Ashbridges Bay Park Major Maintenance Project

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is undertaking repair and remediation works on an erosion control structure in Ashbridges Bay Park in order to provide long-term protection to the shoreline and the park interior.

Project Location

The Project Area is within Ashbridges Bay Park at the intersection of Coxwell Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard East, on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in the City of Toronto. The area of concern is the southeast facing cobble and concrete rubble beach located south of the marina situated between two headlands.

The project is being funded in part by the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division and by Infrastructure Canada’s Disaster Mitigation Adaptation Fund as part of a City-wide shoreline protection effort.

Map of location of Ashbridges Bay and location of the beach. Source: TRCA, 2019.

Learn More About the Project

Project Background

Aerial view of Ashbridges Bay Park. Source: TRCA, 2017.

Ashbridges Bay Park is a unique artificial landform that was created as part of a lakefilling project to expand the land east of Coatsworth Cut, following the development of the Ashbridges Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant.

After development, the park was opened to the public in 1977. Today, the park is used for its many amenities including an intricate trail system, marina, fishing boardwalks and picnic areas.

Erosion control structures along the shoreline of Ashbridges Bay Park have been subjected to constant wave action, ice effects and flooding since its construction. Over time, the structure has lost much of the cobble, rubble, and rip rap material that makes up the beach.

This loss of material has resulted in the erosion of the backshore. During recent significant weather events, such as the high lake levels of 2017 and 2019 and the April 14-15 wind storm, existing deficiencies have been exacerbated.

As a result of the erosion, TRCA annual monitoring records show that the structural stability of the beach has failed since 2018. The erosion of the backshore has caused many trees to fall and has placed the adjacent Martin Goodman Trail at risk, creating a public safety concern and limiting public access to the shoreline.

As a result, fencing has been placed around the affected trail area by the City of Toronto for public safety.

The erosion of the trail behind the cobble beach. Source: TRCA, 2019.
A second segment of trail eroding away as a result of the structural failure of the cobble beach. Source: TRCA, 2019.

Scope of Work

The goal of the project is to restore and enhance the original erosion control capabilities of the beach by repairing the structure. Repair work includes construction of a shoreline rip rap beach along the western portion of the site and a nearshore underwater rip rap reef along the eastern third of the site.

In summary, these designs will strengthen the structure and allow the area to absorb wave impact and changes to Lake levels easier while promoting aquatic habitat enhancement in Lake Ontario. A breakdown of the current progress of the scope of work is below:

Completed steps: Construction of Phase I (Interim Repairs): November 2016 to December 2016

In Progress: Construction of Phase II (Beach): Date – *March 2021

  • Site preparation, including installation of sediment and erosion control measures, and construction fencing
  • Placement of new rip rap material on slope and in nearshore reef
  • Site restoration, including tree and shrub planting

Next steps include: Construction of Phase III (Headland): Date – to be determined. Aligned with the Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant Landform Project.

Construction Information

The work and transportation of materials will primarily be completed by barge, with the exception of TRCA or City of Toronto approved work vehicles driving along the park path. As of November 2020, work has been delayed, and implementation is expected to commence in March 2021.

Notice of Construction

Notices of Construction will be placed at the park entrances and members of the community will be updated before construction begins.

Ashbridges Bay Park Major Maintenance Project Notice of Construction Sign. Source: TRCA, 2020.

Progress Updates

Update: October 1, 2019

  • W. F. Baird & Associates Coastal Engineers Ltd. was retained as coastal engineering consultants to design the new beach system
  • Detailed designs being are being finalized

Update: February 21, 2020

  • Detailed Designs have been finalized

Update: May 13, 2020

  • Awaiting final permits

Update: November 2020

  • Received necessary permits and approvals

Update: November 30, 2020

  • Project has been delayed. Implementation expected for March 2021

*Timelines may be subject to change.

Contact Us

The Planning Team is located at TRCA’s Boyd Field Centre in Vaughan:

Restoration and Infrastructure Division, Engineering Projects
9755 Canada Company Avenue
Vaughan, Ontario
L4H 0A3

For more information regarding this project, please contact:

Rhona Scott, Project Manager
Erosion Risk Management
Restoration & Infrastructure Division
(416) 661-6600 ext.6460