Water treatment plant upgrading again

An aerial photo of the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant highlights parts of the plant grounds that will remain closed to the public while crews upgrade the plant’s underground settling basins and do surface work that includes landscaping, and rebuilding the east-side stairs to Queen Street and north-side access road.
IMAGE: City of Toronto

Crews have fenced off most of the R.C. Harris Water Treatment grounds for a three-year reconstruction project.

By the fall of 2018, contractors are expected to replace the waterproof membrane that shields the underground settling basins on the plant’s north side.

Crews will also upgrade the basins themselves, along with the green access hatches and valve pedestals that lead to them — heritage structures that will be modernized while maintaining a historic look.

On the surface, workers will do landscaping to improve water drainage, rebuild the eastern stairs to Queen Street East, and rebuild the north-side access road that runs parallel to Queen.

The project involves digging up and moving earth off the north-side grounds and piling it by the south-side pumping station. One reason the area is boarded by a 1.8-metre plywood fence is to contain the dust from that earth-moving work.

A notice posted for local residents says construction will run on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with noisier tasks starting after 8 a.m. Contractor vehicles, dump trucks and earthmoving equipment are expected to be parked on plant property.

Contractors from Bennett Mechanical Installations are visiting neighbouring houses and apartment buildings to survey the pre-construction condition of those properties, which includes taking photos.

The south-side stairs and a grassy hill south of the R.C. Harris filtration building will stay open for the duration of the project.

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