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Representatives of the federal, provincial and municipal governments, along with key personnel from Waterfront Toronto, gathered to mark the start of construction on the Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project, part of the Port Lands Flood Protection Project.

In September 2016, Waterfront Toronto received $65 million in tri-government funding for the Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund. In June 2017, tri-government funding was committed for the remaining $1.185 billion needed to deliver the full Port Lands Flood Protection project. The three government partners will each contribute one-third of the full cost of the flood protection project.

“The start of construction in Toronto’s Port Lands marks an important milestone in the City’s vision for a vibrant, clean Toronto waterfront,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory. “This is the beginning of unlocking the potential of our underutilized waterfront lands, protecting the area from flooding and supporting new places to live, work and play in Toronto.”

The Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project is designed to optimize water and stormwater infrastructure by stabilizing the shoreline under flood conditions, enhancing aquatic habitat, and ultimately, forming part of the proposed Promontory Park. The project will also allow for the re-alignment of Cherry Street, which is necessary for accommodating roads and transit into the Port Lands as part of the economic revitalization of these lands.

“We know infrastructure is about more than buildings and roads. It’s about improving lives and creating opportunities for the people of Ontario” said Michael Coteau, Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services. “This project will lead, over time, to increased access to the waterfront and successful new communities where families can thrive and businesses can grow and create new jobs.”

The larger Port Lands Flood Protection project will provide critical flood protection through the creation of a naturalized mouth for the Don River and a new river valley, and remediate contaminated soil, unlocking new land for development.

The flood protection project will enable the long-term transformation of the Port Lands into new sustainable communities, including parks, residential and commercial development. The long-term development of the Port Lands will support innovation, deliver affordable housing and jobs, allowing Toronto to grow sustainably, and to meet the challenges associated with this growth.

Moreover, creating a naturalized mouth for the Don River, and establishing new aquatic habitats and functional wetlands, will contribute to Toronto’s environmental resiliency and help reconnect the city to its lake.

The Port Lands Flood Protection project will take approximately seven years to complete and will be delivered by Waterfront Toronto.