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Should Toronto raise the DVP to prevent flooding?

Posted by Derek Flack / July 4, 2014

DVP floodThe city of Toronto is considering raising the Don Valley Parkway to prevent increased instances of flooding. It's a rather dramatic fix, and one that would cause traffic chaos while repairs were undertaken, but Toronto and Region Conservation Authority senior manager Laurian Farrell told the Star that it's the best of a number of options under consideration. Building a flood wall is another option, though that can be complicated in an area like the lower Don, which also features GO Transit commuter tracks and recreational trails for pedestrians and cyclists.

Needless to say, the problem with raising the road is that the costs are exorbitant and the combination of major construction on the Gardiner Expressway and the DVP at the same time could seriously screw over commuters who rely on these highways every day. While it's too early to put a price tag on the project, estimates range into the hundreds of millions. The larger the section of the parkway that requires elevation, the higher the cost. And yet, as recent weather events have shown us, something needs to be done.

Photo by Tom Ryaboi

Discussion

17 Comments

Jacob / July 4, 2014 at 10:38 am
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How about going ahead with the renaturalization of the mouth of the Don, like planned? A good part of the flooding problem is that sharp, 90° angle it goes off on followed by that narrow channel.
Bruce / July 4, 2014 at 11:59 am
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Completely agree with Jacob. There's already a plan in place, and the redevelopment of an entire neighbourhood (the Portlands) would be a big spin-off asset in exchange for the investment. And no traffic disruption.
Phildog replying to a comment from Jacob / July 4, 2014 at 12:31 pm
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Agreed. Cheaper and simple.
Deric / July 4, 2014 at 01:06 pm
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Completely agree with Jacob above - spending all the money on a very small piece of a project makes no sense. For the two times the street floods every year, I would put the money into the Portlands and Lower Don lands plan to create a better solution
Shirtless Swimmer / July 4, 2014 at 01:26 pm
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Jacob for Mayor!!!
Jeremy / July 4, 2014 at 01:39 pm
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How much time, lets say within the next 100 years, do we expect the highway to be under water? A couple of days, weeks? How long will the highway be out of commission while the elevated structure is under construction? A couple of months? So lets spend 100s of millions to reduce the percentage of time that the highway is usable?
Huh / July 4, 2014 at 01:43 pm
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Only if it can be built by unicorns and everyone who drives on it gets free cotton candy and a helicopter ride. But yes what Jacob said.
W. K. Lis / July 4, 2014 at 02:33 pm
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Raising the DVP will only send the flood waters elsewhere. They'll need to raise the railway tracks as well.

Create dry wells at parking lots and roads upstream, to capture SOME of the rainwater. Create floodplains further will help, SOME. Straightening the mouth of the Don River will also help, SOME.

The trouble remains, all of them will only help a little, very little.
Brent / July 4, 2014 at 04:11 pm
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The low point is just north of the Dundas bridge. (I remember nearly getting stuck there just before they closed the DVP during the 2005 flood.) I wonder if the bridge is high enough to allow them to raise the road bed and still have enough clearance for trucks and buses on the DVP.
Vineca / July 4, 2014 at 06:21 pm
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Jacob has it right.
stopitman / July 4, 2014 at 07:33 pm
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Why would we spend more money on a piece of infrastructure built in a flood plain? It's gridlocked at least twice a day, so why bother raising it so that it costs even more money to maintain?

Now that my trolling is done... like the first bunch of posters said, unchannelize the river so that it's closer to it's original state and put at least some sort of wetland back at its mouth. The wetland won't be as big as it once was, but at least it's something.
Herne / July 4, 2014 at 07:59 pm
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Nah! Just ignore it, it's cheaper for the city to pay the lawsuits than to actually put the money it needs to into fixing our infrastructure. Also easier to balance the budget when you simply put off repairs for years and years and years. Let someone else deal with it!
hamish wilson / July 4, 2014 at 08:56 pm
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Selecting status quo rebuilding will ensure we stay Moronto; we need to be smarter in this greenhouse century. Start with fully disconnecting pavement drainage upstream to slow storm discharge surge - I don't know how much overall it really is, but maybe a pavement drainage tax would actually raise money and help.
Also, what about transit? Why commit to freeway free rides and what about better, smarter transit. This mightn't be that DRL at however many billions. Let's see; River flood road, must spend to raise road; must build transit, let's tunnel at Lakefront. Duh. Sorry we should go beyond DRL to fully re-think of many things.
Jimmie / July 5, 2014 at 12:07 am
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Olivia Chow wants to get you into that water 10% faster.
Vicky / July 5, 2014 at 11:58 am
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Jacob is the new Shirtless Jogger. You go Jacob!
Simon Tarses / July 5, 2014 at 12:31 pm
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Electrify it. NOW!!
Steven / July 5, 2014 at 03:35 pm
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Dig the river deeper and add above-water pipes on the sides of the Don to the lake. Once the river overflows, it will spill into the pipes.

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