How we’re flooding the new mouth of the Don River

An aerial map of the Toronto Port Lands.



In This Blog:

  • On January 31, 2024, we started pumping water into the newly constructed river valley in the Port Lands.  

  • Flooding the river could take several weeks.

  • Flooding the river is a slow and controlled process to protect the plants and riverbank materials we’ve installed. 

  • When complete, you’ll be able to see the river from the Cherry South and Commissioners Street bridges. 

  • Flooding the new mouth of the Don River is an exciting event – but not the dramatic gush of water many people imagine. We’ve been working towards this moment for years, and now you can follow along as we start the slow and careful process of adding water to the river we built.  


A cartoon of Rocky the Excavator in a floatie in a cartoon river.

We’ll track how much water has been pumped into the river with this ruler. Follow Rocky @TheRockRipper on Twitter or Instagram for regular updates!


How we’re going to flood the new mouth of the Don River 

Watch this video for an explanation of how we’ll fill the river with water and then connect it to the rest of the Don River and the lake.  



Flooding the Don Greenway 

The Don Greenway is a wetland that is not normally connected to the main river channel. We flooded it in the fall of 2023. Check out this video to learn more about it:  


Explore the dry river bed 

It’s not often that you get the chance to walk along the bed of a river that doesn’t fully exist yet. This video explores what the dry river bed looks like, as if you were canoeing through the air! 

Fun Facts

  • In total, we’re planning to pump in the equivalent of 30 Olympic-sized swimming pools 

  • Once the west plug is removed, and the river meets the lake, the water will be 6.5 metres deep at its deepest point. That’s about the depth of two Sugar Beach umbrellas. At its shallower portions, the water will be about 2 metres deep, about the height of a standard door 

  • Each day we’re pumping in enough to water to fill up the Goodyear Blimp 

Want to see the river for yourself? The Lookout in the Port Lands is open to the public at select times. Visit this page to find out when you could come visit: