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Natural Environment

Study Method

The purpose of the environmental studies are to:  

  • Establish existing (baseline) conditions;  
  • Identify and characterize existing features;  
  • Complete impact assessments; and  
  • Develop measures to avoid, minimize or mitigate potential negative effects.  

Methods undertaken to complete these studies include the following: 

  • Examine designated natural areas and planning policy areas.  
  • Vegetation community and plant inventories.  
  • Fish and fish habitat surveys.  
  • Wildlife and wildlife habitat surveys.  
  • Significant wildlife habitat and species at risk screening.  
  • Identify potential adverse effects and appropriate mitigation measures. 

Existing environmental conditions

Toronto 

  • The only natural vegetation community within the study area was identified along the forested banks of Etobicoke Creek. The forested ravines of Etobicoke Creek likely act as important wildlife corridors, allowing for the movement of wildlife between areas to seek food, shelter and mates within the City of Toronto’s Natural Heritage System.  
  • No vegetation communities were identified as, or anticipated to be, provincially significant.  
  • The fish community that inhabits Etobicoke Creek is primarily cool-warm water species that are tolerant of disturbances.  
  • The majority of the wildlife are common in the City of Toronto and are tolerant to disturbances, while a small proportion is comprised of sensitive or rare species.

Recreational trail in Toronto.Recreational trail in Toronto.
Source: AECOM, 2021.

Mississauga East

  • The study area includes a variety of urban, residential and industrial areas which are divided by several natural features including watercourses, riparian areas and vegetated corridors.  
  • Several watercourses cross the study area and provide habitat to a variety of fish species including Sawmill Creek, Glen Erin Brook (coolwater systems) and Etobicoke Creek, Little Etobicoke Creek and Cooksville Creek (warmwater systems).  
  • A wide variety of migratory birds nest within the study area and Cliff Swallows, Barn Swallows, Eastern Phoebe and American Robin were identified under the Etobicoke Creek bridge.  
  • Species at Risk are known to occur within the study area including: Barn Swallow, Chimney Swift and Snapping Turtle.  
  • Local wildlife corridors exist in several areas, primarily associated with watercourse, riparian areas and valley lands for small, medium and large mammals as well as turtles.  

View of Etobicoke Creek looking downstream (south) from the bridge structure. A riffle exists downstream of the structure.View of Etobicoke Creek looking downstream (south) from the bridge structure. A riffle exists downstream of the structure.
Source: AECOM, 2021.

Mississauga West

  • The study area includes a variety of urban, residential and industrial areas which are divided by several natural features including watercourses, riparian areas and vegetated corridors.  
  • Crossing the study area, Mary Fix Creek and the Credit River provide habitat to a variety of fish species, with the Credit River also providing migratory corridors for populations of salmon and trout.  
  • Several natural heritage features are found within the study area, including the Credit River at Erindale Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) and Erindale Park near the Credit River.  
  • A wide variety of migratory birds nest within the study area.  
  • Species at Risk are known to occur within the study area, including Barn Swallow, Chimney Swift and Snapping Turtle.  
  • Local wildlife corridors exist in several areas primarily associated with watercourse, riparian areas and valley lands for small, medium and large mammals as well as turtles. Several other wooded areas within the study area also provide corridors for bats, including the Big Brown Bat.  

View of the Credit River flowing through Erindale ValleyView of the Credit River flowing through Erindale Valley.
Source: AECOM, 2021.

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