The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) will be seeking approval from government bodies (City Council) as early as June of 2017 to approve coastal development in Scarborough, including the development of the Western segment of the Bluffers Park.
As surfers, SUPers and residents, we support Headland Protection and a Bluffers Redevelopment for the enjoyment and safety of everyone. However, the proposed changes to the Western Segment of the Scarborough Waterfront Project will destroy the most unique, high quality SW surf break in the City of Toronto which we call Lighthouse. This piece of the development will also stand to eliminate the SW swell in the Bluffers East Main Beach which is often surfed by the growing numbers of beginner surfers and SUP enthusiasts.
On Friday, May 12th, 2017, two members of our surf/SUP community, Jeff Green and Nadia Baer, met with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to learn more about the Scarborough Waterfront Project and its impact on our local surf breaks. The TRCA confirmed that the peanut shape extension of the harbor entrance is a major piece of the project and that they are seeking approval from City Council and other governing boards as early as June.
After looking at the diagrams presented by the TRCA, Jeff and Nadia informed the TRCA that the current design would definitively destroy what many of us consider to be the best quality surf break in the GTA, and the only one that breaks in the GTA on a southwest swell.
The TRCA explained their reasons for the project – including bluff erosion protection, keeping the sand from building up in the marina entrance (which is requiring dredging twice a year at this point) as well as the expansion of park space, and a few other benefits.
Jeff Green, who has been surfing the lighthouse break and the Great Lakes for over 30 years, looked carefully at the design and raised his concern that this peanut shape would not actually address the sand build up in the marina. He also noted that he was concerned that this design could have an unintended effect by creating riptides similar to those which occur at Ashbridges Bay, which would be a safety concern for swimmers.
In order to have a voice in this project, we all need to jump to action. The future of the Lighthouse surf break as well as the Scarborough Bluffs East Beach swell are at stake. The project is expected to be in final community consultation and go before City Council in June – so action is urgent!
PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT BY CLICKING ON THE BELOW LINK AND SIGNING YOUR NAME TO THE PETITION!
Toronto surf community shows support at The Cove Beach Cleanup #17 hosted by Surf The Greats and Surf Dreams Canada Online Store