New CVC conservation area to be named for Jim Tovey

Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) announced that its newest conservation area, being constructed along the Mississauga waterfront, will be named in honour of the late Mississauga Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey. The announcement came at a packed celebration of the life and legacy of Councillor Tovey, held at the partially renovated Small Arms Inspection Building in Mississauga.

Councillor Tovey’s unique connection with the Region of Peel, CVC and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority served to bring the organizations together to partner on the development of the Lakeview Waterfront Connection – a project that will result in a new 26-hectare waterfront conservation area in Mississauga’s Lakeview community.

“Jim imagined a different path forward for the Lakeview waterfront, where residents can enjoy the waterfront experience and the natural environment can thrive,” said Nando Iannicca, Chair of Credit Valley Conservation and Councillor for Mississauga Ward 7. “Naming the conservation area in his honour was a unanimous decision by Credit Valley Conservation’s Board of Directors, recognizing Jim’s pivotal role in this project. It is our way of saying thank you and honouring his legacy forever.”

The conservation area’s final name will reflect further consultation with the Tovey family, project partners and the project’s Community Liaison Committee.

Jim Tovey recognized the opportunity to reuse clean fill that was being generated by Region of Peel capital works projects as a resource to enhance the natural environment and improve the local community. This responsible reuse of material is central to the Lakeview Waterfront Connection project.

“The Region of Peel is proud to be part of the transformation on the waterfront and delighted that CVC has recognized Jim Tovey’s legacy in such a meaningful way” said Frank Dale, Peel Regional Chair. “The new conservation area is a victory for the community and the environment. It is the realization of Jim Tovey’s bold vision and reflects his passion for his community.”

The new conservation area will transform a currently degraded section of the shore into a beautiful, naturalized conservation area, expected to become a hub for waterfront recreation, a hotspot for wildlife migration and a green oasis in the heart of the city.

It will boast 12 hectares of meadow, five hectares of forest, eight hectares of wetland and one hectare of cobble beach. Together, these connected habitats make up a complete coastal ecosystem, approximating the waterfront ecosystem that was lost over years of urban development. This ecosystem will support a wide variety of local fish and wildlife, as well as migrating birds.

“When we lost Jim, we lost a friend, a visionary and one of our strongest advocates for the environment,” said Maria Augimeri, Chair of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and Councillor for Toronto Ward 9. “He refused to let barriers get in the way of making a difference. His legacy will live on forever on the Mississauga waterfront. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is proud to be part of Councillor Tovey’s vision for the future.”

Since construction and restoration began in fall of 2016, the project partners have created 6.63 hectares (66,300 square metres) of new conservation land in an area of the waterfront that saw years of environmental degradation from near-shore stone mining and utility use. This represents roughly 25 per cent of the total land base for the new conservation area.

The western portion of the new Serson Creek wetland has been restored. It will provide valuable fish habitat and wildlife viewing opportunities for visitors. The wetland is already attracting large flocks of Sandpiper and Killdeer, which have been onsite for the past few weeks. The project partners planted almost 1,000 native trees and shrubs last fall around the wetland pocket and are on track to start planting more than 20,000 native wetland plants during June and July. By July they plan to create a new river channel to connect Serson Creek to Lake Ontario. This will allow fish to access the creek for the first time in decades. Serson Creek is currently buried in a pipe underground.

The partners have reused more than 379,900 cubic metres of clean fill, the majority of which came from Region of Peel capital works projects. This keeps thousands of trucks from driving long distances to northern municipalities that accept fill, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The public can see the new conservation area take shape from the west beach of Marie Curtis Park in Toronto. More information about the Lakeview Waterfront Connection project is available at lakeviewwaterfrontconnection.ca.

Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is a local conservation authority established by the Ontario government in 1954 to protect, restore and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River Watershed. That watershed is the area of land defined by where all rainfall, snowmelt and runoff drains into lands and waters flowing into the Credit River. CVC creates connections between people and nature, knowledge and action. It inspires a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping people connected, healthy and happy. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.

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