The flow of water from 17 creeks drops 250 metres over a distance of 12 km; much of it passes through the Millcroft community

By Staff

November 19th, 2023



The Millcroft Greenspace is an early, state of the art example of Green Infrastructure for stormwater management in Burlington, Ontario.  The floodplain, known as the Millcroft Golf Course, is currently designated as Major Parks/Open Space and was engineered to integrate creeks and naturalized ponds, allowing natural drainage from the nearby escarpment. The greenspace acts as a buffer before runoff continues through southern Burlington to Lake Ontario. The fairways are designed to be 2.5 metres below the rear lot lines of the neighbouring homes, which now benefit from decades of tree coverage and vegetation growth to slow the flow through the channels.

The infrastructure that drains this water in a controlled manner would be seriously disrupted, if not permanently damaged if additional development took place on a community that is currently a flood free place to live.


Preserving the mature tree canopy and turf of this greenspace, as well as preventing changes from a proposed infill development to grading and hardening of the surfaces, will help manage the increasing climate change impacts in the area, such as increased precipitation and wind damage. If protected,  this green infrastructure will also continue to manage erosion and clean storm water runoff before it enters Lake Ontario. The Millcroft Greenspace provides a carbon sink with a mature parkland tree canopy for the surrounding roads, rail line, and proposed high density housing development. Furthermore, the  lands have become a wildlife refuge.

The City of Burlington is a major infrastructure corridor (QEW, Hwy 407, CN, CP and GO transportation, Hydro and Enbridge Gas Pipeline).  Wedged between the top of the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario, significant stormwater drainage passes through the City in its 17 creeks. The area is also characterized by a significant drop in elevation of over 250m in only 12km.

Stormwater management and green infrastructure are essential strategies to address flooding issues identified by the Intact Centre for Climate Adaptation (University of Waterloo).  Currently, approximately 10% of Burlington homes experience flooding and the city  experienced one of the five worst Canadian floods in 2014.


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