Waterfront Toronto is building a series of boardwalks and bridges spanning the slips of the Central Waterfront creating a 3 km length of public space. These walkways will create a vast pedestrian esplanade enabling people to enjoy the waterfront. Since the bridges and boardwalks will be shading out some aquatic habitat they could negatively impact the habitat so new habitat will be created in the harbour to compensate for the potential loss.
Spadina slip was the first to receive the new WaveDeck with lots of new aquatic habitat that will be lit at night to light up the life beneath the surface.
Spadina Slip grand opening took place in September providing 640 square metres of aquatic habitat in addition to the 700m of new public space. The aquatic habitat created will invite fish and other aquatic life to inhabit the area. Conveniently this area is situated next to the Pike spawning area of the Spadina wetlands. To create aquatic habitat in this deep water, sea wall environment a variety of different measures are being usedï¿½ boulders, smaller aggregate, root balls, large logs among other things all providing lots of spaces for fish to hide. Now aquatic plants will be able to root in amongst the habitat features providing both food and shelter.
In addition to the WaveDecks being built to invite the people of Toronto to the water’s edge a series of bridges will be constructed at the mouths of some of the slips to create a continuous promenade. Spadina will be the first to be built, construction will begin this fall and it is scheduled for completion next summer.
Similar to the Spadina WaveDeck there is a potential for negative impact on aquatic habitat so the construction of new habitat will be required to compensate for this potential loss. The difference is that in this case as opposed to the WaveDeck the waterway needs to be navigable by boats. In order to avoid interfering with the boating needs a limited amount of aquatic habitat will be created at the base of the concrete supports and any additional compensation habitat required will be constructed at another location still to be determined.
The aquatic habitat has been completed at Rees and Simcoe Slips and now they are working on finishing the wavedecks. Monitoring of the turbidity of the water has been carried out to see what the impacts of construction are… in this case they are minimal. The grand opening of this new public space is scheduled for later this summer… exciting news for both humans and fish!
The next slips to receive their grand WaveDecks will be Rees and Simcoe. The designs for these WaveDecks are a bit more daring in their style. Their potential impact on aquatic habitat is the same… they could potentially negatively impact aquatic habitat. As a result the creation of aquatic habitat to compensate for the potential loss will be required.