Duffins Creek

The Greenbelt protection has extended to 21 major urban river valleys and 7 coastal wetlands across the Greater Golden Horseshoe - including Duffins Creek and part of it's tributaries: Ganatsekiagon Creek and Urfe 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.

Duffins Creek is made up of 81 kilometres of streams and flows from Uxbridge all the way down to Ajax. Every 5 years Toronto and Region Conservation Authority releases a report card to assess the health of the Duffins 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 Duffins Creek:


Urbanization and population growth is placing the river's natural features and functions under stress. Hard surfaces have directed more stormwater into rivers and streams increasing flooding, bank erosion, water temperatures, and decreasing water quality.


Duffins Creek watershed has the highest proportion of natural cover in the GTA. According to the 2018 report card, only 18% of the watershed is urban and 42% has natural cover.


New programming hopes to bring salmon back in Duffins Creek. Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, along with other partners, are working towards re-establishing a self-sustaining Atlantic salmon populations. 


Surface water and groundwater quality range from good to poor. Road salt is the most commonly found contaminant, and can lead to year-round water contamination and impacts freshwater plants and animals.


Forest cover is fair in the Duffins Creek watershed. Ensuring consistent forest cover is very important since forests clean our air, store carbon and moderate temperatures. 

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 has produced extensive research about the Duffins Creek Watershed.

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority organizes many events to help you learn more about the watershed, or you could check-out our events page.