Research Guide to the Don River (Ontario)

May 27, 2014 | Katherine

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First Dam on the Don River 1900                                     First dam on the Don River, ca1900  Toronto Reference Library

Getting Started

The Don River and its valley are defining features of the city of Toronto.  Water, power, industry, expressways, wildlife, pollution, recreation, conservation—issues related to the Don affect all citizens. Find research materials on the Don in the Toronto Collection in the Humanities & Social Science Department at the Toronto Reference Library and the Society & Recreation and Canadiana Departments at North York Central Library.  Some titles may also be available at other library branches.

Searching the Library Catalogue

Suggested keywords:

Use the column at the left on the Library search page to focus and limit your search by type of material, date, library branch or subject.


Other terms related to river valley issues:   

  • Rivers
  • Streams
  • Pollution
  • Conservation
  • Watersheds
  • Watershed management
  • Wetlands
  • Urban ecology                                                                              

Suggested titles:

Don mouth naturalization and port lands flood protection project: amended environmental assessment report 

Imagined futures and unintended consequences: a environmental history of Toronto's Don River Valley 

Lower Don Lands framework plan : lower Don Lands, Toronto, Ont.

Keating Channel precinct plan : Keating Channel Precinct, Toronto, Ont.

Don River Watershed plan : beyond forty steps

Evergreen at the Brick Works: Final master plan

Don Valley corridor transportation study:master plan: summary report

Wet weather flow management plan : Don River watershed

Pesticide concentrations in the Don and Humber River watershed (1998-2000)

Over the Don

Time for bold steps : Don watershed report card

The Don : the history of the Don Valley

Celebrating the Don : selected essays from At the forks, the magazine of the Friend of the Don East

Lower Don River Valley demonstration habitat wetland : environmental study report

Lower Don River : regeneration strategy and naturalization plan, Pottery Road to the forks

West Don Lands

ECOLAGE: an environmental public art ideas competition for the Lower Don River Valley

Lower Don River Valley demonstration habitat wetland project

Forty steps to a new Don : the report of the Don Watershed Task Force 

Bringing back the Don

Remembering the Don : a rare record of earlier times within the Don River Valley


Suggested Articles

You can find magazine and newspaper articles on the Don by searching the library’s electronic databases. Try Academic Onefile, Canadian Newsstand Major Dailies, Canadian Newstand Torstar, Canadian Business and Current Affairs (CBCA), Canadian Periodicals Index, General Onefile.  These can be searched inside the library, or from home or school using your Toronto Public Library card.

The Humanities & Social Sciences Department at the Toronto Reference Library has clipping files on microfiche from the 1960s to 2010.   Ask for the files on the Don River, Don River Task Force, Environmental planning – Toronto, Central Waterfront Planning, and Harbours-Toronto.


Suggested  Magazines and Journals  Don River looking towards Don Jail 1870

At the forks

Bring back the Don

On the Don (also available online at Don Watershed Resources)

Toronto field naturalist


 Don River 1870, Toronto Reference Library


Additional Online Sources

Don River and Central Waterfront Project

Don Valley Historical Mapping Project

Federation of Ontario Naturalists

Evergreen Brick Works

Friends of the Don East

Humber River/Don River Stream Restoration  & Protection Study

Lost River Walks

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)-Don River Watershed 

Toronto Historical Plaques-Rivers and Waterways

Toronto Public Library--Historical images of the Don River

Waterfront Toronto West Don Lands

Waterfront Toronto Lower Don lands

Waterfront Trail

Chester Springs MarshFor further assistance contact:

Humanities & Social Sciences Department, Toronto Reference Library


trlhss @


Chester Springs Marsh at Prince Edward Viaduct, City of Toronto




See also: Research Guide to the Humber River (Ontario)

              Research Guide to the Rouge River (Ontario)