Markham

New Greenspace to Guard Against Flooding in Markham

Monday, July 8, 2019

News Page

Unique engineering solution restores the watershed, bringing back the Don

MARKHAM, ON – July 8, 2019 – The City of Markham is taking a green approach to flood control with plans to create natural infrastructure spanning five acres, roughly the size of four football fields to protect buildings and roads such as Woodbine Avenue and Highway 404.

“While the Don Mills Channel served a practical purpose, supporting development in the community when it was built in the 1960s,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Our flood control project will serve a greater purpose – restoring the flood plain back to a more natural state. The pond and downstream culvert upgrades will reduce annual average flood damages by $1.5 million.”

As part of the Government of Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund (DMAF), the City of Markham has been awarded $48,640,000 for Markham’s Stormwater Management Strategy and Flood Control Program, which includes the Don Mills Channel, West Thornhill and Thornhill Community Centre & Library projects.

These three key projects will increase the capacity of an overloaded storm sewer system, will protect neighbourhoods from potential flooding and sewer backup, while reducing both property damage and the devastating effects on residents and business owners.

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business & Export Promotion and Member of Parliament for Markham-Thornhill joined Mayor Scarpitti for this important announcement, outlining the federal government’s plan to invest in green infrastructure that helps communities cope with the effects of extreme weather.

“Extreme weather events are becoming worse and more frequent in communities across Canada,” says Minister Ng. “It is time to take concrete steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change to ensure a safe, prosperous future for our families, our businesses and the environment. Investing in Markham’s Stormwater Management Strategy and Flood Control Program is highly important. This will ensure that our homes and businesses, and vital services our community relies on are protected.” 

The Don Mills Channel industrial area is particularly vulnerable to floods. This project involves reclaiming the flood plain, creating a storage pond and restoring the Don River watershed to its natural state. The naturalization of this area will reduce flood damages, attract natural species and reduce flooding downstream. When the pond is completed, five-year storm flood levels will be one and a half metres lower and small storms will stay in the channel instead of rising up the sides of the buildings.

“Markham’s older neighbourhoods were designed with limited infrastructure capacity to handle extreme rainfall,” says Mayor Scarpitti. “Through Markham’s Flood Control Program, we continue to upgrade existing infrastructure to improve flood resiliency and protect our neighbourhoods against the effects of climate change or extreme rainfall, ensuring our residents feel safe now and for future generations.”

Past floods in 2005, 2014 and 2017 in Markham have caused significant damage. These infrastructure improvements will help protect vulnerable communities and businesses, reducing flood damages by $575 million over the life of the projects. 

Markham’s Flood Control Program is a long-term, City-wide strategy to improve extreme weather resiliency and limits overland and basement flooding risks in urban areas.


QUICK FACTS:

— The Flood Control Program is a current Major City Project, with storm infrastructure investments totalling an estimated $367 million.

— The funding awarded to the City of Markham by the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) represents one of Markham’s largest grants for infrastructure investments, equivalent to over 13% of the total Flood Control Program cost.

— Upgrades to infrastructure will help protect vulnerable communities in Markham:

— The West Thornhill project will help reduce basement flooding risks in residential areas and increase their resilience to extreme weather events; and,

— The Thornhill Community Centre & Library project will help reduce flooding in the major City facility and nearby retirement home, while increasing their resilience to extreme weather events.

— Over the next 10 years, Markham’s investments in flood resilience will continue with West Thornhill Phase 3 construction scheduled for 2020 to 2023, and West Thornhill Phase 4 in 2021 to 2026.

— The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts.

— DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, which is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities.

Learn more about Markham’s Stormwater Management Strategy & Flood Control Program

Learn more about the Disaster Mitigation & Adaptation Fund (DMAF)



PHOTOS:

Don-Mills-Project-Before-Naturalization

Don Mills Channel Project before naturalization.

Don-Mills-Project-After-Naturalization-Concept

Don Mills Channel Project after naturalization (concept only).

Markham-Council-Announce-Flood-Funding-Greenspace-Program

(Left to Right) Ward 1 Councillor Keith Irish; Ward 8 Councillor Isa Lee; Mayor Frank Scarpitti; The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business & Export Production and Member of Parliament for Markham-Thornhill; Ward 7 Councillor Khalid Usman; Ward 3 Councillor Reid McAlpine and Deputy Mayor Don Hamilton attend Markham's Flood Control Program funding announcement, which includes an innovative greenspace to guard against flooding.


Download Flood Control Project Images


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Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office: Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416.671.2890.

For all other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:  Maxine Roy, Advisor, Communications and Media Relations at mroy@markham.ca or 647.200.8718.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.




