Ecohealth: A Lake Ontario Evening

Missed our April 28 Lake Ontario Evening event? No problem — the full video is now available for viewing!

Ecohealth

Join the Toronto & Region Remedial Action Plan (RAP) team to learn about the growing evidence of the benefits of healthy ecosystems on human health and well-being.

 

Event: Lake Ontario Evening
– April 2021

Ecohealth

Date: Wednesday April 28, 2021
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Online (webinar)

Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after a walk in nature? Time in greenspaces not only improves our mental well-being, it has also been linked to a decreased incidence of health issues such as respiratory and heart conditions.

Come learn about the growing evidence of the benefits of healthy ecosystems on human health and well-being. Discover the basics of eco-health, the science behind it, and even get a chance to practice it.

Presentations:

  • Ecohealth in Ontario – Pegeen Walsh, Executive Director, Ontario Public Health Association
  • Ecohealth: Past and Present – Dr. Karen Morrison, Adjunct Professor, York University
  • Turning Everyday Walks Into a Bit of Forest Therapy – Ben Porchuk, Executive Director, Global Institute of Forest Therapy

Lake Ontario Evenings are free and open to the public.

 

Indigenous Treaties and Peoples of Toronto: A Lake Ontario Evening

Missed our February 9 Lake Ontario Evening event? No problem — the full video is now available for viewing!

Indigenous Treaties and Peoples of Toronto

Join Toronto & Region Remedial Action Plan (RAP) team to learn about the treaties that cover what is now the City of Toronto, which nations traditionally inhabited or moved through these lands, traditional ecological knowledge, the indigenous presence in Toronto today, and more.

 

Event: Lake Ontario Evening – February 2021

Indigenous Peoples and Treaties of Toronto

Date: Tuesday February 9, 2021
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Online (webinar)

Please join us for a virtual Lake Ontario Evening on Indigenous Treaties and Peoples of Toronto.

The two-hour event will touch on the treaties that cover what is now the City of Toronto, which nations traditionally inhabited or moved through these lands, traditional ecological knowledge, the indigenous presence in Toronto today, and more.

Presentations:

  • Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation treaties in Toronto and Region – Darin Wybenga, Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Coordinator, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
  • The Michi Saagiig Peoples on the Eastern Shores of Lake Ontario – Gary Pritchard, Indigenous Restoration Ecologist
  • Urban Indigenous Tkaronto: Social Services Landscape – Lindsay (Swooping Hawk) Kretschmer, Executive Director, Toronto Aboriginal Support Services Council

Lake Ontario Evenings are free and open to the public.

 

Rain to Runoff: A Lake Ontario Evening

Missed our December 15 Lake Ontario Evening event? No problem — the full video is now available for viewing!

Rain to Runoff

Join Toronto & Region Remedial Action Plan (RAP) team to learn how rain interacts with the urban landscape, what you can do to minimize those impacts, and what is being done at the municipal level to address runoff.

 

Event: Lake Ontario Evening – December 2020

Rain to Runoff

Date: Tuesday December 15, 2020
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Online (webinar)

Late fall is upon us, bringing a large helping of rain — with a side of snow! This increased precipitation creates more stormwater runoff, which can mean more flooding, impaired water quality, and overburdened municipal infrastructure.

Join us to learn about how rain interacts with the urban landscape, what you can do to minimize those impacts, and what is being done at the municipal level to address runoff.

During this Lake Ontario Evening, we will cover measures you can take on your property to minimize runoff, delve into how runoff interacts with our wider neighbourhoods, and finally, take a big-picture look at how runoff is addressed at a city-wide scale.

Finally, stick around to get an update on the construction of the City of Toronto’s largest stormwater infrastructure project: the Don and Central Waterfront Combined Sewer Overflow project.

Topics and Speakers:

  • Rainscaping Techniques to Reduce Runoff on Your Property – Liana D’Andrea, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
  • Integrating Green Infrastructure into the Urban Landscape … And Making Us Feel Great Too! – Tim Van Seters, Sustainable Technology Evaluation Program (STEP)
  • Don River & Central Waterfront Project – 2020 Update – Jian Lei, City of Toronto

Lake Ontario Evenings are free and open to the public.

 

Fish Populations and Habitats: A Lake Ontario Evening

Missed our October 20 Lake Ontario Evening event? No problem — the full video is now available for viewing!

Assessment of Fish Populations and Habitats in Toronto and Region

Join Toronto & Region Remedial Action Plan (RAP) team to learn how fish populations and habitats are faring in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern, with a set of short presentations from our panel of experts!

