Toronto Port Authority Removes 33,000 Tons of Material from Don River to Aid in Flood Prevention

The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) is in the process of removing up to 33,000 tons of debris and sediment from the mouth of the Don River, with the goal of preventing future flooding and 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, the TPA, in conjunction with the Toronto Region and Conservation Authority, 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 material from the river’s bottom using a clam bucket on a “dredger”. Once removed, the muddy mixture of sediment is transported by barge to the Leslie Street Spit for proper separation, containment and disposal.

The TPA dredges annually, removing between 20,000 and 40,000 cubic metres per year from the mouth of the Don River. The current dredging is scheduled to continue through to the middle of November.

Click here for photos of the dredging process in action.