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East Highland Creek at Portico Drive Erosion Control Maintenance

The objective of the project is to provide long-term erosion protection for the valley slope below Portico Drive through the replacement of existing control measures with new materials and techniques appropriate for the current flow regime. 

*Project Status Update (June 2012)*

The Project

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is preparing to restore a section of East Highland Creek in Morningside Park below Portico Drive, located north of Ellesmere Road, west of Military Trail in the City of Toronto.

 Portico site map


In 2005, following a staff report citing concerns over the collapse of the existing retaining wall on the bank of East Highland Creek below Portico Drive, TRCA retained the services of Terraprobe Inc. to complete a slope stability assessment and erosion risk analysis for the section of valley wall left unprotected by the failed erosion protection.

Failed gabion baskets below Portico

The study concluded that poor drainage and erosion from river flow at the base of the slope are adversely affecting the stability of the valley wall, creating a risk to the properties on Portico Drive at the top of slope.

In 2011 following the approval of the required funding, TRCA retained Terraprobe to complete the detailed design of replacement erosion control measures at the site. To ensure conformity with the recommendations of the City of Toronto's Highland Creek Geomorphology Systems Master Plan, TRCA also retained a consulting firm specialized in fluvial geomorpholgy - Aquafor Beech Ltd. - to provide design details for the in-stream components of the project.

Scope of Work

In general the work involves:

  • replacing approximately 85 metres of failed gabion baskets along the base of the valley slope with armourstone
  • placing stone along the riverbed to prevent downcutting
  • installing six (6) bendway weirs to reduce stress on the new armourstone wall
  • planting of native shrubs above the new armourstone wall for additional protection against erosion and to improve the diversity of plant species in the vicinity
  • restoration of all disturbed areas with native grasses, shrubs and/or trees as weather conditions permit

Construction Access & Timing

Access will be gained off of Military Trail where construction equipment will travel northwest along an existing access road to the project site.

In the interest of protecting public safety, temporary fencing and signage will be erected at the site to delineate the limits of the active work area and restrict public access while the work is underway. No major disruptions to the formal pathways in Morningside Park are anticipated.

Work is scheduled to commence immediately upon the receipt of the necessary approvals and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2012 excluding final site restoration which will be done as weather conditions permit.

Public Notices & Contact Information

The following Notice of Construction has been prepared for circulation to the local City Councillor, Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38) local community groups and homes surrounding the project site:

Notice of Project Commencement (PDF 277 KB)

Project signs will also be erected at Military Trail at the entrance to Morningside Park, within Morningside Park and at the easement between 105 and 109 Portico Drive and to advise the public of the restoration work, along with contact information where more details about the project can be obtained.

If you have any questions or comments about the project please contact:

Moranne McDonnell
Senior Manager, Environmental Engineering Projects
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
1 Eastville Avenue, Toronto, ON M1M 2N5 
Tel: (416) 392-9725


Project Status 

As of June 2012

Construction of the major maintenance works were completed in early April 2012. Below is a photo showing the site in June 2012:

Newly constructed armour stone retaining wall below Portico Drive