Since the end of 2017, construction has been underway on the Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project (DMNP), a Waterfront Toronto project set, among other things, to re-naturalize the mouth of the Don River, creating over 1,000 metres of new river channel, as well as new park space and wildlife habitats.

The current stage of work began in September and will continue until the end of December. This phase includes site preparation, construction staging, soil treatment, and excavation of the new river valley that will extend the Don River south from where it currently makes a hard right turn into the Keating Channel. Th new channel will make a more graceful, meandering turn to the west to meet the harbour in a new naturalized river mouth.

Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project, TorontoNew shoreline taking shape in Port Lands, image by Forum contributor Jasonzed

The west-facing aerial view above offers a glimpse of the new shoreline taking shape behind and around the silos of Essroc Quay, with lake-filling progress evident on the south side and new dock-wall progress visible to the north. A total of 19,560 truckloads of locally sourced clean fill are being used to form the northwest corner of 'Villiers Island', a new island that will be created from some of the Port Lands by the new river course being cut to the south and east.

A close-up view shows the new Villiers Island dock-wall being formed in the Keating Channel, west of Cherry Street.

Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project, TorontoDockwall along Keating Channel, image by Forum contributor Jasonzed

To the south of that, earth is being shaped to create a hill in what will be called Promontory Park. The water lies beyond.

Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project, TorontoClean fill slowly filling in the new shoreline, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

To the southeast by the intersection of Commissioners and Cherry Streets, crews are removing the asphalt, concrete, and structures of a former surface parking lot where a section of the new river valley will soon exist. This work is being done in preparation for excavation, surveying , site grading, installation of drainage and sediment and erosion control measures, plus environmental and geotechnical drilling on roads and boulevards.

Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project, TorontoWork on former parking lot site, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

As part of the preparation work for the new roadways and bridges that will connect the area with its surroundings, sections of Cherry, Commissioners, and Villiers streets will be partially closed throughout the majority of November to allow crews to drill geotechnical boreholes.

One of many projects that make up the Port Lands Flood Protection Project, the DMNP is expected to be completed by March 2019. Other construction projects in the Port Lands will continue into 2023.

We will return with updates as construction progresses. In the meantime, you can learn more about the project by visiting our Lower Don Lands Redevelopment database file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.