Government of Canada helps to revitalize Toronto’s waterfront through flood protection

News release

An important milestone achieved for the Port Lands Flood Protection project

Toronto, Ontario, November 28, 2018 – The Government of Canada is committed to investing in local infrastructure that ensures the safety and well-being of Canadians and their families, increasing the capacity to adapt to climate change impacts, and creating resilient communities. These investments safeguard the health and well-being of residents, protect waterways and preserve local ecosystems.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, attended a ground-breaking ceremony in Toronto, to mark the start of excavation on a new river valley as part of the Port Lands Flood Protection project. Along with critical infrastructure, this work will create the foundation for a future island community on the waterfront.

The Government of Canada is committed to helping revitalize Toronto’s Port Lands. Investments through this initiative will unlock the potential of the underutilized waterfront area, transforming it into a long-term asset to support growth and economic competitiveness. Over a decade in planning, the project is implementing a comprehensive strategy for flood protection of the Port Lands, which are at risk of flooding under a significant storm event. The project will remediate contaminated lands and unlock new land for development, provide critical flood protection through the creation of a naturalized mouth for the Don River, and establish new wetlands and aquatic habitats to support native species of fish.

With this flood protection infrastructure in place, the Port Lands will begin its transformation into new communities, surrounded by parks, green space and residential and commercial development, including affordable housing, which will change the face of Toronto’s eastern waterfront.

The Government of Canada is contributing over $400 million to this $1.25 billion project that will be managed by Waterfront Toronto, a public development corporation established by provincial law, to lead the revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront.


“Infrastructure connects people, supports job creation, and boosts economic development. This is why the Government of Canada is providing unprecedented funding for public infrastructure projects, like the Port Lands Flood Protection project here in Toronto, which will help grow the middle class and promote sustainable development and long-term prosperity in communities across the country.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Naturalizing the mouth of the Don River protects the Port Lands and homes in our community from flooding. We are committed to helping build vibrant and sustainable and prosperous communities along our waterfront. This is a very exciting time for the city!”

Julie Dabrusin, Member of Parliament for Toronto–Danforth

“A large part of southeastern downtown Toronto, including parts of the Port Lands, South Riverdale, and Leslieville, is at risk of flooding from the Don River watershed during extreme weather events. This is why we are investing in infrastructure projects that help communities better manage the impacts of climate change.”

Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina–Fort York

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

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Ann-Clara Vaillancourt
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
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