North Brantford and Tutela Heights Subwatershed Study Update - Phase Two

The City of Brantford has commenced the North Brantford and Tutela Heights Subwatershed Study Update - Phase Two to minimize the negative impacts of flooding and stormwater movement, improve safety, preserve local character, and protect the natural environment, water resource system, and environmental features, including the quality and quantity of water in North Brantford and Tutela Heights lands.


In January 2017, the City officially acquired lands from the County of Brant, known as the Boundary Adjustment Lands.

In support of the addition of development lands, the City has completed the following:

The subwatershed study has followed a multi-staged approach for a comprehensive subwatershed study. Under this staged approach, the Phase One Draft Subwatershed Study outlines the overall management strategy and targets within the Urban Boundary Expansion Lands within the context of the MCR and OP update. The Stage Two Field Investigation and subsequent comprehensive subwatershed study update is being undertaken to provide all complementary subwatershed information within the Urban Boundary Expansion Lands.

Draft Subwatershed Study

The development of the Draft Subwatershed Plan was completed utilizing the best available information. The Stage One Field Investigation was completed and reviewed critical data gaps using visual investigations only, without any stream flow and groundwater measurements or water quality monitoring.

An electronic version of the draft study is available for download below (file size is 69MB). 

Draft Subwatershed Study 

Draft Subwatershed Plan highlights

The Draft Subwatershed Plan includes the following:

  • Preliminary Baseline Characterization of the Study Area utilizing the best available information, supplemented with any additional information gained in the interim.
  • Preliminary analysis to review the impact of development. Modelling of impacts will be completed utilizing the best available information and the use of sensitivity analysis to test the assumptions being made and to test the general resiliency of the proposed mitigation measures.
  • Baseline desktop analysis, utilizing the best available information, including key hydrologic and hydrogeological impacts and mitigations, streamflow and temperature regime, groundwater recharge, and total water cycle mass balance.
  • Draft recommendations for the management of the Urban Boundary Expansion Lands, including specific objectives, thresholds, targets, and best management practices for development, water/wastewater servicing, stormwater management, and to support ecological needs. 
  • Outlines for the Phase Two Field Investigations.

Phase two details

In October 2021, the City initiated the complementary Phase Two Subwatershed Update.

The primary goal of the watershed study is to protect the existing environment, natural environmental features, and water resource system in North Brantford and Tutela Heights lands.

Work to be undertaken includes detailed environmental field investigations, stream monitoring, surveying, water quality assessment and model development. This will utilize the field investigation to provide more quantitative direction on the required stormwater management targets for the study area.

The results of the watershed study will support existing environmental conditions and decision-making during the planning process to ensure that any urban development will not negatively impact the natural heritage and water resource systems in the area.

Key milestones and timeline

Phase Two of the Subwatershed Study will establish a baseline condition for quantity and quality of runoff and stream flows, and Natural Heritage System (NHS) utilizing the monitoring and field investigation works. The goal is to understand the current and future watershed system (based on land uses), as well as evaluate opportunities to protect the existing environment.

The roadmap of the key milestones and anticipated timeline of the Subwatershed Study- Phase Two will be as follows:

  • Constraint Mapping – Q4 of 2022
  • Impact Assessment – Q2 of 2023
  • Stormwater Management Plan – Q2 of 2023
  • Subwatershed Study Draft Report – Q3 of 2023

The timelines of these milestones are subject to the quality and availability of the monitoring data and the field investigation results.

The subwatershed study will be completed following the latest editions of the applicable codes, legislation in Ontario/ Canada, and the most current accepted engineering standards, guidelines, procedures, and practices.

If you have any comments or questions regarding this study, please contact:

Nahed Ghbn, P.Eng.
Senior Project Manager
City of Brantford
519-759-4150 Ext. 5262
Dave Maunder, M.Sc., P. Eng.
Project Manager
Aquafor Beech Limited
905-629-0099 Ext. 290

Additional Resources 

Additional separate studies will be undertaken to guide how and where the City will grow along with the watershed update.

Block planning in the Expansion Lands

To ensure that growth is managed comprehensively, the new Official Plan requires the preparation of Block Plans for Neighbourhood Areas in the Expansion Lands to be completed before the submission of development applications under the Planning Act.