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Natural Environment - Environmental Impact Assessment Report

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Key Findings

The Study Area is largely urbanized with very limited naturalized areas providing low-quality habitat for urban wildlife.

  • There are no Provincially Significant Wetlands, Locally Significant Wetlands or provincially significant Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest in the Study Area.
  • The Don River in the Study Area provides fish habitat important for migration, feeding, and refuge.
  • The following species at risk have a high probability of occurring in the Study Area: Barn Swallow, Chimney Shift, American Eel, and Butternut.
  • The following species at risk have a medium probability of occurring in the Study Area: Eastern Small-footed Myotis, Little Brown Myotis, Northern Long-eared Myotis, Tri-coloured Bat, and Bank Swallow.
  • The following species at risk have a low probability of occurring in the Study Area: Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Blanding’s Turtle.

Close-up image of a vibrant blue barn swallow (bird).

Barn swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Source: Malene Thyssen

Image of trees and a creek in E.T. Seton park, which is located near the Ontario Science Centre.

E.T. Seton Park
Source: My Amazing Canada 2020

Potential Effects & Mitigation Measures

Potential Effects

Construction

  • Disturbance, displacement, or mortality of wildlife.
  • Removal of/damage to trees, terrestrial vegetation, and wildlife habitat.
  • Introduction or spread of invasive species.
  • Erosion and sedimentation.
  • Reduction in ecological function, habitat quality, and integrity.
  • Removal of/damage to aquatic/riparian vegetation and wetlands.
  • Potential for direct, in-water impacts to fish and fish habitat related to temporary crossing structures for the Don River crossings/bridges.
  • Construction may cause soil erosion and increased surface water/stormwater run-off resulting in changes to stormwater quality and quantity.

Operations

  • Operations may cause soil or water contamination as a result of spills (e.g., grease and/ or fuel) from equipment use during maintenance activities.
  • Operations may cause disturbance or displacement of wildlife during vegetation maintenance activities.

Mitigation Measures

Construction

  • Vegetation removal will be reduced to the greatest extent possible and limited within the area affected by construction and maintenance activities.
  • Compensation for tree removals and vegetation will be undertaken in accordance with the Metrolinx Vegetation Guideline (2020) and principles of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority Guideline for Determining Ecosystem Compensation (June 2018).
    • Temporarily disturbed areas will be re-vegetated using non-invasive, preferably native plantings and/or seed mix.
  • Erosion and sediment control measures will be implemented.
  • A Spill Prevention and Response Plan will be developed for construction and operations.
  • All requirements of the Fisheries Act including those pertaining to in-water works will be met during construction.
  • Sensitive wildlife timing restrictions will be followed for construction activities (e.g., removal of vegetation outside of the breeding bird season).
  • Wildlife exclusion measures will be implemented as required to avoid destruction, injury or interference with wildlife species and their habitat.
  • All requirements of the Endangered Species Act and Species at Risk Act will be met.
  • Floodplain impact assessment will be conducted during detailed design following Toronto and Region Conservation Authority guidelines.
  • A Stormwater Management Plan will be developed prior to construction.

Operations

  • A Spill Prevention and Response Plan will be developed for operations.
  • Vegetation removal will be reduced to the extent possible and limited to the Metrolinx right-of-way.
  • Monitoring and management of trees/vegetation in the rail corridor right-of-way.
  • An Integrated Vegetation Management Plan will be developed.

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Submissions are closed.