FAQ Category: General information

How can I live in the Port Lands?

The work currently happening in the Port Lands is for flood protection. In doing so, we’ll create Villiers Island and a new mouth for the Don River. The flood protection project does not include any development or buildings.

The planned community on Villiers Island between Cherry and Don Roadway will be guided by the City Council approved Precinct Plan.

Developers for Villiers Island (the future community in the Port Lands) haven’t been selected yet. Development of Villiers Island, including building housing, will happen after the flood protection work is complete in 2024.

How do the new film studios announced in the Port Lands fit into your plans?

It sounds like you’re referring to the Basin Media Hub that was recently announced. That project is overseen by CreateTO and the City of Toronto.

The Basin Media Hub was identified as part of a larger cluster of production, interactive and creative uses in the Port Lands Planning Framework, which was approved by City Council in 2017. The planning framework sets a 50+ year vision for the Port Lands which includes existing industrial uses, new media and screen-based uses as well as mixed use residential communities. The planning framework also includes recommendations for how these various uses will develop compatibly over time. One of these new mixed-use residential neighbourhoods is Villiers Island – which is created by our Port Lands Flood Protection project. Our plan for Villiers Island is that it will be a climate positive neighbourhood, which means that in addition to reducing on-site emissions, the neighbourhood will help lower emissions from elsewhere in the city too. Villiers Island will also include over 1,000 new affordable homes. Just east of Villiers Island and directly north of the Media Hub is McCleary District, which will be another mixed-use residential neighbourhood once a more detailed precinct planning process is undertaken in the near future.

What will happen to existing places in the Port Lands, like Cherry Beach?

The naturalized areas already exist in the Port Lands are staying untouched. Spaces like Tommy Thompson Park and Cherry Beach aren’t within this project area – they’re important habitat for wildlife and natural spaces for people to explore. You can see the area of the Port Lands we’re transforming on the project map located here.

How much will this project cost?

Waterfront Toronto received $1.25 billion in funding from the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario and Government of Canada to design and build the Port Lands Flood Protection Project.

In 2016, we completed a 15-month Due Diligence study that resulted in dozens of critical reports totaling over 10,000 pages. We did this to make sure our plan to flood protect and revitalize the Port Lands could work – and that includes the cost. The amount includes a contingency of 30 per cent and accounts for the projected cost of inflation throughout the project timeline.

What is the Port Lands flood protection project?

Currently, about 290 hectares (715 acres) of southeastern downtown are at risk of flooding from the Don River watershed. This includes parts of the Port Lands, South Riverdale, Leslieville, south of Eastern Avenue and the East Harbour development site. Port Lands Flood Protection is a solution to flood protect these lands and enable the transformation of the underused Port Lands into a place where people can live, work and play, while still preserving some industrial uses.This project involves excavating a new river valley and a creating a naturalized mouth for the Don River in the Port Lands. The project also includes new parks, aquatic habitat and infrastructure such as roads, bridges, utilities and transit infrastructure to support future development. The project includes:

  • Resilient, green infrastructure
  • A new river valley that has the capacity to handle large volumes of flood water
  • The Don Greenway that provides excess capacity to convey flood water through the existing Shipping Channel
  • New roads and bridges
  • Structures to control water flow and manage sediment and debris


Click here to find out more about what we’re building