PortsToronto Commences Dredging Activities

PortsToronto is in the process of removing up to 40,000 tons of debris and sediment from the mouth of the Don River, with the goal of preventing future flooding and stemming the flow of unwanted material into Toronto’s Harbour which can pose a risk to boater navigation and public safety.
Each year, thousands of tons of sediment build up where the Don River empties into the Keating Channel which, if not removed, could cause the river to backup and flood. As stewards of the waterfront, 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 river depth that allows for the smooth flow of water and ice through the Keating Channel.  
The dredging process involves scooping large amounts of material from the bottom of the channel using a clam bucket on a machine called a “dredger.” Once removed from the channel bed, the muddy mixture of debris and sediment is then transported by barge to the Leslie Street Spit (the Spit) for proper containment in what is called a “cell”.
The Spit features three “cells,” all of which were designed by PortsToronto to properly and safely contain dredged material. As each cell reaches its capacity for dredged material, PortsToronto seals it with a layer of soil and clay – which is then innovatively used by the TRCA as a base upon which to build acres of new wetland habitat for fish, birds and wildlife.
PortsToronto dredges on an annual basis and removes between 20,000 and 40,000 cubic metres per year from the mouth of the Don River. Click here for additional information on dredging.