Canada: Flood Protection And Development Go Hand In Hand

Toronto’s ambitious Ports Land project is creating infrastructure that can adapt to rising water while opening up new vistas for development.

By the BF Staff
From the January/February 2018 Issue

Re-naturalizing and flood protecting the Port Lands is a key priority for the governments of Canada, Ontario and Toronto. Building resilient infrastructure in the Port Lands will increase Toronto’s capacity to adapt to climate change impacts and unlock the potential for the Port Lands to be home to the healthy, prosperous complete communities of the future.


Toronto Mayor John Tory recently joined CEO of Waterfront Toronto, Will Fleissig, and other officials to mark the start of construction on the Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project, part of the Port Lands Flood Protection Project.

In September 2016, the governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto announced $65 million in infrastructure funding under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund for the Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project. This project is advancing as a component of the $1.25 billion Port Lands Flood Protection project.

The Cherry Street Stormwater and Lakefilling project is designed to optimize water and stormwater infrastructure by stabilizing the shoreline under flood conditions, enhancing aquatic habitat, and ultimately, forming part of the proposed Promontory Park. The project will also allow for the re-alignment of Cherry Street, which is necessary for accommodating roads and transit into the Port Lands as part of the economic revitalization of these lands.

The larger Port Lands Flood Protection project will provide critical flood protection through the creation of a naturalized mouth for the Don River and a new river valley, and remediate contaminated soil, unlocking new land for development. The flood protection project will enable the long-term transformation of the Port Lands into new sustainable communities, including parks, residential and commercial development. The long-term development of the Port Lands will support innovation, deliver affordable housing and jobs, allowing Toronto to grow sustainably, and to meet the challenges associated with this growth.


Consisting of four main centers of Courtice, Bowmanville, Newcastle and Orono, the Municipality of Clarington is a lakeshore community in the Greater Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada. With a population fast approaching 100,000 and more than 1,500 businesses, Clarington offers what investors desire: affordable serviced land, proximity to market and amenities, business support and an engaged community.

Motorsport races, including the Porsche GT3 Cup 1 race (pictured above)
and NASCAR’s truck series, are among a wide array of tourist attractions that
can be enjoyed in Clarington. (Photo: CBOT)

Clarington is home to three of the top 100 largest infrastructure projects in Canada, currently underway: Darlington Nuclear refurbishment, Port Granby remediation project and Highway 407 east extension. Combined, these projects represent $14 billion in investment and the creation of thousands of jobs. There is a commitment from Metrolinx and the province of Ontario to extend the GO Train to Clarington, with two stations to be in service by 2024. This project will create numerous development sites surrounding these two stations. The Municipality of Clarington is currently undergoing a study to determine feasible uses around the future GO Train station sites. Suggestions range from hi-density residential to commercial.

Economic activity is creating increased attention to Clarington. In the last six months, 80 acres of fully serviced industrial land have conditionally sold, or have sold firm, 30 acres of which has been purchased by Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) for their new 300,000 square foot parts distribution center, with construction expected to commence spring of 2018.  TCI stated in a recent press release that they chose the location in Bowmanville because it will help them meet the needs of their parts operations in Eastern Canada, providing them with direct access to major transportation routes, and offering the ability to accommodate future growth.

Eyes are on Clarington as the place to grow. The Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development (CBOT) have seen a significant increase in inquiries from business looking to locate or expand in Clarington. The majority of inquiries are for industrial space, followed by commercial, then office. There was a 320 percent increase in inquiries from 2015 to 2016, and 122 percent increase in 2017 over 2016. In 2016, CBOT received interest for a total of 2,117,750 square feet. In 2017 the office received interest for a total of 10.3-million square feet.

With diversity of investment comes diversity in Clarington’s business community. The municipality has over 100 manufacturers, 400 working farms and 300 retailers. The life sciences business community is also rapidly growing, making an impact on diagnosis accuracy and accessibility, patient care and agri-pharma practices.  There are over 20 tourist attractions in the community for all to enjoy. Ranging from skiing, visiting a zoo and watching various motorsport races such as the NASCAR Truck Series, to fishing, shopping in unique historic downtowns, there is something for everyone. Clarington’s healthy mix of economy and quality of life lays the foundation for a community in which businesses chose to operate and employees chose to live.

Walking through the door at the Clarington Board of Trade and Office of Economic Development, one will encounter a team driven by purpose, professionalism and passion. CBOT does not take economic impact for granted, rather the team proactively engages and facilitates connections to opportunity—this philosophy applies to the way CBOT operates, challenging status quo every day as they support existing, future business investment and job creation.

“We work with the real estate community to provide location options for business and meet their needs from space inquiry to grand opening. We also enjoy helping business and their employees integrate into the community” says Sheila Hall, executive director for CBOT.