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July 23, 2018

Ontario approves Lower Don Lands redevelopment construction before flood-protection measures in place

 

Construction can begin at Toronto’s Lower Don Lands redevelopment before flood-protection infrastructure is completed, the province has announced.

“By reducing Ontario’s regulatory burden we’re smoothing the way for the first of many projects in the Lower Don area,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, announcing a change to the provincial building code.

The move is specific to the area near the mouth of the Don River, which is being redeveloped by Waterfront Toronto, an agency created by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto.

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The move is meant to speed development of the waterfront area east of downtown, which has long been priority for the city.

Plans for the redevelopment include new urban neighbourhoods, parks, green infrastructure and an integrated GO/SmartTrack station.

The ministry claims that development will create more than 50,000 jobs and “add an estimated $5.1 billion to the Canadian economy.”

But under the building code amendment, new buildings will not be allowed to be occupied until the flood risk in the area is removed, Clark said.

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