Carruthers Creek

The Greenbelt protection has extended to 21 major urban river valleys and 7 coastal wetlands across the Greater Golden Horseshoe - including the Carruthers Creek! 

The addition of these waterways to the Greenbelt is an important recognition of the vital role the Greenbelt plays in protecting the hydrological features we rely on for clean drinking water, flood protection, and healthy ecosystems.

The Carruthers Creek is 18 km long and is located entirely in the Region of Durham. Every 5 years Toronto and Region Conservation Authority releases a report card to assess the health of the Carruthers Creek Watershed. Grades around urbanized areas typically decline because of reduced natural vegetation and hard surfaces, such as roads and roofs. Protecting the urban river valleys is very important for our communities health. 

Top facts about the Carruthers Creek:


In 2015, TRCA began a new Watershed Plan for Carruthers Creek, in partnership with the Region of Durham. Field investigations are underway to assess the watershed's physical features and ecological functions. TRCA scientists will apply the data and analyses in modelling exercises, which simulate alternative land uses and the effects of potential future impacts (including climate change).


Despite its small size, the Carruthers Creek watershed is an important one; home to rare species and a substantial amount of coastal marsh. Connecting Pickering and Ajax, this unique watershed drains into the north shore of Lake Ontario.


Carruthers Creek watershed received an overall “C” grade surface water quality rating. The “C” grade is considered “fair”, which is common across most TRCA watersheds.


Carruthers Creek watershed consists mostly of urban landcover. Approximately 41% of the landcover is urban, 34% is rural, and 25% is natural land cover.


A great way to enhance the Carruthers Creek watershed is to reduce (or even eliminate) the use of de-icing salt, pesticides, and fertilizers. These products have a high degree of effect with regards to contaminating water.

Want to learn more?

Right now, we are working with community groups, municipalities and organizations across the Greenbelt to ensure the urban river valleys and the Greenbelt remain healthy for generations to come.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has produced extensive research about the Carruthers Creek Watershed.

The TRCA organizes many events to help you learn more about the watershed, or you could check-out our events page.