Now more than ever, communities need help adapting to the frequent and intensifying weather events caused by climate change. Reducing the impact of natural disasters such as flooding is critical to keeping Canadian families safe, protecting local businesses and supporting a strong economy.
François-Philippe Champagne, federal infrastructure and communities minister, recently announced funding for four major flooding and storm mitigation projects in the City of Toronto and York Region that will make these communities more resilient to natural disasters.
More than 2,400 residents in mid-town Toronto will benefit from basement flooding protection with the construction of a relief storm sewer that services an area of more than 75 hectares. Increasing the capacity of an overloaded storm sewer system will protect buildings from potential flooding and sewer backup, reducing both property damage and the devastating effects on families.
The York Durham Sewage System Forcemain Twinning Project will twin the existing 35-year-old main sewage conduit to minimize potential spills, particularly during storms. This will protect the environment, reduce service interruptions, and safeguard the health of more than 133,000 residents for the communities of East Gwillimbury, Newmarket and Aurora.
The Markham Flood Control Project will help protect vulnerable areas from flooding, including the Don Mills Employment Lands and the West Thornhill Community. Past floods have damaged properties, disrupted businesses, affected roads, and even impacted a retirement home in West Thornhill. Families, businesses and seniors will benefit from an improved system to better handle storms, meaning a safer and healthier community for 18,000 residents.
More than 35,000 people in Vaughan will benefit from stormwater flood mitigation projects that will improve water quality and reduce the impact of flooding. These improvements will preserve essential services for families, reduce costly losses, and save the community money in the long-term.
“Markham’s older neighbourhoods were designed with limited infrastructure capacity to handle extreme rainfall,” said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Through Markham’s Flood Control Project, we continue to upgrade existing infrastructure to improve flood resiliency and protect our neighbourhoods against the effects climate change or extreme rainfall. This investment will increase capacity and reduce potential flood damage in the Don Mills and West Thornhill communities, protecting our most vulnerable homes and businesses, while building strong and resilient communities our residents can feel safe in now, and for future generations.”
The federal government is investing more than $150 million in these projects through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, with municipal governments providing the remainder.