Laurel Creek and Silver Lake construction is underway
Laurel Creek and Silver Lake rehabilitation construction is underway. This work includes:
- Laurel Creek: rehabilitation along the creek in Waterloo Park from Westmount Road to the LRT track at the promenade (Laurel Trail)
- Silver Lake: dredging of the lake and removal of accumulated sediment, reconfiguration of the shoreline, demolition of Lions Lagoon
The work on the west side of the park includes improvements to the section of Laurel Creek that runs through the park. The channel is being re-directed in specific areas to allow for more of a meander, to slow the water and create opportunity for habitat. It also includes the creation of an upstream lake cell on the west side of the LRT tracks to provide a settlement area for sediment and material travelling downstream. The city will carry out regular maintenance on this feature to lengthen the time between larger lake cleanouts. This work will be limited to the creek corridor and staging area near the bandshell.
What about the trees? Construction projects in a mature neighbourhoods and parks are a sensitive issue. The city values our urban tree canopy. As part of the design process, we review the proposed designs with the city arborist, ecologists and arborists from the project team, and relevant regulatory agencies to identify any potential impacts to existing trees. We take great care to save healthy trees as part of our design and construction process wherever possible. Any anticipated potential tree loss is identified in the design options, and evaluated to determine what possibilities there may be with the design to avoid removals. Sometimes, there are additional steps that can be taken as part of the design and during construction to reduce tree loss and damage.
Reconfiguration of a creek is done to allow for better sediment transport and flow through our urbanized system. In some cases, erosion of the creek bank can threaten the integrity and structural stability of nearby infrastructure which requires creek bank stabilization measures. The reconfiguration and/or stabilization of creek banks by installing engineered retaining structures (such as armour stone) can be disruptive to the vegetation along the creek corridor. Creek reconfiguration and bank stabilization, while disruptive, helps to plan for the future and minimizes the need for future removals.
The stormwater management ponds and lakes throughout our system also require maintenance from time to time, and this work can also be disruptive to the existing plants in those areas. These are maintenance items that are required to maintain resiliency in our system and provide protection for our communities, private properties, and infrastructure. Changes to our natural assets and stormwater management infrastructure always include a landscaping and planting plan to replace lost vegetation once the work has been completed.
Every effort is always made to save as many trees as possible during both the design and construction phases of any project.
The remaining area of the park on the west side will remain open and accessible for residents and park users to enjoy. This includes the sports fields, picnicking areas, walking trails, ball diamonds, skate park, natural play area and the new splash pad area.
The work on the east side of the park includes dredging of built up material from the lake and reconfiguration of the shoreline. Silver Lake is currently over capacity with sediment build up and requires a clean-out. This work will be limited to the area directly around the lake and the parking lot at the north shore. The promenade will not be impacted or closed by this work. The remaining area of the park on the east side will remain open and accessible for residents and park users to enjoy. This includes the promenade, the Eby Farmstead, walking trails, potters’ workshop area, cricket pitch, sports fields, ball diamonds, Victorian gardens and lookout.