 

Event: Lake Ontario Evening – October 2020

Assessment of Fish Populations and Habitats in Toronto and Region

Date: Tuesday October 20, 2020
Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Online (webinar)

Join us to learn all about how fish populations and habitats are faring in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern, with a set of short presentations from our panel of experts!

In 2019/2020, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) scientists used more than 30 years of electrofishing data, long term habitat restoration records, and nearly a decade of hydroacoustic and telemetry survey data to assess the status of fish and their habitats in Toronto.

TRCA monitoring team electrofishing on Lake Ontario waterfront

In this Lake Ontario Evening webinar, you’ll learn how fish and fish habitat are doing, what we still don’t know, and how we can continue to support our native fish communities.

Presentations:

  • A Brief History of Aquatic Habitat along the Toronto and Region Waterfront – Rick Portiss, Senior Manager, TRCA
  • Fish Populations Status Assessment – Jon Midwood, Research Scientist, DFO
  • Fish Habitat Status Assessment – Susan Doka, Research Scientist, DFO
  • Toronto Waterfront Aquatic Habitat Restoration Update – Lyndsay Cartwright, Data Analyst, TRCA

 

News: Aesthetics BUI Re-designated to “Not Impaired”

On Friday July 10, 2020 the “Degradation of Aesthetics” Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) was officially re-designated to “not impaired” status in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern (AOC), pursuant to the provisions of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, 2012.

“Degradation of Aesthetics” was one of 11 impairments identified for Toronto and Region when it was identified as an Area of Concern in the late 1980s. The criteria for re-designation were: “Waters free of any substance that produces a persistent objectionable deposit, unnatural colour or turbidity, or objectionable odour.”

Path to Re-designation

Activities that contributed to the re-designation included:

  • Implementation of the City of Toronto’s Wet Weather Flow Master Plan
  • Shoreline and AOC-wide clean-ups by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, and other groups
  • Floating debris removal by Ports Toronto and Harbourfront Centre
  • Education and awareness campaigns on littering and waste disposal
  • Relocation of industry away from the waterfront, reducing oil slicks that were the greatest contributor to the degradation of aesthetics at the time of designation

Select image below to view full-sized.

chart displaying progress made by Toronto RAP in addressing beneficial use impairments in the Toronto and Region Area of Concern since 1987

Monitoring Aesthetics

Aesthetics monitoring was conducted in 2012, 2013, and 2015. A total of 1,667 samples were observed, from 320 sites throughout the Toronto and Region AOC. Of these:

  • 94% of observations showed excellent or good aesthetic condition.
  • 80% of observations showed that water was clear, colourless, and odourless, with no excess debris present.
  • 1% of observations (20 samples) were assessed as having poor (i.e., unacceptable) aesthetic condition. Of the sites assessed as poor on one or more occasion, none were considered to have persistent, objectionable aesthetic issues.

TRCA team conducts aesthetics monitoring along Toronto waterfront

TRCA team conducts aesthetics monitoring along Toronto waterfront.

Ongoing Actions

Several activities are underway to maintain or improve the aesthetic conditions of waterways within the Toronto and Region Area of Concern. Actions include, but are not limited to:

  • Community cleanups such as the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and the Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation’s Look After Where You Live program
  • Development of a multi-agency floatables strategy to address floating trash and debris along the waterfront
  • Installation of seabins — floating garbage receptacles that suck in trash floating atop the water — along the waterfront
  • Trash research and track-down initiatives by the University of Toronto Trash Team

corporate team participates in Look After Where You Live program

Corporate team participates in Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation’s Look After Where You Live program.

 

News: Beaches De-listing Criteria Updated

cover page of Beaches Criteria Update reportThe Toronto and Region Remedial Action Plan (RAP) has updated the de-listing criteria for Beneficial Use Impairment (BUI) 10 – Beach Closures.

The proposed new criteria were developed with input from the Beach Closures technical working group, and the Toronto and Region RAP team, both of which comprise experts from all three levels of government.

The proposed new criteria are as follows:

“Toronto and Region Area of Concern (AOC) bathing beaches are open 80% or more of the swimming season as determined by Toronto Public Health.

At bathing beaches where this guideline cannot be achieved for 80% of the swimming season:

• Sources of fecal pollution and impaired water quality must be identified and pollution prevention and remediation plans implemented.

• Risk management strategies and communication plans must be implemented to protect human health.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE RATIONALE BEHIND THE UPDATE.

Would you like to provide comment on the proposed criteria? Email Valerie.francella@trca.ca.