Each year, thousands of tonnes of sediment build up in the area where the Don River empties into the Keating Channel. If not removed, this build-up could cause the river to back up and flood, with debris spilling into Toronto’s harbour.

PortsToronto, in conjunction with the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority (TRCA), provides the important service of removing the sediment in a process called “dredging” which helps to maintain a navigable river depth that allows for the smooth flow of water and ice through the Keating Channel. 

In 2014, PortsToronto removed approximately 33,000 cubic metres of dredged material from the mouth of the Don River. In 2015, we removed 40,000 cubic metres of material. 

The dredging process involves scooping material from the bottom of the channel using a clam bucket on a crane called a derrick. Once removed from the channel bed, the muddy mixture of debris and sediment is transported by barge to the Leslie Street Spit for proper containment in what is called a “cell” or Confined Disposal Facility (CDF). Each of the cells located at the Spit were designed by PortsToronto to properly and safely contain natural material dredged from the Keating Channel.

To view images of PortsToronto’s dredging in progress, click here.

Dredging heavy machinery
Bucket scooping waste


For more information on the Leslie Street Spit wetland creation project, click here .
 

Newly planted trees
Leslie Street Spit Cell 1

Boaters Notice

PortsToronto is responsible for keeping the Toronto Harbour safe and navigable. See Boater’s Notices about everything from swimming in the harbour to obtaining permission for a marine event.

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A Power Vessel Operator’s Permit is required to operate a powered vessel in the Port and Harbour of Toronto.

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