Mapping and Studies

Online mapping provides information about our watershed, including Conservation Halton Parks and other properties, including the Niagara Escarpment and the Greenbelt, as well as our Approximate Regulation Limit mapping.

Over the past few years, Conservation Halton has embarked on a major review and update of our regulatory mapping (e.g., flood hazard mapping, wetland mapping, watercourse mapping, etc.). Updates to technical studies and modelling, using new tools and technologies, help us to better understand the nature and extent of existing hazards and/or wetlands. Mapping is a dynamic process. As mapping reviews and updates progress, refinements to the Approximate Regulation Limit mapping will be necessary, as additional hazard or regulated areas may be identified or removed.

Conservation Halton developed a protocol to establish at what point in the mapping update process will the draft data or mapping be considered “best available information” for understanding the extent of the hazard, assessing potential risk to life and property, identifying potential interference to a wetland, identifying areas requiring further analysis, making decisions when development is contemplated in hazardous or regulated areas and administering Ontario Regulation 162/06. The Mapping Transition Implementation Protocol establishes the key stages in the mapping update and study process, what data will be used at each stage of the process, how the data will be presented in online mapping, when the data can be used for administering Ontario Regulation 162/06, and when public and stakeholder engagement will occur.

The Conservation Halton Board of Directors endorsed the Protocol for use on November 26, 2021.

The Floodplain Mapping program is responsible for updating and maintaining watershed floodplain mapping, which identifies flood risk and hazards. This information is used to develop approximate regulation limit mapping for purposes of review associated with Ontario Regulation 162/06, as well as used to support flood risk management decisions and communications

The first step to reducing the impact of flood damage within a community is to have mapping that helps us identify flood hazards, accurately. Conservation Halton is working with our partners to reduce flood risk in our communities by updating our floodplain maps, some of which are more than 20 years old. Updates to technical studies and modelling, using new tools and technologies, help us to better understand the extent of flood hazards. As mapping reviews and updates progress, refinements to Approximate Regulation Limit mapping will be necessary, as additional hazard or regulated areas may be identified and some may be removed.

How can you get involved?

Conservation Halton encourages the public to participate in flood hazard mapping studies. Public involvement provides greater certainty and transparency for the floodplain mapping program, and it benefits from receiving observations about the watershed from the people who experience these watershed conditions.

We host public engagement sessions on floodplain mapping studies to notify the public and stakeholders that a study is occurring in their area and to share information on the study process and draft mapping updates for review and input. Floodplain mapping study notifications and updates on public engagement are published in community newspapers and posted on the Conservation Halton website and social media. You can also request to be added to the email contact list for the study to receive direct notifications.

Recent Mapping Studies:

Updates to the Regulatory Status of Lower Rambo Creek

Aerial map of lower rambo creek

The City of Burlington recently completed a Phase 1 Flood Hazard and Scoped Stormwater Management Assessment for downtown Burlington and the Burlington GO Major Transit Station Area (MTSA). The Phase 1 study revealed a flood hazard in the Lower Rambo watershed that is greater than previously understood. A Phase 2 study is currently underway to further refine the flood hazard mapping, but the Phase 1 study is considered the best available information for decision making when development is contemplated in hazardous areas.

Under Ontario Regulation 162/06, Conservation Halton regulates all watercourses, valleylands, wetlands, Lake Ontario and Burlington Bay shoreline, and hazardous lands, as well as lands adjacent to these features. The purpose of the regulation is to protect people and property from the risks associated with natural hazards and to prevent worsening of existing hazards or the creation of new hazards. Conservation Halton’s regulation now applies to identified flood (i.e., floodplain and spill areas) and erosion hazards, as well as a 7.5 metre regulatory allowance, in the Lower Rambo Creek watershed. Permission is required from Conservation Halton to develop in these areas.

 

For more information about Phase 1 or Phase 2, please contact City of Burlington staff.

Charles Priddle, Ph.D.
Manager, Regulations Program
Conservation Halton
905.336.1158 ext. 2276
cpriddle@hrca.on.ca
Umar Malik, M.Eng., P.Eng.
Stormwater Engineer
City of Burlington
905.335.7600 ext. 7426
umar.malik@burlington.ca

Under Ontario Regulation 162/06, Conservation Halton regulates development in spill flood hazards. Conservation Halton has an interim policy for development in spills but is undertaking a review and update of this policy. We are seeking input from stakeholders and the public on a Spill Policy Discussion Paper.

The Discussion Paper serves as the initial stage of the spill policy review and update process. The purpose of the Discussion Paper is to provide background information on flood hazards, an overview of applicable legislation, regulations and policy, and possible approaches to managing the risk associated with spills. A series of discussion questions are also posed at the end of the document.

Throughout the policy review and update process, Conservation Halton will engage with other conservation authorities, municipal partners, residents, and other stakeholders. Conservation Halton staff will assess the input received throughout the process, draft new policies, and recommend to the Conservation Halton Board of Directors on the approval of any new spill policies. A public engagement session to present draft spill policies and engage further will occur in late Spring 2022.

