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Mud Creek Restoration - Reach 5

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is preparing to undertake channel restoration works along a section of Mud Creek known as Reach 5, where slope instability and ongoing erosion are creating a risk to residential properties, the Heath Street East pedestrian bridge, and a portion of the Beltline Trail.

** Update to Project Schedule - December 16, 2014 **

**Progress Update (with Photo) - September 16, 2013**

Mud Creek Reach 5 Site Map


The erosion issues affecting Mud Creek have been a concern to both the City of Toronto and TRCA for several years. In 2010, Toronto Water commissioned a geomorphic assessment of Mud Creek to characterize the sub-watershed and watercourse in order to support the design of channel stabilization works. The study was titled Mud Creek Geomorphic Systems Master Plan (hereafter referred to as the Master Plan) and was completed in August 2012. The Master Plan delineated the open channel sections of Mud Creek into 6 distinct reaches, each separated by sections that have historically been piped underground.

Based on the findings of the Master Plan, the reaches were ranked by priority and Reach MC-5 (or Reach 5) was ranked as 2nd in priority. Having successfully implemented the restoration works at Reach MC-1 in Spring 2012, TRCA is preparing to implement similar works at Reach 5.


The purpose of this restoration project is to effectively reduce/prevent erosion and slope instability which is creating a risk to private property, municipal infrastructure and public safety.

Below are representative photos of the site in the summer and fall of 2012.

Perched culvert at the upstream limit of Mud Creek Reach 5 Downstream Limits of Proposed Work Area. Note large woody debris buildup within channel.
Culvert and Bridge at Mud Creek Reach 5


Scope of Work

The construction of the restoration works at Reach 5 will be implemented in two phases.

Phase 1

Phase 1 of the proposed works involves extending the existing culvert under the Heath Street Bridge by approximately 24 metres with backfilling and stabilization of the existing slope to provide long term protection for the bridge and reduce the risk of public injury, followed by approximately 69 metres (m) of channel stabilization works with armourstone (rectangular limestone or granite blocks), riverstone (naturally round stones) and native plants.


Phase 2

Phase 2 of the project involves completing the remaining 87 m of channel stabilization works as described for Phase 1, pending the receipt of all necessary approvals and available funding. 

Following the completion of each major component of work TRCA will restore disturbed areas with topsoil, native seed mix and high quality native trees and shrubs that are appropriate for the existing environment.

Pending successful implementation of channel restoration works, TRCA will restore the site to existing condition or better. Specifically, all trees removed during construction will be replaced with high-quality, native tree species appropriate for site conditions.

As part of the stabilization works and following construction, TRCA and the City of Toronto will continue to implement a high-quality forest management strategy to replace removed trees and increase species diversity, and add to the ecological value of the Moore Park Ravine. Restoration will begin with the installation of several hundred live stakes (branches of native shrubs such as willow and dogwood that are pruned and installed during dormancy) and bare root shrubs over the summer and fall of 2013 to help stabilize the newly constructed channel. As part of the ongoing forest management strategy, additional removals of invasive and dead/dying trees along the slope above the creek followed by aggressive replanting of numerous native trees and shrubs are anticipated. The site will be regularly managed to ensure proper establishment and long-term success. Additional information on Mud Creek site management undertaken by Urban Forestry is available on the following webpage:


TRCA is preparing to commence construction along Phase 2 of the project during the week of January 5, 2015. The work is expected to take approximately 12 weeks to complete excluding final site restoration, which will be completed during the spring of 2015 as weather conditions permit. Please visit this page regularly for updated schedule information.

Trail Closures

Trail Closure Map for Mud Creek Restoration - Reach 5

Due to limited space for construction equipment and materials at Reach 5, a portion of the Beltline Trail will need to be closed during periods of active construction, typically Monday to Friday between the hours of 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM, to protect public safety while the work is underway.

TRCA recognizes the value of the Beltline Trail to the surrounding communities and general public, and will re-open the trail evenings, weekends and holidays to minimize the disruption to public access to the fullest extent possible.

Public Notices & Contact Information

The following Notice of Project Commencement is being distributed to the local area residents, as well as to Councillor Jon Burnside for Ward 26 (Don Valley West) and Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam for Ward 27 (Toronto Centre-Rosedale):

Mud Creek Restoration (Reach 5 Phase II) - Notice of Project Commencement (PDF 567 kB)

Project signs will also be erected at the north and south limits of the Beltline Trail, as well as at several locations close to the project site to advise park users of the trail closure and construction activity, 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:

Waterfront Office, 1 Eastville Avenue
Toronto, ON M1M 2N5
Tel: (416) 392-9720


Progress Updates

Readers are encouraged to visit this page often for the latest progress updates and photos.

March 27, 2013

TRCA has started implementing basic site preparation. This includes erecting safety fencing, installing trail closure signs, improving the construction access road, and setting up the staging and stockpile area beneath the Heath Street East Pedestrian Bridge. TRCA would like to remind pedestrians and cyclists to obey posted signs and avoid the project site while active construction is underway.

Temporary Fencing at the entrance of the Mud Creek Reach 5 Project Site

April 18, 2013

TRCA will complete site preparation works by the end of this week. Site preparation works include setup of the staging and stockpiling area, selective tree removals, and construction of access ramps leading from the Beltline Trail down to the watercourse. Installation of the culvert pipe extension is expected to start on Monday, April 22, 2013.


April 26, 2013

TRCA's contractor Melfer Construction Inc. has started site preparation works for the culvert extension. Staff are currently working on installing the channel by-pass and dewatering measures. In the photo below, an excavator is carrying a metre bag filled with pea-gravel. Metre bags are being used for the construction of the cofferdams.

An excavator is carrying a metre bag filled with pea-gravel, which will be used to construct a coffer-dam.

May 10, 2013

TRCA's contractor has installed the 24 metre culvert extension. The slope is being regraded to a stable angle of repose using imported soil fill material. The culvert's new concrete headwall will formed and poured next week pending favourable weather conditions.

Culvert extension in foreground. Heavy machinery regrading the slope with clean fill material.

June 12, 2013

TRCA's contractor has formed the concrete headwall, installed the rip rap drainage swale, and regraded the slope. TRCA's construction staff have now mobilized on site and will begin installing the channel erosion control works.

Recently completed culvert extension, rip rap drainage swale, and slope regrading.

July 9, 2013

TRCA has resumed construction after water levels subsided following the severe storm on July 8, 2013. TRCA has almost completed the plunge pool and the surrounding armourstone retaining walls as shown in the photo below. Construction staff will continue extending the armourstone retaining wall along the west bank of the channel and will install the first armourstone weir.

An excavator is placing large armourstone on the west bank of Mud Creek.

August 23, 2013

TRCA has completed the original scope of channel works for Phase 1. Construction staff are currently addressing a slope failure that occurred as a result of the July 8, 2013 Storm along the east bank at the downstream end of Phase 1 works.

Progress Photo August 23, 2013

August 31, 2013

TRCA is currently stabilizing the slope failure on the east bank. TRCA has installed the rock buttress at the toe of the slope and is proceed with filling the slope with clean fill material. As shown in the photograph below, TRCA staff are standing on top of the compacted fill material.

TRCA conducting slope restoration works on the east bank of Mud Creek Reach 5

September 16, 2013

TRCA has completed Phase 1 of the channel restoration works at Mud Creek Reach 5. Restoration plantings will be installed during Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.

View from the Heath Street East Pedestrian Bridge. September 16, 2013