: that it provides habitats, it provides city-building with amenities like parks, and of course, it provides protection to people and properties from flooding.” —  Sameer Dhalla, TRCA