When you think about your local waterfront, what do you see? Imagine what it will look like in five years. What about in 20 years?
When the late Jim Tovey imagined the future of Mississauga’s waterfront, he saw a beautiful new conservation area. A place to bring people back to Lake Ontario. A place to swim, paddle, and explore.
Among many things, Tovey was a City of Mississauga councillor and community leader. His vision sparked a change that will be felt for generations.
For decades, a lakeside coal-fired power plant caused people to feel disconnected from Mississauga’s shoreline. The Lakeview Generating Station created a barrier to the lake the same way No swimming, No drinking, and No fishing signs do.
The power plant belonged to an era of destruction on the Great Lakes.
Lakeview Generating Station operated for 43 years, until 2005. Its closure was part of a provincial policy change to phase out coal plants in Ontario.
When the smoke stacks were demolished in 2006, and the rest of the plant in 2007, a large section of hardened shoreline remained.
This is where Councillor Tovey’s vision took hold.
Tovey inspired a collaboration between Credit Valley Conservation, Region of Peel, and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Years of planning, support, and leadership are bringing the new conservation area to life.
After councillor Tovey’s passing in 2018, Credit Valley Conservation’s Board of Directors officially named the site Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area.
“I think probably the most special lake to my wife and I would be a lake called Mijinemungshing which is a beautiful lake north of Superior,” he said.
You can watch Jim Tovey’s Watermark video here.
The Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area opens in 2025. It will become a hub for waterfront recreation right here in the Greater Toronto Area, and it will connect you to the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail.
When you imagine the future of your waterfront, what do you see? Did your imagination remove any No Swimming, No Drinking, and No Fishing signs?
The Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area is an iconic restoration project. It will bring people back to the waterfront. As we approach the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, people visiting the water will continue to be a strong indicator of a healthy shoreline.
Restoring community spaces on the Great Lakes will bring us out of an era of destruction and into an era of restoration.
The Great Lakes need more people like Jim Tovey. And It all starts with a little imagination and a little ambition. What could your waterfront look like? How can we make it happen?
Watch the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area March 2020 update:
Credit Valley Conservation, Region of Peel, and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority partnered to create the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area. The W. Garfield Weston Foundation provided funding for wetland improvements inside the conservation area.