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Natural Environment - East Harbour Station

← Return to Early Works: East Harbour Station Draft Report

Key Findings

  • Though the study area provides limited wildlife habitat given its urbanized nature, it contributes to habitat connectivity and movement for small to medium sized urban wildlife.
  • The study area does not feature any provincially or locally significant wetlands, areas of natural and scientific interest, woodlands, valleylands or environmentally significant areas.
  • The Don River Valley is designated as an Urban River Valley under the Greenbelt Plan; the study area is in the City of Toronto’s Ravine and Natural Feature Protection Bylaw and Natural Heritage System, and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority regulated area.
  • Though no specialized fish habitat is present in the study area, the Lower Don River provides fish habitat important for migration, feeding and refuge. No impacts to aquatic habitat or aquatic species, including Species at Risk, are anticipated.
  • Species of Conservation Concern (e.g., Northern Map Turtle, Snapping Turtle, Monarch) and Species at Risk (e.g., Barn Swallow, Chimney Swift and bat Species at Risk) may be present. The existing rail bridge over the Lower Don River may provide nesting habitat for migratory breeding birds.
  • Most of the East Harbour Station early works project footprint overlaps with existing parking lots and fragmented cultural vegetation communities within and adjacent to the existing rail corridor.

Ecological Land Classification in the East Harbour Station Early Works Natural Environment Study Area

Potential Effects & Mitigation Measures

Potential Effects:

  • Removal of/damage to trees, terrestrial vegetation and wildlife habitat.
  • Erosion and/or sedimentation-related impacts to vegetation communities as a result of construction.
  • Disturbance or displacement of wildlife species and reduced habitat connectivity.
  • Risk of contamination to soil or waterbodies as a result of spills.
  • Introduction or spread of invasive species.

Mitigation Measures:

  • Identify opportunities to promote pollinator species and habitat in accordance with the Metrolinx Vegetation Guideline (2020) (e.g., this may include planting or seeding native flowering plants in temporarily disturbed areas).
  • Tree and vegetation removals will be kept to a minimum and limited to within construction areas.
  • Tree and vegetation removal compensation will be provided in accordance with the Metrolinx Vegetation Guideline (2020).
  • Temporarily disturbed areas will be restored/re-vegetated.
  • Erosion and sediment control measures will be installed prior to construction commencement.
  • Prior to early works activities, species-specific surveys will be completed as required to avoid or reduce potential impacts to bat Species at Risk and meet all Species at Risk regulatory requirements.

View of the south side of the existing rail bridge crossing the Lower Don River. Source: Metrolinx, 2020.

South-east facing view of shrubs and trees along the rail corridor towards the Lower Don River.
Source: Metrolinx, 2016.

← Return to Early Works: East Harbour Station Draft Report