Harris Park Shoreline Restoration and Park Improvements

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About this project

The City is planning to replace the Harris Park Erosion Control Structure on the east bank of the Thames River, north of the Forks of the Thames. The existing City-owned structure spans approximately 470m in length from north of the Queen Street Bridge to south of Blackfriars Bridge.


The project objective is to replace the existing infrastructure with appropriate solutions that protect the shoreline, improve park function, and support natural heritage features along the river.


Above: The map shows the Harris Park Shoreline Restoration and Park Improvements project area overview


The need for this project was identified in the City’s 2021 Erosion Control Structures Condition Update Study which noted Harris Park as a high priority for replacement, based on the failing condition of the existing structure due to corrosion of gabion baskets and potential for future erosion concerns. The existing erosion control structure is comprised of a combination of gabion baskets, armour stone, and riprap slope protection. Replacement of the failing erosion control structures will be with materials of equal or better properties, in the same location and for the same purpose.


The One River Municipal Class Environmental Assessment completed in 2019 included a River Management Plan that identified and recommended the need for river access improvements for the existing Harris Park boat access and fishing access. As part of the replacement of the erosion control structure, the City will be taking the opportunity to make improvements within Harris Park, as well as the Thames Valley Parkway (TVP), running adjacent to the structure. New or improved park infrastructure has been incorporated into the design.


This project seeks to integrate the recommendations of the Erosion Control Structures Assessment with the Harris Park Master Plan design elements identified in the One River EA River Management Plan.



This project includes:

  • Cleanout and removal of accumulated stone, brush and debris from the watercourse.
  • Removal of deteriorated stone gabion baskets and replacing with a reinforced vegetated revetment.
  • Restoration of natural riparian and aquatic habitat.
  • River access features:
    • Introducing a new lookout point
    • Improving the existing river access point with parking area (same location)
    • Improving the existing fishing platform (same location)
    • Proposed secondary pathway, benches, trees, and educational signage, as well as a minor realignment of the TVP.

Construction is expected to start in July 2024 and is anticipated to last until December 2024. Final restoration works within Harris Park are likely to occur in spring 2025.

Tree preservation update

The City is finalizing the project design and anticipated tree impacts ahead of construction this summer, and we’ve identified changes to the Thames Valley Parkway path design to further preserve four additional trees in Harris Park. While some trees in the project area cannot be preserved due to the location of their roots, the tree’s current health, or other health and safety reasons, we strive to preserve as many trees as possible through the construction.

After construction is finished, the City will plant 80 new trees in Harris Park (more than three trees for each one removed) and the total number of trees in the park will then exceed 100. The new riverbank being constructed will use more sustainable and natural engineering techniques than the existing deteriorating gabion baskets currently used to support the riverbank. These engineering improvements should allow the trees that we replant to grow into large mature trees without being impacted by infrastructure work in the future.

A map of Harris Park and the trees that will be preserved and removed. Please contact cocc@london.ca for assistance.

Above: This map shows the path design change that will help preserve an additional four trees in Harris Park.



Thames River Projects 2024 – Project Update Meeting

The City of London hosted a drop in project meeting to share the detailed designs of the Springbank Dam partial removal project as well as improvements being made to Harris Park. These projects are both implementations of the One River Master Plan Environmental Assessment, completed in 2019. The meeting was held on January 31, 2024 inside Fleetway Bowling Centre (The Spare Room) between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.


About this project

The City is planning to replace the Harris Park Erosion Control Structure on the east bank of the Thames River, north of the Forks of the Thames. The existing City-owned structure spans approximately 470m in length from north of the Queen Street Bridge to south of Blackfriars Bridge.


The project objective is to replace the existing infrastructure with appropriate solutions that protect the shoreline, improve park function, and support natural heritage features along the river.


Above: The map shows the Harris Park Shoreline Restoration and Park Improvements project area overview


The need for this project was identified in the City’s 2021 Erosion Control Structures Condition Update Study which noted Harris Park as a high priority for replacement, based on the failing condition of the existing structure due to corrosion of gabion baskets and potential for future erosion concerns. The existing erosion control structure is comprised of a combination of gabion baskets, armour stone, and riprap slope protection. Replacement of the failing erosion control structures will be with materials of equal or better properties, in the same location and for the same purpose.


The One River Municipal Class Environmental Assessment completed in 2019 included a River Management Plan that identified and recommended the need for river access improvements for the existing Harris Park boat access and fishing access. As part of the replacement of the erosion control structure, the City will be taking the opportunity to make improvements within Harris Park, as well as the Thames Valley Parkway (TVP), running adjacent to the structure. New or improved park infrastructure has been incorporated into the design.


This project seeks to integrate the recommendations of the Erosion Control Structures Assessment with the Harris Park Master Plan design elements identified in the One River EA River Management Plan.



This project includes:

  • Cleanout and removal of accumulated stone, brush and debris from the watercourse.
  • Removal of deteriorated stone gabion baskets and replacing with a reinforced vegetated revetment.
  • Restoration of natural riparian and aquatic habitat.
  • River access features:
    • Introducing a new lookout point
    • Improving the existing river access point with parking area (same location)
    • Improving the existing fishing platform (same location)
    • Proposed secondary pathway, benches, trees, and educational signage, as well as a minor realignment of the TVP.

Construction is expected to start in July 2024 and is anticipated to last until December 2024. Final restoration works within Harris Park are likely to occur in spring 2025.

Tree preservation update

The City is finalizing the project design and anticipated tree impacts ahead of construction this summer, and we’ve identified changes to the Thames Valley Parkway path design to further preserve four additional trees in Harris Park. While some trees in the project area cannot be preserved due to the location of their roots, the tree’s current health, or other health and safety reasons, we strive to preserve as many trees as possible through the construction.

After construction is finished, the City will plant 80 new trees in Harris Park (more than three trees for each one removed) and the total number of trees in the park will then exceed 100. The new riverbank being constructed will use more sustainable and natural engineering techniques than the existing deteriorating gabion baskets currently used to support the riverbank. These engineering improvements should allow the trees that we replant to grow into large mature trees without being impacted by infrastructure work in the future.

A map of Harris Park and the trees that will be preserved and removed. Please contact cocc@london.ca for assistance.

Above: This map shows the path design change that will help preserve an additional four trees in Harris Park.



Thames River Projects 2024 – Project Update Meeting

The City of London hosted a drop in project meeting to share the detailed designs of the Springbank Dam partial removal project as well as improvements being made to Harris Park. These projects are both implementations of the One River Master Plan Environmental Assessment, completed in 2019. The meeting was held on January 31, 2024 inside Fleetway Bowling Centre (The Spare Room) between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Page last updated: 02 Apr 2024, 01:56 PM