Toronto’s New Port Lands Bridges to Be Floated Up the St. Lawrence River

Toronto Port Lands Bridges
Commissioners Street Bridge, Latest Design

A group of four, large steel bridges will soon make their way from Nova Scotia along the St. Lawrence to Toronto. The bridges, which cost around $100 million, are part of the $1.25 billion Port Lands Flood Protection Initiative led by Waterfront Toronto.

The bridges are the first of up to seven eventually planned for the east Toronto waterfront area around Cherry Street where the Don River mouth diversion is currently underway.

According to Construct Connect, Nova Scotia-based Cherubini Group is fabricating the four bridges, starting with the first unit, which weighs 340-tonnes and spans 57-metres-long, 21-metres-wide, and 10.21-metres high.

steel bridges
@DCN_Canada/Instagram

The first bridge — which will serve as the Cherry Street North transit bridge — will be loaded onto a barge in Nova Scotia and floated up the St. Lawrence into Lake Ontario and then into Toronto harbour in late October or early November.

Port Lands Bridges
Cherry Street North Bridge, Latest Design

According to Waterfront Toronto, the Port Lands Flood Projection Project will help protect Toronto’s southeastern downtown area.

Right now, in an extreme weather event, floodwaters from the Don River would overwhelm portions of the Port Lands, South Riverdale, and Leslieville. The projection project will reconnect the Don River to Lake Ontario by creating a naturalized river mouth.

Port Lands Flood Protection Initiative

Along with other critical infrastructure to protect the area against flooding, this work will create the foundation for a future island community on the waterfront called Villiers Island — which is expected to be complete by 2024. Once developed, the island will provide homes to thousands of people and economic opportunities to thousands more.

“Creating a new island in the Port Lands means we need new bridges to connect downtown Toronto to Villiers Island,” reads a recent update from Waterfront Toronto on the project’s progress.

“We asked our design and engineering team, led by Entuitive with Grimshaw and Schlaich Bergermann, to create iconic bridges to move transit, cyclists, pedestrians and vehicles across the new Don River. After much feedback and cross-discipline collaboration, the result is a family of bridges we hope will become new Toronto landmarks.”

Mayor John Tory has previously described the initiative as “one of the largest waterfront revitalization projects in the world.”

Port Lands Bridges
Cherry Street South Bridge, Latest Design
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