The creation of an urban park corridor for cyclists and pedestrians to get from downtown to Rouge National Urban Park in Scarborough is just part of the City of Toronto’s Ravine Strategy, unveiled at Highland Creek Ravine earlier this week.
“The City Council and I strongly support significant investment in Toronto’s Ravine strategy, now and for the long term. I am committed to working with our federal partners to protect our canyons and invest in the city’s incredible and vast natural infrastructure,” Mayor John Tory said during the July 13 press conference that brought together elected officials at the local, provincial and federal level participated.
Mayor John Tory with local Scarborough-Rouge Park Constituency Political Representatives (left to right), MPP Vijay Thanigasalam, Ward 25 Councilwoman Jennifer McKelvie, and MP Gary Anandasangaree, Image courtesy City of Toronto
Long considered a defining feature of Toronto’s boroughs, the city’s acclaimed canyon system spans 300 km and 11,000 hectares and follows rivers that begin north at the Oak Ridges Moraine and extend south to Lake Ontario. In 2020, the City Council launched the Toronto Ravine Strategy in recognition of the importance of this natural resource.
The plan, which recognizes the value of our gorges – from serving as a natural repository for the region’s historical artifacts to providing valuable green infrastructure – sets out a number of key actions and recommendations set out to clean up the gorge system protect and improve the next 10 years.
Aerial view of Rouge Park, image courtesy City of Toronto
Since 2020, the Government of Canada has provided $18.2 million and the City of Toronto $39.8 million in support of this strategy. Key projects benefiting from this funding include:
- Construction of a new trail linking the Meadoway to the Highland Creek Trail, creating a vibrant expanse of urban green space and meadows
- Improvement of existing pathways through Taylor Creek Park, Rowntree Mills Park, Centennial Park and the Scarborough Waterfront, including pathway reconstruction and rehabilitation of pathway systems
- Design and construction of the East Don Trail Phase 2b (Loop) and Phase 3, which when completed will create a trail connection from Lawrence Avenue East to Lake Ontario
- Installation of new canyon signposts on the East Don Trail, Upper Highland Trail, Meadoway, Upper Black Creek and Loop Trail to improve accessibility for canyon users
- Upgrading existing access points at three gorges across the city, including Edwards Gardens, to improve community access to green spaces
- Protecting and restoring the Highland Creek trail from erosion
- Improving natural infrastructure in priority investment areas through wetland restoration at Cudmore Creek, Chester Springs, Upper Black Creek, Rowntree Mills, Morningside Park and Sunnybrook Park
- A design to close the Mid-Humber Gap that will create a safe, continuous, and versatile trail system along both the Humber River Trail and the future Loop Trail
Map of Toronto Canyons, image courtesy City of Toronto
The city estimates that it will invest $118.1 million in 2022 to support the principles and actions of the Ravine Strategy, including “increasing climate resilience, improving opportunities for safe and sustainable access to ravines.” , restoring ecological health and function, and community engagement. ”
Priority investment areas include:
- Rowntree Mills Park
- Western Humber Parklands
- Upper Schwarzbach
- Lower Mimico Creek
- high park
- Sunnybrook Park
- Moore Park and Yellow Creek Ravines
- Lower Don River
- East Highland Creek and Morningside Park
- Lower Highland Creek
To access status updates for this initiative or for more detailed information on the City of Toronto’s Ravine Strategy, visit www.toronto.lca/ravinestrategy.
We will continue to monitor progress on the Toronto-Ravine strategy, but in the meantime. If you wish, you can join the discussion in our dedicated forum thread or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
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