Why is a Ravine Strategy being created?
Ravines provide many important ecological services and recreation opportunities. They are also a fragile resource. With population growth, new development and climate change putting increased pressure on ravines, a plan to guide their future management, use, enhancement and protection is critical. While aspects of the ravine system are addressed in a number of different City plans/strategies, regulations and bylaws, the City does not have a comprehensive strategy that brings all of these together and focuses specifically on ravines. The Ravine Strategy will take into account the network of various related plans/strategies, regulations and bylaws and contain a vision for the ravine system and a set of principles to guide planning and policy. It will also identify stewardship opportunities and priorities for investment.
What is the scope of Toronto's ravine system?
Toronto's ravine system, with its rivers, dramatic geography and forests, defines the city's landscape. Making up 17 per cent of Toronto’s total area, ravines wind through residential, commercial and industrial neighbourhoods and include watercourses, parks and trails, roads, railways, golf courses, cemeteries, hydro corridors, institutions (hospitals and schools), former landfills and more. Ravine land ownership in Toronto is 60 per cent public and 40 per cent private, with 30,000 private addresses within ravines.
Who is creating the Toronto Ravine Strategy?
Parks, Forestry and Recreation, together with City Planning and Toronto Water will be developing the strategy in consultation with Economic Development and Culture and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. The development of the Strategy will also involve consultation with stakeholders and the public, and be supported by a Ravine Strategy Advisory Group made up of internal and external stakeholders.
An Interdivisional Ravine Steering Committee has also been created to inform the development of the strategy and increase collaboration among the different City divisions involved with ravines. Once the strategy is developed, the committee will serve as the coordinating body for the implementation of strategic actions related to ravines.
What's happened so far?
May 4, 2015: Ravine Strategy Workshop with 117 stakeholders
June 25, 2015: Public Open House – background information and discussion about challenges and opportunities within ravines (47 attendees)
June 5 - July 24, 2015: Online Ravine Strategy Survey (2,702 responses)
July - October, 2015: Ongoing consultation with stakeholder groups and City of Toronto staff
September 17, 2015: First Ravine Strategy Advisory Group meeting (external stakeholders)
November 10, 2015: First Interdivisional Ravine Steering Committee meeting
November 23, 2015: Update to Parks and Environment Committee on the Ravine Strategy
December 16, 2015: Chief Planner's Roundtable on Toronto's Ravines, City Hall Committee Room 2, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
January 2016: Presentation to Planning and Growth Management Committee
What happens next?
June 2016: Report to Parks and Environment Committee on draft Ravine Strategy