Skip to Main Content

Highland Creek downstream of Morningside Avenue Bridge Erosion Control Project

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is undertaking trail restoration and erosion control works along a section of Highland Creek east of Morningside Avenue, where channel widening has eroded a section of the Highland Creek Trail.

** Progress Update - April 29, 2014 **

Site Map


TRCA and the City of Toronto have been closely monitoring the ongoing erosion of Highland Creek east of Morningside Avenue since the major storm event of August 2005.

In recent years, the rate of channel widening and migration has increased considerably. Currently a 70 metre section of paved trail has eroded forcing the trail to be closed for safety purposes. The photos below illustrate pre-construction site conditions:

eroded trail trail erosion from point bar
point bar
eroded trail close-up


The purpose of this project is to restore the eroded trail and provide long term protection against future erosion by using the latest erosion control methods. Pedestrian safety will be improved by installing post & paddle fencing along the restored trail. Final site restoration will enhance the local environment through planting of more than 200 native shrubs and trees.

Scope of Work

The bank restoration and erosion control works will be implemented in two phases:

Phase 1

The proposed works will commence with the removal of approximately 3,000 m3 of accumulated point bar material opposite the eroded trail. A portion of this material will be used as backfill material for the proposed armourstone retaining wall during Phase 2 of the work. The surplus point bar material will be spread evenly across Staging & Stockpiling Area #1 and covered with topsoil, and seeded with a native seed mix.

Phase 2

Once the point bar material has been excavated, TRCA will mobilize to Staging & Stockpiling Area #2, located in the 1st parking lot of Morningside Park. The scope of work for Phase 2 includes installation of an armourstone retaining wall measuring approximately 120 metres long. Four (4) bendway weirs will be installed along the face of the armourstone retaining wall and will help to redirect flow energy away from the retaining wall and towards the centre of the channel during storm events. A post & paddle fence will be installed along the proposed armourstone retaining wall to improve public safety.

Final restoration will be completed in Spring 2014 and will include asphalt paving and planting of more than 200 high-quality native shrubs and trees.


Construction is currently scheduled to commence the week of November 25, 2013 pending the receipt of necessary approvals and is expected to continue until March 31, 2014. Final site restoration, including paving and planting, will be completed in Spring 2014 as weather conditions permit. Please visit this section regularly for up-to-date schedule information.

Trail Closure

A 700 metre section of the Highland Creek Trail will closed for the duration of Phase 2 in order to protect public safety while construction is underway. The approximate limits of the trail closure are indicated by the red line on the map below:

Trail Closure Map

TRCA recognizes the importance of the Highland Creek Trail to the surrounding communities and the general public, and will attempt to implement the work in a safe and timely manner in order to minimize adverse impacts.

Public Notices & Contact Information

The following Notice of Project Commencement is being distributed to Councillor Paul Ainslie for Ward 43 (Scarborough East) and Councillor Ron Moeser for Ward 44 (Scarborough East):

Highland Creek Downstream of Morningside Avenue Bridge - Notice of Project Commencement (433 kB)

Project signs will also be erected at the east and west limits of the closed portion of the Highland Creek Trail, as well as several locations close to the project site to advise park users of the trail closure and construction activity. The signs feature contact information to advise readers how to obtain more information about the project.

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

Patricia Newland, B.Sc., C.E.T., PMP
Project Manager, Environmental Engineering Projects
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
1 Eastville Avenue, Toronto, ON M1M 2N5
Tel: (416) 392-9690

Progress Updates

Please visit this section regularly for the latest project updates including photos from the site during construction.


January 13, 2014

TRCA has finished excavating the point bar deposition as shown in the progress photo below. Staff will be mobilizing to the north bank this week to begin preparations for installing the armourstone retaining wall. As a result, the trail on the north bank will be closed starting this week until construction has been completed.

Site conditions after excavation of the point bar deposition.

January 22, 2014

TRCA has begun constructing the lower courses of armourstone retaining wall as shown in the photo below.

January 22, 2014 Progress Photo


January 30, 2014

A second layer of armourstone retaining wall has been placed (see picture below) and the access road to the staging and stockpile area has been built. TRCA advises the public to obey posted signs and stay clear of the work site as there is constant heavy equipment traffic along the closed pathways. 

Continuation of armourstone placement at base of slope.


February 19, 2014

TRCA continues to install the armourstone retaining wall and rip-rap toe protection. So far, 7 of 10 courses of armourstone retaining wall have been built along the downstream end of the structure. TRCA has also formed 2 of 4 bendway weirs.

Progress Photo - February 20, 2014


February 27, 2014

TRCA has installed additional layers of armourstone at the downstream half of the retaining wall. Based on current progress, staff expect that the retaining wall and remaining bendway weirs will be constructed by the end of March. Final site restoration, including plantings and trail re-paving will be completed in the spring, as weather conditions permit.

Progress Photo - February 27, 2014


March 13, 2014

TRCA continues constructing the armourstone retaining wall. Three of four bendway weirs have now been installed. The photo below was captured on March 10, 2014.

Progress Photo - March 10, 2014

March 27, 2014

TRCA has finished installing the armourstone retaining wall and bendway weirs. Staff are currently installing and compacting the subgrade for the proposed asphalt trail. Final grading, landscaping, and asphalt paving will follow in the weeks ahead.

Progress Photo - March 27, 2014

April 17, 2014

TRCA staff are currently finishing the installation of the post and paddle fence along the trail at the armourstone retaining wall. The trail will be open for the Easter long weekend.

post and paddle fence along top of armourstone retaining wall

April 29, 2014

TRCA staff have completed the majority of works along the north bank. Final site restoration such as restoration plantings and asphalt paving will occur in May 2014 as weather conditions permit. As shown in the photo below, staff have re-mobilized to the south bank to restore an outflanked rip rap riffle structure and to restore an eroded bank.

Progress Photo - April 29, 2014