Toronto now has two more kilometres of paved recreational space in the Don Valley, thanks to the recent completion of the East Don Trail.
The new path, which links Milne Hollow Park—at Lawrence Avenue and the DVP— to Moccasin Trail Park, and a bridge leading into the Wynford-Concorde neighbourhood, officially opened in a ceremony this month.
Built in four stages, the East Don Trail is a result of a partnership between the City of Toronto, which contributed $1.19 million to the project, and the Government of Canada which contributed $697,000 through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. The path's completion is part of ongoing City of Toronto project to bring more recreational activity down into the city's natural ravines and valley.
"Trails in our natural areas and ravines allow for passive and active recreational opportunities for more residents," says Wendy Strickland, natural environment specialist with the City of Toronto. "By building trails, we are able to concentrate use onto a single area which has been built with that carrying capacity in mind, thereby ensuring the protection of natural areas."
The finished trail comes complete with signs describing local features, two canopies under the CN Rail line, handrails and new bridges which provide street access and which lead users over the East Don River.
"The response from the local community to the trail has been fantastic," says Strickland. "Community members are very happy to have access to natural environment parkland, especially the Wynford Heights community, which had little access to parkland prior to the opening of the trail."
While the trail is currently expected to cater mostly to local residents, there is a possibility, says Strickland, that the East Don Trail might one day connect with the Lower Don Trail which connects to the Martin Goodman Trail at Lakeshore Boulevard.
"The City of Toronto will soon begin an Environmental Assessment to look at the connection [to the Lower Don Trail]," says Strickland.
Writer: Katia Snukal
Source: Wendy Strickland, Natural Environment Specialist, Natural Environment & Community Programs, City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry & Recreation