Good afternoon. My name is Ken Dion. I am a senior project manager with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
I wanted to thank you, Mr. Chair and members, for this opportunity to address the committee regarding urban conservation in Canada. Today I am addressing the committee in the capacity as project manager for the Lakeview waterfront connection environmental assessment project on behalf of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority.
As you may be aware, Credit Valley Conservation and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority are two of 36 conservation authorities in Ontario. Conservation authorities are community-based watershed management agencies delivering services and programs to protect, manage, and conserve water and land resources in Ontario.
We operate through partnerships with government, landowners, and other stakeholders. In Ontario, more than 90% of the population lives within the jurisdiction of a conservation authority, including virtually all the urban areas. CVC and TRCA have a long history of collaborating on cross-watershed issues.
Today we were hoping to have Mr. Mike Puddister, director of restoration and stewardship from CVC join us, but he was not able to attend so I am opening up today's chat.
Jim Tovey is a councillor from the City of Mississauga and Region of Peel. He also sits on the boards of both CVC and TRCA. He will be following me and will be talking about Mississauga's Inspiration Lakeview vision, which the Lakeview waterfront connection project is tied to.
We have a convoluted management structure for the Lakeview waterfront connection environmental assessment. Ultimately this is being led by the Region of Peel. Their main interest is infrastructure, and they have a lot of projects to be undertaken over the next 10 years involving pipes and roads that have to be upgraded. That's going to generate a lot of fill over the next many years.
Costs for these capital works are increasing significantly with regard to the handling and disposal of this material. It's anticipated that about $38 million to $50 million is simply budgeted approximately for disposing of this material over this timeframe. They were looking for a better way to use and reuse this material that's generated through their other capital works locally to have strong public benefits locally.
The majority of the work that's going to be undertaken for this project is within CVC's jurisdiction. However, TRCA has a lot of experience working on these waterfront projects and we were asked to provide project management services. We also have an extensive team of ecologists between both conservation authorities, and a strong consultant team.
As will be seen on the screen, the project is located on the borders of Toronto and Mississauga, Region of Peel jurisdiction. TRCA's jurisdiction is with the City of Toronto, of course, and CVC's is with the City of Mississauga. The main project area is located within this area, in blue.
There are a number of issues with regard to the project. The project site that we're talking about is along Lake Ontario's shoreline and it's associated with the Region of Peel's G.E. Booth waste water treatment plant. It's tying into the east side of Ontario Power Generation's former Lakeview coal-powered power plant site and TRCA's jurisdiction with Marie Curtis Park and the Arsenal Lands.
I have identified Hanlan feeder main, which happens to be one of the main capital projects that the Region of Peel is proposing to undertake over the next several years, which is going to generate a significant amount of clean fill. It's this proximity to the project site, as well as the conditions that are along this existing shoreline, which helped us spearhead this project moving forward.
Of course there are other issues we have to be very aware of. We have water quality intakes for the water sources for the City of Mississauga and the Region of Peel, and a significant local community and residential community in the area as well.
This project is also being tied in with the City of Mississauga's Inspiration Lakeview vision. This is a community-led visioning process that occurred throughout 2010. It basically is looking to revitalize brownfields in a largely industrial area, working with OPG to come up with one of the most sustainable communities within the city. Jim will be talking more on that.
As a toehold for this process, the community, through that visioning process, identified a strong desire to see a naturalized waterfront park created as part of this overall Inspiration Lakeview. Our EA moving forward for this project is the first step of many that will be coming forward in the city of Mississauga.
This next image is a great one of the site that we're talking about. We're looking southwest from the air. It's a large industrial site. It's the treatment plant. We have the formal coal pile area for the OPG, Ontario Power Generation, power lots, the power plant area, as well as large piers that go out into the lake. We have a nice green space that ties in with Etobicoke Creek, in TRCA's jurisdiction, with the parks at Marie Curtis Park and the Arsenal Lands, which has a long military history, within this area.
Of course the main feature of this site is water. Lake Ontario is right next door and is a main focus of why this project is moving forward. We also have multiple streams within this area that we hope to incorporate into the design for this waterfront park: Applewood Creek, as well as Serson Creek, which was actually split years ago, so that low flows go through a culvert underneath the plant and discharge into the lake, whereas storm flows go through a channel further to the west between the two industrial sites. Part of the plans we're looking at are to consolidate these flows together and to incorporate them into future coastal wetlands.
There are also a lot of heavy impacts that led us to deciding on the location of this site. Historically this site was heavily mined for aggregate materials in the 1800s using a process called stonehooking. Port Credit was ground zero on Lake Ontario as the main focus for this activity. The shoreline has been heavily infilled to accommodate industry, and all the shorelines have been heavily armoured as well. There are very poor processes. The public is not able to get to the waterfront or along it, and in this area the coastal wetlands have all since been filled in.
As I mentioned, the Region of Peel is producing over 1.2 million cubic metres of fill as part of their day-to-day operations for expanding their infrastructure, as is the City of Mississauga as part of their bus rapid transit system.
Currently, this is all clean material, and it's being treated as waste. They're shipping it long distances to landfill sites at huge and ever-increasing costs, which creates a major drain on local municipal tax dollars. The main focus of this is to determine whether there is a way we can create this material as a resource that can provide a source of funding for us to move forward and bring back a lot to the community.
This project is generated through the collaboration of numerous municipalities and regional governments and conservation authorities to create a new natural park along the shoreline that will establish an ecological habitat and public access to this part of the waterfront.
Some of our objectives are to create new wetlands, coastal wetlands, coastal meadows, and forests, and to allow opportunities for the public to get to the water, to celebrate the water, to move along the water, and to connect to various waterfront parks between the cities of Toronto and Mississauga.
A major objective, of course, is the fiscal innovative funding approach that we're looking at using. The idea behind this is that if the Region of Peel was looking for $50 million to haul and treat this as waste and we can provide a local source, the difference in costs to get the material to the source becomes our funding that we can use for all the planning, land acquisition, and habitat creation to create a new local waterfront park that will greatly improve the environment within this area. There are also huge community spinoffs to not throwing this capital investment away to long-haul disposal.
Of course, we also have to work within the existing infrastructure framework. There are the waste water treatment facilities, and we also want to coordinate with Inspiration Lakeview work, which Jim will talk about shortly, the Lake Ontario integrated shoreline strategy, which CVC is leading, and other provincial and federal objectives for the environment.
We're leading this project right now through an EA process. That's an individual EA through the provincial process. That's a two-phased approach. We spend the first part of the process identifying how we're going to do the EA, which is through the EA terms of reference. We started in January. We submitted our EA TOR, terms of reference, for approval in July. We're waiting any day now for the approvals of that. Once we receive approvals, we'll move forward with the EA itself, which we hope to complete by the end of June 2013. We'll have approvals that will get us to the end of 2013. We're hoping to have construction of this great project some time in the summer of July 2014.
Thank you very much.