Special Policy Area Amendment:
In 2014, the city updated the original SPA policies through the work of the Downtown Brampton Special Policy Area Comprehensive Flood Risk Management Analysis (City of Brampton, 2014). The SPA policy amendment was approved by the province in 2014. The policy clearly states the requirements for new developments within the SPA (including provisions for flood proofing, providing ingress/egress, and restricted uses).
In addition, two sets of feasibility studies have been completed in partnership with the TRCA.
Phase 1 Feasibility Studies:
Given the complex nature of flooding through the downtown, the first feasibility study entitled “Downtown Brampton Flood Protection Feasibility Study” (Amec Foster Wheeler, 2016), included an assessment of the general hydraulics and whether or not it was feasible to control the regulatory flood. In recognition of the fact that flood protection alone would not serve the needs of the community or the design objectives of the city, a concurrent urban design and land use study was undertaken, entitled “City of Brampton Downtown Etobicoke Creek Revitalization Study” (The Planning Partnership, 2015). Both study teams followed an integrated project model, where by the land use decisions were informed by the engineering team at key points throughout the project, and vice versa.
The “City of Brampton Downtown Etobicoke Creek Revitalization Study” (The Planning Partnership, 2015) developed key principles and a preliminary Master Urban Design Plan for the area which included the following components:
• provisions were included for high quality, significant urban public spaces
• an expanded and revamped Rosalea Park
• a Riverwalk (including potential promenade)
• a proposed pilot project along an underutilized walkaway
• identification of development opportunities
• identification of opportunities for environmental improvements
• recommendations on wayfinding and public art
The final report also included a summary of the findings of the hydraulic assessment, which essentially determined that it would be possible to contain the flows during the Regulatory Storm with some combination of:
• lowering the channel
• widening the channel
• construction of a flood protection landform (FPL) to block flows from entering its’ original valley through the downtown
It is important to note that the study only examined hydraulics and did not consider other factors such as current land use, land ownership, infrastructure constraints, environmental, economic or social considerations.
Under the banner “The City Faces the River/The City Rediscovers the River”, this vision presented opportunities for downtown revitalization. The report was presented to, and approved by, Brampton City Council in June 2014.
Downtown Etobicoke Creek Revitalization Study
Downtown Etobicoke Creek Revitalization Study Presentation
Phase 2 Feasibility Studies:
A second set of feasibility studies were completed in 2018. The aim of this work was to refine the understanding of flood flows through the downtown. In a similar manner to Phase 1, the Phase 2 studies included an hydraulic study and an urban design study. The hydraulic work utilized 2D hydraulic modelling to gain an understanding of the interaction of flood flows between: i) the Etobicoke Creek, ii) overland flows and iii) the stormsewer system. Brampton, with the assistance of TRCA, was the first city in Canada to utilize this complex flood modelling. The project built upon the alternative flood mitigation measures identified as feasible in the Phase 1, and also continued the integrated project model approach to further refine the land use and urban design impacts and opportunities presented by the various flood mitigation alternatives.
The two studies are entitled:
Part 1: Brampton Integrated Riverine and Urban Flood Risk Analysis (Matrix Solutions Inc., 2018)
Part 2: Brampton Riverwalk Urban Design Study (SGL Planning and Design Inc., Forrec Inc., Matrix Solutions Inc., 2018)