Credit Valley Conservation’s (CVC) Board of Directors unanimously voted to recognize Jim Tovey’s central role in making CVC’s newest conservation area a reality. The 26-hectare waterfront conservation area being created in Mississauga’s Lakeview community, currently known as the Lakeview Waterfront Connection, will be named Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area.
“Jim’s vison was a revitalized waterfront where residents can connect with the lake and the natural environment can thrive,” said Nando Iannicca, Chair of Credit Valley Conservation and Councillor for Mississauga Ward 7. “Naming the conservation area in his honour recognizes Jim’s central role in this project, and is our way of honouring his legacy forever.”
Councillor Tovey’s unique connection with the Region of Peel, CVC and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority served to bring the organizations together to realize his vision for a thriving and environmentally sustainable waterfront.
“The conservation area’s final name was determined through consultation with the Tovey family, project partners and members of the project’s Community Liaison Committee,” said Deborah Martin-Downs, CAO of CVC. “It reflects his strong commitment to environmental conservation, the waterfront and the Lakeview community. We are so proud to be able to do this in Jim’s honour.”
Jim Tovey recognized the opportunity to reuse clean fill that was being generated by Region of Peel capital works projects as a resource to create new natural environments and improve the local community. This responsible reuse of material is central to the Lakeview Waterfront Connection project.
The new conservation area will transform a currently degraded and inaccessible section of the shore into a beautiful, naturalized conservation area, expected to become a hub for waterfront recreation, a hotspot for wildlife migration and a green oasis in the heart of the city.
It will boast 1.5 km of Waterfront Trail plus 12 hectares of meadow, five hectares of forest, eight hectares of wetland and one hectare of cobble beach. Together, these connected habitats make up a complete coastal ecosystem, approximating the waterfront ecosystem that was lost over years of urban development. This ecosystem will support a wide variety of local fish and wildlife, as well as migrating birds.
Since construction and restoration began in fall of 2016, the project partners have created 6.63 hectares (66,300 square metres) of new conservation land in an area of the waterfront that saw years of environmental degradation from near-shore stone mining and utility use. This represents roughly 25 per cent of the total land base for the new conservation area.
The western portion of the new Serson Creek wetland has been restored. It will provide valuable fish habitat and wildlife viewing opportunities for visitors. The wetland is already attracting large flocks of Sandpiper and Killdeer, which have been onsite for the past few weeks. The project partners planted almost 1,000 native trees and shrubs last fall around the wetland pocket and more than 20,000 native wetland plants in June and July. They are currently creating a new river channel to connect Serson Creek to Lake Ontario. This will allow fish to access the creek for the first time in decades. Serson Creek is currently buried in a pipe underground.
To date the partners have reused more than 379,900 cubic metres of clean fill, the majority of which came from Region of Peel capital works projects to create this habitat. This keeps thousands of trucks from driving long distances to northern municipalities that accept fill, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The public can see the new conservation area take shape from the west beach of Marie Curtis Park in Toronto. More information about the Lakeview Waterfront Connection project is available at https://lakeviewwaterfrontconnection.ca.
Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is a local conservation authority established by the Ontario government and local municipalities in 1954 to protect, restore and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River Watershed. That watershed is the area of land defined by where all rainfall, snowmelt and runoff drains into lands and waters flowing into the Credit River. CVC creates connections between people and nature, knowledge and action. It inspires a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping people connected, healthy and happy. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.