(Artist rendering: Credit Valley Conservation)
BY KELLY ROCHE
Construction begins in July for Lakeview’s Waterfront Connection.
“This is the most important transformation and habitat revitalization of Mississauga’s waterfront in over 50 years,” said Mississauga South MPP Charles Sousa.
A status update regarding the 9.5 km shoreline for public access was received at regional council Thursday, with the final construction budget tallied at $60 million.
The plan is “strictly devoted to reintroducing the natural environment, which we need to do more of,” said Ward 1 Coun. Jim Tovey.
The conservation area is being built in Lake Ontario, connecting with Marie Curtis Park and the future Inspiration Lakeview lands next to the G.E. Booth Waste Water Treatment Plant. That’s where the city, province, and Ontario Power Generation are transforming the former power plant into a vibrant, sustainable, mixed-use community.
This means the waterfront connection will do just that — merge the trail between Toronto and Mississauga along Lakeshore Rd., currently away from the shore in this stretch.
The project will “protect our environment and stimulate the economy,” said Sousa.
It will take seven to 10 years to build the park, featuring 64 acres of high quality habitat including natural meadows, coastal forest, coastal wetlands, estuarine habitat, treed swamp, and island habitat for shore birds.
“We’re going to have a naturalized conservation area in a very, very urban setting, forever. How cool is that?,” asked Tovey.
The concept is a collaboration between the Region of Peel, Credit Valley Conservation, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
The Region of Peel is funding the $36 million cost, recovering about $24 million in disposal fees through the capital project.
Dirt needed for the build will be recycled locally and contractors will pay the tipping fee they would normally direct to the landfill sites, said Tovey.
“We’re recycling a waste product, repurposing it, and doing something really, really good for the environment by creating fish habitat, migrating bird habitat…,” he said.
An environmental assessment for the plan was approved last May by the environment and climate change ministry.
Peel has 13 kms of shoreline along Lake Ontario, while Toronto has 46 kms.
“This will provide a new Ontario waterfront destination, including beaches and pristine trails, for people to explore and enjoy for future generations,” Sousa said.