What is an Environmental Assessment?
- An Environmental Assessment (EA) is the provincial planning process for public infrastructure projects in Ontario.
- EAs are governed by the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act.
- EAs provide a framework for assessing the impacts of a project on the natural, socio-economic and cultural environments. Decision making and project outcomes are influenced by feedback provided by the public, stakeholders and Indigenous communities.
What is a Class EA?
Class EAs set out a standardized and streamlined planning process for activities that are carried out routinely and have predictable environmental effects that can be readily managed.
About the EA process
- The Public Work Class EA will be followed for the Ontario Place redevelopment project and is being conducted as a Category C undertaking. It focuses on provincial government realty and infrastructure projects.
- The Category C EA study area includes the lands on-site that are subject to the Environmental Assessment Act and is defined as the area where government-led activities will occur. Private sector (tenant) developments are not subject to the EA process as the Environmental Assessment Act is the planning framework for public sector developments.
- The planning framework that applies to private sector (tenant) developments is the Planning Act and the municipal planning process. The private sector developments will be required to secure zoning and site plan approval, as well as meet all the federal, provincial and municipal environmental permits and approvals.
- All government-led activities supporting the Ontario Place redevelopment are included in the Category C EA process, including:
The Category C EA process includes:
- Consideration and assessment of alternative concepts;
- Evaluation and selection of a preferred design;
- Development of mitigation and monitoring measures;
- Mandatory consultation at key milestones; and
- Documentation in a comprehensive Environmental Study Report (ESR).
Where we are in the Category C EA process:
- The Category C EA for Ontario Place is expected to run from early 2022 through to mid-2023 and is comprised of 5 key steps, as shown below.
- Our current stage of the Category C EA process is the development and assessment of design concepts, as shown in the process flowchart below. This stage tests different design concepts against a set of evaluation criteria that considers the natural, social, cultural, technical and economic environments, as well as sustainability. The concepts included in this engagement event (i.e., Engagement Event #2) are not final design and are only used for illustrative purposes, to inspire feedback and inform the creation of a final preferred landscape plan.
- Completion of the Category C EA is required before major construction for the development of new parks and public spaces can be implemented on site.
- The Category C EA will use public and stakeholder input to assess impacts and identify preferred mitigation measures.
- Public engagement began in Fall 2021 and will be continuing throughout 2022 and 2023.
- Summary reports for each event and feedback received will be prepared and posted on the project website and will be documented in the ESR.