The Don River


The Don River is one of the foundations of Toronto and the developments that have taken place in Canada to date. The Riverdale watershed includes the Don River Valley, an environment with a history of transformation from a place of early British settlement to a modern green park. Over the years, the Don River Valley has experienced changes that signify developments in Toronto and Canada in general. The Valley has hosted several businesses including a paper mill, a brick press company, a jail, a Bridgepoint Health Facility, etc. One of the natural properties of the river is that it naturally separates the city from the communities at the bottom of the ravine that is the Don River Valley. Due to the topographical properties of the valley, especially its sloping nature, city builders paid relatively little for sewerage conduits to dump sewerage into the river and the lake. What they overlooked, however, were the pollutive effects of their practices. During the first industrial revolution, at around the end of the 1700s and the beginning of the 1800s, the river suffered massive pollution due to deforestation, diversion, and sewerage dumping. Besides these practices, city builders also dumped debris from construction into the valley. The effects of these practices extend to date and, recently, the city mayor has shut down the hilly tobogganing facility citing fears of the emergence of material dumped a long time ago. The authorities have intervened in pollution severally by intercepting the sewer systems and directing the effluent into the lake. However, the government has done little o improve the accessibility of the floor of the ravine that is the Don River Valley, leaving the river to appear as a boundary between downtown city dwellers and the other communities. Recently, however, Evergreen has devoted to the improvement of accessibility of the Valley including the construction of a super park. The following photographs manifest the Don River Valley and its transformations over time.