Meet Rocky

We’re digging a kilometre-long river valley through the Port Lands. This extension of the Don River will be on average 100 metres wide, lined with meadows, marshes, wetlands, upland forests and parks. It will flow south from the Keating Channel across Commissioners Street, then west out a renaturalized river mouth into the Inner Harbour of Lake Ontario. Overall, we’ll excavate up to 1.4 million cubic metres of soil to create this new river valley.

This year, Rocky will be working on the section of river valley that runs south from the Keating Channel to the Ship Channel along the western edge of the Don Roadway.

Rocky is a rock ripping bucket. On this project, he’ll dig as deep as three metres in to  bedrock to create slurry walls along the edges of the future river valley.

What’s a slurry wall?

To excavate the new river valley, we need to keep the area dry and stable. To do this, we’re building temporary cut-off walls. In some places, we’re using concrete reinforced with steel. Elsewhere, we’re using a slurry of cement and clay.

  • First, Rocky will dig a deep trench.
  • The trench will be filled with slurry, which keeps the trench open during excavation and then slowly hardens.
  • Once hardened, the slurry walls provide the cut-off needed to keep groundwater out of the excavation while we dig that section of the river valley.

In total, Rocky will dig 843 metres of slurry walls—that’s as long as about eight football fields.

Follow his progress on Twitter @TheRockRipper


Where is Rocky? We’ll update the map below so you can keep track of Rocky as he digs.

Where is Rocky in the Port Lands?

Click the map above to zoom in.

Want to learn more about how we’re digging a new river? Read this blog.