Unique engineering solution restores the watershed, bringing back the Don

MARKHAM, ON – July 8, 2019 – The City of Markham is taking a green approach to flood control with plans to create natural infrastructure spanning five acres, roughly the size of four football fields to protect buildings and roads such as Woodbine Avenue and Highway 404.

“While the Don Mills Channel served a practical purpose, supporting development in the community when it was built in the 1960s,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Our flood control project will serve a greater purpose – restoring the flood plain back to a more natural state. The pond and downstream culvert upgrades will reduce annual average flood damages by $1.5 million.”

As part of the Government of Canada’s Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund (DMAF), the City of Markham has been awarded $48,640,000 for Markham’s Stormwater Management Strategy and Flood Control Program, which includes the Don Mills Channel, West Thornhill and Thornhill Community Centre & Library projects.

These three key projects will increase the capacity of an overloaded storm sewer system, will protect neighbourhoods from potential flooding and sewer backup, while reducing both property damage and the devastating effects on residents and business owners.

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business & Export Promotion and Member of Parliament for Markham-Thornhill joined Mayor Scarpitti for this important announcement, outlining the federal government’s plan to invest in green infrastructure that helps communities cope with the effects of extreme weather.

“Extreme weather events are becoming worse and more frequent in communities across Canada,” says Minister Ng. “It is time to take concrete steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change to ensure a safe, prosperous future for our families, our businesses and the environment. Investing in Markham’s Stormwater Management Strategy and Flood Control Program is highly important. This will ensure that our homes and businesses, and vital services our community relies on are protected.” 

The Don Mills Channel industrial area is particularly vulnerable to floods. This project involves reclaiming the flood plain, creating a storage pond and restoring the Don River watershed to its natural state. The naturalization of this area will reduce flood damages, attract natural species and reduce flooding downstream. When the pond is completed, five-year storm flood levels will be one and a half metres lower and small storms will stay in the channel instead of rising up the sides of the buildings.

“Markham’s older neighbourhoods were designed with limited infrastructure capacity to handle extreme rainfall,” says Mayor Scarpitti. “Through Markham’s Flood Control Program, we continue to upgrade existing infrastructure to improve flood resiliency and protect our neighbourhoods against the effects of climate change or extreme rainfall, ensuring our residents feel safe now and for future generations.”

Past floods in 2005, 2014 and 2017 in Markham have caused significant damage. These infrastructure improvements will help protect vulnerable communities and businesses, reducing flood damages by $575 million over the life of the projects. 

Markham’s Flood Control Program is a long-term, City-wide strategy to improve extreme weather resiliency and limits overland and basement flooding risks in urban areas.


QUICK FACTS:

— The Flood Control Program is a current Major City Project, with storm infrastructure investments totalling an estimated $367 million.

— The funding awarded to the City of Markham by the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) represents one of Markham’s largest grants for infrastructure investments, equivalent to over 13% of the total Flood Control Program cost.

— Upgrades to infrastructure will help protect vulnerable communities in Markham:

— The West Thornhill project will help reduce basement flooding risks in residential areas and increase their resilience to extreme weather events; and,

— The Thornhill Community Centre & Library project will help reduce flooding in the major City facility and nearby retirement home, while increasing their resilience to extreme weather events.

— Over the next 10 years, Markham’s investments in flood resilience will continue with West Thornhill Phase 3 construction scheduled for 2020 to 2023, and West Thornhill Phase 4 in 2021 to 2026.

— The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts.

— DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, which is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities.

Learn more about Markham’s Stormwater Management Strategy & Flood Control Program

Learn more about the Disaster Mitigation & Adaptation Fund (DMAF)



PHOTOS:

Don-Mills-Project-Before-Naturalization

Don Mills Channel Project before naturalization.

Don-Mills-Project-After-Naturalization-Concept

Don Mills Channel Project after naturalization (concept only).

Markham-Council-Announce-Flood-Funding-Greenspace-Program

(Left to Right) Ward 1 Councillor Keith Irish; Ward 8 Councillor Isa Lee; Mayor Frank Scarpitti; The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business & Export Production and Member of Parliament for Markham-Thornhill; Ward 7 Councillor Khalid Usman; Ward 3 Councillor Reid McAlpine and Deputy Mayor Don Hamilton attend Markham's Flood Control Program funding announcement, which includes an innovative greenspace to guard against flooding.


Download Flood Control Project Images


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Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office: Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416.671.2890.

For all other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:  Maxine Roy, Advisor, Communications and Media Relations at mroy@markham.ca or 647.200.8718.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.