The City of Toronto marked a major milestone for the Fairbank Silverthorn Storm Trunk Sewer System project (No. 100 on ReNew’s Top100 Projects report), launching a tunnel boring machine that will work to construct a new storm sewer that will collect, store and move stormwater from the Fairbank-Silverthorn area to Black Creek to help reduce the risk of basement flooding.

This is the City’s largest basement flooding prevention project to date.

The first section of the 270-tonne tunnel boring machine will be lowered into a 40-metre-deep shaft inside Fairbank Memorial Park, located on Dufferin Street south of Eglinton Avenue West. There, the tunnel boring machine will begin constructing a three-kilometre long, 4.5-diametre storm sewer. This project spans four City wards: Toronto-St. Paul’s, Eglinton-Lawrence, Davenport and York South-Weston.

“I am pleased to mark this important milestone in the Fairbank Silverthorn Storm Trunk Sewer System project that will help protect thousands of basements from flooding. This is particularly important as we see the increased frequency of impactful storms that can damage people’s homes and cherished belongings. This project will also help reduce combined sewer overflows from being released into local waterways,” said Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie, chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

(City of Toronto)

This project is a significant investment in improving City infrastructure to meet the needs of Toronto communities both now and in the future. Once complete, this project will help mitigate basement flooding and sewer backups for more than 12,500 people living in 4,645 homes and reduce 40 million litres of annual combined sewer overflows into Black Creek and other local waterways.

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The project consists of a three-kilometre storm sewer from Fairbank Memorial Park in the east to Black Creek in the west. Once complete, the new sewer will hold and store stormwater and release it gradually into Black Creek at a controlled rate. A series of smaller storm sewers, totalling 17 kilometres in length, will also be constructed and connected to local catch basins to carry rainwater to this large new storm sewer. The project also includes installing more than 320 devices to control rainwater flow in catch basins to reduce the risk of basement flooding and combined sewer overflows.

The project started in 2021 and will be completed in 2026. The total project cost is approximately $380 million and benefits from $73.2 million in funding from the Government of Canada under the Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund (DMAF). The remaining $307 million is funded by the City’s Basement Flooding Protection Program.

Featured image: (City of Toronto)

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