Navigational buoys deployed in Toronto Harbour beginning April 30

Toronto (April 30, 2018) – In preparation for the commencement of boating season and summer harbour activities, PortsToronto’s crews will begin deploying navigational buoys around Toronto’s Harbour on Monday, April 30, at 11:00 p.m. until approximately 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1. The work must be undertaken overnight when the airport is closed to commercial traffic given the use of cranes and other equipment near the Marine Exclusion Zone (MEZ).
The buoys being deployed on April 30 are located to the east of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport near the Marine Exclusion Zone. Deployment of the buoys to the west of the airport will be scheduled at a later date. In addition to the overnight activities, daytime buoy deployment will continue for a period of approximately two weeks.
The buoys are installed in the same location each year with the aid of GPS equipment to ensure proper placement. Each navigation buoy that forms the MEZ boundary has a specific coordinate determining its position.
After removal over the winter for maintenance and repair, the buoys are placed in the Harbour each spring by PortsToronto to help ensure the safe navigation of boats and ships. While the buoy deployment is taking place, passersby can expect to see a tugboat, barge and crane, needed to lift the six-tonne buoys in the Harbour. Minimal noise is expected. Boaters in the area are asked to be aware and maintain a safe distance from crews as they work.
To view a map of the buoys’ locations, please click here.
Additional Information
The current positions of the buoys in the MEZ were established with Transport Canada in 2007 and implemented during spring 2008. Minor adjustments were made at that time to harmonize the Obstacle Protection and Glidepath Qualification Surfaces which are based on providing clearance between water and protection surfaces to an equivalent safety level as stipulated by TP312 guidelines for standard approach surfaces and aviation aids. The boundary position is based on an air-draft (mast height) of 60’.
To ensure precise positioning, buoy locations are pre-marked with the aid of GPS and a survey ship, with a temporary anchor, rope and high visibility float, just prior to the placement of each large pillar “Keep Out” buoy. The buoys are then placed at the high visibility floats by way of barge and crane and the temporary float and anchor is removed.

The buoys are secured with a five-tonne concrete anchor ensuring they hold position throughout the boating season. The length of the buoy’s anchor chain is determined to a length that will minimize swing of the buoys, but also reduce the risk of the chain system breaking under high water or storm conditions. Each year the buoy locations are sounded to verify depth of water which determines the length of anchor chain. If a securing chain/hardware is broken during a severe weather event, it is immediately identified and addressed by PortsToronto’s Marine Works Department.
The Western Channel also has navigation markers for Tall Ships transiting the Channel and warning markers for sand intrusions. Markers for shallow water vary in location depending on the amount of intrusion into the navigation channel.