Heritage of the Don River commemorated

Heritage Toronto, Toronto and Region Conservation and Waterfront Toronto will unveil two plaques to commemorate the heritage of the Don River; one recognizes the straightening of the Don River between 1886 and 1892, while the other interprets the historic lower Don River railway crossing.

The unveiling takes place on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 2:00pm. All are welcome to attend, but must RSVP at www.eventbrite.ca/e/don-landing-plaques-presentation-tickets-11469540705?utm_source=pressrelease&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=donriverplaques for this free event.

Over 150 years old, the original eastern abutments of the first railway crossing over the

Don River can still be seen today. Built in 1856 as part of the Grand Trunk Railway’s main line between Toronto and Montreal, the bridge was part of a link between Canada’s two largest cities and was vital to industry and commerce.

The railway bridge crossed the lower Don River, which historically wove through the woods and marshes before exiting into the Toronto harbour and Ashbridge’s Bay Marsh. But, as the city expanded closer to the river, the natural flooding cycle became a public hazard. Between 1886 and 1892, the river was straightened, widened, and deepened from Gerrard Street to the lake.

Heritage Toronto is a charitable arms-length agency of the City of Toronto established in 1949 to promote a greater appreciation for the city’s rich architectural, cultural, archaeological and natural heritage. Through partnerships with local community groups and volunteers, Heritage Toronto provides city-wide programs and services.

For more information on Heritage Toronto, please visit www.heritagetoronto.org. For more information on Toronto and Region Conservation, please visit www.trca.on.ca. And for more information on Waterfront Toronto, please visit www.waterfronttoronto.ca.