Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of Toronto Port Lands flood protection project

Click to play video: 'Tory says Lakefront, Port Lands projects all a part of the same puzzle' Tory says Lakefront, Port Lands projects all a part of the same puzzle
WATCH ABOVE: Toronto Mayor John Tory helped announce the Port Lands flood protection project on Wednesday saying its all part of the puzzle to help the city be a better place to live – Nov 28, 2018

Federal, provincial and municipal officials joined hands Wednesday morning to attend a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of excavation for the Toronto Port Lands flood protection project.

Toronto’s waterfront is set to undergo a nearly $1.2-billion flood protection project that will lead to a makeover of the area.

“We will revitalize this great asset and one which is the most important in North America at the doorstep of downtown Toronto, which will unlock significant benefits both for the community and its people and economically, and also help to reduce the impact of climate change on our infrastructure,” said federal infrastructure minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne and Mayor John Tory made the joint investment announcement in 2017.

The project will provide flood protection for 240 hectares of land through the creation of a naturalized mouth for the Don River.

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“The mouth of the Don is a very important thing, not just because of the flood protection, but because it is something that is a natural path, it restores the natural path for the river to flow into the lake and I think that will be a good thing as well,” Mayor John Tory said.

READ MORE: Over $1B announced for Toronto Port Lands flood protection project

It will also help clean up contaminated soil, unlock underused industrial land for development and establish new aquatic habitats and wetlands that support native species.

It is estimated that as many as 1,500 jobs will be created during the cleanup and development phases.

The federal government will contribute up to $384 million to the $1.185-billion project, while Ontario and the City of Toronto will each contribute more than $400 million.

The project, which is expected to take about seven years to complete, will comprise extensive earth work, installation of municipal infrastructure, construction of three new bridges as well as extension of the Lake Shore Boulevard bridge and creation of a new, naturalized area in the river valley.

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—With a file from the Canadian Press

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