Block 32

City of Vaughan

Location and Development Plan of the Vellore Woods Community

The Vellore Woods Community (Block 32) is a new residential development located in the City of Vaughan, Ontario. The Vellore Woods Community will accommodate between 8,000-9,000 people at full build-out. The development consists of single-family housing, townhouses, commercial areas, parks and schools, all successfully integrated with the newly created and distinctive Vellore Woods Ravine Complex. The Vellore Woods Ravine Complex represents the largest entirely human-made stormwater management-valley system, and stream restoration project within an urban environment in Canada.

The vision behind the creation of the Vellore Woods Ravine Complex was to provide a multi-functional system that not only achieved all stormwater and flood risk reduction engineering objectives, but served to recreate the headwater characteristics of the Upper Don River watershed, improve local aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and facilitate community passive recreation.

In 1994, Schaeffers Consulting Engineers was retained as Lead Consultant by the Vellore Woods Developers Group to provide municipal engineering services for the design of the new residential community, including the stormwater management design. Schaeffers Consulting Engineers has been involved with this project from the conceptual Master Environmental Servicing Planning (MESP) stage beginning in 1994, through the detailed design and governmental review in 1998, and finally to tender, contract and site supervision work in 1999/2000.

Schaeffers’ role as the Water Resources and Design Engineer was to establish an innovative stormwater management strategy for Vellore Woods that assimilated required engineering functions with ecological, and recreational objectives.

Further, as Lead consultant of a multi-disciplinary consultant team our role was to coordinate the integrated goals, and design approaches of each discipline, to maximize the benefits of the proposed stormwater works.

Thus, through the collaboration of the consultant team and the skillful implementation of innovative design methods, the multi-functional Vellore Woods Ravine Complex was created. The recommended stormwater strategy, called for rehabilitation works not only within the site area, but also extending beyond the block limits. The Vellore Woods Ravine Complex includes 1400 m of newly created valley built on either side of Highway 400, with 1900 m of meandering natural low flow channel, two large wetpond facilities within the site area, and the installation of two large culverts under Highway 400.

In 2001, Schaeffers Consulting Engineers won the Canadian Consulting Engineer award for this project.