We welcome your feedback. Comments on the Discussion Paper are requested by May 6, 2022. Please email questions or comments to policy@hrca.on.ca or contact:

Matt Howatt
Manager, Policy & Special Initiatives
905-336-1158, ext. 2311 | policy@hrca.on.ca
www.conservationhalton.ca

Aerial map of where floodplain mapping is being updated

Conservation Halton has retained consulting and engineering company, Wood, to update flood hazard mapping and modelling for Tuck, Shoreacres, Appleby and Sheldon Creeks in Burlington and Oakville.

Advances in technology allow us to better understand flood hazards and to develop more accurate flood hazard mapping. It is one of our top priorities to protect life and property from natural hazards and updating flood hazard mapping is one of the ways we do that.

Flood hazard mapping is used by Conservation Halton and municipal partners to identify areas that may be prone to flooding, and to inform flood forecasting, emergency response, community planning, infrastructure upgrades and other flood prevention efforts.

Flood hazards include floodplains and spills. A floodplain is an area of land that is flooded by a nearby creek or lake during large storms. A spill is what occurs when flood waters leave the floodplain and spill into surrounding lands.

 

Conservation Halton hosted the first public engagement session for the East Burlington Creeks Flood Hazard Mapping Study on October 14, 2021. The virtual Zoom session was attended by about 80 residents. Due to time constraints, we were unable to answer all questions during the session, but we appreciate the high level of public interest in this study.

Information regarding the second public engagement session to present draft, updated flood hazard mapping and engage further will be provided in Fall 2022.
 

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, or you would like to be added to the mailing list for this project, please email floodplainmapping@hrca.on.ca or either of the contacts below.

Matt Howatt
Manager, Policy & Special Initiatives
Conservation Halton
905.336.1158 ext. 2311 | mhowatt@hrca.on.ca
Amy Mayes, P.Eng.
Coordinator, Floodplain Mapping
Conservation Halton
905.336.1158 ext. 2302 | amayes@hrca.on.ca
Information will be collected in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. With the exception of personal information, all comments will become part of the public record.

Public Information Centre 2 – Update

Due to COVID-19 restrictions around indoor public gatherings, we have adjusted the format for our Public Information Centre #2 (PIC) for the Urban Milton Flood Hazard mapping project, which was originally scheduled for March 24, 2020. The objective for this PIC#2 is to provide an update on progress, and share the draft study results. We encourage you to review the Draft Study Results, and share any feedback that may be helpful for us as we finalize the study. There are still steps in this study before the mapping is finalized, and another PIC will be scheduled.

This page includes the draft results from the study to date, information on how to educate and protect yourself from flooding, and a way to provide feedback and ask questions. We will do our best to respond to all inquiries within 5 business days.

Draft Study Results: Urban Milton Flood Hazard Mapping Study

Conservation Halton retained Greck and Associates to complete updated models and mapping for the west branch of Sixteen Mile Creek, which runs through Urban Milton. A summary of the draft study and its findings can be accessed at the link below:

Urban Milton Flood Hazard Mapping PIC #2

Note: Mapping provided within the link above shows the extent of the floodplain determined by Greck and Associates (as of March 22, 2020), but is not representative of the scale or additional detail (such as the location and output associated with modeled cross sections) associated with the Floodplain Maps that will be included in the final report. This information will be available to the public at the next PIC, once the draft mapping associated with the Area of Further Study has been finalized.

About the Floodplain Maps

The floodlines shown on the map are draft and reflect flood hazards where updated mapping has been done. This mapping does not show Conservation Halton’s regulation limit mapping. Additional hazards or regulated areas may be present within this area.

Under Ontario Regulation 162/06, Conservation Halton regulates:

  1. all development in or adjacent to river or stream valleys, wetlands, shorelines or hazardous lands;
  2. alterations to a river, creek, stream or watercourse; and
  3. interference with wetlands.

More information related to Conservation Halton’s regulation, policies and regulatory mapping can be found here.

Areas identified as ‘Area of Further Study’ will be subject to additional analysis. Future consultations will occur prior to finalizing the floodlines, and prior to approval by Conservation Halton’s Board of Directors.

How to Protect Yourself

The following information can help get you started in thinking about emergency preparedness and developing an emergency plan for you and your family:

Halton Region has compiled information on what you can do before, during, and after a flood to safeguard yourself and your family:

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has compiled some emergency management facts on floods

Environment Canada also has information on what you can do before, during, and after a flood to safeguard yourself and your family.

Conservation Halton applies a multi-pronged approach to helping to protect area residents from flooding and erosion. More information is available here. One of those measures is Conservation Halton’s Flood Forecasting and Warning System, which provides advance notice of potential flooding to municipal partners, emergency responders, and the media.

Inquiries and Guidance

If you have feedback questions or inquiries, please contact Conservation Halton:

Amy Mayes, P. Eng.
Coordinator, Floodplain Mapping
amayes@hrca.on.ca
905 336 1158 x 2302

We will do our best to respond to you within 5 business days, if not sooner.

Please note that all comments and inquiries submitted will be subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and with the exception of personal information, may be released upon request. Written submissions will be included in the final study report.