Here is a quick overview of the recommendations from the South Etobicoke Stormwater Management Plan that has now virtually cleared the Environmental Assessment. The full Study Report can be read online here. See images below.
In essence, there will be an underground settling shaft adjacent to the filtration plant fed by east and west interceptor sewers that will be constructed along Lakeshore Blvd, Lake Shore Drive and Lake Promenade to capture and convey stormwater from outfalls along the Etobicoke waterfront. The Sam Smith Park section of the sewers will be tunneled. The rest will be "dig and cover". Treated sediment will be periodically removed from the shaft and transported by trucks that will enter and leave the facility through the filtration plant.
Buried in the huge project file is a tiny section on enhancement “opportunities” with a small paragraph that says that during the detailed design phase there will be “considered” the “discharge of treated water from the underground treatment shaft ….. to North Creek to help restore base flow to the creek and increase opportunities for aquatic life”. If this were to happen, The City would have to consult with TRCA and we understand that dialogue has started. The project file, however, disappointingly states, “indications are that this opportunity is limited”.
This is a far cry from a naturalized solution to cleaning up storm run-off that many community members wanted and is practiced in many places elsewhere. There is no decentralized spreading out of the load, no additional wetland or settling ponds, no habitat enrichment, no daylighting of buried creeks, no water features or water runways, no imagination and no enhanced opportunity for people and wildlife to enjoy and benefit from any rainwater flowing through our neighborhood that had the misfortune to fall on barren cement and asphalt.