By Monica Kucharski

The Credit Valley Conservation Board unanimously voted to rename the Lakeview Waterfront Connection—the new conservation area being created along the Mississauga waterfront — to the Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area.

This designation honours the former Ward 1 Councillor, the late Jim Tovey, who was the mastermind behind the Lakeview waterfront regeneration and an environmental champion for the city of Mississauga.

The late councillor’s wife Lee Tovey, councillors from wards 1 and 2, Dave Cook and Karen Ras, Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s chief of staff Rob Trewartha, and others witnessed the board vote on August 24th.

“The conservation area’s final name was determined through consultation with the Tovey family, project partners and members of the project’s Community Liaison Committee,” states CVC on its website.  “It reflects his strong commitment to environmental conservation, the waterfront and the Lakeview community. We are so proud to be able to do this in Jim’s honour.”

The Lakeview waterfront had been the site of various military and industrial uses for many decades.  When the plant closed in 2005, the province had planned to replace it with a natural gas one.  But Tovey— along with other local activists—launched an all-out effort to nix this plan and replace it with one that eventually led to the creation of the Lakeview Waterfront Connection.

The now-known as Jim Tovey Lakeview Conservation Area will feature 1.5 km of Waterfront Trail plus 12 hectares of meadow, five hectares of forest, eight hectares of wetland and one hectare of cobble beach. Together, these connected habitats will create an ecosystem that will support a wide variety of local fish and wildlife, as well as migrating birds.

Construction and restoration began in fall of 2016.  As of today, 6.63 hectares (66,300 square metres) of new conservation land has been created.  The western portion of the new Serson Creek wetland has been restored, almost 1,000 native trees and shrubs were planted last fall around the wetland pocket, and more than 20,000 native wetland plants had been planted this summer.

Want to see the progress yourself?  You can see the new conservation area take shape from the west beach of Marie Curtis Park just across the border in Etobicoke.