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Citizens Concerned About the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

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Bill 23 Environmental Impact

New Toronto Holiday Market - Nov 26

November Bird Walk Report

Oct. 21 Update on the Etobicoke Creek Dam

Updated Meeting Schedule

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What's Up
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There are many issues, large and small, that pop up from time to time but don’t necessarily fit into any of the other pages. So, to help keep people up to date, we have this “What’s Up” page.

November 15, 2022

Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 Has Serious Environmental Consequences

There are many reasons to be concerned about Bill 23 currently before the Ontario Legislature. There are several that are of direct concern to CCFEW because of their environmental implications. Most significant is that it would remove the City’s authority to enforce the Toronto Green Standards (TGS). Established in 2010, the TGS’s address the City’s environmental priorities to:

  • Improve air quality and reduce the urban heat island effect
  • Reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from new buildings while making buildings more resilient to power disruptions, and encourage the use of renewable and district energy
  • Reduce stormwater runoff and potable water consumption while improving the quality of stormwater draining to Lake Ontario
  • Protect and enhance ecological functions, integrate landscapes and habitats and decrease building-related bird collisions and mortalities
  • Divert household and construction waste from going to landfill sites.

Among the TGS’s performance standards are requirements for bird collision deterrence and light pollution. During the spring and fall bird migrations, each of Toronto’s 950,000 buildings kills between 1 to 10 birds.

Bill 23 removes third-party appeals. This means that private citizens or citizen groups will have no right to appeal harmful decisions. This is of particular significance to CCFEW, considering that our group was formed to fight development proposals in the former “motel strip” that would have prevented public access to the waterfront. Without the third-party right to appeal, Humber Bay Shores Park would not exist.
 

The bill has already had second reading. Written comments are being accepted until 7pm, November 17th.

Please write to your MPP, Christine Hogarth and submit your comments to the committee as well at https://www.ola.org/en/apply-committees.

If you want you can use CCFEW’s letter as a template.

   

Bill-23-Letter

The Canadian Enviromental Law Association (CELA) has a detailed analysis of the environmental impacts on their website: https://cela.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Draft_Bill_23_Sch_9_and_1_10NOV2022.pdf

October 21, 2022

As posted on the “Ditch The Dam” Petition page at change.org, we believe that progress is being made towards the removal of the dam on the lower Etobicoke Creek.

We have spoken with the project manager, and the remediation plan is being updated. It should be complete early next year. We have had plans before, but the dam is still there. The work won't start until the funding is in place. We are optimistic that it will really happen this time. The dam is in such disrepair that it has become a hazard to the public and public infrastructure. The time for delays is running out.

We won't call this a win yet, but it is definitely leaning in that direction.

  

October 13, 2022

This explanatory sign has bee added to the fence surrounding the dam on the Lower Etobicoke Creek.DamSign1

Scroll down this page for more information about the dam and the problems it has created.

September 29, 2022

tree fest.ccfew table and anna.sept.25.2022cs6

Despite the heavy rain at the beginning of the event, we had a good day at the Long Branch Tree Festival last Sunday. In addition to a lot of discussion about the Etobicoke Creek dam, we were also raising awareness about the “Windows to the Lake” road ends along the waterfront from Mimico through to Long Branch. Some of these road ends have been designated as parkettes, but some have no status at all. Most are suffering from encroachment to some degree.

Road-Ends-Labelled

September 28, 2022

We finally received some response to our multiple queries regarding the status of the Etobicoke Creek dam. This came to us last week via Councillor Grimes’ office:

    Thank you again for reaching out about this issue – I know it has garnered quite a bit of public attention and questions for your office, especially with the recent circulation of the petition.

    I spoke with TRCA staff to collect any updates and new information. I’ve been advised that the engineering consultant team has started their work and is currently in the process of reviewing all the background information and aquatic data (Water Resources, Geo-fluvial/Geo-morphic, etc.) we have provided to them. They have been out to the site and will continue to meet with TRCA staff over the fall and winter months as we progress towards a final design for this site.

    To recap, the concrete at this dam is failing, which poses a significant public safety risk that was recently identified, as well as impacts to the rail line infrastructure immediately downstream, should a large failure occur. As such, it was necessary for TRCA to take measures to protect public safety by installing fencing in the immediate term. The fence will remain in place until further work to address the area can be completed. For further context, while Enfield Park is TRCA land, the section of the creek, including the dam and existing infrastructure, is owned by the Toronto Golf Club. TRCA is working closely with both Toronto Golf Club, as well as City staff from Toronto Parks and Toronto Water, to support them and to help identify measures that can be taken to address the infrastructure deficits and restoration concerns.

    Unfortunately, at this time, we don’t have a solid timeline to share with you. However, our goal of this project is to remove the dam and not replace it, with our objectives aligning with the ask of the petition. We continue to look at the removal of the barrier as it not only presents a risk to critical infrastructure downstream, but also acts as a barrier for fish moving upstream.

    We will be sure to keep you updated on the status and timeline of work in this area once we know more from the engineering consultants. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

We will continue to press for timelines and funding commitments.

 

July 27, 2022Damfence

While we have yet to receive any official response to our communications regarding the Etobicoke Creek dam, it appears that we have got someone’s attention. This fencing was erected around the site earlier this week.

Our online petition is still open. Click here to sign if you haven’t already.

May 24, 2022

dam-overviewWe have launched a “Ditch the Dam” petition to get rid of the dam on the Etobicoke Creek. The paper bases version will be launched at the Spring Bird Festival, but the online version is already on Change.org.

This is what it says:

    The dam on the lower Etobicoke Creek no longer serves any purpose except to block the migration of fish. Its removal was promised 20 years ago. Now it is falling apart. Let’s finally get rid of it!

    Why? Barriers to fish movement impair the health and resilience of a watershed. Nothing gets past this dam. As climate change brings an increase in extreme weather events, the ecological resilience of our waterways is more important than ever.

    The dam was built in 1913 to allow the Toronto Golf Club to irrigate their course. They now draw water directly from Lake Ontario. The dam was supposed to have been removed in 2002, but the project seems to have fallen into a bureaucratic no man's land. There is no approved plan and no budget to carry out the work. The dam straddles the municipal boundary between Toronto and Mississauga, and is still owned by the Toronto Golf Club.

    During the decades of inaction, the condition of the dam has deteriorated to the point that it has become a safety hazard for people as well. Massive chunks of concrete appear to be suspended in the air as the underlying substrates have been washed away.

    We ask the City of Toronto, the City of Mississauga, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, and the Toronto Golf Club to prioritize the removal of this dam for the health of the creek and the safety of the people.

Click here to sign the petition on Change.org

March 31, 2022

The 13th Annual Spring Bird Festival at Colonel Samuel Smith Park will be back as an in-person event this year!

Saturday, May 28th from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

We will post full details on our Activities Page when they become available.

March 29, 2022

Parking at Colonel Samuel Smith Park

With the resumption of classes at Humber College this past week a number of members discovered that parking at the Sam Smith south parking lot was full by early morning on weekdays. This is presumably due to use by Humber personnel. Recreational park users they were forced to utilize the paid parking north lot. Note that the south parking lot has free parking with a 2 hour limit. The time limit is intended to discourage parking from people working or taking classes in the area, while leaving it free for park use. Complaints have been filed with the Toronto Police Parking Enforcement Unit who is responsible for remediation.

As a recreational park user if you experience this situation please file your complaint with the TPPEU at tpsparkingcomplaints@torontopolice.on.ca

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