The federal government will invest $154 million in four storm water management projects across the Greater Toronto Area, including one in North York which officials say will protect more than 2,000 homes from basement flooding.

Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Francois-Philippe made the announcement at Memorial Park on Tuesday morning, noting that the investments will “help mitigate flooding and create more resilient communities.”

The initiatives include the enhancement and upgrading of storm water and sewage infrastructure in Vaughan, Markham and York-Durham as well as the construction of three kilometres of new sewers in North York that will drain into a new water retention tank underneath Memorial Park.

That project is expected to protect 75 hectares and 2,400 homes from flooding once complete.

“The tank will be the size of approximately 11 Olympic swimming pools and I can confidently say, because our experts have told me this, that a tank of that size will be able to handle the storm water from the more frequent severe storms that we are now experiencing,” Mayor John Tory told reporters. “This in turn will significantly diminish basement flooding which has caused such upset and financial loss for so many city residents in this part of town over the years.”

Tory said that the new tank being constructed underneath Memorial Park will allow storm water to be stored and then released for proper treatment at a “controlled rate.”

The project is expected to take about five years to complete.

Tory said that once finished, it could be duplicated in other parts of the city where flooding is a problem.

“Given the constraints on land in Toronto this is obviously an innovative way to meet a challenge that becomes more and more difficult as the years pass and as the city continues to grow,” he said.

The North York project will cost a total of $120 million. The federal government will cover $83 million of that while the city will contribute $37 million.