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Nicole Abernethy: The Reintroduction of Rivers and Coastal Marshes in Toronto to Mitigate Flooding Effects: An example of urban adaptation to climate change through ecological restoration

The flash flooding events seen in Toronto following the July 2013 storm revealed the extent of the city's vulnerability in the face of climate change related disasters. Reliance on overly engineered and aging water management systems in combination with years of ecological destruction has restricted Toronto’s adaptive capabilities and increased the severity of crisis when a hazard is experienced. This paper aims to determine the capacity for ecological reintroduction of the cities lost river systems to increase socio-economic resilience. Coupled with case studies of international flood-prone cities’ action plans, this paper aims to develop site-specific design recommendation for a single river reintroduction project within Toronto’s urban core. Through an ecological approach Toronto will be able to adapt and live with periodic flooding, thus embracing the water that was once a fundamental aspect of the natural environment.